DIY Kitchen Refresh


I’ve had several requests to post individual photos of my DIY kitchen remodel and quite a few questions about my thinking behind the project. As promised, I’ll be doing so over the next few days and breaking down the inspiration behind each stage as I do.

From a Feng Shui perspective, white or bone colour kitchens are considered best as they represent a sterile, clean environment for preparing food.

That being said, it’s not the reason I decided to paint our kitchen. For me, there’s nothing more beautiful than a light and bright, fresh kitchen. Whites and bone colour cabinets can make the smallest of spaces look bigger and feel more inviting to be in.

Doesn’t the bone colour show dirt more?

Contrary to popular belief, light colour kitchen cabinets do not show the dirt more. Darker cabinets do. Trust me, I’ve had both. I have a daily kitchen cleaning routine, and I have to say the espresso kitchen was much harder to maintain and showed dust hours after wiping things down!

Where you nervous about painting the cabinets?

No. If appropriately prepped, painted and varnished with the product recommended drying time between each coat the finish should last.

Why distressed, is that a Feng Shui thing?

Distressed is not a Feng Shui thing; in fact, there’s a lot of consultants in the industry that are probably cringing that I did what I did! Thinking that distressed implies a lower quality and poverty mindset. If you know me, I don’t subscribe to fear Shui so I call B. S. The value of something is a personal choice. The loving care you put into anything shows how much you value something.

I happened to love furniture and cabinets that show character. In fact, when we ordered the white new kitchen for our last house, I wanted to order the distressed doors, but they were an extra $200 per door due to the labour involved to achieve the look. Already $30,000 in I decided against the additional cost and stayed with the factory painted solid maple cabinets. That kitchen was pretty but lacked the character this one has.

Are you worried about scratches and chips?

The original cabinets were only 4 years old when we moved in 2 years ago and looked worse than any cabinets I’ve ever seen including painted plywood doors in century-old kitchens. So no not really. Everything scratches, the distressed look does camouflage imperfects much easier than a flat painted surface does. So in my mind, the distressing was a good choice for our look and feel.

What colour and paint did you use?

  • Paint colour – Benjamin Moore Grey Mist
  • Paint Product – Dulux Life Master
  • Top Coat – Rest-Oleum Clear Non-Yellowing Varnish