A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island

First published on September 14, 2015 now updated exactly one year later with new photos on September 14, 2016! I knew what I wanted in our kitchen – a red kitchen island with a butcher block top on wheels but I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed, sometimes it takes awhile for me to see what is staring me directly in the face. We pulled this radio stand out of the play house (our future duck coop) and I really didn’t know what to do with it. I set it aside and got to work on the many other pieces I already had until I literally dwindled down to it. I even thought about giving it away as I just couldn’t figure out how to make it functional. It was very cool and rather pretty though it did have some veneer cracking and missing on the front of it (as you can see in the before) so I had planned to probably paint it regardless. But if you stand it against a wall it is either useless as a shelf or you have to face the prettiest part of the whole piece to the wall. I just couldn’t figure out how to use it in a functional way so I put it out of my mind.

DIY red Kitchen Island made from an old radio stand @GrandmasHousDIY

Meanwhile, I knew all along I wanted a butcher block red kitchen island and I have also always wanted a book shelf in my kitchen for all of my recipe books and things so I got to work designing an island. It wasn’t very big and it was basically a small bookshelf on wheels that was a basic rectangle. I didn’t want to build it (I’m not a builder, I’m a recycler) so I was planning on probably finding something at the salvage yard. It took me so long to finally put two and two together *facepalm*. Not only was this radio stand almost exactly the same as I was designing, it’s better because it looks amazing from every angle. The very reason I was having so much trouble figuring out a function for it is what literally makes it perfect as my red kitchen island because now you can see it from every angle and use it too. Funny how things work out. I bought three cans of the red in the most affordable spray paint my local fleet store offered.

DIY red Kitchen Island made from an old radio stand @GrandmasHousDIY

When I painted it I taped up the “fabric” to keep it its original gold color thouch you can see it looks kinda stained… I may decide to paint that a separate color at some point. I put two coats of primer on it, three coats of paint and then two coats of poly acrylic, which I also put on the fabric (front and back) to help protect it. My biggest worry about it is that it was never very sturdy. I had a butcher block island once that consisted of two cabinets screwed together that we put feet on and once when I tried to move it myself one of the feet caved right over – I didn’t want that to happen again. So, I cut two 2x4s to set it on and screwed up through them into each leg as carefully as I could. This was a bit tense as I had to be perfectly straight or the screw would have burst out the side of one of those pretty legs. Then I added big castors so it has no reason to lean when it is pushed, it will just roll. On top of that we added slats of oak we had left over from our counter tops that we covered the bottom with to add even more support. It is surprisingly sturdy now and rolls so easily, when we want the kitchen open we just slide it our red kitchen island out of the way. We’re still looking for stools and I can see myself, every winter from now on, sitting at my island in front of the fire after work, perhaps sipping tea and reading from one of my cook books 🙂

Check out my tutorial How to: Build your own butcher block!

DIY red Kitchen Island made from an old radio stand @GrandmasHousDIY

Update 9/15/16: New photos to enjoy! Hey guys, I can’t believe I’ve almost been blogging for a whole year now! This radio stand I converted into a red kitchen island remains one of my top posts here however, I never liked the pictures I had for it. The bright red was really hard to capture accurately and the previous photos I thought came out far too magenta. I’ve been hinting at the blog lately that my big kitchen reveal is finally coming up and well, it just so happened, I had to take a lot of pictures for that big reveal (expect to see it August 8th 2016!) and guess what sits smack dab in the middle of my kitchen? My red kitchen island of course! So I was able to retake a whole bunch of photos! I am so happy to see that the colors came out so much truer to real life here. 

Thanks for coming by!

red-kitchen-island-wheels-castors-radio-stand kitchen-book-storage-radio-stand-red-island
red-kitchen-island-radio-stand-cabinet-diy kitchen-island-painted-red-diy-wood-working-radio-cabinet piit-red-kitchen-island-antique-radio-stand
A radio stand transformed into a red kitchen island with rustoleum spray paint, diy, do it yourself, before and after, furniture, diy, island on castors

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  1. September 15, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    This turned out amazing! I love finding new purposes for old useless things just like you did perfectly here!

