Making a Kitchen Island Top From Pine

Lead Image for Making a Kitchen Island Top From Pine
  • 8-24 hours
  • Advanced
  • 500-9,000
What You'll Need
Pine boards 1-1/2 inch thick by 2 inch
Circular or table saw
Tape measure
Power sander
Power Drill
Paint or stain (optional)
Industrial polyurethane sealant
Paint brushes
Safety goggles
Breathing mask

Making a kitchen island top from pine can enhance the furniture, adding to its value. This is a moderately challenging do-it-yourself project that requires special tools and a little bit of woodworking knowledge to complete. Following these instructions to create a pine countertop that will enhance your kitchen island design.


Measure the counter surface area of your island to determine the dimensions you need to cut. Using 2-inch wide pine planks will allow you to create several seams across the countertop that may be aesthetically appealing. Make sure you take careful measurements to cut down on any waste. If you desire an overhang, allow an extra inch on all sides to accommodate it.

Wood Cutting

Cut the pine boards to the appropriate sizes. Mix and match different lengths to cover the entire surface area if you want to create an uneven board-to-board seam look. Otherwise, cut lengths that completely cover from one end to the other, or meet in the middle for acceptable symmetry. The board-to-board seam pattern is totally a personal choice, however. Remember to account for any overhang if desired. Also cut a 2-1/2 inch strip to serve as a lip around the entire countertop. You will need enough to cover all sides that do not meet a wall.

Attach Boards

Using a power drill and 1/2 inch wood screws, attach all boards by screwing these in from underneath through the countertop support surface. Make sure to enlist the help of an assistant to secure the boards in their proper location while attaching. Apply the lip around the entire top, attaching it to the island frame using a strong wood adhesive. Use a router with a round bit to shape the edges of all outer boards around the entire island.


Sand all surface areas first using a 120-grit. Make two passes and then a final finishing pass using 320-grit. Make sure to stop occasionally to check the smoothness of the top. Once satisfied with your results, wipe the top free of all dust with a damp cloth.

Coloring and Finishing

Depending on your personal preferences, color the top by painting or staining if you don't want to leave it with a natural look. In either case, you will need to apply finishing coats of a heavy polyurethane sealant that can seep into the seams between the boards. Apply sufficient coats with a paintbrush to fill in all cracks and crevices. Allow the first coat to dry and then sand it using very fine paper. Apply an additional coat evenly to create a smooth surface. Allow sufficient drying time before use.

When applying the polyurethane coats, make sure your work area is properly ventilated and wear a breathing mask for added protection.