{Kitchen Island Re-Do}–before & after

My kitchen island is a project that I have wanted to get done for a while and I can finally cross that off my to-do list.

My island before was pretty basic, although it did have beadboard wrapped around it.  But it was nothin special, just kinda builder boring.

I wanted to customize the island by adding some molding and some posts.  Lucky for me I got some posts for free so that saved me a few bucks, and they were the perfect size :)



I started by adding some baseboard molding around the entire island.  I had to pop off the corner trim put on by the builder. 



The back side of the island used to have the toe kick, but I wanted it to look custom and more like a piece of furniture.  So to get the baseboard trim to wrap around, I had to use the table saw to cut off about an inch so it wouldn’t hit the cabinet doors.



Next, I took some pre-cut poplar strips from lowes in 3 1/2 in widths and framed out the sides and back.  Santi also had to move over the outlet so it wouldn’t get in the way of the molding, while he was at it, we swapped it out for a black outlet and black cover. 


Where the corbels were, I just used the jigsaw and cut those to fit


Then I put the posts on.  I just used some liquid nail on the top and bottom of each post so they arent going anywhere.  I also nailed them to the wood floor and to the wood that is under the granite.  I thought about adding some trim around the base of the posts, im still undecided on that…


After all that was done, we sanded down the doors and used my paint sprayer to paint those.  The rest of the island was painted just using a good brush and SW All Purpose Enamel in Tri-Corn black in a satin finish.  The paint went on awesome, and you can hardly see any brush marks.  I didn’t prime the island itself, just light sanded it and cleaned it well.  The doors were primed with an adhesion primer from Sherwin Williams, just because they will get a lot of use.  And if you read my last paragraph you will know why I decided not to clear coat it at this time…

And after…


See all the dust already!!  Its only been done a week!








So, that was my 1st project of 2012!  Its one of many that I need to get done – the list is long!  And, I have never liked the darker cream of my cabinets, they look lighter in pics than they really are.  So soon I will be painting my cabinets a lighter cream, cant wait for that!  You can see in the pic below how much lighter they will be with this sample cabinet I painted. 


SO – I love the way the island turned out, the molding looks awesome and changes it from builder boring to custom – BUT, I don’t know if I am loving the black!!  IT kinda looks heavy to me and I really want a lighter feel to my house.  SO – should I paint it the lighter cream of the rest of my cabinets when those get done?  I cant decide!!  I think I will live with it for a while and see – I do seem to change my mind about a lot of things from week to week!!

*and sorry for the crappy pics – it was a gloomy day here, but this is the only day that my house has been half way clean!!*

72 replies
  1. House of Smiths
    House of Smiths says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! You're going to DIE when you see what we've been working on! LOL! Why do we always think so alike!? … Seriously, I think we hatched from the same egg :)
    I may or may not be calling you soon to have you paint some island cabinets. Ha!… Now if I could just decide on the color…

  2. Lissa Leigh
    Lissa Leigh says:

    I think my vote is all white!!!! I just think it's classic and you can't go wrong with that! It'll stand the test of time longer than the black island will;)

  3. Tyrell
    Tyrell says:

    I LOOOOVVVVVEEEEE the black! It looks so good and you are genius for thinking of it! It is a little heavy but your house/kitchen looks so big that it almost doesn't matter.

    (I'm sure while will look great too but I can't get over how amazing the black looks)

  4. Becca
    Becca says:

    I think the black looks FanTastTic! Love it. Of course, with the cabinets painted it may look totally different. But for now- top notch results- as usual! Great job!

  5. Miranda
    Miranda says:

    I love it! If it were me, I would leave the island for now and wait until the other cabinets are painted. I personally love the black, and living with something for a while is helpful in deciding whether you love it or not.

    You did a great job.

  6. jcreviston
    jcreviston says:

    I love the black island!!!!

    I had creamish/yellow cabinets when I moved into my home.. I hate them. I just used your recipe for stain and glaze and fixed that issue.

    I love your island… makes the cogs in my head start working for my own island!

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I have black and white cabinets and I love the look but hate how the black shows the dirt and finger marks more. My black cabinets have white/grey c/top and my white have black/white c/top so I like the blend. I would say for your's to see how much traffic it gets and if you like all the scuffs, etc that shows up. It looks great with the table more than I think white would. Great job!!

  8. rachel @ gilly grey
    rachel @ gilly grey says:

    Oooh, that's a toughie! I know exactly what you mean about changing your mind from week to week. That's exactly how my brain works too. I love the black on this even though I usually go with white all the way! I really like the contrast the black island brings with the rest of the kitchen. I think the only thing that's throwing me off is that the kitchen table is dark as well. Honestly, I think it will look great either way!


