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kitchen cabinet dilemma

Yash B
2 years ago
selling our house and have gotten a lot of negative feedback about the cabinets. they're in really good shape but the color is kind of that oak/maple look so it makes them look outdated.

thoughts about painting them a certain color versus staining them an espresso color? we're redoing the floors with wood look porcelain tile (light to medium gray/brown color). also, what about just leaving them as is? Thanks!
paint them white
paint them gray
stain dark brown
leave as is
paint a different color

Comments (24)

  • functionthenlook
    2 years ago

    I personally like the color of the cabinets. It is not cheap to have cabinets painted. I would leave them as is. You would not get the money out of painting them. It's the layout of the kitchen that bothers me not the cabinets. Just price the house for the market and let the new buyers revamp the kitchen.

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  • kazmom
    2 years ago

    I agree with the others. I think the cabinets look fine and the kitchen looks a lot better than many we saw when we were buying. I also agree that the layout is less than ideal, which won’t change by painting the cabinets.

  • Helen
    2 years ago

    I doubt painting the kitchen cabinets is going to make much of a difference since the same people who are kvetching about the wood stain probably also don't like the gray carpet or the large white tiles.


    Personally I prefer wood to painted cabinets done onsite and aesthetically would have choices with the spotted brown granite; gray carpet and large white tiles which seem be in a relatively large area including the dining room.


    Your kitchen is what it is and unless a realtor (or several) advises that it would raise sales price by at least double what it would cost, I personally would just price accordingly. I would rather not know I am paying for someone else's mediocre fixes - or in the case really coverups.

  • cleo07
    2 years ago

    I would recommend not doing the floor in that trendy gray brown color if you are keeping the cabinets as is.

    Your cabinets look to be in great shape and the floor will clash with the cabinets as is. Honestly, do nothing but offer the amount you are spending as a floor allowance and let the buyer pick their own choices. That way, they can move in and do what they want.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 years ago

    The listing shows the entire interior has been painted in a light cool gray that contrasts with the warm colors of the kitchen cabinets and some bathroom cabinets. It also contrasts with the entire warm beige exterior palette. That's why it's jarring- people don't expect a half-done color change. Lower the price again or consult a really good color consultant to give the house a cohesive, move-in ready look. New wood look flooring would be a taste-specific change that may not be appreciated in your market as much as a price reduction or flooring allowance.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    It’s not the cabinets and bad layout. It’s not the clashing paint. It is that you are overpriced for the cabinets and paint and bad layout. The next owner will want to do their own remodel. You’ll spend more for questionably appealing changes than you will just reducing the price.

  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    Frankly if you painted the cabinets, I'd be less likely to buy because then I'd figure I had to replace the cabinets sooner rather than later.

    If you replace the floor with wood look tile, or keep what is there, I will in my mind discount the house to figure in the cost of what it would take to put in real wood floors since I can't stand standing on tile.

    HGTV is not reality. It's fake tv so don't use them as a guide. The best thing you can do is make sure everything is clean, and that there are no cracks, broken things or burnt out lights. Make sure windows are spotless, etc.

    If it were me, I might consider spending a bit of the money for staging. At least for the pictures.

  • Jane
    2 years ago

    Spend the money on professional staging and pics... it's so dated anyone new will gut it. Plus the grays are clashing with the warm browns....

  • pricklypearcactus
    2 years ago

    "we're redoing the floors with wood look porcelain tile (light to medium gray/brown color)"

    I'm concerned that a wood look porcelain tile in a medium gray / brown color is going to look horrible with stained cabinetry. Why are you re-doing the floor in a wood look tile?

    Honestly I think your kitchen cabinets are quite nice. But then, I like stained cabinetry. I think they do look a bit splotchy / poorly stained in the first picture. But they look nice in the second. Did you have them professionally photographed for the listing? The biggest issue that would bother me in that kitchen is the lack of hardware.

  • chocolatebunny123
    2 years ago

    I'm surprised you're getting so much negative feedback on the cabinets. I have a similar color and I think they look nice. I'd rather see you put the money toward stainless appliances than a new floor or painting the cabinets, which unless you spend $$$$ won't look great. My kitchen originally had white appliances too and it made a world of difference when we switched them out for stainless.

  • dan1888
    2 years ago

    Paint for the walls is the least expensive upgrade. So even though it's new, the color should go with what you have. Repaint in a warm color.

  • drsaj
    2 years ago
    In my opinion, simply staging the kitchen properly with some furniture and accessories is all that is needed.
  • Yash B
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    the frustrating thing is the color we painted the walls is Versatile Gray by Sherwin Williams. in real life it is way more warm than the photos suggest (we also have it in our current house and our entire home is warm). I think the real estate photos were overedited to be honest and the color comes across way cooler.
  • ci_lantro
    2 years ago

    The cabinets need some hardware. I'd buy some hardware and ditch all that gray paint. Paint all the walls white or some version of just off-white. Leave the floors alone because a gray-brown wood look tile is going to be a big expensive mistake.

