Brenda Neagle
Brenda Neagle
  • Hometalker
  • Roanoke, TX

Builder Basic Kitchen Upgrade


My kitchen has had several layers of makeover. As a single mom of twin boys, not only was money sparse, so was my attention span! I would make small improvements knowing someday I would have the kitchen of my dreams.
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets
Don't kill me LW
Don't kill me LW
When I built my house almost 14 years ago, I had no idea what heartache those “Honey Oak” cabinets would bring to me. From the day I moved in, the honey no longer looked honey. It looked more like rose gold…and not in the gorgeous rose gold pendant necklace way – in the I have ugly pink cabinets way. Just no. I don’t even have a photo of them in all their glory! It didn’t take me long to whitewash the recessed panels thinking that would make them more bearable. It did. For a bit.
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets
Something was still just off about them, so I finally bit the bullet and painted them a nice creamy white. I also added cabinets to flank the kitchen window and sink. I told myself I needed the storage and that it would be worth the loss of some natural light and that dead space in the corner.
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets
When my boys went to grandma’s house for the summer last year, I finally decided it was time to do the kitchen the right way. I found these lovely brick panels at Home Depot that remind most people of 1970s basements. They spoke to me. They begged to be turned into faux exposed brick walls that had been painted and then aged over time. At first I thought they would make a terrific backsplash, but then decided they simply had to go to the ceiling on the window wall. I think it was the perfect decision.
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets
I used my trusty Ryobi Jig Saw and cut the panels to fit. I also measured and cut out all the holes where the electrical outlets would need to be. I unscrewed the outlet, pulled them through the hole, and then screwed them back in on top of the brick panel so that the face plates sat flush with the brick. You have to make sure the repeat meets up correctly kind of like with wallpaper, or your seams will not join. That is the key to using this product. That and using spackle to fill those edges. I stood back and could not believe the difference.
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets
I painstakingly painted all the bricks with an antique white paint and then distressed them until just the right amount was peeking out. This was also a labor of love. Sanding a cabinet is one thing. 2 walls is something else. But man, was it worth it!
You can see more details on my website. Thanks for looking!
http://www.neaglesnest.com/2016/08/builder-basic-kitchen-makeover.html
builder basic kitchen upgrade, kitchen design, painting, painting cabinets

Suggested materials:

  • Brick Paneling  (Home Depot)
  • General Finishes Milk Paint  (Woodcraft)

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Have a question about this project?

19 questions
  • Joan Clemens
    on Aug 6, 2016

    How TO use the milk paint???

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 6, 2016

      I just paint like with regular paint. With General Finishes Milk Paint, you don't have to sand. A simple clean down and go. :)

  • Mary-Ellen
    on Aug 6, 2016

    Love - love- love it!!!!

  • Carol
    on Aug 6, 2016

    what is your recipe for milk paint?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 6, 2016

      I use General Finishes Milk Paint. They have amazing product and great colors!

    • Carol
      on Aug 7, 2016

      I was thinking that there was a homemade recipe for milk paint...... Where do you buy that General Finishes Milk Paint??

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 7, 2016

      I buy it locally at Woodcraft or our Feed Store. Their website has a store locator.

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 7, 2016

      www.generalfinishes.com

  • Stephanie Webber
    on Aug 6, 2016

    Did you use the milk paint on the cabinets? I am wanting to do mine,and thought about milk paint ,how has it held up?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 6, 2016

      I did. I use General Finishes almost exclusively on all my furniture upcycles. It's amazing and wears so well. Their clear coats cannot be beat.

    • Mary Insana
      on Aug 8, 2016

      General Finishes products are great.

  • Rosemary Pope-Wallin
    on Aug 6, 2016

    Inthought you only did the wall by the window.... The photo shows you did much more?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 7, 2016

      I also used it as the back splash and above the cabinets on the adjacent wall. I have a little more info here www.neaglesnest.com

  • Sandra M
    on Aug 6, 2016

    I just LOVE the way this project turned out and the shelving units you added to the wall are just perfect for it. Would you mind sharing where these came from? You did a fantastic job!!

  • Sandra Markwart
    on Aug 7, 2016

    Did you put any kind of clear top coat on it to keep grease etc from staining it? P.S. Love your work on this!

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 7, 2016

      Thank you so much! I sealed it several times with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. With as much time as I spend using the kitchen, that was a must :)

  • Elisa
    on Aug 7, 2016

    Do you think you could have painted the "bricks" before you put them up? Would that have been easier? It looks great!

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 7, 2016

      Thank you! Since I had to fill in all the seams, I decided to just to it on the wall. It also alleviated that whole bending over to paint them for hours. lol!

    • Mary Insana
      on Aug 8, 2016

      I think if she would have painted them first she would have had touch ups to do after cutting to size. Then the touch ups may have been noticeable. Painting after they were up worked out great

  • Cecile Osipowicz
    on Aug 7, 2016

    You said you painted the cabinets a creamy white would you please tell me the name of the color? Thanks

  • Jackie I
    on Aug 8, 2016

    How do you keep it clean round the stove?

  • Tina Lindekugel
    on Aug 8, 2016

    What did you use to cut the paneling?

  • Denise
    on Aug 8, 2016

    Beautiful! What did you use to attach the paneling to the wall?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 9, 2016

      I used a nail gun so it could be removed without destroying the walls.

    • Denise
      on Aug 10, 2016

      Thanks! Wish me luck because after years of no backsplash in my unfinished kitchen I am going to copy yours.

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 10, 2016

      Please let me know how it goes! Share photos with me on my blog!

  • Kelly
    on Aug 12, 2016

    WHAT DID YOU USE TO DISTRESS THE MILK PAINT??? i LOVE IT AND THINK YOUR KITCHEN IS FABULOUS!!!! (sorry--caps was on) :-)

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Aug 12, 2016

      Thank you so much! I just used my Ryobi corner cat sander :) Also used a foam sanding block to get the inside edges.

  • Christineheft
    on Oct 27, 2016

    How did you trim the outer edge of the paneling?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Jan 22, 2017

      I left it as is because I have plans to run it down the whole kitchen wall and dead end it to the faux beams. You could just cap it off with quarter round if not. :)

  • Carole Sinda
    on Feb 26, 2017

    LOVE your faux paint job. We are moving into a small home. One wall in the kitchen is paneled in the red faux brick about 3/4 high. Want to use your technique. Can I do in sections if I stagger the brick line. Also plan on using artist brush for mortar lines and using small roller to roll each brick. I have shoulder issues and wonder if I can wipe paint down with a damp rag while paint is still wet instead of sanding when paint is dry..

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Feb 26, 2017

      If you use chalk paint, you can wait until it's just barely dry, and then wet "sand" it with a magic eraser or a damp sponge. It will also help you not to accidentally remove some of the surface of the brick panel. And thank you!! I went a little heavier in removal on my sons room. You can do so many things with it.

  • Yna20038209
    on Apr 26, 2017

    LOVE THIS!! I plan to do this to the wall in my family room this weekend. Do you think it would be easier to paint and sand the panels before hanging them?
  • Yna20038209
    on Apr 28, 2017

    LOVE THIS!!! I plan to do this to the wall in my family room this weekend. Do you think it would be easier to paint and sand the panels before hanging them?
    • Brenda Neagle
      on Apr 28, 2017

      Thank you so much! I waited until it was installed so that I didn't have to go back when I filled the seams and nail holes. I'm sure it would work fine either way. Post photos!

    • Yna20038209
      on Apr 28, 2017

      The reason I ask is I have 10' walls and there's a part of the wall over stairs. I just don't want to be on a ladder for hours hurting my back or something else painting and sanding. Especially not over stairs. Plus the wall is about 21' long (its a big space) so the less I have to be on a ladder the better lol.

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Apr 28, 2017

      I would definitely pre-paint them then! You be careful!
    • Annette
      on Feb 4, 2019

      Hello! I know you posted this a while ago but I'm considering doing this as a backsplash also but I was wondering how the panel is holding up behind the sink area with all the water ?? Did you caulk or grout where the panel meets the counter ? Thanks

  • Gmn29697169
    on Sep 1, 2017

    Can you please tell me where you got your large galvanized letters that spell EAT. They look like they are at least 10 inches tall which is what I'm looking for. Thank you
    • Brenda Neagle
      on Sep 1, 2017

      They are really big and from Hobby Lobby! They are Just over 20" tall.
  • Brikena Wakeham
    on Aug 29, 2018

    I love this 😍 did you seal the paint after? Did it make it look shiny?

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Feb 25, 2019

      Hey there. I was not getting alerts on this post. :(

      I actually repainted them without the sealer because any sealer will eventually yellow on white. with the repainting though, it is sealed under so the water doesn't seem to be an issue, and I don't have to deal with discoloration. WIN! I need to post an update as I've ripped out all the cabinets and countertops and updated. Still in love with my brick though!

Join the conversation

3 of 131 comments
  • Keely
    on Jun 27, 2018

    Love the look

  • Brikena Wakeham
    on Aug 29, 2018

    I was so inspired by your post that I did my own kitchen using the same panels 😍 funny because my kitchen used to look like your before picture too 😂 with the green walls 😂

    • Brenda Neagle
      on Feb 25, 2019

      It's fantastic! We just have a similar design journey! LOL! I just ripped out all my cabinets and countertops. I really need to post an update, but this continuing remodel is all consuming! :)

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