Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{All About You Series}–Butcher Block Kitchen Island

Today’s All About You feature is a real special treat for me!  I’m very excited to present my wonderful bestie Kelli and her awesome butcher block kitchen island she made!  I planted the seed in her mind and she ran with it on her own, I was quite impressed – hope you are too! Take it away Kelli

Hi PB&J Stories readers my name is Kelli!   I am so happy to be too able to share my DIY project with you.  
About a year ago I moved into a new house and the kitchen didn’t have near enough counter space for all my baking.  I started looking for butcher block islands for some extra space.  Unfortunately, they are WAY more expensive than I was willing to spend.  So I was telling my bestie, AKA the beautiful woman that writes this blog, about my dilemma.  Of course she instantly suggested that I make my own butcher block and attached it to a used bathroom cabinet.  And so my adventure to make a Butcher Block Island can began.

First I went to a Goodwill store that has all kinds of furniture and fixtures.  Within the first 5 minutes I found a nice bathroom cabinet without a top! Just what I needed!  I got if for $30.00! The cabinet was originally a light wood color so I sanded it down with a fine sand paper and primed it to be painted.  Once the primer was dry I put 2 coats of white paint on a sealed it! The easy part was done.  Now comes the hard part: making a butcher block! Eeek!
Because I knew nothing about wood or making a butcher I started researching stuff.  I watched videos, read tutorials, and asked some of Husband’s friends that were good with wood working.  After researching I decided that I was going to use pine (this is not the traditional wood type used on butcher blocks, but seeing as I wasn’t actually going to be chopping meat on it I used cheaper wood).   Next I measured the top if the cabinet and added about an inch and a half over hang on each side, the large amount extra length was in case of mistakes.  
Off to Home Depot now.  I spent ten or fifteen minutes deciding how thick I wanted it to be.  I went with 1x1 pieces.  Most places don’t have that size so I used the wood they carry for deck railings.  Worked PERFECTLY!   Once I placed all the pieces with their best side out I gave them a good sanding and started staining them.  (This is where I would have done some things different had I know what I know now.)  Staining first was a mistake! I took the advice from Husband, also a mistake.  I was under the impression that he knew what a butcher block was when I asked if he thought I should glue first or stain first! Only after putting 2 coats of stain on 26 planks did Husband admit he still had no idea what I was making!!!  Grrrr! Oh well what was done was done. 
I let the planks try for a day or two and then began to wood glue them together.  I would glue 3 or 4 pieces together and clamp them for 8 hours.  During those first couple of hours I would check to make sure the planks were still level.   After I had 4 larger pieces I glued them together one at a time also letting them sit for 8 hours.  Do not glue more than a few pieces together at a time, if you would the clamps will cause the last to planks to rise up and you will not have an even surface.  Again I would suggest sanding, gluing, and THEN staining the block.  Learn from my misfortune please!
Finally after everything had been sanded, stained, glued, and sealed I enlisted Husband to help attach the block to the cabinet.  Since we are a military family and we move a lot I thought about and made sure that the top was able to detach from the cabinet for easy moving.  We used “L” brackets.  This way when we move we will be able to dissemble when need be. 
I have since added knobs that match our kitchen and put a roll out garbage can underneath of the island.  I used it every day and I’m so glad Pam suggested that I make it rather than pay one.  I saved a TON of money! Plus I get to say I made it when people compliment it. J



Isn’t that awesome?! She did a wonderful job – proud proud proud.

Thanks again and don’t forget if you have your own project you want to submit for a feature on my All About You Series to submit your project Here!



Love hearing back from my readers, you make my day! Thanks, Pamela of PBJstories

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