· ·

Kitchen Makeover FAQ

Back in April I shared all of the kitchen updates we had been working on(notice I say “we”. I’m sure Jim would beg to differ) in our house. You can read that post HERE if you haven’t already! I got quite a few questions in the comments section and a few emails afterwards as well, so I thought I would put together a FAQ style post to knock out some of those things y’all might be wondering about!

I know you had been looking to move, have y’all decided to stay for a while? 

Yes and no. Last year was the year of trying to move, and it just didn’t work out. No one wanted to buy our house! We kind of thought we might list our house again this spring and try to buy the house we had an offer on last summer again, but that house sold around Christmas time(so so sad) and we found out we were pregnant and decided that now would probably not be an ideal time to move anyway.

We’re those crazy people who always scour realtor.com just to see what is out there and available. We love looking at houses! And now that we’ve done some DIY here and had such a fun time doing it, we’re actually more open to buying a fixer upper sometime in the future.

So, no, we aren’t looking to move. Our house isn’t on the market. We’re very happy where we are and “plan” to stay here for a few more years now. But, who knows what will happen. You know what they say about the best laid plans 🙂 Maybe someone will make us an offer we can’t refuse.

Did you guys do all of the painting yourselves?

Yes. Yes we did.

Jim painted the living room, kitchen, and hallway back in October while I was in Virginia. He painted the cabinets while I was in Arizona(but I did the waxing and buffing when I got back!)

I’m wanting to know how y’all painted the cabinets? We are wanting to paint ours.

We used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint(the color is French Linen!) It was a semi time consuming process, but fairly easy.

We took off the doors and the hardware. Spackled over where we’d be changing the hardware and sanded it down. Then Jim used a deglosser quickly over the cabinets to break up the finish and any residual grease. Then he wiped them down to make sure they were clean and then he started painting!

One coat goes super fast and dries quickly too. The second coat you have to be more careful with if you are wanting a smooth and finished look. Then after the paint is dry you have to wax and buff. The wax needs to dry 24 hours between coats and we did two. Then wait another day to buff it so it shines. Then we could add back our hardware and they were done!

Lots of painting cabinet tutorials make it seem like there are a million and one steps to paint your cabinets, but it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. For instance, in my laundry room, I literally just cleaned them, primed and painted them just like a wall, and they were done.

Did you have to seal the counter tops?

Yes!  The internet is strangely vague on this, by the way.  It was surprisingly challenging to find a definitive (and easy) suggestion for what to use on butcher block, so let’s see if we can put that to rest! For those of us that don’t want to be constantly wiping our counters down with mineral spirits to keep them maintained, sealing is the way to go.  Trouble is, you need a food safe product, so you can’t use any old lacquer.  Quick soap box: normal sealants are really only dangerous if you chop up a piece of it and ingest it, so it’s all a little bit of much-ado-about-nothing, but there are food-safe sealants so be good and use one.

Pinterest is all about a product called Waterlox.  I’m sure it’s great, but it’s not cheap and you have to order it online from a dealer (it’s not at Lowe’s or Home Depot) and Jim didn’t have time to waste waiting for it to arrive.  So instead he used a product called Watco Butcher Block that was carried at our local Lowe’s.  It’s $12 for a quart, and it took about two quarters to cover 25 feet of counter top.  You apply the product like any other stain or poly – sand your surface, use a tack cloth to get it completely dust free, then apply the Watco with a soft rag.  Lightly sand (or if your lazy, don’t) and repeat.  Jim did two coats on the bottom of the counters and four coats on the top.  For the sections around the sink he did 4 coats on the tops and the bottoms.  It’s only been three months, but so far everything still looks as beautiful as the day it was installed.

I love the look of the new counter tops! Is that finished or unfinished wood? Can you use it as a chopping block or do you still need to use cutting boards?

It is finished! As stated above, Jim went to great lengths to seal it to protect it from water. You could use it as a chopping block but we still use cutting board’s because we don’t want to scratch it up(even though scratches and dings will be inevitable)

That new built in desk is to die for- where did you get the materials for that?
The counter is from IKEA. Jim bought an extra piece that was the same as our kitchen counters. The cabinets were pre built cabinets from The Home Depot that we painted with the same paint and added the same hardware as the kitchen cabinets.

Jim built the wine rack from scratch with extra wood from various projects. (talk about impressive!)

That big piece of furniture in the living room- where did you find that?

It is actually a hutch we found at an estate sale last summer for $170! It was already painted black too. I blogged about it HERE. We originally only had the bottom half in the living room but as we have rearranged and moved things around the house, we decided to bring the top half in too. My first trip to IKEA and a quick perusal through my kitchen cabinets helped me decorate it!

Have you made any more updates? 

Not many! But two of the things that were left on my list have been taken care of. First up:

New bar stools!

I ordered these from Target.com and they are fabulous. I was a little worried about backless bar stools but they’ve been great. They’re actually surprisingly comfy and they were a pretty good deal. I love them in this space and am so glad we added them!


A new school house light fixture over the desk area!

Abigail calls them “acorn lights”. I call them awesome.

We also added two more in our hallway as well and they’re equally fabulous.

Did that answer some of your kitchen remodel questions? Do you have any others for me?

Similar Posts


  1. I love your cabinets! We used Annie Sloan as well but I didn't get the same results and haven't been as happy with ours 🙁 I really like your color though and they look awesome!!

  2. It's just so amazing how drastically everything changed with a few updates. Seriously looks as if the pictures are for a Better Homes & Garden issue. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *