Reclaimed Bowling Alley Counter Top

We opened our shop on very tight budget. We didn’t believe in going into major debt in order to build a creative business. Our philosophy is to reuse, restore, up cycle and re-love items and to simplify. This is probably one of my favourite re-loved projects to date!  We needed a counter or “something” to serve our customers, we wanted something we could move if we wanted to realign the space , we were trying to save on our reno budget (that was dwindling) and we wanted something fun and beautiful. We found a kitchen cabinet company that had some scratch and dent cabinet bases for sale, we used 3 kitchen bases. We didn’t care what they looked like as they would only be seen by me, but as it turned out they were white shaker with large drawers not cupboards – saweet!

Many of you know that my landlord has some old furniture and “stuff” upstairs in what we affectionately call the raccoon room. (There was at one time a few living in the attic area – not anymore, but it’s still kinda messy and icky). My wonderful landlord told me to “take what I want and use it” as it wasn’t doing her any good and they do at some point want it cleaned up.  We’ve made a deal on the furniture and the wood and other things I’m welcome to use. I think once it’s clean and repaired it would make and AWESOME addition to Willow Yoga Studio  (just my thoughts). Anyhoo..there is A LOT of stuff up there, for real, a lot! upstairs

Told ya

A lot of the items are too far gone, but there are many bits and pieces, and I feel very fortunate to be able to have my own picking place right over head!

While thinking of a counter “top” I wandered upstairs and wondered if there was any large pieces of wood or plywood that I could paint and use. And then I found this! found bowling alley floor

After close inspection and measuring I casually asked hubby to come up and help me take it downstairs! My landlord had mentioned it was there and that I could use it and did I know it was a VERY old BOWLING ALLEY floor from the basement of an old building in our town! Very cool! My hubby is so great, he just said “you want to do what with what?” ok…luvs him!

We hauled those HEAVY suckers downstairs and started working on them.

We measured and brought it outside and had to cut the end pieces off (which I think gave my landlord a teeny tiny bit of stress) sorry Deb! But the end pieces have been saved and are going to be up cycled into very cool end tables soon!

It had a lot of holes and needed lots of sanding, so I “let” my hubby borrow my new Ryobi Sander – is it weird that I love this thing? sanding the bowling alley floor sanding the bowling alley countertop

(He’s so not going to like this picture – but hey – it’s funny and shameless self promotion for our other family business EverGreen Carpet Cleaners Ltd) :)

We filled the holes and sanded some more, then the FUN started!

Hubby was anxious to try to stain the top, so I mixed up some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in CURIO as a stain (very thin 1 part Curio to 3 parts water) and HE stained the top. His first Miss Mustard Seed painting experience. He actually used a rag and a brush, brushing it on and wiping off to get the desired stain. It was super easy and he was done in no time. There are NO fumes with milk paint and it dries very quickly, SO much easier than traditional stains. He then sanded a bit  and added Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil as a top coat which is beautiful and oh so easy! hemp oiling the bowling alley countertop

In the above picture one side has been hemp oiled. It is SO easy and no chemicals, no smell and ALL NATURAL!

After the top was in place, we used some reclaimed cedar barn boards to frame the sides (the boards are actually from a fence at our home that is coming down) bowling alley countertop with curio milk paint and hemp oil

Start to finish in no time! Shortly after this picture was taken our sign guy came in and the logo was supposed to go on a wall, but I HAD to chance my mind – it HAD to go on here! logo on counter

On opening day bowling alley countertop

All total we did not spend very much on this counter (only the 3 base cabinets and hardware total under $100), we reused some things that needed re-loved and it is practical and  portable  (kinda) if we decide to move it to another spot in the shop, but so far it’s working well here.  I’ve been asked MANY times if the hemp oil is a strong top coat. We only put one coat on this (due to being rushed and a little lazy) and its holding up beautifully. It is not babied, we have hammers and tools and cans of paint on it and no scratches. Love this about hemp oil!

What do you think of our budget friendly, up cycled , re-love bowling alley countertop? Have you ever considered using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint as a stain? Or a bowling alley as a counter?

Thanks for stopping in, so appreciate you all!




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  1. Wendy, love This!! Great Score by you! I am sure it is gorgeous! LovingHemp Oil too!!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Your blog looks beautiful! I saw you listed on Marian’s Milk Paint website! Way to go girlie! You reap what you sew and you are awesome!

  3. I love this, Wendy! Pinning! x

  4. I am so glad you talked about using milk paint as stain. I was just thinking about how you would do that. I am thinking about using one color as a base coat and then glazing in one or two other colors over the top.

    Do you think hemp oil would resist construction adhesive? Or does it dry completely enough that after a month or so, I could glue to the oiled surface? Let’s just say I have a new idea…
    The Other Marian

  5. Congratulations on the store. What else did you find in the room?