Ikea Numerar Counter Top Makeover


The basement project continues with a custom wood counter top. I wanted to do something other than granite on the bar top. Granite is great for durability and low maintenance, but it can also feel 'cold' (literally) and uninviting. I opted for wood, which you can get at your counter top department at Lowe's or Depot, but the price is outrageous! I knew there had the be a cheaper way... that's when I found Numerar counter tops at Ikea.

I completed this project back in April/May. Since then the cost of these counter tops has gone up. Oak was all they had in stock in the size I needed (73 1/4" x 25 5/8") so that's what I got. They also come in Beech and Birch. I paid $129 a few months back. Now the same piece costs $199. Quite a price jump, but still a bargain considering granite would cost you anywhere $50 to $70+ a square foot.

You can cut the counter top if needed. They come in three sizes. To give it a custom look I had my brother-in-law router the edge profile.

Fresh out of the box:
 New edge profile and sanded down:

After sanding off the factory finish, wipe the counter top with tack cloth to get all your saw dust off. Next, apply wood conditioner (follow directions on how long to wait before staining) to ensure and even stain job.

Tip: Start on the bottom side and complete all three steps, allowing 24-48 after final finish coat before flipping over. You don't want to be turning over the counter top after each phase. Plus, you can use the bottom side as practice.

Then, apply your stain. I used Ebony stain and let it sit 3-5 minutes before wiping off to get a rich, dark color yet still have some wood grain visible.

For the finish coat I chose Waterlox Original Satin Finish. It feels smooth as glass and protects from stains and spills. I had to buy it on Amazon because I could only get the gallon size nearby. I applied two coats on the bottom side and three coats when I did the top side. First I tried lambs wool applicators, but they left little pieces of fuzz which drove me crazy! I ended up doing better with a high quality stain brush. It left no brush marks or streaks. You have to wait 24 hrs. between coats. 

Tip: Make sure to sand in between each coat of Waterlox with a high grit sand paper. This will give you a finish that is smooth and even.

 I let it sit for a few days after the final coat before installing. We used L Brackets to attach the counter top to our base cabinets. The counter came with six, but we bought extra from the hardware store. I think we have 12 total.

 Another benefit to using wood is how we were able to eliminate the need for brackets to support the counter over-hang.

Please email questions to 

Thank you!

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