Kitchen Island Tutorial

The kitchen island has been starring at me for a very long time, waiting for my attention. Last fall we revamped our kitchen by removing two cabinets- yikes we lost a lot of storage- and adding a dishwasher. Our home was built in the 1960s and had a space opposite the appliance wall for a small table. Since 1960, the home has had an addition built to serve as a larger dining room/laundry area rendering the original space purposeless. Ah ha! The perfect spot for a kitchen island. One of my favorite places to shop is the Habitat ReStore mainly because of the re purposing potential of it’s inventory. I found a box of cedar planks, no doubt removed from a ceiling or sauna for $15 so I grabbed them knowing I would use them for something because they were just that gorgeous.
Voila! Faux wainscoting.

My husband connected the two single cabinets together with a handful of nails and screws and then we chose the best pieces of cedar for the project. Each piece had a tongue and groove so it was much like a puzzle. We did a dry run by laying out the format to make sure we liked it aesthetically and then used liquid nails to glue each piece on. We tacked on finishing nails to the top or bottom of random pieces to secure them.

The back

After the three sides had been covered with cedar, I began the process of stripping the finish from the cabinet doors and painting the entire unit. I had already practiced this technique on my bathroom vanity in hopes of perfecting it for this project.

The Supplies
Interior/Exterior Primer, Paint, tack cloth, roller, small brush, fine sand paper, liquid sander/deglosser

The Process

  • First I removed all of the doors and drawers. I found it easier to work with the unit base first and then the moving parts next.
  • Using the liquid sander/deglosser, I generously rubbed the cabinet doors & drawers with a soft cloth to remove the shiny outer coat.
  • I sanded the entire island with an electric hand sander. (You can sand by hand.) The electric sander made the job a lot quicker. I sanded any rough parts of the cedar but they didn’t need a lot of attention because it was bare wood. I paid a lot of attention to the cabinet doors and drawers. Removing the top shiny protective coat is important and any rough edges.
  • Next, I painted the primer onto the surface using a roller first. I applied primer in the cracks between cedar boards with a small brush.
  • Using fine sand paper, I lightly hand sanded all surfaces and then wiped it down with the tack cloth to remove the particles of dust.
  • Finally ready to paint! (MY FAVE) I chose a color by Sherwin Williams called Wool Skein. I use a roller first to apply a light coat of paint to all of the surfaces. I follow up with the small hand brush with a liberal coat of paint to the small cracks and crevices. After allowing those coats to dry, I apply one more light coat of paint with a roller.

The I went hunting for the perfect counter top. I considered butcher block, which is very trendy right now but my bottom line decisions are usually made by my frugalness. I found this piece of granite at, you guessed it, the Habitat ReStore for $30.00! Great find right? I also found a local shop to edge it for $11.00 per lineal foot without charging any extra fees. Also a good deal. So here’s the finished project!This post is one in a series of kitchen remodeling projects. View the entire kitchen reveal here.

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