Kitchen Redo Reveal–Part 2

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UPDATE:  Read about the magazine feature for this kitchen HERE!

white kitchen redo

{Full source list at the end of this post}

Hi there, everyone–I’m laughing as I write this, because I know that if you’ve seen part 1 of my kitchen reveal on the DIY Showoff or Here on 11 Magnolia Lane, then it probably seems that not more than a few weeks have passed–and now I’m changing it again!

I know I’m not the only one constantly tweaking and updating things in my decor, and although I was thrilled with how my kitchen cabinets turned out, I didn’t like the paint color I put on the walls.  I also wanted to tear down my tile backsplash and update my range hood.  I lived with it for about three months, but Thanksgiving was drawing nearer, and I was hosting the holiday this year, so I had motivation to proceed quickly.

Here’s what I started out with when we bought the house in June (it’s more of a “during” than a “before” but you get the idea!):

Here’s my first reveal, in August:

white ktichen redoNow, here’s reveal number two, after painting the walls, painting the tile backsplash, spray painting the exhaust hood with stainless steel paint, and adding window treatments (made with canvas drop cloths):

white kitchen redo

I normally choose lighter paint colors, but the Old Prairie by Benjamin Moore that I used first had some green undertones that just didn’t work with my White Dove cabinets.  After trying three different paint samples on the wall for a few days (BM’s Camouflage, BM’s London Fog, and BM’s Waynesboro Taupe), Waynesboro Taupe–the darkest of the three colors–won.

Everyone should have three paint colors on their wall!

After I painted the walls, I turned to the backsplash.  I read up on painting tile, and decided that I really had nothing to lose, because I was already planning on taking the backsplash down.  Why not try to paint it first and see if I could save time and money?  The brown of the tile really clashed with my countertops–they have some brown in them but they’re really more gray.  The warm and the cool tones right next to each other really bothered me (my husband thought I was nuts about that, although he admits that he likes the result).

First, I scrubbed the tiles really well.  TSP works great, and I also used rubbing alcohol to degrease the tiles.  Next, I had to wait a day or two before priming to let the grout dry (I HATE to wait to start a project!).  I tried to sand the tiles but they were too hard to really get roughed up by the sandpaper, so I was sure to use a primer for glossy surfaces that specifically mentioned ceramic tile (Zinsser Bulls-Eye 123; although sometimes I use their oil based primer in the gold can, too).  I primed with one coat, and then applied two coats of oil-based paint.  I bought a quart of Behr from Home Depot, tinted to match White Dove at half strength.  I used a brush to prime and paint–you really have to work a bit to get the paint into the grout and a roller just wasn’t cutting it.  Plus, I have some decorative tiles that needed extra attention.  While I think I should add a clear coat at some point, I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, and I’ve been able to wipe splatters off without removing any paint.  (UPDATE:  Read how the painted tile backsplash is doing a year later HERE)

Here are a few before and after shots of the backsplash.  Note the frozen pizza and the Sonic milkshake in the first shot.  These are essentials for effectively tackling home improvement jobs!

painted tile backsplash

painted tile backsplash

The exhaust hood and fan were black, and while I’m dying to pull the old one out and do a nice, custom-built one, I decided that a $5 can of Epoxy appliance spray paint would be a worthwhile investment for a quick fix in the meantime (I used this paint).  I did take the hood down to spray it, but that’s because I’m pretty comfortable working with electricity and didn’t mind rewiring it when I hung it back up.  I think you could probably use tape and plastic to protect the cabinets enough to spray it in place, if you needed to.  Love the appliance spray paint!

painted tile backsplash and exhaust hood

My last update was to add the window treatments around the sliding glass door, and this really made a huge difference in the room.  I used canvas painter’s drop cloths (try these) and sewed them to the right length.  Mine are tied with jute twine and swagged, but if I let them hang they would puddle on the floor (which was intentional).  The balloon valance over the sink is completely no-sew.  I just draped the dropcloth (another 6 ‘ x 9’) and tied three pieces of twine around it and adjusted it (click here to read that tutorial).  Since we’re a military family and move frequently, I need as many no-sew options as possible, just to keep things versatile for the next house.

dropcloth drapes

DIY dropcloth window treatment

Someone always asks, so the faucet I purchased is here.

I think I might be done with the kitchen, at least for awhile, but I’ll be sure to let you know if I make any more changes.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.  Thanks for stopping by!

white kitchen redo

white kitchen redo

white kitchen redo

white kitchen redo

white kitchen redo

coffee station


Paint Colors:  Benjamin Moore’s Waynesboro Taupe (wall), BM White Dove (cabinets),BM White Dove (half strength; tile backsplash), vent hood (Rust-Oleum)


Bridge Faucet: Amazon

Cup pulls and cabinet knobs:  Amazon (and the best price by far that I’ve seen!)

