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 10,659

 Talk to me about painting kitchen cabinets

I did a quick search this morning and all I really came up with was Bradsgrl's reno, which is fab, but I am hoping for a few more opinions/experiences.

We're moving into a home that has builder standard golden/mocha oak cabinets in it and while they are perfectly fine, they really wouldn't be my colour choice. We are getting new stainless appliances, probably keeping the counter top for now anyway, and we will be doing the backsplash and tile when we take possession.

What should I do? paint the cabinets or leave them? and if you choose the former; do you have any personal experience? As in, what am I getting into? Colour to stay away from? BEST choice for colour? etc. etc. etc. !!!

Pic for reference -



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 28 Mar 2010 2:08 PM
 8 Aug 2008
MooseHead
Raving Lunatic
10,422
I've posted about this before and I could do a lengthy post but I'll give you it in summary.

Decide whether you want to use an oil finish or latex; semi-gloss will be your best "finish" - flat or eggshell "some say" is not as scrubbable and high gloss can show imperfections more.

I HIGHLY recommend (regardless of whether you use oil or latex paint as your top coat) an oil primer. I've used a latex, oil and alcohol based primer - alcohol is good but it is horrible to work with and even for someone like me that any paint fumes don't bother, alcohol was not fun - its just as bad if not worse than a lacquer. Again, I highly recommend an oil primer; and it being a primer is dry in an hour or 2, not like paint.

Now the paint - a latex is easy to use and dries quickly. An oil however, does take longer to dry and clean-up isn't as easy. But because of the longer drying period you won't get brush marks. This is because as its drying it "levels out" - latex does not have that lee-way (sp?) so you can get brush and even roller marks and they will show with a semi-gloss finish.

So say you decide to go with oil, if you decide on white keep in mind that white oil paint will, with time, "yellow" - it has nothing to do with whether you smoke or dirt or grime - its a natural part of the oil aging process. Latex will but not anywhere near how oil will.

As far as colour - the sky is the limit. What colour scheme are you going with?

I've painted cabinets like this before. Prep would be remove handles, a light sanding - just enough to ruff-it-up, nothing strenuous and wash with TSP, then you're ready for priming. For me, because of the door style and hinges, I did not remove the doors.

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 28 Mar 2010 2:55 PM
 12 Jan 2010
LilBee
Weddingbeller
999
I have the same colour cabinets and it is not my first choice at all either. Painting is unfortuanatly not really an option for us as there is so much trim work, windows, french doors - EVERYTHING is in this wood to match.

I have decided to just leave it as is (for us). Also painting cheapens wood cabinets in my opinion as wood is more expensive. I have also seen painted cabinets that look terrible, probably by not taking the right steps, time and effort though.

Whenever I am doing renos or buying furniture I always go very traditional. It is funny how things just keep going around and around and things are trendy for a few years, but good solid traditional is always in-style. That colour of wood cabinets have been done since the beginning of time and is still being done. It is just hard when everything "in" is dark brown wood right now.

So I guess, my vote is to leave them and invest in really really nice backsplash and very high end knobs/pulls ect. that compliments your kitchen and brings it right up to date and make it look awesome.

Good luck and congrats on the house!

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 28 Mar 2010 3:45 PM
 23 Sep 2009
 Ottawa
Ariel2010
Addict
3,767
i'd keep the cabinets, since it's just sooooo much work to strip and paint them, especially with the raised/indented detailing. And the ones you have look nice.

i'd invest in the hardware, backsplash and, possibly, countertops.

Good luck! smile

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 28 Mar 2010 5:46 PM
 22 Feb 2009
 Surrey, BC
wishfullthinking
Fan
704
Although I agree with the instructions post (I'll only add that you should do a rinse with clear water after washing with TSP - as per the instructions on the box) I also agree that new appliances and some modern door/drawer pulls would probably help a lot. You also have to keep in mind, that paint will chip with time, less so with oil based, but it still happens, so you'll have to sand and repaint those areas again before you sell, or you will have really cheap looking cabinets. There is another options as well, called gel-stain. Instead of sanding all the finish off to re-stain (and not have the paint problem) you can give it a light sand, and use gel-stain, but you will have to finish with a varathane when you are done. It ends up being only a little more work than painting, but then you can have a wood kitchen in a modern colour, I would test on the inside of a door before you start though, since it doesn't work equally well on all previous finishes.

