I did it! DIY copper countertops

Circus PeanutJuly 24, 2008

Background: this is my first house, and I am doing an extreme DIY kitchen using recycled cabinetry and refurbishing many already existing aspects of the 1920s bungalow kitchen.

I've never been a granite fan and wanted something warmer that would fit in just right with the well-used, modest coastal bungalow style of my place. So ... I made my own copper countertops! For a price just under $21/sf, this was even more reasonable than plastic or butcher block, and vastly more durable. It's green, it's recyclable, and has the right historical feel to it for the house.

We used mdf as a substrate and basically "laminated" heavy-gauge copper onto it. This took many steps (I detailed the process in the metalworking forum), but I think the results are really stunning and wanted to share some pics for anyone else interested in exploring copper. Well, OK, I did need to brag, just a little. ;-)

Not quite all done yet, but hopefully enough to post a teaser. They look a little rough in the pix; I will be cleaning and buffing the copper smooth again when I've mounted the sinks.

On the advice of other copper countertop owners (ahem! you know who you are), I plan on simply waxing them and letting them patinate to their little hearts' content.

Then .. on to tiling the backsplash and refinishing the fir floors. *whew!*

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rhome410

Fantastic! Congratulations.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:31PM
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jaedwards

Lovely! Congrats on a job well done!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:32PM
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writersblock

Those are beautiful! I'm really impressed you did that yourself.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:32PM
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gardenburgher

Circuspeanut - that looks amazing. I can't wait to see the finished product!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:36PM
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gshop

WOW, they look beautiful! And as a fellow DIY'er I think you did a terrific job, I'm so impressed! I've never worked with copper and can't imagine the amount of work it took to do those gorgeous counters. I can't wait to see the finally finished product. Thanks for sharing the teaser! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:37PM
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laxsupermom

Your counters look amazing. What a talented DIYer you are! Can't wait to see finished kitchen pics.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:05PM
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oruboris

Excellent job: I'm going to check out your step by step-- I want a couple copper counters, will be interested to read how you finished your corners so beautifully.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:22PM
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trailrunnerbiker

Absolutely beautiful...warm and perfect as you say for your Bungalow...a fellow Bungalower ! c

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

They look fabulous!! I too am looking forward to your new kitchen pictures.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:32PM
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miles661

Super looking job!
I'm new and just jumping in- sorry.
We are researching avenues of revamping our kitchen and I love this application. Thank you for sharing!!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blogger without a clue

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:35PM
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theresab1

Wow- I am so impressed! I love them. Great job.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:38PM
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Circus Peanut

Wow, thank you all so much. Shucks. Honestly, I'm pretty amazed myself at how well they turned out, and how bombproof they seem to be -- definitely not a flimsy project.

Oru, the corner edges are mitered, then epoxied with a special copper epoxy, and sanded well, with the sheet seam to the side rather than top. Post-gluing:

Post-routing, pre-sanding:

Here's the thread with my details and more photos -- scroll down to the end.

cheers all (and welcome, Miles - gorgeous quilts!)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:54PM
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malhgold

Really beautiful!!! Great job!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:04PM
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fran1523

They are stunning.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:13PM
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mom2lilenj

Looks great! Thanks for posting and for the directions for DIY. I want just a small 2'x 2' zinc counter for my kitchen and figured I would try to do it DIY, but I've never attempted to do anything like that. You have given me inspiration to try it out!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:44PM
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marthavila

You deserve all the cheers you're getting. Great job!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:53PM
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ccoombs1

copper?? I never even considered copper countertops. VERY cooling looking!!! Hmmm......maybe I better re-think granite. that copper is pretty darn amazing!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:12PM
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janran

You not only have beautiful counters, but you have a look that's unique as you certainly don't see too many copper counters!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:32PM
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ci_lantro

Great Job!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 8:46PM
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vicnsb

Wow...I'm impressed!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:23PM
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mamadadapaige

So impressed. you did them yourself?? amazing and absolutely gorgeous. thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:45PM
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happymommy

Gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:59PM
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raenjapan

Those look perfect. Great cabinets, too. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:22PM
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mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

Just gorgeous! You are very talented and creative. Can't wait to see your whole kitchen redone. It is beautiful.

Have you chosen a backsplash yet? Have you seen the bungalow style tile from Mission Tile? Might inspire your creativity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mission Tile West

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Circus Peanut

Yep, Mamadadapaige, by myself with a brilliant friend/helper gifted with a tablesaw. I have no fingernails left, but it was a labor o' love. :) (I'm an auntie to a Paige, btw -- my favorite name.)

Ooh, mustbnuts, great minds think alike. I've settled on a local art tile very similar to the ones you've linked:

I'll use the matching handpainted yellow field tiles in a 3x6 subway pattern, with these as highlights (the yellow matches the knobs on my fabulous 1949 O'Keefe & Merritt stove). At least that's the plan while I still have some energy. :) As a quick plug, the folks at New England Art Tile have been utterly marvelous to deal with.

Momtolilenj: definitely go for the zinc! I was tempted, and it's cheaper than copper - but I had these fabulous copper cupboard knobs from eBay ....Also a lot of zinc sheets appear to be plated over steel and I was afraid it would be too hard to cut by myself. Although Rotometals appears to offer precut sheets, which would be ideal for your planned size. I expect pictures!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:50AM
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cheri127

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so impressed. They look gorgeous and so professional. Great Job!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:01AM
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arlosmom

I went on a house and garden tour a couple of years back in a charming bungalow neighborhood and one of the houses had copper countertops. It was absolutely my favorite thing that I saw all day. Hers had been in place for a while and showed wear and patina. Stunning. The homeowner let me take pictures to take home to DH so we could drool together. Yours are beautiful now, but will become even more so with age and use. I'm in awe.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:22AM
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raynag

omg - these are to die for! Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous - and to think that you did it yourselves!! Amazing. Enjoy the warmth and beauty and patina. And congratulations on a job beautifully done.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:42AM
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mike_r_2000

Beautiful. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:14AM
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mahatmacat1

Absolutely cool, and even more, I love your general concept for the kitchen remodel. The pics really help, too. Thanks for sharing it!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:26AM
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rosie

Wow! How lovely to come here and see what you're up to. I absolutely love your tile and how the copper goes with your cabinets. It's going to be special.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:53AM
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mls99

It looks fantastic!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:58AM
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dollymibella

WOW! Fantastic!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 11:34PM
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rahime

My DH and I are hoping to DIY our counters in a combination of concrete and copper...I can't wait to get to that part of the project. The more I see them, the more copper I want.

I worked at a retail place that had copper counters (obviously didn't have food contact, but they got a LOT of use) the patina that developed was absolutely gorgeous and made me fall in love with copper. I will definitely be referring back to your threads when we start our project.

Congratulations on a job well done!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 1:36AM
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kitchendetective

Just beautiful! Do you know if it is okay to apply copper directly to laminate? If so, how would one do that, glue it, etc.?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:33AM
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november

WOW!!! That's really amazing - ditto everyone else who said your corners look perfect. I'm going to read your other posts about this - I can't believe that's a DIY job. Congratulations :)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:37AM
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trailrunnerbiker

Well I couldn't stay away...you all are so amazing and I just love your remodel....most of all I love the pics and directions...I am all about passing along info ! c

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Circus Peanut

lol, trailrunner: the more the merrier. I can bore you with wood trim stripping details over on the Old Houses forum, too. ;-) Bungalows are the best.

