DIY Kitchen Island Makeover {with Plywood and Lumber}

So glad I bit the bullet and revamped our builder grade kitchen island! It is amazing what a little plywood, 1x4 and 2x4 can do for an ordinary cabinet. Add a little paint and stain, and we have a brand new island!
I was so tired of our Oak Laminate Cabinets. The older they get the more "orange" they become!
I wrapped the laminate in birch plywood and trimmed it out with 2x4's.
The wainscoting and trim was created with 1x4's.
Two coats of taupe paint {it is amazing that it changes colors depending on the light}, dry brushed with black paint, and then rubbed with stain.
As the legs were exceeded the existing countertop, we swapped it out for a new butcher block counter top.
Still waiting on the new hardware, but I am still loving what a little plywood, lumber and paint could do for this boring builder grade cabinet!

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Shaunna @ Tempting Thyme

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Cathy
    on Jul 10, 2019

    Great job! You said “Two coats of taupe paint {it is amazing that it changes colors depending on the light}, dry brushed with black paint, and then rubbed with stain.” Could I get you to elaborate a little? I’d like to do the exact same technique and color!

    • Shaunna @ Tempting Thyme
      on Jul 11, 2019

      Thank you Cathy! The two coats of paint were pretty straight up, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before going to the next step. I also lightly sanded between coats, as the grain raised up some when painted and I wanted a very smooth finish when running my hands over it. For the dry brushing I dipped the paint brush just to get the ends wet and then brushed the brush over a paper plate to get rid of all of the excess paint. You will want an almost dry brush so that you can manipulate and 'drag' the black in the areas that you want. I did not paint the entire island......only certain areas. My favorite part is the last step, wiping the entire cabinet with a brown or grey stain (or both) and then 'rubbing' it into the wood. If you are unsure of the look then practice on a piece of lumber first. Let me know if you have any other questions. Shaunna

Join the conversation

2 of 62 comments
  • Susan Rawlings
    on Feb 12, 2016

    Wow, it looks great--lots of character.

  • Heje
    on Nov 27, 2018

    Good work on making this a less than ordinary island. Love the color! Thanks for sharing.

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