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DIY kitchen island renovation

Our kitchen came with a kitchen island pushed against the wall.  After a few weeks of cooking, I realized it was an opportunity.  I wanted to push it out in the center of the room as a real island to give me more food prep space and create seating for guests that linger in the kitchen.

When I pulled it out, I realized it was completely unfinished.  The bottom had rubber trim, the back was open and the marble top piece was unsecured.

DIY kitchen island renovation

After finding inspiring ideas online, I pulled my resources and started working!

First step – remove doors and drawers and add casters. The marble makes this piece really heavy to move.  I wanted the flexibility of moving it, if needed.  I added 6 casters beneath the piece, 2 that locked for stability.

hide kitchen island casters

Step 2 – bead board.  This was the only purchase I made for the renovation.  I added some plywood to the back to level a plane for bead board.  I also decided to shape the back opening a bit and utilize it for open storage. A little liquid nails, a level and a nail gun and it was a quick process.

DIY kitchen island renovation

Step 3 – add trim and frame back opening.  This was the hardest part for me.  The trim was salvaged from our garage attic but needed a little love.  I had to scrape off old paint and sand it smooth first.  I was excited to use my miter saw for the edges but it was a big learning opportunity because it’s hard to get the length just right.  I also cut a built in door in the trim so I could easily access the hidden 2 casters to lock/unlock.

Step 4 – add overhang and supports.  The marble piece wasn’t big enough to cover the island anyhow and I wanted to add an overhang for seating.  I salvaged old wood from our attic floors, cleaned, sanded, cut and finished with amber shellac and danish oil I had on hand.  I also added some 1 x 2 wood on the top to support the overhang.

diy kitchen island renovation

Step 5 – secure top with trim.  I finally found a couple of pieces to use to hold the top pieces in place and hide the crack where they meet.  Cut and screwed in.

Step 6 – kitchen island legs.  I loved these salvage legs I found in the attic but they were in really bad condition and not the right height.  I bought a poplar post from the hardware store and cut pieces for the top and bottom for a good fit.  Then putty the cracks and paint: black acrylic paint (2 coats), a little oil rubbed bronze spray paint, and 2 coats of polyurethane. Then, screw them into trim and support.

re-purposed wood legs for kitchen island

Step 7 – paint cabinet and hardware.  I decided to spray paint the hardware oil rubbed bronze to match other accents in the house.  First, I primed it, then added 2 coats of paint, and a protective finish.  I didn’t want it to chip off easy.  I painted the cabinets with leftover paint from the house trim – oil based for a nice seal and easy clean up.

how to easily spray paint hardware

Hm….am I missing anything?  I’m sure I am.

The easiest part? Bead board.

The hardest part? Finding the right pieces of salvage wood and cleaning it up.

Biggest thing I learned?  How to measure and miter trim.  It’s a LOT harder than it looks!  Just a 1/4 inch off and you’ve got a problem.

I was super excited about the finished product.  Now I need a couple of awesome bar stools and maybe a little more trim work and it’s complete.  Yay!

After seeing the finished product, I think Mark is ready for me to re-paint the rest of our cabinets….funny how that happens 🙂