Thursday, February 2, 2012

Painted Kitchens

So you moved into an older house that was in your budget with an oak kitchen which was probably adored by the original owners of the house, but for you it feels, well . . . BLECH!!!  You don't have the money to do a full kitchen re-model, so what do you do?


1) Strip and stain = massive amounts of time and energy, difficulty: HARD.

OR . . .

2) Paint = simple, quick, effective, difficulty: EASY.

 I grew up in a home where you just did not paint wood.  It was dogma.  I got over that after I stripped and stained the kitchen in our first house.  I really didn't want to do that again . . . ever.  So when we moved into our 2nd house with that ugly old oak kitchen described above, I threw the teachings of my childhood to the past and brought out the paint!


Now I went for a very classic and timeless subtle off-white, and generally speaking it is what I recommend to most people who come to me with a similar kitchen conundrum.  A white kitchen really never goes out of style, and conveniently goes with everything.  However, I recently had a client approach me about a kitchen who wanted to paint her existing cabinets, but did NOT want white.  Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Can you paint your cabinets something other than white, and still have it look good?  The answer - YES!  While colour on kitchen cabinets does become somewhat faddy - it certainly can be done.  And if in 5-10 years the colour you chose becomes terribly unfashionable - you can always paint it white!

Here are some examples I found of kitchen's successfully painted something other than white:

Dark Hunter Green:

To me the key to this choice seems to be to balance with lots of white for contrast, and orangey accents like cedar and copper.






Lighter Sagey Green:


Warm Greys:




 Turquoise:



Antique Kettle (for those who like a darker look):

For tutorial on how to achieve this look visit: http://timmonsfamilylemonade.blogspot.com/2010/09/cupboard-makeover-phase-1.html

  Or . . . if you'd like to add a little colour to the classic white kitchen, but don't want to go all the way, you can try painting the interior of open cabinets:


Or, you could try the split:

The key to this option is to keep your colour on the bottom base cabinets and leave the top white (the colour is to heavy for the top and will look off balance).


Other tips:
I think to make a colour-painted kitchen really work, a few other elements are key:

1) Open shelving.  This helps to break up the colour a bit and add more variety.

2) Wood accents . . . somewhere.  Whether as a counter top, island, table, bamboo blind, boxes, baskets, floor, stool, chair, etc, a little well placed wood in a complimentary hue goes a long way.

I'm not anti-wood.  I just like the right wood in the right places.


21 comments:

  1. Little pot of paint can do miracles. :) Lovely ideas for our kitchen, thanks for the inspiration! I just need to ask our landlord if I can do some changes around here ;)


    Satu
    Indie by Heart

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  2. kitchens solihull


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  3. I loved it! Above all images are so gorgeous. I really loved the last one too much. Recently, I painted some of my old pieces and hope to get good match with my existing white painted furniture for kitchen.

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  4. Did you sand the cabinets first?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but not down to the wood. Just enough to rough up the surface a bit to help the paint adhere.

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  5. Seriously, what is it with old people and oak cabinets? Love the painted look!

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  6. LOVE the white cabinets! And actually planning on doing similar in our new house. Really - your entire blog so far is what I want to do to my house - so glad I found your blog!!! :) Do you have a tutorial for how you painted your cabinets?

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

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    Replies
    1. I don't have a step by step tutorial for how I painted my kitchen cabinets, but this one on painting furniture uses the exact same process:

      http://do-it-yourselfdesign.blogspot.ca/2011/03/painting-furniture.html

      And I did post a tutorial on how to do the glass door cabinets:

      http://do-it-yourselfdesign.blogspot.ca/2011/07/low-budget-kitchen-renovation.html

      let me know if you have any questions!

      :) Abby

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  7. What brand and paint color did you use? I love the color white used!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tiffany! The colour I used was called "glow" from Behr (Home Depot) in a high-gloss finish.

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  8. Even though I have a pretty white kitchen, I'd sometimes love something bolder like turquoise or grey. Not going to go for it, though - what if it turns out hideous? So I just painted the walls grey.

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  9. I like your hanging spice rack by the stove! Where did you get that?

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  10. These are lovely ideas for kitchens! I think Indie is right. Sometimes, a little paint and color can work wonders on a space. It adds beauty and contrast to a room. All of these ideas are great, but the winner for me is the Warm Grey color. It looks neat, simple yet very sophisticated. And even though there is a monotony of color on the walls and cabinet, it still looks interesting and lovely. [Anthony Selby]

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  11. I have the shiny white cabinets which HD carried about 20 yrs. ago. The finish is thermofoil, a heat process where plastic is pressed over pre-formed MDF. It looks terrific but there are problems with some peeling and you can't use it close to an oven.

    If I built another house I would opt for fewer cabinets and more drawers as the kitchens seen at Ikea. I'm now in my 70's and hate crawling on the floor to find that one seldom used item that's in the back of a cabinet. Builders just keep copying the old ways. It's time to come up with changes, we no longer carry our suitcase. I've often thought of cabinets that work like a ferris wheel, press a button and the drawers come to you. Maybe I could patent my idea. (?)

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  12. I love those kitchen cabinets. Very simple and very unique the design. My friends will definitely love it too. So I will recommend this also to them. Anyway If you want to decorate your Kitchen Cabinets just Subscribe here here.

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  13. These are all beautiful....but what if you have really ugly laminate/formica cainets with those euro hinges? I really need to do something with them. They are stained with steam and grease from 5 daughters hands constantly abusing them. Idealy, a new kitchen, but, not in the budget now perhaps in about 5 years. But I hate them and thus, hate my kitchen. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jenn,

      You could try making new doors for your cabinets using this tutorial:

      http://do-it-yourselfdesign.blogspot.ca/2013/01/upcycled-shaker-panel-cabinet-doors.html

      Good luck!

      :) Abby

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  14. Hi!
    In your kitchen above, with the maple cabinets you painted white, did you just paint right over the old finish? What were the steps you took to paint them white? Thank you!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Erika!

      Just follow the steps on this post about painting furniture, the process for painting cabinets is the same:

      http://do-it-yourselfdesign.blogspot.ca/2011/03/painting-furniture.html

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    ReplyDelete