Tip for Finishing an Island Cabinet in Your Kitchen

When finishing a kitchen island in place, raise the cabinet up off the floor to make it easy to finish the kickspace without damaging the floor. Once the coats of stain and finish have dried, lower the island back down before installing the countertop.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


We have a lot of work yet to do on the island cabinet. And as soon as you see this, you might realize that it’s a lot higher than most island cabinets. Here’s the reason why.

We installed the hardwood floor a couple of weeks before we were able to put the finish and the stain on the hardwood floor, so that it would have time to acclimate and drawing in the moisture out being in this air conditioned space.

During that two weeks, the cabinets were installed. And we raised this cabinet up on a temporary base, because the furniture style legs that are so popular on island cabinets will allow you to see under it to a certain degree. And by finishing this, we’ll lower this back down later and everything will look great.

Now another reason that we have this elevated is that the homeowners are doing something a lot of homeowners are doing in their kitchen these days and that’s to let the island cabinet take on a little bit of a different personality but one that’s still complimentary to the rest of the kitchen with a completely different finish.

What we’re planning on doing is bringing in a specialty painter that can match the stain and the texture of this piece of furniture that will be attach to an adjacent piece of furniture in an adjacent room. And all of these will have that finish. That way, keeping it elevated makes it a lot easier for that specialty painter to complete all of the work.

Then we’ll take the base out; lower it back down to a regular height. Then we’ll put on the granite countertop, and all of this part will be finished. I’m just really anxious to see how this will look once they finish their work.

The first coat of stain that’s applied is a lighter color. It quickly becomes obvious, though, that this will bring out the beauty of the wood’s grain and warm up the kitchen considerably. By adding additional layers of stain, the decorative painter will not only get the island closer to the color of the antique piece he’s trying to match, but the multiple layer will also give the finish some of the depth and texture of an older piece.

Our strategy of lifting the island up seems to be working well, because he’s able to cover every part of the island completely and quickly. Soon, we’re able to lower it back down into its final position to await the granite countertop.


  1. I have an existing kitchen island that has oven. We could use more storage. There is a lot of empy space in the back. How hard would it be to add doors in the back?

    • Hi, Lloyd,

      Danny says, “Actually, it’s not hard at all. It’s a matter of cutting the openings for the doors you have (easily available from home centers), cutting the proper size hole, sanding and sawing the doors, and you have ready access to the backside.”

      Good luck!


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