Do It Yourself » Countertop Transformation = Dirt Cheap Kitchen Makeover Under $500

Countertop Transformation = Dirt Cheap Kitchen Makeover Under $500

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Taking today’s economy into consideration, it can be tough to even think about remodeling areas of your home that need some work. Fortunately, giving your kitchen a complete makeover can be accomplished under $500.

Here is a before shot of the kitchen before the make-over. As you can see, the existing counter-tops are just plywood. We purchased a few cupboards at a time, expanding the kitchen to meet our needs at the time. To be perfectly honest, when we bought our home, it was completed gutted out!


Dirt Cheap Kitchen Makeover Under $500

Materials Required:

Total Cost of the Kitchen Transformation $486.

countertop transformation kit

This little beauty here (pictured above) is how I transformed our kitchen from blah to beautiful. This kit can be used on numerous surfaces, including existing countertops. The kit is available in multiple colors, I chose charcoal.

It is also offered in Java Stone, Onyx, Pebbled Ivory, and Desert Sand.


1 First, lightly sand the surface, then wipe it down to remove all the dust particles that may be lingering on the surface. Use a lint-free cloth, if possible.

lightly sand the surface

This project gets a bit messy, so we recommend taping off the cabinets with painters plastic to protect them from accidental paint blotches & to keep the chips from getting into your drawers.

2 Then, apply a nice coat of your base coat (comes in the kit).

apply base coat

Don’t be afraid to put it on good and thick!

apply base coat heavily

This part only takes a few minutes to complete.


3 Spray the base coat with the “wet” spray, which helps keep your surface moist while you apply your decorative chips.


As you can see, it’s as easy as squeezing a trigger . . .

spray with adhesive

4 Next, apply the decorative chips THICKLY! Don’t leave any gaps in your surface.

apply the chips 2

Then, leave it to dry overnight.

apply the chips

5 The next step is to lightly sand the countertop (yes, again!). Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe it down afterwards, removing as much dust as possible.

let it dry brush off chips

Here you can see that when we refinished the counters, we also refinished a couple wooden stands as well, so our coffee tables in the living room would match our kitchen.


6 Now comes the easiest part of all, mixing the final protective coating and applying it. We just placed the cans on a piece of scrap plywood to protect our work surface.

mix the topcoat sealer

This coating goes on smoothly, but you’ll want to be sure you don’t have a lot of people or pets around stirring up dust as it will settle into the top and you won’t be able to remove it!


Add a generous coating to finish the counter tops and give them a beautiful sheen.

let sealer dry

Once the coating is applied, the counters will need about 48 hours to cure. They’ll be dry to the touch in just 5-7 hours. The top coat has anti-microbial finish will not mold or mildew and is non-yellowing and can stand up to daily wear and tear.

Once dry, simply replace your trim and voila; instant make-over achieved!

Add Finishing Touches

Prior to this redecorating, we didn’t have any hardware on the doors or drawers. In keeping with a natural theme, I added leaf cabinet hardware, which turned out to be one of the most expensive additions to the project.


Here are a couple of “after” shots of the completed countertop transformation project:


Here’s a view from the end of the island bar. While we had it apart, we extended the end of the bar a bit to create a breakfast nook to adjust for our growing sons.


These homemade counter tops withstood significant daily use in our home for about seven years in all without any type of peeling or flaking. The only area that really started to break down was a spot near the stove where “nobody” cut directly on the counter without using a cutting board, and then later a hot pan was set directly on the counter by “not me”.

In all, they were an excellent value for the money. Given the current price of materials and general lack of availability, I’d likely opt to cut a sheet of luan and adhere it to a base of OSB sheeting rather than purchase maple plywood.

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If you're looking for an affordable way to make a huge improvement in the look and feel of your kitchen, read on. We share how we transformed our kitchen countertops from plywood to granite using simple products that cost less than $300 total! #Budget101 #DIY #CountertopTransformation #KitchenMakeover #Remodel #ChicRemodel #DirtCheap

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