Would You Paint These?

And these?

Lately I can’t stop thinking about painting the kitchen cabinets white.  Before I had said I wanted to just stain them darker, but now I turned completely crazy and am craving the white kitchen, with some beautiful white subway tile for the backsplash.  But I wouldn’t be able to change the backsplash for a while.  Oh, and a pretty new farmhouse sink wouldn’t be bad either. :)  I’m reading too many magazines and watching HGTV too much aren’t I?

I think it could totally transform our kitchen and look amazing.  But, it would be a ton of work and a very time consuming job for me.   A job that I am not even sure I have the time for.  There are LOTS of cabinets and wood trim all the way around the bar and countertops.  I do love the warmth of our kitchen, and a lot of that comes from the cabinets and paint color.  But I do know you can still achieve the warm feel with beautiful white kitchens.

I have a lot of questions.  Will the paint chip over time or yellow?  Will the movement of the woodgrain still show through? Because I wouldn’t want it to. Which oil-based paint brand?  I heard Benjamin Moore paint was the best for this type of job?  Do scuff marks show up easily etc, etc.  I’m only a little hesitant because these are real wood cabinets and a lot of people would love to have them.  Now, if they were that orangey particle board stuff or old dated wood, I’d have no hesitation.  I guess I shouldn’t worry about what others might like to have, since they don’t live here right?

I’ve been doing a lot of research on tackling this project, and just the thought of everything involved in a little nauseating.  It needs to be done perfectly, and well, I don’t do perfect. :)

So, let me know how you think our kitchen would look with new white cabinets.  I’d also love to know what your experience has been if you have painted yours.  Did you paint them yourself or hire it out?  See, I can’t stop with the questions! :)

Thanks so much everyone!



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  1. You have such a beautiful kitchen!!

    I’m not an expert by any means, but if the cabinets are painted correctly, they should weather fine over the years :)

    Either way, you kitchen is gorgeous :)

  2. I think your kitchen is beautiful the way it is! Painting it would be a ton of work (not that it should deter you). I just can’t help thinking you should use your vast talents to fix something ugly not just change something to a different kind of beautiful. But in the end, you are the one living with the kitchen that you wish was white-if it is tormenting you, then do it!

  3. DO IT! I painted our kitchen cabinets the weekend we moved in, four years ago, and they are still perfect. Yes, I’ve had to touch up a couple places where a chair was bashed against the wood but no grain, no yellowing. The secret is good primer, I suggest using Zinsser and then use a paint like Behr’s paint and primer in one.

    I also just painted our den and laundry room, both vintage knotty pine, and used the Zinsser and Behr and let me tell you, it’s beautiful. It is a hard job and it takes forever, but trust me, it’s worth it!!

    • Awesome, thank you for the info Beth! I bet it’s lovely. :)

      • Emily,

        I second the recommendation on the Behr Primer and Paint in One. I just painted over our very nasty old, icky, wood varnished trim. I just gave it a light standing to rough up the varnish and painted away.

        I do have a thought, I have seen a lot of kitchens where the floor cabinets are a different color from the top, what if you did the top cabinets in white, less wear and tear and less work. Enough white to add some pop to the kitchen but you can still have warmth with the bottom ones left their rich wood tone. I will email you a pic. I put something quick together in photoshop for you. :) Either way, you can see what it would look like white!

  4. I love the wood cabinets in contrast with all of your other white trim and molding. But I am also a fan of white cabinets. I feel like white cabinets are timeless and can fit well into anyone’s style. We painted our 1928 baby blue cabinets a dark chocolate brown, and if I had it to do all over again, I would have saved the money to have someone come in and do it for me. It was a LOT of time and needed to be PERFECT. We followed all the steps, sanded, primed, painted, sealed and we still had problems with chipping and wearing. But they still looked better brown than baby blue.

  5. I’m in the same boat, except my cabinets aren’t from this decade like yours. Is it possible to darken a stain without sanding and stripping? I’m totally interested in this.

    I want my cabinets white or cream as well, but I love the ease of care of wood. Never ever have to touch up. Just dust. (I say that like I do that…) I did paint cabinets in my bathrooms and I have to do touch-ups ALL THE TIME. But I also didn’t use oil based paint or primer. Maybe that’s the difference, but my concern is that the kitchen is such a high use/high traffic area that it will still wear. Great topic.

