Asked on Apr 01, 2016

Should I re-stain or paint my cabinets?

Olga Hixson
by Olga Hixson


3 years later😂 I decided to paint them white and I am so very pleased with the results!

We bought a new house with these ugly cabinets. I really cannot stand them but there won't be any kitchen- renovation- budget for a while so I have to make them work. 1.The oak grain is very pronounced ,so staining would be an easy way out. 2.Java and espresso stain are out of the question. 3. I am concerned that if I end up filling the grain and painting, the end result will be average because the panels are flat and not raised. The style cannot be too cottage-y nor too modern because it's a traditional style home.

  194 answers
  • Katy Bowss Katy Bowss on Apr 01, 2016
    I would leave them alone personally. I would decorate the top area and a few things on countertop. This will draw your eye away from cabinet. JMO. :)
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    • Synthia Collard Synthia Collard on Jul 30, 2023

      No it doesn't help to decorate the top of the cabinet s...I have the same type of cabinet... I decorated the top of my cabinet s and even put lights and when you walk into the kitchen the cabinets are an eye sore.... It's all you see....

      Love the white cabinets 🤍🐻‍❄️🤍

  • Diane Gelinas Diane Gelinas on Apr 01, 2016
    Paint the cabinets an off white color and add new hardware. Paint the walls the same color as the dining room or a shade one lighter.
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    • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Feb 26, 2018

      Totally agree with your suggestion Diana.

  • Kar Kar on Apr 01, 2016
    I have ugly cabinets myself. I am going to chalk paint the bottom cabinets medium gray and the top ones a very pale gray almost white
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    • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jan 21, 2017

      I have the same kitchen and plan to paint just the bottom ones a light coco brown or wipe a dark wash to bring out the grain. I am lucky enough to have some spare doors to test on. I do plan to post when I get going but that will likely be late summer.

  • William William on Apr 01, 2016
    I would paint them. Lightly sand to remove any gloss, prime, paint and seal. I have seen lowers painted one color and tops another.
  • Susan Vinales Susan Vinales on Apr 01, 2016
    I also would paint them with chalk paint. A friend of mine did this and they turned out great.
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    • Jennifer Jennifer on Apr 21, 2017

      Doesn't the chalk paint add weight to the doors? There is usually a metal of some in paint for color and magnetic. Just curious, thanks

  • Diy Design Fanatic Diy Design Fanatic on Apr 01, 2016
    I've always been partial to white kitchen cabinets, so I would definitely paint them!
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    • Tracey walker Tracey walker on Feb 11, 2018

      What shade did you use? I am doing mine and cant seem to pick a lite shade? Did you seal afterwards?

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 01, 2016
    Personally I am not a fan of painted wood. I would opt for striping and restraining. The are many colors available from Min Wax .I whould suggest researching that. Once you decide on a color I then would change out your wall color so the cabinets blend in rather than standout. Ps. I do not think they are ugly at all. In fact I had ugly cabinets and took me twenty yrs. being in my home before I could afford new ones and we did the work ourselves.
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    • Wendell Cochran Wendell Cochran on Mar 06, 2018

      Most all pre-made cabinets are not stained; they are spray painted with a pigmented lacquer finish in the color of the buyer's choice. The pigmentation stain/mix they add to the lacquer to give the finish its color is available in a number of basic pre-packaged commercial formulas -- golden oak, French provincial, etc. Refinishing wood cabinets in order to change the color is a labor intensive project, best left to professionals who have space, striping products, equipment and experience available where they can work to strip all the parts and then have a clean space where they can apply the new finish with a air sprayer. Painting with a good paint brush and a quality band latex enamel (mat, eggshell, semi-gloss) is user friendly for most homeowners. Otherwise, investigate applying a new color and finish with an airless spay gun and an oil based paint product formulated for interior surfaces. Your local lumber yard or a home remodel contractor should be able to advise you on the best choice of products. I would stay away from ordinary latex water based paint products for anywhere in the kitchen area because of the grease vapors that are emitted from stove top cooking and use of the oven. You can't scrub latex paint, especially any kind that is flat finished or textured such as chalk or milk based paint that was mentioned. Personally, style wise, I would never change the c color or the finish on gorgeous wood cabinets like the ones shown in the photos; If you are tired of the looks of the kitchen, repaint the wall and case work around the doors and windows, add wider, dramatic crown molding, and install a stunning tile/mosaic back splash on the wall above the counter. For a added contrast, you could paint the lower cabinets of the island some unexpected color such as navy blue, dark teal, butterscotch, or even black to coordinate with the marbling in the granite counter tops and the black stove. Should ; you decide to paint with a paint brush, plan on applying at least two coats for a superior smooth finish and durable surface..

