Builder Basic Kitchen Upgrade

Brenda Neagle
by Brenda Neagle
2 Materials
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Suggested materials:
  • Brick Paneling   (Home Depot)
  • General Finishes Milk Paint   (Woodcraft)
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 21 questions
  • Brikena Wakeham Brikena Wakeham on Aug 29, 2018

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

  • Bronxgirlcl Bronxgirlcl on Jul 25, 2019

    Curious about the young man with the moustache. What exactly was he doing?

  • Kris Southard Kris Southard on Aug 01, 2019

    How did you attach to the wall.

Join the conversation
2 of 134 comments
  • Bdale1870 Bdale1870 on Sep 14, 2020

    Amazing job!

  • MissiCindie MissiCindie on Jan 28, 2023

    I have a bright yellow kitchen that I’ve started redoing. I chose a white brick wallpaper and I absolutely love the warm cozy feeing vs the WAKE UP yellow. If I can figure out how I’ll attach a photo of what’s been done so far. Which is painted the ceiling and wallpapered our dividing wall between living room and kitchen/dining room. Love how yours came out 😃. The gold glow is a dual shadow from dining room and kitchen lights