ISSUE 22  |  Summer Refresh

DIY: White-Painted Knife Block

June 04, 2015 1:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

A testament to the power of white paint. Of the few pieces of furniture with me today, one of my favorites is the least expensive. A while back I found a coffee table on the street in SF (at first I dismissed it for its off-putting wood stain); after a coat of white paint, it was transformed. So when I received a hand-me-down set of high-quality kitchen knives from my family, complete with a yellowish wooden block, I applied the same painting principle and came out with something pretty decent.

This DIY is less of a step-by-step tutorial and more of an idea: a way to transform tired, unappealing household items with a coat of white paint.

Above: Photograph of my San Francisco apartment by Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves.

Above: The wooden knife block my family deaccessioned is the J.A. Henckels International Classic 11-Slot Hardwood Knife Block, available for $19.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond. I wasn’t very fond of the embossed logo on the front, so I applied an extra coat of paint to fill it in; now you can hardly detect it. These knife blocks come finished, so you can either sand them down or decide not to be too precious about nicks in the paint and apply touch-ups every few months as needed. A similar block for a few dollars less is the 13-Slot Wood Knife Block; $11.99 at Webstaurant Store.

Above: I used leftover paint from the walls of my apartment: Benjamin Moore’s Ben Interior Paint in Steam. Its eggshell finish has proven useful for wiping down the block after messy countertop food prep. A gallon of the paint is $37.99 from Benjamin Moore.

An example of the white-paint principle applied across the home comes from interior designer Michaela Scherrer. Her humble but stylish home in Pasadena, California, is gently whitewashed for spa-like effect–she even paints old cardboard boxes for collecting loose items. See a glimpse of her house in A Grecian-Inspired Guest Suite in LA and take a full tour in Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home.

Also don’t miss fashion and design company Totokaelo’s Seattle Office, whitewashed down to the printers and pencil sharpeners.

For more kitchen DIY projects, see our posts: