Kitchen Table and Island Update with Java Gel Stain and Paint

Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


Well, I’ve completed my first home project of 2015, and boy does it feel good to √ something off my to-do list! Repainting the kitchen island has been on that list ever since we got a new backsplash …. oh … a couple of years ago! And the kitchen table and chairs have needed a re-do since the day we moved in and they got a long, ugly scratch in transit! (Isn’t it funny how you can look at something every day, but never really see it?? That was my relationship with our kitchen set–life and other projects were more important, and it just didn’t bug me–which is so not my personality, by the way!


Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


I thought this would be the perfect indoor, bad weather project, but the joke was on me. As soon as I got started on it, Seattle had the most amazing, glorious “Spring” weather! At least the sun provided good light for painting and picture taking, and my walking posse always seemed to be ready to go in between coats. Fortunately, I still was able to enjoy the beautiful weather…and my walking buddies!  😀


Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


You can see the seat bottoms are beat up well used and could use a freshen up. Here’s a “keeping it real” before shot of the island:


Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


At least it’s clean and shiny–just a bit cluttered is all! But, hey, life gets in the way, right?!


While the island is a bright and cheery color, you can see it just doesn’t match. Also, when we originally painted the kitchen cabinets and island, we finished them off with a coat of polyurethane, which is beginning to yellow over the light cabinets. If you could see how many kitchen cupboards and drawers we have, you’d realize why I’m only repainting the island.  I did, however, paint the inside of the doors!  😀


What do you think of the new color? I’m loving it.


Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


And I tidied up! Yeah! Hey, if you would like another “Highlight Magazine” object search, this is for you. “Find the Snowflake!” — Oops–guess I missed that one when I was putting Christmas decorations away!  😀


To get the project started, the first thing I did was remove the hardware, doors and drawers. [TIP: MAKE SURE TO LABEL AND BAG ALL HARDWARE!] This will save you so much angst when it comes time to put everything back together! I used a liquid deglosser on the island, being super careful not to drip on the hardwood floors. I actually scuff sanded and deglossed the doors and drawers. Being on the cooktop, they get a lot of use and abuse. And remember, I won’t be applying polyurethane this time!


I then taped everything off with Frog Tape and paper, and primed everything with one coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123, which is a water based product, and so easy to use. I normally use BM paints, but Sherwin Williams was having their 30% off sale, and I wanted to give their paints a try. I chose their ProClassic, which is a smooth enamel recommended for trim and doors–also water based. I had already picked out a BM color (#1028 Saber Gray), which they color matched for me in a semi-gloss finish. I’ll definitely use SW paints again, and FYI, they have some of the prettiest grays–Mindful Gray, Silver Strand, Repose Gray, Magnetic Gray–just to name a few! You can read my other tutorials on painting woodwork here, and here, but I warn you, they are some of my earliest posts!



Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /



For the table, the original plan was to paint the table top and seat bottoms, but that plan changed. My wrist was really hurting, so I asked Hubby if he could sand the table top for me–telling him I only needed a “C” job. Well, of course he did an “A” job, and it ended up being too pretty to paint! Plan B was to give it 3 coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stain. (I had already given the seat bottoms just a scuff sand and they were still ugly enough to paint!) I should have let Hubby apply the Polycrylic to the table top, as well, because my finishes never look as good as his.  (Except with wax.  I’ve got him beat there.) 😉  But from a distance (and if you squint your eyes a bit) it’s beautiful 😉 .


Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /



While I had the paint out, I decided to make a new table runner with leftover drop cloth material and the Saber Gray paint.  It was so simple, and it turned out super cute.   You can find a quick tutorial on how to achieve a grain sack stripe here. Have I mentioned how much I’m loving my new kitchen freshen up?! 😀



Kitchen table and island makeover with java gel stain and paint /


In closing, it is a gray, gray day here in Seattle, in more ways than one. If you watched the Super Bowl to the bitter end, you know what I’m talking about. I’m still a 12, and ♥ my Seahawks, but if I ever run into Pete Carroll, I’ll have to ask, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??!”  Well, you know what they say….”There’s always next year!”

