Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Island Facelift

Our 2019 Project List is moving right along!
Each year, Big K and I make a list of changes we want to make in the house.
A few of the things from last year's list never got done,
so we added them to this year's.
Our big project for the year is to tweak the kitchen.

The countertops in this kitchen are not our cup of tea.
They bother Big K even more than me.
The formica-type surface is just cheap-looking,
and the color is all wrong for our home.
We resolved to tackle replacing the island countertop ourselves.
Although all the counter surfaces are the same material,
we decided to go with butcher block on the island.
I love the farm-inspired look and the simplicity of the wood grain.

Our first task was to remove the horrendous current countertop.
It wasn't going to be easy.
Most countertops are installed by screwing from underneath,
inside the cabinets.
Not this one.

It took some figuring,
but we finally realized that these counters were screwed on from the top,
and then the formica was laid over the wood.
Yeah, I kid you not.
After trying several tools and methods, 
including wedging in the chisel between the gaps on the sides,
we figured out how best to get this job done.

A hair dryer was used to loosen the glue underneath the formica.
Then we were able to pry off the brittle material to get to the screws.

It was a team effort, with all of us taking on a section of the task.
I held the dryer, while C and Big K pried it loose,
and then C took the screws out with the drill.
I was so proud of how our boy chipped in to help!

We were hoping to be able to donate the countertop to the ReStore,
or maybe a daycare so that it could be reused,
but there was no way to save the formica top.
Instead, we will flip it and it will become the new top on my outdoor workbench.

Once all the screws were loose, it still took some persuading
to get the whole piece of wood off the top.
The deconstruction alone took us over 3 hours.
What a feeling of victory to have that thing gone!
We used the remaining framework and simply laid our butcher block on top.

A sweet neighbor of ours is a woodworker,
and he was kind enough to cut the wood to the dimensions we wanted,
as well as rounding the corners and routering the sides.

The surface was sealed with a food-safe mineral oil/beeswax product
that we got at our local big box store,
the same place where we bought the countertop.
I put on four good coats on all of the sides
and let it dry well.

What a difference just this one change has made.
I almost don't want to use it, it's so gorgeous!
We will be adding beadboard to the sides of the cabinet
and adding a couple of bar stools to the newly-fashioned eating spot.

We will continue with the kitchen makeover by next changing out the sink,
faucet, lighting and replacing the rest of this God-awful formica with another material.
Hopefully, we'll be getting that underway in the next two weeks.
 Then I will take some 
before and after shots.

Just a few changes really update a room.
I may actually get to liking cooking again!

Completed Home Projects:
New Front Door and Porch Light
Desk Top 
A Fresh Look 


  1. Definitely an improvement. Nice job.

    1. Thank you. I think anything pretty much would have been an improvement, no? ;0D

  2. I love it!!!! I have also been considering changing our island to butcher block. That and removing part of a wall are the last 2 pieces to completely finish our kitchen remodel..... It's so nice when you can do it yourself, isn't it? Good for you guys!!

    1. I am so enjoying the new look. I'm not used to having new things, so this is a real treat! The wood is beautiful. Yeah, Big K is so handy.
      I look forward to seeing your changes. ;0D


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!