How To Update Your Kitchen Countertops On A Budget

Kitchen Countertop With Vegetables

The kitchen is among the most crucial spaces in your home; how it looks matters. Damaged or old countertops detract from your home’s beauty and value. Updating the countertops can give it a fresh, new look if your kitchen starts to look outdated. 

But this doesn’t have to be a costly process. If you’re working on a tight budget, there are various affordable ways to freshen your countertops without breaking the bank. When updating your kitchen, a good place to start is gathering more info on countertops.

Here are six ways to update your countertops on a budget:   

1. Apply Fresh Varnish To Wooden Countertops

If your kitchen has laminated or wooden countertops, applying fresh coats of varnish may be the easiest and most cost-effective way to update them. New varnish can give your worktops a new look if you vary the shade of the varnish. 

If you currently have a dark shade on your kitchen countertops, switching to a lighter one can change the look significantly. All you need to do is sand down the worktops and apply a lighter shade of varnish. 

Wooden Kitchen Countertop
Kitchen brass utensils, chef accessories. Hanging kitchen with white tiles wall and wood tabletop.Green plant on kitchen background side view

2. Paint Your Countertops

Painting old countertops is the other cheap and easy way to update them. If you have linoleum or wooden worktops in your kitchen, sanding, priming, and then painting them can give them a new lease on life. Use a pad sander to smoothen the surface instead of sandpaper, which has a rough grit. Opt for a medium or fine grit. 

The idea is to scuff the surface lightly to ensure the primer and paint adhere. You also want to ensure there are no deep scratches on the surface, as those could show on the surface after painting.  

Use spray paint, a sealer, or a sponge roller to apply primer and paint. This way, you can avoid leaving brush marks. Ensure that you protect non-spray areas with painter’s tape. Apply three to four coats on the surface to seal the paint and preserve the finish. 

3. Try A Terrazzo Look

Another way to update your kitchen countertops on a budget is to use a mix of recycled marble, quartz, and other materials to create a distinctive worktop with a mosaic look. Terrazzo countertops work well for homes that carry bold designs and aesthetics. 

You can reduce costs further by turning the installation into a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Although terrazzo countertops are heat-resistant and durable, repairing them after damage can be difficult.

If you decide to install them in your kitchen, seal them with resin and keep them clean to maintain them. 

4. Style Your Worktops With Epoxy Resin 

You can change the style and color of your kitchen by pouring epoxy resin on worktops. Epoxy resin is a unique, inexpensive material that’s increasingly becoming popular among homeowners.

To apply epoxy resin on your countertops, pour the mixture on the surface, smoothen it and remove bubbles and drips. Epoxy resin is a highly versatile mix available in different colors and styles, including natural marble or stone. 

5. Cover Worktops With Contact Paper

Another kitchen worktop makeover idea you can do on a budget is to cover them with contact paper. Whether you want a marble, stone, or tile look in your kitchen, finding a contact paper that mimics your preferred look shouldn’t be challenging, as they come in different patterns without a huge price tag. 

Contact papers aren’t only ideal for homeowners; people living in rented houses can use them to update their kitchens temporarily because they can be reversed using heat. Although contact papers are not very resilient and require periodic replacement, they’re ideal for protecting counters from damage. 

6. Add A Built-In Chopping Board To Your Countertops

If you cook a lot, replacing a section of your kitchen worktop with a cutting board can improve its look. Ensure that your built-in chopping board sits flush with your countertop for easy access during food preparation. 

Use a different material than the countertop for a classy, durable look. In most cases, an easy-to-clean wooden surface works best. To maintain the board, apply chopping board oil regularly to keep it from splintering or cracking.

How to Find the Perfect Kitchen Countertop Material

A new custom kitchen design or remodeling project can go a long way towards improving your home’s timeless appeal and functional value. If you’re considering a new kitchen design or are otherwise looking to refresh this space, you’ll need to select the perfect countertop. There are many choices, ranging significantly in terms of cost, durability, and maintenance concerns. If you’re overhauling your entire space, professional kitchen designers can help you select the right building materials for your arrangement and will ensure a cost-efficient and organized installation process that allows your kitchen to look and feel modern.

