So, this happened yesterday.

by Kristen on August 7, 2013 · 45 comments

in Painting

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. ;)

Leave a Comment

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail August 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

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!


2 Battra92 August 7, 2013 at 7:25 am

Awesome!! Now you can come do mine. ;)

Have you decided on what countertops you are going to get?


3 Kristen August 7, 2013 at 7:28 am

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.


4 Sherry August 7, 2013 at 7:37 am

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


5 Patti August 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

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!



6 Patti August 7, 2013 at 7:41 am

PS Cleaner without the hardware I mean. It’s a given with the paint!


7 jodi August 7, 2013 at 8:15 am

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.


8 Cheryl S. August 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

You should be so proud! It is like a new kitchen…


9 Tammy August 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

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. ;)


10 Kris August 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

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 … ).


11 Patti August 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

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.


12 Kris August 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm

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 …


13 Economies of Kale August 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

Wow, they look so much better :) You must be super-proud!


14 Kristen August 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

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.


15 Diane August 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

Absolutely lovely! What an amazing job. Such a transformation and it brightened up your kitchen.


16 Sydney August 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

Your kitchen looks amazing!


17 Diedra B August 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

Wow, this awesome! Not only does it look awesome but you just improved your skillz!


18 Sloan August 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

Wow! I’m super impressed! They look awesome!


19 HeatherS August 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

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?


20 Kristen August 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

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.


21 WilliamB August 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

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.


22 Elaine in Ark August 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

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.


23 Eileen August 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

Great job.


24 Jenessa August 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

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.


25 Kristen August 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

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.


26 Elaine in Ark August 7, 2013 at 10:38 am

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.


27 WilliamB August 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

No tiles! BTDT, terrible. Especially if you’re a baker.


28 April August 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Wow. I thought they looked ok before, but, now that I see the white, WOW. They did need it and they look good!!


29 Nicole August 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

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

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


30 Tina Ray August 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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.


31 Elisabeth August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

They are beautiful!


32 Julie August 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I love the white. I would love to do this in my kitchen as well, but I’m scared!

Looking forward to hear what method you used!


33 Karen August 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm

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.


34 Lucy August 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

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


35 Kathy M August 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Beautiful. Good job!


36 WilliamB August 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

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.


37 Raffaella August 8, 2013 at 4:06 am

Wow, what a lovely kitchen! I love the contrast with the tiles. Congrats. :-)


38 Victoria August 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

Great job!


39 Gina Caro August 8, 2013 at 8:23 am

Wow they look fantastic, what a difference. Just found your blog, it’s great x


40 Jo@simplybeingmum August 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

Feeling all inspired!


41 Mrs. R August 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

They look fabulous!!! Congratulations!


42 Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings August 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I love white cabinets, and they really look great!


43 Dori August 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

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!!


44 K D August 11, 2013 at 6:37 am

Check out this offer from Amazon Local (it’s like Groupon) for Picaboo photo books, the price includes lay-flat pages:


45 Jenny L. August 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Your cabinets look awesome!


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