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What color to paint kitchen cabinets???

beans92265
4 years ago
My home has been for sale for over a year and it's been suggested by 3 real estate agents, 1 home stager and 2 interior designers to paint the kitchen and bar cabinets white. My home has a lot of earth tones so I cannot go stark white, any suggestions?? Thanks for any help/ suggestions!

Comments (59)

  • ninigret
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    honestly when i look at your photo i see 'boring' as much as 'oak'.

    how about adding color other ways.... colorful stools comes to mind. colorful rug in the dining room. you could add navy there, or brighter. for that matter, paint the island a COLOR.

    people see 'oak' and 'neutral' and the neutral isnt getting them to forget about the oak.

    hatetoshop and i were having a vulcan mind meld while typing.

  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    I live in an area whee a $725,000 house would be expected to be update and perfect because at that price point I can go out an build the house I want. I would start by painting the windows and redoing the island - which looks like a cheap builder grade unit. Get a price for painting the cabinets versus refacing them. And get the breakfast room chairs sprayed a color so there is something to pop. Replace the light fixture above the table which looks like it was purchased from Home Depot. You need to up your game and have this house look like its $700,000 + instead of builder grade special. IMO
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  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    Here are some ideas. With your kitchen you could even go in the farmhouse direction, but it needs to have a personality - its so plain vanilla it just looks boring & generic. Hire a decorator to help in this process because it will be worth it, but if you put in a WOW island and minimize all the sea of oak you will get your sale. Done worry about matching the granite to the other kitchen counters, I'd put something else on the island to make it stand out.
  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    Also purchase a counter depth refrigerator!
  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    OP, I'm in Illinois also, so I think its all the oak. If you were downstate and rural, it would be a none issue. For Chicagoland you are in a good price point, focus on de-oaking and up the wow factor of the island so that is what people notice. Pull a cream white color out of the granite and have the cabinets professionally sprayed and then change out the hardware. Enlist a professional to help with color choice.
    beans92265 thanked gtcircus
  • curlycook
    4 years ago
    Your home stager didn't do a complete job. Step one is decluttering and depersonalizing. Step two is bringing in modern paint, accessories, window treatments, rugs, art and arranging the furniture in a pleasing manner. Why is an orphan light by the fireplace without a chair? The master bath needs navy added to relate to the tile. The kitchen needs variety desperately. The interior should be as staged as the amazing backyard.

    Tour homes for sale in your price range to see what's your competition.

    If this isn't what you want to do, lower the price to allow the buyer to update.
  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    Curly cook, I don't disagree with your comments, but the house has oak, oak, and more oak. Even the crown is oak. It's too much OAK. I would run from that house and I'm in the OP's market. I'd enlist a painter and begin the process of de-oaking the house by at least painting the crown, etc. Even the bathroom cabinets are oak! UNLESS and UNTIL there is something to focus on besides the sea of OAK, the house is dead in the water until she finds a buyer that loves all the OAK. And I just don't see that happening.
  • Renee
    4 years ago
    You need to hire a new home stager with a truckload of updated furniture and art for every room pronto. The staging is terrible. The window coverings need to come down. Painted cabinets won't help, the whole house is wood heavy.
  • curlycook
    4 years ago
    I just realized we haven't answered the question she asked regarding a paint color suggestion. Here is a list from the Creativity Exchange.
  • curlycook
    4 years ago
    This list is from a post titled "Most Popular Cabinet Paint Colors".
  • ninigret
    4 years ago

    something funny came to mind... don't know if anyone is familiar with the 'competitions' in new york magazine... each week there is a different one, and once the instructions were to take a familiar phrase or slogan, and change one word. the winner was a variant of "Fruit and Fiber Cereal, the fruit is so good you forget about the fiber". The winner changed it to "Fruit and Spider Cereal, the fruit is so good you forget about the spiders".

    so the OP just needs to find ways for potential buyers to forget about the spiders, i mean the oak.

  • hummingalong2
    4 years ago
    It's amazing what paint can do!! wood floors and furnishings help too of course..
  • Elizabeth
    4 years ago
    I'm in Southern California. Home prices here are about $600/square foot. If I moved to the OP's area and saw this house, which IMO is a screaming deal, I'd turn around and leave. It is obviously a well maintained, tended home that seems to have a good flor plan and lots and lots (and lots) of space. The thought of dealing with all that oak would put me off in a heart beat. I can't imagine I'm the only one. Bite he bullet and paint pain paint some or all, of hat oak!
  • Elaine Doremus Resumes Written
    4 years ago

    Paint the kitchen cabinets a creamy off-white by a professional. Get referrals from trusted neighbors, friends, etc.

