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  • Writer's pictureV. Michel Buck

Kitchen Island for $310

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

I bought my home in November of 2019, it's a beautiful open concept remodeled home that was built in 1979. I love the open concept but I felt there was too much space in the kitchen area and I needed an island. I went through the internet to find something that matched

the style of my house and although there were many options available, I didn't want to pay $2,000-$3,000 for one. I had already dropped a hefty amount on the down payment for the house, allotted an amount for furniture and any other needs. The island wasn't a necessity, so originally it wasn't in the budget.

I decided to look up some DIY projects, they all seemed like I would need some kind of advanced wood working skill in order to make anything that I would find appealing. So I decided to put together something using semi pre-made pieces from stores.

I really liked these Ikea Kallax shelves in white because I wanted the open concept storage, I also liked that I can add baskets later if I wanted. These were 30 3/8x30 3/8 " each at $38.99 for a total of $77.98.

For the top I wanted butcher block, I've always loved the look. I found butcher block online at Floor & Decor for pickup. Manor House Hevea Butcher Block Workbench 5ft which is 60in x 30in unfinished butcher block, the 3/8 difference from the shelves are not noticeable to the eye. It was only $129.00. This puts the running total is $206.98.

I wanted to match the height of the island as close to the height of my counter top, as it is above, it's falling short and I won't be able to fit stools underneath that I already own. The height is 32" and my counter top is 35.75" tall. I also was concerned that the butcher block was unfinished knowing that oils from food, my hands would be easily absorbed. Additionally, I didn't want the butcher block to be stained with food, which would eventually look tacky. So I decided I wanted to finish it.

To address the height difference between the counter and the top of the butcher block, I found these cute feet at Home Depot which were large enough to be study, I coated them twice with a clear spray paint which I already had. 4” Foot Molding by Waddell. They are 2-5/8 in. x 2-5/8 in. x 4 in. I put 4 on each shelf by screwing holes in the bottom of the shelf. These feet actually brought the height exactly to 35.75" matching the counter height exactly, I was hoping to get within an inch and was very happy with the result. They were $7.46 each for a running total of $266.66.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the top, whether I wanted to stain and coat it, paint it or what. So I did some searching to figure out the finish I wanted. I know I wasn't going to cut food on top of the coated butcher block directly, in fact I always use a cutting board. I know that I wouldn't be putting very hot items on it but I may use it in the future to make dough on, so I needed the surface to be non-porous, I wanted it to wipe clean and the surface to look good for as long as possible without going through this whole process again.

I looked through Amazon and found Table Top Epoxy Resin, which is UV Resistant, self leveling and dries crystal clear. I liked having the option of putting color in it because I wanted to add a little sparkle without going overboard. I already had a pearlescent mica which would make the finish a little cloudy, this means that minor imperfections through the years wouldn't be visible. The pearl glitter in the mica was so fine that it didn't look like a kids art project, additional with the pearl glitter being fine, it didn't cause an inconsistent texture. I must admit, I didn't pick the best time of year to do this as it was very cold in my garage, resin seems to cure best in 70 degree weather, so I had a space heater on in the garage. It still took a couple of days for each coat to dry, this will vary with temperature but to be safe, read the instructions on the resin for full cure times. The fumes may be toxic, so I didn't want to do this inside my house. I luckily already had all the tools and safety equipment such as a respirator and rotary sander.

**Remember your safety equipment. Respirator, eye protection, gloves. Resin can be very toxic. Make sure you get the proper respirator.**

The first coat of resin was mostly absorbed by the butcher block, when it had dried there was a lot of texture. I didn't expect this but luckily bought more resin than I needed, so I had enough for a second coat. Before the second coat, I sanded down the resin on the butcher block. This took roughly three weeks to get done because of the time needed to pour, cure, sand, pour, cure. You can see the mica in the photo below, it's subtle. When done, I made sure to sand the bottom dried resin so it didn't have drips hanging. I only used about half of the resin total. But that was $39.99 from Amazon for a total of $306.65.

The original plan was to attach the butcher block to the shelves using wood glue, I haven't done that yet because the butcher block is very heavy and doesn't shift too often. Please keep in mind that we use this island daily but do not have animals or children running around knocking into it. I do recommend attaching the top to the base, which I will do one day.... Luckily wood glue is rather inexpensive and can be found in many stores.

Overall, I am glad I added the mica, it gives the butcher block a multi dimensional sparkly from various angles. Also, the top can be cloudy in well used sections after some time, I use a little polishing oil or coconut oil to restore the brilliance, I don't have to do it that often but every once in a while it's nice.

-V Michel'

Disclosure: I purchased all these items with my own money and the company had no prior knowledge to this promotion. All opinions are my own.

*I make a commission through any items you purchase through my Amazon Link(s).

UPDATE: I completed this project at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, it's now July of 2021 and I still love this island. There is only one change I would have made, I would have also painted the feet with a dark color. The feet have sustained marks from the rubber soles of shoes and I cannot clean them with a spray and cloth. Coating these in resin may be hard due to the shape of the feet. If I ever need to move, I will update the feet by painting them.

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