  9. Mandy
    Mandy says:

    That (the painting) is exactly what I want to do to my island…it's stained brown, looks blah! I think the black looks AWESOME & will make your lighter cabinets really pop!

    Great (as always) job! :)

  10. Kandlestix
    Kandlestix says:

    I love how custom the island turned out. I think that the darkness of the island and the lights color on the cabinets will be just the right contrast. Can't wait to see it finished!

  11. ohiofarmgirl
    ohiofarmgirl says:

    Wow, What a difference. I am just wishing I had an island…let alone do a make-over on it!! Your cabinets are going to be beautiful! Dianntha

  12. April @ The Painted Cupboard
    April @ The Painted Cupboard says:

    Sausha, it looks AMAZING!!! I love the black! I could see how you would think the black could look a little heavy but, I think it looks great no matter what! Great job :)

  13. Kimmy G
    Kimmy G says:

    I love the black and think it turned out great. I like the contrast with the cabinets as they are – the "new" color may be too light against the island.

  14. Pine Tree Home
    Pine Tree Home says:

    Great job. I do like the black and white contrast. If you absolutely hate the black, try painting the island a muted color, like sage blue or gray. That way you still have contrast, but the island stands out. I love what you did with the molding by the cabinet doors. Genius. I wish I knew this when I constructed my island. I'd love to have mine looking like this!

  15. April & Michael
    April & Michael says:

    I love your kitchen and that island is AWESOME! My vote is to stick with the black at least until you get your cabinets painted b/c you might like it better with the lighter cabinets. I love when cabinets and islands don't match. If you have time can you tell me where you bought your kitchen table? It is just my style.

  16. April & Michael
    April & Michael says:

    I love your kitchen and that island is AWESOME! My vote is to stick with the black at least until you get your cabinets painted b/c you might like it better with the lighter cabinets. I love when cabinets and islands don't match. If you have time can you tell me where you bought your kitchen table? It is just my style.

  17. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    It looks amazing! But I know exactly what you mean about it feeling heavy. That's where I am with our house too… I want everything light! Paint the rest of the cabinets, and then see!

  18. Korrie@RedHenHome
    Korrie@RedHenHome says:

    The island looks beautiful. I like the black, but I can understand that next to the black table it may look heavy. But I do love the look of the contrast. Is there another color you could consider using? Like maybe a pale sage green or something?

  19. Reenie
    Reenie says:

    I love the contrast of the black and white, and the black island matches your table. I agree with another poster, paint your cabinets first…and then decide.

    Your kitchen is beautiful. :)

  20. Sandee
    Sandee says:

    Ooo, I love it! Although if it were me I'd probably go all white! Is that the sample cabinet you said you painted with the B.M. White Dove paint from my barn door? Your island reminds me a lot of what we did with ours minus the legs. It looks so good!!! Can't wait to see the rest of the cabinets repainted! :)

  21. Jen-CraftOManiac
    Jen-CraftOManiac says:

    I think it looks GREAT! You do such amazing work. If you feel like its heavy, I think to lighten it up so its not black on black, paint the bar stools the same color as your cabinets. You could even do that with your kitchen chairs then you have a fun matching contrast going on. All in all, love the chunky legs you gave the bar. xo, jen

  22. Stephanie Walker
    Stephanie Walker says:

    I really like the black!! If it's too dark for you I would suggest doing at least a different color than the cabinets. I like the contrast of the two different colors. I've seen pretty shades of green or a gray color would look great too. Your kitchen looks great!!!

  23. heidi
    heidi says:

    Love the look of your island. I'm just wishing I had one I could do the same thing to.
    I'm like you, trying to get my house to be light and airy looking and feeling. But I think once you paint the cabinets the lighter color the black island won't seem heavy at all.

  24. Christa @ Stories of a House
    Christa @ Stories of a House says:

    Well I personally am in LOVE with the black. It is unexpected and gives the eye something to land on. But, I know you are a light and airy girl, so you must do what makes you happy. The lighter white cabinets will look wonderful, too!

  25. Nanci
    Nanci says:

    I really really like the black and then when I read that you really like a lighter look for your house, I was surprised you painted it black. I say live with a while and see after you paint the rest of the cabinets while. You may find it grounds the space. You did an amazing job to a hum drum island…I'm impressed.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I Love, Love, Love the look. Really makes the island stand out. I would have to see another picture of your living room, if I remember right your living room is light and airy? Maybe when you look at both room together you think the black is to heavy?

