For the budget-minded cook unafraid of a little hands-on project, consider this: apparently it's possible to make a decent looking wooden countertop out of paint sticks — you know, those wooden stirrers you get for free when you buy a can of paint? Here's how one industrious blogger did it:
To add a top to a lovely white kitchen cabinet she found on the side of the road, Naomi of the blog Numie Abbot glued 30 paint sticks to the top of a piece of plywood. As she wrote in this post for Free People, the paint stick end effect "has a rustic farmhouse feel," and the project didn't take that long. After the paint sticks were attached to the plywood, Naomi sanded the piece, stained it, then sealed it with two coats of polyurethane.
See the full tutorial → DIY Paint Stick Countertop at Bldg 25
What an interesting idea! Have you ever made a countertop out of paint sticks?