Saturday, January 12, 2013

Easy DIY Kitchen Counter

Hello friends!

Today I am finally showing you how I built my own counter top in our kitchen as a way to hide my dog crates and also create additional storage, not to mention a pretty decorated spot to look at!
This project was super easy and in all took only a few hours from start to finish. All you need is: 

  • a sheet of particle board cut to size (one large for the top and two rectangular counter-height panels for the legs), 
  • a 2x4, 
  • deck screws, 
  • long nails,
  • a Dremel and sanding paper,
  • wood stain in a color of your choice,
  • high gloss varnish

For those of you who have not followed some of my kitchen issues, here is the biggest one: there is no space for a breakfast nook or even a small table with chairs. We do have a bar style counter with two stools and quite frankly I'd rather get rid of it (long story). Since we do not have much space for ourselves, we have decided the kitchen would be a good spot for our two dogs, Elektra and Le Chiffre. These two have been crate trained since they were pups which has worked great for us since we both work and they can be a handful. Dogs are natural den animals and they really do love their own space, so we have them here, against the empty wall in our kitchen...But it is an eyesore to say the least!

So of course the issue is that there is not much we can do with the actual design of the crates themselves (unless I build my own) but they fit side by side and right in that corner of the kitchen.  We really did not think through what to do with the space above it hence the mess you can see in the picture above. Basically we keep dog and cat stuff there as well as our recycle bin which tends to fill up pretty much every other day, and that too is pretty horrifying to look at!

My goal was to find a way to make the crates less visible, provide additional storage above them and also find a place for some of the cookbooks we tend to refer to most of the time.
After much thoughts and consideration,  I decided to build my own counter using particle board and pretty much repeated the same process I had used to build the Lego Table, only the legs would be much taller and the top would also be affixed to the wall.

I also did not want to damage walls or cabinets and wanted to be able to remove the entire thing with little effort. So here goes, this is what I did:

After measuring height, length and depth needed, I went to The Home Depot and had them cut three pieces of particle board to size. I needed on large flat piece for the top and two rectangular pieces (smaller width) for the legs. I also had them cut a 2x4 into three pieces, two small ones to attach to the leg panels and one long one to attach to the top panel. The goal was to have the top panel attached to the legs and affixed to the wall, thereby minimizing the amount of damage to walls and cabinets.

Here, I have used deck screws to attach the long piece of 2x4 onto the top panel.

I then repeated the process with the two leg panels using the smaller pieces of 2x4.

I then proceeded by attaching the top panel to the two legs, again using deck screws and once in place and stable, nailed the long 2x4 directly into the wall.

This is what it looked like from the top once the counter was installed.

Scott used the Dremel to round the corner near our cabinet (nobody wants to get hurt here)...We also sanded the entire surface and edge of the counter before applying the wood stain.

Our cat, Vesper, found this project to be quite interesting!

Here is the counter once sanded with its rounded corner:

So it looked good enough as is, but I felt it needed an extra oomph and went back to the Home Depot to buy a piece of pine chair rail to use all around the counter for aesthetic add-on...

Once it was all installed, it was time to stain the entire top. I used MinWax wood finish stain in a color similar to my cabinets and molding (turned out to be a bit darker).

I only applied two coats and let it dry overnight. On day two, all I needed was two coats of high gloss varnish and voila, job complete!

Here is the before ...

And here is my counter after it was complete and decorated!!

For additional storage I purchased three similar baskets to place under the counter. One contains all our dog supplies (leash, bags , etc.) another houses some miscellaneous stuff and the taller one above the smaller crate contains all our potatoes, onions , etc.
We now use a large garbage bin for our recyclables, it is located outside the kitchen, right under one of the easily accessible windows...All we have to do is open the window and toss the item to recycle into the bin underneath it, when it is recycling day, the bin is already outside and ready to be placed on the curb!

On top, I added three glass containers (with lid) to keep dog food, dog treats and cat food. I then decorated with some items I had around the house. You may recognize these country pots from my previous Fall Decoration Post. 

To contain some of our most used cooking books, I purchased this mail sorter from Home Goods. It fits right in between the window and cabinet, providing easy access to favorite recipes.

So there you have it: my super easy DIY kitchen counter project!
You could easily do the same in any area of your home that has a "lost or not usable space." Our dog crates are not jumping in our face as we come in to the kitchen anymore, the counter itself is very sturdy, easily removable and the high gloss provides a surface that is easy to wipe off.  When cooking, we can also lay a book on top or use it as a food prep area. In essence, we have created a new working surface in our kitchen!

I hope you have enjoyed this project. If you do decide to make one of your own, I would love to see it and link it below this post for all to see.

Thank you for spending this little bit of time with me and sharing this post and MGC with your friends. You can find MGC on Facebook and stay in touch with all the new updates.

Sophia, NJ


  1. this is so doable! thanks for the post!

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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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