This has taken me a very long time. I got the original material for the project from a neighbor several years ago, and it sat and sat in my garage for a long time. Finally, I got sick and tired of having this unfinished project hanging around and decided to go for it.
It started with two Lack tables from Ikea. These are probably Ikea’s cheapest line of furniture. They are very lightweight and quite suitable for “first apartment” type of furniture. But I only paid $10 for the two tables so it was perfect for my idea.
This is what the tables looked like to begin with. Plain and simple. Straight lines. Nothing fancy at all. I hit them lightly with my sander to take some of the shine off so the primer would adhere better.
Step two involved gluing the tables together and putting them on top of the cabinet door you see on the bottom. (This door has a funny story – it is a cabinet door from our rental property in the UK that somehow got sent home with us when we moved! I tried to paint it for a project, but I was never quite satisfied with it, so it, too, sat in the garage.) Here you can see Loki and Oliver helping me out.
Step three – primer. I applied two coats of Zinsser primer since the tables were laminate and I wanted to make sure the final paint coat would adhere properly. (Ignore those drawers – they are another work in progress that you will hopefully see soon)
Oh this red! I’m so in love with the color. The paint brand, not so much. In fact, it’s a total disappointment. I actually had to exchange a defective can (one of three) only to find the third (and last can in stock!) can of paint was also defective! This paint is supposed to be a lacquer finish; sadly the lacquer bit seems to be sporadic. I have glossy sections and flat sections. And then there were the “white” smears that would show up randomly when I sprayed. Ugh. It was a total nightmare! Lesson learned: Stick with my favorite brand from now on.
On the bright side, I got to spray paint my grass. I do wonder what my lawn guy thinks when he comes sometimes!
If you look closely at the corner here, you can see some of the white streaks that would randomly appear. The paint also chipped off so very easily! My son tapped the edge of the top with his finger tip (not even his nail) and a chip came right off. I’ve used a fair amount of spray paint before and NEVER had such issues. I have written to the manufacturer and am awaiting a reply (but I’m not holding my breath).
Moving on from my paint frustration. . . . the next step was to attach the casters to the bottom of the unit. What good is a kitchen island if it isn’t mobile? I have to say these are my favorite casters – this is not the first time I’ve used them. They roll so smoothly.
What’s this? This is me playing with my new tool! Paige, who so kindly helped me with adhesive questions for the jewelry armoire, recommended this lovely hand saw for me. I have to say, it worked like a dream! It was sharp and able to shave even the smallest edges off of my paint sticks.
Yes, paint sticks. I collected a sizeable amount of extra large paint stirrers from my local big box hardware stores while my tables were waiting patiently in my garage. I stained the paint stirrers with three different colors of stain, purposely making some darker and some lighter. I then cut them all to random lengths and put together the puzzle that would eventually become the top of my island.
After cutting the random lengths, I had to stain the ends that were exposed. But I had already laid out my pattern and it fit perfectly. What to do? Well, I picked up each piece and labeled it. You see here 15 L, which means row 15, the left hand side. Then you see 15C; that is Row 15, center piece. I then laid them all on the patio table to dry, in order.
My official Work Area – our back patio!
Here is the top all glued together. I love the different shades of the wood.
Now, remember I complained about the delicacy of my gorgeous red paint? I decided to solve that issue by applying a coat of poly to the entire unit. This is what it looks like with one coat of poly applied. I plan on adding two more coats, but the weather isn’t cooperating today so it will have to wait.
And here it is, not quite in the proper location in the kitchen, but with my ever present helper, Loki, perched on top. I planned for this to be a kitchen island, but it’s looking more and more like a cat island instead as every time I put it in the kitchen, Loki makes himself right at home, usually on the bottom shelf. 🙂