Dean and I are doing something we have NEVER done before. We are joining the exciting craziness that is the One Room Challenge™ to make over our modern farmhouse kitchen! This post contains affiliate links.

This has been quite the week because, for the first time, we’ve actually run into some challenges with our modern farmhouse kitchen makeover for the One Room Challenge.

In this post from week 3, we talked about painting both the island and the existing kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Well, the island turned out beautifully and I couldn’t be happier with it. And the kitchen cabinets would have looked lovely painted too, if we hadn’t added in additional cabinets with new doors and drawer fronts right next to the old ones.

old and new door fronts
New, plain, simple flat doors on the left + old, routered-style drawer fronts on the right = not good enough

Unfortunately the combo of new fronts and old fronts just didn’t work for me. Dean and I are both perfectionists, and quite frankly the fact that this house is bigger and more ‘valuable’ than any of our previous houses made us feel like we would have been doing a bad thing mixing the new and old side-by-side in the same large kitchen. Like we were amateurs or something. It would have brought the real estate value of the house down vs increasing it, which is almost always one of our major goals when we do a renovation.

So mid-reno, we decided to replace ALL the doors and drawer fronts.

Thankfully, this only added a couple hundred dollars to the makeover because we decided we would use Ikea drawer fronts and doors to match the new cabinets we had already installed. A couple hundred dollars to make the kitchen look seamless and professional vs hacked and cobbled together. #totallyworthit

Now, if any of you has ever looked at replacing existing kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts with Ikea versions, you know that Ikea sizes are a little different than, well everything else in the world. But Dean and I have been doing renos and DIY long enough that we came up with a solution for that, which we’ll share in another post dedicated to all things Ikea kitchen.

We just ran into a little snag with getting the right parts and getting them on time to finish this reno with a week left to go. If anyone sees Dean at Ikea tonight, tell him his dinner will be ready and waiting when he gets home. 

So while we wait for parts (and as Dean struggles through rush hour traffic) let’s look at our to do list. We’ve successfully completed many of the things on our original list, but a few more have since been added. Take a look:

  • remove most of the upper cabinets
  • remove existing tile backsplash
  • remove existing island
  • install shiplap backsplash/wall treatment
  • paint shiplap backsplash
  • build a larger island
  • install farmhouse/apron front sink 
  • ‘wrap’ island and paint
  • add some lower cabinets and a desk space
  • prime and paint lower and upper cabinets that stay
  • change out some hardware
  • install countertops <—started but not yet complete
  • install new range hood and custom range hood cover
  • paint new range hood and custom range hood cover <—started but not yet complete
  • paint open shelving brackets
  • stain open shelves
  • install open shelving
  • install new cabinet doors and drawer fronts <—started but not yet complete
  • install new toe kick to all base cabinets
  • add knobs and handles to new doors and drawers
  • install desk 
  • install tile backsplash directly behind the stove (this was added as we didn’t really like the idea of wood shiplap right behind the stovetop)

We’ve made some progress, but there’s still lots to do this week.

American Walnut Butcher Block Counters

Let’s ignore the whole cabinet front issue for now…and talk about the GORGEOUS American Walnut butcher block counters we’ve installed/will be installing from Lumber Liquidators.

butcher block counter

The butcher block comes unfinished and so far our island has the butcher block installed, but the other counters are in the garage, mid-finishing. I would have preferred to finish all the counter tops at the same time, but given that the island top alone was 9 feet long by 3 feet wide (in two pieces) and just one of the other counters was almost 10 feet by 2 feet, there just wasn’t enough room out there to do it all at once.

butcher block one coat of waterlox

(The following links are affiliate links.)

After a lot of research and checking, we decided to use Waterlox to finish the butcher block.

Initially I was caught up in finding something that was food-safe because I thought that was necessary for counters. But we won’t be cutting or serving directly on the counters and I quickly realized anything that would be food safe (like mineral oil) wouldn’t be durable or water-tight long-term. And since we bought an undermount sink and the faucet actually goes through the counter top vs the sink itself, we needed something extremely water proof.

Thus the choice of Waterlox.

butcher block counter undermount sink

Waterlox is extremely stinky while wet, and clean up requires extra stinky turpentine or mineral spirits, so I’ve been wearing a mask and heavy duty gloves to apply it. I’ve also been applying it in the garage with the door open.

But all that has been well worth it!

Basically I gave the counters a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and my palm sander. Then I applied two coats of the Waterlox Original Sealer and one coat of the Waterlox Satin Finish, applying each coat 24 hours apart. Once the counters are dry, we just bring them in, put them in place and screw them to the cabinets from underneath.

The finish the Waterlox gives the butcher block is GORGEOUS! And any spilled or splashed water just beads up on the surface and wipes right off. And thankfully, any smell dissipates after the sealer is dry.


I was a little hesitant about ordering butcher block for our kitchen because I’ve seen butcher block before and it’s always turned me off as cheap looking. But not this. I’m so happy with the thickness and quality of the Lumber Liquidators American Walnut counters.

walnut butcher block with waterlox

I cannot wait to install them in the rest of the kitchen!

What do you think of the new counters?


This post was sponsored by Lumber Liquidators.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.


Kraus Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink –

Heritage Faucet – Wayfair

Stools – Wayfair, no longer available

Flooring – existing, unknown



– Our Kitchen Before and Why We’re Starting with the Appliances with The Home Depot

– Inspiration Board, Sources and Sponsors

Rebuilding a Larger Kitchen Island 

Repainting the Existing Kitchen Cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint 

Installing and Painting a Shiplap Backsplash with HANDy Paint Products

Choosing the Perfect Appliances for Us with The Home Depot

Butcher Block Countertop Reveal with Lumber Liquidators

Our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover REVEAL!

– Appliance Features We Adore with The Home Depot (coming soon)

– Custom DIY Range Hood Cover with Broan NuTone (coming soon)

shannon photo and sig oct 2022