DIY Kitchen Island, Take V

It’s been a bit of a process… not super long, but longer than I had hoped. Mostly because I like instant gratification. I’m in the middle of rearranging a few things in my kitchen but I couldn’t wait any longer to share this with you…

First, a quick re-cap:

Take I… I modified the kitchen island plans I found on Ana White’s website to meet my needs and wants. I made it a smaller, added a side rail above the shelf, and extended the counter to create a bar-ledge.

My Kitchen Island Plans

Take II… I cut most of the pieces, put the counter together and built the drawer housing.


Take III… I stained the counter, primed and painted the base pieces, constructed the base, and built the drawer boxes.


Take IV… I finished constructing the drawers (attached the faces and installed the drawer slides), distressed and glazed the base, and primed and painted the drawers.


After glazing the drawers, adding a protective coat over the glaze on the drawers and base, applying a few more coats of Shellac to the counter, adding the drawer handles (which happen to match the style of knobs on my kitchen cabinets), and securing the counter to the base… I am quite pleased to say that not only is my kitchen island finally finished, but it is also finally in my kitchen! (My mom was kind enough to bring it to my house for me so we could get it set up.)


All my worries about the stain being too similar to my cabinets without actually matching, or about not liking the distressed finish in the light of my kitchen, or about the stain not “fitting” with the glaze color, etc. really weren’t necessary.


I am loving the stain with the distressed finish! It blends well with the other features of my kitchen: the stain color meshes with the cabinet color quite nicely and the “antique” look of the base meshes with the antique finish of my Ikea piece… almost like it was on purpose!


Every time I go through my kitchen I run my hand along the counter top. Then I stop and just gaze at it.

I am so glad that I decided to build it instead of buying something that wouldn’t be all that I wanted!


If I could go back and do it over, the only things I would really change in the design would be to make the shelf a bit lower so I can see what I have there more easily (the drawers/drawer housing blocks my line of sight a bit more than I’d like), perhaps adding another 1×3 board on either side somehow… and I would add another 2×3 to the counter on the ledge-side to give a little more knee-clearance. I hit my knees already and my legs aren’t even that long.



Overall I LOVE it and I can’t wait to build something else! Just not sure what yet… my house isn’t big enough for all of the projects I’d love to do!!


(Taylor and Louie love it too… Louie’s already discovered the joys of hiding on the shelf to sneak-attack Tay, and the shelf is the perfect height above the floor for Taylor to cruise for crumbs underneath it.)

PS. The photos were taken in the evening so the color is slightly off than what it is in natural light. However, they are pretty true to what it looks like in my kitchen light.

PPS. There are a few more photos of the island on Flickr… you can click on any of the photos above to take you there or you can click here to see my Sweet Home set that includes all of the photos from building the island, plus my other home projects!

PPPS: Update! I submitted a brief overview of my island project to Ana White’s Brag Blog! You can see my “brag” here!


15 responses to “DIY Kitchen Island, Take V

  1. WOW, I am so impressed! This is amazing – you have such patience and clearly a lot of talent. And you’re kitchen light totally does the trick of making me want your kitchen! I think I would melt in a puddle if I saw it in natural light.

    • Thanks Brittani!! It has come a long way since I first bought the house… I think the island completes it! I am glad you like it! (And I think this is something that you and Scott could definitely do!)

    • Haha thanks Tina! I think I have a ways to go before I can build a house… except maybe a dollhouse. ;)

  2. This is AMAZING! And so special that you created this piece with your dad. You will have it forever. Great work, Miss. B! I love the distressed finish, the color of stain you chose for the top, and the hardware is perfect. Can’t wait to see it in person. Can’t get over how talented you are, my friend!!

    • Thanks, Sara–and thanks for all of your support and encouragement throughout this project. I’ve really appreciated it! I can’t wait for you to see it in person… although it might make Kyle want power tools even more!

    • Thanks!! The top is made out of 2×3 fir boards that were glued and screwed together (with counter-sunk screws). The fir boards were towards the back of the lumber department and were slightly cheaper than regular 2×4 studs, but not by much. I opted to go for the 2×3 boards over the 2x4s because I think it makes the counter look more like a butcher block than it would with 2x4s.

      I am planning on using the counter like an eating and prep area, but not directly on the surface. I want to find a nice (but inexpensive!) bamboo cutting board to use… I love bamboo! I didn’t glue the counter to the base so I may decide to refinish it with something more food-prep-friendly later on or even change it out with an actual butcher block or scrap granite. We’ll see. :)

  3. So, I like your modifications better than the original.Awesome job! Did you submit to Ana’s brag blog??

    • Thanks!! I really appreciate that!! I didn’t realize she had a “brag blog” section on her site–I am checking it out right now and hope to post to it soon! Thanks for the tip!

  4. Just came over from Ana White’s Brag Blog…this is FABULOUS! Seriously, you have done such a beautiful job. I’m so inspired!

    • Thanks Jan! I am so thankful for Ana’s blog… I would have never realized how (relatively) simple it is to build furniture… and FUN! Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog!

  5. P.S. My parents looked at it with me online tonight and wanted to let you know they think it would work perfectly in their newly remodeled kitchen ;-)

    P.S.S. Check out TJ Max for a cutting board, they have tons of that stuff at a good price. XO

    • Haha Sara that’s awesome! I <3 your parents. And I don't know how I didn't think to check out TJ Maxx!! I think I've just been so enamored with Goodwill lately that I forgot. I just might have to stop by there tomorrow after work… :)

  6. I would love to try this. How did you attach the top boards that hang over the side? Are they sturdy and able to hold a lot of weight? Thanks for your help.

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