An Island of Humanity
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 05:35PM
Brenda Levos in Remodelling

After we determined that we would be creating a center island, it was time to scope out what type of island we wanted. I had searched online for pre-built models, but something the relative size we were wanting we were looking at over $1,500+ and I thought there must be a better option. Plus, nothing really had all of the features I wanted. We had talked about adding a sink in the center island, and most just didn't have the potential.

I found just what I was looking for at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Moorhead. I came across this beauty and decided it was worth a shot. I was able to get it one sale for $112. After pricing out the hardware for the slides alone, I decided it was worth the risk. A custom built cabinet, it was very sturdy and the drawer to the right has a tip out front on it to accommodate a prep sink. It took 4 college students to get it loaded in the back of the pickup and I was on my way!

While I wasn't a fan of the 1980s round white knobs, the bead board on the doors, was a nice fit considering we had just added bead board to our other doors.

While I had been looking at other cabinets I really liked the idea of an island contrasting in color to the white cabinets that are in the rest of the room. It would break up the white a bit, and wanting the countertop to have an overhang to sit at, a bit darker color might disguise shoe scuffs and the like.

While it didn't have a top, I knew we would be able to find something to work, perhaps stone, or concrete, or laminate.

The cabinets proved to be the right size for the space, but we were busy working on the cabinets, painting, re-working the doors and painting and the like, so it would spend the next week or so sitting in the center of the room, covered with rosin paper, plastic and whatever tools, primer or paints we were currently working with.

We added bead board to the ends and back side of the island and stained to match the front. It was really finally coming together.

We started talking a bit about the size of the countertop we wanted, when I remembered that we had a piece of one inch thick wheatboard that we had once cut with thoughts on making it into a mantle for a fireplace in the basement that never transpired. It had been assigned to live for the past year or two in the white shed on the farm. I sent Tom in search of it, thinking, if nothing else it would give us a bit better flat surface to use while we continued the journey.

So we placed it on the cabinets and decided that it would remain there until the rest of the cabinets were finished. This would give us enough time to get a sense the amount of room that we wanted on either side, or on the ends. Not wanting to commit to a pricey piece of stone until we really knew the optimal size.

While I was waiting for a coat of paint to dry, I had an you suppose you could stain wheatboard? There was only one way to find out, so I grabbed some stain and got started.

It soaked up the stain really well, and I really liked the texture, so I continued until I had the color that matched the base cabinets. I followed with several coats of polyurethane to seal it up. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall look, and decided that we would keep it a bit longer than we had initially thought. Perhaps permanently.

Life is full of little surprises. While it had some scratches, dings and dents, the look was really growing on me, imperfections and all.

Next up....Let there be Light!


Article originally appeared on Morsels of goodness for the digital junkie by Brenda Levos (
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