Mom’s Kitchen – We Finally Have Paint On The Cabinets!

As of yesterday, we finally have paint on the cabinets in my mom’s kitchen. It’s always so exciting, after days and days of prep work, to finally be able to put that first coat of paint on the cabinets.

We did only get one coat on yesterday, which means that today, I’ll be doing some light sanding and then painting the second (and hopefully final) coat, but I was so excited by the drastic change that the first coat brought about in my mom’s kitchen that I went ahead and took pictures so that I could show you today.

First, let’s remember where this kitchen started. Here’s how the sink/window wall looked originally…

mom's kitchen before - 2-2

And here’s the progress with the first coat of paint on the cabinets…

mom's kitchen makeover - first coat of paint on the cabinets - sink and window wall

Of course, the wall color will change, too. Right now, that’s still the original wall color, which looks very drab against the new cabinet color. We’ll be painting the walls a considerably lighter and more neutral color, like Behr Aged Beige.

behr aged beige

That will go a long way towards brightening up the room, and will be a beautiful backdrop for the green cabinet colors.

Also, all of the insides of the cabinets have been primed, grain filled, sanded, and painted. Since this house was built, the insides of these cabinets have just been the natural wood…

mom's kitchen progress 3-9-20 - 1

And now the insides of the cabinets are bright white. We still need to add a clear coat, but once we do, those shelves will be very durable. My clear coat of choice is General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. That stuff is amazing, and I use it on cabinets, shelves, and anything else that I paint with latex paint.

Anyway, the other side of the kitchen used to look like this…

mom's kitchen before - 1-2

And now it looks like this with the first coat of paint on it…

mom's kitchen makeover - first coat of paint on the cabinets - range and refrigerator wall

Please excuse the dust. 😀 We’ve been doing just a tad bit of sanding in there.

I’m just so thrilled with how this is turning out. Of course, you’ll notice lots of imperfections in the paint right now (e.g., the lines of wood filler on the top part showing through), but that will be fixed with a bit of sanding and then the second coat of paint.

I’m amazed at the difference some paint makes. Not only does changing the color make a drastic difference, but also painting the cabinet color all the way to the ceiling goes a long way towards updating the look.

And another huge improvement is the back of the peninsula. Before, it looked like an afterthought with the awkward spacing of the doors. (That’s because it was an afterthought, done by a man — my father — who had a couple of extra doors he wanted to use and really wasn’t concerned about how it looked. Let’s just say that on the form/function spectrum, he was on the very opposite end from me. 😀 )

mom's kitchen before - 4-2

Here’s what it looked like when we took the doors off…

mom's kitchen progress 3-9-20 - 5

So we took all of that paneling off of the back…

back side of peninsula - current

And the I reframed it using 1 x 4’s on the sides, a 1 x 5 at the bottom, a 1 x 3 in the middle, and a 1 x 8 at the top. Somewhere along the way, I figured something wrong, so I had a space at the top that had to be filled in (I should have used a 1 x 12 instead of a 1 x 8 at the top), but we had already purchased it and I had already cut it before I realized the mistake, so I had to fill in at the top. But that will be covered up with some pretty trim, so I’m not worried about it. Here’s how it looks at this point…

mom's kitchen makeover - first coat of paint on the cabinets - rebuilt back side of peninsula

I still need to add some decorative corbels and trim to cover up that top section, but the back side of this peninsula has already come a long way!

In my last post about this kitchen, so many of you suggested pull-out shelves and drawers. Those are already planned! 🙂 After seeing all that I’ve done in my kitchen with pull-out shelves and customized storage, my mom had already been thinking about what storage options she wants to incorporate into her “new” kitchen. I’ll be totally replacing her eight working drawers and customizing storage in those. I’ll also be adding the flip down storage to the two drawer fronts in front of the sink where she can store scrubbies, sponges, etc. And almost all of the lower cabinets will get pull-out shelves.

Yes, we’ve still got quite a bit to do in this kitchen. 🙂 But the progress so far is very exciting!



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. That’s a huge WOW! Especially the new crown on the uppers above the sink. I’ll be Mom is doing a happy dance!

    1. what new crown? The crown was there, I think. It is just integrated now. There is some new smaller trim, though. Did you mean that?

  2. Wow! Just Wow! What did you decide to do about the countertops? That will be the finishing touch. Maybe a little splurge (or wood which would be gorgeous).

    1. She wants to stick with laminate. 🙂 It’s what she’s used to, and she really likes it. I did suggest wood, but that was a no go. 😀

      1. I have been following You for a Very long time! I even put a portico over my back door! I love it! Maybe I’ll share a photo sooner then later! I especially love following along when your work on practical projects like this kitchen! Keep up the good work! Oh I’m also working on a herringbone bench with waterfall edges! But that one may take awhile since I’m relying on my cabinet maker friend to cut the pieces!

  3. I had older built-on-site cabinets with raw wood interiors at my old house, and your mom is going to LOVE the interiors painted white. It made such a huge difference in finding things in the cabinets. The whole thing looks great!

  4. I’ve followed you for a long time, as you know…..I’m not sure I understand how you are just carrying on. Are you not worried about going in and out and potentially exposing your mom? Are you just going back & forth between your two homes without worrying about the virus?

    Maybe you are doing things, but just not mentioning them. You don’t owe me anything. I’m just truly surprised and curious.

    1. If all she is doing is going back and forth between two homes, she’s not doing anything wrong. Remember, Matt is immune compromised as well. I’m sure Kristi is on top of it for the people she loves. While your curiousity may be understandable, asking this question comes off like an accusation that she is not taking care of the people in her life. Maybe rethink posting next time.

        1. I asked the question politely. And I’ve been following and supporting Kristi from the beginning. I’m not attacking her in any way, I’m asking a question, which she can answer or not.
          No need to act as if I’ve accosted her.

    2. Short answer: No, I’m not worried, but I am cautious and conscientious (as is she). 🙂

      Long answer: I’m pretty much only going to my mom’s house and my house. I’m taking every precaution, washing my hands a thousand times a day, disinfecting everything I bring into my house or car (when I’m handed a cup of tea at Sonic (a drive-in) or a cup of coffee at Starbucks (a drive-through) — pretty much the only two places I go other than my mom’s house — I wipe it down with an isopropyl alcohol wipe). As soon as I get home, I don’t go near Matt until I go to the bathroom and scrub my hands, arms, and face, and wipe down my purse, phone, etc., with an isopropyl alcohol wipe.

      Other than Sonic drive-in and Starbucks drive-through, the only other place I’ve gone since the federal, state and local guidelines have been put into place is Home Depot. I went there once, and while I was there, I employed the social distancing guidelines that have been strongly suggested — don’t shake hands or touch another person, maintain at least six feet of distance between you and the next person at all times, etc. And when I got back into my car, I wiped everything down with an isopropyl alcohol wipe.

      I’m carrying on with life, while being extra cautious and conscientious. To date, there are no confirmed cases in McLennan County. dIf any cases are found in this area, and more restrictions are put into place locally, I will follow all suggestions/requirements. But at this time, my mom needs her kitchen to be usable again. If in the coming days or weeks, restaurants are closed down completely in this area (they’re still open for drive-through and take out only), my mom will need her kitchen to be in usable order. Right now, it’s not. She doesn’t even have a working sink, and it can’t be installed until her new countertop material arrives (which should be today) and we get that new countertop done. I can’t take the chance of all restaurants being shut down with her having no usable kitchen, so I’m working as hard as I can to get things finished while we still can.

      But please understand that I’m not being flippant or taking things lightly. I’m exercising caution and being conscientious of everything I do not only to protect myself, but also to protect both my mom (in a high risk category because of her age, although she has no pre-existing health conditions and is as healthy as an ox), and Matt (who obviously has a compromised immune system).

      I think that people who go to the grocery store, standing in a long line before the doors open, and then pushing through the aisles shoulder-to-shoulder to grab up toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap, so that they can then go home to their families and self-quarantine, are putting themselves at a far greater risk than I am simply traveling back and forth between my house and my mom’s house each day, with virtually no contact with any other people. For the last two days as I’ve sat in line at the Starbucks drive-through (sitting by myself in my car, coming into contact with one gloved person, and disinfecting the cup before drinking), I’ve watched as the parking lot across the street at the grocery store is filled to capacity, and people rush in so that they can push through the packed aisles shoulder-to-shoulder so that they can stock up, and wonder to myself how in the world they feel like that’s a good idea. That seems like an area to avoid right now, and thankfully, I have enough toilet paper, paper towels, and a freezer full of meat that allows me to avoid the packed grocery store.

