Feature Friday: Erin’s White Kitchen

I’ve been watching for years as those plain builder’s grade oak cabinets have been painted all over blogland.  And I still get a little gleeful when I see those beautiful After shots.  There’s nothing sacred about builder’s grade oak, so if you have them and they make you crazy, here’s another great kitchen that just might push you over the edge.

Pssst, you can paint that oak.  Yes, really!

Just look at what Erin (who is a Wanna-Be Decorator) has done in her beautifully redone kitchen.  When she sent me an email showing off her kitchen, I knew it would be perfect to share with all of you.  Y’all love Before and Afters as much as I do, I know!

Of course, this is the Before.You’ve seen these cabinets all across America.  Yep, builder’s love ’em.  Erin brought in her great grandmother’s little table as an island to help give it a vintage feel.  That wasn’t enough.  Cue the white paint.  And throw in a little granite on the countertops. And you have an instantly lighter and brighter vibe in this vintagey kitchen.  It just sings now, don’t you think?Sleek granite replaced the old formica.  New bin pulls and knobs in a beautiful bronze tone really accent those white cabinets. She added a pretty striped rug and painted her great grandmother’s table.This is cute Erin enjoying her new space. I sure don’t blame her for that.She’s definitely got the WOW factor going on now. Check out her genius old vintage ladder turned decorative hanger.  Not exactly a pot hanger, but I love how she stacked these cute old boxes and baskets on top. Perfect accent in her soaring ceilings.  I love that Kitchen sign too.

So, I hope you will take a note from this if you have some oak cabinets that just drive you bonkers.  Painting them could be just the ticket to liven up your space too.

Do you… have oak you are dying to paint?

What are you waiting for?

- Rhoda


  1. Wow! Yes there have been a lot of white painted kitchen redos but Erin’s is truly special. She did a fantastic job! Love the ladder and all the little touches she added.

  2. No oak here, but 1986 dark cherry….I will be painting them, probably white up top and a color down bottom….here’s the before


  3. I love Erin’s kitchen…she has such great taste!

  4. Charming! Really nice and such an amazing change. She has great ideas and taste!

  5. I love white kitchens. Erin did an excellent job. The pot rack, island, and pulls give it a really cute vintage feel. Thanks for sharing, Rhoda!

  6. So pretty in the after! I have a ladder just like that that I’ve wanted to use in my kitchen but I don’t have anywhere it can hang…sigh. Love the two tones on the painted walls as well. Lovely!

  7. Wonderful transformation! I love seeing the Southern Living at HOME and Willow House products, too. 🙂

  8. What a gorgeous room! Erin did a fabulous job. I love the granite she chose with the white cabinets. That island is to die for and ties the whole look together. I have solid oak cabinetry and have been wanting to paint or restain it. I can’t decide which.

  9. Hi Rhoda-

    I love seeing before and afters especially when they come out as well as Erin’s. She knows how to put it all together. The shiny granite against the ruff hewn rack – it all comes together beautifully. I love the photo of her with her apron on, too – a perfecly coordinated look for when she is working in her kitchen.
    My best- Diane

  10. Love, love, love it! I can’t wait until my hubby and I buy our home so that I can do the white cabinet look. I have always loved it. The reds and yellows are my colors too!

  11. Oh, now I have kitchen envy!! I have oak cabinets but not builder grade. My Mother lived in my house before she built a house on the farm, so we are neighbors (although I can’t see her house from mine) well, she had the cabinets built and they were very expensive. I just don’t know when I am going to have the heart to tell her that I want something different than oak cabinets. She really loved the oak cabinets, Hey maybe I can show her this kitchen makeover!!

  12. I love what she did to her kitchen. The French Country style is so pretty, and I love all her personal touches, such as Grandma’s table and the ladder. Fantastic job!


  13. Awesome! We are in the process of painting our cabinets too! It’s so nice to see that I am not the only one who despises this builder grade cabinets! Way to go Erin!

