Small-Budget Friendly Kitchen Countertops for Under $3,000

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May 2018 Update: we picked a leathered granite and we love it! The material & install cost around 2k, plus the faucet and sink. More pictures here

Its been a month since I checked in with you on our kitchen. Oops!! Things slowed down when I went to NYC and to be honest we are still deciding our budget for countertops. To help me process our decision, I’ve put together a collection of 8 kitchens made over by bloggers…ranging from $20 – 3,000. The first 4 projects I share are DIY projects, and the last 4 projects were installed. 

When deciding countertops it is important to ask yourself: is this a short term fix or a long term redesign? Also think about resale…if you live in a neighborhood would granite do better at resale or could you do an affordable formica? If you live outside a neighborhood, research some recently sold homes in your zipcode for ideas.

For our own home we are pretty certain a solid surface or stone would be best. BUT if we can’t afford it, there are some really cool DIY countertop options out there that could be a fun temporary fix. We also need to decide about our island. It is currently a 2-tier….it collects junk and isn’t deep enough to sit at. I’d love to cut it off to be 1 solid flat piece but we need to get a quote for rewiring electrical.

Okay! Without further ado…scroll down for 8 small-budget countertop ideas. These projects are inspiring…they make me excited for our own home! 

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1. Under $20: Countertop Paint via A Blue Nest

Jordan painted her countertops with countertop coating. She emphasizes in her blog article that it is a temporary solution…it can be a great way to cover up ugly countertops until you can save for a permanent solution. 

2. Under $50: Faux Marble Countertop via Julie Warnock Interiors

Julie made over her kitchen island for under $50 using a faux marble peel & stick. I’m not sure how it would do near a sink, but this is a fun solution for an island.

3. Black Concrete for Under $100 via Smiedendipity

This DIY concrete countertop has a fun twist! Becky used a black-tinted concrete overlay on her existing laminate countertops. 

4. Under $250: DIY Faux Concrete Countertop via Sincerely, Marie Designs

This is an example of another DIY concrete countertop. It gives a thorough tutorial on how to do it yourself along with sealing the countertops so they are food-safe.


5. Under $1250: Butcherblock countertops with install via Hey Let’s Make Stuff

Cori’s butcher block countertops are gorgeous! They look great with painted cabinets. She gives a really thorough explanation of how to install here.

6. Around $1800: Formica with install via Lemon thistle

I was shocked to realize that Colleen’s countertops were Formica. The pattern & style options have come such a long way! Check out her blog post for more views of the countertops and island, its a really pretty and affordable solution.

7. Under $2500: Solid Surface Countertops via Petite Modern Life

I can’t get these countertops out of my head! I don’t typically think of solid surface countertops looking modern but they absolutely can. They got these countertops for $33/sq ft installed (a steal!) on sale. I really appreciate Karisa breaking down the cost on her blog.

8. $3000 Leathered Granite via Christina’s Adventures

Last but not least! These dark granite countertops are reminiscent of soapstone (at a fraction of the cost). Christina pointed out too, that while $3000 isn’t cheap, that included a huge island. I really like her countertops, they have a fun texture too! 

I hope you come away from reading this feeling inspired! I know a lot of us feel like we have to tolerate living with a kitchen we are unhappy with for years, when really there is so much that can be done on a small-budget. Which is your favorite?

We ended up selecting a leathered granite in our kitchen. The material feels really high end and we were able to stay on budget with it. More pictures here! 

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