Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kitchen Island Makeover


I had DIY island envy for more than I care to admit but it's true.  Pinterest spewed beautiful kitchen islands at me for hours. No Joke!! I yearned for a day when I would have a pretty one too because for the last five years, my kitchen island mocked me.  Like, seriously mocked me.  Not just in a "I will make you collect junk on my unusable surface" type of way but also in the "I will make you feel fat as you try to squeeze between me and the table" kind of way.  Of course, I would usually bruise a hip trying to maneuver around this dumb thing. This was defeating. I pondered about the way the island would go down.
Sledge hammer? No, I am broke and can't actually replace it.  Remove all together?  I suppose that could have happened except for the fact that there is a big outlet running up through it.  Not exactly on my skill set of home repairs.  I decided in the end to try to remove the odd breakfast bar and use the existing cabinetry.  

This sounds easy, right? Just run a google search about removing breakfast bar on island.  No really, try that.  It comes up with the most ridiculous things.  And all completely unrelated to what I wanted.  I didn't know how that piece was connected and google wasn't helping me!!!!. For all I knew, this was one big piece of island and couldn't be separated.  

Enter a Saturday when my kids were out of town and Mr. Serene was out golfing.  It was a showdown.  It was just me and my island.  Well, my drill was there too, I guess.  Just for fun, here is a picture of the island in it's awful builder grade state. 


And I appologize for the horrible quality, this was pre-blogging days.  

You actually can't see it in this picture but the chairs and table would butt right up to that breakfast bar overhang.  (That we never once used BTW).  It was just a junk collector.  You didn't want to sort through the mail? Put it here! We. Were. FRUSTRATED!

I gathered my drill and began by removing the countertop from the main part of the island.  Four little screws later and we were good to go.  After removing the top, I was able to get a better look at how, if at all, the back could be taken down.  Thank the good Lord, there were only a few screws holding that together too! I popped out the last screw and realized that chunk of island was pure solid oak. AND HEAVY!!! It almost fell onto my table so my ninja like reflexes went into gear and I caught it.  Can't say it didn't hurt the hand though! Now I was left with this, the "floating bar" as Mr. Serene and his brother nicknamed it.  And yes, my house actually was even worse than what the picture is showing.  Keeping it real.

Now, of course I forgot to take pictures of what it looked like with out that attached and before I reassembled it but I will give you the breakdown of materials I used to build it back up.
The island needed to have a reinforcement piece along the backside of the island where the breakfast bar came off.  I had also decided on doing a board and batten treatment similar to what we had done in our bedroom.  You can say it was for cohesiveness, but it was probably more to do with laziness.  Board and batten is easy peasy.  Just what I was looking for.  
To purchase my supplies, I opted for my favorite store, The Habitat for Humanity Restore.  If you have never checked out one of their locations, I highly recommend you get in your car now and go!  I love it for a few reasons:  
  1. It's cheap
  2. It gives back to the community 
Combine these two together and you can't go wrong.  I was able to purchase all of the batten pieces (already cut the same width: $1 each x 5), a piece of oak for the backing: $5, two white primed baseboard pieces: $1 each and my butcher block top: $5!!!  A grand total of $18.25 after tax!!  I couldn't even get all of my baseboard for that at a big box store!  I even had enough butcher block left over to make 3 custom cutting boards.  

The original layout of the base cabinet had a toe kick on the front and sides.  Something that clearly wasn't going to jive with my vision of chunky baseboard.  So, what's a girl to do you ask?  Build it out!  I put some pieces of 2x4 cut very thin (about 1") and placed them underneath the toe kick as a spacer for the 2x4 and then placed a 2x4 cut to the size of the island and placed it into the toe kick gap.  This gave my baseboard something to be secured to and ensured that it wouldn't be kicked out of place or be flimsy.  I attached the trim first then moved onto the batten pieces. We will still need to add quarter round once our new floors are down but for now, I'm fine with the gap. 
I used liquid nails to put up the pieces of batten pieces as well as the trim because, well....I don't own a nail gun.  After caulking, I was left with this:


Then came the funnest part, THE PAINT!!! It really transformed it from it's nasty oak state.  I don't know the color of the paint because it was left over from previous projects but it was Behr Premium (paint + primer in one) And as much as I love Behr paint, it was a far cry from the Sherwin Williams Proclassic we used on our kitchen cabinets.  More on that project later. 
(You also get a preview of our kitchen cabinet transformation in the background.  Lucky you ;)

Attach the newly stained butcher block top and you have one beautiful masterpiece! The top is stained with just one coat of Minwax Dark Walnut. 


 It doesn't mock me anymore either.  Now we are in sync and we even bake together. Here she is in all her glory!! 


I couldn't be more excited and neither could Mr. Serene.  It opened our kitchen up so much that we're kicking ourselves for waiting 5 years!



I was featured on Remodelaholic

13 comments:

  1. Oh WOW, what an amazing transformation! I love that shaker style you have giving it, the butcher block counter tops it off! Great job and tut. Pinning.

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    1. Thanks! Your kitchen was a huge inspiration for us! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. Stacy,
    I love your island makeover! I'm in the process of doing my island as well and I totally know your pain about running into the chairs trying to shimmy through the dining room chairs and the island chairs :) It looks like you scored at Restore; I haven't been so lucky at my local Restore. Anyways, it looks great!!

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    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by! Those islands can really be a pain in your butt...literally :( I would love to see the finished product when you are all done with your makeover. Feel free to share pictures with me!! I love a good before and after :) Take care!

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  3. Gorgeous! What was the reason for placing the electrical outlet between the drawers rather on the side?

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    1. Thanks! That's a good question about the outlet, and to be honest, I have know clue why the builders put it there. I wish it were on the side though. It sometimes can be annoying to have something plugged in and try to open the drawers next to it. The cord ALWAYS gets jammed in the drawer :( Thanks for stopping by!!

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  4. Getting ready to skinny up a too-wide island, also with electrical. Not sure I have the nerve to attempt it myself, though! I'm also hampered by the lack of a Habitat ReStore. :(

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    1. You can do it! That's a bummer about the ReStore :( Do you have something in your area that might be similar? I have found some great home improvement stuff at our local goodwill too, including the lantern light fixture hanging in our master bedroom for $6! Good luck with your island! I love a good before and after so be sure to send a pic my way :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. That was amazing. Good on you! You give me hope for my tired oak contractor grade cabinets!

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    1. Thanks! I am kicking myself for not attempting to change it a long time ago! Good luck on your cabinets! If I can do it, anyone can, believe me! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. where did you get your butcher block counter top from? I want to do that to my island :)

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    1. Hi Colleen! (love your name btw. The most amazing woman in my life has the same one! My mom :)
      I was lucky enough to find the butcher block at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore but realize that it probably would never happen again to be that lucky. I had originally looked into purchasing ours at Ikea because they are very reasonable priced. I think their Numerar Butcher block is only $169 for a 7 ft. section. Good luck with your island!!! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. Hi, I know this is an old post, but when you did the corners how did you do them? Did you just place one board over the other and caulk any gap? Or did you butt then against each other and caulk the whole space?

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