Creative furniture solution ideas

My husband and I have a small-ish kitchen with minimal counter space. Today I found one of those wheeled kitchen island things with the butcher block top. I love it. It has cupboard space underneath, some drawers, a towel rack, etc. It’s just the right size to slide along the little bit of open wall space we have when we’re not using it. It’s perfect, except…

… it has a black finish. My cabinets are a more of a cherry finish and the black wood stands out big time in the kitchen. It’s such a great piece and I’m really excited about it, but I don’t want it to look so foreign.

I know very little about stripping furniture and refinishing it. I’m kind of hoping perhaps there is a way to just paint over it. It’s still too cold up here to take it outside to strip and varnish and I don’t want to wait to put it in the kitchen. I’m so excited about it. It looks kind of like this; it even has the wood top (which I want to make sure stays natural).

How can I make this piece match better? It doesn’t need to be a perfect match; I just don’t want it to stick out so much.

A little more info, in case it helps.

The walls are this shade of green (Leprechaun Green, Benjamin Moore).

I would be okay with perhaps painting the cart a color that goes with the cherry wood and the green walls. Or maybe doing some accents with the green (we still have left over paint). I’m looking for something that will look classy and not clashing.

I’m pretty open for options… as long as it doesn’t take too much work! haha!

First of all, what is it made of? Is it real wood, or just melamine with a veneer on top? If it’s the latter, it’s not worth stripping, and it’ll be impossible to paint, and judging from the looks of the piece in the link you provided, I’m guessing that’s what it is.

What to do? Well, this is going to be a lot of work. First of all, the black will be darn near impossible to cover up with paint; you’re probably going to have to paint it a colour neutral between what it is and what you want a couple of times first. The reason for this is because the colour goes right down to the particle board underneath; sanding it off will do nothing because you’re taking off the only barrier that will prevent the particleboard from swelling grotesquely as it sucks up the paint you want to put on it.

If it was up to me, I would find a lighter colour veneer to glue on it.

I’m not much for fixing up cabinetry, but if in Winnipeg is correct and it’s veneer over some composite material, you’re out of luck on refinishing. It seems possible to me that the doors and drawer face are actual wood, but the body of the cart is surely composite.

When distressed pieces were in style, I’d have suggested hitting it with a chain a few times and sanding off some of the finish on the corners to make it look like something from a very old estate sale. I’m skeptical that this would work at all with that cart, and its probably not what you’re looking for.

But what the hell - it was $164, not a king’s ransom. If you destroy the cart in your efforts to make it better, it’s a disappointment, not your life savings. And maybe you’ll find a better piece if you have to admit failure with this specific cart. Get creative!

I sanded the wood, and took some of the black finish off. It’s not solid wood in all places; the doors and drawer fronts were wood; the other parts are a composite. But I put two coats of primer on, which has made the black just about invisible. I bought some brown paint that is about the same color as my cabinetry. I’m going to paint it brown… and hope it turns out!

Any suggestions on how to get a slight wood-grain look to it when painting the top coat?

My spouse did an interesting thing in my son’s room on some built-in cabinets. She painted the cabinets a deep brown color, then used watered-down glaze in a lighter color over that, using a stiffish brush to apply the second coat. I can’t say it looks like wood under scrutiny, but it has that flavor. Head down to Kelly Moore or another paint store and ask for advice. There’s are also kits at Lowe’s or Home Despot to do faux finishes of various sorts - some of them are pretty cool.

Personally, I’d just paint it bright-ish yellow to go with those leprechaun-green walls, and not even try to camouflage it to mimic the cabinets. But maybe that’s just me.

If it is a veneer that is going to be impossible to paint or refinish you could try what I did on some (cheapish) cabinets that I decided didn’t match my kitchen…I wallpapered them.

I used a textured, patterned wallpaper of the type that comes in rolls…soak and stick. It was easy and it was easy to cut to size and to shape to fit the space. And the wallpaper was easy to wipe down and keep clean, lasted forever and looked nice for years. If you use a color and/or texture that compliments the rest of the wood and walls I bet it would look fabulous. When it was time for a change (in my case when I moved form that apartment) it was easy to remove, so in theory you could even pull it off and replace it if/when you redecorate your kitchen or if you decide you are ready for a change (or if it starts looking worn).

Test it on an inconspicuous piece to make sure it will stick and look right, but that is probably the first thing I would try (because I am lazy and sanding, refinishing or painting sounds like a lot of work to me ;)).

I live in Green Bay, WI. If I painted it yellow, everyone would think I did it to have a green-and-gold kitchen. I love the Packers, but I’m not one of the crazy fans who redecorate to incorporate “their team’s colors” all over their house. But people would think I am.

Okay, another idea: find a supplier that will sell you a new cabinet door and drawer face that matches your other cabinets, and replace the existing ones on the cart. Then paint the rest of the cart whatever color you like that’s not yellow. :slight_smile: One downside of this plan will be difficulty mating the new cabinet faces to whatever hardware is behind them.