Oak kitchen cabinets
July 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
What is your opinion on oak cabinets? Would you change them out indefinitely? Would you paint them or leave them and change the hardware/countertops, etc?
Our house was built in 2001, these are our cabinets. Better than builder grade (actual wood) and have held up just perfectly...I'm just not a huge fan of oak. I probably need to change out the hardware but until I make a final decision on what we will do, I will leave them be.
We don't plan on selling our house or moving anytime soon so I'm wondering....does painting cabinets "cheapen" the look of your kitchen? Is it going to be a problem IF we were to sell say, in 5-10, even 20 years? I was thinking of having them professionally painted a creamy white or white.
I know a lot of realtors have different opinions on this so I wanted to get some opinions from you guys out there on Houzz.
Thanks :)
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Sharon Charboneau, RESA Pro, Interior Stylist
If you are not planning on selling in near future, why worry about re-sale? If the cupboards are properly sanded & painted & have attractive hardware, they won't be an issue.
While you are living there you want cupboards that appeal to you. If oak doesn't then, re-do them in a colour you like & find some new cupboard hardware @ Restoration Hardware. Check their selection online. They have been one of my go to stores for hardware for years.
July 4, 2013 at 4:25pm     
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I'm going through the same process right now and would love to hear what others say. From my research, I would not paint oak unless you can do it without having the grain show through. Using a grain filler and being incredibly patient should improve the outcome.
July 4, 2013 at 4:34pm     
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I've heard the same about the grain, another reason I'd be worried about it.
July 4, 2013 at 4:42pm   
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What's the problem with the grain showing through??? Wood has grain; I would so much rather see grain, than imagine that I'm looking at chipboard.
I would paint these cabinets a pale color, white or off-white. This question comes up daily, since so many people have these cabinets in their house. The good news is, that many have painted them with great success.
July 4, 2013 at 4:48pm     
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The L.A. Lady
Personally, I'm not a fan. I like a more modern look. However, and this is a big 'however,' they can look timeless and wonderful in the right setting. My stepfather has a turn of the century cottage that he completely restored and his cabinets are similar to your own. Link to pics... http://www.vrbo.com/407087

They look absolutely gorgeous, complete with a copper apron front sink. In this situation, oak cabinets are practically mandatory.

Basically, they lend themselves well to a specific style. If you decide to embrace that style (sort of a rustic, farmhouse look that you could probably elevate to 'shabby chic') then you'll have the cabinets to match. If you want something more modern, I'd definitely change the hardware and consider painting them. Luckily, they're a classic shape so they'll blend into several different styles or themes. I can see your dilemma since they're of a good quality and it would be a waste to get rid of them. Realtors may or may not like the look but if you plan on living there 5 years or more, go with what makes you happy. You can worry about resale when the time comes. Unless you paint them in tiger stripes, it shouldn't be a problem ;-)

In my opinion, painting doesn't "cheapen" the look. A quick glance in the "modern" category under kitchens here on Houzz will show you plenty of kitchens that have painted cabinets (and most likely make of a wood/plastic composite with an enamel coating). What cheapens the look is a poor paint job. If you go down the paint route, do your research on cabinet refinishing services in your area and talk to them in detail about their process. If they seem like a "prime and paint" kind of place, I'd keep looking. Many high end, classic custom kitchens have painted cabinets and it can be a wonderful look if done properly.

Good luck! If you decide to make some changes, post pictures!
July 4, 2013 at 4:51pm     
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Find someone who will do it for you. I'm having mine done in the fall and she will sand them, fill in the grain, spray two coats of primer and two coats of paint (Balboa Mist), then a glaze. I've seen samples and it looks good. I'd never have the patience to do that many coats myself on all of those cabinets and I think the sprayer will give a better look. I've gone back and forth with painting them too because my trim is oak. But I've chosen a quartz countertop that has some tans so hopefully it will all blend nicely. Good luck!
July 4, 2013 at 4:54pm     
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I've done 2 full baths and a 1/2 bath with RustOleum Cabinet Transformations in a darker color. They came out fabulous (they were all this same oak), people compliment on how rich they look, and they truly look like a professional did them...and we love them. But honestly, this is the kitchen and I don't think I want to take on the task myself. There's no room for sloppiness of messing up here. So I'd definitely have someone do them for me.
July 4, 2013 at 5:12pm   
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PAUL, we had the same cabinets, i will send you a picture. i had them professionally painted... for $600.00 bargain. they were painted white and i loved them for about 8 months. my kitchen looks over into my living area and it had too much of a kitchen feel. i wanted the entire area to feel as one. i decided to have them repainted black. they are sophisticated and i am absolutely in love with them. i have since painted my bathroom cabinets the same color. If you have a Hobby Lobby near, they have awesome hardware. i did fill in the hardware holes but wood filler for the cabinets is not necessary. you can not see the wood grain with a professional paint job. either way you will love the transformation they will make to your house. i have attached pictures. i have the white pictures if you would like to see as well.
July 4, 2013 at 5:32pm     
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Oh wow! They are stunning! So they went from oak, to white, to black no problem?? You can't tell they were painted twice? I would love to see the white too if you have the time to post them? Thanks so much for sharing!
July 4, 2013 at 5:37pm   
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here is another angle
July 4, 2013 at 5:38pm     
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i will find one for you... you can not tell they were painted twice... make sure you have a painter that does not rush the second coat... the first one needs to be completely dry. they did not brush these, they were sprayed.
July 4, 2013 at 5:39pm     
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They look very nice! I couldn't get away with black because my kitchen is not open to anything but the foyer so it would look too dark but I love yours!!! I'd never walk in and think those were painted.
July 4, 2013 at 5:52pm   
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Beaupre Studio
A glazed Painted finish may be a good option.
July 5, 2013 at 3:14am     
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