Need help with kitchen refinshing/cabinets?
kloeehalleAugust 14, 2012
Hi everyone! Hoping you can me me update my kitchen cabinets without refacing or replacing them ($$$). As you can see I have a lot of cabinetry from great room to kitchen in a blonde glazed maple. We have travertine flooring, chocolate brown distressed island with black granite and coffee/mocha walls( which we would happily repaint if needed). We have had bids for painting and staining and it seems to be a good option just stuck on colors etc? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
5 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Emily Hurley
I've actually heard good things about them too.

I think you could go with a cream colored paint for the natural cabinets now, then just refresh the brown. It would be beautiful.

8 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Had the same color cabinets and same wall color as well (great minds?). I felt the coffee color walls around the cabinets made the kitchen drab. So I had just the kitchen walls painted roasted red pepper and left the other walls the coffee color. I LOVED it! Apparently the buyer did too. House sold in 9 days!!! Try it. It's just paint!! Good Luck!!
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I agree with Kathy.. some paint would do a world of good! You have great cabs! Right now, it is all blending together, walls and cabs... too monochoromatic. Perhaps an updated backsplash with some pop, and some color on the walls.a red, an orangey cinnamon, olivey or sagey green..... anything that brings a contrast., and suits your style. You can carry that color over with pillows and the area rug in that adjacent room! ( it is blending with the flooring and rug as well) Add some pieces in those glass cabs to pull out that accent color. The DR can stay that color if you like it..,bring in the pop color with dishware, placemats, runners, floralsIt's a beautiful space! I feel the TV area looks very dark. Maybe you could try putting the accent color in the back of the arches.It's tought to see well form this pic where to stop and start colors. Have fun ! No need to do anything with that cabinetry! You already have a different finish on island.. lovely!
4 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I just used the rustoleum cabinet system and it turned out great! You pick the base color and it has a glaze included. Very easy and inexpensive way to change up the cabinets! It has a very custom look and I definitely recommend! Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Barbara Allegretta_Robinson
I would go with red an the cream color you already have there, the reds are pretty popular these days, red and white gingham works well in any kitchen to brighten it up, I just re did my dining room, but went with old shabby chic vintage look.I used copper and many old items,I think white in the kitchen whether its walls or the cabinets changed over would give your kitchen that vintage look.Just sharing what I did as far as colors and style, hope you like it, I have more pics too if you want to see more :)
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Powder blue paint for the walls. Get rid of the brown color for the island, too dark. Lighten the cabinets if you are going to change the color of them. =)
    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
AG Design
I like the idea of changing the wall color. You may want to add a color to the ceiling, it is another wall and will having you looking up. I have done this for a few clients and they love it.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Add fun Hardware and awesome backsplash...stretch it up between the windows. The cabinets are nice, try adding some stained or smoked glass in a couple cabinets. Add a chandelier or fun fixture over the sink and new window treatments. I like the paint color, but I'm a neutral girl.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Christine White_Dennison
Light taupe walls. Cream cabinets with chocolate glaze. Black island. Update chandelier to something from Candice Olsen's line with a little glitz. Add pendant lighting above island as well.
    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Some of the suggestions are hideous!
10 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Beth Morrow
Love the walls, love the island...don't love the maple! I'd paint those cabinets sw alabaster white in a heart beat. These would be beautiful glazed with a brown glaze too, but that is really your preference. Then merchandise those gorgeous cabinet tops and lets get some plates, pictures or wrought iron up on those walls over the sink. Your room is gorgeous! Ah, one last about a drop lantern light over the might have room for two. And the very last thing (I hope..lI keep going back up to the picture and seeing other things)I can't tell what color knobs you have but that always is a quick dress up for cabinets. Ok ...done! Please post finished pics. Can't wait to see this lovely lady all dressed up!:)
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Paint the cabintes alabaster white with the distress look and the walls a cream color. A light over the island
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If you cook much or have children, you will regret going with a lighter color on the cabinets. If you were my client, I'd encourage you to go with some bold beautiful color on the walls. Someone suggested chili pepper red, that would be beautiful. And orange or green would really wake this kitchen up as well.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Brenda Brown
beautiful area, I am not a professional designer but my friends say I have a knack for it. Your kitchen is beautiful along with the den area, but I can only tell you what I would do if it were mine. I would leave the cabinet's. Redo the island in either black, buttermilk or pick a color that is your fave( moss green, burnt henna ???) Pendants over the island, Hardware is very expense, but changing it on the island would not be bad. Glass tile on the back splash or a subway tile. walls would be awsome in a soft blue. slip covers on your parson chairs. New fan in den. adding some sort of window treatments to warm it up, try the new burlap thing or maybe coffee cloth, or something with color, checks might be good(ballard design .com). I would add something on the top on cabinets( as greenry. plates ect.) pendant over your sink, and last if you swing it, crown molding. places where you might find some inspiration ( Ballard design's, restoration hardware, grandin road... hauzz...) what ever you do have fun with it and dream big!!!! Good luck and God bless!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Beth Morrow
I raised 5 kids and have 10 grandkids and I have never regretted light /white cabinets. I clean darks ones too! So kids are not a detourant for what I love!
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Transforming Rooms
I have a client whom I convinced to do ivory cabinets (instead of darker tones that the kitchen remodeling company was trying to talk them into). That was a year ago, they often tell me that everyone LOVES the way the off white tone cheered up their home, and made the room feel updated, clean and bright. That seems to be the feedback I hear from all clients.

