My DIY Kitchen Before & After - Home Decorating & Painting Advice

My DIY Kitchen Before & After

DIY Blogger Diane Henkler of tells Glidden® how to truly transform every inch of your kitchen.


When I first moved into my house, I loved almost everything about it—the location, property, and style. What I didn’t love was the kitchen. The size was okay, but the cabinets were oak and I dearly wanted them to be white. As soon as we moved in, painting the cabinets was my priority. And well… life got in the way and it took me about seven years to actually take the time to get it done. I knew I could do it on a small budget with paint, but what I needed was time and I finally marked my calendar when my kids went back to school after summer vacation to get it done.


Daytime Makeover

It took me three weeks to complete the transformation, since I only worked on the makeover during the day. I did one section of cabinets at a time so we could still use the kitchen, starting with the island. I not only painted the cabinets, but also added beadboard on the sides of the cabinets and planking to the island. And I added decorative molding all around—crown, baseboard, and corner finials. To make the cabinets look custom, I cut wood shelf brackets and placed them under the cabinets at the corners.


I painted the cabinets 10 years ago and they still look as good today as they did the day I finished painting them. I think this is mainly because I took my time when painting. I cleaned and sanded* each cabinet and door—not to the bare wood, but just to remove the shine of the urethane finish. I removed the doors and painted them down in my basement where I had sawhorses set up to lay them on. Once they were sanded, I cleaned them off with a tack cloth and then rolled on two light coats of a Glidden Primer, letting each coat dry before applying the next.


Sandpaper and Tack Cloth

In between dry coats I went over the surface with fine sandpaper and a tack cloth to remove any dust or dirt before rolling on the next coat. I used a 1” angled paintbrush to paint the sides and recessed areas of the cabinets. Once the primer was dry I rolled on two coats of semi-gloss latex in Antique White, letting each coat dry before rolling on the next. I used high quality brushes and a low nap foam roller to ensure I got a smooth finish.


I added beadboard, decorative baseboard, and corner finials to the side of the cabinets and cut a wood shelf bracket to fit under the cabinet so the stock cabinets would look custom.


Here is the same cabinet completed. I stenciled the floor when I first moved into my house.
I removed the old checked wallpaper and replaced it with sand-colored grass cloth. I found the baskets at the local discount home furnishings store. They fit into the built-in shelves perfectly.


One of the questions I receive most about my kitchen is — did I paint the insides of the cabinets? The answer is "No" — only the back of the door and the inside rim of each cabinet. I wanted it to look as professional as possible, but felt painting the inside was not necessary. Painting both sides of the doors creates enough of a finished look.


Finishing Touches

Once the kitchen was done we built a banquette (the built-in seating area around our kitchen table).

This is by far the best home improvement project I have ever done. The kitchen is like Grand Central Station in my house and I am so happy I was able to make it the way I always envisioned. It has been awhile since I did this makeover and I am in the process of making new cushion and pillow covers for the banquette. I have the fabric, now all I need is some time. Gotta schedule it in on my calendar so it gets done in a timely fashion—not 7 years from now!

As always, please refer to the Product Label, Technical Data Sheet and Safety Data Sheet for safety and detailed application instructions.

*WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to

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