butcherblock beadboard kitchen island thumb

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I got a little weekend getaway in Cincinnati.   We had a wonderful time, but one of my secret motivations was to go to IKEA since it is the closest one to us.   I had plans on getting the Numerar beech butcher block countertop for my kitchen island.   I have been wanting to lighten up the space since we have black painted cabinets.   I thought a cream colored island with a butcher block top would help brighten it up a bit.



I ended up adding beadboard and board & batten to the island itself to add a little character to it and then painted it with a couple of coats of Dutch Boy’s Antique White.   If you missed that post click here to see the process.


IKEA Numerar Beech countertop island

Old T-shirts

Puritan Pine Minwax stain

Minwax Pre-wood Conditioner

IKEA Behandla wood sealer (this is a linseed/tung oil blend)

circular saw

electric sander with various grits of sandpaper

tack cloth or other cloth to wipe dust free

straight edge

tape measure


1.   The Numerar countertop comes in beech, birch and oak.   I opted for beech because I liked the grain of the wood on this one the best.   I knew I would darken it up just a tad with some stain.

2.   Using my old laminate countertop as a template we measured that and cut the butcher block to size using a straight edged piece of MDF with clamps attached and a circular saw.


3.   Then we sanded the entire piece down with various grits of sandpaper until it was all smooth and all the saw lines were removed.


4.   I wiped it down with a tack cloth removing all the dust and put a coat of Minwax Pre-Wood Conditioner on it.   Applying a coat of that helps ensure even coverage.   After 5 minutes I wiped it down.

5.   Next I applied a coat of Minxwax Puritan Pride stain with an old t-shirt.   I wanted to darken the wood just a little and this was the perfect shade to give it a little more depth while still keeping it a light wood.


6. After that was dry I put a coat of the IKEA Behandla wood treatment of on it.   I let it dry for about 4 hours and then put another coat on it sanding with 220 grit sandpaper in between.   Then the next day I did the same thing.   The third day I didn’t do anything, then the 4th day I put another coat on it.   I did this same process for 10 days and a total of 8 coats.

7.   Then I removed the screws from the old countertop and added the butcher block countertop in its place.



I do love the look but now I am considering painting all the cabinets light.   My fear is trying to keep those light cabinets clean.   I am already constantly wiping down the island since I painted it. For those of you with white cabinets are they terrible to keep clean?   For now I want to live with the space and see how I like everything before I make any rushed decisions.   I am also contemplating butcher block everywhere.   But…we shall see.   For now, this is what my kitchen looks like.







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  1. Love this look! Cincy is the closest IKEA to me as well…only 2 hours away, but having a great deal of trouble getting there–mostly from hubby! 😉

  2. Wow, that looks great! I never would have thought to have put board and batten together with bead board! I love it! 🙂

  3. OH Beckie,

    I love it! In fact one of my submissions for the Indy style segment is going to be metal drawers (from the Blockbuster closing) which I would love to convert into a pretty island. Its being used as an island right now but… it is lacking something. (such as it is still the gunmetal grey… not so purty!)

    YOur kitchen is truly stunning!! and the butcher block really does warm it up! To change the color or not… wow that really would be something. But I do have to admit I am smitten just the way it is now!

    Love, love love the Cincinnati Ikea! We may head up to the Chicago one over spring break since they are equidistant from us. (and we’ve never been to Chicago since we moved to Indiana 2 years ago!)

  4. This looks beautiful! I just did butcher block countertops this past weekend, but we used doors. The nearest Ikea to me is 4 hours away… 🙁 I do love how they turned out and I have cream cabinets…I just use a magic eraser to wipe off any smudes or spots from time to time. They have held up much better than I anticipated.

    Love your island!

    Lou Cinda

  5. Love the Butcher Block top to the Island–perfect choice. Your kitchen is beautiful and I really love the contrast of the dark cabinets with the light island and the wood floors. I think it looks fabulous now and I wouldn’t change a thing–but if you do–I am sure the new look will be just as amazing…

  6. I love the butcher block! I am contemplating a butcher block in our ensuite, just not too sure how well it would hold up in a high-humidity environment like that….

    We have white cabinets in our current house, and they do take a bit of maintenance to keep them clean; daily wiping on the ones under the sink and near the garbage and at least once a month, a good scrub for the rest of them. The ones we currently have are wood doors with a thermofoil finish and they are pretty easy to wipe clean. In our previous home, we had white painted cabinets and they were a NIGHTMARE to keep clean. I am not sure if it was the type or sheen of paint that was used to paint them (which had been done by the previous owners) but they were really tough to get splashes and splatters off of and the never really looked totally “clean”, no matter how often I scrubbed.

