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Are our cabinets too white? What do we do?

29 days ago

We are currently having our kitchen cabinets painted by a design company. We are 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint in at this point. The cabinet color is color matched Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. We discovered over the weekend that they color matched the color through Milesi. Our original contract (that we did not sign bc something wasnt correct) stated they used BM Advanced but the subsequent contract we signed stated they used Milesi. We still have atleast one more coat of paint coming Monday (and they are working to fix drip marks and some other not great problems we pointed out) but all that aside, the color match doesn’t seem exactly right. Seems even less warm that BM Chantilly Lace and also does not match the Milesi sample card yet.
What do we need to do? 1. Be patient bc it clearly needs another coat/maybe the original primer is still showing through? 2. Fuss about the color match and see if we can switch to the BM color originally intended because this will fix our problem. 3. Paint the cabinets a totally different color bc this white shade was a bad idea. 4. Paint our walls and molding a different color to tye it in. 5. stopping worrying about it bc it looks great and im just shocked by the white. Other thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help and kindness.

Comments (115)

  • PRO
    23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    You warm it up by USING it! By treating yourself to one kind of flower/ one color/three bunches every week at the grocery.

    You add a little texture.......a few wood cutting boards, a shallow basket filled with fruit. A runner on the floor at the sink.

    What was lost here, and even your designer never acknowledged? You've a very interior kitchen. White, and any white is harder to do. You're dependent on artificial lighting, and that breakfast window does not penetrate deeply. Lose those BLINDS! for something that will disappear! Let in all the natural light you can, and enjoy the rest. It will be fine: )

  • 23 days ago

    For some warmth, get these orchid arrangement at Lowes. As they die off, I buy new orchids, bromelias and filler plants in the small disposable pots and reuse the original container.

    Last longer than flowers and I put the old orchids in the patio, where some of them will actually flower again in my FL climate.

  • 23 days ago

    Sweet updates that are coming together nicely.

    Warm ideas below to make the room continue on it's pretty practical way.

    Field Guide Herbs Printed Kitchen Towel · More Info

    Maine Cottage Colors · More Info

    Mamaroneck Passive House · More Info

  • 23 days ago


  • 23 days ago

    It looks very nice. Warm it up a bit, with some pretty artwork on the wall . A few colorful accessories here and there, and a vase of flowers (even if they are fake), and a couple runners on the floor to tie it all together.

  • 23 days ago

    @tajbaby1 I am just stopping by to say I love your new kitchen, and I can feel your agony as this project progressed, but it is really beautiful and I love it. I am getting ready to tackle a similar kitchen, and you have me quaking in my boots, but your job turned out great. I hope you love it for a long time!

  • 23 days ago

    Thank you guys so much for the feedback. It truly helps! Design2 girl, I wish you so much luck! I’m sure it will be gorgeous. It seems that there is always something to tackle with every project.🤞🏽🙏🏽❤️

  • 23 days ago

    My main concern has been finding a paint contractor that will use one of Milesi coatings instead of SW or BM cabinet paint. Did they continue with the same coating spray process or did you have them change the paint to the BM Chantilly? How long did all the painting take to finish your kitchen? Also, very interested in your cabinet hardware that you chose. Any good sources for that?

    I think your trim is fine, and I am not planning to repaint my trim either, so I need something that is going to work too.

  • 23 days ago

    @Design2 girl,

    You could join this FB group:


    and ask who works in your area.

    Almost all of the 2K finishes are good, but finishers have their favorites.

    Besides Milesi, there's ICRO, Centurion 2800, Renner, Gemini, Envirolak and others I've forgotten.

  • 23 days ago

    In our circumstance, we switched to Benjamin Moore bc we felt like the color match lacked warmth. This is based on a wood sample we created of both BM and Milesi, but in all honesty, you could also see the difference on the paper samples. It’s subtle but a little different.
    I think the other thing that contributed to this decision for us was the fact that the Milesi was not being applied correctly, which was contributing to a very uneven finish with a lot of bleed through. We didn’t know what was causing the problem until they had already started painting with Ben Moore and Milesi emailed us back with recommended primer etc…I think we were doomed bc the primer was not covering the wood.
    They sprayed the cabinet doors and rolled/brushed the frames with BM. If I could redo things, I would absolutely plan to spray with both. I agree that when used correctly, Milesi is going to have a superior finish. In your case, I would plan to have them spray a cabinet (to be sure of what you’re getting) before you fully commit to the color. Please see above for primer and top coat recs from Milesi.