  14. She knocked this one right out of the park. Amazing!

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  15. I just did the exact same thing to my cabinets last month & I have no regrets!! They turned out just beautiful! Love the transformation of Erin’s kitchen…really like that old vintage table she got from her grandma too! Such a great idea to use it as an island!


  16. Her kitchen is stunning. Love the high ceilings and the white cabinets are fabulous. The ladder is amazing. What a great idea. Hugs, Marty

  17. Hi Rhoda! Thank you so much for posting Erin’s kitchen. What a big difference a little paint can make! I just adore white painted cabinets in a kitchen. Love her granny’s little table as an island too!
    Hope you’re doing well and staying warm.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  18. Beautiful transformation! Thank you for sharing with us. Love the arches and angels in that space. I don’t have oak that I’m dying to paint but I do have a too-yellowy factory painted finish that I want pure white. Does that count? lol

    Happy Friday!

  19. WOW; it looks amazing & I love the ladder idea!!!

  20. That is just beautiful! What a fantastic job she did. That kitchen is gorgeous! Any chance Erin would share what color paint she used?

  21. Love, love her redo! The countertops, the cabinets, all her fantastic touches, way to go Erin…she is cute as a button too!

  22. Yes this is absolutely beautiful!!


  23. Lovely.
    We don’t have any oak asking to be painted. But, we did just paint the woodwork and vintage 1959 windows and sills chocolate brown. (Upcoming reveal soon.) And, I love em!

    I am still really hesitant to paint wood – but so far each time I’ve done it I’ve been very happy about the choice!

  24. Amazing transformation! I love it!

  25. I do have some honey oak cabinets that I am very wishy-washy about painting. I just don’t know what to do! Our appliances are bright white, but our trim is creamy white. I want to paint the cabinets the trim color, and I just don’t know if that would look good… or not. So, for now, I will admire Erin’s beautiful kitchen. I love the red accents. P.S. Rhoda, I hope you don’t mind, but I always hear Paula Dean’s voice in my head when I read your posts. 🙂

  26. What a fab transformation and a great inspiration to anyone considering painting their kitchen cabinets.

  27. I have maple cabinets I want to paint! And walls and put in a cork floor… I’d say reading all your great posts has sparked some desires and creativity I didn’t know I had in me!

  28. Those turned out fabulous! I may have to show this post to my hubby!

  29. Ooh! I love the transformation. I’ve been in a debate over whether to paint our cabinets, which are that light maple colored wood, white or not for a few months. I’m not sure that I’m ready to commit until we have the money to redo the countertops too. Her kitchen looks great!

  30. What a beautiful kitchen! I love the changes she made and her style. That ladder is a very clever idea. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, Rhoda.


  31. I have very NICE oak cabinets but after 27 years I am SICK TO DEATH of them!!!!!!!!!! The whole house is getting dated and I would love to redo it but actually would rather MOVE!!!!:):) I love what Erin did, her kitchen transformation is gorgeous. her Grandmothers little table looks perfect in there. Love her granite! Thanks so much for sharing this! XO, Pinky

  32. That kitchen is beautiful!! I love the pulls for the drawers/doors.

  33. ~~~Sigh~~~ !!!!

    Yes… I have builder grade oak cabinets, too: it’s on the list!

    LOVE this post – the transformation is stunning!! I noticed all the Southern Living at Home & Willow House items (someone else mentioned in a previous post), too. The table re-do & hanging ladder = the cherry on top.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I hope you’re having a FAB time at Blissdom!!!

    Hugs, Paula

  34. That is one very adorable kitchen, now! I love all of her vintage items put with a few more modern things. Very nice, thanks for letting us see this, Rhoda.
    Hugs, Cindy

  35. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous! she did a fantastic job! Grandmas table got a face lift too! I liked it before and loved it after!

    Great job! Marie


  36. Hey, Rhoda! Just thought I would pop over and see what all you’ve been up to! Love this post! I really love the old ladder that she used! What a geat idea! Hope y’all are doing well!

  37. LOVE THIS!!!!……..I have the builder’s oak…I would so love to paint them white….my husband???…not so much……he thinks the look of real wood is beautiful….no matter what?….I long for white cabinets………………..

  38. Great looking kitchen, so warm and cozy. We had sturdy oak cabinets which were transformed by husband and son to my liking. Removed hardware, sanded down, faced with beadboard framed with molding and simple round, wooden knob, primed red, painted black then distressed for red to show through. With a cherry butcher block counter the whole kitchen was transformed.

  39. Megan Haroldsen says:

    Okay. I think you convinced me! What crazy timing. I haven’t gotten to read your blog in months. I just walked out of the kitchen, talked to my husband more about painting the cabinets and how much I want to, and then sat to the computer and opened your blog. Only to find this post about getting off my toosh and getting it done! That kitchen looks AMAZING!!! Hmmm. I am due with baby #4 in less than 6 weeks and wondering if I can handle this but I want to really badly.
    Thank you so much for this post! You have inspired me!

  40. What a beautiful kitchen makeover…love that old ladder!


  41. Rhoda, could you please repost your blog explaining how to make the shutters on your deck?
    Thanks so much,
    Jamie C

  42. Boy…that is what I call a makeover! I hope somebody sends out a memo when the last of the oak kitchen cabinets have been painted 🙂

  43. Beautiful!!! I am just LOVING the transformation!

  44. What paint colors did she use in her kitchen? They’re beautiful! Sources, please. 🙂

  45. Love this make over! I just painted our kitchen and hit a decorating wall with my own make over. Great inspiration! I would love to paint my cabinets…but that would be a tough sell at my house. Thanks.

  46. HOLY COW! What a make over! I love the ladder over the breakfast bar. Its fabulous! Thanks for sharing! <3

  47. hi rhoda,
    popping over from marion at miss mustard seed…love erin’s new kitchen and the old ladder hanging from above.
    i might be tarred and feathered for saying this but i’d love to paint our vintage ice box. we had a carpenter fix up one that had rotted out from sitting on a cold damp dirt floor. now, it’s too perfect and too oak!

  48. Hi Rhoda!
    That kitchen looks amazing. I just love it. I have some cabinets in my kitchen that really need a redo! This gave me some great ideas.

  49. I love it! I wish I had that kitchen in my house.
    Could you tell me where you bought the paper towel holder? It is adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  50. Hi, I’m from the Netherlands and I love your blog. This kitchen is beautifully renewed, we are also doing here a lot of painting old oak and pine furniture, so that we can give them a new look. It is just lovely to do it and to see what you can do with your old furniture, without just buying new. I’m now going to have a look in your house, it’s beautiful. Thanks and love, Ineke

  51. I have pine cabinets in my basement that I want to paint white and use your beadboard wallpaper to transform them. I am “re-claiming” my basement after 14 years of renting it to two college girls. So, I will be making over the space as my “WOman Cave”. I do want to be like you and not be afraid to change them and do the trim, etc. all by myself! I hope I can!

  52. I remembered this great post, and I thought you might like to see what we did with our kitchen. We are loving it. Here is the link.


  53. Love the pictures of the kitchen re-do. I already have white cabinets,
    but they are the builders grade thermefoil. I do not like how stark
    white they are, its sort of like hospital white and I would like to warm
    up my space by having warmer white and chaging out my old formica
    countertops to granite like is in the pictures. unfortunately my cabinets would probably not paint well like real wood. I dont have the
    money right now for new cabinets, have thought about replacing the doors, but still can be a little costly. Can anyone point me in the right

  54. LOVE everything here! This is such a “MUST-DO” for those dated type of cabinets, and I recommend it all the time for clients, especially ones getting ready to sell. I often to light on top, dark on bottom, which looks so fab too. It seems that the male species is always so opposed to painting the wood! Once that hurdle is leapt though, the results are always fantastic! Great Job Erin!


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