Navy and White Kitchen Cabinet Painting


Well hello there strangers!

I’ve emerged from the abyss of zero blogging.

While it’s been crickets around this space, I’ve been just as active (maybe more so) on Instagram…and even on the FB page.  I just don’t know what’s up with me and blogging…but Instagram still has my heart, so follow me over there if you’re at all interested in keeping up with my crazy little crew.

In any case, I thought I’d share my before/after on my latest kitchen endeavor.

My kitchen before:


There was nothing horrifically awful about it really.  Just that it was boring and builder grade and not very US.

If you’ve been following along, you know we’re a big personality kind of people (or as Jen Hatmaker would call it: a Spicy Family), and honey blonde cabinets weren’t really our jam.

And yes, OUR.  Because it wasn’t too many weeks after moving in that Andy said “You’re gonna have to paint those cabinets soon.  They don’t belong here.”

You know what that sounds like?  PERMISSION.


Done and done.


And really, when you looked close, a lot of the top clear coat was wearing off and depending on the location, some doors were getting more sun bleached than others.  Especially where they were opened/closed because they didn’t have hardware.  Again, not the worst thing ever, but not our favorite.

Someday, if ever I win the lotto, I’d love to gut the kitchen, move every single thing around, and have something more like this.  But that requires a lot of zeroes, and perhaps playing the lotto to begin with.


For now, I was looking for an inexpensive way to make the center-of-the-house-in-an-open-floor-plan-kitchen feel a little more updated and in line with our tastes.  No major construction.

After much research, deliberation, and what might possibly be the longest lasting, most problematic, cluster of a project I have ever undertaken, it is finally finished.

IMG_3353 copy




I still don’t love the white tile…or more importantly the white grout…and I’m not a fan of the scroll-y backsplash situation going on, but I was trying to do this for a minimum of zeroes.  And dust.



You might remember that I also painted the cabinets in my last kitchen, and while my heart will always beat for all white cabinets, I didn’t have the money (or energy) to pull up these white tile counters.  So I had to stick with something that would work with the 13 year old white tile/grout (which is actually more cream than bright white now that we’ve painted).  And I was afraid that while white on white carrara marble may look AMAZING, white on white tile might look APARTMENT.

So I decided (after weeks of hemming and hawing) on a high gloss navy blue (Nocturnal Blue by Behr…but I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint…long story.  See Instagram.) for the bottoms.  I was afraid that doing the tops navy would darken up the space too much so I went with a high gloss bright white for the tops.  (Polar Bear by Behr…also mixed in Benjamin Moore Advance paint).



Because this house has such high ceilings compared to our last house, we ordered longer stem mounts for our prized Barn Lights.  The poor Barn Lights were so high up with the old stems that you didn’t even notice them in the room.  MUCH BETTER.



I also painted the walls in the kitchen the same pale gray that runs through the rest of the main living rooms in our home (Burnished Clay by Behr).  It really makes the white pop and lightens the room so much more than the creamy color that used to be in there.



I painted the island cabinets navy as well, and how great is this big yellow and white striped rug?!  I stinking love it.  (From Marshalls.)

For fun, I put these ceramic knobs from Anthro on the island.  Because I could.  Except that now they have these and I WANT THEM.  It’s an addiction, I tell you.




We also swapped out the ceiling fan above the kitchen table to this new light fixture.  The fan was cute and actually matched the color scheme, but it was bitty and didn’t really move air in this big room so it was kinda worthless as far as a fan goes.

I adore our Barn Lights, but I didn’t want to do a third one over the table for fear that it would be too matchy-matchy.  But I also wanted to be sure and protect the breezy view out the sliding glass door.  I saw this light at Pottery Barn and swooned…and then about had a heart attack at the price…and was shocked by the even larger price tag for a similar fixture at Restoration Hardware…and was pleased as punch when I found this one at Ballard Designs, plus a 20% off coupon code.  BOOM.  (Although it probably helped that I saw them in that order…normally I would have thought that was a really expensive fixture.  Ha!)

And with the edison bulbs in it?!  I die.


We decided to do a couple of open glass cabinet doors in this corner.  Although we haven’t ordered the glass yet, so it’s just open for now.

Here you can see my messy side fridge.  I stick kid art and other reminders here…right next to the precious, precious coffee station…in easy view, but keeps my kitchen from looking cluttered all day.


It’s obviously a different time of day when these photos were snapped, so the lighting is different, but overall the entire space just looks fresher and brighter.

And here you can see how high those barn lights hung with the old stem mounts.



The hole where the ceiling fan hung was always off center, but it wasn’t super noticeable because it was a fan.  But now that we have this very geometric light here, the fact that is lines up IN NO WAY with the center of our table drives me batty.  Problem is, it will require cutting new holes in the ceiling, but more importantly, patching holes…and trying to match 13 year old ceiling paint.  Gah.

We’ll end up moving it and center it on the table eventually.  I’ll have to bat my eyes a while longer.



I also made that roman shade over the window.  The blinds were heavy and cumbersome, and I’ve removed the blinds from just about every room in our home, but during certain times of year, the sun comes blaring in that window so directly and hot that we needed to have something there for those times.  Most of the time it’s nice, happy indirect light…but in Winter it’s harsh and heats up this room quickly.


And before you are impressed by me saying I MADE THAT ROMAN SHADE, for reals people.


