DIY Kitchen Makeover

This post is for anyone who hates their kitchen cabinets and is thinking of doing a DIY Kitchen Makeover and transforming the cabinets with paint. I could have named this post:  How to add molding easily to stock cabinets and how to paint cabinets to look like new.
DIY Kitchen Decorating Ideas

The size of the kitchen is 13′ x 20′. The island is 26″ x 62″

How-To Paint Kitchen Cabinets and How-to Install No-Miter Molding without fear.

When I moved into my house these oak cabinets didn’t quite float my boat, but I knew that we couldn’t afford to get the kitchen re-done, so I lived with them.(Sorry this is the only “before” shot I could find of my kitchen)
Fast forward a few years – I just could not look at them anymore. I had successfully painted many pieces of furniture and knew I could paint the cabinets; it would just take a little longer than just re-doing one piece of furniture.
These cabinets have wood doors and fronts, but the sides are made of laminate to look like oak and were slightly lighter in color. The sides were also recessed from the front, which left the perfect amount of space to add bead board to the sides without having to add finishing trim.


Kitchen Renovation Before
DIY Kitchen Makeover

I wanted them to look as professionally done as possible so I took a trip to Home Depot to investigate how I could add some detail to the cabinets themselves and found No-Miter molding.  The sign said – professional results, eliminating the need for miter cuts. Specifically designed to highlight corners and turns, which was perfect as I wanted to highlight my center island.

The possibility of having decorative molding in my kitchen was becoming a reality.  I had a simple table saw and this was something I knew I could handle by myself without the help of my husband or a contractor.

So I bought myself some decorative baseboard, decorative corners, bead board panels in two different styles, wide (Pickwick Pattern) and the narrow (traditional). I didn’t stop there – I had seen in many magazines, cabinets that had feet like a piece of furniture. I wanted that look. I can be quite resourceful when I really want something and found that pine shelf brackets sold in craft stores very inexpensively would work perfectly if I cut them to the correct height to fit under the cabinets at each corner to resemble feet.

I was thrilled with all my efforts. The photo below was taken recently, but I painted the cabinets 10 years ago and they still look good. I had to touch up the cabinets under the sink, as they get the most wear.

If you decide to do this the best advice I can give to you is – take your time and do it right. It took me 3 weeks.  I worked a section at a time so we could still use the kitchen.  I took the doors off and painted them on sawhorses set up in my basement. All the other work I did right in the kitchen. Get a really good 1” angled brush; it is worth it to buy the best one.  I use Purdy brushes.

When you are finished you can really be proud and say:  I did it myself!


DIY Kitchen makeover

How to paint kitchen cabinets


This photo shows the original cabinet, the new side with molding and paint, and attached shelf bracket

How to make Feet for Cabinets

.How to make kitchen cabinets look custom

Same cabinet After

Painting Kitchen Cabinets


Painted Kitchen Cabinets


How to paint kitchen cabinets

I did not paint the inside of the cabinets, but I did paint both sides of the doors and a half inch strip inside – along the cabinet opening as you can see in this photo.

How to paint a kitchen cabinet door

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Tutorial

I bought all of my supplies at The Home Depot except for the shelf brackets which I got at AC Moore.


Ornamental Moldings
Rope Acordonada Baseboard 3/8” x 4
Decorative Outside Corner Molding
Decorative Inside Corner Molding
Pine Planking Bead board
Pine Shelf Brackets, one for each foot
Glidden Gripping Primer
Sherwin Williams Semi-gloss latex in Antique White
Saw/Electric Saw/or a Table Saw
Electric Sander and med grit sandpaper
Tack cloth
Small Foam paint roller with rounded end
1” angle brush
Paint-able silicone caulk


How to Add No-Miter Molding

 1. Cut bead board to height of section you want to cover. Starting at one end of each section – glue each tongue and groove piece on with Liquid Nails. The last piece you may have to cut width-wise in order to fit the space. Make sure as you place each section in that they are straight. You may need to add a finishing nail in some areas. I needed only a few.

2. Measure length of cabinet base for baseboard. Make sure to leave enough room for the corner pieces to fit.  (Each corner piece has a notch cut into it so that it fits right at the corner. Cut baseboard to size and attach with liquid nails, then attach the corner pieces.

3. Apply a bead of caulk along all seams and junctions between bead board and the baseboard. This will make the pieces look like they are one. Lightly go over the caulk with a wet finger tip to smooth. Let dry.

Aisle in Home Depot


Moldings and Shelf Bracket


Bead board Planking


Bead board Planking, Primed


How to Paint The Cabinets

I used Glidden – Gripper primer and Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Semi-Gloss paint in Antique White.

1. Remove doors and all hardware. Lightly sand doors and cabinet fronts. Clean off thoroughly with a tack cloth.

2. Apply a light coat of gripping primer with the small foam roller, let dry, add one more coat, let dry. If you have recessed framed cabinets use an angled brush to paint the recessed sections.  ( If you see any paint ridges – sand with fine grit sandpaper in bewtween coats and then clean off with a tack cloth.)

3. Apply two coats of latex paint. Let dry between each coat. If you need more coverage, paint another coat, but keep each coat light.

