Should I paint kitchen cabinets white?
Jeanne McDermott
July 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Reluctant to paint kitchen cabinets. Nothing wrong with them, except they are a honey oak. It's a large kitchen with dark blue tile floor. White would really change the look and it's a beach house. It's so much work! Is that what's stopping me?
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feeny
Do you dislike the honey oak? It is, indeed, a lot of work to paint over oak cabinets, though it can have a great effect if you want a change. But if you aren't unhappy with the cabinets, why change them?
July 22, 2013 at 7:03am   
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Jeanne McDermott
All the kitchen photos I see seem to have white cabinets, they look so bright and clean, I really like the look. Is it worth it to paint mine or find another way to brighten my kitchen.
Thanks for your response.
July 22, 2013 at 12:36pm   
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Anne
Pictures of the space?
July 22, 2013 at 12:40pm   
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PRO
Rockin' Fine Finish
Agree do you have pictures
July 22, 2013 at 11:01pm   
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Stephanie Tabaka Petsinger
Ugh. I am in the same place you are. I really like the white and have the honey oak myself but I just can't seem to convince myself to just go for it!
July 22, 2013 at 11:03pm      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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PRO
MS Colours Inc
If you are going to paint over oak cabinets and do not want the oak grain you must prime and fill the grain first. This is quite a project to make smooth painted cabinets out of oak.
July 23, 2013 at 4:29am      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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July 23, 2013 at 4:59am   
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victoriarl
I just finished having my golden oak kitchen painted white. It is AMAZING! My painter had to do six coats of primer, with sanding, and he sprayed white lacquer paint. The kitchen looks larger and brighter. Both he and a decorator told me that white kitchens never go out of style as many others do. It looks like the ones I've drooled over on Houzz!
July 23, 2013 at 5:20am        Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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victorianbungalowranch
I think liming with wax might be worth a try--less work and very cool effect, and not pinkish like picklling.
July 23, 2013 at 5:49am        Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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searcy
Here's another option. Paint the walls in one of these colors from Restoration Hardware's Shore Collection. The cabinets stain will look really nice against one of these. If you stil aren't happy, then go with redoing the cabinets. My sister hated her oak but tried the greens/teals/blues on the walls first and now she's totally happy. Saved alot of $ too.
July 23, 2013 at 5:58am      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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Lizlynne Hannig
Another option is a middle ground, which is what we did with our honey oak cabinets: paint the shells of your cabinets but order unfinished doors and paint to match. We ordered ours from Barker in Tualatin, OR. Very good quality, inexpensive and look great. Much less work than having to sand all the doors/drawers.
July 24, 2013 at 10:16pm      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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Stephanie Tabaka Petsinger
I have been looking into a product thats a cabinet refinishing kit by by Rustoleum. I just asked about it again today at my local hardware store and they said they have heard only good things about it. They carry it at Home Depot and its somewhere around $50 for the kit. Maybe that's a good option?
July 25, 2013 at 11:52am        Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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lowdw
I totally love mine. They were darker and in need of refinishing, but the look is so much lighter. I had a cabinet guy remove, refinish, and replace them. All I did was paint the bases. Much less work and reasonable $
July 25, 2013 at 12:10pm      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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PRO
Rockin' Fine Finish
Mixed reviews on the rustoleum paint kits . I had to redo cabinets for client that he had done a year ago . They started to peel
July 25, 2013 at 1:33pm      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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Jeanne McDermott
Wow I didn't expect all the responses I've gotten. I really appreciate it. Since we are getting new countertops, backsplash and painting the walls I didn't include photos. They will all be light tones. What I didn't mention is floors are tiles in a dark blue, island will be white beadboard with butcher block counter. Just finsihed building a 6'x3' pantry-utility closet which is also white beadboard.
So with all the light and white finishes hopefully my oak cabinets and dark blue floors will look better. I've taken all your advice to heart and will submit photos when we're done. Thank you
August 3, 2013 at 2:05pm   
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Ann Taylor
I'd go for it. Mine were very dark ebony and I painted them and I love it. Changed the whole look of my kitchen.
August 3, 2013 at 2:23pm   
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sharleeg
Honey oak just dates the place. Don't even need to see the pic.. honey oak is honey oak. No offense. Get to painting! If the island will be white beadboard, maybe consider a gray tone on the Honey cabs that will work nicely with your blue tiles and gray has a nautical feel as well.
Best of luck!
August 3, 2013 at 2:24pm        Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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PRO
Toronto Designers
Start by painting just the gables and see how the cabinets feel against that (see attached photo). It will have a different look and feel fresher and won't be as much work as painting it all, not to mention that unless professionally done, the paint can typically scrape off and look worse.

Attaching a photo of your place is very helpful however. Are the cabinets traditional, shaker or plain? Is it solid wood? Photos of your new counter and backplash will also be helpful.

Good luck!
August 3, 2013 at 2:33pm      Thanked by Jeanne McDermott
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