jennifer_freeman8900

Stuck with off-white appliances

J Freeman
last month

Doing some quick kitchen updates. The photo looks much better than reality—the cream cabinets look so dated and dingy.

We plan to list the house within the year, so I’m less worried about my personal style than what will appeal to a buyer.

Replacing the off-white appliances is not an option, but I’d love some paint color ideas.

Comments (69)

  • Celadon
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The kitchen is a gut to the next owner, but the yellowing older appliances make it look tireder and more desperate for a now renovation than it has to. Clean and declutter. Then replace the fridge and DW for sure. Those are standard sizes. The broken trash compactor, white, wall oven and black cooktop are standard available sizes too, but are less critical to change. The whole oven stack is badly designed with the MW mounted way too high. But it can be ignored for now. It’s not the focal point. Everyone with a trash compactor has a broken one, so maybe retrofit it to house a pull out trash, since you have 2 trash cans in the kitchen. Which is a big no no. Change the black under cabinet vent hood. That’s cheap and easy, and is a point of fresh cleanliness.

    The fridge is badly located in the design, so creates itself as a focal point, where it shouldn’t be. It’s shouting about how dowdy the whole is because all you see is the yellowing plastic and antique side by side configuration.

    Your goal isn’t to make the kitchen look remodeled. Its to remove the too tired appearance. That’s a psychological buyer thing. Make it look like an older space that needs a remodel, but that can wait on the remodel. Because if it looks like it needs an immediate gut, That's a price deduction on offers.

  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    Please post a close up of a cabinet door or drawer along with a sheet of white paper to help the camera color balance.


    Are you looking for a wall color or a cabinet color or both?

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  • wiscokid
    last month

    @M Miller - I think that’s a trash compactor next to the fridge and there’s a DW to the left of the sink? I would replace the appliances if you want a quick sale. Even if they’re not fancy. Hit a Black Friday sale and do a package. And yes, declutter.

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    I’m perfectly aware that it needs a total gut and needs to be decluttered before listing, but thank you all for pointing out the obvious. ;) The rest of the house has been updated, but we’d never recoup money for a kitchen remodel with the current neighborhood comps. Thus, my original inquiry for a quick fix. Thank you M Miller, Kathy Furt, Celadon and Patrica Colwell for the practical advice. Celadon, a wine fridge is on the way to replace the old trash compactor—and one of the trash cans is for recycling (but will be moved to the garage once it goes on the market).

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    Apple_pie_order, here is a shot against white. I’m honestly just looking to make it look a bit less dated within the confines explained above.

  • Kathy Furt
    last month

    Benjamin Moore white dove is a great color

  • ram123
    last month

    Seems you were asking about paint color, we painted my sons kitchen a medium tan, not beige, before he sold. It made his cabinets look so much better because of the contrast. Might be worth a try?

  • JuneKnow
    last month

    Spending 7-9K to professionally paint the cabinets is far more of a zero sum change than spending that on the appliances. Join the kitchen Cabinet Painting Experts group on Facebook if you think you want to tackle that yourself. It’s WAY more work to do it than you think.

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    JuneKnow, I have done it myself in another houses and it turned out well. I truly can’t spend anything else on this house. We are up on a hill and there was a rock slide not long after we moved in. Several houses across the street had to be torn down. My side of the street is stable, but you can imagine what the ordeal has done to resale values. I’ll be lucky to get what we paid 7 years ago — and I don’t even want to talk about what all we’ve updated since then.

  • Kathy Furt
    last month

    Oh man what a bummer! What state ??

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    Arkansas of all places

  • JuneKnow
    last month

    AR is one of the states that the fridges go with the seller. You can have the best of all worlds here if you buy a new one. You get to keep it, but it spiffs up the kitchen in the meantime. And if the buyer decides they must have it, it’s $1500. Cheap price to seal the deal.