4. When dry – hang the doors back on.

Gripper-Primer for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Related Posts

How to Make a Kitchen Banquette

Kitchen Cabinet Painting:  Round 2








  1. Marianne says

    Hi Diane,
    Your kitchen is beautiful!
    I really like all the details you incorporated into it.
    I have the same cabinets and I was wondering if colored stain can be used instead of paint. I want to have a red oak/ cherry tone. I don”t know if the stain will adhere to the laminate sections of the cabinets. The sides I can purchase panels for and stain.. but the front is area where I’m baffled on what to do.

    • says

      Hi Marianne –

      I have used opaque black stain over polyed wood furniture with success, but have not used a regular wood colored transparent stain. I think it may end up looking streaky if it was not on applied on bare wood. If you have two different types of wood and or laminate the stain may take to each differently which would not be a good thing. Minwax makes a few different type of stain – some do have poly in them. I would go to: Minwaxblog .com and ask Bruce Johnson. He would be able to tell you what product would be the best to use.

  2. Debra says

    Hi Diane, Your kitchen came out really nice. My husband and I are getting ready to paint our kitchen cabinets (at least we are talking serious about it) I love the Sherwin Williams line of paint but I have to ask if they really come out without any brush strokes? And when you say paint ridges, do you mean the line that you get on the end of the piece? I get that a lot on painted projects and it seems like I have to really sand very hard to get it off if I can even get it off without going back to plain wood. Do you have any suggestions for this? I appreciate any feed back that you can give me.
    On another note I love black painted furniture with the pottery barn look. Do you think I can get that result if I use the black stain? I think your work is really good so I am asking you for your help. PLEASE !!!
    I trust your knowledge from the beautiful work that you do.
    Best Wishes

    • says

      Hi Debra –

      If you use a high quality brush for latex paint then, yes using the Sherwin Williams paint there will be no brush strokes. If your cabinets have a wood grain in them, you may see that after painting, but not brush strokes. The paint self levels. It is really true.

      When I use the word “ridges” I am referring to the line that sometimes occurs when you roll on paint. The ridge of paint can happen where the edge of the roller ends. If you see extra paint being depositing on the surface along the ends of the roller, you have to go over them to smooth, before the dry.

      If you are getting paint ridges on the ends or edges of the pieces you paint, you may be applying the paint too heavy. More lighter coats are better than one or two heavy coats. When you get to the edges, go over a few times with the brush to smooth. Wait a few minutes to see if any of the paint is sagging, dripping, or not leveling and go over with the brush to smooth.

      I like the look of the black stain on furniture. For cabinets you would have to make sure you brushed it on super evenly over the fronts of the cabinets. Since they are large vertical flat areas they may show any imperfection in the color and brush strokes. I think I would stick with paint. The stain is great for use on smaller projects or pieces of furniture with less vertical large areas. If you decide to go the stain route – test it first on a small area and see.

      Having painted my cabinets twice now over 12 year period. I highly recommend going with paint. Practice your paint strokes on some scrap wood to get the hang of it and use a foam roller with rounded edges to lessen paint ridges forming. Use Purdy brushes. Use a tack cloth before every new coat to make sure you are getting all the dust, grit, hair etc off. Take your time and paint the cabinets section by section. Remove the doors and set up a boards on saw horses so you can paint both sides of the doors. With a little time you will be rewarded with a brand new look for your kitchen.

  3. K says

    It looks as if you changed the hardware (hinges) also or the colors in the pictures are off. It looks like you started with dark hinges and now have brass ones? But I did not find this in your list of materials or explanation?
    Just wondering

    • says

      Hi K-

      Yes – good eye :-) I did change the hinges. I had to search for the exact style, but in a gold tone. When I wrote the post, I had painted the kitchen 10 years prior. I was concentrating on the painting steps and forgot that I changed the hinges from antique brass or a brighter brass.

      About a year ago I repainted the cabinets from antique white to pure white and changed out the hinges and hardware to silver toned. It was about 12 years between the original painting to the repainting. You can see that post here:

  4. Liz says

    Just fabulous! I so appreciate you sharing this as it makes me more bold to do it myself!!! Yay for fabulous kitchens :)

  5. says

    Hi Diane, Just a quick post to say I’m in awe of your site. I first found you a year or so ago when I was trying to craft a large monogram for my front door. I followed your instructions but my version looked a little to primitive so ended up using my silhouette cutter with chipboard, cutting the same letters five times each and gluing them together before assembling the monogram. I used similar colored leaves and the end result was perfect. It seems each time I see a post that interests me or search for an idea, you are there and one step ahead lol! I too am researching lakefront homes and I’m now following you on Instagram and excited to see where your travels take you. Im sure that you are aware of the Lakefront website with locators across th US but if not please message me and I’ll get it to you. I’m also planning a kitchen remodel so the info you provided here will be very helpful to me. Thank you again for your wonderful posts!!


  1. […] make my cabinets look more custom and built in.  I used my miter saw heavily for this project, and this blog post by Diane at In My Own Style was so helpful in my planning.  I trimmed all around my […]

  2. […] When I painted the kitchen cabinets, I also added “wood feet” to the bottom corners of the cabinets. I used wood shelf brackets to make them.   I also stenciled the floor. the floor is going to be refinished soon, so the stencil will be no more.   DIY Kitchen Makeover […]

  3. […] from ‘In My Own Style’, this kitchen makeover shows us how to use stock molding to create a custom cabinet look! Love this idea, and you have to […]

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