While our kitchen had a nice working triangle there were absolutely no usable drawers to store kitchen utensils and pot holders around the range cook top. This island solves that problem with the use of a recycled cabinet. The drawer and cabinet below provide storage as well as the little shelf on top that is perfect for pot holders and trivets.
And because we ended up with less open shelving in the kitchen remodel than I had initially planned, we opted to have an open end on the kitchen island cart for our daily dishes. We love just reaching down for our bowls and plates as we serve food. Beauty and practicality. Got to love it!
For the top we used rough cut walnut wood. While it was extra work to rip the pieces down and a lot of extra sanding, but we love this hardworking, unique approach to an island top.
For complete details and a design plan for this project, please visit my website,
We used the Ryobi Circular Saw attached to the Kreg Rip-Cut which allows you to connect a circular saw to a guide to rip a straight cut.
Then we cut the base board that would become the bottom shelf and where the cabinet would be screwed into.
The board we had was too large for the Kreg Rip-Cut, but I found this Ryobi saw and on board cutting guide made easy work of making straight cuts.
Here’s a view of the pieces coming together. We used varying sizes of wood screws depending on the depth of the wood being attached.
For the legs of the island, I didn’t really want to use a turned leg. I felt the chippendale style fit our kitchen better and the perfectly square design would facilitate the addition of a shelf very easily.
We simply cut a square notch out of the center shelf to wrap around the legs.
And supported the shelf with L-brackets on the front and a cleat attached to the cabinet on the back.
Once we got all of our pieces together, we made a final decision on the height of the island, factoring the legs, wheels and the height of the walnut top. Our goal height was 36″, the exact height of the surrounding counter.
The chippendale legs were thicker than the saw blade, but we simply flipped the island over and cut from the other side to finish the cut.
To properly attach the legs to the bottom of the island we used a threaded brass insert, which reduces the possibility of striping the wood when it accepts a threaded screw when attaching legs to wood.
We didn’t need to use the threaded inserts for the wheels. (Neither of us can remember exactly why. We think it was because the wood the legs were made of was very hard
All that was left was cutting the bead board to wrap around the cabinet and sides, finishing off with corner trim. Here’s a look at all the pieces prior to painting.
Because the walnut was rough cut, meaning the edges were not square or particularly straight. We bit the bullet and purchased a Ryobi table saw. Southern Accents would have been happy to mill our wood for us, but we wanted to do it ourselves. What we didn’t know is that walnut is an extremely hard wood and was the one of the few things the Ryobi Circular saw couldn’t cut for very long with out causing a nuisance trip. (I was told by the Ryobi product manager that the Li-Ion batteries have an overload protection chip inside that keep them from overheating. In essence, they trip to protect your investment in the battery. So it’s a good thing!) The Ryobi table saw cut through the walnut with ease and it was very easy to produce straight cuts.
Once the walnut was cut, we used a Kreg Jig Master System to drill pocket holes and added screws to secure the walnut boards together to form a top to cover the island.
After numerous passes with the sander, starting with 60 grit and ending with 200, the top looked like this.
For a protective finish, I used a clear satin wipe-on poly. You can see the difference here between unfinished and finished. The walnut was extremely porous. I ended up using about 6 coats of poly, following each coat with rube down with a fine steal wool. I could easily apply a new coat every 3 to 4 hours. Thankfully, it was dry and hot then, so it only took me a couple days.
To secure the top to the cart we used “L shaped” aluminum strip. Be sure to use screws that are shorter than you top boards. The aluminum strip was placed to fit exactly inside the top and was then screwed in on the left and right front of the cabinet.
While the finishing of the walnut top was going on in the basement, I worked on painting the base of the island indoors.
I started with a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg. After I got the first coat on, I realized we left off the apron on the open shelf side of the cabinet.
So, I cut a spacer board and a piece of bead board to fill in the gap and simply screwed them in place with wood screws like we did in the rest of the island.
In the end, I finished the whole piece with a wash of Paris Gray Annie Sloan Chalk Paint followed by a top coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax with just hints of Dark Wax.