DIY Kitchen Island

by Samantha
Leading up to the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I were trying to decide what we should spend our free time doing. We settled on trying to build ourselves an island for our kitchen using the wood we had pulled out of our house. (We are in the process of renovating a 1900 farmhouse, and in the process, had to pull down the original shiplap to replace the insulation.)
The first thing that I got started with was pulling all of the nails out of the reclaimed planks. I could not believe the number of nails that were in those boards! We saved the square-head steels nails to re-use for attaching the top.
Then all of the planks were sanded down on both sides. I started with 60 grit, and worked my way up to 100.
Meanwhile, my husband had sketched out a rough design plan, and got started building the frame. We decided to purchase 2x4s for the frame, which ended up being our only cost. We had strarted the design process standing in our gutted kitchen laying pieces of wood on the flooring trying to envision how big this island needed to be. We settled on 3'x5'x3.5'.
This was all done under the watchful eye of our muddy pawed supervisor :P
My husband added the short pieces inside the frames for support.
We had originally wanted to use table legs for the legs of the island, but Ace Hardware didn't care those and we *really* wanted to finish the project on the weekend. We settle on using an "L" shape for the legs. A reclaimed 2x4 was screwed onto each side of the corner to create the leg.
We were able to finish the frame, and put all 4 legs on the island before we ran out of daylight
The next day we focused on putting the top onto the island. We had planned on a 4" overhang on all sides, but ran into a small snag. We found there were gaps between the planks, because they were hand sawn (is that even a word??). To try and reduce the gaps, we ran each side of the planks through the table saw by a bladewidth...and it worked! For the most part, anyway. By doing this, we lost about 3/4", which threw off our 4" plan, but not by much.

We glued each piece in place, before using the square headed nails to further secure the tops.
We also added the planks on the bottom, because we felt this would be a comfortable place to rest your feet when either sitting or standing.

We also resanded some of the edges that were missed.
Then came the stain! We are in love with the end product, and can't wait to see what it looks like in our finished kitchen. We still need to sand and seal the top, but we're waiting to do that until we have somewhere to store the island other than my in-laws garage. :)

I wanted to share this project, because we aren't professionals and this isn't a project that we've done before or even had plans for! We asked lots of questions of friends and neighbors who knew more than we did, and we learned as we went. If you can think of it, you can do it! Don't be afraid to try something new! :)

Check out our blog to see the rest of our house project!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • GBK GBK on Apr 16, 2017
    I don't see the reclaimed 2 x 4 that was screwed into each side of the frame to make the legs, just the shiplap. Where is it, and is the shiplap then screwed to that?

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2 of 49 comments
  • Joanie Joanie on Oct 06, 2017
    Love this!!! Want one home made like is gorgeous!!

  • Roseyelowhair Roseyelowhair on Jan 14, 2019

    Job well done for sure! Looks pretty and durable. Instructions make it look so easy. You should make and sell these tables.