advice needed! Color for kitchen cabinets

Dianne P
July 18, 2019

Need some advice—-
We have limited budget for a full kitchen remodel (likely will do something in the next 5 years) so I was hoping to paint the cabinets to lighten up the kitchen a bit. Is white the only color that could work? Anything other shades that could make the kitchen feel a bit brighter? Also was thinking about taking out the cabinets on the right of the stove. Thanks for the feedback

Comments (14)

  • bailey82

    There is a photo on Houzz of SW Waterscape on kitchen cabinets that is beautiful.

  • njay

    You don't have that much storage so taking out the upper cabinets to the right of the stove seems questionable to me. Also, if you were to do that, I think your kitchen would seem unbalanced. I'd encourage you to leave all your cabinets in place.

  • St561 W

    i had similar cabinet and granite colors as yours and had the cabinets painted in BM Moonlight White. It's off white and warm. It went very nicely with the granite. Also look at BM Swiss Coffee. I think either of these colors will tie in with your eat in area nicely. good luck. BTW i had my cabinets professionally painted.

  • jck910

    Painting cabinets can be expensive. You really wouldn't want white with the countertops. Is there any way to remove the backsplash behind the stove & along the sink counter? That's a lot of dark that could be lightened by painting that area. If lightening the kitchen is the only goal I would save for the renovation

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    If you're doing a remodel in the next 5 years I wouldn't bother painting the cabinets now. If you DIY it will be a LOT of work, and if you go professional its almost as much as new cabinets. I'd live with it for now if possible. Try adding more light to the space to brighten it up. And I wouldn't remove any storage from the space.

  • Paula A

    5 years is a long time to live with a kitchen you're not happy with. There aren't that many cabinets so I'd probably DIY paint - which I assume you planned since you mentioned budget. Keep in mind, it's a HUGE job & will not look perfect even if you follow all the steps. I did my bathroom cabinets last year & it nearly broke my back - but was so worth it. Over time you'll get chips, but if this is getting a gut reno a few years down the line, who cares?? Keep paint on hand for occasional touch-ups. I wonder if you could put some inexpensive faux back-splash behind the stove. There's a lot of busy granite back there. As for the color, I'd pull a color from your granite & go a few shades lighter.

  • Dianne P

    Thanks everyone! We’re first time home owners so definitely out of my element here. Thanks for the feedback that painting the cabinets (especially if DIY) could be a huge effort. In terms of trying to lighten the space by changing the backsplash...it’s the same granite that’s the countertops. What should I try as a short term fix before kitchen remodel? Wallpaper over? White color?

  • Paula A

    Re: your backsplash.... a lady in neighborhood has a gorgeous ($$$) home, her kitchen has been featured in Boston Magazine, Real Simple, etc. She posts pics of her kitchen often & recently confessed the white subway tile backsplash is actually peel-and-stick tile. They used it b/c they ran out of funds & momentum on their reno. Fast forward 6 years, they're finally getting around to replacing it. I haven't seen it in person, but it looks great in photos.

  • motupeg

    Under cabinet lighting would make a great improvement and let your granite show it’s pretty stone. Are the cabs in good shape? Why not lighten them by sanding and and adding a clear varnish? If we can find Beth she could tell you if that is feasible and how.

  • Paula A

    I found a pic of the peel/stick backsplash... I might even use it at my house, as my tile backsplash is getting a bit dated looking.

  • eld6161

    I would leave the wood. Yes to figuring out a lighter BS. What would be terrific is if you find something that can be painted.

    You can't slap on as white BS, you need to pull the lightest color from the granite.

    I agree that five years is a long time to wait so why not try a small update?

  • cawaps

    Your granite looks like Baltic Brown. If you don't want white, it should pair well with warm neutrals, yellow-greens, and peaches. Avoid cool grays because they won't flatter the stone.

  • designmj

    I also agree that five years is a long time to wait. About 15 yrs ago, I bought a home that had not been updated since 1975 and a remodel was not in the budget. I painted the cabinets, painted over a solid surface back splash, installed a peel-and-stick vinyl floor tile and changed the cabinet hardware. I did the work by myself and it took about a week and cost about $600, the bulk of that was for the floor tiles. I did one coat of primer and 2 coats of paint on the cabinets. I don't recall sanding... The results did not bring the tears of joy we see on HGTV, but it was a vast improvement and helped make the place more livable until we were able to remodel five years later.

  • tedbixby

    If you are serious about painting them, do the research so that you understand what is involved and the time. And then triple the time you think you are going to spend doing it. If you paint them go with a warm white or a cream since your countertop and backsplash are warm toned. The other thing is that it looks like the upper cabinets are different than the lower ones. Because of two different woods and current finishes I don't know if that would be a potential issue for refinishing them. If you decide to pursue this, I would take a cabinet front from the lower and upper and take it to a reputable paint store (not a big box) and talk to them about it. If you don't want to go that route, I'd look into putting some under cabinet lighting in as even if you put peel and stick backsplash up, I think you are still going to feel the kitchen is dark. How is the overhead lighting? I see one ceiling light between the dining and kitchen. Is that it?

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