  5. I second the comment above!!! You are AMAZING!!! I’m so hoping you post about and show pics of the pull out drawers you do, because we are getting ready to do the exact same improvement in our 1980’s kitchen. I’m for drawers all the way…for the bottom cabinets. It just makes so much more sense.

    1. The insides look amazing. It will be so much easier to wipe up any spills and to see what may be luring in the back. I know you are a very close family, but still what a sweet daughter you are to do this for Mom!
      Sheila F.

      1. Your progress so far is great! Paint to the ceiling and removal of the trim around the window is a huge improvement! Can’t wait to see the finished project. Your mom will love it!

  6. I’ve been checking my email twice a day hoping for your post on your mom kitchen remodel. You just made my day!

      1. What type of paint did you use on the cabinets, inside and outside? Water based Latex? Oil Enamel? Any protective coating used on top of the paint? Sorry if you already posted this information. I searched through your posts but may have missed it. It all looks fabulous!

        1. I used Behr Premium Plus in an eggshell finish. I sprayed the doors outside, and brushed the cabinets inside. Then I topcoated with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in a flat finish. Since I had to use the same application method on everything (because if you don’t, you’ll end up with different sheens), I decided to brush everything. I actually sprayed the clear coat on the back sides of the doors, and then brushed the fronts. And of course, I brushed the cabinets. That particular clear coat is amazing and goes on beautifully. It’s the only clear coat I’ll use. I did three coats of paint (sprayed) and sanded with 220-grit sandpaper between coats, and then I did two coats of clear coat, sanding with 400-grit sandpaper between coats.

    1. The color is Valspar Sweet Carolina, but I had it color matched in Behr paint from Home Depot. I’ve never used Valspar before, and didn’t want to take a chance on a new-to-me paint on my mom’s cabinets. But Behr is tried and true — my go-to paint for almost everything.

  7. Once again, I am amazed by your incredible work. Taking a kitchen and updating it like you are doing shows many folks what can be done. Wonderful work.

    1. Love the green. You are so talented! Off the subject- I had a portion of my ceiling sanded so the paper hanger could apply grasscloth to the ceiling of an open doorway.
      I didn’t have the foresight to drape my oven, and now their is dust trapped between the glass oven door. Seeing your Mom’s oven exposed, and your mention of sanding….
      Do you know a fairly easy fix to clean the inside of glass oven doors?
      Lydia Brunner

      1. I don’t know of a way, but I know I’ve seen a tutorial for that on Pinterest. My mom doesn’t have any dust trapped in there, but both of us have glass oven doors that have what looks like a drip going down the glass between the panels. I’d love to find that tutorial and clean both of ours.

        1. I googled my oven model and found instructions on how to do it as I had drips between my glass too. How in the world did it get in there?

  8. These cabinets are gorgeous and you simply amaze me with your level of talent and your ability to look at something and create an entirely different product out of it!

  9. I love them! Did you spray paint them or roll and brush? I’m going to tackle mine soon and would love tips on how to get the best finish. (It may be here somewhere so I’m sorry if it’s already been asked)

    1. I sprayed the doors, but brushed/rolled the cabinets. But I haven’t done the clear coat yet. I’m a big believer in clear coating latex paint. I find it more durable over time than buying the high priced cabinet paint from places like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. So while I’ve used a variety of application methods for the paint, it’s important to use one application method for the clear coat. Using a variety of application methods will result in a variety of sheens. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to brush or spray the clear coat. If I were just dealing with doors, I would spray. But having to tape and drape everything indoors in order to spray the cabinet boxes is such a pain, so I may just decide to brush everything.

  10. You can come do anything you want to my dreadful kitchen. Your Mom’s looked like a HGTV redo compared to what mine looks like. Even minimal kitchen upgrades are expensive and I’m not doing a thing unless it’s all or nothing. Who wants new appliances in a crappy looking kitchen or new cupboards and crappy old appliances? Not me. So…the kitchen is the same as when we moved in about 15 years ago and probably since the house was built in the 50s.

