How to Update a Builder-Grade Kitchen Island With Trim and Paint

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I've been working on making over my kitchen cabinets for some time now, and I've made it to the part of my renovation where it was time to tackle the kitchen island! Here it is--nothing special, just your basic, builder-grade island with laminate countertop.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
My plan was to change out the laminate countertop for a new butcher-block countertop that is wider, to accommodate 2 bar stools.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
Removing the countertop was a simple project! Just watch out for those nails :) I also wanted to add some custom wood trim work to dress up the basic island frame.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
I used all basic materials you can find at Home Depot and made the few simple mitre cuts (for the baseboards) using just a mitre box and hand saw. I did have a nail gun to attach the trim, but if you don't have one of those, you can use Liquid Nails and a few finish nails--that will work just fine!
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
The key to professional-looking trim work is to caulk and fill every nail hole and seam before you paint! You can see more of the step-by-step plan for how I installed the trim on this post: Click HERE to see the process of installing the trim
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
After installing the countertop and trim, the next step was to paint the island. I wanted a two-color, distressed finish, so I started with a deep brown.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
This color is called Chocolate from Fusion Mineral Paint. Fusion is a fantastic paint to use on cabinetry because it will cure up to be waterproof, stain-proof, and highly durable! I walk through more on my process of prepping cabinets to paint on my blog, so please check that out! Click HERE to see the full prep process
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
Using a wax block in between colors helped me create a great, layered finish--you can see more of the step, by step photos in my post.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
Here is my island all finished!! The paint has been on for a few months now and is holding up fantastically!
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
I really love the extra seating we got by extending the countertop, and the farmhouse warmth the butcher block top adds to my space.
how to update and builder grade kitchen island with trim and paint, kitchen design, kitchen island, painted furniture
Please visit my blog to see ALL of the step by step details for the trim I used, how I installed it, and how I got that great, layered finish--plus more all about Fusion Mineral Paint. Thank you!!
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Beth
    on Feb 2, 2017

    Nice job! Can I ask what the height is of you counter stools?

  • Ashley
    on Jun 12, 2017

    How did you attach the poplar strips? I'm doing something similar in my kitchen but they keep warping.

  • Bycjeanmaq
    4 days ago

    How was the butcher block top on the island treated, or finished? It looks like wood burning, maybe?

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