To see more kitchen photos with ivory cabinets, see this blog:

Also, there's a kitchen on the web site
It shows a tile backsplash that would be just PERFECT (under your glass cabinets). Be sure to check it out!

Mixing up the hardware shapes would help (also shown on blog and web site). You could change some of the knobs on the doors into longer handles - we did that in the "after" photo below.

By the way, your wall color appears to be very good (although I can't tell the exact color). Since your area is so large and continues into the next room without stopping, I do not recommend red walls, that is too much area for such a bold move that you could tire of. That color would be great in small punches such as a new rug or accessories.
7 Likes    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
First off.... I LOVE your kitchen!!
I do like a lot of Brenda Brown's ideas. I would definately add some greenery to the top of "some" of your cabinets - like over the fridge and on a couple of the cabinets along the wall - not too much though. I am not in love with your distressed brown island.... I think I would go solid brown or black on that. I would put a light over your sink... but I wouldn't hang it from the ceiling - I would either have it come out of the wall about 1/2 way up or even do a cool lamp behind your sink!! I would add some window coverings at the top of the windows by your sink... but not on the other windows. I think that would warm things up over there! I don't know what's above your fridge (under the cabinet) - I can't tell if its part of the fridge or just a piece of plastic design.... if not part of the fridge, I would add a wine rack there... or (if you're not a wine drinker) then something else, but I don't have another idea right now! I would also agree to a different fan in the sitting area.... perhaps a fan with like palm leaves on it instead of regular fan blades. And last... above your big window where your dining table is... I would add a vinyl kling - Im thinking perhaps one that says Bon appetit.... and yes, I am a rep for a vinyl art company - but I had to mention that... there is so much you can do with vinyl klings to change the look of a room!! (my website is There are actually a lot of ideas in the catalog!
Oh - just one more thing. I would get rid of the rug in front of the sink... I think it's too small there - and I would add a bigger rug in the same area but between your counter and the island!! Again - I do love your kitchen and it does look great the way it is too - but these are just some ideas!! Thanks for sharing your kitchen!!
    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Oh - and I think I would change the chairs by the island. They look like they match the table chairs and I just think they should be different!
    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
try just painting the walls around the cabinet area and accent color you love; it needs to be a bold color to offset the dining areas deep tone and complement it as well. A glaze on your cabinets might be all they need to wake up the kitchen. The island seems a little blah; stain or glaze it something bold to go with the paint; good luck and you should see a great change after a little painting.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
There is a lot you can achieve for a little $. Start by replacing or adding light fixtures (ceiling fan goes! need pendants above island) paint choice needs more contrast in a cooler shade of grey-blue or sage green. Media-fireplace wall is busy & needs some personality. Install some great wallpaper or handmade tile inside the built-ins in that area. Replace the area rug with one that has more colour, texture & /or pattern. Next, if you are willing to shell out more $, then I recommend eliminating all the dark leather seating in favour of softer looking fabric pieces & coordinate window coverings & pillows in these connecting spaces as well. The rooms will look much better & more current this way.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Always start with an inspiration piece! Take the picture over the fireplace for example. Pull the colors from that, which appear to be some warm reds and oranges from the picture. I also notice you have a gold color (or yellow) canister set on the counter. Right now the wall color offers no contrast or compliment to your cabinets. I would paint the walls a warm orange from your painting for example. Use some reds and golds with accents in accessories. Skip the greenery on top of your cabinets as someone suggested. Old school and out of date, plus a dust collector. By all means paint your ceiling. It is often the largest most overlooked area of a home. I would also add some pendant lights and/or a chandelier. Right now the current recessed lighting are too numerous and resemble a airport runway. Otherwise your cabinets and space are gorgeous! Easy and inexpensive paint and accessories is all you need.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Also, above cabinets is a personal choice. For a contemporary clean look leave open. For another place to work in color and decor pieces try large platters, wooden words, and accessories in your color scheme. Avoid small nick-knack pieces. Also, check out,
Ideabook: 12 Creative Ideas for Decorating Above the Cabinets.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
100% for the red pepper wall colour. That is all you need.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
It's hard to tell from the photos if the cabinets have a glaze that make them look dated. From the photo the lighter cabinets look fine. The problem is the drab color palette, and undersized cabinet hardware. For the cabinets I'd just paint the island - you can go bold there if you want (red for example), just be certain to pick up the color in other accents throughout the room, for example in the fireplace surround. The little round cabinet knobs are too simple for the size of the space the cabinet doors and dentil molding. I'd go with something bigger and brighter to add bling. I'd also use some glass tile to extend the backsplash - or completely replace the backsplash so that it is full height to the bottom of the upper cabinets. And yes, change the wall color. Your room is big enough to have several. I'd probably find a new area rug for the family room and pick colors out of that. If color palettes scare you the HGTV line at Sherwin Williams is great. Find the palette you like that incorporates the dark browns/blacks you have. Then you will have about 20 colors you can mix and match with confidence. Good luck!
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Can you clarify exactly what the rustoleum system is? Is that where the cupboard doors are replaced with plastic doors?
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Looks like we kind of have the same color cabinets. I definitely think the brown walls are whats making drab. Try something more on the red side. Like the picture of mine. Im not a huge fan of it, but it was here when we bought the house and its growing on me. Sorry for the messy counters. Its morning time with 3 kids. LOL
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