  • suezbell
    last month

    Would not spend the money to replace working appliances only to move them in a year or so. Consider painting the bottom cabinets a darker color such as a muted blue or green for your color change.


    https://bella-tucker.com/2018/01/blue-white-two-toned-kitchen-cabinets/

  • Kathy Furt
    last month

    Well I’m in CA and we had fires for months!!!! It was awful, could not breathe at all outside

  • btydrvn
    last month

    The fridge is the biggest offender..even removing it would be better when ready to sell..leave it in the garage (offer it to the buyer to use if they want)but the most obvious improvement to me would be to add doors to the open cabinets near the dining area..two long doors to top sections...two to bottom sections...turn them into useful storage as opposed to way too much display shelving...if the cabinets are dingy ...look for an easy faux finish that makes it look more intentional...eg..french country

  • btydrvn
    last month

    We have pantry cabs like this...best storage ever...our doors are painted decoratively...you could paint yours a different color to keep it simple

  • btydrvn
    last month

    A peek at inside storage

  • Sue54321
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You are not selling the buyers on the kitchen.

    You are selling the buyers on a sense of space inside the existing kitchen so they can visualize tearing it all out and all their new cabinetry and appliances fitting with room to spare.

    I agree with the others re just declutter and clean. Spend the money on a POD and load it up and have it stored off site.


  • btydrvn
    last month

    All you asked was paint color options...sooo ...you didnt say what you wanted to paint...?

  • btydrvn
    last month

    I will say any message to the buyer that says this kitchen “ needs to be gutted “ will translate to “ a reduction in price is needed”...if your location is also a challenge...you may have to raise the selling price to allow for inevitable reduced offers...not spending or improving anything may be the way to go... as your potential buyer may be mostly focused on price...

  • felizlady
    last month

    Most likely, the buyer will have her own ideas about what she wants in her kitchen. Just keep it neat and clean for showings. Yes, the MW is too high...no big deal to move it.

  • Kathy Furt
    last month

    Although in this hood I doubt many potential buyers are going in with “can’t wait to pick out my slabs”...don’t start high and lower your price. Although this is Bay Area of California where houses fly off the shelf

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    A POD? Dear lord, y’all are acting like I’m a hoarder. This is a photo of a working kitchen. The house is not on the market, so forgive me for having a blender on the counter.

  • Sue54321
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Go to Redfin and look at the real estate listings. If you were a buyer, which houses would you click through on and go visit? Chances are those are the ones that look bigger. And the look bigger ones are missing a lot of things people actually have (ex. kitchen counters devoid of coffee machines, living rooms with no side tables, bedrooms with no kleenex or garbage cans, bathroom without towels). All that stuff has to go somewhere which is where the POD comes in to take away half the clothes and half the kitchen stuff and any not essential furniture so there's room in the closet to stash the garbage cans and kleenex and towels for open house, LOL. The whole real estate industry has upped the house photo game, so gotta do the same to get the clicks and the buyers coming through to visit.

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    I guess I’m just thrown off because my question was about paint colors and I’m getting mostly HGTV 101 responses about clutter—and my house isn’t even on the market!

  • Sue54321
    last month
    last modified: last month

    If the kitchen isn't good, repainting it isn't going to help much. Except a little camoflage touch up paint for the really bad spots (ex. bare wood where a sliver broke off the cabinet door). Mine was one where the fake wood laminate was starting to flake off at the edges of the doors and all I did was use touchup felt markers to make the exposed MDF closer in color to the laminate than a bright light MDF eyesore. Did the same for the scratches in the laminate flooring. Bathrooms were worse, original fifty year old stained formica counter tops (used touch up paint to obscure the worst of it) and particle board cabinets (touch up paint). If you have a NIX color sensor, it can match the paint color on flat surfaces super closely so you only have to touch up spots on the walls and not repaint the whole wall and the fix is invisible. I had one and not having to buy so much more paint, let alone actually do all the painting, paid off the $99 for the Nix sensor super quickly. Probably doesn't work so well on white kitchen cabinets though, those are tough to paint well.