    • September 18, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you! I was so relieved to find a purpose for this old radio stand! It seemed far too pretty to just let go!

  2. October 16, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    What a sweet reviva to an awesome piece. I love it! I’ll be featuring you prodigal piece tomorrow. 🙂

    • October 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Oh my goodness thank you so much! That’s fantastic!

  3. October 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    This is really nice repurposing. I love that bright red color you chose.

  4. January 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    That’s a gorgeous job! I’d love it if you’d come and share at Five Star Frou-Frou tomorrow. Love, Mimi xxx

    • January 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you!! I most definitely will!

  5. January 26, 2016 at 11:53 am

    What a great transformation. Love the new island. I will be featuring this tonight at my Winter Blues Wednesday party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

    • January 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you so much!! I’m so excited! Glad you liked it 😀

  6. February 5, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou Tarah. I hope you’ll join me again this week. Love, Mimi xxx

    • February 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you! I most certainly will!

  7. February 15, 2016 at 3:04 am

    I love this new uses for old things makeover! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature tomorow xo

  8. February 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    What a terrific project, Tarah–so much creativity and planning. It’s such a great feeling when everything “comes together,” isn’t it. Great job and thanks so much for coming to our Vintage Charm link party 🙂 It was so nice to meet you!

    • February 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      It was wonderful to meet you too! Thank you so much!

  9. February 17, 2016 at 8:43 am

    This is a darling transformation. I love the bright cheerful red color.

    If you didn’t know, we now have a group board for pinning one photo from each person that joins us at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. We would love to have you follow and enjoy the pins too. Here is the direct link: https://www.pinterest.com/reinventedco/thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-link-party/

    Thank you for sharing with us at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

    Olivia- Co-hostess
    Reinvented Collection

    • February 17, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you so much and for providing us bloggers a place to post some of our projects 🙂 I’ll definitely go check out the board! And thanks again!

  10. February 19, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I love this island! Charming. I have a pinterest board for Chelsea Project creators. And you are there! https://www.pinterest.com/EnchantmentOk/the-chelsea-project/

    • February 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you so much Lucinda!!

  11. February 20, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I love your story and your red radio cabinet makeover. I hope you will look for it on Facebook later. I’m sharing it out, girlfriend. 🙂 It’s just too sweet to keep to myself. Thanks for linking to Friday’s Furniture Fix…..Susie

    • February 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Oh thank you sooo much!!

  12. March 3, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Tarah! What a great vision you had to give this little stand new life! It looks great! Well done! I hope you have a great day!

    • March 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Terry I hope you have a great day too!

  13. April 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    What a fun repurposed piece just perfect for some extra landing space and for storing those cookbooks. It is so handy to have them close at hand. I love the fun red color! Thanks so much for sharing over at Celebrate Your Story!

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you Chloe! I love love love my island especially because of all of the cook book storage, thank you so much for stopping by!

  14. April 14, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Just WOW – love the red too, turning this loved old beauty into something completely different and useful. Beautiful! I’ll be featuring your furniture flip at this week’s Friday Favorites Linky Party, thanks for sharing your beauty with us! Swing by and grab your featured button.

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Dawn thank you so much!! Very exciting! 🙂 Glad you liked it, we use that island every day and I just love having all of my cook books handy!

  15. April 18, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Wow! This is an awesome transformation. I just love the red! Thanks for sharing with us at Welcome Home Wednesdays!

  16. April 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    What a cute idea. I love when you keep a piece around not knowing what you are going to do with it,and all of a sudden you create it into something beautiful and functional. I love your new kitchen island!

  17. April 28, 2016 at 8:01 am

    The radio was pretty, but you gave it a new look and use which it looks way better now! Love your butcher block by the way!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration party. Have a wonderful week.