I followed this tutorial and it was the most ridiculously easy thing I think I’ve ever done.  It took me maybe an hour to do.  It took me longer to decide on a fabric.  (This navy/lime/aqua ikat was an outdoor fabric from Joanns.)


We also added cabinet hardware because a) I prefer pulling on hardware when opening doors/drawers, and b) I have a thing for hardware.

I opted for a polished nickel finish so that it would contrast with the dark cabinets (although I realllly considered matte gold).  Randomly, I actually had the small knobs already because I had bought them to install in the kids’ bathroom at the last house (where I also painted cabinets), but never got around to putting them in, and then we moved.  However, you can still find them at Target for super cheap.



I went round and round and round, looking EVERYWHERE for pretty high polish pulls and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, came close to the pretty that was the pulls I wanted from Restoration Hardware.  Because this project was really inexpensive overall (minus the light fixture), especially considering it’s a kitchen, I splurged on expensive pulls (these are the 6″ ones.  And I used an 8″ pull on the big drawer under the oven).  I actually really believe that there are lots of places you can cut corners and go cheap on…but cabinet hardware that will be tugged and pulled and shoved by many hands all the live long day are not the best place to scrimp on.  I’m really wondering how well the $2 Target knobs will hold up with time…


I painted the backside of the island and the little corbels the same Burnished Clay of the walls.  I keep trying to decide if maybe a darker charcoal gray would be more fun…but I had a bad experience with getting adventurous with my island.  Too soon.

Maybe now I should throw away the dead flowers on my coffee table from Easter?

Meh.  Let’s just call it Moldy Chic.  Let’s pin it and make it a thing.


And this tea towel.

A gift from a friend and it’s like it was personally made just for me.

Remind to never ever EVERRRRR paint cabinets again.  Thanks.


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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Latest posts by jeannett (see all)


  1. 1

    It looks awesome! And the funny thing is that just earlier today I was wondering if you had decided on a color scheme for your kitchen. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see photos of the finished product! That was a really nice surprise.

  2. 2
    tiffany day says:

    loverly! just loverly! really does look alot better.

    you are my hero – taking on a painting project like that would give me hives! but i would really love to know that I could if i ever needed/wanted to!!

    knobs knobs knobs — you can never have too many!!

  3. 3
    Jennifer says:

    Love the colors you chose! The kitchen looks great.

  4. 4

    Love it! Looks very welcoming and cozy. So in painting the cabinets, did you have to take all the doors and draws off and out, etc?

  5. 5

    love the colors, your kitchen looks awesome! If you are really bothered by the scroll tile on the wall you could maybe paint over it. Make it a color that fits with your kitchen more?

    • 6

      I’ve thought about that long and hard and I can’t come up with a color that won’t be so obviously stand out if that makes sense. The thought of a big aqua or red stripe sounds kinda awful…or maybe a charcoal gray would work…ohhhhhhh….

  6. 7

    Love it! When do I get to come over and how many boxes of timtams do I need to bring?

  7. 10
    Betty Lynne says:

    Oh. Wow. Just wow! Your kitchen looks amazing Jeannett! Such a transition and all of the little touches and details make such a difference. Even just adjusting the stem length on those barn lights — perfect!

    • 11

      There’s one photo where you can really see how high up they hung with the first set of stems and they look so sad and pathetic. “Hey! Woohoo! Up here! We’re here! Can you see us?” And I LOOOOOVE the beefier new cap piece that attaches to the ceiling. It adds a nice touch!

  8. 12

    Looks awesome! I actually think the tile w/the white/navy looks really good! I keep telling myself that “Jeannett has painted multiple sets of kitchen cabinets and she has twice as many kids as you, you should be able to do this.” And yet I’m still overwhelmed. I do love the duotone cabinets though. I’ve decided on black on bottom and white on top for mine, but my countertop and off-white/beige laminate, so we’ll see how long I can stand that and how I can save up to replace it. :)

    • 13

      Stop. Do NOT compare yourself to the train wreck that is ME. It’s an awful project to undertake. It’s ridicuslously time consuming and tedious, although not particularly difficult. You just have to be patient. Maybe start with just the uppers (or lowers)…get those done…don’t be in a rush…and then wait a couple of months and do the others. If you can stand it. But honestly, it’s THE WORST DIY EVER. (Says the girl who has painted way more cabinets than she’d like to admit).

      • 14

        I’m not comparing, per se. I’m just trying to talk myself into being courageous enough to do it. ;) I bought the supplies the other night… lol

  9. 15

    I love those lights! How long is the extension you bought for them? We have standard 8′ ceilings and don’t want them to get lost over our island either. And do you find that two of them are enough to light your island? I can’t decide if I want two or three…..

    • 16

      Our first set of stems were about 12″ and they worked fine for our standard height ceilings (there’s a link in this post that goes to my previous kitchen…you can see how low they hung there). These stems are a full 24″ long. And yes, two seem just fine. But these are pretty big pendants so a third would just look too busy. If you are using smaller pendants, a third might be better just for aesthetics.

  10. 17
    Amanda Bell says:

    It’s astonishing how the white color makes any room look considerably bigger than before. The style and colors you’ve chosen and the results you’ve got are beautiful! Well done for the great ideas and for the cozy, sunny look of your kitchen. Best regards, Amanda