kitchendetective: I assume that one could figure out how to do this on top of laminate, but you'd have to find a different adhesive than the one we used. The TC-20 we used really only worked on the mdf; it didn't stick in a few places where we'd put a little filler on the mdf before gluing on the copper, and we had to go back and use the epoxy putty for those, which was a pain. The TC-20 is something like Elmer's in consistency, so it's got more working time (15 minutes) than a contact cement does, which is really a boon when you still need to squidge the copper around into place after laying it down. Plus it has no VOC so we could do it right indoors in the kitchen. I think this glue works by soaking in -- you could try etching the heck out of the laminate before gluing, but it really might not work optimally.
Actually, if possible, I'd recommend trying to remove the plastic laminate layer entirely and then sanding down the substrate a bit. Should be the same copper procedure from that point on. (Of course I have no idea how easy the removal process might be, but where there's a will...)

rahime: my handyman was eager to try out concrete, but I thought it might be a little too much for my small kitchen. There was a great DIY concrete countertop thread just recently with lots of good photos.

Another quick plug: got the TC-20 from VeneerSupplies.com and received excellent service and lightning-fast shipping.

Thank you ALL for the many very flattering comments. I think the key to the nice corners was in good planning - we could use the factory-cut copper sheet corners for many of them -- and in the close trimming and sanding we did, followed by the Just for Copper epoxy to really seal it tight. For the routing of the edges that needed trimming, we used a rather pricy carbide router bit from Rockler, and the smaller of the Festool brand routers.

I do have a metalworking guy bending the barstock for the edge around the farm sink for me, since I simply don't have the tools for that. I'll definitely post pix to show how that turns out - waiting on pins and needles!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:02PM
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boysrus2

Big Kudos. I'm amazed that you were able to DIY those yourself. They're fantastic!!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:16PM
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kitchendetective

Thanks so much for the response! I am definitely looking into this for my laundry room. I am so impressed with what you have done.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:47PM
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azstoneconsulting

Circuspeanut:

I'm Like.... Whoa Dude!!!! What you did was TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

I'm a Natural Stone Fabricator, Trainer & Consultant,
to the Natural Stone Industry so Copper "ain't exactly" what I do.....

HOWEVER...

It's WAAAAAAAAY refreshing to not only see what you did, but
also see the great lengths that you went to to share your
experience and post all of the pics that you did.

Even though Natural Stone is my "first love" -
Now, You've got ME wanting to do a project in Copper !!!!

You have done an outsatnding job, and MEGA KUDOS to you!!!

Garden Web is a richer place for consumers and pro's alike
as a result of your contribution...

Congratz!!!!!!!!!

kevin

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:54AM
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claybabe

Really awesome, circuspeanut! Of course you know how I feel! And I absolutely cannot wait to see the whole thing. Because our edges are bent I wasn't understanding what the guy was doing fot the sink until the lightbulb just went on in my head reading this. I'm such a dork sometimes! Really, though, you have to finish that up right now so we can oooh and aahhh over the finished product!!

I've also never waxed mine. I got some wax with my sink and didn't use it on that either.

Anyway, really awesome job, and I love the look! Wahooo!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 11:24AM
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bluekitobsessed

Stunning! I am continually amazed by the incredible talent, skill, patience, and sheer bravery of the DIYrs here. Plus, thanks to y'all, I think I'm starting to fall in love with copper. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:33PM
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Circus Peanut

Whoo hoo! Happy, happy -- the fabulous metalworking guy finished bending my barstock for the sink edges, and we have them glued in now. (Claybabe, that's exactly the hard part you talked about - welding the edging bar to match the radius of the curved sink edge.)

Here's the prep sink hole, a perfect circle, glued and routed and ready to be sanded up:

We're getting there! Very soon now ... :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:11AM
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claybabe

Fabulous!! I want more photos!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:43AM
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azstoneconsulting

Circuspeanut:

Are you going to keep your Copper looking like it did
when it was new (shiny) or are you going to let it weather
and develope a patina?