  • btydrvn
    4 years ago
    Try painting the bottom cabinets and window trim a more modern pale gray ...reduces the floor to ceiling oak feel...
  • btydrvn
    4 years ago
    Maybe the island too
  • btydrvn
    4 years ago
    Gray will tie in with the stainless steel and the counters and backsplash as well..lots of impact without overdoing the paint
  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    Elizabeth, I agree. Way too much oak, its overwhelming. While a family room with oak trim would be OK, its the whole house, floor to ceiling covered in stained oak. You can't even escape it going to the bathroom because its also covered in oak.
  • blahnik1
    4 years ago
    I agree. It's too much oak. Oak floors are beautiful, I just picked light colour d wide plank oak floors for my new build. However, too much oak in a home looks dated. I'd paint cabinets ( in order of preference) white, a light warm grey, or navy.

    Also, either take out the area rug from the dining table, or get a larger one. These are just suggestions.
  • blahnik1
    4 years ago
    I also think that the oak trim around the windows is way too much oak. Keep the light oak floors, paint over the rest of the oak. Maybe change the hardware on the cabinets (but you might not need yo if you paint the cabinets.).
  • shirlpp
    4 years ago

    And....more oak with the table and chairs.

  • truey
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Is the cost of painting less than the amount you would have to slash the price to actually sell it? If so, then do it

    buyers are probably walking into the house and just seeing one huge major project in the kitchen. They are probably thinking of how much it would be to gut the whole thing and redo it. Or even just to deface it. Because the kitchen is so big, that's a big price tag

    and no one is going to be fooled by a couple of bright rugs, etc

    just paint

  • Stacey
    4 years ago
    Beautiful kitchen. Paint the cupboards a cream. Add some colored glass lights to counter. New updated dining light and the oak table and rug is not helping. Large round rug with painted table and upholstered chairs (stagers).
  • beans92265
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    Trudy and Stacy, thank you for the kind suggestions. I realize the house is dated, no doubt.... but I thought maybe painting the cabinets gives a potential buyer an idea of what could be done. Price to have that done is less than my "lowest offer I'd take" so I'll go this route and save the price lowering in my back pocket. I'm the lowest price in my size house for the area right now, by at least $50,000-$75,000 if not more
  • shirlpp
    4 years ago

    Also, consider painting the trim around the windows and doors. This along with the cabinets will really update your home......Best Wishes.

  • kay
    4 years ago
    I think I would start with the baseboard, crown, and stair spindles. Leave the doors and hopefully the windows. See where that gets you and then add painting the kitchen uppers?

    I think the vast amount trim is a greater problem than the kitchen. Also - if you are that much less than the other homes near you - maybe you can paint the trim and up the price?

    What is the cost of painting trim vs the kitchen?
  • truey
    4 years ago

    In Chicago it is very common to have wood trim. Usually darker than that but wood trim is in lots of the older houses.

    But with the cabinets it's just too much. So paint the cabinets a nice soft white see. I mean, nothing else is working and you have had PLENTY of feedback to paint.


  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    Beans, please do not despair. I truly would enlist a decorator to help with color selection and often they have trades people that can help. I just de-oaked my house so I know how much work you are looking at. I would talk to your Realtor about pulling the house off the market for the month it will take to get the work done and then put it back on the market as new and improved. You really have a nice home in a gorgeous setting. Figure out where you will get the most bang for your buck - by including your Real Estate professional in your discussions. You have gotten some good advice so sort through the ideas & get your game plan going. Consider also staging the front with annuals after all the work is finished inside. Remember, selling it about appealing to the largest segment of the market not how you live - so don't take the comments personally - we all want to help you get the house sold. Selling a home is a lot of stress!
  • resist9
    4 years ago

    White cabinets are very trendy now and some buyers seem fixated on this. Pick out an off-white shade that matches the lightest cream color in your countertops and paint the kitchen cabinets in that color.

