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A Modern Black Kitchen Island

pole wrap gives a new look to a dated kitchen island

A kitchen island is a great way to add extra counter space, storage, and sitting to your kitchen. It can also be the focal point of the room. If your kitchen island looks tired or dated, you can give it a modern makeover with a pole wrap install.

This ugly duckling of a kitchen island (picture below) was the builder's choice to elevate our kitchen back in the 2000s.

I know, sad.

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Kitchen island many makeovers

The island stayed the same for quite some time, but then it underwent transformation after transformation. 

The first makeover gave it a side shelf and a microwave installed on each end. And it was painted chocolate brown.

Farmhouse Style came by, and the island got a beautiful light blue to brighten things up in the kitchen. Corbels and beadboard on the back of the shelves were also added.

Then, it was painted gray and finally blue.
A kitchen island is transformed with wood and paint
|   1. Brown    |    2. Duck-Egg Blue    |    3. Gray    |    4. Blue    |

All those paint transformations were a simple way to update and give a new look to the entire kitchen. That's why I was, yet again, ready for another kitchen island makeover!

This time, I went for a modern look with the addition of pole wrap to give it texture and a streamlined appearance.


paint or stain / primer
liquid nails



The first task is to remove all the unnecessary items on the island where we want to add the pole wrap. 

In my case, I got rid of the corbels and the small molding around the center panels. At that point, I could see all the colors the kitchen island had sported.


You need a flat surface to mount the pole wrap. Those recessed areas in the kitchen island had to be leveled up, making them flush with the surroundings. 

Leftover pieces of plywood were nailed to level up all that area. It doesn't need to be a perfect fit. After all, it's going to be covered by the pole wrap.

filling up recessed areas in kitchen island


Given that I only wanted to add the pole wrap to the front of the island, I installed wooden trim pieces on both ends to give it more structure.

The trim is 1/2-inch x 3/4-inch pine. It was also nailed in place.

You should use corner moldings to install the pole wrap around the island.
wood trim and pole wrap install on kitchen island
Pine Molding  |


kitchen makeover with pole wrap
Pole wrap is a thin, flexible material intended to cover the columns in places like basements. Nowadays, we use it as a decorative accent on various surfaces around our homes.

You can cut the pole wrap lengthwise with a simple utility knife all along one of the grooves. Cutting the pole wrap across can be done with solid scissors, but you'll end up with rough edges.

I used the miter saw to trim the pole wrap to size, and I loved that I could fold it in place to go across it in one single pass.

pole wrap cut with Makita miter saw - Cristina Garay
|   Pole Wrap   |   Miter Saw   |

I also installed the pole wrap with my Ryobi nailer with one-inch brad nails. Having plenty of plywood where to nail it was a plus.

If you only have a thin layer of 1/4" plywood as the outer surface on the island, you might need to use liquid nails.
pole wrap around kitchen island done with Ryobi naliler

I also installed the pole wrap on the other side of the island shelf and on the back of the shelves.

Modern kitchen makeover


Fill the nail holes with wood filler and prepare the surfaces for paint/stain. 
a modern take on a kitchen island

I ran a bead of caulking at the top against the countertop but forgot to use painter's tape for a cleaner application.

You must go one groove at a time to fix that problem. It's the same for painting it. 
pole wrap painted black

I first used a tinted primer on the entire kitchen island. Then, I gave it two coats of SW - Tricorn Black in a semi-gloss finish.

pole wrap - slatted kitchen island

I opted for the natural pole wrap on the back of the shelf pieces.

slatted black kitchen island

Mr. RLC helped install the new black outlet. He had to add a 1/4" box extension ring to bring it out flat with the pole wrap.
kitchen transformatio

Oh, I also gave the drawers and doors brand-new hardware.

I love the contrast of the brass pulls and knobs on the black surfaces.
brass hardware on black kitchen island
|   Cabinet Pulls   |   Cabinet Knobs   | 

Remember the gallery wall on that passage coming from the foyer?  

I love how it frames the view of this new and improved kitchen island!
black kitchen island with pole wrap

If I pay close attention, I can tell where the divisions on the pole wrap are. But that's only here in the pictures because, in real life, it's hardly noticeable.
black kitchen island and black bar stools

And yes, those bar stools also got two coats of black paint. 

Spray paint on the stand and the same Tricorn black on the seat, followed by two coats of clear matte poly.

wrap pole transformation

Without a doubt, this is the easiest makeover this kitchen island has gone through. :D

Should I change that ceiling fixture? 🤔

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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  1. Love this island makeover! Beautiful color

    1. Thanks Lilly! Oh, I've been painting everything black, Loving it. ☺️

  2. Don't change island light, it looks great.

  3. Every time you change your Island or anything else for that matter I wonder, " how can she possibly make it better than it was?" Sure enough you always succeed!! Beautiful!

  4. I agree! How can she make it better? But you do! I love the lights! Don’t change them!


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