White Kitchen Remodel :The Beginning Stages

See our white kitchen remodel and how we changed builder standard tile and cabinets into a bistro with subway tile fresh painted cabinets for a kitchen upgrade. For more on the reveal see the next post White Kitchen Reveal.

White Kitchen Remodel

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Ten years ago we moved to North Carolina from Florida. We bought this great house that reminded me of a treehouse. From the front of the house, it is two stories and from the back, it is three stories with a finished basement. It has an open floor plan, which we love and it makes everything seem larger and not so closed in.

When we moved into this home it was already finished, the colors and cabinets were chosen by a couple who eventually backed out on the home at the last minute. Well, their loss was our gain. I couldn’t believe this house was ours. It was so beautiful.

Notice that last sentence… I used the word was. After ten years of wear and tear, kids turning into adults, and pets coming in and out of our lives, it really needed some updating.

before honey cabinets

We decided this year to start with the kitchen. Most people would say your kitchen is great, why do you want to change it? Well, I didn’t pick the cabinets, backsplash, or countertops. Those items were chosen by the previous buyers.

before honey cabinets and tan tile

Then after seeing some of the other homes in my neighborhood, believe me, my kitchen is pretty basic. I take very few blog pics in my kitchen because of the angle of my house it stays so dark and feels like a cave!

builder honey cabinets

We plan on moving from this home in the next several years and updating the kitchen will be a huge plus to help us sell it.

The White Kitchen Remodel

Here is “THE PLAN”

  • My kitchen cabinets are all in a straight line with a small crown molding strip on the top. I decided to paint the cabinets white. This way it will be fresh, clean and brighten up the whole area.
  • Next we are going to rip out the old backsplash and add a new one using 3 x 6 plain white subway tile. The catch here is I am adding tile above the cabinets as well! This will take away from the plain straight line of the cabinets and bring a more modern feel to the kitchen.
  • I am adding a wood shiplap look using inexpensive tongue & groove pine planks to three sides of the existing island and painting it white like the cabinets.
  • We are painting the walls around the tile and table nook a light grey color to continue to brighten the area.
  • Lastly… we will replace the dishwasher and double oven to match other appliances. Right now the lighting over island and nook match my dining room chandelier which I still love. So, I opted to change out the just the pendent light shades to Industrial basket shades.

You can find links to all the items we used to make this experience as inexpensive as possible since we hired a company to paint the cabinets.

Items used in this post:

removal of old tile

The first thing they did was tape up and cover all the counters and floors with plastic. Then they proceeded to do the demolition of the old ugly backsplash.

removal of the cabinet doors

Here is a preview of the pre-grouted subway tile. I love how it looks already. It’s amazing how the room is so much brighter and cleaner looking.

finished white subway tile

The tile above the cabinets already makes my kitchen look like it’s in a different home.

Make sure you check out my next POST to see the progress of the cabinets & shiplap island for my new white kitchen remodel!

Check out the Final Kitchen Reveal!

white kitchen makeover

White Kitchen Reveal


  1. Molly Theis says:

    What color grout did you use??

    1. Hi Molly it has been a while since I posted this post so I am not exactly sure. It was a last-minute decision by my contractor I think they were out of the color I chose and we went with a light grey. Just seal the tile and it should stay looking fresh.

      1. Molly Theis says:

        Thank you! We have a VERY similar kitchen and will be doing white backsplash, but wanted to go with a grout that would still look nice with the darker counter.

  2. I love, love, love that subway tile! So bright and clean. Can’t wait to see the finished reveal!

    1. Thanks so much! It’s finally finished. Once I get everything back together I will post the reveal. It really looks great and sooo different. Doesn’t look like my house! Lol.

  3. Carl Purvis says:

    So how is it coming along? I know it’s gonna look great.

    1. Hey Carl, It’s going great. They hung them back up today and they have a lady cleaning everything up today. So I’ll have after pics up soon.

  4. Very nice, Kim. I love a white kitchen, it looks so bright and inviting.

  5. Hi, Kim! I love the backsplash. What color white are you using on your kitchen cabinets?

    1. What color white are the cabinets?

      1. Liz, I list the colors in the second post, the reveal. The company that did the cabinets used Sherwin Williams Marine Paint in White. Just plain white.

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