  11. What exciting progress; I truly can’t believe the difference. I may have to actually do some of this myself and feel like I can because of your example.

  12. Kristy, You make me want to paint! I love all of your kitchens that you have done. When you are done with this project, I would love for you to do a post or tutorial on touching up chips on painted cabinets. I paid a lot of money to have mine sprayed and after just 2 years I have so many chips that need touch ups and I am not sure how to do it. Thanks.

  13. It is beautiful and I am filled with “green” envy. I love the color. If you ever want to do a project in Oklahoma, I will greet you with open arms. I know it has been a lot of hard work, but it worth it by just how beautiful it looks. Your mom is very blessed to have you to work on her projects. Her kitchen is going to be amazing when it is finished. I can’t wait to see the finished project.

    I may not have painted the outside of my cabinets, but my house was built in the 1970s and the cabinets were built into the kitchen without a backboard and are are attached to the wall (and I did add an additional 2×4 at the back of the shelves to make sure that shelves wouldn’t bow). I have painted the inside of the cabinets white (I didn’t like how old and dirty they looked before) and wanted them to look clean inside the cabinet (I also lined my shelves with shelf-paper).

    I recently replaced my kitchen light switch that had a short in it (I have you to thank for giving me the courage to try that project on my own instead of paying someone to do it). It only took me about 15 to 20 minutes to get it done. The new switch is white with a white cover plate (yea) instead of the ugly beige and it looks so clean. Yes, I remember to turn off the power and to get home before it got dark so I had enough light to fix it.

    **My only problem was that the wires weren’t located on side posts, but placed in the back of the switch (old house). I used the black electrical tape to cover the live wires for when I turned the electricity back on the first night. So it was really the second night when I got home from work that I completed replacing the switch (the no side posts – threw me and I thought I had brought the wrong type of switch from Ace).

  14. Wow, you are simply incredible, your talent for putting it all together is one of your gifts, and you so graciously share the how to with us, to teach us and inspire us that we too can do this. Thank you!

  15. Absolutely loving the way your vision and all your hard work is coming together. 👏👏👏

    I know it’s not in your plans; but wouldn’t framed glass doors on the overhead cupboards look amazing? Would open up the room and give it a wonderful airy look.

  16. I was thinking that the dishwasher area could be the place where you put her kitchenaid mixer on a lift so she can store this off counter. It is a perfect place, being on the end to use for baking too,

  17. This is beautiful! I love how they go all the way up to the ceiling now. Can’t wait to see all the progress posts to come.

  18. Wow…….what a huge difference already! Your Mom’s kitchen is looking fantastic and you are doing an amazing job.

  19. My Dear Kristi, You have no idea how much enjoyment others may be getting from your hard hard work. To say I love reading your blog is so minute a statement that I want to express my best wishes for all you do. I am a 65year old and you do what I never would of dreamed of doing but sure did want to. Please keep up the great things you do you are so inspirational & talented. Sincerely & with deep respect, Marilyn

  20. I know you still have a way to go but this is stunning and I can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!!!! I’ll be redoing a bath and kitchen and you are such an inspiration!!!!!

  21. WOW! Looks amazing!! I know your mom is so excited! I had to take a double take on the crown molding, too! What a difference it makes painting it the same color as the cabinets. Love seeing all the process. Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Kristi,
    You’re my hero and have been for so long. I swear sometimes I believe you can read my mind.
    I’ll have a project I need to work on, and BAM, you’ll either do a post on that very subject, (in this case, the peninsula update) or you’ll make reference to a previous post with the tutorial and have the link.
    Your tutorials are so good that anyone, even someone my age (60) can do them. Especially, since you’ve listed the proper tools to make the job go more smoothly.
    I love you, Kristi take care of you, so you can care for everyone else.

  23. I was hoping you might point me in the right direction for using the General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. I put a niche in my bathroom with a shelf that gets a lot of use. I am NOT happy with how my pain job is holding up so I plan to repaint the area and finish it with your recommendation. However, I am really really bad at finish work and all the information I google seems to be contradictory, do you have a post somewhere that has the best practices for this?