  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    Thanks for the cabinet and paper photo. Since you have painted cabinets successfully already, I suggest three options.


    1. Match a new soft white paint to the fridge and stove. The point here is to avoid making the fridge and other white appliances look old by avoiding contrast with too-bright white paint. Use the same color on the walls and the trim. Scrub the fridge and other appliances before picking a good match. Perfect matches aren't necessary or possible.


    2. Use a fashionable medium blue paint on the cabinets and soft white on the walls. The blue will go with the red-orange-brown flooring.


    3. Do nothing but clean and shine. You'll have to wash the cabinets before painting anyway, so see if they look miraculously good enough.



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  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    Please post an update when you are ready.

  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
    last month

    Sorry for all the confusion!

    But I still don't know what I'm supposed to be looking at.

    What exactly do you want to paint?

    You mention "appeal to a buyer" in your post.

    Are you painting a backsplash? Cabinets? (not "quick" as you said you wanted "quick" in your post)

    We're all here to help and understand the concept of a "working kitchen" and "appeal to a buyer" and what is and isn't "quick."

    Help us help you, make the most $$ you can from your house and move forward.

  • btydrvn
    last month

    I agree...most of your responses are defensive...even offensive. ...rather than informative...

  • Suzanne Peacock
    last month

    Hi,
    The best way to disguise something is to paint the surroundings the same colour. I agree with apple_pie_order’s three suggestions given earlier today, as well. I have attached a few pictures for added inspiration.
    Follow up with natural accents of wood cutting boards and woven baskets in similar tones of the counters and flooring. Try a great big basket on top of the fridge.
    Please let us know how your updates turn out. Have fun with it if you can.

  • felizlady
    last month

    If you paint the cabinets a color (other than any form of white or cream), the not-quite-white appliances may look better. If you are experienced painters and do it yourself, you may even save enough money to replace the appliances.

  • aprilneverends
    last month
    last modified: last month

    How old are appliances, and how well do they work?

    I ask because as a buyer I might be happier to see something old and well working. I care less about its color. I just know they often made things better. Before.

    The fridge doesn't stand it a particularly conveniet place, agree, and I'd rather it be counter depth.

    Buyers might see it as a gut-or they might be "ok I can live for 5 more years with this kitchen easily"

    OP, you. probably know best about what pool of buyers you deal with. Or you can consult local realtors. Some might give good advice.

    Of course if the appliances are very very old--nothing works forever. Then it's a different story.

    (wow. if the fridge goes with the seller. I'd buy SMEG in some cool color-and then take it with me. okay that was a joke and I don't have money for SMEG-but that's what I'd want to do. )

    Soo. I personally wouldn't change anything but prep for sale-clean, declutter, all the jazz,

    If you'd rather paint..

    One can refresh same paint, as already was said.

    But if you're really want to paint a different color, and not leave this to a future buyer who might have their own ideas-greens and blues are very popular right now. Should be though warm enough green or blue. And it might be buyers rather see cream than a color. Even though some colors are really neutrals or feel neutral to us because of how common they are in nature. And it's a small space so I'd go for light shade. Sage green?

    One never knows, I once felt in love with a place that had a yellow kitchen. I was in love with lhat kitchen. The rest didn't work for my family(well location was great, or else I wouldn't check the place out) but I couldn't forget the kitchen. It was cute as a button and mushroomy shade of yellow. I was really considering it, because of location and kitchen.

  • SashaDog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    If you’re looking at DIYing the cabinet color, I like taupe with white appliances. I realize I’m in the minority, but I don’t like stainless appliances



    But you may also want to paint the walls instead, the walls look whiter than the cabinets which make them look creamier.


    Heres an article with tips for decorating around white appliances


    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/kitchen-ideas-decorating-with-white-appliances-painted-cabinets/?utm_term=white+kitchen&utm_campaign=5518589272

  • aprilneverends
    last month

    oh. To understand better-the bookcase in the dining stays the same color it is now, right?