When we updated our kitchen one of the main things we did was to paint all the cabinets an off white color and it was amazing how it changed everything. Suddenly things were brighter and fresher looking. Looks like we have almost the exact same granite and it looks great with it. I think that would make your brown walls pop then and would tie into all of the rest of your space without making a lot of other changes. A lot of the color choices I've seen suggested above would involve your needing to make a lot of changes throughout such as changing your accessories to make them work with the new color. My personal opinion is that to paint that large of an area red or some really bold color would look shocking and you'd tire of it quickly. I find the neutral colors calming and easy to spice up with accent pieces and colors. I do think some type of window treatment at least at the sink would warm it up and I agree that some hanging light fixtures would look great. I also agree that if you lightened up the back of your bookcases around the TV it would make your decorations stand out more. One last thing, a new area rug with more color and design would help give more contrast. Love your kitchen and other areas. Good luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Wow!! Such great ideas..I really appreciate the feedback. I'm thinking refinishing the cabinets off white and changing hardware is going to be a great change. We were going to have to relocate for a job so I never really made any big changes to this its time. Thanks for everyones help!! Please keep any other ideas coming..this is so helpful:)
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I tend toward neutral colors and use accessories to liven things up - easier to change with the season or my mood. Leave the cabinets - paint the walls a different, lighter neutral so there is some contrast to the cabinets. Perhaps you could paint the eating area a different, bolder color - then use that color on the tv wall with the lighter color in the niches? You could also use the same color on the island....and in a new area rug. Have fun!
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would go with cream color paint and then add a darker glaze to the creases of the cabinets and trim. That would really update the look of the kitchen without painting the walls. It would also brighten up the pace.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Using large scale pottery pieces in an accent color & different shapes on top of you cupboards would be a nice way to add interest.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Your kitchen is beautiful and really doesn't need as much as you may think. My personal preference would include painting the island black and painting the kitchen walls either a creamy off- white, or go with one or two walls in the spicy red pepper color mentioned above if it appeals to you. The brown distressed look on the island is simply too distressed, I would go to black or perhaps even match the glazed cabinets in the family room if that is your preference and you wish to tie the areas together. ( I love black cabinets right now). I also agree the natural tones of the cabinet are not complimented by the wall color, but you can find a color that you love that also makes your cabinets glow. One accent wall would be fine. You don't have to repaint everywhere. One more idea, replace the vase near the sink with a tall, beautiful lamp. It's a fresher look, you have space for it and you'll love it at night. I'd also paint the inside of your niches, one or two shades away from the exact color on the walls. Darker normally looks best, but the color you have now is a bit dark, so I think you could go two shades lighter and it would be gorgeous and tasteful.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Your kitchen is gorgeous! Why not keep things simple, and just paint the walls and island - light green for the walls (this will REALLY set off your cabinets) and white for the island. If you need more lighting, just add 3 pendant lights over your island and possibly one above your sink. Everything else looks great! I know this, because I have that same kitchen and after painting I feel like everything is new again!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Colorhouse Paint
As an eco-friendly paint company, we would suggest LEAF .05 as the color behind your cabinetry and CLAY .04 as the color for your island. You can browse these colors and more here:
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would go for white painting + a bit of yellow (pillows, decorations)...white color will bring more lighting through the room and will make a space airier....yellow touch will bring a warmess...and I would spend a little of money for stone wall ( where TV is)...natural look is exactly what your room need ;)
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I am no expert either, but I love this space, I think you should, or if it was my space, leave it alone, I love the colors, I think you need white crown molding at the ceiling, in all the ajoining rooms, and in the little nook area in the dinning room, and I think around the kitchen windows, a wide flat molding in the kitchen, unless your going to add window treatments! You have a plate or platter in the second picture on a counter behind the vase in the kitchen that is red, on the left in the 3rd picture, i think that would look good on top of the cabinet with the microwave, or above the cabinet in the 3rd picture, or above the refridgerator, use this as your starting accent piece! You need some more pottery and plants on top of those cabinets! And the dark colors like the clock in the 3rd picture! I really love the colors of all the cabinets, I would only paint the area under the cabinet in the 3rd picture the clay color that someone else posted for you as paint ideas! I wouldn't paint any of the cabinets! I think you need the accessories and the crown molding! You could add some of the same colors as throw pillows on the island chairs! A bigger display on the island of the reds, golds and greens, And on your dinning room table! You have all the starter ideas! You really have an awesome space! It just needs to be accessorized!
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Question for you if you don't mind, How is your gas cook top in the island vented? Does it rise up out of the island? Are you happy with it? Some reviewers are saying this type does't work well. I need to install something similiar in my house.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Hi "crazylife" ..yes..its has a vent that automatically comes our of island with a push of a button. It's Wolf brand and although I didn't design it, it works great for us. Hope this helps:) Thanks again everyone-taking bits and pieces from all of your input;)
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jason Joseph Photography
Im certain there are some awesome ideas n the responses.. I sadly dont have the time to read them all so I apologize if Im redundant.
Mind you Im just a photographer... ;)
I long wrought iron handles on the cabinet doors might give just enough splash of dark color to tie them into the island.. without over powering the room with dark colors.

