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Farmhouse Kitchen Island Makeover

Turn your kitchen island into a centerpiece of your farmhouse kitchen with this easy makeover.

I have always loved those farmhouse kitchen islands that look like a piece of furniture in the middle of the kitchen. Mine was not that way.

Nope, it looked just like 3 base cabinets stuck in the middle of the floor with a top on it.

Before picture of dark wood island with gold handles

Don’t get me wrong, I love the functionality of my kitchen island. And it was the newest thing in the kitchen until we started the kitchen remodel.

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But I knew I wanted to do a kitchen island makeover as part of our kitchen remodel.

Brass hardware on a soft navy kitchen island.

One of the things I disliked about our kitchen island was this super long overhang. It is great for pushing a bar stool under an there is so much room to cook together as a family. But it also was a huge problem for little kids.

They didn’t notice the edge of the island top because it was so far out there and usually ran right into it.

One weekend when my sister was visiting, we had to tape handkerchiefs to the corners so her son would stop hitting it with his head.

He seriously ran into it 3 times in the first hour they were there. So of course I wanted to fix that with this kitchen island makeover.

Dark wood kitchen island with a large overhang.\

I went through many different ideas. One was to build out the sides completely.

But the seam of the current cabinets and the placement of the electrical outlets was making it hard to get things centered and even.

Next I thought about just trimming out the island like wainscoting and then add a post at the outer corners of the overhang. But it seemed they were too disjointed.

side view of dark kitchen island before makeover

When I started looking for counter posts to use in the kitchen island makeover, I was a little taken at their price. It would cost me $120+ for 2 posts.

Yikes! I have updated 3 rooms in my house for less than that with the $100 Room Challenge.

I was just too cheap for that option. So on a trip to the Home Depot I looked at stair rails and table legs to see if something would work. And what do you know, I found these country table legs for only $20 a piece that were 29″ tall.

If I put those on top of a 5 1/2″ base (which is the width of a 1×6 board), it would be perfect for the 34 1/2″ counter height!

With my decision made it was time to get to work. The weather was really wet and cold so staying inside and working on the kitchen island makeover was a good option.

Kitchen island being sanded with corner cat sander.

I started by pulling off the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Then I gave everything a good sanding with my corner cat sander. I love this thing for getting into corners on furniture pieces like this.

After a good vacuuming, I cleaned the entire surface with a tack cloth to remove the rest of the dust. Then it was time for paint.

To paint the kitchen island I used a foam roller and paint brush. The paint brush is great for cutting in at the top and around the face frames.

The kitchen island makeover shown with a couple coats of Behr Durango Blue paint.

The roller made quick work of the sides and back. I didn’t bother painting all the way to the floor because I knew I would cover it up with my wood base later (and it was easier to protect my new flooring).

Island being painted with small foam roller.

To build the base, I used 1×6 poplar boards (the same wood I used to build our new kitchen cabinets). I decided to build the base out 10″ past the edge of the current cabinets. That left a few inches of overhang still.

I cut a 1 piece of wood to the desired length with a 45 degree angle on one end, 1 piece the desired width (3 1/2″) with 45 degree angles on both ends, 1 piece 10″ with a 45 degree angle on one end, and 1 2″ x 10″ (for the top of the base).

Pieces of hardwood to build the decorative base for the kitchen island makeover.

Using wood glue and my Ryobi battery powered nail gun, I created the base/feet of the new kitchen island. Then it was time for a dry fit (super scary). Luckily it worked perfectly!!!!

So I hurried and whipped up the second base making sure to mirror it for the other side of the island.

Dry fitting the new base of the farmhouse kitchen island for the remodel.

Because my mitered angles kinda suck (I’m still learning), I had to fill some spots with wood filler.

I also gave the nail holes a little filler too. I let this dry and then sanded it all smooth.

Wood filler used to create a seamless surface on the new kitchen island makeover.

Next was attaching the table legs. I was worried this would be a pain, but it was so easy. Mark the area you want to attach the leg to and drill a pilot hole all the way through. Try to keep the drill super straight.

Table legs being attached to a thick base for the kitchen island makeover.

Apply a good amount of wood glue to the bottom of the turned leg and then carefully start the 2″ wood screw in from the underside of the base. Once it is barely poking out, center the leg on it and secure.

You might have to twist the leg to make it square to the base, but I couldn’t believe how secure it was with just 1 wood screw (and I knew it would be even better once the wood glue dried.

Table leg used to create a farmhouse kitchen island shown with drill.

I did another dry fit and had to trim the top of the leg about 1/4″ to fit snuggly under our kitchen island. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked!!!

what While the sides were in place, I made a quick measurement for the base I needed to go between the two pieces and cut it to prepare for paint too.

The new island bases shown attached to kitchen island prior to painting.

Next it was time for painting. I gave everything a couple coats of Durango Blue by Behr with my HomeRight Super FinishMax sprayer. Check out all my tips for how to paint unfinished cabinets with the sprayer.

The weather was turning bad and I could see the dark gray rain clouds moving in so I was working quick. Luckily the paint sprayer made quick work of it and I was able to get 2 coats on everything in just a couple hours.