  • Steph
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My suggestion would be to talk with your realtor. They most likely have the best read on what buyers in that area want. If they are good they will only give you suggestions that’s relatively cheap or free to do. If I were you, either match the white appliances and paint cabinets the same, or a light grey which I’m starting detest but buyers like it still.

  • Steph
    last month

    I know you said you have diy painted cabinets before, just make sure you do a quality job because buyers will notice. I’ve seen lots of bad diy painted cabinets on homes on the market and friends home, and they thought it looked good. In reality you can tell the difference in finish and detail.

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for all the photos! While not my thing, that farmhouse-esque two-toned look is pretty hot in this market. I thought painting the tiny island an accent color might be a nice distraction. There isn’t a definite upper/lower on the wall with the oven (the far left tall cabinet is the pantry), so I’m not sure how I’d manage doing all the lowers in a separate color. Answers/comments to other questions:
    • The fridge doesn’t always convey in the sale, but it’s the norm. I’d hate to risk buying something to take with without knowing if it would fit in the next space (but, yes, hello Smeg!).
    •These appliances are pretty old and came with the house when we bought it 7 years ago, but they still work well.
    •I had a big reno planned that addressed much of the comments above, but it’s just not feasible now with the current comps (see post about resale $).
    •I’m also growing tired of grey (every other room in my house is grey), but this is Arkansas and it just seems to have caught on. Lol
    •I used to take photos for architects, home magazines and higher end realtors, so I’m pretty good at staging/styling for others...I’m just stuck between what I would like vs what other people in this price point will like vs my budget.
    •The bookcase is built-in. I assume I’d paint it along with the cabinets, but I hadn’t really thought that far.
    •Not defensive, just surprised.

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    Ugh, why don’t paragraph returns work?? Anyway... There is also no definitive end to where a backsplash would go, which has also been a mental roadblock for me. The cabinets stop short of the frame and the drywall goes above the door frame and into another built-in piece.

  • PRO
    ProSource Memphis
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The clash between the cream of the cabinets and white of the fridge, plus it’s location, put the fridge front and center. No painting of the cabinets will remove it’s position. It is going to always be the first thing you see when looking at the kitchen.

    In design, a focal point makes or breaks a room. In fact, creating a well put together focal point is often a visual trick to remove focus from a room that might otherwise needs a revamp. Like adding a faux fireplace or great headboard. The fridge is your faux fireplace, due to its size and position in the design.

    It’s hurtingyou way more than painting the cabinets any color will help you. In fact, unless the cabinets are painted to a professional level quality, with a professional cabinet paint, painting the cabinets would bring the whole down too.

    Distract the eye with a newer and better focal point. Then add under cabinet lighting and call it good. That can be battery operated LED pucks if you’re not comfortable with wiring. But that light and warmth on your work surface is another trick of the trade to create an emotional response to a space.

  • aprilneverends
    last month
    last modified: last month

    -thank you for answering. It's just if the bookcase stays cream-it limits what color you paint cabinets. Gray'd have to be very warm, .so warm it'd be greige/taupe. And even then I'm not sure it'd be warm enough. If you're repainting everything though-different story.

    -yes I think wall paint might make cabinets look creamier, Reads a bit bluesh on my monitor. Brings out warmth of the cream more. I'd say "paint the walls"..but one needs to know what other walls are. Kitchen is a part of a whole after all.

    -agree about uppers and lowers, big consideration when one decides whether going two tone.

    Thought about just an island too..well I'm not sure. Need to think. My instinct though-leave everything one color.

    -why also backsplash, I'm confused. Maybe I missed reading that you wanted to install a new one?

    In any case, you already have a backsplash. Frankly it's lot of work to redo so much stuff for people you never met yet. And that might not appreciate it. And you'll have to remove the existent backsplash..just too much work.

