Our Kitchen Transformation: From Dark to White

I am so incredibly happy to be writing this post because it means my kitchen project is DONE!!  Okay, well not completely, but enough that I’ve cleaned up and am back to being able to cook without having to tiptoe around ladders, paint cans and project mess.

Before & After

As you can see, we took on the task of painting our dark, mahogany-stained cabinets white.  (To see the run-down of how we did the painting process, click here.)  Alas, I cannot pass off

the mahogany stain choice on a previous owner.  We did it ourselves, not long after moving in 9 years ago.  I loved my dark red cabinets for several years; I had the Tuscan thing going with antiqued glazed walls when that was all the rage.  We leased out our home for a few years and when we moved back in 2 ½ years ago the first thing I did was paint the antiqued walls a fresh yellow-green. I kept thinking the old paint looked like someone had been smoking in the house and turned the walls dirty with that glaze!  It’s funny how our tastes change.

DSC_1037 DSC_1038

My change in taste included our red cabinets, it was time for them to go.  Not only was it looking dated to me with the shiny finish (that we used to love-ha!) but it really wasn’t wearing well.  Our choice of using a water-based stain instead of oil came back to haunt us.  Lesson learned.


It’s a good thing I really wanted white cabinets, because oh my-it was a lot of work!  I’m saying that, and we hired someone to do the painting.  Love our painter.  Good guy, affordable, has a nice sprayer.  He doesn’t do prep, so the sanding, filling, and cleaning was up to us.  The cost savings was worth it.  Plus we decided to upgrade our existing cabinetry a bit by adding extra moldings, bigger headers, new crown molding, and faux “feet” while we were making the color change.


You can see in the photo above that we had sanded and applied moldings to the ends of the island.  I always forget to take before photos until we’ve already done something to start the project…so I guess my “before” isn’t completely accurate. We knew we wanted to do something on the plain ends of the lower cabinets and island to jazz it up a bit, we just weren’t sure exactly what. Then we found these pre-made picture frame moldings at Lowe’s already assembled into the rectangle for only $10, and they happened to fit nicely, making this an easy install!  This was before my husband purchased his beloved air compressor nail gun, so maybe “easy” is a bit of an overstatement.  Anyway, it was a score. He managed to install four of them in an afternoon, nailing them in by hand.  I won’t tell you how long we lived with the white rectangles on our kitchen like this before we really started sanding and painting.


I have never loved the look of my 1990’s country cabinet doors-I would have loved to replace my cabinets with new shaker style ones, something more simple and modern.  However, I’m a big believer in working with what you have (and working within the budget too), and since our cabinets are decent quality hardwood, not to mention are already there and paid for, I just went with a satin finish paint that minimized the arches.  Paint can hide so much.  I love paint!  You can see the glossiness of the stain, it highlights the arches and has an old-fashioned look:


The paint looks so much cleaner:


I think I actually like the character the 90’s country arches bring now that they are white-it gave them a modern twist!  Friends have said how much bigger our kitchen feels now.  I love my kitchen again, which I am very happy about and my hubby is too, especially since our next project is unfortunately a (very necessary) new roof!  No more upgrades inside for a while, since our funds will be going to the exterior.

What is your current or next DIY project?  Please share! 🙂


10 thoughts on “Our Kitchen Transformation: From Dark to White

  1. Love all your projects and the encouragement found on your blog – thanks for stopping by Glen Lake Road as well. I’m also brand new to blogging – but like you, have been taking pictures of projects for years – for some reason! Your blog also encouraged me to use this platform to share Christ’s love as well and really think about what God wants to say through it all – take care! I look forward to seeing what you come up with next. We are getting ready to re-do/paint our kitchen cabinets as well. I hope ours turn out as lovely as yours 🙂


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