Distressing/Antiquing a Kitchen Island

The kitchen redo seems to be taking much longer than we planned.  We’ve been waiting to find the perfect farmhouse sink—so we can then do the concrete countertops—so then we can……..

You know.

BUT, a couple of weekends ago I had fun redoing the kitchen island.  It has a butcher block top and I wanted to distress it and make it appear to be like an old European shipping crate that had been repurposed into an island. And then, of course, restored.  We do the craziest things.

Here’s what you need:

~ sander/sanding paper

~ stencils

~ stencil paint

~ stain {we used Minwax Special Walnut}

~ clear, matte sealer

~ brushes

Here’s how we did it:

1. Clean and sand the top of the island

2.  Lay out your stencils—and stencil! Since we wanted it to look like a shipping crate, we laid them out a bit haphazard and in different directions.  We used black acrylic paint for this part.

3.  Once dry—sand your stenciled areas so they will appear worn

4.  Stain—with the grain—your island.  Go right over your stencils.  Do not allow the stain to puddle if at all possible.  DO NOT WIPE OFF THE EXCESS!!!  Usually when you stain furniture you would want to do this—but to make a piece looked distressed and old, skip this step. It will create worn markings and spots—looks so great!

5.  Repeat #4 if it is not as dark as you would like it to be—-or if you are happy with it, move on to the next step.

6.  Follow the directions of the clear sealer—and seal with 3 coats.  Make sure you use a matte sealer for the antique/distressed look.  Shiny/Gloss doesn’t cut it for this. 🙂

7.  Wait at least 24 hours before using or putting anything on it.

I love it!  What do you think?

Now………I heard Ikea has great farmhouse sinks that don’t cost an arm and a leg……….hhhhhmmmmmmmmm………


Linking this project with:  Skip to My LouSumo’s Sweet StuffTip Junkie,Today’s Creative BlogNot JUST a HousewifeBlackberry VineLadybug-BlessingsMy Girlish WhimsBlue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Chic CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickHouse of Hepworth’sRemodelaholicFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaStuff and NonsenseCommon GroundSomewhat SimpleDIY ShowoffHome Savvy A to ZHome Stories A to ZPassionately Artistic. Miss Mustard Seed






45 thoughts on “Distressing/Antiquing a Kitchen Island

    • Thanks, Anneke! Craigslist can be a great place for finds……we found a farmhouse sink at Ikea; but the closest one to us is 4 hours away. ugh. {They don’t ship} So, now, just to find a time to go pick one up…………

  1. I absolutely love this! It is so beautiful and unique and makes such a statement. I’m pinning it right now, thank you so much for sharing!

    Brie from darlingdoodles.blogspot.com

  2. LOVE THIS! I redid a butcherblock island earlier this year and love how the stain makes the standard-issue butcherblock seem so much richer! Great job – I really love the stencil additions.


  3. Pingback: Tutes & Tips Not to Miss {27} | Home Stories A to Z

  4. I LOVE your kitchen island! You really added a ton of character. I love the new rich color and the stenciling! If we didn’t already have marble for the one we’re building, I’d definitely copy this! haha! Thanks so much for sharing in the Roomspiration Kitchen party! I look forward to seeing more!


  5. Beautiful island… I made one just like it out of an IKEA cart…. stop by and take a look.
    Where did you get the cup holder that is sitting on your island?

    • Thanks, Liz. The stand is a vintage French drying rack…keep your eye out for them in antique stores and flea markets that specialize in European items. The mugs are from Anthropologie…..I got them a few years ago. =)

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