DIY White Kitchen Makeover

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Miracle of miracles. . .I am finally showing you my new white kitchen! Which isn’t really all that new, because I actually finished it a year ago. It’s taken me that long to get all the photos taken. Because apparently having the kitchen perfectly clean on the same day that the sun is shining is akin to sending a man to the moon. Maybe harder.  Which is why there are very few photos of rooms in my house on my site. By the time I can get a room totally clean, it’s too dark to take pictures. Once the three year old wakes up the next day, she is drawn to clean spaces and quickly changes them into war zones. Seriously, I don’t know how people do it.

The room is still not 100% done, but I might die of old age before that happens, so I’m sharing it anyway. Even though I still have a few more things to update, I love my kitchen so much more than I used to!! It took me awhile to get up the courage to paint the cabinets, but when I realized that every single kitchen makeover I had pinned involved a white kitchen, I figured I should go with what I loved.  The space is sooo much brighter now!

Here is a before shot:
diy-kitchen-makeoverHere it is after the makeover:
white-kitchen-revealHere are the changes I made, and the honest truth about them:
-We installed a new darker wood floor. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is gorgeous, and it doesn’t dent easily, but it shows every.single.crumb. Which stinks when you have actual people living in your house.
-I tore/scrubbed/swore at/sanded the wallpaper border off the wall and painted all the walls.
-I painted all the cabinets white. I used Behr latex paint in white semi-gloss for the cabinet bases. I used spray paint on the doors and drawers like my friend Stacy did on her cabinets. Now I am a HUGE fan of spray paint, but truthfully, I wish I had used latex paint on the doors. I’ve painted two bathrooms and a laundry room with Behr latex paint, and they have held up much better. The spray paint was much faster, and it left a smooth finish, but it hasn’t held up as well. Not sure why, but there you have it.
-I painted the light box on the ceiling from oak to black. We still need to replace the ceiling fan, but I haven’t found something I love. So it glares at me.
-I installed beadboard underneath the counter where the barstools sit.
-We installed chunkier baseboards.
-We replaced all the cabinet hardware, the door knobs, and the door hinges. Goodbye old brass!
-After buying a table and chairs at a yard sale, attempting to refinish them, and hating them, my husband insisted that we just buy a new table and chairs. Bless him.
-After attempting to install pendant lights, and failing miserably, we ended up calling an electrician. Even he was baffled. But now our lights are in, and they are beautiful!
-I painted our exterior door white. We still need to replace the door knob.

OK, brace yourselves, here comes a bucketload of pictures:
diy-kitchen-makeoverAbove these cabinets I put a couple of plates from Tai Pan Trading, silver vases and greenery from Ikea, and a bird from my stash. I also framed a piece of fabric and put it up on a plate stand. Easy peasy!
DIY Kitchen DecorThese little blue glass buckets are from Tai Pan Trading as well. I love the color! I filled them with glass marble beads and daisies from Hobby Lobby.


White-Kitchen-CabinetsThis bucket is from-you guessed it- Tai Pan Trading. The greenery is from Ikea. I placed it in a container that I spray painted and wrapped a ribbon around. I painted a thrift store frame aqua, then filled it with sheet music and an old key wrapped with ribbon. The bird is from the Dollar Store, spray painted white.

aqua-kitchen-decorUp here: spray painted frame from the thrift store, glass bucket from my stash, candlestick and greenery from Ikea, and a thrift store teacup.

Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets
diy-white-kitchen-makeoverAbove the door I hung my easy Reverse Stencil Sign. I love me some birdies!
Wood Sign TutorialI made this beadboard shadowbox and hung my grandma’s old spoon in it. Love!
diy-home-decorI have always planned a weekly menu, but this dry erase board has been so helpful. It’s nice having it up where I see it. It helps me remember to take my meat out of the freezer. I used to forget all the time! Plus my kids don’t have to ask me a dozen times “What’s for dinner?” 🙂
DIY Kitchen Menu BoardAnd because they’re pretty much my favorite thing ever, here are some side by side before and afters:
My white Kitchen Before and AfterWhite Kitchen CabinetsKitchen MakeoverLet me just say that the day I took the before shots, the stars aligned and the lighting was absolutely perfect. I’ve tried a dozen times at least, and couldn’t replicate the same look for my makeover pictures. How crappy is it that my before pictures are more clear than the afters?
Oh well, in real life it really does look a hundred times better! I sure love my happy white kitchen!
If you have any questions, let me know. 🙂

Update:  A few people have asked me about the paint I used on the walls. I actually painted it way back in 2011. I used Dutch Boy Refresh Paint in a color called High Country. At the time, I wrote a review of the paint.  In a nutshell, I liked the paint, and it is holding up better than I though it would. I just wish it didn’t have such a flat sheen. You can all the details about it  here: Dutch Boy Paint Review.



  1. Useful post !

  2. Beautiful kitchen! I think this is among the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article.

  3. I just found your blog and love it. the white kitchen so beautiful. you are amazing and very inspiring.

  4. Wow what a fresh look! Your kitchen has a similar layout as ours which is what drew me to it. The white and teal are so pretty. Also am inspired by your calendar holder, your weekly menu and of course grandma’s spoon. Thanks!

