3 DIY Kitchen Transformers

Butcher block countertopsImage: Ashley at Domestic Imperfection

HouseLogic turned to the blogosphere to find practical DIY kitchen projects with enduring style.

We love the classics, like white kitchens, because you can’t go wrong.

That’s why we’re so keen on these three upgrades that pack staying power.

The Timeless Appeal of Butcher Block

Butcher block is the third most popular choice for counters, at least according to a Houzz kitchen remodeling survey. 

It makes sense: It’s durable. It’s good looking. It’s affordable. These are also the reasons why Ashley at “Domestic Imperfection” built her own butcher-block countertop.  

Naturally, the project requires hardwood. Ashley picked cherry. Other good options: maple and walnut.  

Ashley says her countertops have held up flawlessly over the last few years because she made sure they were properly sealed. They’ve also gotten better looking with age, developing a beautiful patina.

How much did the project cost?  The other countertop materials she looked at, including granite, marble, Corian, and laminate, all cost more than $2,000. 

Here’s the breakdown for her 12-foot and 8-foot butcher-block countertops:

  • Wood, including shipping and tax: $750
  • Sealer: $30 (She used a quart of Waterlox because it’s food safe.)
  • Extras, such as foam brushes, caulk, brackets, shelf clips, and sandpaper: $45

Ashley’s hubby and his brothers helped put the countertop together. You can check out the tutorial for additional details.

Bonus: Wood countertops have some natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 

Related: Reclaimed Wood Countertops

Color Pops

Faux tile backsplash - it's all paintImage: Painted backsplash by Sawdust & Embryos

Bold paint colors are one way you can give a white kitchen some personal style.

Beth at “Sawdust and Embryos” did this by painting over her backsplash.

Why paint and not tile? She thinks tile is hard to clean, expensive to install, and comes in limited colors.

Her old painted backsplash resembled natural stone tile.

The previous backsplash was painted to look like stone tileImage: Painted backsplash by Sawdust & Embryos

When she painted the new one, she went for a colorful glass tile look.

She loves the final results, which, she says, gave her traditional white kitchen a unique and edgy twist. Plus, when it’s time for a change, she can paint a new backsplash. Check out the tutorial. 

How much did the project cost? Nothing. She used leftover primer, paint, and painter’s tape. 

Tip: Protect your painted backsplash with an appropriate paint sealer. This will make it easier to clean and will prevent staining.

Related: More Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

A Kitchen Opener

You can make your kitchen look bigger by replacing your upper cabinets with floating white shelving.

Becky, who writes the blog “Always Preparing for Peanut,” thinks her kitchen looks twice its size since she made the switch. It’s the best and cheapest change she’s made to her house, she says.

Although the project was her vision, she hired a contractor to help her pick the materials and do the handy work. 

Why custom? She needed durable shelving. The pre-made ones she found were expensive and not very sturdy. See her tutorial.

How much did the project cost? Here’s the breakdown for the materials. (Becky didn’t disclose the contractor costs.)

  • Wood for the shelves including frame, tops, bottoms, and sides: $175
  • The paint was leftover from other projects. She used white spray primer and white semi gloss.

Related: Which is Better — An Open or Closed Kitchen?