Driving to the grocery store two months ago, I saw this lovely old desk cast out with somebody’s trash. “Hello, beautiful!” With a bit of help from my son, we hauled the old thing home to the garage. After looking it over carefully, I realized that it was in excellent condition. It was worth keeping even if I had no idea at the time how to use I t. (How many desks can one family need??)
Then the inspiration struck me. My oldest son and his wife were working at decorating their new home. It dawned on me that a few little additions to this beautiful old piece could transform it into a kitchen island. Does that seem outlandish? Well, check it out!
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Naturally, the desktop was not nearly big enough to accommodate the work a kitchen island is meant to provide, but it turns out that a pre-cut piece of ¾ inch plywood (already cut and available at Home Depot,) would enlarge the desktop to just the right size. Screwed into the wooden desktop it was perfect.
After removing the drawers, I scuffed up the entire desk with my sander so the new paint would have something to cling to. The bottom drawers on each side could have been put back into the desk, but I thought my daughter-in-law would probably have some other use in mind. I imagined installing one of those clever cabinet organizational tools that provide slots for cookie sheets or maybe even cook books. She actually has the finished drawers if she ever wants to use them, but as you can see, she has other plans for those spaces at present.
For the record, I try to do as much painting of pieces and parts before assembling the project. In this case, I just set up sawhorses in the garage and did the painting of the countertop in sections. First the bottom and sides, two coats, then the top, just one coat. When the time came to finally assemble the project, I used 2 inch wood screws to attach the countertop to the desktop. I counter-sunk the screws so I could fill the holes with wood putty and sand until the countertop was smooth. Then I could put the final coat of slate-gray on the countertop.
The rest of the cabinet (and the 4-inch blocks I screwed into the desk’s feet in order to bring the entire island up to the standard 36 inches,) I painted with Renaissance Chalk in Ivory Tower. Again, two coats with a steel wool smoothing between. I added easily cleaned drawer hardware, et Voila!
The kids love this piece because it gives their kitchen the more custom look that’s popular just now. I love it too. It makes me smile when I think of the whole new purpose this old desk now has.
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