Thursday, September 6, 2012

Antique Kitchen Island - Part 3 - The Big Reveal!

Here it is in all it's glory!  I'm really happy with how this piece turned out in the end, although it had its struggles.  

I especially like the sanded and oiled top.  It's perfect for the kitchen!  I had to strip the old lacquer and finish which is always extra stubborn the older the piece.  After stripping, I sanded, sanded, sanded with my handheld power sander.  I stared with 60 grit and worked my way up to 280, I wiped it down and then wiped two coats of mineral oil on the top.  Mineral oil is great for the kitchen as it's food-safe (how do I know?  You can take it orally to...move things along... and it's available in the drug store isle of your local supermarket or other large box store!)  It's!  Ha!

A close-up of the front detailing.  After sanding and staining the decorative veneer, I painted the back.  After that I wasn't too sure of my choice as I wasn't convinced that the 'art deco' style veneer actually coordinated with the other delicate and more 'antique' embellishments.  I think the finish on the other drawers were what was going to make or break the continuity of this piece.

I was also happy with how the veneer 'patches' turned out and they blend fairly well.  Not bad for a first attempt.  Definitely good enough for our kitchen, I say!

I had a hard time deciding on what to do for the finish on the other drawers.  Originally, I had thought I would do some sort of brown decoupage print: flowers, scrolls, newsprint...I wasn't sure.  But because I'd used an ebony or black stain for the veneer, I needed something darker than I originally thought.  Out went the brown paper and in came more of the ebony stain.  I think it was the right choice.  I decided to keep it simple.  I did need to cover up the drawer fronts as the veneer wasn't in great shape, so I used an easy 'leather look' technique.

To achieve the look, simply use brown craft paper (or an old brown paper bag - you know those ones you get when you purchase 'adult beverages??') cut an inch or so bigger on all side than the drawer.  Crumple up the paper - really crumple and rub it until it starts to soften and has a nice worn look to it.  Then I painted on some plain white glue (you could also use ModPodge or Decoupage Medium...but I'm cheap.  So I use white glue), and simply pressed down the paper on top.  I made sure to flatten it out well, keeping the majority of wrinkles, but evening out major bunch-ups.

Then I applied the ebony stain to a baby wipe (you can use a sponge, brush or paper towel) and rubbed it gently over the top of the paper until I had the depth of colour I wanted.  I sealed over the stain with a coat of white glue.  I set the drawers out in the sun, and once they had dried, trimmed off the excess paper from the edges using a utility knive (Exacto knife).  When the drawers were totally dry, I sealed them with a coat of clear spray sealant - you could also use polyurethane.

Surprise!  Red inside!

The last special detail I added were these hand-antiqued knobs.  I was totally frustrated when I went to my pulls and knobs stash and discovered I only had 6 of almost all the knobs I own!  I tried to find coordinating knobs, but they were the wrong colours.  After boiling all the knobs in a pot of water and dish soap to remove their 'coatings,' I scrubbed them and dried them.  Then I used some of the ebony stain and some enamel spray paint to give them a similar aged look, sprayed them with a couple of coats of clear sealant and they were good to go!

The two knobs on the middle drawer are a bit smaller than the others, but they coordinate and don't detract overall.  Good enough!

And there you have it!  A $60 vanity transformed into a kitchen island and an extra prep space for our smaller kitchen.

I'm linking up and sharing this makeover at Funky Junk Interiors - click below to check out the other creative projects.  Lots of inspiration ahead! 

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. Thanks, Tasha and Christina! The piece looks great in the kitchen, too! Can't wait to work on more.