Learning how to build your own kitchen island is a super simple project that almost anyone can make. With just a few power tools and a few hours, you can build this DIY project for around $150. It’s so simple, in fact, that I built it all by myself (no Mr. SCC involved!) And y’all know if I can do it, you can do it, too!
You’re going to need a few supplies from the hardware store (I found all of mine at Lowe’s)
- 4 kitchen island height legs (or use table legs for table height)
- 2 1x4s
- an Aspen solid 24×48 panel (as shown above)
- poly acrylic sealer
- 1 1/4 inch Kreg Jig screws
- 2 1/2 inch Kreg Jig screws
- wood glue
- fine grit sand paper
- tack cloth
And you’ll need a few tools:
- drill (my favorite is my Rockwell)
- Kreg Jig pocket hole jig, drill bit and screw driver bit
- (optional – miter saw – OR you can get the pieces cut at Lowe’s)
- HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer
- paint brush for poly
Start with the top, because it’s going to need a lot of dry time. Sand all of the edges all the way around, and the top with a fine grit sand paper. Use a tack cloth and completely clean off all of the saw dust so it’s ready to seal.
Apply a coat of poly to all the edges and the top. You’re going to do three coats total, so do a coat, let it dry for a few hours while you build the base, then lightly sand with fine grit sand paper, give a second coat. Let it dry, lightly sand again, then one final coat. It’s gonna take a while. The rest of the island will be finished before this part is complete, so start it first to cut down on wait time.
Alright, let’s build the base! Measure the top of your legs by putting two of them side by side and measure them together to get your measurement. To get a one inch lip (recess) all the way around the top, take your top measurements (24 inches by 48 inches) and take two inches off. Then subtract your leg span, and you’ll have the measurements for the skirt pieces. For this exact dimension, you’ll need two pieces cut 15 1/2 inches long and two pieces cut 39 1/2 inches long from the 1x4s.
After you have your skirt pieces cut, then in the back side of the boards, use the Kreg Jig to cut pocket holes on each end. Next, sand the boards where you cut the edges to get it all good and smooth.
Using the 2 1/2 inch screws, run a thin bead of wood glue on the edge of the skirt board, then attach it to the legs. Make sure to use a scrap 1x board underneath the skirt board so you get a recess in the board and insure the screw has plenty of room to grab in and hold securely.
After your skirt is all attached, measure the inside distance between the skirts (mine was 19 inches) then cut two pieces of 1×4, add pocket holes, then use 1 1/4 inch Kreg Jig screws to attach it to the skirt for stability and to help secure the top.
Before moving on, wipe down the entire base with a tack cloth to get off all dust.
Now the fun part – PAINT! Normally painting turned legs is a pain in the… well you know. But, using my HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer, it’s a breeze! I painted the entire base in about 5 minutes. Just be sure to thin the paint down to about the consistency of buttermilk before spraying. Use it just like spray paint, using a few coats to cover it all. After the first coat I sanded the rough spots lightly with fine grit sand paper to smooth (because you are painting raw wood, after all.) A few coats and a couple of hours later, it’s time to put the top on.
See the pocket hole in the middle of the board pointing towards the table top? Yeah, you wanna put one of those in the short pieces and two in the long pieces before you put it all together. I forgot and had to do it after painting. But, it’s all good – just make sure you have them in there. Then drill pilot holes in the cross/brace pieces.
With the top flipped upside down, center the base on the top. Use 1 1/4 inch Kreg Jig screws to attach the top in all of those holes and attach the finished and dried top to the table. Then your island is complete.
I was kinda shocked that I figured out how to build a kitchen island by myself, but it was seriously easy.
Have questions? Drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to get them answered!
Thanks to HomeRight for partnering with me on this post! All ideas, projects, photos, words & opinions are 100% my own.