Seagrass drum shades: Ballard Designs

Curtains and valance (DIY from canvas drop cloths, see the tutorial here); rods purchased from Hobby Lobby

Pedestal table and chairs: vintage

Canisters, teakettle, apothecary jars, pink trellis towel: HomeGoods


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  1. It looks amazing! I love the drop cloths as curtains and the paint color on the walls as well. I can’t believe how great the back splash looks painted white, what a difference it makes. Great job 🙂

  2. Your kitchen makeover looks great! I can’t believe what a difference paint has done on your cabinets. I’m a chicken when it comes to painting them. I have dark walnut cabinets that drive me nuts!

  3. I bet each time you enter the kitchen your smile beams! Such light has appeared in there. I did the same last year and I still lOvE my kitchen… great job!
    Happy New Year!

  4. Your kitchen looks amazing! Your paint color is beautiful. Would love love love for you to share this at my Best of 2011 party going on now Happy new year! My

    • My–sorry I didn’t make it over in time–I was out of town for the holidays. I popped over to Space 46 and am following you now so hopefully I won’t miss your next one! Thanks for stopping by–Christy

  5. Your kitchen looks beautiful! I recently painted my cabinets in White Dove and I love them!

  6. Love it! You are so talented. Lots of inspiration for my upcoming diy kitchen re-do.

  7. This makeover is beautiful!

    Do you have a tutorial or website on how to make those drop cloth curtains? I love them!

    • Kristen–They’re almost too easy to need a tutorial, but I did read a few on other blogs (just google them). I used one 6×9′ dropcloth for each panel and washed them several times with bleach and fabric softener. Then I folded them over on top and sewed them to make the pocket for the curtain rod. I added about 4″ to the drop from the curtain road to the floor so that they’d puddle a little bit when they’re not tied back. That’s it–I sewed one straight line on each panel! Hope that helps. Christy

  8. Oh my gosh your kitchen is GORGEOUS! What a difference you made by painting the cabinetry and the backsplash white!!! It really looks like a whole new kitchen. I painted my cabs White Dove as well and really like that color – I think it’s a warm white that doesn’t look too sterile. Your style is so pretty and I really enjoyed checking out your newly renovated kitchen….thanks so much for sharing at Before & After!!

  9. Stunning! I love all of the renovations! So glad you posted about the backsplash. What a great tutorial. It looks amazing!

  10. I love the lighting you put in! Also that bread can, do you fit a store bought loaf in there, or do you make your own? I think I need a bread can of my own.

    • Hi, Adelina–yes, you can fit a store-bought loaf in there, if you put it in vertically. I do make my own bread, but not all the time, so we’ll have both kinds in there. Just don’t forget it’s in there like I sometimes do! I bought this tin at Tuesday Morning, so although it looks vintage, it’s actually new.

  11. Love it! So light and bright and cheery!

    I saw you over at the “Before & After” party — how genius is that concept — and was hoping you could also join our month-long “Imagine the Impossibilities” challenge. You can find more about it here …

    … and it all culminates at a multi-blog Jan 31 link party!

    Hope you can join us!


  12. Oh my gracious! I was prepared for a great after photo, but I almost gasped out loud (and I’m at Starbuck, so that would have been embarrassing) when I saw it!

    AWESOME job!

    I would be thrilled if you would link this up at my second ever Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL…going on right now (we had almost 300 links last week…can you tell I’m excited??! : ))

    Would love to have you by for a visit!

    P.S. I’m a new follower. : )

    ~Abbie (

    • Hey Abby–
      So glad you stopped by! I linked up (thanks for the invite) and am happy to be #154 and your newest follower. Great job on your blog! ~Christy

  13. I LOVE your pendant shades!!!!!!!

  14. Gabrielle calvert says

    Love your style! Just found your blog. Can you tell me the source for your kitchen lights? Thanks!

  15. So amazing!! I love how you painted your backsplash. It makes it look completely different. I love it all.

  16. Where did you find the barstools? I’ve seen something similiar at a few stores and was curious where you found yours? Your kitchen is beautiful!

    • Hey Laura–
      The barstools are from Amazon; they were a little less there than at Ballard. I think that I might have linked to them in my Kitchen Redo–Part 1 post. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Wow what a little paint can do huh? It looks like a totally different kitchen! Fabulous job!

