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How To Make Upcycled Furniture Into A Kitchen Island

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These days many people are trying to make their kitchen spaces stand out from the rest, but it’s getting harder and harder as we go through different trends over the years. One way that you can create a unique kitchen space is to incorporate an upcycled (or “repurposed”) kitchen island. This means that your island will be unique in it’s own way, and nobody will have the same one! 

What is Upcycled Furniture?

Upcycling furniture is the process of refashioning a piece of furniture into something else that it was not originally created for. For example, turning shopping carts into bar carts, dressers into kitchen cabinets, or wooden slats into tables. The opportunities are endless with a piece of furniture in regards to what you can potentially transform it into. Oftentimes the overall quality of a piece of upcycled furniture is better than before the upcycling. This is because many upcycled items are old or vintage, and the process of upcycling involves making sure the furniture is sturdy and will last. Upcycled furniture can basically be any type of furniture, not just old or vintage. Any piece of furniture presents the opportunity to change it into something else or give it a different purpose.


Where Do You Find Furniture to Upcycle?

Depending on where you live, finding furniture to upcycle can be a breeze. Any thrift stores, flea markets, donation centers, vintage shops, and more, will have a selection of furniture to choose from. Online places like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, and Craigslist are also good places to shop for pieces to potentially upcycle and repurpose. 


How Do You Upcycle Something Into a Kitchen Island?

How to upcycle a piece of furniture into a kitchen island mostly depends on what kind of furniture that you are attempting to repurpose. For something like a dresser, you will need basic items like sanders, a hammer, screwdrivers, and paint if it’s an easier piece to convert. Otherwise, if you plan on changing things like the height of the furniture, the top of it (what would be considered the countertop once repurposed), shape, and more, that’s when it gets more difficult. 

Upcycling furniture into a kitchen island is completely based on your own needs, wants, and how you wish for the piece to turn out in the end. First, pick out what piece of furniture you’d like to repurpose. Second, make a plan on what you want to change with it so it fits your needs and wants. Third, determine if it is a DIY job or a job for a professional. Depending on whether it’s a DIY job or a professional’s will determine what supplies you may need to purchase. Kitchen cabinets can also be painted to match the new kitchen island, or new ones can be purchased.

No matter what piece of furniture you are upcycling to become a kitchen island, one of the most important parts is that the top of it is sealed and safe to be in an environment where food may be placed on it. One option which avoids this issue is to install a stone countertop on top of the piece. 


Upcycled Island Inspiration

Trying to envision a piece of furniture (like an old desk, for example) as a kitchen island can be pretty difficult. Listed below are numerous different ideas on what types of furniture can be easily repurposed into a kitchen island. When you’re at the thrift store or furniture shop, keep an open mind because you never know what may look stunning as a kitchen island!


Apothecary Storage Unit Island

kitchen countertops drawer

kitchen countertops drawer

This apothecary storage unit has been beautifully redesigned into a kitchen island. Not only is this now a useful, functional piece of furniture in the space, but it also serves as a stunning focal point. There are old mail cabinets, filing cabinets, and more that are similar to this that would look just as amazing as this apothecary storage unit. 

Is upcycling furniture not your thing? Lily Ann Cabinets offers a wide selection of high quality cabinetry at 50% off box store pricing! 


Antique Dresser Island

antique kitchen table

antique kitchen table

One of the most prevalent items that you can find at vintage shops and thrift stores are old dressers. To get this look on a dresser that is not already like the one pictured above, sanding it down, restaining it, and sanding it to your liking will achieve a look similar to the dresser pictured. Incorporating a dresser as a kitchen island not only is unique, but the drawers and cabinets will be able to function as extra storage.


Printer’s Cabinet Island

antique kitchen drawers

antique kitchen drawers

As you can probably see by now, kitchen islands can be made out of nearly anything. This beautiful antique printer’s cabinet has been efficiently repurposed into one ginormous kitchen island. If you acquire an old piece of furniture to upcycle into an island, but want to give it a cheap, freshened look, replacing hardware is the best and most inexpensive option. New hardware will give any old piece of furniture a brand new, refreshed look!

Recommended: new decorative cabinet hardware in any style and finish.


Reclaimed Wood Island

white themed kitchen

white themed kitchen

If you live somewhere where there is a plentiful amount of old barns, then odds are there is a lot of old wood either laying around or offered for sale. Old, reclaimed wood can be transformed into a beautiful island, just like the one pictured above. All it needs is a little TLC, DIY, and you will have yourself a stunning kitchen island! 


Wood Pallet Island

wood pallet kitchen table

wood pallet kitchen table

Wood pallets are thrown out from companies across the country and around every block of the neighborhood. With these oftentimes being free to acquire, it makes them a perfect material to make a kitchen island out of. Just like the beautifully crafted wood pallet island pictured above, all you will need is some sanding paper, primer, paint, and a good countertop to make this kitchen island. 


Repurposed Hutch Island

white kitchen countertops

white kitchen countertops

Hutches are a great option when trying to figure out what furniture to use as a kitchen island. They are large, sturdy, and have elegant lines that will only accentuate the beauty of the kitchen space. To get the look of the repurposed hutch island above, you will need extra wood that is stained to match the hutch, then you will be able to construct a seating area. From there, add a beautiful countertop, and you will have a beautiful kitchen island!


How Much Does Upcycling Furniture Into a Kitchen Island Cost?

The costs involved with upcycling furniture include the price of the furniture and any paint or tools you may need to complete the project. Items like sanding paper, paint stripping liquid, scrapers, paint or stain, and new hardware are all staples for upcycling a piece of furniture. These items will cost you around $100 if you choose them wisely. Of course, if you add to the complexity of the project by adding a countertop, change the heights, or reconfigure anything, the overall cost will go up. When sticking to the basics, you could potentially spend less than $300 overall on your repurposed kitchen island, which means you will save thousands of dollars by not choosing to install a traditional kitchen island. 

Recommended for you: a wide selection of hardware in all colors and styles, and high-quality kitchen cabinets to go alongside your upcycled kitchen island!



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