A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island

Sep 14 2015
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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 my 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. My great grandpa’s radio stand made me the perfect kitchen island!

My mom and I pulled this radio stand out of the old play house (along with a pile of other furniture) 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. 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 lol.)

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 though 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 I 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!)

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 I added slats of oak I had left over from my counter tops that I covered the bottom with to add even more support.

It is surprisingly sturdy now and rolls so easily, when I want my kitchen dance floor I just slide it out of the way. I’m 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. When I took pics for my big kitchen reveal (check that out here) of course my red kitchen island radio stand was the star of the show! 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.

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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TarahlynnCarrie @ Carrie's Home CookingKerryanneMusings of a tired mummy...zzz...Lisa Pomerantz Recent comment authors
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This turned out amazing! I love finding new purposes for old useless things just like you did perfectly here!

Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces

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

Mary-In the boondocks

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


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


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


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

Katherines Corner

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


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!


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

Lucinda Roush

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/


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


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!

Chloe Crabtree

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!


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.


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


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!


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.

LuAnn Braley

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.

Mary-the boondocks blog

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


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

Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com


That looks great ~Thanks for stopping by!


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!

Rhonda Gales

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.


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.

Lisa Isabella Russo

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

Cathy Lawdanski

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


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


Wow…this turned out really neat! 🙂

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!


So clever and I love the red!


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!!!

Frugal Hausfrau

/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!


Sue J

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


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.

Lisa Silfwerbrand

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

Chloe Crabtree

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


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


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.

Jann Olson
Jann Olson

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.


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

Elaine Matthews

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

Audra @ Renewed Projects

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


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.

Nikki Gwin

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

Carla a.k.a Mrs. R

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

Carla a.k.a Mrs. R

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


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


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!

Charlotte Burkholder

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!


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.

Gaye @CalmHealthySexy

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

Iris Nacole


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