HomeHome Updates: Tips & IdeasPainted Furniture ProjectsIkea Bekvam Kitchen Island Cart Makeover (with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Emperors Silk)

Ikea Bekvam Kitchen Island Cart Makeover (with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Emperors Silk)

Posted on December 13, 2014 by KylieMawdsley

The Ikea Bekvam Kitchen Island – functional, affordable and buuuutt-ugly. Brand new it will run you $69.99 and I picked this one up used for $45 (which really was too much, but whatever). I was pretty excited to bust out my painting gear for this piece and in no time at all, it was transformed from tragic – to magic!


Step 1

Thanks to the course I took through Cameo Boutique with my kindred spirit Paint Chica, I learned how to beat the crap out of a piece of wood – or as the teacher said (who was from England) ‘Really cock it up ladies, let’s go outside and whack our wood!’ I swear to God, this is what she said – I would not make this up – England sure has some unique sayings!

I used a hammer (both ends), a screwdriver (a variety of heads) and an assortment of metal odds and ends to really roughen up this piece of wood and it was very satisfying – I should whack some wood more often! I’d show you pics but you don’t really see the dents and holes until the stain/paint is applied.

After I did that, I used high grit (like 400 grit) sandpaper to smooth off any edges that I roughed up a little too much.

Step 2

I used MinWax Gel Stain (Dark Walnut) to stain the top of the butcher block.  I did 3 coats to get just the depth I wanted. This gel stain is oil-based, so it’s messy – oh wait, maybe it’s just me that’s messy… (but be sure to wear gloves anyway)

Step 3

I painted the base with 2 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Emperor’s Silk

Step 4

I coated the top and the base with Annie Sloan Dark Wax to make it look aged.  Because I had knocked so many holes and divots in the wood, the dark wax really sat in these spots even after I’d wiped it off (Karate Kid style…wax on – wax off)

And Voila – zee masterpiece!

ikea bekvam island kitchen cart makeover project painted and stained

Check out the bad-ass sweet hardware I screwed to the sides – a perfect spot to hang tea towels!

painted and stained bekvam kitchen island project idea

bekvam ikea kitchen island project idea painted and stained

Now keep in mind that this butcher block top is NOT food safe – it is very food unsafe. There are legal issues surrounding food-safe products so I’m not even going to recommend anything (not that I have any money if you wanted to sue me). Plus, making the top food-safe would insinuate that I might actually use it for cooking – and I don’t cook – so that makes things really easy!

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

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  1. Great job! I’m thinking I could do this treatment to a little book case/jelly cupboard for my kitchen… I need the extra storage for cook books 🙂

  2. I didn’t realize it was an ikea special!? Well you definitely did it justice! It looks great…even if it is now completely nonfunctional to use as it is supposed to be used in the kitchen 😉

  3. This is beautiful! What an awesome transformation! Love the color you chose, too. Did you only cock up (hee) the butcher block top, or the sides of the table as well (can’t really tell in the pictures).

    Either way, wonderful job. And I’m loving your blog. Sorry I’m late to the party, but hope you had a very happy SITS day!

    1. Thank you Charlotte, yes I had a lot of fun with this piece. I cocked up the top and the sides with everything from hammer and screwdrivers to totally random tools that i don’t know what they are!!! It was a multipled step project but actually really easy 🙂 Thank you for visiting my site Charlotte, I’m going to check yours out!!!

  4. Thanks for posting this! I have never tried a painting project before but I am totally going to try this one:)

      1. Hey Kylie!
        Just curious if you sanded the piece before applying the wax? And how long did you wait before you applied the wax? I am mid way through and so far it’s going well so fingers crossed! lol

        1. Hey Katie, good for you for doing it!!! So a few things of note if you are using Chalk Paint (and if you aren’t then send me a note about what you are using….)