  7. The butcher block counter top looks great. I love your black cabinets. You did a great job on the distressing and they look incredible. If it were my kitchen, I would keep them the way they are!! 🙂

  8. WOW! It looks great:) I love the darker cabinets with the lighter island and butcher’s block! Great choices:)

  9. Your island looks so nice with the butcher block counter, you guys did a great job! I painted my kitchen cupboards white a couple of years ago and have loved it! I used Sherwin Williams Semi-gloss Enamel paint in Alabaster and it’s held up really well. I have young kids so they need to be wiped down occasionally, but I’ve found that wiping the lower cabinets down is a job that even my youngest can do to help out. I can see how keeping an island clean where the kids are eating could be a little more challenging. Good luck deciding! 🙂

  10. Lovely! We are planning to do our kitchen counter in a butcher block style. You asked “For those of you with white cabinets are they terrible to keep clean?” Yes!!…for us they are. But our kitchen is the passthrough to the main door we use in and out of the house and our cabinets, original to our 1918 home, are painted white. I was considering painting them a darker color (like dirt brown) but our kitchen is so tiny,so am leaning toward a color, but a lighter shade. Maybe leave the top cupboards white as they are the most visible from other rooms, and the lower a color the same as the walls. If your kitchen does not have consant traffic then white might be perfect for you.
    As always LOVE your unhindered creativity!

  11. I just painted my cabinets off white and added butcher block and love it. I am not really having trouble with my cabinets but my kids are older. I did have a light colored island when they were small and it was awful! I love your kitchen just like it is, it’s lovely! I’m wondering if I can add stain to my countertops now after I added the Ikea wood treatment stuff. I would love to hear your thoughts!

  12. Wow, Beckie, I love it! I can see why you would be tempted to lighten up the other cabinets. In our last house, we gutted the tiny kitchen and added new cabinetry. I chose a shaker style in white thermofoil. I would do it over again in a heartbeat–those cabinets were a dream to clean. All I had to do was wipe them off. I’m convinced that white kitchen was cleaner than my current oak kitchen because I saw everything as it spilled or splashed and wiped them right up, before they had a chance to get sticky and/or harden. When we installed cabinetry in our current den, we chose a light painted finish, and I have to say I actually think the thermofoil was better. Our den definitely doesn’t get the same wear and tear as the kitchen, but they are are already showing some scratches and nicks. It’s a tough call.

  13. Absolutely adorable, exactly what I expected! I have commented on this project on your Facebook wall I believe. We are planning on doing this exact same thing soon. (need funds!) can I ask if you could post a picture of the drawers and cabinet side? I’m having issues figuring out how to keep the kick plate below the cabinets on my island…what did you guys do?

  14. I’m kinda partial to lighter cabinets and dark floors, so I think painting the cabinets would be gorgeous. However, if it were me, I’d also want to paint the island darker to keep the contrast, and do the butcher block countertops all around. And that’s tiring just to think about! Especially since you just re-did the island! How about just doing the new countertops for now? I think it would unify the area a lot more. Of course, I’m funny about certain things matching (like having the same countertops to tie together the light and dark of the island and cabinets, or having different countertops with the same color island and cabinets)

  15. Love the IKEA counters! I think your kitchen is very cute. I’d keep the lower cabinets black and do a contrast with the upper cabinets in the same color as the island. I’m planning on doing my entire kitchen in the IKEA cabinets….they are scrumptious!

  16. Maybe you could try changing out the red curtains to brighten things up. Something lighter would help lighten up the kitchen, too.

  17. can you make me a butcher block drum set? Please?
    this is fantastic. i love the butcher block look. thanks for the tutorial!!!!

  18. I love what you did with that countertop and I’m seriously considering adding it to an old cart I have, but mostly I want to warn you of white cabinets. I have them, and while my kitchen is farily dark due to lack of windows and no where else I could possibly add them save exception of a skylight, I wouldn’t do them again. I’m constantly wiping them down. I had them in my last place and I swore I would never do them again… then we bought a house with white cabinets. So much for that idea.

  19. LOVE the new island, and I have to say, I really LOVE your black cabinets. I love the fresh island pop of antique white, but I have lighter wood cabinets, and even they are a pain to keep clean.

    I have been eyeballing that Ikea butcher block top, because I want to make a cool desk out of it, and a matching coffee table for my office area/client meeting area (future).

    Loved your Island Inspriation post…I’m loving that one with the postage type stamp on it! So cool.

  20. oooh, I love Eileens idea of keeping the lower cabinets black, and doing the uppers in something different. I’ve seen it somewhere, Maybe the letteredcottage.com?

  21. I painted my kitchen wall with a light , easily stained latex paint. I had a can of acrlic wax (for painted walls) and rubbed it on the paint. hen it dried I buffed it with a sheeps wool pad by hand. An electric buffer would’ve been great! Anyway, the result is washable, non-sick walls!

  22. I’m in Bloomington & wish the IKEA were in Indy. I think my hubby is thankful that we have to travel to Cinci to shop there!! I love the butcher block.

  23. Looks great! How many inches wide is the island top? Did it come that wide from ikea? I have a white island and cabinets. I love them. I wipe them down when I am cleaning up the kitchen but I don’t have to do it constantly. I think your cabinets look good dark, but white would work too!

  24. I am curious about the overhand on the island – how wide is it and did you give it any extra support? I am building an island and was thinking I would need to add legs for the overhang of 12 inches – but would love to find out it isn’t needed!

  25. Hi Teresa, I didn’t give it any extra support. It only hung over about 10”. I wouldn’t think you would need any added support if you make sure to screw the top in well.

  26. Hi! Was wondering what you used for the base of your island? It even has electrical outlet! I have been looking for this size, but cannot find one. Please let me know. I did check IKEA online, and I can’t seem to find it there. It looks bigger than just a double kitchen cabinet. Please help! Thanks! Love yours and you inspired me to get to IKEA soon!

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