An old countertop can really affect the way a kitchen appears. Structurally speaking, your countertop might be in OK shape, but it might be time to do something about it if its tired appearance makes your kitchen look dated. Of course, you would love to replace it, but new countertops aren't cheap. In the U.S., their average cost is $3,000, not including installation. Yikes. But you might not be able to afford to install laminate—not to mention granite either.
Rest assured, there are plenty of ways you can transform that old surface into a new one without busting your budget. From real stone to durable concrete, here are five DIY kits that will give your ugly countertop a beautiful new finish.
A DIY resurfacing kit is a budget-friendly solution that's a fraction of the price. Another good to know, they keep old countertops out of landfills, which is good for the planet.
01 of 06
Insanely Easy and Cheap: DIY Concrete Countertop Kit
The Encore Concrete Countertop Refinishing System is a low-VOC product that uses a cement mix to create a stone-like finish that's both stain and scratch resistant. It's available in five different shades: Concrete, River Rock, Espresso, Slate, and Onyx.
How long will it take you to DIY? Three days including drying time. So that you know, most countertop resurfacing kits use multiple coatings. After each one is applied, it needs to dry and set before you move on to the next step. Drying time varies but in some cases, it can take up to 12 hours.
Hayley Hill, the DIY blogger behind, All Things New Interiors, resurfaced her countertop using Encore two years ago. Did they stand the test of time?
"Our countertops have held up very well — no chips, discoloration, or damage. We went with the onyx kit. I think it looks like high-end Soapstone, which you know can cost a small fortune," says Hill.
More good to knows:
- One kit will resurface up to 50 square feet
- Top coat is food safe and FDA compliant
- Online price varies from $208 — $270
Tip: What's the deal with VOCs? Many types ruin indoor air quality.
02 of 06
Solid Like a Rock Part One
Yep, you can give your old countertop a new stone surface using DAICH SpreadStone's Mineral Select Countertop Refinishing Kit. You can apply it to most types of surfaces including MDF, plywood, particle board, concrete, and tile. Even better, unlike some DIY resurfacing solutions, this one is heat, impact, and stain resistant. Another good to know, it's low VOC and epoxy-free
Kits are available in 10 granite inspired shades: Natural White, Oyster, Onyx Fog, Canyon Gold, Volcanic Black, Yosemite, Mantel Stone, Lodestone, Ironstone, and Sundance.
Adrienne, a master gardener who pens the blog, Adrienne's Corner, made over her "really awful laminate countertop" using this product. She went with Mantel Stone, a pretty speckled gray. She couldn't be happier with the results.
"Before I got started I fixed a few dings using laminate putty," says Adrienne. "I was surprised by how easy this was to DIY. It's a weekend project anyone can do." You can view more photos of her countertop here.
More need to good to knows:
- One kit will cover roughly 40 square feet
- Primer and topcoat are water soluble
- Home Depot sells it for $125
You can learn more about this unique coating online.
03 of 06
Solid Like a Rock Part Two
These two countertops were also resurfaced using DAICH SpreadStone's Mineral Select Countertop Refinishing Kit.
The shade on the left with the semi-gloss sheen is called Onyx Fog. On the right is Natural White. The surface's high-gloss finish was created using a commercial grade epoxy top coat. We share what you need to know about epoxies at the end of this post.
04 of 06
Economical Countertop Painting Kit
You can always give your old countertop a new look using paint. Giani Granite produces the most highly reviewed painting kit online. No artistic skills are required. Each kit has everything you need to create a beautiful faux stone surface in one day.
Kits are available in four faux stone finishes: Chocolate Brown, Sicilian Sand, Mumbai Black, and White Diamond.
A few good to knows:
- One kit covers around 35 square feet
- Paints are water based and lead lead-free
- Kits cost around $79
Tip: Painted countertops can chip easily in hardworking kitchens so you may want to apply an epoxy top coat.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations
Rust-Oleum makes a resurfacing kit called, Countertop Transformations. It produces a textured stone-like finish on laminate surfaces. What makes this kit different from the rest? Instead of using spreadable stone, cement, or paint, it uses decorative chips followed by an epoxy coating. The entire DIY process takes two days.
Kits are available in four colors: Java Stone, Desert Sand, Charcoal, and Onyx. Each one produces a stain, water, and mildew resistant surface.
A few more good to knows:
- Kits are available in two sizes. The small countertop kit covers up to 30 square feet, and the large one covers up to 50 square feet.
- Each small kit costs between $100 — $150
- Each large kit costs between $200 — $250.
06 of 06
DIY Epoxy Countertops
There are several epoxy countertop resurfacing kits available that start at around $250 each. While they're all designed for DIY use, each kit we found is loaded with harmful VOCs, so we can't recommend them for your kitchen.
However, there are several commercial grade epoxy top coats available that are low or no-VOC. A couple of coats will give any surface a glossy and virtually indestructible finish.
The one we recommend was made specifically for countertops and tables and is safe to apply in odor sensitive environments like small living spaces and restaurants. It's called UltraClear Epoxy. It's available in two-gallon packs that include the hardener and resin. One order is enough to cover 48 square feet. Price: Around $80 — $100.