Projects & Improvements

Before & After: A New Bold Butcher Block Island

published Jun 22, 2014
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(Image credit: Kendra Matusiak)

Kendra started her own business in 2011, REmix Design, a perfect way to use her interior design skills plus her passion for home design and working with tools. She loves saving furniture that “has seen better days.” She mixes old with new, rusty and shiny and this $10 table turned butcher block island is a perfect example!

(Image credit: Kendra Matusiak)

From Kendra:

This particular piece is my most recent before and after. I discovered the $10 table while making my usual bi-weekly rounds at a local thrift store. Immediately my mind new what it could become. Yes, the legs weren’t so stable, and the metal top was rusted, but it was the perfect size and height to become the heart of a kitchen: an island!

I took it home and immediately began tearing off the metal top with the help of my dad. All the wood needed was a good sanding, and a fresh coat of paint. I had a quart of a leftover light blue and deep teal that I mixed together to create this beautiful, traditional sea foam green color. Got to love free paint! To help strengthen the table, I added some wooden blocking to the under frame. Thank goodness for scrap 2×4’s. This table definitely needed some beefing up, especially if it was going to hold what I had in mind for the top.

Not only do I have my own business, but I eventually found work as a designer at a company that specializes in retail interiors. That’s where this beautiful butcher block comes in. We had five cutoff pieces that were leftover from one of our recent jobs. My boss generously donated it to me, and I snatched it up knowing I would one day use it for a REmix project. For this particular table, the size was perfect! No cutting needed, no trimming, nothing. Just biscuit joints, glue, and hours of sanding. (My arms are feeling it today!)

The final step was assembly. To help plumb the legs, I added some decorative metal from Lowes. Three pieces at $6.83 a piece, can’t be beat. The holes in the metal are perfect for hanging hooks to hold decorative wooden spoons or kitchenware.

In the three years I’ve been saving furniture and items from the trash, this piece is a contender to be my favorite. And I love that it only cost around $35 to recreate! Proof that high-end vintage doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Repurposing at its finest! More photos on Kendra’s Etsy shop.

Thank you Kendra!