  18. I love your pendant lamps! Where did you get them?

  19. Love the little things you have done to make your space your own! Great job!

  20. Beautiful transformation but I am intrigued by the canvas drop curtains. We just finished painting our living room/kitchen & I was just thinking tonight that i didn’t care for the old curtains anymore. These would be perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. FABULOUS! So bright and welcoming! We recently had out cabinets painted white as well, and I am in love with them. Your tile backsplash turned out very nice as well! And I really like your woven lights! Those are amazing. And your Groceries sign! Can I ask where you found that?

    • Hey Jessi–
      The Groceries sign is from Hobby Lobby, so while it looks like a nice, old distressed sign, it’s actually new. Thanks for stopping by!!

  22. Your kitchen looks beautiful! I recently painted my cabinets in White Dove and I love them!

  23. What a beautiful kitchen! I think painting the backsplash looks so light and bright. Can you tell me did you have the paint tinted to match at half the strength, so it would be a lighter consistency.

  24. I think I just pinned practically every picture from this post. I love everything you did in here – truly an amazing and inspiring re-do! Can you come do mine?! 🙂

    • Sure, Brittany–just let me know when we’re going to work on your kitchen! Seriously, thanks for all your kind words, and for stopping by. ~Christy

  25. beautiful!

  26. HI, love the kitchen. I am getting ready to some remodeling and love your kitchen. Would like to have white cabinets as well. Did you replace or refinish the cabinets?

  27. Saw your before and after at Thrifty Decor Chic, I am now a new follower! What an awesome kitchen transformation! I am all about the white kitchen!!!!

  28. Fantastic transformation! I have painted my cabinets once already, but now I’m ready to go lighter! Your kitchen looks fantastic!
    Your newest follower!

  29. Absolutely love your kitchen! I too painted a plain-jane exhaust hood over our stove. But I just used a small roller and painted on the same primer & paint I used on the walls/cabinets. No need to remove, rewire as when using spray paint 😉 There’s no heat generated so you don’t really need appliance paint.

    The power of paint is such a great way to do things on a small budget! We painted our kitchen cabinets and I never ever regretted it. Lowe’s now has pendant lights that convert a recessed light too…although they’re not nearly as beautiful as the Ballard Design ones you used…then again, not as pricey either.

    I found your site through Thrifty Decor Chick 🙂

    • Great idea on the paint, Connie. You’re right, there’s absolutely no reason not to do it that way. I’ll have to check out the new conversion light kits at Lowe’s–thanks for the tip!

  30. You’ve gotten plenty of compliments, but I will add one more: gorgeous job!!!!

  31. Could you give me an update on how the painted tile is holding up? Are there been any signs of chipping or problems when you clean? I’ve been wondering about painting the back splash in my kitchen but haven’t found any info about how it wears over time. I’d love your advice! Thanks!

    • Hi Emily–
      You know, that would be a good idea for a follow-up post! It’s holding up GREAT. I’ve wiped with a sponge and even flipped the sponge over and scrubbed with the rough side and no issues at all. The only place that I have a small chip is behind my cooktop. I tried to hang a silver platter up there using double-stick tape–it didn’t hold–and when the platter fell it chipped the tile a bit. I don’t think that’s the paint’s fault, though. I say go for it! ~Christy

  32. Christy,

    To be completely honest I hate white kitchen cabinets with a passion, or i should say i did until i saw your renovation. Congrats it looks amazing, The back splash looks great this has given me some ideas thank you so much.

  33. Marty Trout says

    AAAAAmazing!!!! i just painted my cupboards a cream (from a darker cherry) and love it, but it doesn’t compare to your before and after! and those painted tiles?…… who knew? thanks for sharing!

  34. I did. not. know. that tile could be painted…and I’m excited about what you’ve done because Hubby & I are moving soon and house shopping now – and I just may try this. After looking at 25+ houses [and more to go], I am not excited about many of the kitchens I’ve seen. Thank you for your advice!

    • A bad kitchen kind of ruins the house, doesn’t it? But there is hope! The tile has held up pretty well, too–I say go for it! Thanks for stopping by!

  35. Michael McGarry says

    Hey Christy, It’s Mike from Langhorne. I started my kitchen project tonight!! I decided to break the kitchen cabs down into 5 sections. I pirchased the primer you suggested at HD. Great paint. After priming all 5 sections, I’m going to spray the doors – 36 of ’em! And then there are 20 drawers. When I’m all done I’m replacing the dark brown curtains with something bright. It’s gonna look awesome. Thanks so much for the inspiration!! I hope you remembered me. Mike McGarry

    • Hi, Mike–
      Of course I remember you! Wow, you have a big kitchen, too! Lots of painting to do, but it sounds like you have a plan to get them all done. It is going to look wonderful when you’re done–please send pictures!

