Knife Block Makeover

Hey there beautiful friends! I have a quick makeover for ya’ll today.

I’ve had the same knife blocks since I got married…the first time. Here is what they looked like before:

These were originally from Target and I just love the shape of the larger one. My first husband and I actually registered at Target since there were a lot of practical things on our wishlist. That was almost 20 years ago!

Now that our kitchen is starting to look so clean and bright, I knew these guys were going to need a little facelift if they wanted to be a part of the new space.

White-wash to the rescue!

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!


Ahh yes…better!

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!

I white washed these the same way I white wash anything else. I started by sanding them down to the bare wood. Then I gave them a couple of coats of Varathane weathered wood accelerator using a clean cloth.

They actually looked like a total hot mess and did not take the stain that well:

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!

Most people might think about abandoning ship at this point, but I’ve been here before and knew paint would save them. Also I think this was with just one coat.

As soon as they were dry, I gave them a coat of regular white latex paint that was watered down just a little. Then I took a clean cloth and immediately wiped the paint back off, moving in the same direction as the grain. I worked on one side at a time.

After I had a look I liked, I sealed them with two coats of polycrylic.

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!

The old ones would have stuck out terribly. Now they fit right in!

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!

Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!


Update your old knife blocks by white washing them!

You might wonder about the paint and stain oozing down inside the slits were the knives go, but luckily that wasn’t an issue at all. A bit of dust from sanding did make its way in there but I vacuumed them really well. A can of spray duster for electronics would probably work even better.

I was able to get most of our belongings back where they came from after the new carpet was installed, and then I was able to get started on the kitchen backsplash! I’m not sure if I want to share a peek of it or wait until the final reveal to share it. I’ll have to see how much I get done before Thursday!

Here are some of my other kitchen posts so far if you’ve missed any:

New Pendant Lights and we have Glass!

DIY Range Hood Cover

Kitchen Island Makeover with Beadboard

Kitchen Makeover Progress: We have paint!

Kitchen Before

UPDATE: I did it! I shared a sneak peek of the backsplash tile HERE!! 

Enjoy the rest of your week!!



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    Turned out great, I wish I had thought of that before I got rid of my old knife blocks! I am looking forward to seeing your new back splash. You are so amazing!

    • Thank you so much, Mary! And oh no! Isn’t that always the way? You find a use for something just after you’ve thrown it out. I don’t know why I waited so long to do this! XOXO

  2. thank you for moving your video over .. you are as sweet as you look!

  3. Christina in SW FL says

    Beautifully done Christy! They look fresh and at home in your new kitchen. 🙂

  4. Sheila DelCharco says

    I have a knife block I’ve had since we got married too! I might have to do a little updating too! Thanks for the tips! They look great!

    • Thanks, Sheila! I guess they are just one of those things that you keep forever ha ha! XOXO

  5. Nice! They look brand new. Still amazes me what paint can do for something. It’s like having a magic wand, lol.
    Hm, to share a peek or not? You know we’re dying to see it! 😉

    • They really do look like a brand new set! If only the knives were new too LOL. Paint is magical for sure. Still deciding if I want to share the backsplash… It is coming along nicely! XOXO

  6. Debra A Wise says

    What a difference the whitewash makes. Great idea Christy!

  7. Much better! I so enjoy the way you make things light bright and cheerful. You are the mother Theresa of used furnishings. Thank you for sharing with me.

  8. Linda Petersen says

    Hi! I have been out of the loop for awhile & now I’m back to tell you how amazing the kitchen is turning out! Fabulous job Christy! Today’s project has inspired me to freshen up my knife block, thanks! Can’t wait to see the backsplash.

    • Hi Linda! Welcome back! Thank you, my friend! This was such a quick and easy project! XOXO

  9. I am soooo glad you shared this post. Our granddaughter is getting married and I have purchased some good knives and needed one of those blocks. Found one at Goodwill and couldn’t decide how to update. Now, I know how. Thank you so much.

    • Wow perfect timing, right? I’m so glad you found this helpfu! No one else will have one like it for sure! XOXO

  10. Yep! Perfectly done as usual! They look like they belong now. ????

  11. The knife blocks look tons better! We are limited on counter space so we opted for magnetic knife strips.

  12. The definitely look better this way with your white cabinets. Nice job!

  13. They turned out beautifully! I never even considered redoing mine. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  14. Bonnie Hipps says

    Wow who doesn’t have at least one of those in their kitchen. My kitchen is red and white so that gave me great idea for mine. The polycrylic you used, is it a spray or wipe on? What is the difference of putting that on this or wax and can you use it on furniture? Fits right in with your kitchen. Hugs!

    • Thanks, Bonnie! I used regular latex paint for this, and I only usually use wax with chalk paint. I used a brush designed for polyurethanes to apply the polycrylic. I went that route because I figured it would be easier to wipe clean since it’s going to be in a messy area. A spray sealer would have worked as well! I have used the poly on several painted pieces, except White. It can yellow over time. XOXO

  15. You are right, what a high end look your butcher blocks now have. Outstanding!