Black Walnut Kitchen Island Countertop

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Project by wunderaa posted 05-18-2012 03:03 AM 8360 views 14 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We recently completed a minor remodel on our kitchen. I painted the cabinets a dark brown to contrast the white marble counters, and then painted the island base a light color and used a black walnut countertop to contrast. I personally love the variations you can find in black walnut, so I chose pieces to bring that out. I chamfered the profile to match the existing countertops and made some wine glass hangers to handle a set of 8 glasses. Top was finished with walnut oil stain and 4 coats of Waterlox so it can hold up to regular kitchen use. This was my first large-scale glue up. I made a lot of mistakes and learned a ton!

13 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


5833 posts in 1685 days

#1 posted 05-18-2012 03:47 AM

Looks great. Very nice to see a well done counter top.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


1715 posts in 1396 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 09:44 AM

You did a very nice job. Look great.

I see a lot of windows in your picture. You may know this but in case you don’t, walnut will fade like crazy in direct sunlight so keep the shades down when the sun comes in those windows.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View kizerpea's profile


746 posts in 1454 days

#3 posted 05-18-2012 12:34 PM

Looks great! really sets it off…


View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2275 days

#4 posted 05-18-2012 03:34 PM

Nice work! I love Walnut, I just finished an outdoor s=dinning table made out of walnut with granite in the middle. Lots of fun. Great Job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brohymn62's profile


125 posts in 1342 days

#5 posted 05-18-2012 03:35 PM

That turned out very well!

-- Chris G. ; Los Angeles, CA

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

349 posts in 1673 days

#6 posted 05-18-2012 04:36 PM

1looks great, very nice top

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View MJCD's profile


471 posts in 1458 days

#7 posted 05-19-2012 12:21 AM

Can you provide insight on the Finish? Looks great!

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 1336 days

#8 posted 05-19-2012 08:50 PM

counter top looks fantastic, the finish looks flawless!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View sawdust55109's profile


64 posts in 1936 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 03:44 AM

Great choice of stain color. Really brings out the wonderful grain of your boards.
I’d almost be afraid to use it and put a ding.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1428 posts in 1592 days

#10 posted 05-20-2012 03:49 AM


View wunderaa's profile


227 posts in 1289 days

#11 posted 05-21-2012 06:56 PM

@MJCD – As far as the finish goes, I sanded to 240gr then applied a light coating of minwax walnut stain to darken the wood slightly. After that, I used Waterlox original sealant / finish. I applied somewhere between 4 and 6 coats applied with a nylon stocking with an old sock inside.

@ken90712 – I looked at your table and am in awe. Amazing!

View Myjhong's profile


16 posts in 1172 days

#12 posted 09-10-2012 06:59 PM

That is a beautiful top. How did you plain it? Do you own a plainer big enough for that?


View wunderaa's profile


227 posts in 1289 days

#13 posted 09-10-2012 08:09 PM

@Myjhong – All of the lumber used was less than 6” wide, so I could use my 6” joiner and 13” planer for getting the thickness right. For the glue-up, I assembled 2 sections (about 19” wide each), then assembled those two sections. To flatten the top, I used hand planes and a sander.

To your point, I do not own a planer or drum sander large enough to handle the piece, so that just means it takes that much longer with more primitive methods.

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