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 29 Mar 2010 8:15 AM
 7 Jan 2003
 Ottawa
Katiea
Fan
614
We painted our kitchen cabinets from oak to whie. It was the best decision ever! We sanded them down a little, put a primer on and 2 coats of paint. It makes such a big difference! It was a lot of work, but very worth it in the end. I think your kitchen would look great with the stainless appliances and white cabinets.

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 29 Mar 2010 8:31 AM
 28 Jul 2009
 Ottawa, On
Rymistri
Devotee
1,398
Ok, Ok... Thanks everyone!

Now how about this?? I'm thinking that the yellowing aspect sounds like shite (if it really is the best way, I'll deal)

BUTTTT what if, I painted the cabinet bases, like I dunno, a charcoal or black and purchased high gloss white cabinet doors... what are your thoughts on that??

laugh Soo bloody indecisive!

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 29 Mar 2010 8:35 AM
 28 Jul 2009
 Ottawa, On
Rymistri
Devotee
1,398
Yeah, I like this idea too.. but I'm not a pro and I would be terrified to eff it up!

Hey MH read above... your thoughts? tongueold

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 29 Mar 2010 10:14 AM
 8 Aug 2008
MooseHead
Raving Lunatic
10,422
Me personally, I'd stick with one colour - the black with white might end up looking busy and broken up sorta. I'd be more inclined to go black on bottom, white on top.

I should mention mine never really chipped. It was high traffic with kids, dog, people, I can be a bit rough sometimes, I might have had one or 2 chips but certainly nothing really noticeable.

So I'm getting the impression you do want white? Let me backtrack a bit. I wanted stark white; so yes, it will yellow but this is not an instantaneous thing - it might take a couple of years and its not all that noticeable to the "naked eye" so to speak. It was only REALLY noticeable when I went to repaint with the same white and you could see the difference. Its not like you'll be living with this canary yellow kitchen or something.

The other thing about new cabinet doors is you might end up having to get some custom depending on the door size, but your kitchen looks pretty standard.

If it were me, I'd most likely paint - you get a serious bank for your buck with as little money as possible, saving that extra money for something else.

I know some people aren't fussy about painted cabinets but I look at it like "hey, if its good enough for Martha Stewart, then its certainly good enough for me".

And white isn't your only option - don't know what your style or colour scheme is but there are some really good looking kitchens painted other than white.

Here's a whole slew of colours!

















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 29 Mar 2010 10:56 AM
 22 Sep 2008
 Alberta
muggins
Addict
4,711
I love the picture #5 from the top. I've been seeing that grey as well as a grey/green (kind of like the last picture) on all kinds of design shows lately. If I were you I'd prob do white on top and a greyish-greenish colour on the bottom but I guess it depends on what your design style is or how it will flow with the rest of the house.

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 29 Mar 2010 11:46 AM
 28 Jul 2009
 Ottawa, On
Rymistri
Devotee
1,398
Yup muggins, that or the black stand out to me as well. Thanks MH.

I don't know anymore.. maybe I'll just wait until I can do a proper cabinet change though... and extend the one wall too. The more I think about it, the more 'clear as mud' that it becomes.

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 29 Mar 2010 11:54 AM
 22 Sep 2008
 Alberta
muggins
Addict
4,711
Yea, I know what you mean- it's a lot of work if you're just going to replace them in a year or two. I've been living with my honey-oak cabinets for the last year and a half in anticipate of replacing them... annndddd I just ordered my ikea cabs last Thursday for $5,800!!!!!!! Seriously, that's nothing in the grand scheme of things.

If you just wanted to spice them up until you can replace buy a can of varathane that has some colour in it and paint that on the cabs to give them a new shine with a touch of colour- it makes them look almost new again... it's a good and easy quick fix.

Good luck smile

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 29 Mar 2010 4:16 PM
 1 Sep 2008
Urban
Postaholic
9,536
Here's a post about this very thing a while ago. CarrieT didn't do white I think it turned out great!!

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

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 1 Apr 2010 7:32 AM
 28 Jul 2009
 Ottawa, On
Rymistri
Devotee
1,398
Thanks for that!! I don't know why that didn't come up when I did my search?!? Maybe there were too many hits, because I checked all 10 pages.

Oh well, I'm keeping both of these for reference... I'll let you ladies know what we decide! smile

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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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