  6. NOOOO! Those are the most beautiful cabinets and they really do add to the warmth! You are right, it would be a little different if they were ugly or orange-y but, let’s face it-they are wonderful! Paint another space in your home white to “scratch that itch”, and perhaps I could suggest going ahead with the farmhouse sink. It would be WONDERFUL in that kitchen!

  7. They are beautiful cabinets so I think your energy could be best spent elsewhere.

    I would focus on the backsplash. A backsplash can totally change the look of a kitchen.

    • But a white subway tiled backsplash with the wood cabinets? I can’t envision that look for some reason…

    • Have you thought of a different color subway tile? Or perhaps natural stone brick cut in the same dimensions as subway tile? There are a lot of warmer, neutral options that could get you the subway look you are thinking about, without creating the stark contrast between the white tiles and dark wood.

      I love white cabinets too, but it does sound like a LOT of work!

  8. dont change it! I LOVE IT JUST THE WAY IT IS!!

  9. I say do it if you want to! You are right, it’s a big project, but it’s so worth it. It bought me YEARS on my kitchen that I was itching to change. I painted all my dark, walnut-ish cabinets over the summer and I couldn’t be happier. I sanded, primed, painted, and added new hardware and I couldn’t be more happy I did. It has changed the room dramatically, and made it lighter and brighter more than I’d imagined. Like you, I did lots of research first and wanted to do it right, but it worked out fine. And, depending on the look you’re going for, it doesn’t have to be perfect. A lot of people paint and then glaze, even, which is a must more “farmhouse” rustic look.

    A couple tips that I learned (and didn’t necessarily read on any blog on HI site): Use a paint with at least a satin finish or higher because it wipes clean easier, and install hardware because that will mean less hands on the cabinets and result in less hand prints and less possibility of chipping the white.
    Also, by choosing a white or cream color, it opens up a whole new world for wall color (I chose a coffee color for the walls which would’ve looked awful with the walnut cabinets).
    And one final thing, if you’re not sure how the white will look, like I was, you can cut some white poster board and paper, attach it to a section of your cabinet frames and cabinet doors (I hope that makes sense) for a few days, and see how it looks when you walk into the room. That really helped me envision the new, lighter look.

    Okay, enough out of me. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  10. Melissa Y. says:

    We painted our kitchen cabinets about 2 years ago. We don’t have the real wood though. The cabinets are just the cheapy particle board ones. The previous owners of our home didn’t do anything with them. The color was just like the blank ones you can buy at Home Depot/Lowes and paint yourself. They were so ugly even more so after we repainted our whole house. The cabinets just blended in with the walls. So I had a dream and knew how I wanted it to look.

    My husband sanded, primed, and painted each cabinet. He didn’t use an oil based primer though since he sanded each one. I don’t know if it would have made a difference using the oil based paint. I guess it would have saved him from sanding. We have 2 boys ages 3 and 10 months. They have held up perfectly. We painted the cabinets a chocolate brown color and I love them. They aren’t my dream cabinets by any means but they look so much better. We do have a few places to touch up but they have held up to many bangs with toys and cars! I am seriously impressed with them.

    That’s a tough call on if you should paint them. Maybe add some hardware and see if that helps give you a different look.

    • I bet the chocolate brown looks lovely, and I’m glad they have held up well.

      I’ll have to post a close-up of the cabinet doors, because I don’t know if I can really put hardware on them? They have the cut out lip thing underneath, so that is how you pull them open. I wish there was room for hardware, but I’m not sure. It would probably have to be something pretty petite if so.

  11. NO!!! You have beautiful hardwood cabinets. Don’t get me wrong, I will paint everything that is still long enough. I have the same cabinets and debate within myself all the time. But don’t do it!!! You can always paint the walls to make more or less of a contrast. If you want a white kitchen, then lighten the walls and put out some ironstone. Good luck!

  12. A few years ago we had someone paint our oak cabinets in the kitchen in our old house. He did a grain fill so the wood grain didn’t show through (on the area he didn’t do it on you could tell). We really liked having them done and got lots of compliments on them. It made such a difference. Here’s the link. You can see what was done. http://holy-craft.blogspot.com/2010/04/kitchen-face-lift.html

  13. I’d do it in a heartbeat. However, my husband is a custom cabinetmaker and he’d probably leave me if I painted over real wood cabinets. But he doesn’t like painted woods period. So that’s his POV. However, I would call in a professional cabinetmaker to do the painting. Not a housepainter but a cabinetmaker. My husband has gone in and repainted a kitchen (it was time to paint it after 20 years), He did do some work in there for them (covered the fridge) and some changes they wanted to make and add, but it came out stunning. (I swear the hardest part was covering the floor and the sink, windows, etc…I know because I did that part), but you can do that.

