DIY Modern Kitchen Island Makeover

This DIY modern kitchen island makeover blog was written by a paid contributor. All photos were taken by Karlin Summer.

For many (myself included), the kitchen is the most utilized area of a home. My kitchen, although functional, didn’t exactly bring me joy. I knew it was time to make some changes. And the first project to tackle on my list was a DIY kitchen island makeover.

Our home was built in the 1950s, so I wanted to play off its natural mid-century charm by adding some wood slats to create a high-end look at the island’s base. Adding wood and mid-century touches are timeless and on-trend, making these elements excellent design choices for any home.

What I love about this project is its simplicity. It didn’t require any large tools or heavy lifting and it was something that a DIY beginner could take on.

Keep reading to see how I turned my tired old kitchen island into a modern marvel with only a few materials that you can pick up at The Home Depot!

Get supplies for this project now at The Home Depot.


● 80 Poplar boards (amount will vary depending on the size of the island)

● Chop saw (or handheld saw if you’re uncomfortable with power tools)

Flex Glue, 10oz cartridge, white (Flex Glue can be used for so many home projects and is great to have on hand. For this project, you will need about one-two cartridges or more depending on the size of the island)

● Caulking gun

● Speed square

● Tape measure


1. Measure and Cut Boards

Measure your poplar boards and then cut them to the desired size with a chop saw. Most hardware stores have chop saws available to rent by the day if you don’t own one. Just make sure to wear the proper safety gear and follow guidelines carefully. Because these wooden slats are so light and easy to work with, you could even use a hand saw if you’re wary of power tools.

Flexpert Tip: If you want to avoid cutting wood altogether, some home improvement stores, such as The Home Depot, will cut wood that you purchase in-store for free! Just make sure you know your desired measurements.

2. Attach Wood Slats with Flex Glue

Next, attach your first layer of wood slats to the island base using Flex Glue. Apply Flex Glue to the back of the wood and press it against the island for about 15-30 seconds. Repeat this process until you have slats all the way across your island.

Flexpert Tip: I used my speed square to ensure the boards were precisely 1 inch apart for consistent spacing.

The fast and solid instant grab of Flex Glue made it the perfect replacement for any type of nail. Though the hold was immediate, keep in mind that Flex Glue takes 24-48 hours to cure fully and will reach its maximum strength in 7 days.

Flexpert Tip: Make sure the ends you cut with the saw are towards the island's top. By doing so, any discrepancies in measurement or small mistakes from the cutting will be unnoticeable.

3. Add Next Layer of Slats

Once the first layer of boards were dry, I added a second layer over the open spaces between each slat. Again, I held each slat in place for 15-30 seconds before moving on to the next.

The layered boards gave the island a great look from all angles and completely covered up the outdated front.

Flexpert Tip: I recommend giving the second layer of boards some extra support while drying. I braced them temporarily with some additional lumber while the Flex Glue set. After about two hours, I removed the braces, and the Flex Glue held everything in place on its own.

And that’s it! This project was truly an easy and accessible one. I’m so impressed with how this DIY modern kitchen island makeover turned out. The super-strong hold of the Flex Glue made the whole process simple, and I can’t wait to use more Flex Seal Products for my future projects!

By Karlin Summer

I'm Karlin, the DIY creative behind @karlinsummer! I love transforming spaces in an affordable and unique way and inspiring people to make their homes their own no matter what their skill level may be. Something as simple as paint, new fixtures, or crafting something of your own using Flex Seal can make a world of difference in upgrading your space!

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