    Or drop the price.

  • Chris S
    2 years ago
    I agree you should spend the money on appliances. I don’t like wood cabinets often but I think they’re fine. Maybe also add some cabinet hardware to break up the really long wall of cabinets.
  • stumpydarby
    2 years ago

    Don’t spend money on the cabinets. Not worth it. Just be prepared for a lower bid because of the layout … and the fact that most buyers will want to redo everything.

  • Sarah
    2 years ago
    Honestly the cabinets look fine. I would change out that hanging light fixture, however. Something a bit more broadly appealing, transitional style, & currently trending that keeps the open airy feel like an oversized open lantern pendant or simple clear glass.
  • artistsharonva
    2 years ago

    Are you getting negative feedback from potential buyers who came into the house?

    If you did not have a lot of foot traffic, it's probably overpriced & or not fully marketed.

    Make sure it's on the MLS & 3% is offered to buyer agents or the buyer agents will pass it by.

  • Yash B
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    thanks for all the feedback! will leave the cabinets and add hardware. also will change that light fixture. I'll try for stainless steel appliances and change the kitchen faucet to a non white. also we will stage the home.

    what color hardware would you recommend?
  • ci_lantro
    2 years ago

    Stainless steel/ brushed nickel/ silvery metal. I would use those stainless steel bar pulls that you can get very reasonably from eBay. +/- $100.

    Silvery metal for the light fixture, too.

    Didn't notice the white faucet before so, good idea to change it. Chrome. Delta. (I'd get the Delta classic < $100.) Stainless steel, single bowl sink while you're at it.

    I would not replace the appliances ($5K!) unless I found a great deal on Craigslist where someone is remodeling and selling the old. A lot of people hate side by sides, anyway, so I'd just leave that for the new owners to choose whether to keep or replace.


  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    what color hardware would you recommend?

    Brushed stainless. As ci_lantro suggested you can get them in hug packs from eBay or Amazon or just head to Lowes. When I was staging my condo I found pulls for around $2 each at Lowes.

    You don't need to replace the appliances.

    Yes change out the light fixture. You can find one for under $100 at the big box stores.

    Your wall color looks fine in the pictures.

    Really other than handles and the light fixture, all that is needed is staging so people can imagine themselves and their furniture in the place.

  • PRO
    MarkJames & Co
    2 years ago

    Are you getting push back from buyers or brokers? Remember brokers primary interest is getting potentials to meet them and sell them a house, not necessarily your house.

    I would not paint the cabinets either. Lot of good alternatives suggested here- hardware, staging, change the faucet.

    I'd paint the walls-BM whisper violet- reads as white (I don't like purple either but this works-I have it in my living room, used the next shade up (Violet Pearl) in two showrooms) the subtle complimentary contrast makes wood colors sing.

    Get some 1/4" hardy backer or masonite and add a temporary tiled backsplash- one that does not require messing up the wall to change, add hardware as suggested, put a few good looking things back on the counter along with a cutting board or basket with something appetizing. Get better photos. If you don't already have undercabint lighting might consider that but likely not worth the expense to do well, so just add some battery operated LED UC lights to take some night time photos.

    If the potential buyers are in a price range where they are likely to redo the kitchen you can sometimes get someone to do a redesign and renderings. I've done this on a few occasions for higher end homes for a couple of brokers I know and I know of one person who does virtual staging. Be careful with that though, for most of the world (non TKO) they won't notice the layout issues so don't scratch stuff that doesn't itch. We're selling next year and recently had a highly recommended broker over to look. She didn't notice anything about the kitchen layout/conveniences, OR the Wolf Range & Sub-Zero Fridge-go figure.

  • housegal200
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Stage it to pull the eye forward, break up that wall of cabinets, and help potential buyers envision themselves using the kitchen.

    --The pendant is just hanging in the air. It needs a dining table and chairs under it! Paint hack a big round wood table off Craigslist with maple legs or top and four maple chairs or white tabletop with maple legs just to echo the cabinets but not focus on them.

    --Put a couple low maple stools at the counter.

    --Go to a thrift shop and get some vintage white pitchers, bowls, and vases to arrange with fruit and flowers on the counterops.

    --Lean an antique white patterned vintage tray behind the sink and set a light and dark maple cutting board against the backsplash. .

    --Get a vintage white tabletop lamp and new white shade to light up an area of countertop.

    --Set up a coffee station in one of those open spaces with antique white cups.

    --Put a couple colorful enamal le Crueset style pots on the stovetop.

    --Add a large area rug in grays, reddish, and white pattern. This is an indoor- outdoor.

    Hermosa Indoor and Outdoor Cross Panel Gray and Gold Rug, 5'3"x7'6" · More Info

    --You could possibly change out a couple cabinet doors for glass ones, but probably not worth bothering.

    Daniels Design Kitchens · More Info

    The main thing is to help people envision themselves in the kitchen even if they want to gut it.