    So, yes, I would paint them and I’d call a pro. Lots of them are having down time right now so you can probably get it done quickly and very well.

  14. Hey girl!
    I say it’s totally your call. We painted ours, but that’s because ours were ugly and unfinished. We painted them black first, and then last Winter we painted them white/gray. Here’s a post we did about it:

    Merry Christmas!

  15. OH YES – there are a lot of people (especially men) that will say no, they are wood – so what? There are different woods, dark, cherry etc…because they like different colors too. I PAINT EVERYTHING WHITE THAT ISN’T MOVING. I hate wood look of anything. I hired a local painter who was fantastic to paint all my WOODwork white. He used primer and one coat – LOVE IT. Have always always wanted white. Then he said he would paint my doors instead of me buying them, GREAT! Then I started pulling out any wood tables, dressers, anything I could find and asked him to paint them white – they look great – even tho he thought I was nuts when I started pulling out wood furniture he admitted that he was impressed when he finished the dresser. Now I love my stuff that I live with instead of having it all the “way it should be” according to ????? I could never attempt it myself – but am behind you 100% !!!!!

  16. That’s a tough one. I want white cabinets too, so I know how you feel. But when its real wood cabinets it would be much harder to take that leap. I think if you really want to do it, go for it. But if you’re planning to sell at all, you may want to think about someone who would buy wanting the real wood.

  17. we have white cabinets and they are so hard to keep clean!!

  18. I love your kitchen as it is! You’re lucky to have such beautiful cabinets. Although I LOVE a white kitchen, (I just painted my cabinets gray in March) I think the wood you have is gorgeous and classy.

    But if you did decide to go white…THAT would look beautiful as well. :)

  19. I love your kitchen cabinets! I would not touch them! I painted our cabinets white but like someone else mentioned… mine were not from this decade!!They were aweful….They are not perfect as I don’t have the patience for perfect but they do look a LOT better! BUT it took FOOOOORRRREEEEVVVVVEEEERRRRR! And I will NEEEVVEERR tackle cabinets again myself! But whatever you decide I know you kitchen would be beautiful! I might just go for that farmhouse sink!

  20. Not sure you will get much help from readers, as there are so many different views. Personally, I love your cabinets and would try changing some other things first. See if that helps your urge before leaping into such a huge job. Especially, as they are so gorgeous.

    I was also wondering if you’d have to do new countertops, as yours have the matching wood trim. Not sure how that trim would hold up painted.

    • Hey Kelly, I forgot to add that some new granite countertops would be fab as well, but that is not happening. That trim going all around probably would not hold up that great unfortunately. :(

      I just think if I were to put the backsplash and sink that I wanted in, it wouldn’t go well with the cabinets unless they were white. I guess I could always experiment. :)

  21. I think your kitchen is beautiful! I lived in my last house for 8 years, absolutely HATING my wood cabinets in our bathrooms. I felt guilty for all those years for wanting to paint them. I finally did it before we put the house on the market. I LOVED them white! It really made a huge difference in those bathrooms. BUT, they were really ugly cabinets – real wood or not and it was a huge improvement.

  22. NOOO, don’t do it!! :) If they were ugly wood or not real wood than my answer would be different. But yours are gorgeous!! I would trade my white ones any day for you wood ones! I have white cabinets and I will “hopefully” never have white in another house again! :) They are EXTREMELY hard to keep clean. Everything shows up on them!! Dirt, dust, food, etc. I plan on repainting mine because they are so dingy looking.

    I say, experiment with the white subway tile with the wood cabinets. Maybe draw it out on some poster board and tack it up and see what it looks like. I think you would pull it off! Look for some sample pictures in cabinet catalogs.

  23. Girl you had be at farm house sink haha. I want a farm house sink SO stinkn bad!!!!! I WILL have it one day, hopefully in the near future : )

  24. I understand your angst. I love painted wood; however, when it comes time to paint wood, I always hesitate. There is no right or wrong answer here; it’s totally your preference. A couple of thoughts:
    1. Put some glass doors on your upper cabinets, paint the inside white and install some lights to brighten the display.
    2. Install the subway tile, farmhouse sink and new knobs and pulls. New hardware can make a nice change.
    3. Bottom line: You have a beautiful kitchen. Anything you do will only enhance it.

