This post is my Pièce de Résistance!!  I have worked so hard for so long to finish this kitchen!!  I am so proud of the results.  (And it would have gone a lot faster if I didn’t take such a long break in the middle!)

I stained my cabinets with General Finishes Gel Stain.  But this time I went for a whole new look!  I found that using the Java made it look flat.  I wanted some depth to my cabinets and I was amazed at how this turned out!  I used the same techniques in THIS POST but instead of using Java, which I felt was too dark for what I was looking for, I used two different colors.  I used 1 coat of Candelite and then 2 coats of Mahagony.

We also cut the granite and installed an Ikea Farmhouse / Apron Sink.  (Which I LOVE and it was SO cheap!)

I tiled (with the help of my husband and some very good friends that taught us how) the entire downstairs with 20×20 tiles on the diagonal!  It was 1,800 sqft of tiling but it saved us thousands of dollars and looks amazing!  I will not be writing a tutorial on that as I feel you need someone there to help you and show you or you should hire a professional.

We used this hardware for the drawers and these for the doors.  I felt like they complimented my back splash.

We also designed and installed our own back splash. As you can see, we also put it on the front of our island which I love how it ended up looking!  And is great for my kids who put their feet all over it while they sit on the stools.  I also have it down the wall where the kitchen trash is so it is easy to wipe.  It is long ivory tiles with squares of tiny iridescent black squares, tiny iridescent white squares and chrome squares.

My husband and I made the cornice board and you can get the directions here.

And obviously we painted the walls.

I LOVE my kitchen!!!  It was a LOT of hard work but it was SO worth it!!


And you know what was really fun?  When I was editing these pictures together I had open the before picture when my husband walked in.  He stopped and asked, “Is that our kitchen?!”  Yes, babe.  It was!  What a transformation!

24 thoughts on “Kitchen Makeover!! {Gel Stain, Backsplash, Hardware, Apron Sink & Tiled Floor!}

  1. Thanks for sharing! It looks amazing! How long would you estimate it took just for the refinishing of the cabinets? Thanks!

  2. I have the identical "before" cabinets and granite countertops. Your kitchen is so inspiring! What I wouldn't do to get rid of all that yellow. And your new darker cabinets actually "lightened" the dark granite counters. Gorgeous!

  3. Hi there,
    About how long do you think it took you to refinish the kitchen cabinets? My husband and I would like to try this in the house we just bought.

  4. Your cabinets (and the entire kitchen) is beautiful! My husband and I are planning on gel staining our oak cabinets, and were going back and forth between Java (a little too dark) and Brown Mahogany…We want a nice, rich color that has depth without being too dark, and I just love your combination! Did you apply the Candlelite first, and then then Mahogany on top, or vice versa? It's perfect!

  5. Well, it takes a week just to do the cabinets themselves and depending on how you do the doors and drawers, I would say a month for those. It takes awhile, but is a short term annoyance for a long term gain!!

  6. Well, it takes a week just to do the cabinets themselves and depending on how you do the doors and drawers, I would say a month for those. It takes awhile, but is a short term annoyance for a long term gain!!

  7. I did one coat of Candelite first and then two coats of Mahogany. It is dark brown but is not as black looking as java. I love it! And the Candelite has just a tint of red to it so it is in there but underneath is isn't glaring. I am so glad I picked this combo!

  8. I love your new kitchen! I was hoping you could share the paint and color you used for the walls. Also a link to the back splash to purchase! Again great job and thank you for a great post 🙂

  9. Thanks! I just bought the samples of the Candelite and Mahogany to do on a test piece. My cabinets are a little more of a golden oak color, but hopefully they turn out as nice as yours!

  10. Love it, but my cabinets seem to not be real wood on the sides and back of the island, but like a layer of something that just looks like real wood.. Were yours like that or all wood on the sides and backs that showed? If not real wood will it cover? The color I have now is the same as your originals before you did the work.

  11. That is exactly what I want to do to my oak cabinets. I knew Java would be a little too dark and flat! What did you use to apply the stain–sponge, sock, brush?

  12. Hello, I love this tutorial, thanks so much for posting it! I do have a quick question. My husband and I are gearing up for a kitchen redo as well. However, our cabinets are the builders block oak and are not in the best shape as they seem to be quite dried out in places. I love the look of the Candelite and Mahogany, and agree that is looks so much more full compared to just the Java. But I was wondering if you think Java would be the best bet for more cheaply built cabinets? Or if you think the other combination still covers evenly?

  13. Great job! I have started staining my bathrooms with gel stain as I work up the nerve to start the kitchen. Do you happen to know what color of granite you have in your kitchen. I can't seem to find a nice brown/gray anywhere.

  14. HI! Local Las Vegan here! So I see you installed a farmhouse sink, did you do that yourself, or have someone do it for you? Wast it too difficult? I am also going to redo my cabinets, we have that nasty orange builder grade oak! I stopped by a local store here (Bloom) and got my General Finish. I also decided that Java was way too dark and went with Mahogany 🙂

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