When you’re selecting a countertop for your kitchen, you’ll need first to consider your existing design or the new design you’re aiming for in a custom kitchen project. The countertop occupies a considerable amount of your kitchen’s visual space, regardless of the size or scale of the room. If you have a modern or contemporary theme in your space, you’ll end up looking at different building materials than you might for a more traditional arrangement. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen countertop choices.


Marble countertops offer homeowners luxurious interior designs throughout their kitchen and bath space, setting the tone for other high-end design elements. The natural material and ornate veining of the marble surface allows the surface to elevate your cabinetry, light fixtures, and even your appliances. Marble matches up well with both a warmer and a cooler color palette. In many ways, it’s a foundational element of timeless kitchen design.

Before you start looking for a marble countertop for your new remodel, there are a few things you should know about this material. Marble can be particularly challenging to locate and source, especially if you’re looking for a particular veining pattern. As a result, the material is one of the more expensive options on the market for homeowners. In addition, marble usually requires significantly more maintenance than other countertops. You’ll need to clean and wash the countertop daily to avoid scratches and will also need to seal the surface annually. Marble typically requires professional installation, as it is one of the heavier materials.

Marble kitchen countertop


Granite countertops are an excellent choice for anyone seeking a natural material that’s less expensive than marble. Granite offers considerably more flexibility in terms of color and thickness in comparison to marble. For these differences, pricing for granite countertops is relatively variable in comparison with other materials. Before you purchase a granite product, you’ll need to check the product’s quality rating, which is usually a number between 1 and 5. Modular granite is generally on the cheaper side, as it may have visible seams on the surface. On the other hand, honed granite is usually one of the more expensive choices.

Like marble, granite requires regular resealing at least once every two years. It’s significantly more scratch-resistant than marble and more durable than either quartz or laminate surfaces. While professional installation is available for granite, you can sometimes install the material yourself, particularly if you purchase modular granite. In some cases, the granite surface’s texture is less consistent than marble, particularly for larger kitchen spaces.

Granite kitchen countertop

Engineered Stone

Manufactured stone, which is commonly referred to as quartz, is one of the most durable options on the market. The textures, finishes, and colors of the surface are all relatively easy to customize because the material is artificial. This ensures you can leverage this material to match with almost any kitchen design style, whether it’s modern and minimalist or traditional and quaint. Engineered stone holds up well against scratches and liquids, though the high heat from pans and baking dishes can sometimes damage it.

If engineered stone countertops are easy to customize, reasonably priced, and durable, why aren’t they more popular? Many professional kitchen designs stay away from this material because its visual appeal can sometimes be somewhat lackluster. Because the slab is manufactured rather than quarried, it sometimes looks unnatural and thereby offers less of the coveted timeless appeal you’re probably aiming for in your new arrangements. If you choose brighter colors for this surface, it will start to look out of date sooner rather than later.


Quartzite countertops are a form of natural stone that adds durability and visual appeal to kitchens with a cooler or more neutral color palette. Available colors are somewhat limited, restricting the homeowner to white, black, grey, or brown. The material is less expensive than marble but offers much of the same aesthetic value. However, granite, laminate, and engineered stone are all usually cheaper per foot. Quartzite is typically more heat-resistant than other countertop options, which means it’s reliable long-term. The surface is particularly popular for custom kitchen designs for traditional and contemporary spaces.

As long as quartzite is within your budget, there are minimal downsides to choosing this material for your custom kitchen. It can sometimes be a challenge to install, but this is more of a short-term consideration. In addition, quartzite is slightly less scratch-resistant than other alternative materials, though this usually isn’t too much of a dealbreaker. If you’re aiming for lasting durability and timeless appeal, this might be the right choice for your project.


If natural stone countertops with materials such as marble and granite are too expensive for your remodel, you may want to consider laminate. For this surface, the low cost is the primary benefit. Colors and finishes for the surface are customizable, but you may need to replace the entire surface every few years because it offers less durability against scratches and burns and is tricky to repair. Most designers recommend that you look elsewhere for a countertop and invest in durability. However, for quick projects, laminate can sometimes be a good choice.

Final Thoughts 

Updating old or damaged kitchen countertops can give them a fresh, new look.  However, changing the look of kitchen countertops can feel like a tedious, costly affair for most people. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Whether you plan to remodel your kitchen space totally or improve your working surfaces only, you can find a way to minimize costs. If you’re looking to update your kitchen countertops on a budget, applying any of the six ideas highlighted above can help you achieve your goal quickly. 

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