  25. Michelle O. says:

    I love the kitchen the way it is, maybe you’re just getting stir crazy. you could always get a white cabinet door n put it in your kitchen some where to see if you still like if after awhile.

  26. I’m having a similar dilemma. The kitchen in our new house is nice but not what we want. We need to add a dishwasher onto the end, so it gives us the opportunity to modify it a bit. Can’t decide if we want to refinish the existing to a darker stain or refinish the frames only and get all new doors. Needless to say its a tough decision!
    I’m sure which ever way you go it will look fantastic! I’m eager to see what you choose- I need some inspiration to help make my own kitchen decisions ;-)

    • Oh goodness, I’m confused now more than ever with all of these comments. haha. I’m sure this will be a project I procrastinate on till, oh maybe 2012?

  27. You’re kitchen is absolutely beautiful the way it is…don’t do it! The color of the cabinets is gorgeous and I think painting them would be such a waste. Painting is a lot of work and white cabinets would have all sorts of noticeable finger prints on them. :) BTW, what color paint did you use in your kitchen? I love it!

  28. Oh Emily, I am in the same boat….I have maple cabinets and wanted the white glazed cabinets so bad, the the manufacturer my cabinet guy used didn’t make them. sniff ~My hubby is not thrilled with the idea. Here’s a couple of links to see a kitchen that inspired me. Click on her photos to enlarge. http://valsocal.blogspot.com/2010/07/where-magic-happens.html ~ http://valsocal.blogspot.com/2010/09/kitchen-makeover.html ~keep us posted.

  29. I would say “go for it!” but would need to preface that comment by saying that I love white. I mean, we’re talking serious white love. I think it’s classic and airy and just downright beautiful.

    But that’s the tricky part about this question – some people are going to absolutely adore the dark wood and shun you for thinking of painting it – but it’s not their house! It’s not a “waste,” I don’t think, if you’re doing something that you’ll love and find beauty in. So go for your gut!

  30. Sister, your cabs look great. They look like they are not a builder grade. If they were a builder-grade honey oak, I would say paint away! What if you added hardware, and re-did your backsplash? The brown looks so warm. You could start collecting some white dinnerware/pitchers/platters to go on top of your cabs to add some more white into your scheme.

    I re-did my cabs this past spring…and it was a labor of love to say the least. And now it’s December, and I still haven’t put the trim up :) So they still aren’t technically ‘done’.

    BUT–it’s your house. And if that is what you want, and you can’t stop thinking about it…go for it!

    I guess my recommendation is make some other little changes (sink/backsplash/hardware/accessories) then see what you think!

  31. We painted ours white before we moved in, but they were a nasty yellow before, so a lil different situation. Yours are gorgeous, I say leave them! If you wanna see how ours turned out-pictures here:

  32. Absolutely yes! It will be a big job (good spray-painting equipment can be your friend) but certainly can be done easily by hand. Use Zinsser oil-based primer and you’ll never have to worry about the woodgrain showing through. A latex enamel will adhere wonderfully to the primer and you’ll rarely (if ever) have to worry about chipping. You can actually use the primer, et. al., to paint your backsplash too – no need to wait until you can afford new tile.

  33. I painted mine White years ago and love them – cute little handles on the cabinets – I used Benjamin Moore paint – I used the one for cabinets – can’t think of the name – I love it!

  34. One of the most beautiful kitchens I’ve been in was my cousin’s. The cabinets were cherry and the counters were white. The “backsplash” was still just the wall (white) and it was gorgeous. Beautiful contrast and VERY classy.

    Me? I have builder grade oak (real & laminate) and want to paint white!!!

  35. We started painting ours recently! Ours were the age of the house. No problems covering up using a good oil based primer. We are almost half way there =) I would not do this unless my kitchen was unbearable though ;-)

  36. I would say it depends on what you want the focal point of your kitchen to be. With light-colored walls and dark cabinets, the eye tends to be drawn to the cabinets. If the cabinets are also light, though, the eye tends to be drawn to any pops of color you add to the room (like those bold, gorgeous plates above the pantry? door).

