DIY Kitchen Makeover

If you had told me five years ago that I would be perched precariously on the edge of my kitchen countertops hand distressing my kitchen cabinets while fresh bread baked away in my oven and Blake Shelton was blaring from my speakers, I would have told you you were insane.  (Or at least you would have gotten a look of surprise)

Yet, here I am, fingers covered in Bauhaus Buff, muesli bread browning, and yes, I’m singing along with Blace Shelton’s “Neon Light” at the top of my lungs because no one is home.

I like who I am and where I am today.  I’m especially happy to see the results of what seems like AEONS of work.  In reality, it was about 24 hours spread out over two weeks.  It all started when I was in McKinney and stumbled into Petals & Vine.  If you haven’t been, and you love beautiful things, you HAVE TO GO.  Candi, the owner, is incredibly sweet, helpful and has impeccable taste.  I mean, check out their Facebook page here. (Disclaimer:  I am not an agent of or have been compensated by the establishment.  I just like nice people and pretty things and supporting small businesses is important to me)

Anywhoooo….  There was a cabinet that had all these fun paints, and I have been wanting to redo our kitchen for ages.  I mean, it was blue when we got it.  Navy blue.  Really?!  The space felt closed off, and while the cabinet wood was pretty, it looked just like the flooring and it was just too dang much.  So I got a wild hair and decided we would paint the cabinets and have them distressed to give it a rustic feel, like our gorgeous console.  Then I got the price quotes.  $2,000 – $3,000 just to paint the cabinets PLUS the cost of distressing.  $5,000 + ?!  Since the money tree I planted hasn’t bloomed yet, I put the idea aside until I saw the Amy Howard paint display at Petals & Vine.

I’m totally new to this whole calk paint world, but I was sold on the no stripping and no sanding part of it.  All we had to do to make sure our 45 cabinet faces and structures were ready was doing a wipe down with Simple Green, or degreaser of your choice.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house:

Yup.  It’s pretty blue.

So we lightened up the walls with a cheery soft yellow and added a bronze tile backsplash, but the yellow was too much for the kitchen and everything started to blend.

kitchen yellow
I loved the backsplash, the granite and the floors, so thecabinets would get the face lift they needed.  Here I am, perched, listening to country music, and painting the cabinets with Amy Howard’s Bauhaus Buff.  Don’t mind the chaos.

Kitchen perching

We did two coats on the insides of the cabinet doors and structure, three coats on the faces before distressing and we were able to finish the kitchen in less than a day.  We also painted the kitchen walls a lighter taupe.

And what happened next?

THIS DID!  IT’S SO WHITE AND PRETTY AND CLEAN AND BIG AND I LOVE IT AND I DID IT!!!  Holy sense of accomplishment, Batman!  It’s amazing what a few coats of paint can do.

Kitchen white

But of course, it can’t end there.  The cabinets were too unfinsihed, and I really wanted that rustic, distressed look.  The paint is Amy Howard in Bauhaus White, and to give them a lived in look, I brushed on Amy Howard Light Wax, and accented with Amy Howard Dark wax.

Don’t skip this step.  It seals the wood, gives it a lumious finish and great character.  Also, go ahead and invest in good brushed.  A Martha Stewart furniture brush has a rounded handle and dense bristles for $25 and it’s worth every penny.  Even better when you use your Michael’s coupon for 40% off!  You can use cheak chip brushes for the distressing, and old t-shirts to buff the light was.  I also bought a furnite wax brush off  No coupons here, but again, worth every penny.

Technique wise?

  1. Dont apply directly from the container.  Use a spoon to grab come wx and set it on a disposable plate.  This will keep your container from drying out, keeps you from using too much wax, and helps you take excess off your wax brush.
  2. Using your furniture wax brush, load it up with the light wax (which looks orange, but goes on a warm clear) and apply firmly into the wood.  Use a t-shirt rag to buff the excess off.  Make sure you get into the crevices, and budd well.  Too mcuh wax will make the wood feel tacky.
  3. Use your chip brush and load it up with the dark wax.  Begin stippling and brushing the areas where normal wear and tear woudl occur.  The edges, handles, where a belt would rub, etc.  Buff the excess dark wax away.
  4. Let everything set for about 30 minutes and go back and buff witha  clean t-shirt rag.  The surface will turn from matte to a soft gloss.

Below is our glassware cabinet.  As you can see, the left side has not been finished while the right side has the light wax and distressing.



I distressed the kitchen sink cabinets a little more, since they normally would get more wear and tear.

kitchen sink


The details are so cool close up.  Here is my attempt at showing you the close up changes:

before and after

At the sugestion of some of my friends (thanks, y’all), I even did a video (EEK!!!) on how to wax and distress the cabinets.  And yes, I say I have no makeup, but I do have a coat of mascara on.  Just no makeup on my face 😛  You can see the videos here 



About Nicole

While I used to spend my days climbing ladders, now you can find me crawling around with my beautiful baby girl Mia and our precious Pom, Mochi. I live each day to the fullest with my amazing husband who never fails to be the best part of my day...
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2 Responses to DIY Kitchen Makeover

  1. virginia says:

    May try this on my cabinets, but I am curious on how you go about cleaning them once they are painted. Is this paint holding up good?

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