Black and White Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover

My friend Tara and I met on the bus when we were 7 years old and we have been friends ever since. I think if I added up the hours I may have even been at her house more than my own growing up. We have tackled some pretty crazy things together: braces, glasses, permed hair, the 80’s in general (oh the blackmail pics of me she could put out there if I didn’t have equally horrifying ones of her), boyfriends, weddings, babies the list goes on and on…but our craziest endeavor to date is making over her kitchen with the “help” of our combined 6 kids under 10. Yeah, it was an adventure…

Tara and I have been trying to convince her husband that we should paint their cabinets for years and he finally gave us the green light.

Here’s the BEFORE –


and AFTER –

A modern kitchen with white cabinets

What a difference paint makes right?

A kitchen with white cabinets

There are a million great tutorials on Pinterest on how to paint your cabinets, so I won’t bore you with the details. Besides, most of our tips would involve how to stop kids from running through the kitchen touching wet cabinets (snacks, in case you are wondering the answer is always snacks). We did use my paint sprayer for this massive job. We even managed to keep most of the paint on the cabinets thanks to this little tent we set up. Don’t mind my fashion blogger outfit and no makeup hotness.

Painting kitchen cabinets

Tara’s 2 year old did manage to paint a large section of the wood flooring when we had our backs turned, thankfully we caught her before she reached the carpet.

A kitchen window

After we tackled all the cabinets (basically a week long process working around carpool, nap times and wrangling kids), it was time to get rid of the old formica counters and backsplash. We wanted to get the most bang for our buck on this kitchen, so Tara’s dad did a great job installing these dark laminate countertops. They are a dark grey and the contrast is so pretty.

A kitchen with a peninsula

Next up we tiled our butts off. You can check out our super professional tiling situation below – notice the pink baking spatula in my hand. Whatever, sometimes you need to improvise! The important thing is we got the job done albeit with lots of cringing over our technique from Tara’s dad, who manned the wet saw. Although in all fairness he has witnessed plenty of our hijinx and shenanigans over the last 25 years, so he shouldn’t have been too surprised with our less than professional techniques ;)

Tiling kitchen backsplash

Let’s just say we won’t be offering our painting and tiling services anytime soon (unless you pay in wine and free childcare), but I love how her kitchen turned out. It’s so much brighter and airy feeling.

A kitchen with a glass cabinets

Glass cabinets

I feel like you didn’t even notice this gorgeous glass cabinet before with the dark wood and now it’s such a pretty feature in the room. Here check out the before again –


and after –

A kitchen with a sink and a window

Tara shares my love of vintage stuff and has the best collection of pretty blue glass jars and bottles.

Tara shares my love of vintage stuff and has the best collection of pretty blue glass jars and bottles.

We just spray painted her existing hardware black and removed the ornate backplates.

Kitchen and Black counters

Tara also got a new oven at Christmas and painted her refrigerator black to match her other appliances.

A stove top oven sitting inside of a kitchen

Before we got started painting the cabinets, they removed the big corner cabinet (the cabinets used to run across the peninsula area as well), and Tara’s husband made these cool shelves to replace the large cabinet. Tara lives out in the country and has dogs, cats, chickens, etc, so it was fun to work with more of a farmhouse style that fits her house.

Farmhouse kitchen shelves

While we were taking a break from the paint fumes in the garage (or maybe because of the paint fumes in the garage), we got the idea to paint the base of her table and chairs too. So, we hauled all of that outside and sprayed it. Tara recovered the seats with black and white buffalo check oilcloth that not only looks cute, but is also super practical with her 4 kids eating here every night.

Black and White Farmhouse style kitchen

One good tip – painting the soffit the same color as the cabinets vs the same color as the walls made the ceilings feel so much taller and it made the soffit kind of disappear to the eye.

Oh, also major bonus points to her husband, who turned this back closet into a mudroom space. It turned out so cute and got a coat of the same cabinet paint.

Mudroom in a closet

I meant to end this post with a super cute pic of Tara and I as proof that we aren’t always wearing paint splattered jeans from high school, but as busy mom’s our selfie game is lacking and we never got around to it. We had a lot of fun tackling this together, and I’m so thankful for our friendship over the years. Here’s hoping we can convince our 5 year olds to carry on with their plan to get married since clearly we would make excellent wedding planners! :)

Stay tuned for house pics, later this week or Monday. If you follow me on FB or Instagram than you know they are putting the siding up and… swoon – I’m so in love with the color!!!

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  1. Love your kitchen! Great job and I’m glad to see you using laminate instead of the pricier choices.
    We’re redoing our kitchen too. We’ve already done 5 other kitchens but my hubby has always painted the cabinets by hand.
    How about some tips, do’s and dont’s Of using a paint sprayer! Thanks.

    1. Oh I’m sure you can find great advice on Pinterest or from someone more qualified ha, I’m definitely not an expert at the paint sprayer! Thanks!

  2. Looks beautiful! What a difference!! I’ve been searching for laminate countertop like this. What brand and color is it?

  3. WOW! I fantastic job. I can’t wait to do mine this as soon as it warms up outside. Sadly my oak cabinets have turned orange over the last decade and desperately need a makeover.

  4. You’re kitchen came out great, well done! We are looking to replace our countertops with laminate and also have white cabinets. I love the dark color you picked. What is the name and make of it?

  5. You’re right, I didn’t notice the glassed front cabinets! If I had any doubt about painting my cabinets, they just dissolved. An amazing transformation!

