Kitchen Makeover: From Stained Wood(ness) to Bright Goodness


I mentioned last week that I have been working on two kitchens at once(!), and am excited to share one of them with you today.  This kitchen is already beautiful to begin with, but when the homeowners were in the process building it, the wife was pregnant with twins and said that she didn’t go with her instinct (which was white cabinets – exactly what she had in their previous house and loved).  I blame pregnancy hormones combined with the stress of building a home at the same time.  After all, hormones are powerful things, right?  I remember bursting into tears when my husband innocently asked me if I was going to wear my maternity overall shorts again (don’t judge, it was a different time, and they were comfortable).

Anyway, I came in to bring her original idea to life and turn the dark wood into something bright and beautiful.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Here are some before photos:

Krella Kitchen Before4a

krella kitchen before

krella kitchen before2

krella kitchen before1

I know, some of you are going to say that it’s a travesty to paint the stained wood.  But at the end of the day, it just wasn’t the aesthetic that the homeowners wanted.

You can see right off the bat that we chose a contrasting color for the island – one of my personal favorites – Urbane Bronze (Sherwin Williams), and the perimeter cabinets were painted in Simply White (Benjamin Moore).  We also changed out the cabinet hardware on the drawers, adding pretty satin nickel cup pulls thanks to D. Lawless Hardware.

krella kitchen after3

I love how countertops take on a whole new life when you paint the cabinets.  Never fails.

krella kitchen after4

And no, normally I don’t paint the insides of cabinets.  The exception to that rule is when they’re glass front cabinets.

krella kitchen after2

krella kitchen after

The Urbane Bronze really pops against the Simply White, and it pulls the shades of gray out of the granite as well.

krella kitchen after6

Simply White is such a great, crisp white for cabinets.  If you’re looking for a “go to” white, this is a great one.

krella kitchen after7

A side by side before and after photo is always fun –

Krella Kitchen Collage-wm

So there you go – another kitchen in the books, with a lot more to come!

If you’re looking to tackle your cabinets yourself, check out my cabinet painting tutorial.


Have a great day!



  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 8:38 am

    You’re seriously amazing! Love this! You’re my go-to person for inspiration when talking to friends about cabinet painting. Thanks for making it beautiful and doable.

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks so much Kate! I’m having a blast putting all of these transformations together – so fun and rewarding! I appreciate your kind words. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    This looks gorgeous and I like the hardware choices too. Good to know you can also paint inside a cabinet. Meaning YOU, not me! 😉

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Painting inside cabinets isn’t my favorite thing, but it can be done! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    LOVE the contrast with the island that color. And love that color as I am considering starting with our island and going from there. Is painting better than staining an island?

    Three sides are plain and one side has drawers and doors. Do all four sides need to be the same or would it look like I was not done if I left the side that faces the rest of the kitchen cupboards and doors and all?

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      You know I’m a fan of painting, but that said, my peninsula is stained, with the rest of the kitchen area painted – so a mix is an option. I think it all depends on the way your kitchen is set up and configured. Sometimes it lends itself to this stained/painted combination, sometimes not. Send me a photo!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Just love the “new” kitchen! White makes the room so much brighter.

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Thank you Lynn! I’m loving it too!

  • Reply
    Karen A.
    June 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    It’s beautiful! I agree that the island color brought out the gray in the island. So much so that I thought it was new granite!! Your client’s kitchen is about the size of mine with similar number of cabinets. How long did it take to do?

    I’m looking forward to seeing the next kitchen!


    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      You aren’t the first one to make the comment about the granite Karen – it never ceases to amaze me, how painting a kitchen can totally change the look and feel of granite. A pleasant side effect. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    June 1, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    It came out great Jenny! You do such a beautiful job with painting cabinetry!

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks Lisa – I’m staying super busy with it, and love every transformation!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Looks fabulous and so bright!

    • Reply
      June 1, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Thank Becky – I’m loving the finished look!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I l-o-v-e what you did to your kitchen. Wow! And Wow!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Love the transformation!! Can you tell me if these are Arisokraft cabinets? They look exactly like the ones in my kitchen and I have always wanted to see what they would look like painted white. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Mary Riggs
    May 30, 2020 at 8:19 am

    I used Urban Bronze on my front door & it appears to be much darker than these cabinets?

    • Reply
      June 24, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Yes – Urbane Bronze is darker than these cabinets – I believe the island is painted Chelsea Gray in this kitchen.

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