Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Painting oak kitchen cabinets

I have plans for our kitchen.  Lots of plans. One of my big plans is to paint the honey oak cabinets.

Years ago, I saw this picture in Better Homes and Gardens.  (I cannot find this picture on the BHG website to link to, but I'm positive that's where it is from.)

I love two things in this picture.  First, the day I saw this picture I went to Ikea and bought a floating shelf and installed it in my kitchen under the cabinet, as you can see in this heinously not-white-balanced picture of my kitchen four houses ago. (This was the house with the rats. The horror.)

Second, I love the greige on the cabinets.  That's right.  I, Lisa, Hater of Neutrals, Proponent Of Color, Lover of All Things Bright And Colorful, have been dreaming for years of painting my kitchen cabinets a neutral color that leans towards beige.  (Not swine beige, never that. A pretty, soft, grayish beige.)  

Lest that shock you too much, I also have contemplated painting the cabinets olive green.

Or emerald green.

via Apartment Therapy
Or a cornflower blue.  
Sadly, every space has its limitations.  My kitchen has brand new gray/swine beige/black/cranberry granite counters installed by the previous owners.

Its in great shape and it makes zero sense to replace it right now, even if its not the bright white or quartz I would choose. is unlikely I will paint the cabinets a bright, happy color.

I feel that this kitchen would look nice in either greige, or a two tone white and charcoal gray or black, like so:

via Design Manifest
There's a bunch of rearranging of cabinets that needs to happen before I can start painting anything, so I have some time to contemplate.  


  1. Man, I love those colorful cabinets, but I understand your counter issues. I will say that about 10 years ago, I was involved in a kitchen re-do (a mold horror not as bad as your rat one--which I remember!--but a horror all the same) where the cabinets were white-washed oak. (I guess that was cool in the 90s?) Because they all had to be taken out anyway (to replace the floor and half the dry-wall), we had them refinished with an olive stain. We choose countertops not unlike yours (it was before everything everywhere was granite and I thought they were cool), and the green cabinets worked. Maybe because it was stain and not paint? Not sure. Anyway, I can't wait to see what you do with it.

    1. As much as I'd love to paint the cabinets a bright, happy color, I am afraid that is not the best choice for resale. Not that we are moving any time soon but painting cabinets sounds like a production and not everyone has the same happy taste as I I would probably pick something pretty safe anyways.

      I bet your olive cabinets looked great! How's your kitchen redo coming along? (Besides the cilantro incident under the sink?)

  2. I like kitchens with dark cabinets on the bottom and lighter cabinets on top; I would go for some sort of black or almost black on the bottom and a lighter griege tone on top. I am sure whatever you choose will look nice - you have done great things in your previous homes.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    just looked at my blog feed and found your post. So sorry to hear that you are in pain, I do hope you start to feel better soon. I love the new house and I'm sure that as you get stronger you will start more and more little projects. I will be happy to watch them all.
    As for the kitchen cabinets - I don't envy you. Working with the quartz could be difficult with your love of big bold bright colours. It may seem boring, but have you thought of doing the cabinets just plain white. That way you can introduce other colour with a rug or maybe by painting the door a bright colour or hopefully some more of your paintings.
    I have a darkish greige colour - the colour is Dulux paints Russian toffee and it is more dark beigeish than grey but it is a great neutral with calacatta marble benchtop. I alternate between loving the neutral colour and wishing the cabinets were white so I could put more colour in the room. I guess we can't have everything.
    Good luck with everything
    Kind Regards

    1. Cathy, thanks for coming back! I have thought of painting them bright white....I've even thought of just leaving the wood for a while. I bet your greige cabinets look lovely.


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