Just a thought....
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jason Joseph Photography
Please dont put plants on top of your cabinets!
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jason Joseph Photography
Please dont put plants on top of your cabinets!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Because the color of your cabinets, walls, floor and granite are so similar, I suggest you paint the cabinets a soft white to brighten things up! I had this same problem, after much thought, finally painted the cabinets a soft white and it looks SO much better! I love my kitchen now! I hope this works for you. If you look through pictures of kitchens you will begin to notice one look that you like above all others. I did this and noticed that in all of the photos, I liked the lighter color cabinets.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fresh Surfaces
Don't guess...know for sure what your surfaces will look like before you commit! Check out our website at It's a great tool that allows you to see your room before you do it.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Vikrant Sharma Homez
I'd Suggest go with Ivory colour and look for some good Hardware to compliment the Cabinets .
    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
i suggest you leave the cabinet colour as is and change your middle kitchen. table & chairs looks winter like, it is a beautiful piece of wood, but for sitting room. A kitchen unit need something catchy to go with, something glowing to put you in a creative mood when cooking or baking.
    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yes, Dark Brown walls color around the TV unit. But taupe/grey for rest of walls. Do paint your cabs. I also suggest cutting into some of the uppers and laying in translucent glass and lighting. The dental molding could be removed. It clashes with the arches in the great room. No fake plants. pewter, bronze or steel modern pulls.
    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Get online at and upload this picture and digitally play with the paint colors on the cabinets. It's alot better than making an unexpected mistake with the color or choice of placement of paint!
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dura Supreme Cabinetry
That's a great tip! Sherwin Williams actually has several tools to help you choose colors you can find them at this link:

