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Hospitality – Upcycled Kitchen Island

May 14, 2013

The kitchen is the heart of the home and by definition should be the most well thought out area of your home.  After all, you spend most a lot of your time in this room and it is where you do some of your most important work nourishing body and soul.  It is a warm gathering place for family and friends.

As we focus on hospitality this month, I thought it would be fun to share with you a recent project completed by my family.  I really wanted some extra storage space in my kitchen and while watching television one evening, hubs and I saw the niftiest idea for creating a kitchen island.  What do you think?

I think she's pretty sexy!

I think she’s pretty sexy!

We found this little gem of a dresser in our favorite thrift store and picked it up for a steal!  Although beaten up and stained on top, it was in decent shape.  We had measured our space in the kitchen and knew the dimensions we wanted.  This fit perfectly.  Before we did anything though we brought the dresser home and put it in the kitchen just to make sure we were going to like it.


In the kitchen before we’ve done any work.

The two bottom drawers on the left will become the shelves.

The two bottom drawers on the left will become the shelves.

The next day we moved it out to the garage and the real work began.  I knew I wanted to remove two of the drawers to make shelves, but our daughter, Anna had the BEST idea.  Instead of leaving the back of the dresser solid she suggested cutting it out in the area of the shelves.  That way, the back of the dresser would look much less dresser like.  Brilliant!

The scary moment when the first cut is made!

The scary moment when the first cut is made!

The drawers are out, the cut-out in the back is done, and this is what you have…


The drawer tracks were removed and sanding also commenced the first day.  All-in-all a great day of progress!


The next day we talked about the finishing touches.  We were going to need trim for the hole we had cut in the back along with trim for the front of the shelves.  I also wanted to use wainscoting on the back panel.  This would make the back look even LESS like the back of a dresser.  I decided I wanted the base of the island to be antique black and the top to be stained a red wine color.  Nice!

After a trip to the local home-improvement store, the project moved out of the garage onto the driveway.  First, Jordan cut the wood for the shelves and for the close-outs between the new shelves and the remaining drawers.  Measure twice and cut once!  Perfection!  (Yes, everything fit nice and tight the first try.  Remember, Jordan is an engineer!)  Jordan and Alyssa also added some trim in front of the shelves since we used plywood and wanted to conceal the exposed edges with pretty millwork.


Then the wainscoting and trim were cut and added to the back panel.  We used “paint grade” wainscoting which kept the cost down and was pre-primed and ready for paint.  Throughout this project, Alyssa was a big-time helper!  Don’t you love the goggles?



The trim around the cut out really gives the island a finished look.


With the shelves, wainscoting, and trim in place, we were ready to mask the top with paper and painter’s tape in preparation for painting.


For a project like this, spray painting gives a much smoother and more uniform finish…but your finger gets tired (and covered in paint)!


To paint the drawers, we first removed the drawer pulls and taped/masked the sides and top so the beautiful dovetail joints on the sides would remain visible and the inside of the drawer wouldn’t have paint overspray in it.  These drawers have a beautiful carved detail that shows up well with the paint, don’t you think?


This picture is of Alyssa, our master craftsman, surveying her handiwork at the completion of painting.


We brought the island back into the garage to apply the stain and polyurethane (less dust and wind).  We think the dresser wood is Mahogany.  We stripped it down using a palm sander with various grits (60-220), we applied Varathane Cabernet stain that gives a burgundy wine color to the wood.  After the stain dried, we applied four coats of polyurethane (Varathane Semi-Gloss Interior finish), and waited impatiently for it to dry so we could install the towel rack and move it into the kitchen.  One note about the towel rack…the one I WANTED and insisted on was $30.  This is more than half of what we paid for the dresser!  (But you know a woman when she sets her mind to something!)




The whole project took us about four days to complete (time for paint, stain, and polyurethane to dry included), but was oh, so worth the effort!  Total cost…  $150!  In the end a great addition to the kitchen!  It didn’t break the bank, provides great storage, and increased our counter space by 50%!  Now to paint the kitchen cabinets…

Creative-HomeAcre-I-Was-FeaturedPin It Monday Hop I was Featured

(Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, The Shady Porch, A Little R and R, Hope In Every Season, Frugally Sustainable, The Self Sufficient Home Acre, Wildcrafting Wednesday, From The Farm Hope In Every Season,  Tasty TraditionsFabulously Frugal Thursdays, Making A Happy HomeNatural Living Link-UpHome Acre HopFive Little Chefs, Transformation Thursday, Bloom Designs, Mostly Homemade Mondays Pin It Monday and A Living Sacrifice)

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Georgina permalink
    May 14, 2013 8:26 pm

    Oh my! I knew I liked your kitchen island when I saw it. But now that I know the story behind it, I am thoroughly impressed! Kudos to the Evans family 🙂 What can you gals at The Provision Room not do!

    • May 15, 2013 5:47 am

      Ah, thanks Georgina! I’m so blessed to have a hubby who is willing to go along with all my “hair-brained” schemes! LOL!

  2. May 17, 2013 8:36 pm

    Love the transformation! I love kitchen islands…I finally have one. I’m so glad you chose to share your kitchen project at the Rock ‘N Share! Have a great weekend! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

  3. May 18, 2013 8:34 am

    VERY nice!

  4. May 20, 2013 11:53 am

    That is soooo gorgeous! I just love it and love that it’s an upcycled piece!

  5. May 21, 2013 3:58 pm

    Oh my goodness! This is gorgeous! I’m so impressed. 😀 Thanks for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop! Hope that you will come back and share some more on Thursday:

  6. May 22, 2013 12:22 am

    This is soooo pretty!!! Totally Pinterest worthy!! I love it. I want it! 🙂

  7. May 22, 2013 9:29 am

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop!

  8. May 27, 2013 4:41 am

    Wow! GORGEOUS!! I already have an island in my kitchen, but seeing this almost makes me wish I didn’t! haha! Saw you featured on Homegrown Monday’s at beingfrugalbychoice. Thanks for sharing and congrats! 🙂

    Christine 🙂

  9. Hannah J permalink
    June 3, 2013 9:34 am

    Very savvy saving! Love it. I wish I was as crafty/frugal as you. It looks amazing.

    Check out my blog at:

  10. June 8, 2013 8:03 am

    I love the look of the red top and dark bottom! You did a fantastic job, you can hardly tell it used to be a dresser. Thanks so much for linking up to our Home Improvement Party! =)

  11. June 12, 2013 6:30 am

    This is awesome! Very beautiful and I love the combo of black and red top. Thank you so much for linking up with us at Pin It Monday Hop. We will be featuring your project on Thursday. Please stop by when you get the chance.

    Pursuit of Functional Home

  12. sweetness permalink
    November 11, 2013 11:33 am

    Very nice!!! I love the way it turned out. You need a spray paint trigger, saves painted and tired fingers.

  13. Toni permalink
    January 30, 2014 9:04 am

    LOVE it! I’ve been looking for a dresser to make over into a bathroom vanity. Now I guess I’m looking for two. : )


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