Tag Archives: kitchen island

I’m on (Kitchen) Island Time!

January beware! We are kickin’ kitchen booty and we are almost going to meet our goal of having the kitchen finished by the end of the month! (Knock on wood!)

In the process of kicking kitchen booty, I think I have lost approximately 12,857 brain cells. But it was all worth it.

Yes! We refinished our sideboard and kitchen island!

We purchased both pieces as raw furniture from the Mill Store.

We took the following steps to paint the bottoms:

  1. Break out the wood filler and fill any holes. (The island actually came with towel hooks on the side and 2 shelves installed in the bottom, but we want to put stools under the island so we took them all down. Hence all the holes.)
  2. Sand ‘er down with a fine grit sandpaper. I used 220 grit paper.
  3. Prime the furniture. I used regular primer on the sideboard and a few of the dark knots ended up showing through after a few months. I ended up going back and priming them with Killz primer.
  4. Paint the furniture. I used a small cabinet roller and our Valspar semi-gloss paint in Swiss Coffee to match all the trim in our house as well as our kitchen cabinet and pantry. I did four coats of paint letting it dry in-between coats.

Letting the stain sit.

We took the following steps to stain the tops:

1. Sand ‘er down one more time with a fine grit sandpaper.

2. Stain away! We had initially decided on Minwax Golden Pecan stain. This was the same color stain I used on my desk upstairs. I stained the top of the sideboard and we looked at it for a few days. Unfortunately, due to the different lighting and paint color in the kitchen the stain looked too orange. So we sanded ‘er down again. Getting most (but not all) of the stain off. I had given it 3 coats of stain, so we probably took off at least two coats. We picked out a secondary stain color, this time Minwax Special Walnut.

We then stained the Special Walnut stain on TOP of the Golden Pecan stain (we also stained a based layer of Golden Pecan stain on the island top to ensure they would match).

Once we knew we were happy with it we proceeded to give the tops each four coats of stain. We left some layers of stain on for as long as 30 minutes to get a dark and rich tone.

3. We lightly sanded with a fine grit steel wool sponge.

Post-Stain, Pre-Poly

4. Polyurethane time! We used Minwax Clear Poly in Satin finish.We applied four coats of poly, waiting 4 hours in between each coat and lightly sanding with a fine grit steel wool in-between coats.

Staining and Poly tips:

  • We used only the cheap foam brushes.
  • STIR both thoroughly. We used plastic spoons.
  • To wipe the stain I used a variety of clean, old socks and promptly threw them away.
  • Do NOT shake the poly. It will be full of bubbles and your finish will feel like sandpaper.
  • Wait the full 3-4 hours between coats of poly. Otherwise it will get gunky.
  • Make sure you have the airflow fully circulating. I wish we could have done this project in the summer with all the windows open. We left our microwave vent on all day to help get rid of the fumes.

We are in LOVE with how it turned out.

I love having the dual countertops and the contrast between the cool granite and the warm butcherblock.

I just ordered stools this week!

We love how they turned out and we love being able to finally use our island space!

Today we celebrated and we cooked and baked and ate! And I’m officially on island time. Woot!

Doors, Handles, Knobs and Toes. (Knobs and Toes.): How to Install Cabinet Door Knobs

I lasted posted about my kitchen a week before Christmas and set our goal to be D-O-N-E with the kitchen by the end of January. So far we are on track and are about half-way through our remaining list of to-do items!

We installed the rest of our cabinet doors with the exception of the two underneath the sink. We still need to replace some piece of wood before can finish that up.

Along with new cabinet doors we also purchased new facings for our drawers. Those have been installed along with the handles.

I like that our handles are hefty and slightly retro. They feel nice and sturdy. We will be using these vertically as pantry door handles (when we get there). We got them from Lowe’s.

Then we installed the knobs on our cabinet doors.

First we decided where on the door we wanted the knob to be – low, middle or high on the shaker border. We chose the middle (and I reaffirmed my choice after consulting my Kitchen Pinterest board and liking this one best).

We ordered these amazing little templates off Amazon (here) to avoid unfortunate mathematical error when it came to drilling our cabinet doors and drawers. I won’t lie. Regardless, I had to go in the other room when me started drilling the first one.

We marked the hole with a pencil and pre-drilled the door with a bit similarly sized to the screw that came with the knob for a snug fit.

Then we inserted the screw by hand and added the knob in front.

And we have ALMOST all our cabinets DONE!!! I can’t believe it! I love it.

Buying new cabinet doors instead of ripping everything out was a huge time-saver and our kitchen looks brand new.

Can you believe it used to look like this?

Other news in kitchen-land:

We (*ahem* Moose) rewired all our outlets and lightswitches in the kitchen so they are all crisp and clean.

We (*me!) finally found and ordered a ceiling light for over the island. It should be here in a week or so.

Moose also installed our over-the-sink track lighting. Let there be light! I can finally see what I am cooking.

We bought it on sale at Lowe’s back in the summer.

Hold up, did I say “over the island” a few sentences ago? YES I DID!

We also recently purchased a raw wood island from The Mill Store.

(Yep… I’m really going to miss staring at my trash can and having kitchen cabinets all over the floor… I just don’t know what I’ll do with myself when it’s over. Maybe you’ll find me eating spaghetti off the floor.)

The island has yet to be painted and stained, but this is the general idea – except white legs, no casters and we remove our shelves to store the stools underneath:


Once we choose a stain for the top of the island we will also stain the top of the sideboard (which has been covered up by plastic placemats for the last 6 months).

What do we have left?

– Install new sink task light
– Find, purchase and install ceiling light
– Put in new wood pieces under the sink
– Finish installing drawer panels
– Finish installing cabinet doors (except for 2 more)
– Add cabinet door hardware and pantry door handles
– Stain top of sideboard
– Add quarter-round under granite
– Toe-kick
– Install hardware to attach dishwasher to the granite
– Repair and paint molding on doorframe
– Find and purchase and paint/stain kitchen island and stools
– Finish re-wiring the outlets and put switch plate covers on
– Finally take off the protective film on the dishwasher! After 8 months!

Sadly, we’re already starting our phase II kitchen list. But that can wait. Woot!