  27. Jan
    Jan says:

    Grrreat job! Your workmanship is superb. And the black is rich! Please don't change the color yet. Live with it for a while. IF you paint it over, consider another color, perhaps a few shades darker than your cabinets. Personally, I'd keep the black. Really, really nice!

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I really love the island and I was wondering what a pot rack would look like hanging over the island? I just love mine and it gives me a ton of storage.I saw one made out of gas pipe that was really neat with s hooks for hanging pots and pans.You are so very talented and I really love all your ideas.Thank you for all your wonderful ideas.

  29. Val
    Val says:

    No no no no! Don't paint the island! Once you paint the cabinets it will look perfect with them, the black will make it pop all the more and keep it from looking to… creamy :)

  30. Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops}
    Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} says:

    LOVE the island! I would wait until you have your other cabinets painted before you change your island color. It might give you the light feel your after ;)

  31. porter place cottage
    porter place cottage says:

    I love the black! I like the contrast and I love color in my life. I've tried the all white and I can never get used to it! The only other thing that would be even cooler, is if you painted it out a green to match the door you put in your kitchen the white over it and heavly destressed it, so alot of that green is peeking out! You do such great work, I'm sure whatever you come up with will be amazing though!!

  32. Liz Anderson
    Liz Anderson says:

    I love the re-do. Black and white is so classic. I think the island looks great as is, but I do believe painting it would achieve that lightness you want. I do think either way you would love it. paint the cabinets first to see what it looks like, photograph it too. BTW, where is a good place to get posts?? I have been wanting some but they need to be tall since they would be for my island as well.

  33. .
    . says:

    You did an amazing job! It really does look custom now.

    Personally I love the black, but I can see where if you were looking to lighten up you would think it felt heavy. If you decide to change it I would definitely stick with an accent color, instead of painting it the same color as the cabinets. I think going with white on the island would take away from that custom built look you are after.

  34. Bliss
    Bliss says:

    I like the black, but I think I would probably like the light color too. I just wish I was brave enough to do either! My fear is what if after I paint dark or light, what if I liked the wood better? What's really worse for Mr. Bliss, is that after looking at your picture I'm thinking maybe I want to take a wall out to open my kitchen up to my dining room. I haven't figured out how I can say, "by the way I want to paint the island black, so can you knock out that wall for me honey?"

    New follower

  35. New to farmlife
    New to farmlife says:

    Love it! I do like the black, I think it makes it 'pop', maybe when you paint the cabinets it will look a little differnt. I could see a deep red also :)

  36. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    I love the black, you have soooo much white! Lol. It accents your table. Where did you get your table? I have almost the same one and I would love the bench you have?

  37. Angela
    Angela says:

    I like the black. If you have little ones, they’ll be constantly kicking that back panel getting smudges and dirt all over it. Even adults will occasionally hit it when they cross their legs and such. You won’t be able to see that with black. It’ll just look distressed which is not a bag thing. Plus I like the contrast.

  38. Alena
    Alena says:

    We have the same floor plan- cambridge! I love what you did. You have inspired me to make some changes and not be afraid to paint cabinets! Beautiful!

  39. Celeste Berkley
    Celeste Berkley says:

    what about an aqua? or teal or something that contrasts but pops and is not so dark but also not the same color as the cabinets? if you dont like that idea then the same color is what I would choose when you paint the cabinets lighter. very very nice by the way.

  40. Sherre
    Sherre says:

    I love the black island, I think it anchors the kitchen. Do you think going white on the cabinets would be too stark with your granite? I love the cream, or any color than the white. You did a wonderful job!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      i agree,white would be too stark and sometimes looks cheap, so i will go with a lighter cream than what i have now :)

  41. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    Looks great! We’re currently working on the kitchen in our new home & will be constructing an island from stock cabinets & trim/moldings. Love the look of the legs on the island! One question: is your countertop a solid slab of granite? Or some sort of granite piece that is over an existing counter or top? Someone told us to look into something like that, but I’ve only ever had solid slabs of granite, so not sure how that works.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      our countertop is a solid slab. I think the way your referring too, is if there was a kitchen remodel they can cut down on the cost by just laying a thin piece of granite over your old countertop

  42. Denise Yewcic
    Denise Yewcic says:

    I love everything about your kitchen!!!!!!! Actually the whole house. What is the name of the granite in your kitchen? Thanks for all your ideas!!!!!!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      thanks! Sorry – cant remember the name of the granite, but it is a common one so i dont think you would have any trouble finding it :)

  43. Cristina Dickinson
    Cristina Dickinson says:

    Hello, we are about to follow your tutorial for our island. Can you please tell me the thickness of the poplar boards you used in order to have them flush up against the base molding on the island? Thank you


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