There is a huge gap between the costs of marble and stone versus laminate, and even with the less expensive materials, having new countertops cut and installed is an expensive proposition. That's not to say you're stuck with what you've got, either.
These homeowners (and some renters!) found clever ways to refresh their existing countertops — without spending a fortune. Get inspired by these DIY kitchen countertop transformations that will blow your mind.
1. Concrete overlay
Before, these countertops were the typical inoffensive laminate you often find — not in bad shape, just cheap-looking and blah. So Katie at Creatively Living rolled up her sleeves and coated them with layers of cement — sanding in between and sealing at the end — to create a surface with style that's durable to hold up to her family.
See more: Concrete Countertop Overlay at Creatively Living
2. A feathered concrete overlay
Laura, over at A Beautiful Mess used Ardex Drying Cement Feather Finish to do her DIY concrete countertops. The process was similar, what we wanted to show you here was just that you can use concrete to get a few different-looking results.
See more: Concrete Countertop DIY at A Beautiful Mess
3. Contact paper that looks like granite
Heavy-duty contact paper is a budget-friendly way to update tired countertops, and if you apply it with care, like Vineta of The Handyman's Daughter did, it can look virtually the same as granite. Plus, it's removable if you're a renter or aren't ready to commit to a permanent change.
See more: 80s Kitchen Update Reveal at The Handyman's Daughter
4. Contact paper that looks like marble
Here's the same technique, with a different look from Linda at Make Do and DIY. Marble-inspired contact paper delivers a luxe look for a tiny fraction of the price.
See more: The Ultimate "New Kitchen Counter" Cheat! at Make Do and DIY
5. A painted granite effect
Painting your countertops is a step up from contact paper, work- and cost-wise, but generally more durable. Here, Amanda of Love & Renovations, sponged on multiple layers of paint in different colors — including glitter! — to replicate the depth of real granite.
See more: DIY Faux Granite Countertops at Love & Renovations
6. A painted marble effect
As Diane, of In My Own Style, proved here, paint can also be used to create a marble look. Again, layering is also key, but a certain amount of artistic talent is also going to be necessary to add strategic veining and feathering for a realistic look.
See more: Painting Kitchen Countertops to Look Like Carrara Marble at In my Own Style
7. Chalkboard paint that looks like soapstone
To be fair, Carmella (the blogger behind Assortment and this kitchen) started with plain plywood here, but we imagine you'd get similar results if you primed and painted your existing countertops. She wanted soapstone, and instead, settled for this cheaper lookalike project.
See more: Becoming Home: A Kitchen Tour at Assortment
Would you do any of these in your own kitchen?