I never had a kitchen with an island before. I didn't think I was missing anything. Boy, was I wrong. I LOVE my island. When we were redoing the kitchen, I didn't give the island much thought. I figured I'd paint it to match the cabinets. I did. I hated it. The more I thought about it the more using a black chalk paint made sense to me.
When I was learning to quilt I once read something about how many Amish quilters include just a bit of black in every quilt. I also remember someone, probably my mom, telling me how black, though it can seem overwhelming, actually kind of disappears. After living with the black island, I have to agree. The matte finish of the paint and the dark color just blend in with the appliances and the hardware on the cabinets.
- Pick a color of chalk-finish paint from one of the many brands out there. I love black but an espresso, granite or even navy would be fun.
- If you plan on distressing your island, pick a base color to start with. It can be chalk-finish paint or just a flat or satin latex paint. This is the color that will "peek" through when you distress. White, bright blue, red or any other color that makes you happy will work.
- Once again, get your surface as clean as possible. TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate) is my favorite for this job.
- If you have doors or drawers, remove the hardware and take doors off. Decide whether you want to clean or replace the hardware.
- Apply your base coat. This does not have to be perfectly applied - you're only going to see tiny bits of it.
- When that is dry, apply your top coat. Plan on at least 2 coats of paint. Let dry overnight.
- If want a distressed look, take a piece of fine sand paper and go over areas that would naturally show wear over time - drawer fronts, corners, etc. - until you reveal a bit of your base coat. Pinterest is a great place to look for levels of distressing and to help you decide which look is right for you.
- When you're done distressing the island, go over it with a damp lint free cloth to remove any residual dust from the sandpaper. Once that is done, apply 2-3 coats of polycrylic (NOT polyurethane).
Note: Most lines of chalk-finish paint recommend you seal the paint with wax. This does offer a beautiful, butter soft finish but, I would not recommend it in a kitchen. You would find yourself having to rewax every month or two depending on the wear you put on your kitchen. If you don't want to use Polycrylic, consider using one of the one-step paints like Fusion or Heirloom Traditions.
As always, if you have questions - let me know!