Painted Detail on My Kitchen Island

Last weekend was perfect. Mother’s Day was lovely – Michael and the girls surprised me with a necklace I’ve been eying for a while and a gorgeous bunch of peonies. The arrangement was so pretty that I thought it was a good excuse to break out the camera and take some ‘after shots’ of my…

Last weekend was perfect. Mother’s Day was lovely – Michael and the girls surprised me with a necklace I’ve been eying for a while and a gorgeous bunch of peonies.

The arrangement was so pretty that I thought it was a good excuse to break out the camera and take some ‘after shots’ of my kitchen island that I’ve been meaning to share with you.

This old dresser was one of the very first things Michael and I bought as a married couple. We got it for almost nothing at a thrift store in Arizona. It’s been about 20 different colors over the years and the hardware’s changed a half dozen times. The top hutch piece was some I picked up a few years later at the Crate and Barrel outlet.

When we moved into our new apartment, I knew I wanted to add an island to our kitchen to provide more counter space and to separate the cooking/prep area from the dining, but I didn’t think I wanted to use this dresser. I mean, look at the back of the thing. It was in bad shape. This is right after we moved in last September.

Call me sentimental (or cheap), but I thought I’d at least give the dresser a run as a possible island, so I pulled off the old back.

I got a piece of very inexpensive chipboard cut to size at Home Depot, and stapled and nailed it in place. Then I primed and painted the whole thing in BEHR’s Night Shade (it looks navy in the picture, but it actually has a lot of green in it).

The new paint helped the situation a lot. I knew I wanted to add moulding or something though to make the flat back more exciting. It’s one of the first things you see from our front door, so it was important for the detail to be sort of punchy and fun. I liked this paint treatment from House and Home and thought it would be a cinch to do something similar:

After doing a little sketch and planning out my measurements, I taped off all the straight lines.

Then I put down a base coat of the same Night Shade paint to seal the tape and prevent most of the paint bleeding.

Then on went the white paint for the detail.

I like to pull my tape off immediately, while the paint’s still wet. You can see the lines still bled a little, but it was an easy fix with a detail brush.

To make curves in the corners, I just used a round glass as a template and then filled in the lines with the detail brush.

At first I was worried that the white and navy felt too nautical, but I love the relief the white paint provides against all the navy and black in the kitchen, and it also ties in the floors and the marble on the island.

I’m also really happy with how the navy works with the black cabinets. I love mixing black and blues.

And pink just looks good with anything.

Join the Conversation

110 thoughts on “Painted Detail on My Kitchen Island

  1. WOW! What you manage to come up with…it's just amazing, really. Did you mention the marble top? Did you replace the original top with a marble slab?

  2. I love your kitchen! Especially the combination of the island and the rug. Where is your rug from? I'm looking for something similar.

  3. first off, i love peonies. my mother has a huge bush of them, and i won't be home this year to see (and smell!) them. i can practically smell these off the page.
    second, that hutch turned out beautiful. it's amazing what you remake — you always can see the beauty in something so far ahead. v. cool.

  4. You are amazing! There are so many things I admire about you and about this project – I really love your ability to see the potential in things. For me, this is far more gratifying then having endless cash.

  5. I, too, love the mix of navy with black. It would have been so easy to just do another shade of black…the navy is just right! Congratulations on such a great job! Did you add the marble top recently? It didn't look like it was in the picture with the hutch.

  6. Love the idea of using a dresser as a kitchen island. I'm thinking of using this idea as well – just having trouble finding the perfect one! But yours looks great :)

  7. This is so incredible! I can't believe what the dresser looked like before, and of course those peonies are a beautiful touch. So glad I came across your blog :)

  8. YOU are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing your creative work on the blog.

    This project gave me inspiration to update I piece I have. It's a solid wood cabinet, the top folds open to make a large buffet. It was my grandmother's. Can't wait to get started….

  9. Wow, Jenny it is gorgeous! The detailing on the island is beautiful and it looks perfect with the runner! Peonies are my favorite and need to get some in my home!

  10. I love how all-wood furniture can be re-done so many times, yet still remains functional (you could never do that with the cheap laminate stuff made today!) Awesome project, it looks fantastic!

  11. Simply wonderful….Thank you for sharing! Helps me think about what I have that could use an uplift.

  12. Love it but my one question is when you attached the chip board with staples then painted it, did you just paint over the staples or hide them some how..

  13. Just to let you know that I featured you on my blog. I was totally inspired by you {as always} because you can see something and make it happen!
    Have a delightful day!

  14. Jenny, this is just an amazing transformation of a regular old dresser!! I love it so much, especially the painted detail. I hope you don't mind, I am featuring this project along with a couple of other DIYs on my blog today. Keep up the fabulous work!!
    Nancy xo

  15. Awesome! Did you replace the wooden top of the dresser with a granite one too (or something with the illusion of granite)? Where do you go for something like that?

© Jenny Komenda. All Rights Reserved.
Site by