    The one thing I’d suggest if you do decide to paint them is to use a sprayer for the cabinet doors — there’s a lot of dimension on those doors and it’d be pretty challenging, IMO, to get the look you want using a roller or brush.

  37. Lisa Perry says:

    Hi there. I have had white cabinets in both of my houses and the one I grew up in, and while I do love the way they look, I will say that the dust/kitchen grime does show up on them. I have to wipe mine down regularly, and I didn’t think I made a mess when I cook, but somehow they still get stuff on them (I do have three little girls!).

  38. Omg, no! Those cabinets are so beautiful right now. I’d stain them darker, like you originally wanted.

    Most of the apartments we’ve lived in had white cabnets. To me, white just screams “cheap!!” But that’s just me >___>

    If you do paint them white, I’ll be lurking around for the picture so I can see how white cabinets are *supposed* to look :)

  39. I’m assuming you didn’t mean the cute child and dog in the last pic? Haha! Your cabinets are beautiful! I am a little biased because I would love to have nice cherry or dark stained cabinets like yours because my kitchen cabinets are white and we have white tile. The previous owners painted ours and they are cracking and peeling and you can see brush strokes. It drives me nuts, but will have to do until we can afford the remodel we have planned. I did a touch up on ours after moving in and now that I would definitely not have the patience to do the whole thing! You can see my white kitchen here: http://myforeverhouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/country-kitchen-update.html

  40. If you want to paint them then go for it! Some people cringe at the thought of painted wood but you live there and need to be happy. Staining them is a big job too so either way you go it’s work and A LOT of it!

    I painted my cabinets a frenchy white, added molding to the top and love them. Mine were the cheapy kind but I would’ve painted them even if they were real wood because it’s what I like:) I used a white from Ralph Lauren and a Ralph Lauren glaze for giving them a slight distressed look. It’s been almost two years since painting them and they’ve not yellowed or chipped. I didn’t use a poly because I didn’t want the shiny look. If a slight stain gets on them I wipe it with a little diluted bleach and it comes off. I normally wipe them down using Mrs. Meyers All Purpose cleaner. I really hated my cabinets and couldn’t be happier with how they look now. I’d recommend using a spray gun to paint them and DO NOT paint the inside unless they are just terribly beat up. I painted the insides of mine and don’t think that was a good idea. Most sites will tell you not to paint the insides and I think they’re right. If you’d like to take a look at mine http://www.revampedfrenchmaison.com/2010/05/kitchen-cabinet-re-vamp-2.html
    This post was one my first blogs and needs to seriously be re-done. So forgive the crummy pics. I was so new to blogging. You can email me and I’ll send you closer up pics. arevampedfrenchmaison@gmail.com

  41. Actually I kind of like them and I’m on a paint everything white kick.

    If you do decide to go white, it’s NOT that hard. You’ve done way more difficult things, it’s time consuming just because you have to wait for the paint to dry most of the time. I say instead, put your money into new counters and cool hardware!

    • Oh man, new countertops are just not going to happen right now. That would be several thousands of dollars.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did all of ours in Anchorage in the most expensive 12″ granite squares the tile store had for less than $1500. They turned out fabulous. I don’t really care for the slabs.

  42. They are such a nice color already and have lovely detail with the molding/trim on them. I would put they money that would go to the paint/primer towards a back-splash. A new back-splash can add a whole new dimension to a kitchen and even make your cabinets appear a different color!

  43. I’ll be the first to admit white cabinets are breathtaking; however,I rented a house a couple of years ago with white cabinets. Over time,I came to really dislike them. Every tiny splatter of food or dirty fingerprint or smudge is going to show – not to mention any nicks that will naturally happen over time. For me, they were just too high maintenance! I just bought an old house and it has dark stained wood cabinets that need refinished. While there are days I am tempted to pick up the paint brush and throw some white paint to brighten up my little dungeon of a kitchen, I think I will regret it in the long run. I can’t decide if I’m going to restain them the rich dark color they are or venture out and paint them a fun bright color. I’ll probably play it safe & just restain. Anyhoo…for me the stained cabinets are easier to care for than the painted ones, but they are both beautiful in their own ways!