  • blahnik1
    4 years ago

    Your house is quite nice, it just needs some de-oaking. Light oak floors are really in now (making a big come back). White kitchens with oak floors are a great combo (and trendy). Maybe simply white (Benjamin Moore). I like oxford white, but it would be too cold for your kitchen I think. Colours on a screen hard hard to get exact. Bring some chips home and pick the lightest one that matches your counter. Once again, I'd start with painting uppers at least. If it's still too much, lowers. It still too much, trim. The home will look more 'updated farmhouse' with a warm white or light warm grey kitchen (I prefer white). The home will look very fresh.

    To to get an idea, search ' white oak floors and white kitchen' here on houzz. You will see how stunning and fresh the combo looks. Many of the kitchens also have darker island cabs.

  • beans92265
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    BeverlyFLA, may I ask how you found my listing? Just curious. Thanks
  • truey
    4 years ago

    She probably did a reverse image search on the pictures.


    but Beverly, you shouldn't post people's addresses on the internet! It's a huge invasion of privacy!!! You should delete it now.

  • shirlpp
    4 years ago

    To tell you the truth, I did not pay it any attention until the poster referenced it an hour ago.

  • truey
    4 years ago

    It's super unethical!

  • functionthenlook
    4 years ago

    There are 2 things that keeps a house from selling. Location, and/or price. Over a year is way to long for a house to be on the market. The longer the house sits the more people think something is wrong with the house. You say the house is outdated, but 50-75 K lower to comparable homes. Apparently people are seeing it is going to take more that that to update the house. Plus their time and inconvenience. Maybe you location isn't ideal. If your across the street from the golf club is the traffic heavy going to and from the club? It it noisy? Either take it off the market for 6 months and do the updates, or lower your price. I don't think you are going to fool people with just some paint on cabinets if there is other updates that needs to be done. Buyers are very savvy and at that price point want move in ready. Look at the compatibles, how are they updated compared to your house .

  • gtcircus
    4 years ago
    I suspect TinEye, reverse photo search. In today's world, most information is available in less than one click.
  • beans92265
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    UPDATE: went with Navajo White for the cabinets..... much better! Painted/ stained the table as well, all together it cuts down on the "Oaky" look and was a fun project to do. Now to re-list it....


  • izeve
    3 years ago

    That looks fabulous!

    beans92265 thanked izeve
  • OldGrayMare
    3 years ago
    The change is amazing, Beans! If you still get no movement on sale, time to get those paintbrushes out and paint the trim! I’m not a professional, by any stretch of the imagination, but as a buyer, I would see “OMG, look at the huge project I’m going to have to undertake” (read that as “mess” & “inconvenience”) when I saw a house so full of Oak....no matter WHAT the price was. Fingers crossed you get more interest, and a quick sale!
    beans92265 thanked OldGrayMare
  • PRO
    Michael Curulla for Ethan Allen of Canton
    3 years ago

    paint the cabinets black with satin nickel hardware. paint the island a shade of grey :)

  • shirlpp
    3 years ago

    Ummmm.....Michael Curulia - They are painted!!

  • Jennifer Bortz
    last year

    I suggest you taking that granite countertop off and putting a large vein granite countertop perhaps white with grey would be great I would definitely paint the cabinets a gray a medium Gray.

  • Abby Mac
    last year

    Looks like an old post, Jennifer. I did read through the comments and love the way the cabinets turned out. Hope the house sold at a good price.

    beans92265 thanked Abby Mac
  • Shannon Berg
    last year

    I would paint a navy would look great on those cabinets.

  • shirlpp
    last year

    OLD POST!............The cabinets were painted!

  • Abby Mac
    last year

    WOW! That is fantastic, thank you for sharing that! You are so correct. And what goes around comes around. I just sold a house that had "orangish" but beautiful maple cabinets. People saw the bones over the color. While I can only imagine your frustration for all that time, it sure ended up being worth your while to be patient!

  • beans92265
    Original Author
    last year

    THANK YOU Abby! As my father always told me "Theres an A#$ for every seat" hahahaha.

  • Sharon Harrah-Hale
    8 months ago

    I love the house. If I bought it I would do so with the idea of creating my own palette Leave it alone, someone will make it theirs...

  • KAREN KIRCH
    6 months ago

    I just bought a house, under construction because I couldn't find anything in my price range without those horrid white kitchen cabinets! The person that appreciates organic textures will appreciate your house. Painting wood, brick and stone is just sad.

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