Melissa Woods
Melissa Woods
  • Hometalker
  • Saint Joseph, MN

Desk to Kitchen Island Transformation

13 Materials
3 Weeks

Hey everyone! I have a really awesome furniture transformation to share with you today. I bought an old lawyer's desk made of real wood that is SUPER large for only $75 including delivery off Craigslist. I saw its potential to transform it into a functional DIY kitchen island for our home!

desk to kitchen island transformation

Step 1 - Replace Legs. In order to change the desk height of 30" to a counter height of 34," I needed to remove the legs and build new ones. I constructed legs from 2 x 4's and attached them using my Kreg Jig and screws.

desk to kitchen island transformation

Step 2 - Paint. The next thing I did was paint the whole piece. I started out painting it with black chalk paint that matched what the previous owner's of our house painted the kitchen cabinets. With this paint I didn't need to use a primer, but when the finish dried I wasn't happy with its appearance. It was too matte and it showed many imperfections. So later I went over it again with a semi-gloss black and was much happier.

desk to kitchen island transformation

Step 3 - Create Storage in Middle. I unscrewed the track for the middle drawer and moved it to the middle of the center cavity. This would work as a pull out drawer for the middle storage space. I added a piece of 1/2 thick birch plywood to the bottom of this cavity and another as its door.

desk to kitchen island transformation
desk to kitchen island transformation

Step 4 - Countertop. The top that came with this lawyer's desk was very large, but not quite as large as I would have liked. In order for this DIY kitchen island to fit to scale with our space and the pendant lights we chose above, I built a new countertop. I found three closet doors on clearance for only $10 a piece! One I had to cut down to add between the other two making the countertop the right width for a 10 inch overhang on three sides of the island. I secured the countertop to the desk using wood glue, screws, and brackets for support on the overhang.

desk to kitchen island transformation

Step 5 - Finishing Touches. I installed bar pulls to match the hardware on my existing kitchen cabinets. I also added a magnetic latch to the bottom of the center door. I finished the counter off with four coats of polycrylic for protection.

desk to kitchen island transformation

Here is the finished project! I think I could easily get five bar stools around this guy if we utilized all three sides of the overhang. It's an amazing work space and has tons of storage. Come on over to follow me on Facebook if you liked this DIY and want to see more!

desk to kitchen island transformation

We love all the drawers and the pull out "cutting boards" that were once extra tabletop for the desk. It's the perfect kitchen island solution for our family!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
18 Adorable Bird Feeders You'll Want To Make Right Now
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
31 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
The Easiest Ways to Grow a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
31 Space-Saving DIY Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
Melissa Woods

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions

Join the conversation

2 of 43 comments
Your comment...