My kitchen floor is white--what color should I paint my cabinets?

This is driving me crazy. I have a bright white kitchen floor, with pink threading. My cabinets are a disgusting dirty brown that can't be cleaned anymore. I decided to paint them a deep maroon--a color I saw in a kitchen in CA that I really liked and would accent the floor. Then I finished with polyurethane to add shine and make them wipe-down easy to clean.
I finished the first row, and it is WAY too dark. The polyurethane is kind of "sticky". I don't mind starting over. I used regular semi-gloss paint with the coat of polyurethane. Gotta be a better paint to use.
I'm unhappy with the color & finish, although it's a lot better than the unpainted cabinets. All the color advice I see says light cabinets, but with a white floor, that seems like it will be too much white! And I like color. I have a pink accent wall in the entry way that I love, so I was going with reds and pinks, maybe with a green accent.
I need help on the color of these kitchen cabinets! Don't want to work anymore until I'm sure. Also need to know a better kind of paint to use. Help!
q paint colors kitchen cabinets ideas, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, Old bottom cabinets
Old bottom cabinets
q paint colors kitchen cabinets ideas, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, Old top cabinets
Old top cabinets
q paint colors kitchen cabinets ideas, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, new color maroon with polyurethane coat
new color--maroon with polyurethane coat
q paint colors kitchen cabinets ideas, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, a painted cabinet seems messy still
a painted cabinet--seems messy still
q paint colors kitchen cabinets ideas, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, shows the contrast between new color and old cabinets
shows the contrast between new color and old cabinets
  17 answers
  • hi @Michele Sorry to hear you didn't like the color for the kitchen cabinets! I always like duck-egg blue/green, it goes well with the white and cream that you have on the floor and countertop! Instead of using gloss you could try using a satin finish , you might find it's less 'sticky' as gloss takes a long time to fully cure. Also, you could spray paint your hardware black to add a bit of contrast! Good luck, I'm sure whatever you decide will look great :)

  • Lisa Rigby Lisa Rigby on Oct 20, 2014
    I think that a shade of sage green (either a medium or medium-dark shade) would be great with your flooring color and countertop. I don't think a lighter shade of sage green would work with your creamy/almond color countertop. I think it may look odd if the sage green color was too light, that's why I suggested a medium or slightly darker shade. I hope you find a color that you are happy with! :)

    • See 1 previous
    • Lisa Rigby Lisa Rigby on Oct 20, 2014
      @Michele I would probably go with countertops that are in the medium-dark gray and/or white shades to accent the sage green. There are affordable options out there (such as the formica countertops) that give the appearance of stone(looks like granite, etc.), and that's what I would recommend. I think if you found something for your countertops in a medium-dark gray with some white and maybe lighter gray tones in the "stone" pattern would be good. Or, if that seems too dark for your likings, something that is mostly white/light gray with the dark gray in the "stone" pattern. Keep in mind the tone of white that your flooring is... if it is a warm white or more of a true white will help in choosing countertop color. You could bring in pops of pink in your decor to accent the counters and cabinets and bring out the pink in your grout. If you stick with the deep maroon color, the countertop colors I suggested would work great as well! Hope this helps! :)

  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Oct 20, 2014
    I actually like your new color, what if the top cabinets were a different color and then it wouldn't be dark all through. Maybe a wash on the lower cabinets. After pics...

    • Michele Michele on Oct 20, 2014
      @Wendy Johnson How would you do a wash on the lower cabinets? Would I use the color I put there already in the back? I would like to know how to do a wash. The color I have looks great when it's darker outside and the lights are on. Thanks for your reply!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 20, 2014
    The darker grays on bottom with the lighter grays on top seem to work well with white! Then you could use a variety of all colors in the counter tops!

    • Michele Michele on Oct 21, 2014
      @Jeanette S Do you have any examples of the grays you are talking about? Intruiging!