  44. I don’t think I would paint them. The wood is to nice to cover up and once painted that’s it, you can’t get the wood back (or least not without way to much work). I thought that I wanted to paint mine too but decided it was just more than I could handle and more than I wanted to spend to hire it out. I still wanted a change though so I bought a new light fixture, took down my window valances, put up new 2″ faux wood blinds, changed out the hardware on my cabinets and painted the walls. This changed the whole look of my kitchen and I love it. Oh, and I also painted my kitchen chairs.

  45. Cousin Carol says:

    Hey Cousin!
    I have heard that Glidden “Gripper” primer is the best. I have used it to cover up a dark colored mural, but have nothing to compare it to. Also, using marine paint for the color coat is supposed to be a good idea. This is fresh research as we are getting ready to paint the cabinet boxes on our UGLY formica cabinets and order new white doors. Having the wood grain texture show through would prove the cabinets are wood and not MDF. That said, I don’t think I could paint over wood cabinets unless there was something wrong with them…

    • Hey Carol! Wow, I had never heard of using the marine paint. Very interesting. When are you going to start a blog so we can see all of these home improvement projects??

  46. I think you should consider vintage white… the color of your cabs now would be a perfect base for it. Plus the whole look is imperfect perfection… so that helps in doing it and maintaining it, I think! Good luck with whatever you decide!

  47. I say no. My daughter & s-i-l had an all white kitchen. The white is beautiful but really is a lot of upkeep…and they don’t have kids…and she’s a neat freak too. :-) She wants them painted a color now. They have a white sink which is gorgeous…almost a farmhouse style. My s-i-l put beadboard up as a backsplash and it’s a lime green. She painted the island red and made a chalkboard front on the pantry door. She has lots of color in there and it is beautiful…but she’s so tired of the white.

    Of course, YOU are the one that will be living with your beautiful cabinets! Perhaps make some other changes first???

    Best wishes for whatever you decide!

  48. I reckon go for it! The door in the background has similar panels and it’s white and I’m sure that’s what is making you think about a full change. It’s there nagging at you isn’t it? Besides you always do a really good job and as long as it ‘is’ done well, it will look lovely.

    I recently had a similar dilemma with some wall units. Took me 7 months to make up my mind and I now wished I’d done it sooner, it has made such a difference to the place, changed the whole personality of the room for the better. Btw, it was seeing the great work you do that made me commit to my project and I’m nowhere near as detailed as you are ;-)

  49. I’m getting ready to paint mine white and I can’t wait my neighbors did their kitchen a year ago and they still look great , Yours look way better than mine, But if you want to paint them I say GO FOR IT…..

  50. We have white cabinets and white subway tile backsplash, wanted farmhouse sink…but wasn’t in the budget! Plus, I do like my integrated sink. White can yellow over time, but if you use a high quality paint it is less likely to happen. All of our cabinets and trim in our house is painted with Porter Paint…it is EXTREMELY durable…you can scrub it to death! Also, there is a primer made by Glidden called Gripper…it’s the best!! Used it when transforming our mantel, entertainment center and cabinets we painted dark. Saves the hassle of all that sanding!

  51. YES!!! Paint em’ white & I PROMISE you’ll LOVE it!!! I never had white cabinets till we moved into our current house 4 years ago & they are GREAT!! They’ll really make your painted walls pop & they’ll totally match your pantry door versus the door kinda sticking out amongst the current brown cabinets.

  52. I love to see a mix of painted and stained cabinets. Can you paint some white and leave some?

  53. oooooh, I am having those same thoughts in our kitchen! Totally want to brighten it up! Maybe for my birthday in February? Good luck to yo u!


  54. Girl– I want to paint my kitchen, too!! Ah, I’ve been dying for a white kitchen for years now. Maybe we’ll both get brave and just go for it (:

  55. Sorry but there’s no way I’d even consider painting those cabinets. They’re beautiful the way they are. They go well with your back splash and wall color perfectly. As someone who’s had a white kitchen, I can tell you that they’re a nightmare to keep clean as they show every little spec of dust and it ended up being too much white. As long as I’m being honest, the only thing I’d consider changing about your kitchen is possibly the counter tops.

  56. Love the cabinets! I think why mess with something that good and you know will be “in style” forever. They’re a great color. Do you just have kitchen envy? I do that with all the blog watching. Everyone with the “in” white kitchens that are fabulous. But, I make myself think realistically. Would the paint last as long as the current condition? Cleaning white is a lot more work than the dark. Why mess with what isn’t broken. Get the new sink and a few other easier to change, less permanent features and see how you feel. It really is a great, warm kitchen.

