Could pine be used for counter tops?

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Forum topic by Say posted 01-24-2014 09:18 AM 4069 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Say's profile


5 posts in 1874 days

01-24-2014 09:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine

I have collected full size 2×4 x 8 feet long pine wood from a trucker and was wondering if i could turn it into my new countertop. Its the only wood thats in my budget at the moment. Is there a disadvantage on using pine for a countertop?

11 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#1 posted 01-24-2014 09:41 AM

I have seen several counter tops made of beetle kill pine an coated with epoxy. Should work for you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View wbrisett's profile


203 posts in 2347 days

#2 posted 01-24-2014 10:11 AM

Pine is considered a soft wood, so you do need to be mindful of that, however if you do as Monte says and use one of the resin-based products out there, I have no doubt it would look great. I used oak for my two bathroom remodels and then used a marine-based Spar and people love the wood look in the house. I didn’t have to use a heavier epoxy because it was oak, but pine would have worked fine as long as it had a hard coating placed on top.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 01-24-2014 10:24 AM

I used 2”x20” pine as my bar countertop and my computerstation. No problems at all, as Monte said, with a decent coat of Epoxy it will be fine.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2068 days

#4 posted 01-24-2014 12:43 PM

+1 on the epoxy. Pine will darken nicely over the years but because its soft and youll be using it, you need to seal it. Im also pretty sure pine has some resins in it you dont want to have near your food. Im in the middle of an epoxy job with West epoxy systems. I got it at Lee Valley and couldn’t be happier.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#5 posted 01-24-2014 01:04 PM

I made my countertop from pine over 20 years ago. They are still going strong. I finished with a marine varnish.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3805 days

#6 posted 01-24-2014 03:05 PM

If you have the tools, time and patience, you could cut that board into short end grain pieces and glue up to form an end grain top. That would partially negate the softness factor and the grains would add beauty. For wood counter tops, I always finish with 2 part varnish (Minwax works).

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Say's profile


5 posts in 1874 days

#7 posted 01-24-2014 03:13 PM

Thanks for all your help, now its time for this new guy to learn some jointery. Im just assuming i have to ” mill ” the wood before i join them. Is there a certain way or rule to glue or join the wood i that i got ( 2×4 rough) ?

View BobAnderton's profile


255 posts in 2788 days

#8 posted 01-26-2014 01:21 PM

Say, ask around and find a friend who has a jointer, a surface planer, and a tablesaw. You’ll want to get all of those 2×4s smooth square and straight for the glue-up. If any of the boards have crooks or non-straightness to them cut them shorter before jointing to remove the crook and you’ll be able to lay them up once all the pieces are straight. For your purpose, gluing two smooth 2 or 4” wide surfaces together will be plenty strong without any interlocking glue joints.

I second Charles’ comment about making the top surface end grain, but another option would be to cut and arrange the boards so that the top surface is quartersawn, meaning the growth rings are running vertical from the top to the bottom of the countertop. In essence, you’re looking at the edge grain as your top rather than what would normally be the face grain. I think this looks better for pine and will make it look less like 2×4s. Google “quartersawn pine images” to see what I mean about the growth rings running perpendicular to the face of the board.

Edit: following up on dhazelton’s comment below, the quartersawn suggestion would also help limit expansion across the width of the countertop to about 1/2 that of a flatsawn layup.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2295 days

#9 posted 01-26-2014 02:01 PM

As stated above, it’s doable with a LOT of milling. Also when you affix it to the cabinets allow for expansion along the width, perhaps silicone it down and only use screws along one side of it’s length.

View CypressAndPine's profile


62 posts in 1805 days

#10 posted 01-26-2014 05:56 PM

Use it. Pine is under rated. It’s very versatile and I personally find it to be beautiful, especially with some age. We have a mill close by that sells top grade pine for a good price and I love it.

-- Cypress Jake, New Orleans

View Say's profile


5 posts in 1874 days

#11 posted 02-13-2014 04:38 AM

I thank you all for the comments and Im going to try my best using all your wisdom in my first project.

Thanks Charles, i will use your end grain top idea.

Thanks BobAnderton for your milling tips

Thanks dhazelton for your fastning down the countertop tip.

My first counter top cabinet project might take some time to complete. I hope i can finish it within 2 years. LOL

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