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Oct 20, 2014
    @Michele did you let the paint dry before you added the poly? and did you lightly sand it? this could be the sticky problem the duck egg blue is a annie sloan chalk paint color..the best place to get some good advice on where to go next would be a paint store..i do not know what kind (brand) you used but if you got it at a paint store or a home depot or lowes type go back and ask i am sure they will give you the best advice you can get good luck xx

    • Michele Michele on Oct 26, 2014
      @Chris aka monkey The poly has dried now, and isn't sticky. It took a long time!

  • Tegma Tegma on Oct 20, 2014
    Truthfully, I like the color you did. However, if you don't, then start over, or just do the top a light color. Sometimes just leaving it for a few days is all you need to do as anything is going to seem dark at first. However, if you still want to change it, I would go to Lowes and get a good cabinet paint. Doing chalk paint is easy, but I'm not sure it's the best use for kitchen cabinets. I used a cabinet paint, and have had mine for 8 years already with no wear or tear. They came out beautifully! All you need to decide is, what is your favorite color? What colors are you using in your house? Gray is really in now, but whatever you like... blue, green, brown shades, whatever is fine. People are doing all kinds of colors. Mine are a light cream, as I have wood floors, and they go together perfectly. It's the same cream as in professional grade cabinets. I's suggest you go to one of your big box stores and see the kitchen displays to find an idea of what you like. Nowaday, anything goes!

  • Tegma Tegma on Oct 20, 2014
    By the way, if you'd like, you can go to Pinterest and find some procedures for doing your own kitchen counters..... not a kit, which is very limited in color and design. You will love the ideas, I'm sure, and be surprised how easy it is to do, especially with your cream color base. As for your backsplash, Lowes now has some stick on type tile which is only $4.99 a sq. foot.... in wonderful glass, and even stainless. Sometimes you'll find sales for much less. But do your cabinets first so as to know what color backsplash to put up.

  • Anna @Annabode Anna @Annabode on Oct 21, 2014
    Our kitchen floor is white as well! We decided to paint our lower cabinets in a medium gray and our upper cabinets white. I think light gray our blue-gray would work better with your countertops. Good luck!

  • Darla Darla on Oct 21, 2014
    I think part of the problem is that the paint is too shiny. You might try coating it with satin polyurethane. It might also look good if you paint just the door frames and drawer fronts a slightly different color so there's a little variation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Darla Darla on Oct 21, 2014
      @Michele No, I mean paint the cabinet door frames and drawer fronts a little darker or lighter shade of the color you've got. And if you coat them with satin poly, they won't have that plastic-y look. First try it on just one, though - it sounds like the top coat you've got isn't drying completely if it's sticky.

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 21, 2014
    Hi, while I haven't started my project yet, I did my research. I became intrigued with Chalk Paint. It's safe & easy to use, no brush marks. A little goes a long way (1 sample jar = a chair or small table.) & it can be thinned with water. Look on Pinterest and you'll see many posts. I purchased American Chalk Paint thru Shizzle Designs online. their site provides many tutorials and you can always call or email with questions. You may have a retailer near you. It dries super fast because there are no chemicals or preservatives (don't dip brush in. Pour out instead so u don't contaminate it ). No need for sanding or removing the paint you just applied. The first coat will look iffy but the 2nd coat will be perfect, sometimes 3 but they dry so fast & can even be helped with a blow dryer. Then add poly or 2 coats of wax. My 12 yr old son was leary but when I told him there was no way to do it wrong, he relented & now we have his nightstand we painted together & it was so easy. (My way of getting his confidence so he can help with the kitchen lol) I wanted to try it on a small project first. For the cabinets I chose Navajo White but don't have a white floor (though I will be faux painting my tile floor soon.). My kitchen scheme is a blue-green turquoise like color with brown and Off white. I dislike my oak cabinets. I totally get what you're saying tho. I did red print curtains once and with 17' of windows in the great room it was too much. I hated it. I switched to neutrals & left pops of color on smaller items. I immediately felt calmer. So keep the pinks & reds you have & neutralize the kitchen with a simple black (Ben Moore black iron(?) on the bottom and white tops (a Candace Olsen HGTV fav & a 2014 trend.) Then use ur pinks & reds in towels & accents if u want. You can then change colors thru accents & curtains anytime u want. I think neutrals are best but I think that gray & navy (also a trend) can be neutral also (darker being better.) Sage green as one poster mentioned is nice too & I have done a green & red scheme that was gorgeous. What other colors do you have in the rest of the house? Take cues from there or even your closet. Why not live in the same colors you love to wear? There are many great makeover ideas I've been finding such as: Giani countertop & backsplash refinish products, Smart Tiles peel and stick for backsplash, even tile tattoos from to change tile color or add design. I hate my backsplash. But the floor was my biggest issue so I've decided to paint it. I found paint and poly that is no VOC and safe called AFM Safecoat at They were very helpful & even checked with the manufacturer for my questions. I bought a sea sponge roller to make it go faster & I will be starting soon. If you want to add design, many stencils are available, incl a custom one for each floor tile. You can also add sand for no slip floors. If anyone has grout stain or color issues, Grout Renew from Home Depot is the bomb! They have many colors and it's easy to do. You can change your grout color & seal in one step. Lastly, if u have short cabinets over the sink, leave the doors off, remove the center post, paint inside & use for cookbooks or display. Sorry this is so long but I found so many great ideas from other folks online I felt I had to share. Congrats on starting your project, that's half the battle. Please post a pic when you're done.