  57. I wanted to paint my kitchen cabinets white…but I let others talk me out of it. I ended up painting them sage green…I wish I had gone with my own inclination….and I’m sure someday I will end up painting them white. My cabinets are 50 years old….so it really doesn’t matter. I recently switched out my old black refrigerator for a new white one. AND, I just got a new white Koehler sink…and it made a tremendous difference in my kitchen. The whole counterspace looks different. That was a GREAT decision. Now I just have to change out the dishwasher and stove…but that will be down the road when they break down. :-(

  58. Hi Decorchick! I painted my cabinets white this summer and just added a post about the process on my blog: http://stormcloudnine.blogspot.com/2010/12/winter-whitekitchen-cabinets.html
    I L-O-V-E your kitchen as is, but if you’re looking to brighten things up a bit, painting your cabinets white would make your kitchen even more amazing. I don’t think you’d regret it one bit :) Good luck with your decision!

  59. You know I love a white kitchen, but knowing you, I’d say leave them because I think you really do lean toward liking them dark. And they are so pretty the way they are. Maybe just wait a couple of months and then see if you are still really craving the white.

  60. Woah. Lots of advice! Mind 2 more cents? I think the difficulty comes because your cabinets are beautiful how they are. They’re not ugly–that would be a no-brainer! My suggestion is to take longer to contemplate. Sometimes I jump the gun on something because I LOVE it, but if I just take a moment to rationalize, the decision becomes much more clear.

    My only worry with painting kitchen cabinets is that it LOOKS like you painted them. Does that make sense? The best kitchen redo I’ve EVER seen is here. http://isabellaandmaxrooms.blogspot.com/2010/02/revisiting-painting-of-kitchen-family.html She had them professionally done, and I think that was the best decision she could have made. Notice, too, that she has the subway tile backsplash. Her cabinets were beautiful to begin with, but look how they’ve been transformed!

    I see nothing wrong with painting them. It would be an awesome decision. My only worry is that you want to do it right. Perhaps that means saving some money up and having it professionally done? That would also give you the time you need to really make up your mind. –says the girl who hasn’t painted her kitchen cabinets :) Good luck with whatever you decide!

    • Thanks Chris! And yea, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion if I were to paint them, I would hire it out for sure.

      Janell’s kitchen rocks. She was way smart in hiring it out. If I just had a few cabinets, or maybe even half of what I have, I would think about doing it myself. But there are just too many, which isn’t a bad thing. :)

      I think I’m going to wait on it for now…try some other things first and see if that satisfies my crazy desires.

  61. I would definately do it. If you use the right white then the details of your cabinets will look so rich. Go for it!

  62. Definitely. You will be amazed at the transformation. Here is my post – oak cabinets repainted an antique white… http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-new-blog.html

    Paint on girlfriend!

    :) Toni

  63. Do it! I looooove white kitchens…so fresh and airy! We did ours this summer and I cannot believe it took so long for us to make up our minds. It is so pretty and clean. The only downside is they do show everything so they have to be cleaned quite often, but I don’t mmind because they are so pretty. We put new knobs on too to lighten them up.
    Good luck with your decision.

  64. I have had 3 white kitchens and am finally going to get wood cabinetry. The cabinets in the last 3 houses has been old and we painted them to brighten up the spaces. I can’t wait to move on to wood for the following reasons:

    1. They show everything and need to be wiped down all the time.
    2. The paint wears down near the handles and need to be touched up every few months or so. If yours don’t have handles you will be constantly wiping the area where you open them and touching up paint. Keep a small jar of touch up paint under your sink (I do).
    3. It’s just a trend right now to paint white because of the economy. Once things pick up again the trend will be to replace.

  65. Brenda Salem says:

    I would get the Giani granite counter top paint in the choc brown and then paint the cabinets black. Get some stainless hardware and then a lighter neutral but warm tone for the rest of the kitchen. The black cabinets do not show dirt at all and if you seal them with a poly or spar urethane then you can scrub them when you need to. I think you would have a more modern and updated yet warm kitchen and get rid of the wood grain that you do not like. You sound like a girl after my heart, if I don’t love something I change it.

    • Hey Brenda, no, I do like the wood in there, just was thinking of doing white. I’d be scared to do black though! What is granite counter top paint??

