DIY Kitchen Makeover: Progress Update

It is coming along…. my kitchen is starting to take on a new look. I always enjoy seeing how paint can change the way a space looks. What I love the most though, is that the dark corners of the room are disappearing. :-)  I still have a lot more to do, but as I mentioned last week, instead of showing you one big DIY kitchen makeover reveal, I am going to show you my progress along the way.

I think showing you as I make progress, keeps it real… as it surely does not happen overnight like a big reveal sometimes can make it seem.  It takes time and focus to DIY and I am on a mission to get this completed by Thanksgiving.

White DIY kitchen makeover in progress

I hit one snag last week. The cabinet hinges I ordered were the type and size I needed, but I found out that I needed to get a certain brand, as each brand, even in the same style/size hinge can differ. I hope they come this afternoon so I can get all the doors I painted back on the cabinets in this section of the kitchen and then move to the next section.

Once I have more pictures of everything I have done to complete the kitchen makeover, I will write about each in full detail.  All the how-tos for painting the cabinets, oven, the marble countertop paint, subway tiles, cabinet hardware and…

1970's kitchen before DIY kitchen makeover

…even how I switched out the Avocado Green glass in-counter trivet/cutting board to butcher block.

DIY Kitchen makeover ideas for countertops

Since most of you probably don’t have something like this, but may have something unique to your kitchen that you would like to change.  I will show you now how after an extensive search, I found a piece of butcher block at TJ Maxx large enough to fit into the frame that was around the avocado green glass.  My neighbor, John has a wood shop and cut it down to size for me.

DIY Kitchen countertop makeover idea

It fits very snugly into the frame and I added a few screws around it just to make sure it stays in place. I looked into getting another piece of textured glass cut to replace the green, but it would have cost $178. Wood was the budget way to go.

kitchen counter makeover idea using Giani countertop paint

The Carrara marble countertop paint I used came out way better than I expected. It truly looks like marble and it is not until you touch it and feel it is not cold to the touch that you know it is not real.

Kitchen makeover ideas for painting cabinets

The other side of the DIY kitchen makeover is not as far along, but I do have the open cabinet and window trim painted and the backsplash tiles in place. I am waiting for a friend with a wet tile saw to cut 4 tiles for me that will go around the outlets. Once I get these in place, I will grout and the backsplashes will be completed.

Next I will need Ed’s help to remove the valance above the sink, add a new sink, faucet and light fixture while I then get the rest of the cabinets and countertops painted.

I will keep you updated…. now I am back to prepping cabinet doors and drawers for paint.

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  1. Hi there I have a question. What you did with this cutting board is amazing!!! We have one in our kitchen we’ve been trying to figure out how to renovate around and this idea is brilliant. Can you tell us how you got the green board and metal rim to come off in the first place? We don’t know how to remove it. And also how did you reseal it? That would be so helpful. Thanks!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chloe –

      I found out that the glass insert is called a Vance Industries Surface Saver.They still are around to buy and come in a few different sizes and colors.

      To remove it you have to go under the counter and unscrew the clips. It is pretty easy. Once the clips are all unscrewed, you can lift the whole thing out. Here is a link to the website:

      I removed the avocado green glass and had a cutting board cut to the same size and then reattached it. I sealed it with food grade butcher block oil every few weeks. This helped to clean and seal. It worked just fine and I really liked it, until we got the kitchen floor redone.

      Since I posted about doing this, the wood floor in my kitchen was redone to a driftwood grey color. After this was done, I no longer liked the color of the butcher block with the grey. Another reader had written to me to tell me what the glass cutting board was called and I could get one that would match better. That is what I did I bought a white one. It was a cinch to put in and I still have the butcher block one I created using the original ones frame, if I ever decide to change it back. Nice to have options. :-) You can see how I updated the board and the cooktop in this post: If you have any other questions, just let me know.

  2. Jenny Holmes says:

    Love white kitchen. You mentioned using a spray painter in a previous post. What type? Where purchased? I am redoing kitchen cabinets, your posts are so helpful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenny –

      The sprayer that I have used and many other bloggers have also is a HomeRight Sprayer. They are affordable and easy to use and clean. Here is the model I have used: I used another older model also, but it is no longer made.

  3. Linda DiSturco says:

    You’ve done an incredible job so far transforming your kitchen! White cabinets have always been my favorite as it makes everything feel bigger and cleaner. Look forward to seeing it when it’s completed!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Thanks so much. I have always loved white cabinets and kitchens, too, but it seems every house I have lived in, didn’t have them. I had to make it happen with paint in every house. :-) I have one more bottom section of cabinets to paint and then the counter. I will post my progress and plan to create a video too.

  4. I just want to reiterate what everyone has said. It is beautiful and so inspirational!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kat :-)

  5. What an amazing difference & I’m sure you will love your new white kitchen. I really admire how you take on such hard projects but I know the satisfaction has to be really wonderful.

  6. Denise Rogers says:

    Beautiful job! I truly admire your tenacity! (persistence, determination, perseverance, doggedness, strength of purpose, tirelessness, indefatigability, resolution, resoluteness, resolve, firmness, patience, purposefulness, staunchness, steadfastness, staying power, endurance, stamina, stubbornness, intransigence, obstinacy, obduracy, pertinacity). Does this not describe Diane?? ?
    But I’m going to be the “odd-girl out” to say I kinda like that green tempered glass…I think it would look pretty good in the right place!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much Denise – you made my day :-) Funny thing about the green color of the glass, I just saw a color swatch for color trends for 2017 and a very similar green was included. The saying is true….”What comes around, goes around and comes back again. I have the glass safely tucked away if I ever want to change it back.

  7. lindalw666 says:

    Hi, Diane! Your kitchen is coming along really well, I’d never have thought about replacing the avocado glass that way, but itlooks very good, “custom”, even! I’m working on putting in a kitchen island, myself, and we both need to be finished before Thanksgiving! Take good care of yourselves,

  8. Mary Heicher says:

    What a huge difference the white cabinets make. It looks really great.
    I went from a dark wood to white in my kitchen a couple years ago because
    it brightened up the area so much, it made for a happier kitchen to work in.
    If you know what I mean.

  9. Barbara Fox says:

    I may have missed it, but do you have details on painting the cabinets? I want to paint my next spring and would like to know how you prepped, etc. Thanks! Your kitchen is looking great!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – You did not miss a post on how I painted the cabinets. I will be writing it very soon along with tutorials on the other projects I did to update the room.

      1. Barbara Fox says:

        Thanks for your reply. I will watch for the information.

  10. This kitchen, and the entire house, is obviously such a labor of love! Inspiring and fascinating to watch this transformation! Xoxo

  11. Very inspiring! Excellent solution to the glass insert. Butcher block is in & this gives your kitchen a “custom” look! The valance dates the kitchen so I can’t wait to see it removed and a new modern fixture over the sink…excited for you!

  12. It’s looking really impressive Diane! I know it’s a lot of work…but it is starting to look fantastic! It will be worth it in the end! ;)

  13. Barbara Heathcote says:

    Diane – WOW – what a transformation! Just beautifully done. Are you going to share the Cararra marble paint tutorial? You are quite amazing. : – 0

  14. Your kitchen is looking great! What alot of hard work, but, in the end, it will be beautiful. I’m inspired by what you’re doing. We’re looking for a fixer upper to buy, so I see myself following in your footsteps next year at this time.

  15. Patricia Wilson says:

    Diane, you are, indeed, my DIY inspiration always. My kitchen needs a facelift as well, but we can’t afford a $50,000 makeover. I’ll, instead, base our kitchen rejuvenation on yours since I trust your style and how to.

  16. Diane,

    You are amazing! I’m in awe of what you’ve done so far… it.

  17. Diane,

    You are absolutely amazing! I’m in awe of what you’ve done so far…love it.

  18. Looks so amazing, the countertop looks like marble. I so want to paint my cabinets, you have inspired me. Can’t wait for the next post. Take care

  19. Great Job Diane!!! Yes, you’re right it doesn’t happen overnight, but slow and steady wins the race! Love following your kitchen remodel (all of your changes actually) and am always pleasantly surprised with the unique way you over come the challenges you face! I suspect you apply that same tenacity to your personal life too!

    Go Girl!!!

  20. Love the counter top, was it hard to duplicate marble? Your kitchen is coming along absolutely beautiful.
    I had to have my entire house re-water piped this week, and the plumbers put in a new faucet, Moen Kendall. Looks great, first part of my update is done LOL

    Thanks for all the details, just love your blog.