I think it would be really valuable if you could post some
picsfrom time to time to show everyonr how your tops
look as time goes by - this will help people in making
a decision as to which finish they want to have - shiny
or weathered....

let us know OK?

thanks

kevin

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:50AM
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Circus Peanut

Hi Kevin,

LOL - that's a great question. I've been experimenting with various ways of maintaining the copper, trying to narrow down my technique for long-term maintenance. There are patches I've sanded all the way down to shiny, then let oxidize, and other patches that have gotten food/liquid on them, and still others where I've used various copper care products. I'm experimenting with various beeswax and butcher wax formulations, and a fun power car buffer.

One thing I've learned so far: Copper Glo does not make my copper glow.

I'll post pix this weekend, thanks for the interest and your great support! :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:57AM
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jayhawk4

Hi Circuspeanut - your copper counters are beautiful. We are just finishing zinc counters (DIY) - and are at the point of needing to wax them. I've looked into some waxes, but they seem to be full of solvent....what are you using to wax your counters? Thanks for your thoughts!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:34PM
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moonkat99

Oh. My. Oh.

First I've seen of this, & my jaw has dropped to my keyboard. I admit that I have a serious jones for anything copper, so perhaps I'm a tad prejudiced, but I am DROOLING! Amazing work - thank you for sharing!

(& thanks jayhawk for finding & bumping this!)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:42PM
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Circus Peanut

hey Moonkat and thanks so much! I can say these counters give me inordinate pleasure, even though figuring out how to best maintain them has been a process of trial and error. They look fab with the yellow handpainted tile backsplash -- I'll post more pictures soon.

Jayhawk, I'm so jealous of your zinc! We have a good friend who just bought a Victorian fixer-upper and have promised to help her with a zinc counter (she's been drooling on my copper for 2 months now), so I'll surely be asking for your tips when we get started with that.

So far, my experience with cleaners and waxes has been:

Barkeeper's Friend: wonderful all-purpose cleaner, does remove the patina, but sometimes you have to do something for a bad (read green) stain, and it comes back very quickly.

Copper Glo: dreadful, awful stuff, left an almost black residue that had to be orbital-sanded back off. Dunno about zinc, but avoid on raw copper!

Johnson's original Furniture Wax -- goes on well, smooth and fluid, but the solvent darkens the metal too fast in awful smeary patches.

Butcher's Wax, both amber and natural: ditto the Johnson's. Less pungent smell than the Johnson's, but still leaves bad streaks from solvent.

Mineral Oil and Beeswax mixture: Better, but still leaves streaks from the mineral oil.

Pure beeswax: wonderful, but a real pain in the neck and quite slow to apply, since it's so stiff. Lots and lots of muscle required.

Renaissance Wax: my latest effort, seems pretty good, although it does have a chemical odor that makes me wonder if it's really food-safe. It claims to be, and it's sold for treating copper sinks, so I'm hoping it's OK.

I will likely alternate between the pure beeswax and the Renaissance Wax. I've promised to provide some pix of the countertops as they wear -- as soon as I can find my camera recharger, I will. :)

Jayhawk, I'd dearly love to see your zinc!

Here is a link that might be useful: Renaissance Wax

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 10:28AM
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lyno

Wow! Circuspeanut, you did a fantastic job and the copper is so gorgeous! A couple years ago at a home show I saw a copper counter on a buffet cabinet and I fell in love with copper; they had allowed it to patina, it was beautiful. I recently heard it is naturally antibacterial, too. I'm building a case for copper in attempts to get my DH on the same wavelenght. Maybe if I show DH your pic's I can get him interested. Maybe we can at least do the powder room in copper.

Again, fantastic gorgeous job!