    • Michele Michele on Oct 21, 2014
      @Sharon Thanks so much! It sounds like our minds are in the same place!

  • Leilani Leilani on Oct 21, 2014
    How about introducing another color to the doors? With either the border or the middle adding a lighter color to brighten up the whole look

    • Michele Michele on Oct 21, 2014
      @Leilani What would you put in the middle? I thought about that, too!

  • Michele Michele on Oct 26, 2014
    I think that I"m going to leave the bottom color because I worked so hard on it and have so much more to do, but I'm going to put the satin poly on it. Anyone know if I can put the satin poly right over the gloss poly, or so I have to sand first. Then I need to figure out the top cabinet color. I did not know there was cabinet paint! I am also going to check out Pinterest for counter redos. Thanks everybody! Any ideas on the top color?

    • MaryStLouis MaryStLouis on Dec 31, 2014
      I'm late to the game here. What did you end up doing with the upper cabinets?

  • Darla Darla on Oct 27, 2014
    I think it would look good if you painted them a lighter shade of the same maroon color - sort of a rose color.

  • Myrna Engle Myrna Engle on Nov 22, 2014
    Michele, consider scrubbing well and using regular floor wax on them. Apply slowly with a quality brush. You will look brand new and it's washable for years. I love mine.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 05, 2015
    Hi Michele! Nothing worse than finally deciding on a project color and then not having it turn out the way you had envisioned. I think the issue is the poly over the semi gloss paint. If you used a good paint, you wouldn't need to add the poly coat. If you don't want to start over, since you are going to leave them as is, you still will need to sand that gloss finish off. The top cabinets need to balance out the white floor contrast, perhaps a creamy white, since the countertops and sink appear to be beige. Then perhaps you can add matching hardware that will tie it all together. Good Luck!!

  • Lynn Lynn on Jan 15, 2015
    I would paint the cabinets a gray/pink color. Your counters are yellow, so the maroon is just not cohesive. And, yes, I would paint both top and bottom cabinets (trim too) with same gray/rose. It will draw the eye towards the cabinets and not the counter.

  • Darla Darla on Jan 16, 2015
    Just curious - how do you keep a white floor in the kitchen clean?

    • Michele Michele on Jan 16, 2015
      @Darla I have 4 dogs and mud and show outside most of the time in the winter, so sticks and mud and leaves are being tracked in all the time. I learn to live with it. But I can sweep, and then spray it with cleaner, and clean it with towels under my feet. It cleans up really well! Get this--my mother has CARPET in her kitchen. That says a lot about her, don't you think? LOL