Hope you have a wonderful week! Cynthia


Sharing with these great link parties:

. … … Kammys Korner …… Cedar Hill Farmhouse .. …Home Stories A to Z … …. Savvy Southern StyleThe Turquoise Home ….. Embracing Change … Average Inspired … From my Front Porch to YoursMy Repurposed Life … … French Country Cottage ….. … …  … Thoughts From Alice … …Coastal Charm .. … Dwellings-The Heart of Your HomeDIY Show OffBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Décor Chick …  …  The Curator’s Collection



Kammys Korner – Trash to Treasure Tuesday

Winter Blues Wednesday – DIY by Design

Catch as Catch Can – My Repurposed Life 

For your convenience, I have linked up some of the products used to complete this makeover.  If a purchase is made, it is possible I will receive a small commission, but this will not affect your sale price.  I’m not looking to get rich,  just sharing products I actually use and like.  

34 Responses

  1. Love the island and the table and chairs. Great makeovers. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

    • Thanks, Marty! Painting furniture is fun, but then they sell, and I never get to enjoy them–I find DIY projects much more rewarding–THANKS for your kinds words and for hosting!

  2. I love how everything turned out! I especially love the Java Gel on the tabletop. I need to redo my kitchen table and chairs, too…

    • Thank you, Ellen! Beauty of Java Gel is you don’t need to bring it down to bare wood! Good luck on your project!

  3. Your makeovers turned out great…especially the table and chairs.
    Have a great day.

  4. Wow!!
    Both projects turned out great! I especially love your table, it looks brand new!

  5. It looks wonderful! You did a great job on the table….and the runner!

  6. Your table and your island good great! I love the lighter color on your island. It goes great with the other cabinets. And I got to see it in person. So good job! I love seeing all your work.
    I love being one of the walking posse with you.
    And yes it was a sad day for the Seattle Seahawks. Monday morning Clark told me that everything just seemed more gray and dreary because the Seahawks lost. I told my husband he has SSS (Seattle Seahawk Sadness). I don’t know what they were thinking on that last play either.
    Hope to see you soon!

    • SSS–I love it–and think I have it, as well! 🙁 🙁 As soon as this rain stops we’ll “do the big Hill”. Thanks for your kind words, Linda! See you soon!

  7. Ooh! I love the colors on both!!! What a difference! It all seems more elegant somehow! 🙂

    • Thank you, Christine, and yes, the darker top makes a huge difference on the table top! Take care!

  8. Your table top is gorgeous, and your kitchen island is looking, well… gorgeous!!

  9. I really liked the green, but I feel you on the outside view! The new color is very pretty, and still is a great contrast to the other cabinets. It turned out terrifically. I guess it’s just a dream to cook in there now. Every. Single. Day. 😉

    • Yes, me and the little birds humming and whistling the day away…cooking and cleaning … FA LA LA LA LA 😀 They need to step it up with the cleaning though! haha

      THANKS for your kind words, Kim, and for the nightstand!

  10. Kendra @

    It’s amazing with paint can do, Cynthia! Love the new look! I’ve been wanting to reprint our kitchen table and chairs! I love how yours look. Would be thrilled if you’d share it at our link party on my blog please 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks so much, Kendra! Will check out! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, as well!

  11. My goodness! That table is gorgeous! I love the island, as well. You (and hubby) do great work! 🙂

  12. Holy buckets! What an amazing transformation! It’s absolutely beautiful!

  13. […] Clockwork Interiors- painted (updated) kitchen island plus table and chairs […]

  14. oh wow this is gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up to Inspire Me Monday.

  15. I love it and I have an old table that someone set a potted plant on and it left a big white stain! Then the same person sanded it down! I am beside my self as this old piece was a gift from my father. I love the way your table looks. May I ask what color stain you used? Thanks so much.

    • Such a shame, but you can fix it! I used General Finishes Gel Stain–Java is the color, but they have many others to choose from. FYI, the beauty of Gel Stain, and why it is more expensive, is that you don’t have to bring the piece down to bare wood–just a light sanding. Although it will require more than one coat! Good luck!

  16. This is beautiful! I absolutely love the color choice and it is refreshing to see a latex paint project 🙂 The table also is great. I wish your husband could swing by and sand a few of mine that are waiting in the garage lol! Thanks for linking up to The Painted Drawer!

  17. Cynthia! What a dramatic change! You did a lovely job on both the table and the island. I did like the green but I really love how classy this color looks now. The black really seems to ground the room and give it that classy feel 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this week at my making broken beautiful party. I always enjoy seeing your work! Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Thanks, Terry! I liked the green, as well, but it didn’t match the new tile backsplash. But who am I kidding … it’ll probably be another color in a year or two! Thanks for hosting and for stopping by! Cynthia

  18. Could you share with me step by step how you stained the table and then applied the polycrlyic?? The final job looks professionally done!!!

Leave a Reply