DIY Mobile Workbench: How to Build Custom Wood Countertops

post featured image

I’m building budget friendly, custom wood countertops for my mobile workbench to include my table saw and miter saw!

Since I fully expect to put dings and dents in these countertops, I’m using 2X12s and 1/4 inch plywood to create a budget friendly wooden countertop that still looks beautiful. Trust me, they’re going to be perfect for a garage workbench!



Step 1: Add 2×12 Boards as the Base

Cut the 2X12s to the width of the cabinet using a miter saw. Once your boards are cut to size, align them so they are flush with the front and back of the cabinet and secure them with wood screws and wood glue. There may be a small gap between the boards depending on the depth of your cabinets, but it’s going to be fine since you’re covering it with plywood. You could use 2X4s as your base instead of 2X12s, but keep in mind the countertops won’t be as sturdy since there will be bigger gaps between the boards, so you may want to use a thicker sheet of plywood or put three boards across the top instead of just two. I added scrap boards to the tops of the cabinets that I could screw into in each corner.

Step 3: Cut the Plywood

I strongly recommend using a higher quality plywood. Birch, sande or white oak are my go-to. They are the smoothest and stain the best. Using plywood is such a budget friendly way to build your own countertops! To reduce lumber waste and get the most out of my plywood sheets, I always use to map out my cuts! Their website is so cool! All you have to do is put in the size of your plywood sheet and then add your cut list. The website will do all of the math for you and gives you a picture of where to place your cuts on the sheet to get the most out of it! *Pro Tip* Cut your plywood sheets on top of a foam insulation board using a circular saw and rip cut guide. It’s so much easier than trying to wrestle the giant sheet of plywood through the table saw by yourself! Once the plywood is cut to the exact size of your cabinet, use wood glue and brad nails to secure it to the boards on top of the cabinets.

Step 4: Finish Work

To make the countertops look finished, cut 1X2 pine boards with mitered corners and secure them with wood glue and brad nails to the edge of your counters. Fill any gaps and nail holes with stainable wood filler, then sand starting with 80 grit and finishing with 120 grit or higher. *Pro Tip* lightly scribble across the top of whatever surface you’re sanding with a pencil. Then, once you’ve sanded it all off, you’ll know you’ve sanded enough!

Step 5: Staining & Sealing

After you’re done sanding the countertops, use a pre- stain wood conditioner to prep the wood– DON’T skip this step! Using wood conditioner helps even the porosity of the wood so your stain doesn’t come out splotchy. Make sure to use an oil based conditioner if you’re using an oil based stain. Once the conditioner has dried, stain the surface with your favorite stain! I used one coat of Varathane Provincial and one coat of Minwax White Wash for mine. Finally, seal with oil based polyurethane. Now you have beautiful wood countertops that can withstand the wear and tear of DIY projects!

I am obsessed with how these countertops turned out! They are beautiful and budget friendly, what more could you ask for?! Now that the mobile workbenches are finished, there’s only a few more things I need to add to the workshop before it’s complete! Make sure you’re following along on Instagram, you don’t want to miss the final reveal!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Amanda Vernaci | Come Stay Awhile (@comestayawhile)

Related Posts

Back to all posts