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The DIY Faux Butcher Block Countertop: Bringing Warmth and Character to our Craftsman Kitchen

Infusing Historic Charm with a Modern Twist


In the heart of our 100-year-old Craftsman bungalow, where history and style intersect, we were on a mission to breathe new life into our old kitchen. The challenge: finding a way to honor the home's rich heritage while infusing it with warmth, BUT keeping it on a budget. Our solution? A DIY faux butcher block countertop that exceeded our expectations.


picture of kitchen butcher block countertop in a kitchen with various items on the countertop like coffee machine.  artwork on the wall featuring cutlery

A Kitchen Out of Sync

Our Craftsman home, with its original windows and trim, exudes timeless appeal. However, the kitchen, with its white cabinets and 90's style stone countertops, felt like a time warp. The specked, flesh-toned stone did an excellent job of concealing dirt - not exactly a perk to be desired for a kitchen. The vibe? A curious blend of the 1950s meets the 90s


Seeking Warmth and Wood

As we considered options for a countertop makeover, we knew our kitchen needed warmth to complement its black -and-white checkered floor and white cabinets. Wood was the answer, and walnut, with its rich tones, quickly became my favorite choice. Wood countertops have stood the test of time in kitchen design, making them a perfect fit for our historic home's aesthetic.


BEFORE


The Affordable and Easy(ish) Solution

What's great about this project is its affordability and DIY-friendly nature. Instead of the complex and potentially cabinet-damaging demolition, we opted for a similar solution. I discovered a thin walnut wood product that could be adhered directly to the existing countertops, saving time and money. The cost came in at a wallet-friendly $6.77 per square foot, a significant difference compared to real butcher block.


Installation was an adventure of its own. You can read all about it here. I arranged the wood in a 1/3 pattern to eliminate harsh seams. Using Liquid Nail Fuse-It-Max, I glued individual boards in place and crafted custom curves to match the existing countertop layout. Sanding, filling seams with walnut wood filler, and sealing with Rubiomonocoat Pure finish brought the vision to life. Oh, and a word of advice: sanding gets dusty - be prepared!


Want to see more on the process?


AFTER:

wooden spoons in a canister on a countertop with candle burning.  Cutting board, vintage artwork and coffee canister

The Controversy and the Faux-uture

As with any unique project, this DIY sparked quite the lively online debate, with most supporters embracing the idea, while others were firmly against faux butcher block. But I stand by the choice, as it was all about enjoying our kitchen for the moment.


Looking ahead, we have a huge renovation planned where we will be relocating the kitchen to an entirely new area of the house. We will likely opt for real marble countertops, a material I adore. It's porous and demands care, so our faux butcher block adventure has served as excellent practice.


As we continue to blend historic charm with modern amenities, I invite you to join our journey. Whether you're an old-house enthusiast, a DIY aficionado, or simply someone who loves a good home transformation story, stay tuned for more adventures in design and renovation at our little corner of the interwebs. Champagne + Sawdust.


Many thanks for being here!

Janene





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