Board & Batten Kitchen Island Makeover

Today I am going to share with you the tutorial on how Mr. Rosemary Lane created a new look for our rather boring kitchen island for just under $300. Now the island is fairly large and you can see that it has a 45 degree angle at the far end. The counter top space measures 94 inches at its longest point. Since it is so long we made the decision to paint the island white in an effort to break up all of the honey toned wood of the kitchen cabinets.

Materials used in this project were...
16  3 1/2 inch wide X 4ft. oak boards (one was used to create each box)
1 4ft X 4ft MDF board with 1/2 inch thickness
1 2ft. X 4ft. MDF board with 1/2 thickness
4 inch wide baseboard molding enough to go around the entire island
miter saw
air compressor nail gun
wood glue
white caulk and paint

First we had to remove the old quarter round from around the entire island. (Michael helped with this job.)

Then it was decided to make the sides of the boxes 3 1/3 inches in width. This actually determine how many boxes we would need to cover the back and sides of the island, which when all was said and done it totaled eight boxes. Both MDF and the oak boards were used to create each box. 

The bottom board is MDF cut in 7 1/2 inch wide strips. This is so when the 4 inch wide baseboard was attached there would be 3 1/2 inches exposed to match the width of the oak boarding.

After carefully measuring and cutting all of the boards needed, assembly began.

The board mapping was done very simply in an end to end fashion. No angles were cut except for where the counter took its own 45 degree angle. To the back of each board was first applied a healthy amount of wood glue. Then the board was attached to the back of the existing counter using less than one inch nails. Once Mr. RL was done attaching all of the boards, I sanded down the old finish along with the oak boards and gave the entire island a coat of fresh white paint.

As you can see we have an outlet at the end of the island which was going to interfere with the flow of the board and batten. We thought about moving the outlet box but that seemed like an awful lot of extra work. Instead I found outlet covers at Lowes which had a bit of thickness to it which almost perfectly matched the 1/2 inch thickness of the boards. Mr. Rosemary Lane cut around the outlet cover and then I caulked to blend it together before painting.

The front of the island is all drawers with one cabinet. So I took everything out to the garage to give it a good sanding down

Then with a sponge roller I painted on the white. New bin style drawer pulls from Home Depot replaced the old handles. I needed eight and each pull ran $4.99.

The final step in this process was to add the 4 inch baseboard to the bottom of the island. Here 45 degree angles were cut to match up the ends of the baseboard to create a neat and finished look.

Again the BEFORE...

...and the AFTER



In retrospect we could have done the entire island using only the MDF which would have saved us close to 1/3 of the total project cost. However at the time Mr. RL wasn't sure about using all MDF so he went ahead and purchased the oak.

But overall I am thrilled with the pretty board and batten in the bright white. It's funny because in the late afternoon when the natural sunlight hits the island it seems to take on a beautiful glow!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
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  1. It looks amazing, Barbara! Well done, you two! (And Michael, too!!)

  2. Your island is beautiful and your husband did an outstanding job.

  3. you guys did a great job, it's perfect, and adds so much to your kitchen space!

  4. It looks great. Wonderful job!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  5. Barbara, absolutely, fantastic, make-over. Didn't think your kitchen could look any better, but if does!! Mr. RL needs a pat on the back. I love it..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy.P.S. And Michael too!!

  6. Looks wonderful. What color white paint did you use?

  7. What a GREAT makeover, Barbara!!! It went from pretty plain to pretty spectacular! It does 'glow' in the sunlight! Isn't it funny how you do something like that and then keep walking back into the room to admire it again and again?!
    Happy April to you- xo Diana

  8. Beautiful! Do you mind me asking what the beautiful gray color is on your upper wall?

  9. The color is by Benjamin Moore and it is from their Historic collection. It's called Chelsea Gray. It seems to have a little bit of a green tint to it. I love the color.

  10. I love your kitchen makeover!! The cabinets are really pretty!

  11. Absolutely beautiful Barbara! I always love when islands are a different color and add a little pop to a kitchen. And the addition of the board and batten adds texture and interest. Nicely done Mr. Rosemary Lane! Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. This is gorgeous! We don't have an island in our newer home, but ever since we bought this place, I've wanted board and batten on the peninsula. We put board and batten in our entry and bedroom, but haven't done the peninsula yet. I'm pinning for the day we finally do.

  13. The island makes the entire room look brighter. Fantastic design decision. The new drawer pulls also made a big difference.


  14. I did the same thing to my kitchen, which was filled with blah blonde cabinets from the 80's. I first sanded and then painted them with a Benjamin Moore color, Cloud White. Where you used smooth board, I used bead board. It was a more transitional one, 4" spacings rather than the smaller, 2" spacing traditionally associated with beadboard. I used the same board as wainscoting in the house, so this tied in the kitchen area with that.
    It was sold at Lowe's and unfortunately, I don't think they carry it now. MDF moulding finished the edges and base. Don't be afraid to use it. Just paint it, and it looks fine.
    I too put in new cabinet handles (They cost as much or more than the rest of the kitchen redo, which was a gallon of paint, a sheet of beadboard, a tube of adhesive, and some sandpaper.) Of course, this was a diy project, so I'm not counting labor costs and the disruption of having no kitchen for several days.
    For a surprising few dollars, it totally updated and brightened the entire kitchen. I recommend taking the plunge and redoing those tired cabinets. Go forth boldly!

  15. Love It!! We did somethingsimilar many years ago when I bought several sheets of bead board paneling at a yard sale for $2.00 and used it to cover the custom made counter bar in our Kitchen!!
    Thanks for sharing!!


  16. Hi,

    I absolutely love your style.
    This sounds easy, right? Just run a google search about removing breakfast bar on island. No really, try that. It comes up with the most ridiculous things. And all completely unrelated to what I wanted. I didn't know how that piece was connected and google wasn't helping me!!!!. For all I knew, this was one big piece of island and couldn't be separated. Really this post is useful for us.

    Thanking you

  17. I am doing this to my island. I just have one question that I can't figure out from pictures. How does the baseboard end (or match up) to the side by the cabinets? That is the only hiccup we are running into. Thanks!

  18. Hi,
    I absolutely love your style.
    I discovered your blog and get a lot of great ideas for my own home.
    I am in the process of making a crafting corner in my kitchen.
    Really this post is useful for us.

    Thanking you.

  19. Great post! I found it very useful. Love the final result. Thanks for the inspiration and the tips. check my blog


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