Kitchen Progress – Dark green cabinets, a rustic wood countertop, and lighting

Last time I did an overall kitchen update we had just installed the cabinets and it looked like this….

custom kitchen progress

farmhouse kitchen in progress

Well now we have not only moved in, but I’ve painted the cabinets, we poured our concrete countertops, added a wood island top, bought appliances, and installed our island lighting.

kitchen progress 1

First thing first, the cabinet color. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how I went from wanting a light airy green to something dark and dramatic, and I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with my decision. It’s exactly the look I was going for, and since the rest of the kitchen will be white and wood I don’t think the green will be too much. Adam has given my choice some serious side eye (“That is the most 80’s color I have ever seen”), but when I offer to compromise he just tells me that colors are my department and if I’m happy he’s happy (and then he makes fun of it some more… that’s just the man I married).

kitchen progress 4

Of course, the cabinets are far from finished…doors and drawers and lots of toddler proof storage is definitely in our future. Painting the insides isn’t normally something I would do (especially considering it took FOUR coats to cover) but the bank has been giving us grief about the house not being finished enough to close on the construction loan, so I painted the insides so we can say “It’s finished, we totally planned to have all open cabinets from day one!

Kitchen Progress 5

That is of course a complete lie, and the doors and drawers are already in the works. We are ordering doors instead of building them, and Adam has already made most of the drawers….here they are sitting in our mudroom next to our future pantry door.

future drawers and pantry door

He also built these cool wooden crates…

pecan drawer basket

Remember the inspiration picture I showed you saying we wanted some unique storage solutions in our kitchen?

Mix and match drawers

Does my man deliver or what? They are an exact replica and will go on drawer slides so they are easy to use. I’m pretty excited about them…actually I’m pretty excited about storage in general, because keeping the toddler away from all my “floor storage” is getting old fast.

Up next is the island top.

kitchen progress 2

It’s solid pecan, and we didn’t make it. Time is running short these days (gotta close on that dang loan) so we bartered with our friend Darin and he made it for us. If you want a tutorial on how it was built I do have that though, it was made much like the pecan farmhouse dining table from a few years ago.

Pecan farmhouse dining table

The main difference between the two is the finish. The dining table was finished with Waterlox (which is a wonderful sealer) but this time we wanted the wood to be more natural looking, lighter, and less orange. We recently discovered a sealer called Vermont Natural Coatings and have been using it on everything (cabinets, furniture, and now countertops) and it works really, really well.

great natural wood finish and sealer

It also gets bonus points for being a green product that is water based, ultra-low VOC, and easy to clean up. We applied a few coats and the countertop and it cleans up like a dream.

rustic kitchen countertop

So what about cracks in the wood…how do I keep food and crumbs out of them? I know at least some of y’all are wondering, because I get e-mails about the various rustic wooden tabletops we’ve made. Truth be told, I’ve never been able to keep food out of them. Stuff inevitably gets in cracks…it’s gross and annoying and you can only get so much out by digging away with a toothpick. Luckily Darin came up with a solution to that problem.

How to fill cracks in wood

Before we finish sanded or sealed the countertop, Darin used a fiberglass resin to fill every nook and cranny. After it dries you sand the entire top, and the result is a perfectly smooth work surface that is free of crumb gutters and bacteria conventions…but still looks like a cracked old wood countertop. It’s the best of both worlds.

rustic wood island countertop

Okay, last update….the lights.

kitchen progress 2

The rope pendants are from Pottery Barn (which I stalked forever waiting for a sale + coupon, because they are kinda pricey) and the white barn lights I found at an antique store for $10 each.

rope barn pendant

Originally the two didn’t fit together because the hole in the barn lights was too large, but my awesome dad rigged up some custom washers and they went together perfectly. Here they are all lit up in the evening…

barn pendants at night

So that’s what has been going on with our kitchen couple of months. We are getting there, slowly but surely.

Like it? Share it!Pin on Pinterest489Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUpon28Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0


  1. Hello, I did not know your website and I confess that I liked a lot. home remodeling is something I like. Also enjoyed from your Post information quality. Success!

  2. oh gosh I love it all!!! Love the green – makes me hungry to paint something green! Love Love the lights and what a great idea on the counter top. I never liked the gloss either…I had to pin that idea for sure and the Resin – yay!! Best of both worlds in such a beautiful kitchen. Can’t wait to see what’s next!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. LOVE IT!!!

  4. Jan Horwood says:

    It’s coming together beautifully!! I absolutely love the finish on the pecan and the other wood. That’s a brilliant idea about the resin. The finish on that pecan is just gorgeous, how great that you can enjoy that without worrying about the cracks. It’s a very pretty kitchen; I bet it’s already feeling like the heart of the home.

    • It definitely does feel like the heart of the home, and I’m surprised how much I LOVE having an island. I don’t know how I survived without one before…this kitchen layout functions so much better than the old one. I can tell you the keeping clutter off the island is going to be a daily struggle though. It collects stuff, and if it’s cluttered the whole house feels messy.
      Ashley recently posted..Gold Stenciled Table (and a giveaway)My Profile

      • Jan Horwood says:

        I had a huge island in my second last house and absolutely loved it. Hopefully the clutter issue will improve once all your drawers and cupboard doors are in/on, plus once you get places established for things, like your command center and spots for backpacks and homework etc. Clutter is one of the banes of existence, that’s for sure!

        • The clutter HAS to improve because it certainly can’t get any worse! We really don’t have anyplace to store things right now (besides in boxes in the attic) there aren’t cabinets or closets or hooks….just blank walls. Adam is installing a closet system in the master as we speak though, and I can’t wait to get all the piles of clothes off the floor and out of garbage bags!
          Ashley recently posted..The Boy’s Room – Then, Now, and Future PlansMy Profile

          • Jan Horwood says:

            Moving sucks! Maybe if you fill those kitchen cabs up with clutter they will believe that you planned on not using drawers and doors on them. :)

  5. I love how everything is coming together! I too have fallen in love with green cabinets – mine is more of a deep green with some blue in it. I want to use it on all the lower cabinets, but my husband is cautioning me to start with it on the island first. Men. Looking forward to more progress posts!

  6. Brandi in NB says:

    You guys are absolute rock stars! Great decor choices to you and great craftsmanship to Adam (all while working, raising kids and pregnant)! On a side note, any baby yet? I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it’s a girl.

    • No baby yet, but I’m 36 weeks so not much longer…probably just 6 more weeks, haha. I’m feeling super pregnant though, and honestly life has never been crazier. With Elijah in first grade, Levi in part time preschool, Judah being a force of destruction, Adams crazy work schedule, and a boatload of projects…we are tired (or at least Adam and I are, I wish the boys were tired!). Not sure how we are going to add a newborn to the pile, but I know it will all work out :)
      Ashley recently posted..DIY Concrete Countertops, Part II – The PourMy Profile

  7. Your kitchen is lovely and unique! I have a question about the posts at each end of the island. Did you consider a beam across the ceiling instead? I don’t mind the posts at all, but I can’t make up my mind which look I like best. My indecision on all things are really getting in the way of my kitchen remodel. Paint can be redone (altho it is lots of work) but posts and beams not so much…

    • We definitely planned on having a beam across the front of the loft (in addition to the vertical beams), but construction and budget-wise it just didn’t work out. The vertical posts aren’t actually structural at all, we had them added in later just because we like the look. I totally understand your hesitancy though….the building and/or remodeling process requires SO MANY decisions.
      Ashley recently posted..Gold Stenciled Table (and a giveaway)My Profile

      • I hate when budget gets in the way of what I want, but sometimes it really helps in my decision making. Thanks for responding!

  8. Karen Garman says:

    Amazing!! Love the entire kitchen and the colors are perfect.

  9. WOW!!! So much work! You wore me out. On HGTVs show FLEA MARKET FLIP one of the pro’s said you can use a damp towel and iron over scratches and they disappear! It worked!
    rose l. recently posted..SHARING A POEM I WROTEMy Profile

  10. The kitchen looks great! We have a walnut island top and I wish I had known about the resin. What kind of wood are you using for the crates? They are drool worthy.

  11. Ashley I absolutely love your kitchen. I know you have answered a lot of questions and I hope you don’t mind one more. My kitchen is old but so am I and I am not going to do it over. I want to put new doors on the cabinets that are surprisingly in good condition. I lucked out one day at IKEA because they were selling butcher block top counters for $9.00 yes $9.00. We bought three of them. I also bought tile for the back splash from Habitat Re-Store that I will install before the carpenter comes for the counter tops. I would love to have new doors – shaker style on the cabinets so any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you.

  12. Love it, so inspiring! I shared your whole darn blog on my facebook page!

  13. Hi, I’m using your resin idea for a wood vanity we are making. We plan on staining ours though, so I am trying to figure out the steps. Do we sand, stain, then do resin, then sand just where the resin is before the sealer? I would think if we stained after the resin that the stain wouldn’t reach the wood under the resin and it would look weird. Any advice would be great!

    • I’ve never stained in combination with the resin so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I would probably do the resin first, then sand, stain, and seal. You can’t stain before the resin because you have to sand it pretty hardcore to get it smooth and it would definitely wear through the stain. The resin is is actually pretty dark, so don’t think it will matter that there isn’t stain under it.

  14. Carolyn Keesee says:

    I love it!!! I just wish you could do the same fix ups to modular homes. I can’t believe what and how they are made!! I am going to try to paint my kitchen cabinets soon.

  15. It looks amazing. I heart the island top and the rope pendant/barn lights are very cool. When making/using a wood counter top is there a concern with the stain or sealer being a food safe product? Or, does it even matter after it’s dried?
    PS: Congrats on baby #4.He’s adorable.

  16. great touches on your kitchen there

  17. This may be a silly question, but did you mix the hardener into the resin or just use the liquid from the can? When I mixed mine it didn’t look like the picture you have posted while applying it (smart use of a baggie by the way!). It was more hazey and not as clear looking. Just wondered before I started in on our project. Thanks!

    • I followed the directions on the can exactly. You have to add the harder or it won’t work…you actually have to measure the exact amounts for it to work properly. I always “guesstimate” stuff and it’s fine, but not with this.

Thank you for your comments!

CommentLuv badge