Oh, I had done a search on your name after seeing your comments in the "how to save a buck" thread. I was hoping to see your kitchen if it is to that point yet.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:08AM
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danielle00

awesome work! congratulations!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:29AM
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buehl

I don't know how I missed this the first time...but I love those counters! Wonderful job!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:48PM
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kitchendetective

Circus,
Don't know if this interests you, but I use Matfer-Bourgeat Bistro Pate a Cuivre to polish my copper cookware. It takes no elbow grease, which is why I like it. I don't polish after every use, but my pots hang in open air, so they do tarnish quickly. Anyway, I don't recommend this as a daily thing because it's expensive and not food safe, of course, but if you need to remove verdigris every now and then and don't want harsh abrasives or to use lots of elbow grease, this stuff works. The copper needs to be rinsed off with soap and water and dried after application of the polish.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 3:19PM
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napagirl

Great countertops ... would love to see more pics!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:53AM
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budgeteer_s

Just laid eyes on your BEEAUTIFUUULL copper counter when this thread came back up. I was not a member yet when yu DIY'd it. Now I'm interested to follow the progress of your kitchen remodel. Saw video of your potato/onion drawers (next to fridge) in another thread and saw how talented you are! Just look at the copper corners and that sink, WOW. You know, there is something so sexy about a woman with a tool belt strapped on to her hips!!!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Circus Peanut

Ha! OK, that does it -- calling me sexy is the best way to get more pictures. :-)~

Seriously: thank you, everyone, for your lovely support and good feedback.

Here are some shots taken this morning, 5.5 months after initial installation.

It has taken me a while to adapt to the rhythm of the copper -- it does mark up/blotch/discolor very easily and then you have the choice of either scrubbing it raw again or leaving the marks as patina. Of course I'm a patina kind of gal, and love how used/functional the counters look - hopefully the following photos can help others decide how much natural discoloration they are willing to tolerate in their own setting.

Close-up:

It does bang and dent, but not easily. Ignore the unpainted breakfast room to the left, I'm having the devil of a time matching yellows:

The discoloration is particularly strong where water hits the metal or sits, as around the faucets and sink rims. It's not ugly, just takes getting used to as the entirety of the counter slowly ages to catch up:

More sink. Disregard the World's Cheapest & Ugliest⢠Vinyl Replacement Windows; they're not my fault and I keep hoping they will just slink away in shame some night:

The corners have held very tight; they feel solid as iron and I doubt there will be any trouble there:

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:46PM
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salmon_slayer

Beautiful craftsmanship, did you make the cabinets as well?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Circus Peanut

hi salmon,

I recycled cherry cabinets I got for a steal at Habitat for Humanity -- a local magnate remodelled and donated their old ones. They're from 1993, custom from Heritage, a PA manufacturer that has since gone under. But you'd really never know that they are as old as they are, they're in excellent condition. The knobs are not original to the cabs, they're vintage copper that I scored on eBay, 27 of 'em for $5.

We made new cherry end panels (designed to match my bungalow doors) and some drawers/shelves/fridge box from cherry and birch ply -- my one issue was how difficult it was to exactly match the toner the commercial folks used in their catalyzed varnish. If you look closely at the pictures above, you can see that I hit the color bang-on in some cases and not quite so in others.
In all honesty, though, I think the home-grown end panels and drawers with stain and satin varnish look better than the commercial finish; lots more depth. Some day I would love to make my own cabinets...

Have you made cabinets? We have a few incredibly talented members on here with very impressive kitchen carpentry work.

Speaking of tools (other thread), my carpenter friend took payment in the form of a new Festool Domino joiner which we both really enjoyed playing with. :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:19AM
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russellrobertson

Circuspeanut,
Let me start by saying thank you for the inspiration that led to my installing my own copper countertops. You and Aliceinwonderland on another thread have put together a wonderful resource on this topic. I followed your step by step directions, and could not be happier.

Looking at your finished pictures, I noticed you made a pot rack out of some of the left over copper bar. I have been considering doing the same thing with my left over bar stock. May I ask where you found the hooks/hardware for your pot rack? So far, I have had very little success trying to find similar material.

Again, thanks for showing the way with copper counters. I would do them again in an instance.
Russell

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 11:24PM
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PoorOwner

circuspeanut, how deep is your sink? Do you find it too low sitting under a full 1.5" counter top?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 12:38AM
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Circus Peanut

Russell -- thank you so much! Imitation is the best form of flattery, etc etc. :) Seriously, it's great to see others benefitting from my experiment - and I in turn owe everything to aliceinwonderland. But you can't tease like that without providing some PICTURES of your glowing new tops! Please please please.