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 01, 2016
    You may not be fond of the cabinets but they are far from ugly! If anything, you have an abundance of the same tone of wood with the existing flooring. Consider adding a rug or runner and some updated door hardware. I'm thinking this is the realtors photo so adding your own personal touches with window coverings etc are also things that will greatly change the rooms appearance.
  • M M on Apr 01, 2016
    It will be less work to re-stain than it will be to paint. A darker stain would provide contrast with the existing floor and granite.
  • CarolynDeline CarolynDeline on Apr 01, 2016
    I just finished painting my oak cabinets. I am very happy with the results, however, I painted them cream and glazed with a dark brown glaze, which settled into the grain. If I hadn't glazed, the grain would have been all but gone. I agree with MN Mom, your cabinets are beautiful, but hey, if you don't like them, then painting or staining would be a good option. I posted my cabinet project on Hometalk, but i have no idea how to link you to it. Perhaps search my posts, if you are interested in how I did mine. Good luck!
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    • Betty Weidt Betty Weidt on May 08, 2017

      That is exactly what I did to my cabinets and then added some braided trim that I also painted and stained. everyone is amazed how good  they look

  • VivienB VivienB on Apr 01, 2016
    I don't think those cabinets are ugly at all! I would love to have them. Try a different paint color on the walls, and add a rug to break up all the wood. Lovely kitchen as is, though.
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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Apr 23, 2017

      I agree...we had tiles and they picked up the cold and stayed cold. We also had cement with vinyl flooring ...cold cold...and hard on feet and back.

  • Well forget about staining then. You said no Java or Espresso. That leaves Walnut. any other stain will be too close to what you already have. Someone said staining would be less work than painting. I beg to differ. To re-stain that wood and have it look good, you have to completely strip off the existing stain. That is no small job. Trust me, either hire out for that or paint them. I'm with you, I hate oak cabinets (or rather that builder basic look with the golden oak color). I had them years ago. It would be cool to strip them, stain them in ebony and let that grain show.. But I don't know if you would like it with what you have. (see the pic I've attached so you can see what I'm referring to. I love the black oak by RH) I think your cabinets done like this would be amazing!! the other pic just shows what the black would look like with your kitchen coloring. I don't think you want to do a wood filler. That's opening up a whole other can of DIY worms! If you use the right paint, it should cover most of the grain. I think the oak graining showing through looks really good though. I would not try and cover it. That leaves paint. Since you want a traditional look, I would go with a paint made for wood trim. Ben Moore Advance in a glossy or semi gloss would look amazing. I use it all the time when I'm painting wood. (And I have painted with just about every brand on the market!) Don't know what colors you are drawn to, but the sky's the limit. How bout a darker color on the bottom cabs? Just do the end cabinets, or one of them, and see how it turns out before you commit to painting everything. It's just paint. Do one cabinet and live with it for a few days. If you like it, paint the rest. Plenty of how-to's on here and on Pinterest. Also plenty of pics on Pinterest if you want chalk painted cabinets. Personally I think chalk painted cabs are more for a county or shabby chic type kitchen and not the traditional look you said you are going for. And don't forget the hardware. That makes all the difference in your look. It's like jewelry for cabinets so try and stay away from the builder basics of what's on there now. Can you redo the back-splash?? It can be cheap if you do it yourself. You don't have a lot of space to tile so I don't think you would have to spend hardly anything. Check Craigslist for left over tile that people are selling. You can find some natural stone or mosaics for a song!
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    • LaVonne Kimmes LaVonne Kimmes on Jul 02, 2017

      Beautiful on the cabinets! Ebony stain?

  • Bron Bron on Apr 02, 2016
    I think you have some good ideas offered so far. I have another to add to the choices...... I love the wooden floors and although I like the cabinets as well I think there is too much wood. I like the photos above but tend to think maybe it would be too dark. Perhaps painting the cabinets a mid charcoal rather than black which I think is too dark. Painting the walls a very light creamy charcoal to blend in and enhance the wooden floors. I also think a nice runner would warm the whole kitchen up. Also if you don' t like the cabinet handles you can easily update those. Maybe wrought iron or silver handles? Good luck would love to see the results. Or another idea would be to use lemon as a color choice for the cabinets as it would blend in with the floors and bench colors?
  • Irene Irene on Apr 02, 2016
    Paint them white or off white. Easier to paint & cheaper.
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  • Duitch Sloane Duitch Sloane on Apr 02, 2016
    I think they would be stunning, white or light grey (or even the biggest trend - two different colors - one upper, one lower). That Shaker style is very much in vogue, and works well in almost any decor. Paint would be a great upgrade. If they are Oak, staining is not easy as the grain is so pronounced, and tends to raise up when you apply the stain....
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    • Rosie Nash Rosie Nash on Jan 31, 2018

      I would like to wipe-on something that would make my older, yellowed, light-oak cabinets look like they have a soft muted glaze on them, to tone down the yellow. Can you recommend something? I don't want to paint, nor do I want to strip and stain. I hope this gets to you since it's almost two years ago now. My email is Surprise me! Thanks!

