So, this happened yesterday.

painted white cabinets

I have cabinet doors again. (Whaaaa???)

And they’re white!

painted pickled oak cabinets



My dad came over yesterday and helped me reinstall all of my doors.

(By which I mean that he drilled the holes and installed the doors and I reinstalled the hardware. Ahem.)

I might have been able to do that by myself, but it would have taken me eons (he is SO fast!) and I’m pretty sure I’d have messed some of them up.

I haven’t taken official “after” pictures, because I’m still working on touching up some things (and because I still have to repaint the actual walls in there), but here’s a small before and after.


kitchen sink cabinet before



Whoa. That’s a pretty big difference. I haven’t looked at the before pictures for a little while now, and I’d almost sort of forgotten how bad they looked before.

(Not gonna lie: I keep scrolling up and down and looking again because the change is so delightful to see.)

So, yay! I made a big improvement in my kitchen.

It’s really lovely to have cabinet doors again, and even more lovely that they are fresh and white now. The kitchen feels so bright and spacious and clean. Every time I glance in there, I’m all, “Whaaaa?? That’s my kitchen???”

Eventually we’re going to get some new countertops, but as far as the painting part of this kitchen project goes, here’s what’s left:

  • paint the walls (they’re due, plus I had to recaulk the places where the cabinets meet the walls, and that necessitates wall painting)
  • finish re-touching the cabinets (once you hang them up, it’s easy to see all the little places that need another coat)
  • fill a couple of holes in a few doors, and then paint over them (we changed the orientation of one door, and I somehow missed filling a few holes before I painted two doors. Whoops.)
  • Buy more stoppers (the cushions that keep cabinet doors from banging when they shut) and install them (they’re just stickers, so this will be easy.)

So, I’m nearly there. And the jobs that are left seem very, very small compared to what I’ve already done.

In fact, a lot of the things on our home maintenance/improvement list now seem very small compared to the kitchen cabinet job because almost none of them are going to consume my life for weeks at a time. Yay!

I’ll do a thorough before and after post once I finish up my last odds and ends, and then I’ll also do a step-by-step post showing the method I used, in case any of you are inspired to take this on.


P.S. I haven’t been super fabulous about baking with Lisey while I’ve been painting, but during our time off, she’s been making some inedible goodies.

(and I don’t mean that in the, “She burnt everything she made.” sense. ;)


  1. Gail says

    I love the white, and I love that you admit you keep looking at the before and afters.
    It is so fresh and clean-looking. Yea, Kristen!

    • Kristen says

      Ha! I would only do that if you paid me eleventy bazillion dollars.

      We’re thinking about granite right now, in a dark color (probably black) to help tie in the black appliances. We don’t have much counter square footage, so we can likely get what we need at a place that sells and installs remnants from larger jobs. We haven’t priced any of that out yet, though, so we don’t know if we’ve got enough saved to get it done now.

      The good news, though, is that while our formica is scratched and worn and warped, it does serve as a functional counter, so we can patiently wait to save up more money for the granite if we need to.

  2. Sherry says

    Absolutely beautiful, Kristen! Well done. The white really does make your kitchen look fresh and bright and new.

  3. Patti says

    Hi Kristen,

    Wow! They look great! I love that you hid the hardware. It’s funny how much “cleaner” it looks. I hope to change my counter tops one day. I can decide what I want. I keep bring home samples of tile and quartz (not a fan of granite). Leaning towards marble too. Plus, I need to save. That’s hard!


  4. jodi says

    Wow! All of your hard work has paid off and the cupboards look great. They are so clean and crisp. I agree with everyone about the absence of the hardware on the outside.

  5. says

    Wow, looks amazing! I need to tackle my cabinets. I painted them when we moved in 8 years ago and they’re really needing a fresh coat of paint. I repainted the kitchen 2 years ago and was going to do it then, but I procrastinated. ;)

  6. Kris says

    Aww! They look gorgeous! I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again–I love a white kitchen! For those of us with modestly sized cooking spaces, it makes it appear so much roomier. Be proud of your hard work. recently did several posts comparing different countertop options. I like to read what people like and don’t like about an item before I make a choice (although it’s confusing when opinions conflict … ).

    • Patti says

      Off topic for this…but Kris, I copied Layla’s “wonder wall” from her old dining room for my beached themed bedroom. I posted it on Rate My Space and HGTV liked it and asked if if would be okay to put on their Rate My Remodel site. I said sure! It was one of eight bedrooms to be posted there.

      • Kris says

        OK, I had to check it out–gorgeous! You have quite an eye! :)

        I love Layla’s style. I also discovered through one of her linky parties recently and Karianne at that site has some fantastic ideas as well. If only I had more time to try them …

    • Kristen says

      I kind of am. :D Except for the hinge part that my dad took care of, I did the whole thing all by myself. So, yeah…I’m a little pleased with myself.

  7. HeatherS says

    That looks so great! Makes me excited to work on mine sometime this fall hopefully. I am curious about the decorative railing at the top of your upper cabinets. Did you consider removing it as it looks like it would be tedious to paint?

    • Kristen says

      I did, but then was worried the top of the cabinets would look weird with no moulding or trim there. So, I left it and painted it with a teeny weeny paintbrush.

      • WilliamB says

        FWIW the tops of my cabinets don’t have railings and they look great. In fact I’ve never lived in a place with railing and to me, having them looks a bit odd.

    • Elaine in Ark says

      I love the little railing at the top! Most of the new(er) cabinets that I’ve seen have no little details like that, and the ones that do, I can’t afford. I think it makes it look special.

      What a huge transformation this is, even without the walls, countertop, etc. I painted the walls in my kitchen and it makes me smile whenever I’m in there.

  8. Jenessa says

    They look great! With the countertops my advice is definitely don’t go with tile. I rented a house with tile counters once and it was awful. Whenever I would bake some of the dough would get stuck in the grout and it was incredibly dificult to clean. They also did not provide a nice smooth surface for rolling out dough.

    • Kristen says

      Yeah, we’d considered granite tile, but my reservations were what you’re talking about-I worried about the lack of a smooth surface and then also about problems with keeping the grout clean.

      • Elaine in Ark says

        I saw someone on TV recently use granite tiles, very close together and no grout. I don’t know how well this would really work, but I agree that tile countertops are difficult to keep clean.

  9. Nicole says

    Wow. That looks lovely. All freshened up. I love how paint can do that.

    Congrats on a great new look for your kitchen. :)

  10. Tina Ray says

    I so want to do this to my cabinets. However, I can’t even find the time to do my small painting projects so I can get some much needed “practice” in. I did buy a new sprayer this season and just need to get some sanding done and go at it on some small garage sale pieces.

  11. Karen says

    Wow — they look great! You’ve given me hope for my MIL’s cabinets. She spent a lot of money on new countertops, backsplash, sink and new appliances, but she kept her old cabinets and they don’t look good.

  12. Lucy says

    Congrats–they look great! I painted my oak cabinets white a couple of years ago, and it was a LOT of work. Nice makeover!

  13. WilliamB says

    Congratulations! I’m delighted that it worked out for you. You’re going to feel pleased about the results of your hard work for a very long time. Which is as it should be.

  14. Dori says

    The cabinets look beautiful, great job! I’m super impressed you took on this job and persevered. It sure looks like tedious work, but so rewarding when you see the results!!

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