Re-purposed Buffet is now a Kitchen Island

This was a very fun project! I was not too inspired by the original buffet. It was quite plain and very bulky looking. I could not think of any colour that would improve the situation so I decided to change it up completely. I thought it would make a great kitchen island and when I was done, I thought it would also be great as a work table in a craft room. Here is how it looked to begin with:


I removed the decorative piece across the back of the top, the two front doors and the two end doors and then filled all the holes. I used one of the door handles for one of the drawers which was missing. One the end doors became a shelf on the inside. I had to cut it a little shorter and then add blocks of wood on the inside for it to sit on – small pieces of molding did the trick.

I then painted the whole piece with two coats of Cottage Paint Black except for the feet. A little wet distressing on the edges brought out some of the original warm brown finish.

The Top:

Off to Home Depot again! They sell laminated pine shelving that was just perfect for the top. The two pieces were even the right width! I had one of the men cut one of the two pieces to the right depth so that I could cover the existing top and create an over-hang of about 9 inches – perfect to tuck a couple of stools under. It sure is handy that they will cut the wood for you there – I really don’t have the right tools to do that!


I glued and clamped the two halves together and then stained it with Early American Min Wax wood stain – a nice, rich dark brown. The next step was to position it on the top with the overhang and then secure it with several screws from the inside of the cabinet. A couple of black wrought iron brackets were screwed under the overhang to support it.

I sanded the top well with very fine sandpaper – 400 grit until the surface was satiny smooth.



I applied 2 coats of Cottage Paint Flat Urethane Varnish for a completely matte finish that is VERY durable. I sanded the top again with the 400 grit sandpaper since the first coat of any finish will raise the grain of the wood again.


The originals were a little too tall for the piece so I cut the legs down and then painted them with 2 coats of Cottage Paint Black and then varnished them with 2 coats of the Urethane Varnish I used on the island. Add some pads to the bottom of each leg to protect your floor.



I love the look of wicker baskets so I got several that would fit on the shelves and make for some very useful storage. In one of the shots, I’ve used a couple of wooden crates that I had painted years ago and use in my kitchen on open shelving. Love them still! I have glued a piece of felt to the bottom of each to protect the shelf from the constant moving in and out.


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2 Responses

  1. Cathy says:

    This is rather timely as I was about to write for some advice. I have painted a dresser with a walnut veneer on top in Black. I had washed the surface previously. After one week , two rings (obviously from the bottom of cans- this was at a communal workshop) appeared. I sanded back the rings (and the first coat of paint) and then applied two more coats. After a few days , the paint started to crackle in several patches along the top and when I applied a varnish, one of the rings has re emerged. Am I going to have to sand it all back and then prime with a stain block primer or do you have any other suggestions or can I apply the primer right over the existing paint ? Thanks

  2. linda says:

    Hi Cathy, so sorry it took so long to get back to you! You can apply the primer right over the existing coats and then reapply the paint. Let the primer dry over night before repainting though. In a really tough situation, you may have to reapply the primer but eventually you should win the battle. Hope it works well, Linda 🙂

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