Not every kitchen comes outfitted with a state-of-the-art design (rentals, we’re looking at you). More often than not, we will find ourselves coming face-to-face with peeling paint, outdated cabinets, and countertops comprised of imitation-stone, which looks more like vinyl or a peel-and-stick tile than anything else. And when an expensive remodel is out of the question, it’s all about getting creative with the solutions.

A good countertop can be hard to come by, especially in a home that has seen more than its fair share of wear and tear or a healthy turnover of dwellers throughout the years. So when the time comes for an upgrade, we’re all for little fixes and mini-DIY projects, which you can easily tackle yourself and ones that won’t break the bank. Enter the clever and style-focused countertop-solutions that will instantly revamp even the most tired surfaces. Take a look!

Laminate sheets

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, take the DIY route by opting for laminate sheets to cover up unsightly countertops. Before you start, here are a handful of helpful tips to keep in mind.

Paint it like marble

The next best thing to marble counters? A budget-friendly imitation of the stone, which you can easily DIY. See how this clever blogger transformed her outdated wooden counters with a creative paint job.

DIY marble countertops

If a marble top is on your radar but not on your budget, think of this as the next best solution. Using a white paint as the base and a mixture of grays for the signature veins, this clever blogger recreated a marbleized finish that looks deceptively similar to the real thing! A sponge, dipped in the gray paint mixture, was used to replicate the veins of the marble, before being finished off with a thick glaze.

Get the how-to on Earnest Home Co.

The faux stone effect

For those with the ability to get a bit more crafty with their countertop makeovers, this faux stone finish is just the thing. See how this resourceful blogger converted an existing set of laminate countertops into a chic, stone-esque surface using a can of chalkboard paint!

Get the how-to on Rain on a Tin Roof.

A Granite-esque effect

We kinda can’t tell it’s not real granite! Enter Giani, a line that carries a slew of water-based DIY kits, which produce an effect that mimics the finish of an actual stone. Using a simple, 3-step process, you can cover just about any countertop surface out there!

Get the scoop here.

Butcher’s block disguise

If just a certain section of your counters are damaged or heavily scratched, top the spot with a large butcher’s block. Not only will it conceal the spot, it will also double as a handy cutting board. Now that’s a countertop solution we can get behind.

Embrace the paint

We’ve seen a few outdated bathroom vanities. Maybe more than a few. You know, the ones in tired shades of off white or saturated cream? Luckily, we happened upon this clever reno, which involves little more than a few sheets of sandpaper and a few coats of paint.

Get the how-to on Remodelaholic.

The peel-and-stick method

It’s no secret that a marble finish can instantly elevate even the most basic and understated of spaces. But when the real thing hardly comes close to a fixed budget, it pays to find ways to get around it. Using contact paper, you can completely transform your plain countertops into chic focal points. This tried and true method will work in just about any spot.

Get the how-to Make, Do, and DIY.

Go for a tonal chalkboard paint

Utilize a dark paint or stain to cover otherwise unsightly countertops. Damage too significant? Opt for a pitch

black paint

to really conceal the weathered surface. This kitchen was completely redone with the help of a little chalkboard paint, which instilled a multi-tonal effect within the room.

Get the scoop on Assortment.

DIY faux bois paint

Who said your outdated countertops couldn’t be the focal point of a room? This clever DIY produces a unique finish inspired by a marble and malachite blend, which will transform even the most drab of surfaces.

Get the how-to on The Little Green Notebook.

Go for concrete

We’ll take a concrete surface over a laminate countertop any day. This growing trend has been making its way through kitchens across the globe and we couldn’t be happier! A concrete finish not only adds an element of durability to a space, but the way it contrasts against the more modest surfaces of the room is close to incomparable.

Get the scoop and see more of this stunning before and after makeover on A Beautiful Mess.

A cast-in-place countertop

In the market for something a bit less harsh? Consider this similar concrete finish, that features the addition of a handful of eye-catching glass accents!

Get the how-to on Sunset.

Finish with wood

For the kitchens that come furnished with wooden countertops, opt for a fresh wood stain or gloss to give the surface a renewed finish!

Tile it

Have more room for a DIY? Tiles aren’t just for the floors or a backsplash. Cover drab laminate surfaces with a mod tile design (a chic whitewash works just as well!) to instantly elevate your kitchen countertops.

Get the how-to on A Beautiful Mess.

Read on:

10 Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Textiles Everything in This Irish Cottage Has Been Upcycled or DIY’d How One Person Finds Home Decor Treasures in Other People’s Trash

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