          So, once you’ve finished painting (2 coats probably) and if you are using the Annie Sloan chalk paint (or any chalk paint as far as I know) you can wax as soon as the paint is dry. But here’s a few things to think about…

          If you are using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and it’s a lighter colour then you have to clear wax first and THEN dark wax (because the dark wax will mix with the light paint and give a smudgy look). However, as long as the colour is like the red or darker, then you can just go right to the dark wax. If you are using the Van Gogh product, you don’t have to clear wax first -regardless of the paint colour. You can just dark wax right away as the wax actually sits ‘on top’ of the paint – rather than blending with it.

          I only did 1 coat of dark wax and it worked well for me. After 24 hrs you can then ‘buff’ the wax with a lint free cloth if you’re looking to shine it up a bit (however, I’ve found that it’s only a mild shift in sheen). Also, make sure you use everything ‘lint free’ as if you get lint in the wax it’s a bugger to get out! ‘J Cloth’s’ (Home Hardware) or a really old cotton tshirt work well.

          Also, (okay verbal diarrhea here…) if you are using Annie Sloan, the dark wax can be tricky to work with as it’s so thick and doesn’t spread super easy. If you buy the odourless paint thinner (available with the annie sloan supplier) and only $6.99 for a little bottle, you can use this to dilute the wax a bit and it goes WAAAAAAAAAAY further and is WAAAAY easier to use – I cannot stress this enough! Some people would put a few teaspoons of the odourless paint thinner in a container, add a blob of wax and mix it, however, I prefer pouring a bit of the thinner in a container and lightly dabbin the tip of my wax brush (or cloth) in it and then dabbing it on the wax and THEN waxing my piece. The less paint thinner you use, the thicker the wax coat will be…

          Okay, that might have been information overload, but I don’t want to leave anything out! PLEASE holler with any more questions!!!!

          1. Thanks for your quick reply!
            I went with the red color however I didn’t end up using chalk paint. I live in Calgary and there is only one store to buy it and it’s quite far from my home and it’s $48 per quart so a bit pricy for me, lol. I looked around online and found that you could make chalk paint using flat latex paint combined with plaster of paris. So I went that route. The first batch came out a bit clumpy but it was still ok. I am hoping to get the ratio right when I mix the batch for the second coat:) I also bought a different brand of dark wax (same issue acquiring that in Calgary) so hopefully that works out!

          2. I know, Chalk Paint is very pricey. And it’s even harder to justify when you’re only doing 1 piece. A quart goes really far, which is great for someone like me, but maybe not the everyday homeowner!

            And good for you for making it, I’ve always wanted to try that!!! So, because you went with latex paint, you won’t want to use anything like Annie Sloan dark wax on top. I tried AS dark wax over Van Gogh chalk paint and it definitely didn’t work!

            I looked online and it seems like you could try Minwax dark wax if you want the aged look (which I personally love). http://www.minwax.ca/wood-products/specialty-products/minwax-paste-finishing-wax If you take like a pointy screwdriver and all that jazz and jab it into the wood legs all over then the dark wax sits on this holes. You can take a hammer end too and soften the edges of the legs to look a bit worn…if you like that look. This wax product is oil based and you CAN put oil based products like this over latex (you just can’t put latex over oil). Just take note of that for clean up 🙂

            If it were me, and only because I haven’t tried homemade chalk paint or the minwax product, I would take a piece of scrap wood, paint it 2 coats (and beat it up so you get a feel for making a distressed piece) and then wax it. You’ll know whether it’s successful or not once the wax dries (and I think it’ll go well). But just in case, it’d be terrible to do all of that hardwork painting to have the wax part not go well!!!

            I hope that helps, I’d love to see pics when you are done!!

  5. Hello again!

    I just realized I never got back to you to thank you for all your help! I finished the project quite a while ago but we had some major flooding out here in beautiful Alberta so I was pretty occupied helping out my friends and neighbours. The table turned out awesome and I am happy to say I get tons of compliments on it from everyone who visits.

    Just wanted to thank you again for all your help, I really appreciate it! I can’t figure out how to post a picture of it on here otherwise I would 🙂

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