DIY Kitchen Hack: Build Your Own Kitchen Island!

Are you after an easy, low-cost island bench for your kitchen?

Natasha Dickins, DIY specialist from Little Red Industries, reveals how you can make this gorgeous kitchen island yourself. Beginners, don’t be intimidated – this project is totally manageable, especially if you get your timber supplier to cut the boards to size for you.

A spot of drilling, a few bits from the hardware store, and a tin of Monocel to treat the wood, and off you go!

Read on for Natasha’s step-by-step method, complete with video and written instructions.



“I used Monocel Bench Top Oil on the plywood top and shelves to help protect it from moisture damage while keeping it food-safe,” says Natasha.

The top of the bench is 1200mm long by 550mm wide and, the island stands at a standard kitchen bench height of 900mm, including the castors. If you’re not confident cutting timber, or don’t have the tools, ask the timber supplier to cut the plywood and pine for you.

Natasha also suggests asking for DAR pine, which means Dressed All Round, ensuring it’s cut cleanly so it’s easy to manage.

First things first, let common sense prevail. If you put a TV in your home office, then you are obviously going to watch it. If you put a guitar in your home office, then you are obviously going to play it. And if you have a couch in your home office you’re going to sit on it and watch TV or play guitar. Minimise the distractions and fill your home office up with things you actually need. The home office is a great place to store items around your house that generally don’t have a dedicated location such as bookshelves, art and collectables from your travels. You want your office to be an environment of inspiration so display items of interest and beauty that stimulate your brain.




  • Drop saw and circular saw, optional, to cut timber
  • Drill with drill bits, including a countersinking bit for the batten screws
  • Tape measure
  • 80, 180 and 240-grit abrasive paper, with hand-sanding block or sander



25mm  plywood:

  • 1200  x 550mm  for the top
  • 850  x 400mm  cut two for  the shelves

70  x 35mm  DAR pine:

  • 4  x 430mm  lengths for  the shelf and  top rails
  • 2  x 500mm  lengths for  the base
  • 4  x 765mm  lengths for  the legs



Step 1: Set out the frames

Position the legs over the base, with the shelf and top rails between them. Measure 300mm from the top to position the middle shelf, creating slightly more space above the bottom shelf to store bigger items.

framing a diy kitchen island woodworking project

Step 2: Make the frames

At each join, measure 15mm from the edges to countersink and drill pilot holes for two 70mm batten screws, then secure the screws.

Tip: Use a hex drill bit for the batten screws, and if you have an impact driver, it’s easier and more fun to use than a regular drill.

How to insert screws into a DIY kitchen island table frame

Step 3: Sand and seal the frames

Smooth over the frames using 180-grit abrasive paper with a hand-sanding block or sander, then apply Monocel Stain & Varnish in Black (found in your local Bunnings) with a brush.

Tip: Keep the brush ready for the next coat by dipping it in the varnish and sealing in plastic wrap.

Use monocel stain and varnish to seal the wood

Step 4: Apply the second coat

Apply a second coat of Monocel Stain & Varnish in Black, wiping away any drips for a smooth finish.

Tip: Paint one side then flip the frame over onto spacers positioned only under the top and base rails, where any drying marks are less visible.

Apply a second coat of Monocel Stain & Varnish in Black, wiping away any drips for a smooth finish.

Step 5: Sand and round-over the plywood

Use 80-grit abrasive paper with a hand-sanding block or sander to smooth over the tops and sides of the plywood, rounding over the edges and the corners. Go over the edges and corners again with 180-grit, then finish all over with 240- grit.

Tip: Rounding the corners makes the kitchen island feel more bespoke, while removing the risk of sharp corners.

Sand the edges of your DIY kitchen island

Step 6: Seal the plywood

Use a mini foam roller to apply three coats of Monocel Bench Top Oil (found in Bunnings), leaving it to dry between coats and smoothing the surface with 240-grit abrasive paper before each application.

Tip: Apply the first coat by rolling with the grain and the second coat across the grain to ensure full coverage.

Use a mini foam roller to apply three coats of Monocel Bench Top Oil (found in Bunnings)

Step 7: Add the castors

Position the wheels on the outside edges, attaching them using screws up to 32mm long.

Tip: Don’t scrimp on the castors. Choose a generous 75mm high and ensure they’re lockable to keep the island from moving when it doesn’t need it to.

How to attach the wheels to the table frame

Step 8: Assemble the kitchen island

Working on the underside of the benchtop, position the frames 250mm from the ends, drilling three pilot holes into each top rail and securing 50mm batten screws.

Tip: Add extra stability by securing four angle brackets either side using screws no longer than 25mm.

How to put together the frame of a DIY kitchen island

Step 9: Add the shelves

Slide in the shelves, check the overhang is the same on the ends then secure to the middle and base shelves with angle brackets and screws no longer than 25mm.

Position the shelves on your woodworking project table

Kitchen Island Reveal!

full picture of the kitchen island table

Compact and practical, the DIY Kitchen Island is designed to have space at the ends for bar-height stools. The Monocel Stain & Varnish in Black is tough enough to protect the frame, just like an enamel paint, but lets the woodgrain shine through.

Bondall has been leading the building industry for over 50 years. With products that are environmentally and user friendly we’re focussed on extending the life of your finished projects and building materials.

For more information on the Bondall Monocel products used in Natasha’s kitchen island, contact us today.