Charming Oceanside Farmhouse designs in New England have several different features such as windows for natural light with spectacular views of the ocean. Colorful country-style furnishings which create a casual atmosphere. A sprawling lawn out back becomes an ideal spot to watch the sunset, with friends around a small fire and a glass of wine.

Therefore, it’s not hard to understand how wood countertops can add a classic farmhouse-coastal look to any kitchen décor. However, you do not need to invest a large amount of money to create a beautiful look; you can visit a hardware store and make it yourself as we did. Creating a countertop requires some basic home improvement skills, such as the ability to measure, the use of a saw, and gluing and sanding wood. You can choose between flooring, reclaimed wood or wooden boards for your countertop, depending upon the look and availability of the wood. If you have never done it, learn how to make a DIY wood countertop as we did. As with everything I do, it is self-taught. Let’s start!

Remove your old countertop. Work slowly and carefully to ensure that you do not damage the cabinetry if you’re reusing them. Otherwise have at it and rip those F***ers out.

First:
Shut off the water and disconnect your plumbing. The kitchen sick needs to be empty and ensure that the water valves are turned off (Clock wise to turn off and Counter Clockwise to open). You must ensure that you cannot have water leakage. If needed, stop the water from its source in the basement to the entire house. However, that should not be needed as you should have individual shut off values on each line between the main shut-off and the appliance.

Second:
Loosen the sink and other plumbing. You can use a putty knife and the help of a few friends. Remove these items when they are loosened. As you disconnect the water line from the wall input, you will have a small amount of water that was left in the water line, this can easily be caught in a Tupperware container or absorbed in an old towel.

Third:
Cut the caulk around the backsplash, if you have it. Use a utility knife to cleanly cut and strip away the caulk holding the backsplash in place. Place a putty knife next to the wall and use a crowbar to pry away the backsplash until it is removed. Do not push directly onto the backsplash, as it will crack. Once the old counter is loose, continue on to unscrewing your countertop from the top, sides or underneath. Again, use a putty knife and crowbar (if necessary) to pry the countertop from the cabinetry. I was able to remove all components and build and install the entire new section alone. However, it is a good idea to have a people helping you so that you can do it gently and pull it away without dropping the counter or digging into other surrounding the cabinets.

Forth:
Measure the counter with a measuring tape once it has been removed. It will be far easier to take the dimensions once it is no longer connected to the cabinets. Take measurements of the width, length and depth before going to the hardware store. This step is only needed if your saving them, if you are not, then use the dimensions of the new cabinets your installing. Also, keep in mind that after you have removed the cabinets that you should the sweep floor, remove all nails or screws that might have been exposed, and fill in any gaps with plywood in order to have a consistent flat even surface for the new cabinets to sit on.

The Fun:
Decide what lumber you would like to use. There are quite a few inexpensive options, but what makes sense for your home may be determined by the availability in your area. We used 2 x 6 pine in various lengths.

However, you can find reclaimed wood from a construction site or a construction recycling business. An old door will work as well. Find a piece of wood that is larger than your measurements, so that you can cut it down to size. You can also use several pieces and glue them together, as long as they are the same depth, making a very unique piece. We like to keep imperfections they add to the charm of the wood.

Many say to choose a hard wood because soft wood will mark easily and be less durable over time. However, if expense is an issue or you know your going to use a very high-quality seal then don’t worry. Pine is a soft wood that is commonly used with furniture, but you may want to choose yellow pine over white pine if you are opting to use a softer wood.

Next Step:
Measure and mark your wood. Cut it to size with a circular saw, if this has not already been done at the home improvement store.

Sand your countertops with medium-grit sandpaper, if you want to remove imperfections. Finish it with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Lay each piece next to each other with the top of the counter down on the floor and the back side facing up toward you. Use flat metal brackets with pre-drilled holes (preferable three holes on each end) to anchor each of the planks to the other with a strip of glue between. You will need to screw into one board and then pull as tight as possible the adjoining board and screw in in place.

**The screws are not to be longer than the depth of the planks of wood, in our case we used 2 x 6 planks (the depth is 2) therefor our screws were no longer than 1 ½ in order to avoid penetrating the other side. And since it was soft wood, we knew it would sink into the wood easier, so we left enough room for the screw to significantly tighten without penetrating the top of the counter. Also, you will need to place the metal brackets every two feet in order to give strength.

Glue your wood pieces together with a very strong wood glue. Liquid nails will work well and it is important to glue the separate pieces of wood together, rather than gluing the board directly to the cabinets.

Continue gluing each piece of wood together, until it is perfectly fitted. Wipe away excess glue throughout the process with a clean cloth. Allow to dry for 24 – 48 hours. Place large clamps across the panels to hold them together. Place a few heavy objects on top of the wood so that they do not bow while drying. Try to space your clamps out evenly. This will create an even hold in all areas.

We are reaching the final steps:
Attach the homemade countertop to the cabinetry with finish nails. These small nails are usually applied with a hammer, but a nail gun can be used for larger projects. Make sure to space them at regular intervals, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch (0.3 to 0.6cm) from the edge of the counter.

Re-sand any areas that are uneven with fine grit sandpaper. This will also help to affix the stain. Now for the hard part – The sink.

We purchased a new double basin sick online, and when you purchase a new sink, it comes with the diagram and the cut-out template for the sink to be installed into a counter. Read the template, and then reread them again – You do not want to screw this part up. Once you understand the measurements, and have drawn the lines on to the counter that you have to cut out, it will be easiest to predrill a few holes at the starting point, chip out that small section and then use a jigsaw to cut the remainder. Keep in mind that as you cut, the pieces will drop, there for place a heavy blanket to stop their fall from damaging the inside portion of the cabinet or have a friend help.

Next install the sink, use a high kitchen and bath caulk to seal the contact point between the sink and the wood, wipe off excess and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Wipe the surface with a tack cloth before staining.

Apply wood pre-stain. This is a water-based product sometimes called “conditioner.” You will want to take extra time when finishing the countertop to ensure it is ready for use.

Apply a wood stain in the color of your choice. You can apply it with a foam brush or a cloth. Repeat another coat once dry to achieve a darker color.

Apply a polyurethane topcoat. Use between 2 and 5 coats, allowing it to dry according to the package directions. We used a bar grade counter top sealant.

Reconnect the plumping, and use your new sink! Congrats!!

IMG_0229
Tools needed:
Wood board/ wood
Wood glue/liquid nails
Sandpaper
Large clamps
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Putty knife
crowbar
Screwdriver
Circular saw
Clean cloth
Nail gun/hammer
Finishing nails
Tack cloth
Paint brushes
Foam brushes
Wood conditioner
Wood stain
Polyurethane
Rags
Protective clothing
Wood molding (optional)

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