Worn Desk Transformed to Pookie's First Kitchen Island

By Nicole D, Owner at Dolce Mira in Newtown Square, PA.

The moment I saw my best friend had added a (sold out) kitchen island to her wedding registry, I then knew my next project.  No commercial, store bought, rigid kitchen island would be good enough for these newly weds.  I found this old, beat up, unloved desk just striving for new life - and this kitchen island was born.

The original surface did not have much character, no notable wood grain.  I removed it and repurposed it as the base of the island, then replaced the top.  The new top was constructed out of a butcher block type, patchwork patterned wood, then stained in General Finishes Colonial Maple Gel Stain to match their kitchen cabinets.  For the most durable surface, I applied multiple coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Top Coat. 

To continue matching their kitchen, the body was painted in General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint and sealed with multiple coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.

But a gorgeous kitchen island isn't good enough.  It also must be efficient, a truly functional addition for any kitchen.  Therefore this project continued by considering storage, mobility, and other standards.

Storage was expanded from one wooden drawer to also have five wicker baskets/drawers.  Those basket tops were painted in General Finishes Lamp Black as well.  As a finishing touch, the wooden drawer was stenciled on both sides with a hidden design, a surprise for the new owners.  Noting other kitchen appliances on the wedding registry, I added an additional shelf below the wooden drawer that matches the top wood finish.  (An Insta-pot can easily fit there.)

It was important to me to follow standards and maintain functionality.  Few measurements were considered to have the final product result in the correct height, counter height 36 inches, to match other countertops and extend existing surfaces as needed.  Five inch, solid black wheels added to both beauty and mobility.  This island is finished from every angle, a full 360 degrees of efficiency.  It could be a kitchen island by day, and be rolled into a living room to help entertainment and guests at night.

This kitchen island will be happily used in my friend’s kitchen for years to come.


Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesSecondary Purpose

Products Used

  • General Finishes Colonial Maple Gel Stain
  • General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Top Coat
  • General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint
  • General Finishes High Performance Top Coat

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