  • 23 days ago

    Oh sorry, painting for us took a week and a half with one person cleaning/sanding/painting frames and the other person taking care of doors.

    We are using matte satin brass hardware from colonial brass. It’s similar to the color of the lanterns above the island. Both the knob and handle are pretty clean/modern.

  • 22 days ago

    @Mary Elizabeth, thank you so much! I am now in contact with a professional cabinet refinisher who uses 2K products including Renner & ICRO & Milesi. Thank you so much! I don't want BM or SW cabinet paints after reading that fb group!

  • 22 days ago

    @Design2 girl,

    You're welcome ! It's a great resource. Be sure to check out the info section they direct you to when you sign up. Gives you lots of info to check your finisher's process against.

    Hopefully, you will get someone who puts an overview of their whole process (including the exact products) in their proposal and/or contract.

  • 19 days ago

    Can I pick someone’s brain? We were out of town when they installed the cabinetry, the color looks really nice overall, but we got back in town yesterday and there are some subtle spots on the cabinet doors where there’s a little bit of a blue hue around the edges of the cabinets and one door that definitely seems to have an edge that was not completely covered with paint. Please see the below photos. Not trying to seem like an idiot but this is not normal, correct? First time I’ve ever dealt with painted cabinets, but it seems like they didn’t fully cover and I’m just trying to make sure before we reach out. They primed and I think did 2 coats of BM Chantilly Lace which I know can be kind of tricky.

  • 19 days ago

    A couple more, of whole door, where the hue is around the perimeter is more subtle. You can see a bit of a difference in the edge of the upper and lower door in last pick. Thanks for your help.

  • 19 days ago

    So sorry your project turned out like this. I don't know how your contract is worded, or if you have to give the painter a chance to fix it.

    Personally, I would put all of it on your designer, as IIRC, you said she recommended this painter.

    Overall, the entire job lacks the proper prep, and an outcome that a real professional would deliver.

    Of course, it depends on the price range - if you paid in the $1500-$2500 range, it's probably par for the course.

    To properly paint a kitchen your size, the bid should have started at about $5K (or more) depending on the number and size of cabinets.

  • 19 days ago

    Thanks, it’s a designer that pretty much uses the same people every time, her husband sprayed and another lady painted the frames. For the cabinets alone we paid $15,000. They are also designing and painting our bar area and that part was around $3000. Thanks for validating the concern. It overall is a pretty color but I’m definitely concerned about the details of the finish.

  • 19 days ago

    And we haven’t paid them the last installment. They had asked for a check, but I had said I wanted to hold off since we were out of town and they haven’t completed the bar area or finished putting glass in some of the cabinetry. Very nice people, and I just emailed them, but I’m baffled that the reviews and the finish (and what I paid!) don’t line up.

  • 18 days ago

    WHAT? The cost to paint the cabinets was $15,000K?

  • 18 days ago

    Yeah. I double checked and that did include a cabinet change which was about $1000. In all honesty, it was similar to at least one other estimate. But the company is “sought after” so I expected it to be pristine work.

  • 18 days ago

    Do NOT pay another penny! Do NOT let them do any more work!!

    Please join the FB group that I posted about above.

    Post a complete explanation of how your project transpired - including how you questioned the process as it went along. Add the best pictures of the issues.

    You will get dozens of opinions on all the things they did wrong.

    You might want to reserve posting the name & exact location of the company as a gesture of "good will" and to give you better leverage in trying to remedy this issue.

    And then show your "painter" the comments from the real professionals!

    I don't care if you're in New York City - $15K for a complete crap job like this is outrageous!

    This "designer" and her "painter" husband need to be outed & shamed out of business!

    You have been lied to and completely taken advantage of!

    This company shouldn't even be painting walls!

  • 18 days ago


  • 14 days ago

    Thank you, I really appreciate this and all of your time Nary Elizabeth. We are discussing with the company and they come over in a day or so. I’ve been pretty careful about holding off on identifiers, even in this posting I’ve tried really hard with the pictures and so forth on the paint cans, etc. I did look in that group and join that group and I did see that the company I’m working with our members…

  • 13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Be very sure to document everything, including any conversations with a follow up email that details what was said and/or agreed upon.

    Not only is their work not at the professional level - it's below average for a DIY job!

    They should pay you to have someone else redo the entire thing!

