Kitchen Island Redo

It seems like these blonde wood islands are everywhere and almost everyone hates them, but they’re cheap. We’ve had this one sitting in our greenhouse filled with board games for a couple years and it was headed for the trash heap. I saw a redo online to make it rustic and decided to give it a whirl.


I’ll mention that my mother is a top finisher in the country, so she’ll cringe at what I did (painting wood is a cardinal sin in our family) but I love how it came out. It made it super easy since I already knew what needed to be done too. Here’s what I started with:


First, sand down all the surfaces you’re going to paint or stain. This was unfinished, so no stripping needed, but if yours has a finish on it, you’ll probably need to strip it off (which sucks, you should try to avoid using a finished piece). Blow the dust off and tape some saran wrap on the top so you don’t get white on it. Do this outside or in a ventilated area with cardboard under your piece. Take off any hardware you can before painting.


I used spray paint in Ivory. Spray it on lightly with back and forth strokes careful to keep it as even as possible. Spraying too close will cause ugly drips, too far away and you’ll need twice the paint. I used one can to do two coats. You’ll need at least two coats for proper coverage. You’ll want a antique white or ivory, bright white probably won’t work out so well.


After one coat, it’s still got a few uneven streaks. Let it dry for however long the directions on the can say, in my case, 20 minutes. After another coat, I let it dry overnight; mostly because an afternoon storm rolled in. Once the paint is dry, unwrap the top and hit it artistically with a hammer. Don’t forget to smash the edges and corners. In the original project, a decal was stamped onto the top, I decided since mine would be a microwave cart, I wouldn’t ever see the decal, so I skipped it. You can find the stamping directions here:


I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain for the top. You only need a little tiny can. Get a cheap paintbrush, an old sock and some rubber gloves and you’re ready to go. Brush on the stain evenly and don’t forget the edges. Take care not to splatter your new white paint with stain. Let it sit there for a few minutes and use the sock to wipe away the excess. Let it dry overnight again. Put the hardware back or get some replacements from the hardware store. Oil rubbed bronze looks like a great match.


The watermarks on mine were left for artistic effect, but more sanding would have lessened or removed the effect. You can create your own watermark stains with various sizes of tin cans left on the top for longer periods.


Integrated into our kitchen (WITH OUR NEW FRIDGE!) We have another of these that I may try to convince my fiance to let me redo also…


~ by accordingtoleanne on August 8, 2013.

One Response to “Kitchen Island Redo”

  1. Way cool!!! I love it! You did a fantastic job and I am sure you will get many years of enjoyment out of it. Way to go with an otherwise uninteresting piece of furniture. You made it look just awesome.

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