Prepping for Pennies: A Breakfast Bar Countertop Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about the kitchen remodel project.  We’ve been busy working on other projects around the house, so let’s hop back on the kitchen train for awhile, shall we?

My last kitchen update, the half wall and breakfast bar countertop looked like this.  Looking much cleaner than previous project posts, but not very exciting, right?  I assure you this isn’t the finished product.  First, we must layer like we are building a countertop sandwich.

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 4

For the base of the countertop we used a 4’x8′ Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) in 3/4″ thickness and cut to size.  We angled each of the outside corners (the side you sit on) and had to notch out the right side, near the wall.   We used long lag screws to secure the MDF to the half wall and siliconed over the screws and on the right side notch, near the sheetrock.

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 1

The countertop is 13 inches deep from the wall pictured below, but the full surface depth is 18 inches and 8 feet long.  We wanted to make sure the countertop was large enough to eat on, but didn’t impose on the adjoining dining room.  Thankfully, the dining room is almost 11 feet wide so there is plenty of room for a table, walking space, bar stools and a countertop.

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 2

Next, we used plastic to cover the MDF.  Pulled tightly and stapled to the bottom side of the MDF.  Perhaps this was overkill, but he wanted to make sure water or spilled drinks could find it’s way under the surface.

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 3

The yellow material is 1/4″ cement board for the third layer.  Cut to size to cover the top and sides of the plastic covered MDF.  We used 3/4″ deck screws to secure the cement board to the MDF.  We made sure to countersink the screws for a level surface to apply our final layer.

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 5

Now, for the best part.  The final layer of our countertop “sandwich”.  We needed something that would coordinate with our existing white countertops, speckled with tiny flecks of blue, coral and green (closeup photos below).  Along with our newly painted cabinets and the future backsplash (below).

kitchen backsplash tile

A slightly overwhelming process to find the right match, but we found some inspiration to help make our decision.  Our inspiration?  A penny.  Somewhere on big world wide web we found this photo where some very dedicated individuals covered an entire floor with pennies.  And then we found other websites where they used pennies on countertops and table surfaces like this.  Pretty neat, huh?


Honestly, we weren’t all that excited about the idea of lining up a bunch of pennies,  evenly spacing and gluing them to the surface.  We decided to search for something that looked liked pennies, but ready to install.  Fortunately, we found a solution with a quick Google search at Home Depot.  We measured, did some math and ordered a sample.  A few days after receiving the sample, we loved it so much that we ordered 12 square feet. The stainless steel copper penny tile is available on Home Depot’s website, but recently marked as discontinued.  When the shipment arrived it came with a mini box of Mike and Ike candies.  I am not sure why, but it made my day.  The penny tile and the candy. 😉

Kitchen breakfast bar progress 7

Up next we’ll install the penny tile and add the finishing touches to the breakfast bar countertop.  Have you used real pennies for any home projects?  How about the stainless steel copper penny tile?

2 thoughts on “Prepping for Pennies: A Breakfast Bar Countertop Update

  1. Pingback: Splitting Pennies | Designs by Jolene

  2. Pingback: The *New* Kitchen Cabinets | Designs by Jolene

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