  18. May 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Tarah, I’m visiting from the OMHGWW hop (which I found at Raising Samuels Homeschool).

    That is a sweet makeover! Generally, I’m not too much in favor of painting over old wood, but your project has me rethinking that! I would love to get a rollaway butcher block like that for our kitchen, because the cats keep jumping up on the counters and getting in the way.

    Here’s my OMHGWW.

    • May 6, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Hey LuAnn thank you for stopping by! I know exactly how you feel, I always hold my breath when I see someone painting over wood. In this case the veneer was in really tough shape so I thought paint was probably our best option.

  19. May 17, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    This is a great repurpose. I love the bold color you chose. It would make a wonderful addition to any kitchen.

  20. June 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    This is so cute! I love the red color, so pretty <3

    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com

  21. June 3, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    That looks great ~Thanks for stopping by!

  22. June 4, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    WOW! Stunning reformation! Really did a great job. I love the color red and how practical this will be for you. When one’s imagination runs wild amazing things happen. Thanks for sharing this with us this week at Party at My Place. Magnificent!

    • June 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you so much! We’re very happy with it, love having a pop of red in our kitchen!

  23. June 5, 2016 at 12:30 am

    What a great makeover. The red really makes the piece pop. I’m sure your grandmother would be proud. Please feel free to linkup on my Sunday’s Best Linky Party. You have great makeovers posted.

    • June 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Rhonda for the lovely comment 🙂 Yes, we’ve been really happy with it so far, still need to plane the top but this island turned into the real hangout spot in the kitchen lol

  24. June 7, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Tarah, how fortunate that you have such wonderful treasures from your grandmothers. This makeover was beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Desgin Link Party.

  25. June 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Oh it’s wonderful! I love when it’s possible to breathe new life into something.

  26. June 8, 2016 at 1:31 am

    I love the red. This turned out great. What a conversation piece to have in your kitchen!

  27. June 10, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Killer rehab miss!
    Thanks for sharing at Peace Love Linkup! The next linky goes live tomorrow at 6! Hope to see you there! : )

    • June 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you!! I’ll be there!

  28. June 10, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Wow…this turned out really neat! 🙂

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  29. June 10, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    So clever and I love the red!

    • June 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      So glad I painted it red 🙂 It adds such a pop to our kitchen! Thank you for coming by!

  30. June 10, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    This is beautiful! I love how you turned this into a kitchen island, it is so unique and the red really stunning! I would have used it as a side table or something, I’d have never thought of having it as a kitchen island. Love the idea!!!

  31. June 11, 2016 at 5:16 am

    /this is just darling – I could use a little island/microwave stand in my tiny 1940’s kitchen. I’I;m going to have to keep my eyes open!

    Thanks for sharing this with us at Throwback Thursday this week!


    • June 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      What a great idea for a little microwave stand too! Thanks for coming by! 🙂

  32. June 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    This is an amazing upcycle, I love it! The red is so vibrant and it’s such a wonderfully quirky re-use of a great piece of furniture. Sue via #FiveonFriday

    P.S. You’re not alone in not always seeing what’s right in front of her!! Lol

    • June 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      lol well that’s good to hear for sure! Thanks for coming by!!

  33. June 11, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I love how you saved this sweet piece and turned it into something you can use! So cool! Thanks for linking up with Merry Monday this week.

  34. June 12, 2016 at 12:52 am

    What a great makeover Tarah! I absolutely love when you can use something for a completely new purpose! And what a gorgeous colour! Thanks so much for linking this up to our Bewitchin’ Projects Block party last week. You are one of my Features over at Recreated Designs tomorrow. Hugs, Lisa

  35. June 12, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Great project, you obviously had a great vision! Thanks so much for sharing over at Celebrate Your Story!

    • June 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you Chloe for coming by!

