Instead of replacing that antique kitchen island, you can take the time to renovate it and make it look like new again. With a few simple steps your kitchen island can come alive again and add a dramatic flair to your kitchen. Some of the time, the renovation of an antique kitchen island is made necessary from salvaging it out of an old home, or buying it at an antique dealer.
Step 1: Do an Inspection of Kitchen Island
At first glance you might think there is a lot of work needed in renovating an antique kitchen island. However, once you do an inspection you might see that that frame is still solid and it just needs some cosmetic work. The countertop needs replacing, a sink added, surface refinishing, and new cabinet doors might be all that is needed to spruce up the old island. Once you know what you are going to do, write it down and assemble all the tools, materials, and hardware you need.
Step 2: Strip Down Old Island
Use a sander and carefully strip away the old finish on the island. Get it down to the bare wood so you can fill in any gouges, cuts, or cracks with wood putty. Spread the putty into the cracks and let harden. Once it has hardened then you can sand it flush with the rest of the wood.
Step 3: Remove Old Countertop
Depending on what the countertop is made of, you might not have to replace it, but only refinish it. However, if the antique kitchen island has been neglected, you will need to remove the old countertop. Typically the countertop will be butcher block. This can be pried off with a small pry bar. Once it is removed, layout a new piece of plywood over the surface of the counter and prep it for laying tile. Spread the thin set mortar and set the tiles into the mortar according to your design. Apply the grout in between the tile spacings and then wash off with a wet sponge after it has dried.
Step 4: Replace Cabinet Doors
To add the finishing touches to the antique kitchen island renovation, remove the cabinet doors and look at how worn they are. Chances are, they will need to be replaced. Measure the openings and install new ones that will fit the opening and the style of the island.
Step 5: Renovate the Cabinet Door Pulls
To keep the antique style of the kitchen island try to keep as much of it original as you can. The cabinet door pulls will probably be made of wrought iron and will only need to be cleaned up with some tarnish remover to bring it back to near-original condition. Set it in a solution of tarnish remover overnight and then brush off the built-up dirt with a small wire brush. Dry them completely and touch up with some spray paint if needed.
Step 6: Refinish Kitchen Island
After everything is completed, clean the cabinet and remove any debris and sawdust. Use your favorite stain, or polyurethane sealer and give it a few coats to brighten it up and bring back its antique shine.