Remember this guy I showed you a few posts back?  He wasn’t very handsome and definitely needed some work, BUT he was only $10 (lamp, belt, and shelf not included, haha)!

Well… now he is this:

I can hardly believe we actually made this thing!  I love it and it filled the need for us to have an island that we could eat at.  Our apartment doesn’t really have a dining room and our short table in the middle of the kitchen was driving me crazy.

How it was done:

The dresser wasn’t the right height or length, but that’s nothing a little work couldn’t fix!  We chopped off one side at the point where the middle drawers and left drawers met. My grandpa used a combination of a circular saw and a Sawzall.

Next, we added a new side.  The plan was to use the side from the part we cut off, but it was particle board and had water damage.  My grandpa had a piece of board in his shop that fit perfectly.

Since the dresser wasn’t counter height, or 36 inches, we had to build a base.  We used 2×6’s and made sure it was braced really well.

After that, we added a new back.  I think it was some sort of plywood.

The next step was to build the support that the 2×6 top would lay on. I’m not sure why my husband bought these pink boards… they must have been cheaper, but they were honestly a pain to prime and paint over.  (The board in this picture was just used as a brace until we got it into my house.  Then we added the legs and removed the braces.)

The island then made its move into my apartment!  It wouldn’t have fit through my front door if we had finished it outside.

Once inside, we added 2×4’s for the legs.  I had originally wanted those pretty turned table legs, but they were $23 each at Lowes!  I like the way these look with the finished island though!

Beautiful white pine 2×6’s were laid out to create the top.  They were attached with liquid nails and a nail gun!

The boards were then sanded to make sure all the boards were smooth and even.

Note to the wise… Do not sand INSIDE your house.  If you must, please protect the surroundings with a drop cloth. Yeah, learned that from experience.

I was then left alone to finish this thing!  I spackled holes and sanded…

I stained the top…

I applied two coats of primer and two coats of paint…

…and finally, I was at the point where the hardware could be added!

The top was coated with 5 coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly, lightly sanded between each coat.

This was its finished state for almost a week.  Then I decided to add the antiquing glaze and spray paint the hinges for the little doors.

The antiquing glaze is wiped on like this…

and then wiped off to give an antique feel.

Behind those little doors are my favorite feature and the reason why I chose this dresser even though it needed a lot of work.

I am so very happy with how it turned out!  Now I just need to put up some shelves or something in that gaping hole above the sink…

I’m going to try to break down the cost for all the supplies!


Dresser – $10

Lumber, Screws, Nails (I don’t have the break down because I didn’t go the store) – $85

Spackle (DAP Vinyl Spackling) – $4

Primer (Kilz 2 Latex) – $17

Paint (ColorPlace in City Smokestack) – $18

Spray Paint (Krylon Metallic Brilliant Silver) – $3

Stain (I mixed Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut with Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Light Walnut to get the color I wanted) – $5

Minwax Wipe-On Poly in Clear Satin – $10

Antiquing Glaze (No longer available) – $10

Hardware – $22

Grand Total: $184!

The Ugly Truth

This project nearly killed me!  It wasn’t all that difficult, but so time consuming!  The construction parts were done in two days, but the rest of it took forever.  Once it was in my house and ready to be painted, there was no way to work on it during the day.  I had to wait for my kids to go to bed before I could do anything.  So I would do a coat of primer and go to bed, do another coat of primer the next night, wait until the next night and paint… you get the idea.

I’m the kind of person that likes to get a project done in one day.  I am so one track minded that I can hardly function until I finish what my mind is set on!  And yes, I am like that about everything, whether it be cooking dinner or writing a blog post.  It’s not healthy, especially in my spiritual health.  I have the tendency to start reading a passage in the bible and then suddenly my “goal” is to finish the passage instead of actually hear what God is saying to me.  I’m working on it though… and this island was definitely a lesson in patience!

17 thoughts on “DIY Kitchen Island From A Dresser

  1. Pawpaw said you are very smart and talented young lady and we are very proud of you and your work.. Now what is the next project?

  2. Tasha, I have never realized it before I read it in your blog post, but I have the same challenge with reading the bible. Thank you for your creativity and everything else. You’re awesome!

  3. If you still have that hole above your sink, get a tension rod, S hooks, and make a super cheap pot rack. I love mine.. I created a mini one just on the inside of my ovens hood, and hang cooking utensils.

  4. I love the look of this and we are redoing a dresser this weekend. How do you clean the wood surface with the minwax poly? Since it is a kitchen surface, what do you use to truly clean it with, without destroying the wood finish?

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