“Kitchy” Work Tables: DIY

We needed more storage space and a table workspace by the fridge. In our new fixer upper home, we agreed the refrigerator would go in the utility room rather than jutting into the middle of the kitchen. However, we had no counter near the fridge to put stuff on. I’d turn and see a Swiffer, broom, and mop leaning against the wall, with nowhere to put the jar of olives, turkey meat, cilantro bunch, and pineapple juice strangled between my chest and forearms. We needed something temporary, or at least mobile; an aesthetically pleasing and functional counter space since a kitchen remodel isn’t going to happen for at least a year, or two, or… when we retire. And of course, like most things, we were going to make these counter spaces ourselves. So the furniture making began!

The first step was the design process. We combined our needs, measurements, materials, and ideas into a design that both of us agreed on.

We decided we would make two three tiered wooden tables with white painted frames and dark walnut stained tops and shelves. Using a miter saw, 2×6’s were cut for the table tops, 2×4’s for the frames, 1×2’s for the shelf slats, and 2×3’s for the shelf faces that support the slats.

It was important for us to choose our favorite pieces of 2×6’s for the table tops and 2×3’s for shelf faces. These areas would be visible at all times, and I preferred the pieces with interesting wavy wood grains and dark conical knots.

All the wood was sanded well before being painted or stained.

For the stain, we applied dark walnut in thick coats and scrubbed the areas with old socks as we went along. We did this one piece of wood at a time, rubbing while the stain was freshly applied and wet, to get the desired tone.

The table frames were primed and painted in white gloss with a brush.

Divide and conquer. Partners work well when one is “engineery” and the other is artsy. One of us prefers the mechanical side of things, while the other enjoys the detail work.



With some effort and ingenuity, we created two beautiful “designer” tables. Now, for the rest of the kitchen…




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