How to Add a Breakfast Bar to an Already Existing Island

Updated April 17, 2017

Many times a formal dining room just doesn't fit the bill. You may find yourself in need of a more casual dining area. If you have an existing island, this can be a relatively simple fix. You can actually incorporate the island into breakfast bar seating, foregoing the expense incurred when adding an actual breakfast room. You may be surprised at how simple this process is and that with minimal carpentry skills, you can fashion it yourself.

Add a buffer between the seating and the island if your island is home to your stove. You can do this by making a raised, two-sided type of back splash. Coat a 2-by-6-inch piece of wood with decorative aluminium ceiling tile, bent around three sides of the beam and screwed in place. You can also adhere ceramic tiles onto three sides. Screw the narrow, unfinished side into the edge of the island top. (The length of the beam will depend on the size of your island.)

Separate a two-panel bifold door, similar to a full-sized six-panel door used in bedrooms and entries, by unscrewing the hinges that hold it together. Use only one side and cut it to the length of your kitchen island. Remember to remove the handle. Screw decorative aluminium ceiling tile into the panels. Use 2-inch thick by 2-inch tall pieces of trim to temporarily screw to the edge of the panels. Fill the panels with liquid acrylic resin until they are flush with the rest of the door. Allow the resin to dry for 48 hours. (Many chemical resins will instruct you to allow less time for drying, but 2 days is a safer bet.)

Remove the trim after the resin has dried and sand and paint the rest of the door. Using the side on which the hinges were originally attached, add hinges every 2 inches. Screw hinges to an L-shaped support bracket and screw it to the centre of the island where the door, i.e., breakfast bar, will be attached. The hinges allow the bracket to be moved so the breakfast bar can be let down when not in use.

Before attaching the breakfast bar, screw a 3-by-3-inch piece of wood to the island, just above the bracket. Screw the breakfast bar to wood so that the support bracket moves snugly under it. (Using a 3-inch thick piece of wood allows room for the table to be let down parallel with the bracket as opposed to sticking out awkwardly, at an angle over the bracket.)

Use mismatched chairs along one side of the bar for an eclectic look. For a more practical solution, use a single long bench. The bench works well if you need to let the table down to make use of the space, since it can be pushed against the table easily.


The instructions for this particular breakfast bar are for bars that are low enough to accommodate comfortable bench or chair seating as opposed to bar or counter stools.

Things You'll Need

  • Skill saw
  • Bifold closet door
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Acrylic resin
  • Aluminium ceiling tile
  • Screw gun
  • Screws
  • Paint brushes
  • 2-by-2-inch trim
  • L-shaped table support
  • 10 door hinges
  • Bench or chairs
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tape measure
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About the Author

Renee Miller has been writing professionally since 2008. Her accomplishments include being featured in Harlots' Sauce online magazine in January 2009, among others. She studied communications at Auburn University. She is currently a designer for an upscale floral design shop. She decorates homes and businesses, designs wedding flowers and is known for her exquisite sympathy designs.