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How to Build a DIY Island Dining Table on a Budget

Are you looking for a way to add some functionality and style to your kitchen or dining room? Building your own DIY island dining table can be a great way to create a space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. With some basic skills and the right materials, you can build a beautiful and functional table that will be the centerpiece of your space.


Island Dining Table


In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps involved in building a DIY island dining table, including how to use RTA base cabinets to create a sturdy and versatile base. Whether you’re an experienced DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking for a fun project, this guide will help you create a table that’s perfect for your space and your style.

Materials and Tools You’ll Need

To build your DIY island dining table with RTA base cabinets, you will need the following materials and tools:


  • RTA base cabinets (with dimensions that fit your desired table size)
  • Countertop material (e.g. wood, granite, marble, or laminate)
  • Screws


  • Drill
  • Circular saw
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain (if desired)
  • Protective finish (e.g. polyurethane)

Building Your DIY Island Dining Table: Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you have all the necessary materials and tools, it’s time to start building your DIY island dining table with RTA base cabinets. Here are the steps involved in building your table:

Take Accurate Measurements

Measuring is an important step when building a DIY island dining table. Here are the steps you can follow to ensure that you measure correctly for your table:


  • Determine the Size of Your Table: Consider the available space in your kitchen or dining room and determine the size of the table that will fit comfortably. A standard dining table is usually 28-30 inches tall, but you can adjust the height to fit your needs.
  • Measure the Base Cabinets: Measure the width and depth of your base cabinets to determine the size of your countertop. Keep in mind that your countertop will overhang the cabinets slightly on all sides, usually around 1-2 inches. Be sure to factor in this overhang when measuring your countertop material.
  • Measure the Countertop Material: Once you know the size of your base cabinets, measure your countertop material to fit. Make sure you measure carefully and double-check your measurements before making any cuts.
  • Allow for Space Around the Table: It’s important to leave enough space around your table for people to move comfortably. Allow at least 36 inches between your table and any walls or obstacles to ensure that there is enough space for chairs and movement.

Purchase Your RTA Cabinets and Countertop Material

It’s always important to choose high-quality and durable RTA cabinets when building a DIY island dining table. Nelson Cabinetry is a great option for those looking to purchase RTA cabinets for their project. Here’s why:


  • Quality and Durability: Nelson Cabinetry offers high-quality RTA cabinets made from premium materials, ensuring that your cabinets will last for years to come.
  • Wide Selection: They offer a wide range of cabinet styles, sizes, and finishes to choose from, so you can find the perfect cabinets to fit your space and personal style.
  • Affordable Pricing: Nelson Cabinetry offers competitive pricing for their RTA cabinets, making them a great choice for budget-conscious DIYers.
  • Easy Assembly: Their RTA cabinets are designed for easy assembly with clear instructions and all the necessary hardware included.
  • Excellent Customer Service: Nelson Cabinetry has a team of knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives who are available to answer any questions and help you choose the right cabinets for your project.


When building a DIY island dining table, there are various options available for purchasing countertop materials. You can start by looking at home improvement stores or searching for local fabricators who specialize in custom countertops. You can also consider buying countertop materials from online retailers. Be sure to read reviews and research the seller before making a purchase.


When purchasing, consider factors such as durability, maintenance, and cost, as well as whether the material you choose fits the dimensions of your base cabinets and allows for any overhang you desire. With careful consideration and research, you can find the perfect countertop material for your DIY island dining table project.

Assemble the Base Cabinets

Assembling the base cabinets is a crucial step in building a DIY island dining table. It is important to take your time and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid any mistakes that could affect the stability and durability of the finished product.



Before starting, make sure you have all the necessary parts and hardware, including screws, hinges, handles, and any other parts that come with the cabinet. This will ensure that you don’t have to interrupt the assembly process to go out and purchase missing parts. Begin by organizing the cabinet parts, making sure that you have everything you need. Then, start assembling the sides of the cabinets, attaching them to the bottom panel using wood glue and screws. Make sure that the pieces are flush and level. This will help ensure that your base cabinets are sturdy and well-built.


Next, attach the back panel to the sides and bottom of the cabinet using wood glue and screws. This will add stability to the cabinet and help ensure that it stays sturdy, even with frequent use. Depending on the cabinet design, you may need to add shelves or drawer slides at this point. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.



Once you’ve added the shelves or drawer slides, it’s time to install the cabinet doors and handles. Make sure that the doors are level and aligned properly before tightening the screws. Finally, attach the handles to the doors using the screws provided.

Cut the Countertop Material to Size

Once you have assembled the base cabinets for your DIY island dining table, it’s time to cut the countertop material to size. This step is crucial to ensure that the countertop fits snugly on top of the base cabinets and provides a stable surface for dining and food preparation.


Before cutting, measure the length and width of your assembled base cabinets to determine the size of the countertop you’ll need. Add any overhang you desire to the measurement. Once you have these dimensions, mark them on the countertop material using a pencil and a straight edge.



Next, use a circular saw or a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade to cut the countertop material to size. Make sure to wear safety goggles and a mask to protect yourself from sawdust and debris. Take your time when cutting, and use a slow, steady hand to ensure a clean, straight cut.


If your countertop material is made of a fragile or delicate material, like granite or marble, consider having it professionally cut and installed. A professional fabricator will have the tools and expertise to cut the material precisely and safely. Once the countertop material is cut to size, test fit it on top of the assembled base cabinets to ensure a proper fit. If necessary, trim the edges or make any adjustments before securing the countertop to the base cabinets.

Sand and Finish the Countertop Material

After you’ve cut the countertop material to size for your DIY island dining table, the next step is to sand and finish it. Sanding and finishing the countertop will not only enhance its appearance, but it will also provide a smooth and durable surface for daily use.


To begin, use a sanding block or an orbital sander with a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the entire surface of the countertop. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grit. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid creating scratches on the surface.



Once the sanding is complete, wipe the surface of the countertop with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. Next, apply a sealant or finish to protect the countertop and enhance its appearance. There are many different types of sealants and finishes available, such as polyurethane, epoxy, and wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when applying the sealant or finish.


After the sealant or finish has dried, use a fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to buff the surface of the countertop. This will remove any imperfections and create a smooth, polished surface.

Attach the Countertop to the Base Cabinets

Once you have cut and finished your countertop material for your DIY island dining table, the final step is to attach it to the base cabinets. This will ensure that the countertop is stable and secure and will not move or shift during use.


Begin by placing the countertop on top of the base cabinets, ensuring that it is centered and level. Then, use a drill to create pilot holes through the base cabinets and into the underside of the countertop.

Next, insert screws through the pilot holes and into the countertop to secure it in place. Be sure to use screws that are long enough to penetrate both the base cabinets and the thickness of the countertop material. Depending on the size and weight of your countertop, you may need to use additional screws to provide adequate support. Once all screws are in place, check to ensure that the countertop is level and stable. Make any necessary adjustments or additional screw placements as needed.

Finish the Island Dining Table

After attaching the countertop to the base cabinets of your DIY island dining table, the final step is to finish it with any additional touches or details that will make it unique and personalized to your taste.


One option is to add decorative trim or molding around the edges of the countertop to give it a finished and polished look. This can be accomplished with a variety of materials, such as wood or metal, and can be attached with adhesive or nails. Another option is to add a coat of paint or stain to the base cabinets to match the décor of your kitchen or dining area. Choose a high-quality paint or stain that is durable and easy to clean, and be sure to apply it evenly and in thin layers.



If you want to add additional functionality to your island dining table, consider adding drawers or shelves to the base cabinets. This will provide extra storage space for utensils, plates, and other dining essentials. Finally, add any decorative or functional accessories to your island dining table, such as bar stools, pendant lights, or a hanging pot rack. These details will not only enhance the appearance of your island dining table but will also make it more practical and functional for your daily use.


Kitchen island call to action

Tips for Maintaining your DIY Island Dining Table

Maintaining your DIY island dining table is important to ensure that it remains beautiful and functional for years to come. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your island dining table looking its best:


  1. Clean spills promptly: Wipe up any spills or stains immediately with a damp cloth to prevent them from setting in. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the surface of the countertop.
  2. Use coasters and placemats: To prevent scratches or heat damage to the surface of your island dining table, use coasters and placemats under glasses, plates, and hot dishes.
  3. Avoid cutting directly on the surface: While some countertop materials are more durable than others, it’s still best to avoid cutting directly on the surface of your island dining table to prevent scratches or nicks.
  4. Protect the surface during food preparation: Use a cutting board or other protective surface when preparing food on your island dining table. This will prevent food stains and scratches from damaging the surface.
  5. Regularly clean and seal the countertop: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and sealing your countertop material. Regular cleaning and sealing will prevent stains and damage and keep your island dining table looking its best.


By following these tips for maintaining your DIY island dining table, you can ensure that it remains beautiful and functional for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, your island dining table will continue to be a centerpiece of your home and a source of enjoyment for you and your family.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a kitchen dining table is a versatile and essential piece of furniture that can serve many purposes in your home. Whether used for daily meals or entertaining guests, a well-designed and functional island dining table can enhance the appearance and functionality of your kitchen or dining area. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a beautiful and personalized DIY island dining table that will be the centerpiece of your home.


If you need assistance in designing your kitchen or selecting the right cabinets for your DIY project, Nelson Cabinetry offers free 3D kitchen design services to help you visualize your ideas and bring your dream kitchen to life. With a wide selection of high-quality RTA cabinets and countertop materials to choose from, Nelson Cabinetry is a one-stop-shop for all your DIY kitchen renovation needs.

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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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