I like their new "Chip It" online tool. This tool can match a photo to a color chip so if you find a photo of what you'd like to do, you can use this tool to match it!

You may also want to consider looking at products that can match to Sherwin Williams paint if you are using the tool. Dura Supreme Cabinetry can do an exact match to any Sherwin Williams paint you choose even if it's not in our Style Guide. If Sherwin Williams has it, we can match it.

Here are a few color options I think would go great with your island...

This one has a very similar island:
A Decidedly Painterly Palette of Finishes

If you're looking for a lot of change you could do something like this:
Enjoy the View from your Breathtaking Kitchen

Or you could just make your cabinets looks darker and more rustic to go with the island like this example:
Mountain Resort Kitchen
    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you. Good to know you don't have any problems with your Wolf cooktop and venting system. I appreciate the info.

Best Wishes,

1 Like    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I have just finished remodeling my kitchen.i had oak cabinet doors and veneers. Even though ACE makes a great cabinet paint, I had professionals paint my cabinets.i kept the same shell but changed the doors for an updated look. My painters primed, sanded, painted, sanded and repainted. You no longer see the oak and doors are from poplar. The doors were spray painted for a smooth finish while the shell was painted with a quality brush. I had a new island built out of cherry wood and stained like yours. I had the carpenter build me drawers and an additional cabinet. It looks fantastic. All this for less than half the cost of new cabinets without some the additional features I now enjoy. I am pretty handy, but I highly recommend experienced painters if you want a flawless look. We used a Benjamin Moore creamy white enamel paint. BM has a rich finish difficult to beat. Good luck.
    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:37AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
I need help with Kitchen - space above cabinets.
No idea what to do here. Contact kitchen designer...
Need help with kitchen cabinets and kitchen
My husband wants to paint the cabinets. What color...
HELP! Need help with my kitchen cabinet.
Does anyone know if frosty carrina by ceasarstone and...
need help in adding need kitchen cabinets--color
We want to add some kitchen cabinets to our existing...
Howard Entman
More Discussions
Help! We want bookshelf builtin..but how?
We would like to build bookshelves on both sides of...
I would appreciate any suggestions for the landscaping...
Curb appeal: how to make this exterior more interesting, inviting?
Hubby and I are moving into our first home together....
Need help with wedding reception table center piece
I am helping to decorate a family member's wedding....
Peter Pedro Loewen
Peter Pedro Loewen 102 398 Park St winkler MB Canada Canadian...
Peter Pedro Loewen
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™