  • 13 days ago

    Thank you, will do. They are coming out on Wednesday. I had a positive conversation with someone from the company today and They are willing to sand and respray some of the areas I have pointed out. Do you have suggestions on things I should ask them to do? One BIG concern I have is that they have offered to fix some of the cabinet doors, but if we Spray some with a third coat and not others, do we risk the color being different of the sprayed doors (compared to the un-sprayed) ? right? Is it mostly all or none if we want to keep the paint job even?

    Here are some of the things I was planning to speak with them about when they come on Wednesday…I know it may be tough based on the pictures. Some of what we are seeing:

    1. rough spots on some cabinet doors, where sanding and re-spray is needed
    2. Blue hue in some crevices, not terrible but there. Seems to vary a little bit with the lighting.
    3. Blue hue on perimeters of 2 doors
    4. Two doors where we can see wood grain through the paint.

    There are some smaller things That are less critical but there…paint on grout under top cabinets, 2 small chips in the paint on drawer/and cabinet, and small issues with the finish on the frames.

  • 13 days ago

    To be perfectly honest, IF they were able to fix this, they wouldn't have made this mess in the first place.

    I'm not at all sure what legal recourse you have at this point.

    And I'm so sorry they've strung you along.

    I'm not in New York, but if it were me, I would ask for a full refund with the promise NOT to post pictures of their work on the Facebook site and Google reviews.

  • 13 days ago

    Thanks Mary Elizabeth. I really appreciate your insights. I hate that the was so trusting and at the very least, I hope to learn from my mistakes. While I have concerns, they are offering to respray the cabinets that we point out (but did not offer to respray all). Am I right to be concerned that this might contribute to an uneven color when compared with the other cabinets?

  • 13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    It’s a blessing in disguise, because the cabinets are too light/bright for your kitchen. As I suggested way up thread - imo, a light taupe would work better with your finishes and imo could also give you a much more elegant and classic look. Gold hardware could be stunning with the taupe. Look at Martha Stewart’s kitchen. She has a much darker taupe than what I am suggesting for you - but it's a taupe.

    I would cut my losses. ”Not my circus, not my monkeys” would be my mantra. I would move on/move forward and find someone else to paint the cabinets a better color. You can tell the designer and painter husband that you want a refund of some of the money and you are hiring someone else to repaint and fix. Report back here to let this community know whether this is handled graciously.

    Here is a recent Forbes article re: average costs for professional cabinet painting: 


  • 13 days ago

    There is a very specific process that must be followed to ensure that the finish is bonded to the wood & cured properly. None of that has been done.

    First of all, when using any product, but especially a cabinet coating, the best practice is to also use the same brand of primer. Otherwise the brand of top coat can simply say that the products are "not compatible" when the finish fails.

    You have to decide if you're going to let them continue to mislead you, only to find that when this all starts to chip and peel, your money is long gone.

    Again, you can post your pictures & story on the Facebook page without saying who the painter or company is, even saying that they are members of the group.

    And then use the responses to prove your case.

  • 13 days ago

    Yikes, tajbaby, I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this. I just got my quote, right at 14K to paint my kitchen, and I am not surprised at your 15K price with Milesi product, but I am shocked at your poor outcome. I would absolutely be concerned about respraying and causing more discrepancies in the color. Time for a second professional opinion, and I'm glad you didn't finish paying them. I'm taking notes.

  • PRO
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Where is the designer you paid?

    Why are you the go between for ANY of this, start to finish.

    If that is a 15 K paint job? I will eat my keyboard.

    Get the designer on site. I will warn you...they are not quality painters for this project, and they would NOT have installed their result, if they were quality.

    These need to be lightly sanded, and re done.

  • 13 days ago

    @JAN MOYER, the "painter" is the "designer's" husband!

    IMO, everything needs to be stripped down and re-done - the primer didn't even cover!

  • PRO
    13 days ago

    I don't care if it is her cousin or her first born child. You're getting ripped OFF.

    Call them back and pay not one more cent.

  • 13 days ago

    I’m so grateful for everyone’s support and help. I hate that I’m in this situation but I plan to learn from it.
    I’m getting a couple of additional Painting companies to come in and take a look at it in person to give me a little bit more guidance on how it should look. The company that did this work is planning to come back tomorrow and I want to be as prepared as I can be