Wood pieces for kitchen island shown outside on tarp being painted with paint sprayer.

After everything was dry, it was time for the magic to happen. It was so quick to place the painted base with post under the kitchen island and nail it into place.

Farmhouse kitchen island shown with a chunky base and turned table legs.

It was instant how the new build out totally transformed the kitchen island from boring and basic to a piece of furniture in the center of my beautiful new kitchen!

Kitchen island shown painted blue with gold hardware.

I still plan on adding a polycrylic coating to the paint to protect it further from wear and tear, but it is good to wait a few days to let the paint dry fully. I just was so excited I couldn’t wait.

Brass hardware on a soft navy kitchen island.

And I even got the new hardware that I partnered with Liberty Hardware for on the island.

The brass cup pulls and knobs are so pretty and I love the mixed metal with the stainless steel island top.

Inexpensive turned table legs shown on beautiful blue kitchen island makeover.

You can see the hardware I chose here and here. It’s all turning out so perfect!

Close up of Brass cup pulls on this navy kitchen island makeover.
Turn a basic kitchen island into a centerpiece with this easy kitchen island makeover. The navy blue kitchen island with stainless steel top is perfect. Housefulofhandmade.com

Farmhouse Kitchen Island Makeover

Yield: One Farmhouse Kitchen Island Makeover
Prep Time: 1 day
Active Time: 1 day
Total Time: 2 days
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $200
Turn your kitchen island into a centerpiece of your farmhouse kitchen with this easy makeover.

Materials

  • 2 Country Table Legs 29" 
  • 1x6 Poplar Boards
  • Behr Durango Blue Paint
  • Polycrylic Coating
  • Brass Cup Pulls and Knob Handles

Tools

  • Corner Cat Sander
  • Tack Cloth
  • Foam Roller
  • Paint Brush
  • Nail Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Drill
  • Wood Screws
  • HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer

Instructions

  1. Remove cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  2. Sand with a corner cat sander.
  3. Clean everything with a tack cloth
  4. Paint the kitchen island with paint brush and foam rollers.
  5. Cut 4 pieces of wood the desired length and width with a 45 degree angle on one end.
  6. Using wood glue and your Ryobi battery powered nail gun, create the base/feet of the new kitchen island. 
  7. Fill any spots with wood filler and sand.
  8. Attach the table legs by marking the area you want to attach the leg to and drill a pilot hole all the way through. 
  9. Apply a good amount of wood glue to the bottom of the turned leg and then carefully start the 2″ wood screw in from the underside of the base.
  10. Measure a piece of wood for the base to go between the two pieces and cut it to prepare for paint too.
  11. Use the paint sprayer to paint everything with two coats of paint.
  12. Place the painted base with post under the kitchen island and nail it into place.
  13. Add the drawer fronts with hardware.
  14. Finish with a polycrylic clear coat.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

And don’t forget to check out these other amazing Furniture Flippers. It might be time to take a look at your home or visit the thrift store and have some fun this summer!

The furniture flippers image with collage of 6 wood pieces prior to refinishing.

1- How to Get Beautiful Results with Black Furniture Wax – Just the Woods

2- A Beachy Desk Makeover with Chalk Paint – Repurpose and Upcycle

3- How to Make a Herringbone Table Top with Paint Sticks – Lovely Etc.

4- Refinished Antique Cabinet with Black and White Decorative Paper – Refresh Living

5- Farmhouse Kitchen Island Makeover – Houseful of Handmade

6- 5 of the Best Furniture Pieces to Buy and Flip – A Fresh Squeezed Life

 

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

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Elizabeth

Thursday 6th of December 2018

Fantastic makeover! Your island looks beautiful. Love the blue color and the addition of table legs makes it look more custom and high end.

Kati

Friday 14th of December 2018

Thanks Elizabeth! The table legs really made a huge difference.

Jenny

Thursday 10th of May 2018

Genius idea to use table legs as an inexpensive option to counter legs! I love the blue color of your island and lower cabinets - your new kitchen is going to look fabulous!

Kati

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

Thanks so much Jenny! I was too cheap to buy the other ones and I am so glad I didnt because these look just as amazing!

Amanda @ life on linton

Thursday 10th of May 2018

I love that blue color! What counter tops did you put on your island? Do they match the rest of your kitchen? - Amanda @ lifeonlinton.com

Kati

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

Thank you Amanda! The kitchen island is stainless steel (already on there and we love it so we kept it) and the rest of the counter tops are white quartz.

Lindsey Manning

Tuesday 8th of May 2018

Wow what a stunning transformation! This is a great post for me to see because I want to create my own unique farmhouse island in our new home, so this is awesome inspiration!

Kati

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

Thanks Lindsey! I love how it turned out and it was super easy to do. Go for it girl!

Carrie

Friday 4th of May 2018

This turned out beautiful! Love the tip for creating inexpensive legs and that color is awesome. Great job!

Kati

Tuesday 8th of May 2018

Thanks Carrie! The legs really turned out great for so much cheaper :)

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