This kitchen island of ours has undergone so many changes!
Basically, the butcher block top had experienced enough fluctuations between high humidity in the summer (remember, we don’t have AC) and intense dryness in the winter (wood-burning stove in the kitchen!) that it had rather fatally split.
Remember the “before before”? When we first moved in, we painted the walls (well, the girls removed a gazillion layers of wallpaper and Sukie painted), but the cabinets and island (and floor!) were as we found them:
Then I had the idea to take an old desk of Phil’s and rework the top into a new butcher block for it, so that I could actually work on it without navigating that awkward insert of a cutting board. You can read about how we did it in this post about me getting a new top and figuring out how to seal and protect it with our own homemade beeswax paste!
Here’s the “in between before”:
It was almost nine years ago that we did this fix. Since then, the island paint job got a bit beat up. I must say that black is great but when it scrapes the white underneath shows and it does get to be a mess.
Here’s how it was looking…
But mostly, the top was shot. He tried to fix the split — you can see how in this Instagram pic. But every winter it got worse… and I was back to having things seep down into my drawers! Terrible.
Once again, I tried to play with the thought of a different island entirely (some of my previous thought process is in this same post back in the day). I like the storage, I can’t see sinking money into cabinetry that would not be in keeping with the rest of the kitchen, and I couldn’t find a dresser that I could re-purpose, à la Pinteresty vintage rustic chic examples.
Honestly, this one is fine, it has great storage, and because it’s actually on wheels, the floor is easier to clean and we have flexibility if we want to push it over to the side, on the wall under the plate rack, and open up all our space for a big party! So it stays.
Meanwhile, Phil was searching for a butcher block to replace the old one.
On Craigslist, a guy was pulling out shelving from an institution and had these big counters for sale. Phil bought one off of him and cut it to size, then sanded and sanded and rubbed and beeswaxed and buffed…
I decided that a nice upgrade, if we were going to be repainting anyway, would be to add corbels and switch out the hardware. There’s a lot going on in this room, so I went for black.
Black is also super hard to take nice pics of, even when so newly painted, so try not to judge haha!
The top is ever so slightly bigger, just a little. But I do like that. And it’s in great condition! I hope we can keep it that way!
So that’s the upgrade! I love the top, I love the corbels, and I love the new hardware! What do you think? I’m thinking about stools…
Notes: the paint is “black” from Home Depot. The hardware is also from there — the drawer pulls are “cocoa bronze” but honestly they look pretty darn black. The corbels are from there as well. The top is thrifted from Craigslist — it’s maple, finished with a paste made from mineral oil and beeswax, completely food-grade.