Monday, January 13, 2014

An Antique Work Bench Turned Kitchen Island

     I don't want to flatter myself, but...I think this transformation is pretty dramatic. I picked this antique workbench up straight from the 19th century mill where it had been built and used since probably the 1940s. The section of the mill where I got it had been used to make motor cycle parts. I got the work bench from the gentleman who had purchased the property and intended to turn it into shop space and condos. He thought I was off my rocker at how excited I was to get both this big bench, and a smaller one on casters from him. I included a before and after of the smaller one down at the bottom of the post as well.
      So, first I removed the giant casters that made this piece about four and a half feet tall. It now stands 39" tall, which is the perfect bar height. I had to clean the thing thoroughly, as it was gross, and spidery *shudder*. I removed the little dividers on the bottom shelf and replaced one of the cross braces which had cracked. I added the top and trim, as well as the supports below. I also added the pine boards to the bottom shelf to give the piece a little more visual heft. The base is painted in Annie Sloan Cream, the top is a mixture of dark walnut and English chestnut stain, with high gloss poly on top. I wanted to honor the rustic feel and history of the piece, but still make it feel fresh and handsome. What do you think?


Here it is with the matching dining table that is going to the same gal.

and here's the before and after on the other work bench I got from the guy. He was going to chuck both these pieces into the dumpster if I hadn't taken them. I'm glad I snagged them before he got the chance :)

This post is partying with:


  1. Anonymous1/13/2014

    As I have said before and I will say it again, you are a genius !!!!!!!
    To be able to see the potential in the stuff you thrift is truly a gift.
    Thank you for your inspiration,

  2. Maureen1/14/2014

    Both pieces are beautiful. I especially love the tops. Great job!

  3. fantastic restoration work. love all of them. Any chance the lady who got the work bench and table would show it in her house?

  4. Wow, I can't even believe that's the same piece, it's beautiful! You did a fantastic job and I would love it if you linked up to The Makers!
    Have a great week!

  5. Well, you just go right on headed and flatter yourself, because I too think this transformation is pretty fantastic! I can't believe how wonderful it turned out!!! Good work!! Congratulations... :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique