Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kitchen Knife Block Re-do

So my mom pinned this awesome knife block re-do from the blog Johnny In A Dress. I loved the color and the P design she made using her silhouette, so of course I re-pinned it to my "To-Do List For My Home" board. I try not to overdo the whole monogram thing in my house because its pretty trendy and rather modern and although I can appreciate it, it doesn't necessarily work with my overall style. I also LOVED the color she choose and many items throughout my house exhibit that exact shade of green that makes a lot of people wanna puke. I on the other hand am pretty obsessed with colors that can generally be classified as "ugly". But anyhow even though it is one of my favorite colors it wasn't gonna work for our current kitchen.

Since we moved from our condo to a house (that we are renting) there isn't a lot of permanent changes we can make as far as decorating goes. Even painting the walls was out of the question, but that was sort of a hidden blessing because I would have definitely wanted to paint the walls, but I would've hated every single second I spent prepping, taping, painting and cleaning up after the horrid mess. So something as simple as painting our wood knife block was definitely acceptable.

I love finding inspiration in other people's creative projects, but I also love to make it my own. That way I don't feel like this horrible copy cat and I get the pleasure of seeing it done a completely different way, but hopefully just as cool. Sooooo the current color scheme I am working with in our kitchen is sort of a turqouise/robin's egg blue and then a rusty red that hints at having some orange undertones. I purchased some fabric today that I will later turn into kitchen valances and then I also purchased Krylon's Sea Ocean Breeze spray paint to re-do my knife block. It wasn't the exact shade I wanted, but it was close enough. Sometimes having varying shades of the colors you are working with actually works for you instead of against you. As long as they are fairly similar.

So here are some before pictures of my Chicago Cutlery Knife Block circa 2006....

 So as you can see this knife block was just screaming for a little update. I mean everything about it is boring and blah so Johnny In A Dress gave me the perfect solution! I made sure to clean it completely with some warm water and mild soap. Then I let it air dry so that no paper towel fuzzies would be left behind. After that I started simple by giving it 2-3 coats of the Ocean Sea Breeze blue. And this is what it looked like...

Honestly, it was a vast improvement from its prior state, but there was still something about it that looked plain and boring. So I decided to let it completely cure for a few hours and let my creative mind work out some possible additions. 

My first thought was to find some lace and wrap it around in different patterns and then lightly spray some vintage white spray paint that I already had lying around in the garage. And then remove the lace and voila I would have a lace imprint all over the block. But then I thought that might be too girly and even though I love feminine touches, maybe a knife block wouldn't be the best item to try this on. Although the juxtaposition of the two elements could be cool. Maybe for someone else though. 

My next idea was to follow in Johnny's original footsteps and rough it up a bit with sandpaper to give it a more aged look. I liked where this was going a little bit better then the lace idea, but I didn't want it to look shabby chic or beachy/cottagey (is that even a word?) because I could very well do that since I was working with OCEAN SEA BREEZE BLUE. So I let my creativity go a bit further. I wanted to age it, but also give it a nice weathered/manly look. If that makes any sense at all. Think of Restoration Hardware. They age items without them looking like they always belong in a beach house although I am sure they would look great in one as well. So first I moved forward with the sanding and it looked like this...


Definitely heading in the right direction, but still not 100% loving it. Now that I had my mind settled on that Restoration Hardware feel I used a vintage ink pad that I got from Michael's and inked the edges that I had previously sanded. I wiped them down every once in awhile as I was inking to make sure I didn't get any big ink blotches that didn't look naturally aged. Now we were in business. I was definitely falling in love. The best part is I did this same treatment on the desk that we are re-doing for the Kitchen as well. It's still in its final stages of being painted, but I will make sure to post about that later. So I knew that the two items would tie in together and hopefully mesh well. In the end this is what my final project turned into...

And of course the final comparison...


As a final step I added a clear coat after the ink dried. 
This way it wouldn't wash off if water splashed on it.

I pinned it. I made it. And I loved it!

So what do you think? 
Did I better it?

Now go and paint yours!! Send me a picture of it if you do :) 
pinneditmadeit@gmail. com


  1. love it sister......maybe you can make a business out of doing this for other people that don't want to or don't have the time? or you can just enjoy it. love you

  2. this is awesome! I am going to go and buy that vintage ink thing! Looks like I will be needing that one day!

  3. Very cute! I have that same Chicago Cutlery block sittin' in my kitchen as I write this. I love how this turned out. And ironically enough, I found YOU on Pinterest. :)

  4. How did you keep the paint from getting in the wholes for the knives? I love this by the way!!!

  5. I didn't really try to keep the paint out of the holes, but since the slits are sooo narrow it didn't really go in there. I haven't noticed anything rubbing off on the knives or chipping either.

  6. this is so cool and I am so sure going to do this with my boring it.

  7. Thanks Patti! It's seriously so fun and adds something special to something so boring.

  8. I can't get the ink to dry. What did I do wrong?

  9. The distress ink will only dry if you sanded the edges before. If you apply it directly to fresh paint it will just continue to pull off if you touch it. Try lightly sanded the entire piece with a soft-grade sandpaper if you don't want the roughed-up look. I did finish mine with a clear coat because the parts that I didn't sand wouldn't dry other, but I liked the aged color it gave to the fresh paint. Once the clear coat dried I have had zero problems. I hope that helps!

  10. Definitely better then the pinned. It's very professional looking!

  11. Thanks! :) It looks much more teal in real life as well. Probably something with my camera setting.

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  13. love this! what type of clear coating did you use?

    1. I just used a spray clear coat from Rustoleum. I believe I did about 3 coats.

  14. I am in the process of doing this right now! Super excited to see the finished product! :)

    1. Send me a pic when you finish! Or if you have a blog link it back here in the comments :) I would love to see it.

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  17. Love it! I love the green one though, what's the name of that green?


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