  36. June 14, 2016 at 1:13 am

    That turned out amazing – I love it! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  37. June 14, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Wow I love how you transformed this and made it really pop! My friend just bought a hutch that she wants to transform into something cool for her house, a show piece, and I think you really hit on the head. I should tell her about you did so she can see if she wants to emulate your idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • June 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Rania, thank you so much! And tell your friend good luck from me, I’m sure it will turn out amazing!

  38. Jann Olson
    June 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    So clever! I love red and this turned out so cute. I had an old radio cabinet like that years ago and got rid of it because I didn’t know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • June 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Hey Jann, I’ve seen lots of these old radio cabinet, they’re so hard to find a real use for them! Thank you for coming by!

  39. June 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

    What a creative piece! Love the pop of color! Great job! Thanks for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!

  40. June 15, 2016 at 11:32 am

    What a cute project!! And it turned out beautiful!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday!! Pinned!

  41. June 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Wow! You have great vision to put this together. Love the bright color!

  42. June 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Lo-ove your red kitchen island. A good repurposed project makes me happy and this one has made my week! Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

    • June 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Thank you so much Susan! Glad you liked it! 🙂

  43. June 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    FANtastic idea!! We have one and its beautiful and ALWAYS in the way. Nowhere to put it. No way to use it…..
    🙂 gwingal . com

  44. June 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Tarah, this look absolutely gorgeous! What a cool idea. Thank you for sharing with us at #SimplifyWednesdays

  45. July 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Tarahlynn, I wanted to stop by to let you know that you will be featured in this week’s Simplify Wednesdays! Congrats!

  46. July 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    What an excellent upgrade!!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing at Hello Happy!

  47. July 24, 2016 at 5:27 am

    This is lovely! I’m so glad you linked up with Bloggy Brunch. Your blog is awesome and I can’t wait to explore more of it!

    P.S. You were featured this week on my blog!

  48. July 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Way to use what you have! I’m very lucky my husband is good at building the things I want. He made me a little chicken coop this year. Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up. Please come back and join us again!

    • July 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Charlotte, thank you so much for coming by! We’ve been talking about making ourselves a little chicken coop too, someday! See you next time!

  49. July 27, 2016 at 1:28 am

    What a really cool project / conversion!

    I love how it turned out and that red just POPS!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.

  50. July 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party. This will be my featured post at this week’s party.

  51. August 5, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Looks amazing. Love the red. I keep a tin of red paint for special occasions. So clever. Visiting from Bloggers Pitstop.

    • August 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you Tracey, yeah you just can’t beat red!

  52. August 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Wow what a Great Fun way to Repurpose that piece of Furniture into a kitchen Island. Thanks for sharing your creativity at the Pit stop!

  53. August 11, 2016 at 7:53 am

    This is such a cool piece. So creative!!! Thanks for sharing with us at FTAF

  54. August 25, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I love how this turned out! So fab! Thanks for sharing your project on the Monday Funday Party!

    • August 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you so much Pauline!

  55. August 30, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Your radio stand looks amazing! It’s almost magical when we can envision something in an old piece of useless furniture. One of my favourite pieces is a horrible faux wood stereo stand I found at a thrift shop. I brought it home, sanded it down and painted it white then distressed it. It looks like a dry sink only it plays music. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us at No Place Like Home and enjoy the rest of your summer.


    • August 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Sandi, what a wonderful piece you made! I was so excited to have found a use for ours, it just sat there bothering me for years lol Thank you for coming by!

  56. September 7, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Yowza! What a fantastic look. Such a beautiful piece to begin with. Every room looks better with one vintage thing in it and yours will be spectacular. How great that you can even store cookbooks in it and I love that you chose such a beautiful bold and unexpected color. Love It!

    visiting via Creative Inspirations Link Party

    • September 7, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you so much Pamela!

  57. Nancy F Lambert
    September 19, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Very cute, I love it. Nice to have your cookbooks in the kitchen when you need them.

    • September 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Nancy, I always wanted a spot for cook books in the kitchen – its so nice to have! Thank you!

  58. Jenny Young
    September 22, 2016 at 2:04 am

    You are so very creative! Adorable.

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