  5. So, pretty much I would like to transplant your kitchen to where mine is! I looooove blues and teals and I’ve been slowly working on my husband’s resistance towards painting the cabinets. He wants to go darker with the general finishes java stain (ours are currently a cherry stain), but the counter is this terrible rusty red color and it would make the kitchen look so dark.

    • I’ve heard many wives say their husbands don’t want them to paint the cabinets. Must be a guy thing. However, most of them finally talk them into it, and I’ve never heard one say their husband complained much after it was done! 🙂

  6. Where did you get your bar stools?

  7. Brittany says:

    Beautiful! Does the wood grain show through the paint?

    • The wood grain does show very faintly. To be honest, I found better coverage when I used latex paint on my bathroom and laundry room cabinets. Since it goes on thicker, it covers the grain better. Sanding between coats also helps though.

  8. Our oak kitchen is so similar and I really want hubby to get on board with painting the cabinets white. Maybe I can convince him with your great results. The only thing we have done so far is take out the “sunshine ceiling”/light box and replace it with track lighting which I still don’t like. Would love some pendant lights like yours! Fantastic post and thanks for sharing!


  9. Hi Kara,

    I love the white cabinets with the blue accents. I am a fan of blue/white in any room! We want to do something similar, but the hard part is picking out the counters. Did you replace them or were they part of the original kitchen? I like the neutral look of the counters/backsplash & cabinets. Great choices on all of it!

  10. Hi Kara
    You did an amazing job painting your cabinets, they turned out perfect. I have a similar kitchen layout and the same cabinets and even similar light fixture and fan. You have given me a lot of inspiration. Thank you for sharing your makeover.

  11. Elizabeth Morgan says:

    Hi, loved your new kitchen. Here’s an idea we used for our old fan over the table & chairs: Cut off the electricity at the circuit box. Paint the metal parts of the frame bronzed oil. Paint the fan paddles either white or any coordinating colors that you like. Saves a bundle!

  12. Kathy from CT says:

    I’m not a fan of white kitchens; however, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your’s. My cabinets are the same as your before ones. Since you already have it figured out, how about coming to Connecticut and doing mine? Our spare bedroom is all ready for you.

    • You are so nice Kathy! I’ve never been to Connecticut but I’ve heard it’s beautiful. Your offer sounds tempting! 🙂

  13. m @ random musings says:

    Looks awesome! I’m in the middle of painting my own kitchen cabinets so it’s nice to get reminders that the end result It just makes the space seem so much bigger 🙂 Gotta ask though, what are chicken haystacks?

  14. Your white kitchen is beautiful! I love it. It makes such a big difference in your space. And I love the blue accents. Fantastic job! (And I totally have the same issue as you do with your 3 year old with my 4 year old. What is it with little kids and clean spaces? It is as if they just cannot stand it!) Thanks for linking to The Creative Exchange!

    • Thank you so much Laura! I am sure looking forward to the day when her form of entertainment doesn’t involve destroying anything. LOL!

  15. Your kitchen looks great! I love the light blue color and the white together. I noticed you painted your knife block. I’ve been wanting to do that, but I haven’t done it yet. I really like the open shelving on the side of your cabinet. Great spot to put decorations on.

    • Thanks Julie! My knife block has now been painted twice. I painted it black before, but I really do love the splash of color it adds now. 🙂

  16. I’d like to know the wall paint color and brand too.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kara, love the look especially the blue accessories. As for your ceiling fan — as a temp change, you could disassemble it clean it, tape off the house components and spray paint it using the metallic tone of choice and then spray the blades to match your black items. I’ve done it and it has held up well so far. For about $15 you have a new fan until you fall in love with another.

    • I’ve been debating about whether or not I should take the time to give it a makeover, but I wish I would have done it months ago!

  18. Looks great!! It looks a lot like our kitchen update we just did…

    • I checked it out. Crazy how similar our layout is! I love how yours turned out. Isn’t the white just awesome?!

  19. Did I miss the wall color and brand?

    • Nope, I forgot to add them. Ooops. I’ve updated the post to include the info. I used Dutch Boy paint in High Country.

  20. Kara!!!!!!!!! This Seriously is STUNNING!!!!! What a transformation! I love the colors!♥♥♥

  21. Brittany says:

    Beautiful! Our cabinets are about the same color as your “before” and I’m so over it! I told my husband that I really want to paint ours white this summer and do a soft grey on the walls…hopefully he will give in 😉 Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. Daniela @ Put A Bird On It says:

    Wow! I’m so impressed. It looks amazing, and I love the pops of blue. We are looking at homes to buy, cause we are moving, and sometimes I disregard a home quickly, because of the kitchen. This gives me hope and makes me excited, thinking that I can redo an outdated kitchen into a gorgeous white one!


    • Oh yes, paint can do magical things. So if you love the layout of the kitchen, don’t skip past it just because of the cabinet color! 🙂

  23. Kara, I love your kitchen! The white is so refreshing. I painted our kitchen white almost 2 years ago, and I still have not taken pictures…I don’t think I ever will. I love the framed wooden spoon, what a treasure to have! So did you spray paint the cabinet bases? How did you do that inside? It all looks wonderful!

    • Thanks Amy! I actually used latex paint on the bases. Duh, I forgot to mention that, so I updated the post. Spray painting inside would have been a nightmare indeed!

  24. Beautiful! I love the blue accent color.

    • Thanks so much sis! I am actually kind of obsessed about that color right now. I guess because it makes me think of spring! 🙂

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