This dream of having a kitchen island started with a dresser we found at a local resale shop. It was a bit taller than your standard dresser and made the perfect height for an island, and thus, the dresser to island conversion project was born.
If you’re looking to start a upcyled project that will look amazing in your home, this would be an amazing place to start. It’t the perfect blend of rustic and beautiful. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself.
Where to Start
If you’re lookiung for the perfect piece of furniture to flip upcycled into a kitchen island here are a few things to consider.
- Height-you want to make sure your piece is comfortable enough for you to stand and portional to whatever barstools you think you may like
- Length-make sure your piece is not only porpotional for your space but also makes sense for your family. We chose something longer so we could seat at least 3 at a time.
- Material-If using a dresser with a veneer like mine, I highly recommend replacing the top with a hardwood. You will likel be removing it anyway to expand your surface area and make it take on more of an island feel.
- Function-I chose a dresser with plenty of drawers for added kitchen storage
This is what the dresser looked like orginally. In all it’s orangey-veneered glory. There she was, just begging for a facelift. But she met all of my checkmarks above and I knew she would be a perfect fit for the space.
Next came the demo. I use the words “demo” loosely. There was a couple weeks between the time we brought her home and actually got to work. I took a pry bar to the top to loosen and knocked it out with a hammer. We also removed all the drawers and hardware, just to see what we were working with.
The original plan was to just paint all the drawers, use the orginal hardware and put it back together.
It was only after I had it taken a part that I realized we could rework the structure a bit to make it more stable for our family. This was going to be a high traffic area for us so we knew replacing some of the origianl pressed board with 1x4 would be smart in the ling run.
We took out the top row all together and installed shiplap-type planks to the bottom and back. The shiplap served two purposes. As a pretty finish but also as a way to cover up the bracing boards.
On a side note, the milk can strainers you see here are for out next kitchen project I was “measuring” to see with we will need two or three. But thats a different project for a different day.
Are there other ways to make an upcycled kitchen island?
I wanted to make this piece look as authentically aged as possible. To do that I used three different General Finishes Milk Paint and their stain blocking primer to acheive a chippy aged finish.
Another element to making this island look nice and aged was the hardware. Regular, new and shiney hardware wasn’t gonna cut it. What ages a piece quicker than rust, right? I know what you’re thinking…Where do I get rusty hardware? I have a solution for that too!
A Special Touch (aka MORE rust)
Once complete, we needed to devise a way to support the extra weight. Josh, in all of his creative genius, remebered these old rusty farm implements he pulled from a barn back in the Spring. I mean talk about hearing angelic voices sing. These little beauties worked like a daggum charm and made the perfect additon to this upcycled dresser kitchen island.
My handymen once again came to my rescue, popped a couple of holes in these bad boys and braced them up perfectly. Okay, I made that sound way easier than it really was. These old farmhouse implements were thick and did not give way to the electric drill very easily but it got the job done!
Top it Off
With the paint and hardware nailed down, we set out on a whole separate journey of it’s own, in building our DIY rustic island countertop.
BUT it was exactly what this piece needed, the final touch…that beautiful and carefully aged solid maple finally found her resting place and oooooh my word she is a beaut! What do you think?
Now that I look at these bolt, I think I will be rusting the using the same technique that I used for the hardware.…what do you think?
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