FINISHED RENOVATION: Part 1. Repurposed Sideboard/Kitchen Island

I told a lot of people that I would post pictures and information on the blog about the renovation we did last year. I pretty much failed miserably at that.

Instead of doing a long blog about the whole thing, I decided to divide it up into little pieces. Much more manageable for me and certainly less overwhelming.

I guess it would be logical to start with walls coming down, or the new floor being put down. I’ll get to those. I decided to start with the repurposed kitchen island first because it has become of one the major items of discussion when people come over.

This was one of those cases where necessity was the mother of invention. I had bids from four different cabinet suppliers and all of the bids were way over budget. I didn’t want to drop the quality, because this is our forever house and I wanted what we did to last. I went with Tuscan Hills Cabinetry, which is a Costco supplier. I worked directly with Tuscan Hills, via telephone, photos, video, and computer. It was not an easy or fast process. But we got a discount, plus easy close drawers and doors, and plywood box construction. So in the end it was certainly worth it.

So I had this piece that I picked up in Florence, Colorado for $150.00. It is a sideboard, complete with velvet lined drawers for silverware. I liked it because it had clean lines without a lot of froufrou. I originally thought about using it for the master bathroom sink, but the more I looked at it the more it seemed to be a great piece for the kitchen island.

So I discussed the vision with Mike Baier, My Awesome Contractor. We measured. We taped the floor in the kitchen. We decided it could work.

Here is the piece before I started working on it.

Sideboard before
Sideboard before

Here it is during. Note the new construction in the background. We built another side to double the size of the island.

Sideboard During

I used Sherwin Williams primer on the old wood construction sideboard as well as the new oak new construction add on. Then I sanded some of it off. The new construction got some whacks with a heavy wrench so that it didn’t look so new.

Then I applied one coat of an aqua paint. Sanded some of that off. Then I applied the polyurethane. Guess what? The two pieces looked COMPLETELY different. The old stain and varnish from the sideboard caused a really cool green/aqua coloration. The new wood stayed aqua.

Well that was not going to work.

So I got out wood stain pens. You know, the kind you use to fix scratches on furniture? I applied stain, rubbed it in. Repeat. Mixed a few drops of brown paint into the Poly and applied. Rubbed some of that off. Applied some more. More rubbing off. Puddled some in the corners. When I finally got the look I wanted I went over all of it with one more coat of Poly.

island door

Then we brought both pieces upstairs and put them together.



In the new wood addition I have a keyhole for my stool so that I can sit while I prep vegetables. There is a small prep sink on one side, and an in the countertop compost bucket on the other side. I love this and am so glad I did it. In the space on either side are paper towels, and cutting boards on the other side.



Deep space for Food Saver storage etc..

finish buIMG_6677


The cost of the oak for the new construction was less than $100.00.  The cost of the paint was negligable.  Granted, I spent a lot of hours working on the finish, but that was a labor of love.  In the end, we got a very functional, custom island for a fraction of the cost of new cabinet construction.

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