  • 12 days ago

    The company we are working with came today and we had a pretty honest conversation with them, they are re-sanding/spraying 13 adjacent doors and planning to work on the frames again. They were pretty understanding about our concerns. We will just have to see. We also had another company come and take a look yesterday, I think they felt like the paint job was middle of the road but that we had very valid concerns and then they told us more about their company in case we need them to fix things. I will keep you posted on all of this however would like to pick your brains on another problem.
    The glass doors that were being added to our kitchen and bar area were installed today and it was supposed to be seeded glass to match the existing glass in the kitchen. Of course it does not match. They are willing to replace the glass in my pre-existing cabinets for free, but I personally really like my old Glass and think it is more interesting looking than the new glass they have installed. I would have to pay out-of-pocket if I went back to solid wood doors in the kitchen, that would be $1300 and in that circumstance, we would keep the new glass in the adjacent bar area. we have already reached out to the glass company and I was told that they said they are unable to match the pre-existing seeded glass.
    I’ll attach some photos but what are your thoughts? Any other ideas? Thanks in advance for your kindness and help. Just to kind of help you as you’re looking at the pictures, my seeded glass is much more heavily seeded. The newer Glass is less seeded.

  • 12 days ago

    I tried to video, but I don’t know if it went through. Here is my pre-existing Glass:

  • 12 days ago

    New glass

  • 12 days ago

    Video attempt

  • 12 days ago

    Yeah, I guess you can’t do videos but I hope this helps and happy to attach more pictures if it doesn’t.

  • PRO
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    did the ever sand these ? after priming? or clean these before painting?

    This is pretty poor workmanship, IMO. I have painted lots of furniture and cabs and can tell you, prep is 75% of the work

    Run your had over it. it should be smooth

    Here's a close up of mine that were sprayed. super smooth

    ah, I just read where they are redoing it?

    was everything removed and taken back to a shop for spraying? sanding, priming? 15K ? wow. i got all new doors/drawers (a pantry you can't see) for less than you paid

  • 11 days ago

    Thanks Beth. Initially they did sand and prime twice with BIN, but I think that they did not sand between coats and did not completely cover that door that you pointed out. From what they told me, their plan is to sand and spray. They took 13 doors today. I still know it won’t be perfect, but I did feel like they validated concerns and are (atleast) trying to fix it.

  • 11 days ago

    I agree, Beth! It wasn’t smooth, which is what we said to them today. The doors felt almost chalky, but the drawers felt fine, I guess because they were smaller and getting better coverage? Not sure.

  • 11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    IsIs theIs the glass theIs the glass the sameIs the glass the same vendor as theis the glass the same vendor as the painting? glass doesnt match at all. am so sorry this is happen

  • 11 days ago

    Yeah, with the glass, they used a glass company here, but apparently it’s very difficult to match seeded glass, which was not what I was told. I asked if we could do seeded glass to match the kitchen and they (designer) said yes. Apparently, she said she did not understand that I meant the exact match and in her mind just having the same type of glass was close enough? I just don’t think she realized how different they would/could be l-to be honest with you.

  • 11 days ago

    @Beth H. : beautiful kitchen, can I ask what color paint your cabinets are and the name of your countertops?

    @tajbaby1, I sure hope they come back with cabinet doors that are new and improved and are satisfactory this time. I have to agree with you on the seeded glass issue, the older version is more interesting. I just don't know if you can replicate it, and again, I have some glass that will have to be matched, and now, you are giving me another thing to be concerned about, yikes.

    Did you end up with the Cremone bolts for your bar area? Any sources for that hardware? This has been a long hard process for you, I am sure you are ready for it to be finished!

  • 11 days ago

    It’s been such a long time! Yeah, I don’t know why this seeded glass thing even happened. I asked at least three times if it would definitely match and was told yes but then now I’m being told that they didn’t realize I meant exact match. What I’ve got right now is two pretty different types of glass….
    The bolt has not been installed, and we went through a local hardware company. I think that Baldwin makes the bolts we are using! I will send pictures once it is installed! Hardware came this week:

  • 11 days ago

    We haven’t changed the island yet because I’m going to have to stain in the area where the old hardware was/The base is a slightly different size.

  • 10 days ago

    Anyone wanna offer up thoughts on this fixture? It’s a tiny bit lighter than it is in the pictures. Just FYI.

  • PRO
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Design2 girl, thanks. the cabs were a pre-cat lacquer matched to BM simply white, but they said they went one shade lighter. I painted all my walls and trim Simply White, and it's almost exactly the same. the island is Calacatta Marble. perimeter is Silestone Eternal Serena

    Tajbaby, sorry to hijack. That's an interesting fixture. I think if the tones match the others it should be fine. do you have marble or is that Super White?

  • 9 days ago

    Hey! Super White. I think I’m deciding against the fixture but it does match the island. Just feels too dark to me and I don’t love it.