Painting Kitchen Cabinets: What Color Would You Choose?
Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with painting kitchen cabinets. Again, it’s my clients’ needs and issues that drive my focus. I’ve had several home staging consultations recently with clients who have very outdated oak cabinetry from the 80′s. I’ve also had some interior design clients who would like to update their kitchens – but who intend to sell within the next 2 or 3 years and so they don’t want to put the money into a big remodel, or even into refacing the cabinets. So, painting the cabinetry is a great way to go. That is until the husband hears about the plan. What is it with men and wood anyway?? I’ve got to share this excerpt from a post on White Kitchen Cabinets written by Vancouver, B. C. Interior Designer and Colour Expert (she’s Canadian so we’re spelling color with a “u” in her honor), Maria Killam. Posted here with her permission.
“80′s Oak Kitchen Cabinets“
“Here is a photo of a typical oak kitchen mostly installed in this era of kitchens. When I am standing in a kitchen that looks very much like this one, and I recommend that this kitchen be painted white or cream–as soon as the words out of my mouth–the wife’s face lights up and the husband looks horrified at the prospect of painting THE WOOD! I’m not sure why most men have this reaction but it’s pretty common. Men usually come around once they understand that it’s not about the wood, it’s about the fact that it’s dated. And to be clear, I don’t advocate painting ALL WOOD, just kitchens in this era. So for those of you with this kitchen, reading this right now, there’s really just one thing you need to know: This kitchen IS NEVER COMING BACK. So the only way to extend the life of it is to prime it, paint it, and install new brushed nickel hardware. Period, end of conversation.” – Maria Killam
This is so TRUE! On my last consultation, the wife finally begged me to call her husband directly to convince him that the cabinets needed to be painted. He finally came around when he realized that 80′s oak cabinets look as outdated to other people as old wood paneling from the 50′s looks to him. Great analogy to try if you need to convince a man to paint over wood.
So once you commit to painting those cabinets, would you go with white or a color?
For immediate resale, I generally recommend white or cream depending on the counter tops, tile and flooring. It gives a blank slate to the incoming buyer. Although I do like the clean and fresh look of white cabinetry (and I have pronounced minimalist tendencies) – having a kitchen in total – complete – unrelieved white is too sterile and cold for me. I generally like the walls to be painted in a color to give warmth or at least for there to be some natural wood in flooring or countertops. In the white kitchen below, they painted the interiors of the glass fronted cabinets in a nice spring green to add some color. I like it, and I think it would have been even prettier if the floors were a light natural wood. What do you think?
But the more I look through photos of painted kitchen cabinets, the more I am drawn to pale colors. I love the soft sage green cabinetry with the rough natural wood in the kitchen below. Very comfortable & casual in feel.
In the next photo, the soft blue-green on the modern slab front cabinets brings out the green tones in the slate flooring. I absolutely cannot get over the cute cow legged table & chairs! This must be where the kids eat. FUN! Okay, so I’m getting a little distracted from my topic. I just think the soft color is so much warmer than white cabinets would have been.
I positively love this next kitchen with the white cabinets up top and the dramatic charcoal color of the base cabinets. Again, the use of natural wood accents and flooring gives it warmth. Wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary!
Here is one that I think is especially fun. The red chairs and accessories look great in this yellow-green kitchen. The letters on the frosted glass front cabinets are a great detail. It’s very contemporary, but in a nice warm way. This just feels like it would be a great kitchen to spend time in. The colors feel happy.
via Coastal Living
So, what do you think? If you were going to paint your cabinets, what color would you choose?
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