  36. Michael McGarry says

    Hey Christy – I started the kitchen tonight!! Do you remember our emails? Thanks for the inspiration.

  37. Michael McGarry says

    omg I meant pUrchased…

  38. Mike McGarry says

    Hi Christy, Here’s an update > I bought the Benjamin Moore paint. Not cheap – so it must be very good! I rolled the doors with primer and it was easy and fast. The 5 top sections are primed and ready to go. Next – prime the bottom sections and then start the finish coats. This is one of the most aesthetic projects that I have tackled – it’s really looking good.
    Shopping online for new handles. Suggestions? I have some pics to send when done. Thanks!!

  39. This is so pretty! If you were to apply a top coat, what would you use?

    • Thanks, Kate! After a year and a half without a top coat (I assume you mean on the tile backsplash), I don’t think it needs it. However, if I was going to use one, I’d just use a clear coat of polyurethane. I think Minwax makes one.

  40. Thanks for the tips on how to paint tile!! I linked to your page on my blog 😀

  41. Beautiful kitchen Christy! I want to paint my kitchen tile too. I recently painted my kitchen cabinets SW Creamy and am trying to decide the color of the backsplash tile. Should I do half tint of Creamy as you did half tint of your color? How did you know or why did you choose half tint? And thanks for letting us know how the tiles held up over time.

    • Hey, Shelece– Thanks for writing! The reason I decided to use the half strength White Dove was because I knew I wanted the backsplash to have the same undertones as the cabinet, but I didn’t want it to be exactly the same. This seemed like a good solution. I think I used semigloss. Good luck with your kitchen!

  42. Also did what finish did you use, High Gloss or Satin?

  43. Your kitchen makeover is beautiful. The room looks so much more open and inviting in the after photos. I am still at the contemplative point in my kitchen makeover. I hope the choices a make bring results as amazing as this. Gerri

  44. What paint did you use to redo your cabinets? Wow! beautiful and dramatic!

  45. Hi! Im researching painting tile right now and your
    website is making me hopeful this will work! (;
    So the steps are: tsp, alcohol, BIN, primer ( oil based or
    water based??) then two coats of actual paint.
    Is that right? You use a primer AND Bin?

    • Laurie, I did not use TSP on this project, although you could. I used soap and water, and then rubbing alcohol. Then I primed with Zinsser Bulls-Eye 123 (see in the post for the exact name, but it’s latex-based rather than their oil based primer in the gold can). Then two coats of oil-based paint. Not sure what BIN is, but I didn’t use it. 🙂 Good luck!

  46. I am in love with your pendants and drum shade over your table. Are those a DIY or did you get them somewhere? I am obsessed! Your kitchen looks amazing!

    • Thank you so much, Kathryn! Those are from Ballard Designs. They have a whole line of recessed-to-pendant converter lights; I bought the seagrass drum shades. Hope that helps!

  47. I love how your kitchen turned out. It’s beautiful! I’ve been thinking of painting or lightening my kitchen tile backsplash too. Thank you for the photos and tips! ~ Carla

  48. melissa petersen says

    Like a lot of kitchens…ours runs into our family room. Right now we have brown oak cabinets and I am thinking of painting them white like what you did with your kitchen. BTW, I love yours! Our family room has more warmer colors (taupe coach, light brown walls, dark brown furniture with darker warm accents) Should I lighten my family room to blend in more with the kitchen? Can I do that with my taupe couch? Not sure how to make the look flow without getting a new coach and family room tables. We are on a limited budget but want to update the look. Thanks!

    • Melissa, our house used to be very dark and I went light gradually, because who can afford to change and replace everything at once?! You can start by adding lighter accents in your family room, but white and browns look great together (as you can tell by the color I chose for my kitchen walls). White and grays look great, too. Good luck!

  49. We just went from light to dark, too in our kitchen and family room and I was very nervous – in fact I hated it for about six months, because we did the family room first and then took a break. But once we got it all done I love it. I cannot wait to do white cabinets, too. Love what you did. 🙂 So pretty and classic!


  51. Very well, Judy. It’s been almost five years and there are no chips or other issues. I would definitely use the same paint again in the future!
    Hope that helps–

  52. FABULOUS! So bright and welcoming makeover! your kitchen is GORGEOUS!

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