  21. Your kitchen is looking amazing! I remain in awe of your vision and talent….thanks for sharing!

  22. Hi Diane
    I love following all your updates for DIY in your new lake home. What a fabulous job you are making of all the rooms. What a difference the white paint makes, especially in the kitchen. I am having a new white kitchen at the moment myself, and it sure creates a mess! I have one question,
    You did mention that you would remove some overhead cabinets to get a better view from your office to the lake, and also create better flow. Did you change your mind?
    Best wishes from the UK

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – I did change my mind about removing the row of overhead cabinets that block light to the hallway. I may change my mind again, but earlier in the summer I painted the back of the offending cabinets that blocked the light to the hallway, white. Doing this brighten things up. After doing this and then painting all the doors in the hallway white, too. I don’t mind the row of cabinets as much. Once I finish the kitchen I have a few projects to show you on how I am making the hallway come to life.

  23. Cassie Bustamante says:

    such a smart solution with the counter!!!! we had a built in board like that, too, with mustard yellow countertops. the board had herbs and plants on it. haha!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cassie – I know that board well. My mom had one, but hers was not built in…but had the herbs and plants on it. :-) Very retro!

  24. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I love the white! It is truly amazing how white enlarges any room! I recently put my black sheets on my bed because it has been so hot (no covers) and it made my tiny bedroom totally suffocating. They came off and into the wash the very next day. Your kitchen is looking beautiful!

  25. I like the wood cutting board. As one who loves to cook delicious food I would say it is a very smart choice and much friendlier to knife blades.
    You are so clever and resourceful!

  26. It’s really looking nice. I have a thing for “white” kitchens!!

  27. Elaine Williams says:

    Diane – you are such a wiz with paint! I admire your energy and sense of adventure. The kitchen is a huge undertaking. It looks beautiful and I love the subway tile.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – Thanks. It is a lot of work, but I know once it is all done, I will have been worth all the time and effort.

  28. Christina in FL says:

    Diane, your kitchen is looking great! Love the butcher block replacement and the white paint. The counters look marvelous! Are you going to lose the wooden valance over the window? I was thinking it would be very bright and airy without it. Just a thought. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christina – Yes the valance is going! I called it a cornice when I mentioned it in my post. Ed is going to take care of that for me. We are not sure what is behind it, but will figure it out as we go.

  29. Hi Diane,
    You inspired me to paint our great room . It was quite a job, vaulted ceilings, my husband helped me wallpaper our dining room. It really turned out good, so fresh. I thought I was finished forever with wall paper, as I loathe removing it.
    Next …the kitchen floor to ceiling and cabinets. That will wait until January.

    I am excited to see the marble countertops. Your kitchen is going to look so great you wont have to do the “real”makeover.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – That is what Ed keeps saying…that we won’t have to gut the kitchen anytime soon. Sounds like you are one busy DIY’er too! Wallpaper is such a pain to remove. I have it still in the kitchen and hallway. I might use bead board to hide it in the hallway. January is a great time to take on a big project when life slows down. I would love to see photos once you finish. :-)

  30. Melissa Leach says:

    One day at a time! You are making great progress and keeping it real. Thanks for the progress updates.
    The butcher-block cutting board is a great solution to the glass insert, really, a glass insert???

    1. Elaine Williams says:

      I remember those glass inserts! My mom had one. They were very ‘in’ in the 70’s – it was tempered glass – so you could put a hot pot on it. Remember this was before the granite. Counters were made of Formica back then and would blister if you put a hot pot or anything from the oven on them.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Elaine – I do remember as a kid that a few rental properties my family vacationed in at the Jersey shore had the tempered glass counter inserts. One was orange!

  31. Oooooh….so happy to see another kitchen update post! I was just thinking about your kitchen and the email appeared :-)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you transform with paint. My kind of transformation too :-)

    I have seen many of those glass insert cutting boards. Why they thought green or any color was a good idea is beyond me. LOL! The wood looks great!

    Can’t wait to see more of your kitchen as you continue your work.

  32. Linda Southworth says:

    How smart is that cutting board! Perseverance pays when searching. I love the white! What a transformation!

  33. I am really enjoying this! We did an interim makeover of our 1970s kitchen (we did an IKEA redo a couple years ago, after living with the interim spruce-up for a decade), and I painted our cabinets white, too. I know how big a job it is. I like your fix for the glass, too. That’s very real and I appreciate that you aren’t using freebies to just make everything brand new.

  34. Terri/Houston lady says:

    Hi Diane,
    You have made great progress so far!! Thanks for the update ?

  35. Looking good so far! Thanks for sharing the progress photos, you are getting there bit by bit!!