How to Make a Kitchen Island
- Cutting board top, cut the same size as your table's top
- Wood filler
- Putty knife
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Semigloss latex paint
- Magnetic-front wall pocket
- 2 small hooks
- Drawer pull that's wide enough to hold a dish towel
- Adhesive cork shelf liner
- 4 locking casters, with wheels large enough to raise the table to about 36 inches
- Nonskid grip shelf liner
- Café curtain rod, cut to fit between the table legs on one end (ask the store to cut it for you)
To make your table a functional food prep space, it will need a new top. We had 1/2-inch-thick polyethylene (a common material for cutting boards) cut to the dimensions of the console's top ($66 for a 48-inch-by-16-inch) piece, cuttingboardcompany.com). You can also try butcher block, granite or marble, but they cost more.
Once you have the top, start working on the table. Unscrew any old hardware, if necessary, and use the putty knife to fill the holes with wood filler. Let the filler dry, then sand the entire table to remove any old paint or varnish and to even out any nicks in the wood.
Prime the entire table and let dry, then paint it with a semigloss latex, which can be wiped down in case of food splatters (we used Edamame by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams). Let dry, then attach a caster to the bottom of each leg. Lock them so the table won't move while you finish the project.
On one end of the table, screw the wall pocket ($20, containerstore.com) into the apron of the table. The pocket is great for holding cookbooks, magazines or a cookbook stand. Then screw in the small hooks on either side of the drawer to hang pot holders.
Drill holes for the new drawer pull into the front of the drawer, then screw it in. Cut the cork shelf liner to fit, then line the interior of the drawer. This will help cushion knives, peelers and other utensils you stash in there.
Mount the curtain rod using the hardware it comes with, between the legs at the table's end opposite the wall pocket (below). Hang the S-hooks from the rod for utensils. Cut the grip shelf liner slightly smaller than the tabletop. Lay it on the table, then set the cutting board on top of the liner, which keeps it in place.