The potrack hooks are Rogar 5" copper plated bar hooks. I ordered 8 and wish I had a few more -- I can recommend the closed design, since they never come off no matter what direction you twist your pots. The eye screws are stainless (for strength) from the hardware store, and the connector hooks are additional open-hook copper potrack hooks. I just hacked off a piece of the bar, sanded the edges down a bit, drilled two holes, and went to town.

Poorowner -- the sink is a Whitehaus fireclay and it's 8" deep. At 5'7" I find that perfect with the undermount, wouldn't want a deeper one as a main sink. The round prep sink is a vintage find, probably from a hospital (?), and is slightly deeper, which works because it's placed where I don't want a lot of splashes.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 8:28AM
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russellrobertson

Circuspeanut
Thanks for the link to Rogar. I will certainly try them if I decide to make a pot rack. I can't decide whether to make a pot rack or an accent table for a sun room with my left over copper.

I will try to get some pictures up in the next couple of days. I am in the middle of repairing plaster and painting a living room, so hence the rest of the house is a disaster. I am not even sure I can see my counters at the moment.

Russell

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 11:16AM
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ma-bookreader

Absolutely stunning!!!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Circus Peanut

Selfishly bumping just so as not to lose this thread off the forum (I link to it occasionally). :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 6:50PM
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megsy

Holy mackerel circuspeanut!! I'm in love. It makes me want to cover my butcherblock countertops (which I LOVE) with copper. Amazing job!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Circus Peanut

Thank you, Megsy, I appreciate it. We still love the counters and they just get better with the passage of time.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:05AM
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Circus Peanut

For the person who asked me how they look now, I can't reply to your email because of your GW email settings (you need to check the 'allow email' box), but here's a photo from last week if it helps:

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:55AM
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clg7067

That looks great!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:11AM
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clg7067

Hmm, I've been trying to decipher your maintenance routine. So, did you go with the beeswax in the end?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:15AM
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Circus Peanut

Thanks, clg.

Maintenance. Ha. When I'm good, I use beeswax and lots of elbow grease to rub it in and buff it. When I'm in a hurry (and my eco-neurotic guy isn't around), I use the Pledge in the brown can or OrangeGlo wood care spray. The drawback to both of the latter, of course, is that they aren't particularly food safe, and the water-resistance doesn't last nearly as long as the waxing. But they do give it a great rich gleam, esp the OrangeGlo.

I always wonder whether I should/could have used an industrial metal coating like Incra-Lac to maintain the fresh copper look... But it just seems crazy to use something so toxic in the kitchen (even if wooden cabinets regularly have equally bad stuff on them, like catalyzed lacquer finishes). I guess if I didn't obsess, even retroactively, I wouldn't be on this forum to begin with. ;-)

Are you considering copper counters?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:29AM
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clg7067

After seeing how yours look after time, I really like them. I have no real preference but am considering mahogany, ceaserstone, and now copper. I always prefer a DIY option. I still have a year to make my decision because I'm remodeling my kitchen in phases. That last phase is the most expensive. :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:37AM
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Circus Peanut

Yes, they just keep getting better over time. If you don't mind the drawbacks (they ding relatively easily and there is that bothersome green verdigris when you leave some liquids to sit for too long), the pros are very worth it.

DIY is truly the way to go. We did our kitchen in phases too, and paid as we went, using largely recycled and salvaged materials. (I still crow over my score of 27 vintage copper cabinet knobs for $5 on eBay.) It's so gratifying -- I support your plan wholeheartedly.

FYI as I recall, the copper cost me about $1200 total for c. 58 square feet. Not too shabby. And at that price, should they ever fail me, I won't be heartbroken to have to replace or renew them. We've easily enjoyed them enough to be worth it already.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:55AM
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ladyamity

First time seeing/reading about DIY copper counters.