  66. Oh, don’t do it! I have white cabinets, and they’re a nightmare. And with a little one in the house, who will touch said white cabinets, you will spend your whole life CLEANING said white cabinets. And they stain so bad if something spills and splashes on them. I’m trying to figure out what to do with mine. And I have very few options.

  67. I wouldn’t paint your cabinets. They are beautiful. I painted my cabinets with primer and the heavy duty paint for cabinets (suggested by Sherwin Williams). My cabinets were hideous to begin with, yours are not. It has been 6 years and I am dreading having to paint them again. All the cabinets are nicked where rings or finger nails have scratched the paint at the knobs. It took me two weeks to fully paint everything they way you are supposed to and that was before having kids. If you paint, be ready to touch up and a future repaint. Keep your kitchen the way it is, I love it.

  68. I have been having the same dilemma. I have nice knotty alder cabinets, that are stained. that are about 5 years, old. that’s when our house was built. But I’m dreaming about that same look as you. WHITE! We must be on the same kick. I noticed you are doing away with the reds in your house. And so am I. I had way to much reds, browns, blacks etc. I so ready for a change. My hubby is even a painter, and I’m still hung up on the idea. Not sure. I almost wish they were old and ugly to, then I wouldn’t even re-think.
    Anyways good luck. can’t wait to see pics if you do it. I have 2 of my friends waiting for me to take the plunge so they can see if they want to do it to. LOL.

  69. We (ok ‘I’) just recently painted our cabinets. My boyfriend really didn’t want to because they were very expensive wood cabinets, but he gave in and he LOVES the new look!

    Check them out… http://upcycle-this.blogspot.com/

    It took me two entire days, but it was soooo worth it. Funny because I kept putting it off because I knew it would be time consuming and tedious. But it really wasn’t that bad. I just played good music to keep me at it.

  70. Susan Cooper says:

    I think they either need to be darker or white. I would also add some cool knobs either way.

  71. Ok, here’s the before and after pics… http://upcycle-this.blogspot.com/2011/06/kitchen-remodel.html

  72. I HAVE done my kitchen cabinets. It’s sooo… worth it, but yes it’s a ton of work. There are many steps to make sure that it doesn’t chip, won’t yellow. My cabinets aren’t white, but I know how you can make sure they won’t turn. I could give you a tutorial of how and what I used to do mine.
    Not to plug my own website, but if you go there you can see how mine turned out, and the pictures that you’ll see were taken a few days ago, and I did my cabinets 2 and a half years ago. They still look awesome.
    Go to my website, hit archive for Dec 2011 and look for the post that says, ”before and after kitchen cabinets.” Let me know if this helps. :)

  73. I say go for it. I just finished painting my kitchen cabinets white and yes, it was alot of work. First I washed them down, sanded, primed , sanded again, primed, then painted. I used Benjamin Moore oil prime and paint because from what I have read it is the best. I just ordered a new counter top and cant wait for it to be installed. It looks beautiful, if I do say so myself. I enjoy reading about your projects and I think if she can do it so can I. Thanks so much.

  74. C Shaffer says:

    We are quarter of the way done….love already. We have fairly new, quality cabinets, but I also love a light kitchen. You can’t worry about changing good cabinets. What good are they if they don’t put a smile on your face. I know I made the right decision. Go with what you love!

  75. This will give a cleaner monitoring of the sound and allow the person doing the sound design to have a better conception of the audio mix.
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  76. I just found your posts. Did you end up staining your cabinets? I’m in the middle of completing a kitchen cabinet stripping and staining project, actually taking a break while waiting to put the second coat on the doors and my husband finishes stripping the drawers. It’s turning out fine since we prepped carefully and aren’t rushing.
    Question for you. Do you have an idea to spruce up the floor molding that now looks sad and tired? It’s an open floor plan so I don’t want to replace the molding and mismatch the rest of the house. Are there any products that may help?
    Back to work. I have a tough boss.


  1. […] I asked you all if I should paint our kitchen cabinets white in this post, it looks like the majority vote is about half in half.  And thank you all for chiming in on that […]

  2. […] I had first talked about painting our cabinets white about a month ago in this post, I think that same day I called the paint contractor I have used before to see if he would make me […]

  3. […] to paint my cabinets, then I wasn’t, then I was, and on and on. I know, I’m annoying. I first asked you all if I should paint our oak cabinets. Then the last you heard about me painting cabinets was 2 years ago! Then I tried to even stain […]