How to update kitchen with oak cabinets?


I would like to do some updates to my oak cabinet kitchen. I'm not planning on updating appliances or painting cabinets at this time. I'd like to paint the walls, change the cabinet handles, and update the backsplash and possibly update the floors. I will probably not change the counters, they're a neutral color and don't look too bad. For the wall paint, I was thinking of using a greige color but would be open to other paint colors. Any suggestions on what would help to update my kitchen?


  14 answers
  • Trish Trish on Feb 15, 2021

    Here's a picture of what the kitchen currently looks like

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 16, 2021

    Hi Trish! Painting the walls is an awesome place to start in updating your space. Because the cabinets are a little dark I would stick with a lighter wall color for sure. Have you looked at all the amazing peal and stick backsplash options on the market today? I couldn't believe it when I went browsing on Amazon, they look incredible! They look like real glass tile or steel etc. and you could put them right over your current backsplash. I would start there before choosing your wall color to be sure you find one that compliments your new backsplash :)

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Feb 16, 2021

    I would get some paint swatches that you like and put on the wall to see if it matches what you are thinking you want to do. If you go with a neutral paint then you can use any accent colors

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 16, 2021

    I think Sherwin Williams Sea Salt would be a great color for this area. You need a light color since the wood is heavy, even if you go with a greige stay on the light end.

  • Maura White Maura White on Feb 16, 2021

    Are your counter tops all one color or do they have speckles of a mix of colors? If they have speckles, then I recommend pick one color you like that will enhance that bit of color from the countertops. The website for photos won't work for me. And you typed greige - does than mean gray or beige? (both of which would probably work - but light gray is very popular right now!

  • Beautiful space! Most major paint retailers have a tool on their sites where you can upload your photo and "try on" paints. I would try it. Also, I would add a white tile backsplash. You could do the stick ones, they work well and come in great varieties. I think that with paint would make a huge difference. I would add a valance in an accent color or your choice and maybe even replace the seat fabric on the chairs. Use can drop mayo on it and it'll wipe away!

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 16, 2021

    Hello this cabinet wood painting link might be helpful.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Feb 17, 2021

    Keep in mind that the type of light you have in a room can effect what color the paint on the walls seems to look like.

    You did not mention lighting, I would strongly suggest that you consider updating your lighting first before you repaint the walls. This one change can modernize and improve the mood in any room. Also remember that as we age, our eyes require more light to accomplish the same task.

    What type of lighting do you have in the kitchen now? Florescent emits a greenish tone, incandescent a yellowy tone, with LED light being the clearest and cleanest looking. LED light can vary from warm (more yellow) to cool (more blue), according to the intensity.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Feb 18, 2021

    Olive green is the in color now it looks great there are so many shades of green

  • Janice Janice on Feb 18, 2021

    Here's some professional advice about oak cabinetry and paint colors. I hope it helps. You could try several paint swatches and see what colors "draw you in" when placing it with the cabinets and countertops you plan to keep. One or two are sue to feel good to you.....go with that!

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 18, 2021

    Hi Trish: Beige sounds great as it's a pretty neutral colour. However, I wouldn't use an enamel, or shiny, paint as it shows every imperfection, bump and scratch. An egg shell finish is nice. The photos didn't come up for me. Sounds like you know what you want, you just need to pick out your style. I bet it will be beautiful!

    Good luck

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Feb 20, 2021

    we have oak cabinets and they were golden oak color and we stained them and they turned out beautiful you can also paint them

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 20, 2021

    New lighting fixture(s) will give you lots of bang for your buck. Greys are becoming passe. Colour for walls depends on what oak stain you have. If golden, then one of the olive colours would be nice. (My friends had light oak trims, etc. and copied my blue-gray paint - made the trim take on a weird greenish hue.) This is what I'd do first.

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