    Unless. You're not completely sure how long it will take to list. And you want to enjoy the kitchen a bit youself.

    -great view out back from what I can see, love the porch.

    -and what would you like to do if it was for you? Maybe that's the right way to go. Who knows. Maybe others would like what you'd do if it was for you. I mean things that are in the current budget of course.

  • btydrvn
    last month

    Your close- ups strongly suggest fixer-upper status of the home...and your reluctance to spend seems sound...plus with your added info on the area ...this all leads to ...most buyers are going to want a bargain....you may have to accept that no profit...even a loss..may be unavoidable...this is how we learn our hardest but never forgotten lessons...follow your instincts...keep your purse strings tight...super clean will imply good maintenance while not costing a thing...

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks, April! What I would want would require moving the gas connection, knocking out some walls, new appliances, flooring, countertops...I’m more of a white kitchen person which I fear would make the appliances look more drab. So maybe a brighter off-white that isn’t so yellow.

    I’m not a taupe or “greige” kind of gal, but someone posted a photo above that looked nice if I could figure out how to make it work on that oven wall.

    Someone had asked about a backsplash so that was just in response to that question. What is there now is just wallpaper that has been painted over (I know, I know). And that color is a pale grey that skews blue, so you’re probably right about that not helping.

    As for the rest of the home, it is not a fixer upper. New bamboo flooring, renovated master/bath with glass shower, Elfa closets, great floor plan, great yard and 2-story deck, etc. So I just want to make the kitchen look less like an eyesore. Like someone said above, livable until the next person is ready to reno.

  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    If you are thinking of repainting the whole gray interior, here are Benjamin Moore's most popular off whites and colors. https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/color-overview/color-palettes/most-popular-colors


  • Steph
    last month

    My suggestion before you start painting is to check if the color you choose works with the current wall color, or you have to paint everything over again.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Don't force a warm and cool palette please? Pale grays will turn the cabinets more "yellow", and same with trim.

    That's why I said.......refresh the paint and change the fridge (get gone on the white full depth).

    Refresh often comes back to you, but rarely dollar for dollar. Otherwise, do nothing, and just make it sparkle and make the work look go away. Unless you have a lot of time and elbow grease to spare.

  • suezbell
    last month

    The fridge appears to be white and the cabinets a creamy off white. Refrigerators can be painted or they can be clad with stainless steel or faux stainless steel.or colored luminum or even wood panels.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ov6GWZ3RZ0

  • Susan Davis
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I would do nothing to the kitchen as it shows how many things it serves the new buyer.....but the walls could look good with a soft sage green color that will complement the cabinets.....let it be a selling point that the buyer is getting such a great price on the house that they can afford to redo the kitchen.

    I would also consider, right before selling, that you hire a kitchen organizer to enhance all the kitchen storage; people open cabinets and closets and if they are looking half full and orderly, the buyer translates this into Lots. Of. Storage. win/win.

    That being said we once bought a house that was a gut job, but it had a fabulous Sub Zero side by side fridge and I told my husband, I want to buy this house; love the fridge. And we did, we renovated the house and loved it.....all because I wanted that fridge. lol!

    You can also look at the comps in the area and discuss with your realtor......

  • RedRyder
    last month

    A good realtor will tell you what to do. And you may take a bit hit on the price due to the issues you mentioned more than the look of your kitchen. A listing might say “Sale price reflects the age of the kitchen” which invites those who want to pay less and do the kitchen the way they want should come visit. Make the house clean and decluttered and call it a day. I’ve sold a house for less than I paid for it, and it needed a TON of work (it was a neglected rental). You sometimes can’t time your selling to the best moment but it has to be when you’re ready. If you don’t want to sit on this house for years, do what your realtor tells you to (and pick THE best realtor in your neighborhood. Check to see who sells the most, not who you like the best.)

  • J Freeman
    Original Author
    last month

    The fridge is a tad lighter than the cabinets, but it’s not white white.