I am never at a loss for words....Chatty Cathy, that's me.

But....

I'm in awe, total AWE at the beauty of these counter tops....no words, just in awe.
*jaw hanging open*

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 1:07PM
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rookie_2010

I'm just seeing this post for the first time and I'm also in awe of the counters and even more so at the fact that they were a DIY project. I LOVE the look of the patina, it's really beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 7:33PM
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gsciencechick

Still looking as beautiful as ever!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:07PM
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clg7067

Just stopped to take a closer look at the cabinets. Also, very nice. :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:10PM
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stjamesb

Just absolutely stunning, both the counter and the work went into it. So if I use copper for the counter that are not normally in contact with water, I should have easier time with cleaning and such? Our kitchen probably will be DIY totally. DH wants to make his own cabinets. Wait until he sees copper counter :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 12:22AM
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ajard

I love it!!! what a great look.. so inviting and unique

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 8:35AM
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surface-encounters

Surface Encounters, who has over 100 years of accumulated experience, utilizes state-of-the-art machinery, which combined with a price assurance guarantee ensures the highest quality finished product. Surface Encounters specializes in fabricating and installing granite and marble countertops. Surface Encounters is dedicated to making a difference in your world, one surface at a time.

Here is a link that might be useful: www.Surface-Encounters.com

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:06PM
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judyoso

Here are photos of the copper countertop done with enchantment color copper against black cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: www.ColorCopper.com

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:01PM
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zenstella

BEAUTIFUL JOB!!!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:51PM
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areilla10

Thank you so much for posting this thread. I'm brand new to the forum, but I've been thinking about finishing our countertops in either copper or zinc. I wondered if I would like the patination of copper as it aged and it's really nice to see a real countertop go from shiny-penny-new to "antique" in a realistic way. I'm 100% convinced to do one or the other. They're both gorgeous. Maybe the copper in the kitchen and zinc for the bar countertop, or in one of the bathrooms. They're just gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:47PM
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dyno

I bow before you. Beautiful and best of all, unique.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:10PM
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bill_vincent

Wow!! This thread keep coming back..... like a GOOD penny!!

(Get it? Good penny? Copper?)

I crack myself up. :-)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:12PM
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EATREALFOOD

Bump---this thread needs to be available to new DIY's

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Circus Peanut

Unfortunately, I think this thread is too old to be "bumped" any longer, but it's linked via my clippings page if anyone wants it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:33AM
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deedles

Just trying to see if this is bump-able?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:03AM
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Circus Peanut

Apparently so, Deedles - I just got the notification of your response.

*sigh* How I loved those counters. The new owner of my bungalow likes them, too, so all is well that ends well. I'm now debating between copper again or trying Maine slate for my new old house kitchen counters.

Here's how they looked after 4 years, with the kitchen finished (real estate photos):

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:03AM
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donaleen

This is such a cool thread. I think I need it for my Time Capsule.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:36PM
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deedles

Such a beautiful kitchen, Circuspeanut. You sound sad? Do you miss your old place? Have I missed any recent posts about your new house and kitchen project? Just think how beautiful this one will be as you build on what you learned/executed in your last one.

If my kitchen ends up ONE TENTH as gorgeous as your last kitchen, I'd call it a huge success and be happy.

I enjoyed the thread... it was a fun read esp. knowing how it all turned out.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 3:37PM
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jerzeegirl

CP I love this thread. Your countertops are gorgeous! And I think your kitchen is beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Linelle

CP, your counters are utterly awesome. As beautiful patinated as they were brand new. Something I keep wondering, did they have a distinctive smell? I keep imagining old pennies but that might not be accurate. :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:11PM
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donaleen

The surfaces are wonderful but so is the light...that kitchen has great light.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:16PM
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deedles

Yes, the light in that kitchen looks so 'comforting' is the word that comes to mind. The glowing floors. Gorgeous and warm.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:00PM
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