Kitchen Renovation

Sometimes the only choice with a room is to rip it out and start fresh. Maybe the colours are tired, maybe your cabinets are damaged or maybe the layout just isn’t working for you.

Today in House of Monarch, we get some help from Kaboodle to fully renovate a kitchen, add some natural beauty with an oiled timber benchtop and refresh the walls and ceilings with a fresh coat of paint.


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Tools & Material List

Step by Step Instructions

Part 1


Redesign the Space

The kitchen was looking tired and run-down and it was time for a full redesign. We worked with our friends at Kaboodle to completely redo the space including updating the plumbing, electrical and appliances. We also increased the bench space by moving the kitchen island back about a meter to improve the flow from the garage through to the rest of the house.

A full kitchen renovation is something that can be DIY’d but it will be faster and less disruptive to get the professionals in.

Part 2

Prepare the Benchtop

Before the tiled splashback is installed it’s time to tackle the benchtop.

Kaboodle timber benchtops come as untreated wood so they need a bit of work before they’re ready to use.

Prepare the benchtop by sanding the top and sides with 120 grit sandpaper, following the grain of the wood. This can be done by hand but will be much easier with an electric hand sander attached to a vacuum to keep the dust to a minimum.

Once the full surface has been sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any lingering dust. Make sure the benchtop is completely dry before moving to the next step.

TIP: Always sand in the direction of the grain. Sanding against the grain will rip the wood fibres and give you a rough surface.

Cut in the Benchtop

We’re using the Kaboodle Clear Hardwax Oil to protect the surface of our benchtop and to preserve the look of the timber.

If your benchtop is made up of more than one panel you’ll need to do each one separately.

Start by cutting in using a Monarch 38mm Moulding & Skirting Brush against the walls, around the cut-out for the sink and anywhere else a mini roller won’t fit.

You’ll also need to cut in along the edge between benchtop panels since you’ll be painting each one separately. 

First Coat

Use a Monarch Smartlock Foam Mini Roller to apply a thin coat of oil up and over the cut-in line. You can apply the oil in any direction as long as you ‘lay-off’ the oil with the mini roller once the whole panel is painted. ‘Laying-off’ is the process of smoothing the newly applied oil in the direction of the timber grain to get a smooth finish.

Keep an eye out for any drips on the edges and wipe them away. Make sure you coat the edges of the benchtop as well as the top.

Leave the first coat to dry for 12 hours.

TIP: When a sealant like the Hardwax Oil is applied to raw timber, the grain of the wood will rise while it dries. Sanding between coats (then wiping up the dust) will ensure you get a silky-smooth finish when it’s dry.

Second Coat

After 12 hours, sand the surface of the benchtop with 240 grit sand paper then vacuum and wipe down the surface. Apply a second coat of the Hardwax Oil to the top and sides, working one panel at a time.

To get the best results, we recommend two coats on the top and all sides, allowing the benchtop to completely dry.

Part 3

Prepare the Room

Cover the floors and furniture with a Monarch Leak-Proof Canvas dropsheet to protect them from paint splatters. Give your walls and ceiling a wipe down to remove any dust, grime and spiderwebs.

Cut in the Ceiling

Use a step ladder, a paint bucket and a Monarch Advance Plus brush to cut in around the ceiling. Make sure to also cut in the cornice which should be the ceiling colour, not the wall colour.

TIP: If you’re painting the walls as well as the ceiling, there’s no need to tape when cutting in. Any overlap that ends up on the walls will be covered up when they get painted in the next steps.

Rolling the Ceiling

You’ll want to start rolling the ceiling while the cutting in paint is still wet. While it’s possible to paint a ceiling on a ladder, the safer and faster way is to use a roller frame attached to an extension pole to be able to reach the ceiling while standing on the floor. Ensuring there is nothing to trip over (keep your paint tray out of the way), load your roller and apply paint in smooth strokes from one side of the room to the other.

We recommend using a Monarch Razorback Walls & Ceilings roller cover which will hold more paint to get the job done faster.

Paint the Walls

Use the same method to paint the walls as you did for the ceiling; start by cutting in around wall features, then roll with a quality Walls & Ceilings roller cover.

Keep in mind the areas that will be covered by the tiled splashback as they won’t need to be painted.

Finished Painting!

Now that the painting is done, pour any left-over paint back into the tin, wash out your brushes, rollers and trays and store for next time.

TIP: Worried about dried paint or pet hair contaminating your paint? Strain your paint through a cheesecloth or panty hose when you pour the leftovers back into the tin.

Part 4

Pantry Organisation

Getting a new pantry as part of a kitchen renovation is the perfect reason to do some reorganisation. Use some clear storage tubs to group items into categories that work for your home. Clear tubs are great because they don’t obscure the items inside them and can help you reach things at the back of shelves more easily.


If you’ve opted for some open shelving in your kitchen this is the perfect opportunity to add some style with display items, ornaments, or cookbooks. If you need some help, check out our Kitchen Design Ideas document!

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