A few months ago, I was visiting a friend for dinner in her new home. She has this beautiful butcher block kitchen island we’re both completely in love with! Not only does it look amazing in the kitchen, but it’s so practical, whether as a prep station, an area to mingle while dinner is being prepared, or an impromptu dinner table.

If you have the space in your kitchen, installing a butcher block countertop is a great way to add more functional surface area, create an entertaining space, and also add a design feature that will turn the head of every guest. And, the best part is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Check out these gorgeous DIY butcher block kitchen island ideas for inspiration, and get started on your easy, budget kitchen renovation!

collage of butcher block kitchen island ideas


Why Choose Butcher Block for Your Kitchen Island?

A butcher block kitchen island isn’t just a stunning addition to your kitchen, it’s a practical and versatile asset that enhances both the aesthetics and functionality of your food prep area. Here’s why incorporating a butcher block kitchen island into your home is a brilliant idea, along with a few things to keep in mind at the same time.

Benefits of Butcher Block Counters

Butcher block tables are durable, affordable (especially the DIY options!) versatile, and relatively easy to maintain. They’re easy to customize to suit your design aesthetic, and they always bring a certain warmth, charm, and ambiance to your kitchen – and they’re always such a talking point when you have guests over (again, especially the DIY ones)!

Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before you get started with a DIY butcher block kitchen island, it’s important to understand what’s involved. One of the most important considerations when designing your kitchen island is the finish you choose to use. A few coats of food-grade wood oil, and you have wooden countertops with a traditional look ready for food prep. These look great in a farmhouse kitchen. However, finishes like mineral oil require regular maintenance. You’ll need to oil the wood countertops routinely after installation to prevent cracking. They will also get damaged more quickly. (But I think some scratches and dents are the best way to give your kitchen countertops a true modern farmhouse look!)

Other wood stain finishes can provide a different aesthetic appeal to go with the rest of your kitchen style. I think a shiny finish like epoxy is great to complement dark wood and can tie in well if the rest of the kitchen has stone countertops. These will last a long time, and protect wood surfaces much more effectively than oil.

DIY Butcher Block Kitchen Island Ideas

Rather than forking out for a pre-made butcher block kitchen island, why not build your own, DIY-style? You’ll be able to choose everything from the dimensions to the type of finish to the color scheme, and you’ll save a small fortune in the process! Here are some of our favorite DIY custom kitchen islands to get you inspired.

Natural Wood DIY Butcher Block Kitchen Island Ideas

While you can paint or stain your butcher block countertop, there’s something to be said of the natural look that a wooden island can bring. These butcher blocks still need, but you can use a clear or un-colored finish to retain your wood’s natural colors.

Wooden Butcher Block Kitchen Island DIY with Cabinets

One of the best things about a butcher block kitchen island is how functional the space underneath the countertop can be. This tutorial from Instructables opts for a wood cabinet base painted to match the kitchen cabinets. You’ll be amazed by the added storage an island like this gives you- even if you adjust it to fit a small space.

kitchen island with butcher block top and blue painted cabinet base


Alder Wood DIY Butcher Block Kitchen Island

This gorgeous butcher block countertop from Addicted2DIY features stunning alder wood. Rather than staining the wood, they used a butcher block conditioner that really brings out the natural warm hues of the alder. It’s the perfect contrast to the darker kitchen island!

alder wood butcher block countertop


Solid Oak Kitchen Island

Oak is another great wood to work with if you’re crafting a kitchen island butcher block. This video guide from Rag ‘n’ Bone Brown details how to build a beautiful butcher block countertop from solid oak. This one has some wonderfully practical features and stylish white base to go with any kitchen. It’s got spacious drawers for kitchen utensils and open shelves for other tools. And I love that he wheels on this one make it mobile like a kitchen cart – transport to different areas or rotate as needed! Add towel racks and I think this the dream kitchen prep space!

white base frame kitchen island with butcher block top


Stained DIY Butcher Block Countertop Ideas

If you have a particular design aesthetic you’re trying to match, a stained countertop is the easiest way to customize your butcher block. Whether you’re trying to match your floorboards, your cabinets, or your dining table, I promise you there’s a stain out there to get the job done! These are some great ideas to get you started.


Simple DIY Butcher Block Table

This stained butcher block kitchen island is simple enough for anyone to tackle, and the tutorial from The Homes I Have Made comes with some great general tips for staining your butcher block island top. I love the contrast between the white cabinet base and dark top with the matching stools in this one!

dark stained butcher block island with white base


Simple Stained Butcher Block Island

Never done a DIY project? Neither had Ethan Chlebowski before tackling this butcher block kitchen island! For around $350 and a day’s work, this lovely butcher block kitchen island came together beautifully. Plus, the video is so detailed, all your questions will be answered along the way!

minimalist butcher block island with open space underneath


Cheap DIY Butcher Block Islands

Believe it or not, butcher block countertops can make an impact without costing a fortune. Despite being such a focal piece of your kitchen, it’s pretty simple to create a DIY butcher block kitchen island on a budget. These tutorials will give you some great tips and tricks for crafting a cheap DIY butcher block countertop – nobody will even know!

Budget DIY Island from Scratch

Lots of the tutorials we’ve included cover the countertop alone, but this amazing video from Ben Tardif details how you can build the entire island with just a few supplies! This one is a perfect small kitchen island if you just want a bit of additional space. Love how this one came out, and by using just mineral oil, the natural beauty of the wood shines through. Gorgeous!

small, basic diy wood kitchen island


Huge DIY Butcher Block Island

Do you really like to spread out as you’re prepping? Then this oversized butcher block countertop might be exactly what you need! As long as you have the space for it, this is a brilliant addition to your kitchen, and it’s more than big enough to gather at over drinks! This amazingly detailed guide from Jared Myers is the perfect place to start.

wide butcher block island


Affordable DIY Kitchen Island

After getting a quote for a custom butcher block kitchen island that came in at several thousand dollars, House By the Bay Design decided to go the DIY route instead. Using a pre-fabricated butcher block, they crafted this absolutely stunning kitchen island – just look at the final result!  I love the look of a larger island like this one, and the open shelves are the perfect place to store wine bottles, recipe books, and other kitchen items.

large kitchen island with butcher block counter, storage space, and bar stools


Create a Stunning DIY Kitchen Island for Your Home

A butcher block countertop is so functional, and when you combine it with a kitchen island, you’ll not only have a huge new prep station, you’ll also have more storage space than you could ever have dreamed of! Ready to keep the kitchen renovation going? Check out our guide on how to paint your cabinets without sanding them, backsplash ideas to go right over the old tile, or green kitchen ideas if you’re looking to switch up your color scheme!

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