From Kitchen Island to Peninsula - Kitchen Remodel

We wanted to use some wasted space in our kitchen and add a peninsula but new cabinets were PRICEY! We added a lazy Susan to the end of our cabinets and repurposed our island to add this much more functional bar/peninsula. We LOVE it! I used General Finishes Java gel stain to stain the cabinets and my husband laid the laminate wood flooring. We are loving our new and more functional kitchen!!
We started by tearing out this lovely built in desk area in the kitchen. I ask that you PLEASE ignore the mess and disarray inside my cabinets throughout the transition!!
When we first bought the house, the lovely green backsplash was the first update I swore I was going to do. I was careful, but it was a long - and painful Sunday tearing all of the tiles out! We knew that we would be having some drywall repair work done - whoever put this backsplash on did a FABULOUS job!
We had actually planned to paint our cabinets, but decided last minute after researching, that we would stain them instead. From everything we read, General Finishes Java Gel stain is the best. I found a place to buy the stain the next morning, grabbed some rubber gloves and old socks and got started. - Before starting - I washed the cabinets and doors and very lightly sanded with a 220 grain sandpaper. I didn't spend much time sanding at all - the stain adheres extremely well.
First coat! I just kept shaking my head because they started changing immediately! Staining the cabinets was extremely easy! To achieve our finish, it took 4 coats with at least a day of drying time in between. Be patient!! It gets streaky between coats, but don't worry and keep going! The only difficult thing was finding a good place to dry all of the doors in the midst of summer with loads of children running in and out!
This was the transition of moving the peninsula over. We had someone come in and give us quotes on cabinets and it was outrageous! We found a lazy susan for the corner at Menards for about $200 and moved the island over. It took some moving and leveling - my husband worked for his uncle remodeling when he was younger and it helped a ton!
He built a frame around the lazy susan so that our granite would have stability. We added the bead board to the back and side to give it a little bit of design. - this also shows the drywall finally repaired under the cabinets. It was a busy few days!
After the counters were added, I painted the bead board a shiny black to match the cabinets.
In addition to all of the golden oak cabinetry, we had golden oak laminate flooring throughout the kitchen/entry that was extremely shiny. We discussed hard wood and tile but fell in love with this laminate wood flooring that we found at home depot. My husband tore up the carpet in our dining area and laid the flooring himself. It was time consuming, but ended up saving us about $3500!
After the 4th coat of stain, I added 2 coats of polyurethane. I used Minwax and had great results. I applied it using the same process as the stain - a rubber glove and sock. - my husband is pleased with his new kitchen AND drawer of brand new socks!

This picture is after adding the backsplash and a fresh coat of paint.
This is the final picture after adding our new light fixtures and stainless appliances. We did invest quite a bit into the kitchen, but there were many ways that we saved money - staining the cabinets, repurposing the island, and choosing a less expensive flooring that we laid ourselves. (I LOVE the flooring - it's the first sample that I looked at that I really liked)
And finally, I purchased this hutch at a consignment shop. I stained the top and then used chalk paint to add a pop of color to the kitchen. I loved the hinges but they we brass and I wanted it all to match. I spray painted them black and they match great! - I will add the rest of the steps in another post.

Thank you for following our update! It's been a fun process!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • James StClaire James StClaire on Sep 26, 2017

    How did your husband secure the lazy susan to wall and adjoining cabinet? Looking to do similar without the 7k price tag.

  • Cathy Almon Cathy Almon on Oct 21, 2017

    Do you remember how much general finish gel stain it took?

  • Danette Bishop Danette Bishop on May 02, 2020

    What chalk paint did you use for the hutch? It’s a beautiful color.

Join the conversation
3 of 37 comments
  • I also lost the small island, mine had a cooktop with no space for anything else. The island removal was the best thing ever and peninsula made more sense!

  • Caree Crosby Kovacevich Caree Crosby Kovacevich on Dec 06, 2023

    Thank you for sharing this! We have a decent sized U-shaped kitchen with a big island in the middle, that is too close to our fridge and right where the kids sit at the island. Stools are always in the way in the swing of the fridge door. We were thinking about doing something like this, converting an island to a peninsula. But you don't find many examples of this, most people go the opposite way: peninsula to island. Good job! To retain some of the island, afterwards if there is room, we might put a smaller mobile island in the middle.