  6. No matter what the temperature or location , since the 1980’s my painting gear has remained shorts and t-shirt : it’s been easier to wash the paint splatter off my skin . Even with experience — I can’t touch your ability , technique and awesome mind set when it comes to these tenacious projects. You are so inspiring and if everyone did this to their kitchen — updated to 2017 Contempo Comfort : it would increase their home 150% of the investment. Seriously — maybe more!

  7. Wow,ladies! The kitchen is amazing. I love it all. The cabinet,mud room,shelves, and those chairs.♥️ Forget the wedding planning,you need to share a grandchild. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Just saying.

  8. Such a fantastic change and you’re so right I didn’t notice the glass cabinets. The open shelving and her husbands job on the mudroom. I have many blackmail pictures of the 80″s too. We thought we looked good. You girls rocked this job out


  9. Looks fantastic !! I am also wondering about the paint color that you used for the cabinets and also the wall color :) Thank You

    1. The paint for the cabinets is Graham aqua home ceramic satin enamel color designer white. The wall color is Edgecomb gray by Benjamin Moore.

  10. This is incredible!!! I wish I could get my husband on board with painting the kitchen cabinets white! The mudroom closet really puts it over the top! You two did an amazing job- and with kids! WOW!!!

  11. Absolutely beautiful – aah, the power of paint – no matter how many transformations I see, I am still always amazed!

  12. I LOVE the pic of you two girls, working in a mess, with your pretty purse right there amidst all of it!! That is SOOOO me :)
    Side question…what brand of paint sprayer do you use? I’m in the market, and my last one was just very “leaky.”

  13. Unbelievable!! Doesn’t even look like the same kitchen, and it didn’t look bad before!! I need a friend like you to come over and redo my house :0!!! I’m LOVING getting to vicariously build a new house through you. I anxiously await updates and pictures. It’s going to be GORGEOUS!!! Blessings from Missouri!

  14. Ohmygosh, what a stunning transformation! And I LOVE that you two did it on a budget, reusing the hardware, pretty laminate countertops, painting the fridge. The most amazing trick to me was the painting of the soffits the same as the cabinets – when I saw the very first picture I actually thought to myself – wow they removed the soffits that must be a big job. But no! Just gorgeous. And what a clever idea to upholster the seats in oilcloth for the littles…. brilliant.

  15. Kelly,

    The kitchen transformation is incredible, but the best part of this post was the story of friendship.

    The most incredible gift you get in this crazy life is a good friend who is there thru all of life’s trials, my friend Marie and I have been thru it all for 47 years now and it just gets better as we enjoy our new roles of being Nana’s together.

    Here’s to you and Tara – the best is yet to come!!


  16. Wow! You brought the kitchen forward about 30 years. It’s just beautiful. Mind if I share your link on my Facebook business page to show how great painted cabinets can look? (I paint glassware, not cabinets :)

  17. Fantastic!!! A budget friendly make-over that looks awesome. So much brighter.
    Mudroom looks awesome.. Love it!

  18. Previous comments have used all my adjectives!!! But I love the results!!! You two did an incredible job! Well done Kel and Tara!!! Cue the applause here!!!!

  19. What a gorgeous transformation!! Best of all was to tackle it with a lifelong friend! Can’t get any better than that!! :)

  20. Turned out great! Always wonder how well paint will hold up. What type and color of paint did you use?

  21. The kitchen looks fantastic! You ladies did an amazing job. I had to scroll back and forth several times, just to see how amazingly wonderful it looked!
    Nice of you to keep it real and show pictures of you in your paint plastered clothes sans makeup!

  22. What a wonderful makeover. I know they will enjoy this change. It’s like a new kitchen. I redid my stained kitchen (guys love wood stain) about 25 years ago and have never ever regretted it. Great job girls? Go “girl power”.

    1. There is actually special appliance paint you can buy. I think she bought it at our local paint store but I’m sure you could find it at Lowes or Home Depot as well. She just did it a few weeks ago so I can’t tell you how it holds up yet.

  23. Very nice! We just had our cabinets painted white. We have those same hinges. Our painter pretty much refused to paint them so we had to go on a huge hunt to find new ones (old ones too ugly to reuse). Still hunting for the right handles. But I LOVE the transformation! Just curious…why didn’t you paint the window frame, too?

    1. Hey Becky, yes the hinges were a challenge for us to figure out but we ultimately decided to spray paint them because we couldn’t find a better option either. As far as the window goes, all of the trim in her house is wood so we didn’t want to open up that can of worms. I think if we painted that window trim the siding door in the dining area would have looked like it needed to be painted and so on down the line. Thanks!

  24. What a beautiful transformation! Love it!
    What kind of sprayer do you use? Is it easy to use after practice? ?

    1. I have a home right sprayer, it is really easy to use! The only difficulty is it clogs up every once in a while but you just have to stop, rinse out the sprayer nozzle and start again. I can’t believe how fast spraying the doors went. The tedious part was painting all the cabinet bases inside by hand.

  25. Amazing transformation. Makes me even more determined to (first, get over my fear) then paint my kitchen cabinet’s.

    1. It does seem scary, we were nervous when we started! It really is easy once you get the hang of it, it’s just tedious work. You can do it!

  26. Fantastic transformation! Can you give any details on the awesome shelving? Was it a DIY or store bought?

    1. Hi Haley it was DIY, looks like he just built it with pipes and wood. They built it when I wasn’t there so I don’t know the details but I bet there are several tutorials on Pinterest that could help you build something similar. Maybe search industrial pipe shelving?

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