Hello! Ready for a long post? I’ve got a lot to cover in order to show how I updated the kitchen island. We’re all ooh-ahhing over how easy it was to make a big impact. It looks like a piece of furniture now. I’m kind of afraid to cook messy meals in here now. For awhile it will be simple meals until the newness wears off.
How about I start at the beginning? I’m so sorry I didn’t get a before of the front of the island. It looked just like the cabinets across from it. Builder grade honey oak. When we moved in, there weren’t any handles or pulls. That was one of my first projects.
The first step of this project was adding batten to the island. You can read about it here. It cost less than $30 and about 3 hours to complete. Someone with more experience could have knocked it out in much shorter time.
First step was removing doors, drawers and hardware. I marked each piece. I’ve had my fair share of cabinet door issues in the past, so I wanted to be sure that each piece went back exactly where I got it. LB stands for Left Door Bottom, LT stands for Left Door Top. I wasn’t going to take any chances at having crooked doors.
Then sanding. I just used a sanding block. All over. I like to use a damp Handi-Wipe to clean the dust off, because they don’t hold as much moisture as a rag. Before staining I followed up with a tacky cloth.
Now I’m aware that the current popular choice of islands is gray painted, even navy. My house has a lot of gray and blues. But for this piece I could only vision an earthy brown. The cabinets will be white, and the thought of the contrast really appealed to me. My choice of stain was General Finishes Gel Stain, in Java. I’d read a lot of other blogs and they seemed most satisfied with it. You can purchase it on Amazon here. I only purchased a half pint. Although I was starting to sweat it near the end, it lasted with a little left over for potential future fixes. When staining you might want to consider wearing latex gloves. I did.
Here’s a view of the second coat (left) and the first coat (right) coverage. Quite a huge difference. I applied the first coat with a sock. I think that was a mistake. The second and third coats I applied with a foam brush. And only wiped where there were globs. I waited a full 24 hours before applying each coat.
Here is the completed second coat. Still not pretty, and I was getting worried about the result.
24 hours later I applied the third and magic coat. The third coat is on the left, and the second coat on the right. Whew! It was the look I wanted.
Here’s the third coat. Then I had to wait 5 days for it to cure before applying polyacrylic. 5 whole long days! My middle name is not Patience. In the meantime I started taking off cabinet doors and prepping to paint the cabinets white.
While waiting I spray painted the oil rubbed bronze handles gold. I knew they wouldn’t show up if I left them.
I applied three coats of polyacrylic with a 24 hour drying period in between coats. Patience again, which I don’t have. But finally…
Here’s a photo showing that I also did the inside of the doors.
Here’s a before and after.
A little money, a little elbow grease, and a lot of patience. It sets off the granite counter top much better than the honey oak, too.
I hope this was helpful. If you attempt this project, good luck and hang in there. It’s worth the effort.
Joining these linky parties: Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom; Keeping It Simple; Project Inspired at The Silly Pearl; Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories; Show + Tell at Tauni Everett; From Dream to Reality at The DIY Dreamer; Link Party Palooza at Tatortots & Jello