  • Jim L Jim L on Apr 02, 2016
    What a nice looking kitchen! The two color scheme will work well. Paint the bottom cabinets a "darker" gray and the upper an "off white" or soft white. Then find a rug that you like and pick a color from it to use as a accent color. I hope that you will show us an "after" photo.
  • Zeliemimi Zeliemimi on Apr 02, 2016
    We had beech cabinets with this yellowed stain as well as crackle paint from the previous owner. We stripped and sanded them and then used Minwax Pickled Oak stain on them. Our kitchen is only 13'x15' with 1 window and these lighter cabinets really make it look much brighter.
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    • Jes16491510 Jes16491510 on Mar 24, 2017

      Your pickled oak finish is just stunning with the backsplash stone/tile. I might never leave the kitchen!

  • Lauren Lund Lauren Lund on Apr 02, 2016
    Although painted cabinets are very pretty and popular, a wood finish is much easier to care for in a kitchen. Light sanding with touch up staining and finishing is also an easier process than painting. I've done both paint and stain extensively, and I've watched the outcome for a couple of decades in rental properties where wear and tear is high. Paint isn't as durable, and white paint is pretty challenging to keep clean, especially with grease. That said, everyone should do exactly what they want to do!
    • Liz Liz on Apr 02, 2016
      @Lauren Lund I totally agree with your information. I love stained wood, and really, all it needs is a light sanding before staining and finishing, as you said. I'm actually so tired of painted cabinets, especially white and grey ones. It's a fad, and at my age, I've seen lots of fads come and go. Soon, people will be wanting to strip off the things they have painted and re-stain them!
  • Cindy Cindy on Apr 02, 2016
    I love them the way they are!?
  • Sbsb1005 Sbsb1005 on Apr 02, 2016
    I have these cabinets. I prepped them well with tsp to get off year of grease. Remove all the doors and hardware (mark them well where they all go back) and I painted them each with 4 coats black paint. I like how the grain comes through. 4 thin coats so there were no drips and they cured well. It took me a whole month of doing 4 doors at a time both sides. Then of course the boxes. I keep a small jar of touch up paint in the kitchen. Once a while it needs a touch up on the cabinets used most often only by the handle. I used eggshell so they are not shiny but they are durable. I did use butchers wax on a few to add durability but it wasnt necessary. I did this 4 years ago and wipe them down when needed. They still look great!
  • Lizzy L Lizzy L on Apr 02, 2016
    I would definitely paint them white, but make sure you pick a white that compliments the granite.
  • Jane Jane on Apr 02, 2016
    Have you considered updating them with beautiful hardware. Some stainless bar pulls would compliment the stainless appliances and give the cabinets some jewelry. The island could be painted a different color to give contrast. You have a very nice kitchen...I'm jealous ;-)
    • James Stephenson James Stephenson on Jul 12, 2017

      I would love to have oak cabinets! Painting them would be like painting granite countertops. Oak is warm and inviting. White is cold and sterile.

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Apr 02, 2016
    We had cabinets that had already been painted using latex paint, and chipping and wear was definitely a problem. For under $800, we took all doors and drawer fronts to a man who professionally spray painted them using oil based paint. We got the leftover paint to do the boxes ourselves which was a much easier job than anticipated. I know some people just hate painting wood, but in our case, we were just repainting. They look awesome and I'm pretty sure they will continue to wear well. Very, very easy to clean if you do so often and quickly following the (coffee!) stains (that my husband invariably leaves after going to work!). The finish looks like lacquer and is beautiful. I highly doubt that oak cabinets will be back in style anytime soon, and staining would almost certainly make them darker, which is usually the opposite direction most of us want to go. The money was well spent for the outcome! Whatever you decide, post a follow up photo so we can see the result!
  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Apr 02, 2016
    You could also get a dark gel stain and with a cloth, just rub some on it making sure you get the gel into the edges. It will look"aged" but it will add texture and contrast with your floors. It's easy! make sure you clean your cabinets first with a mr.clean eraser.
  • Delores Snellen Delores Snellen on Apr 02, 2016
    I have the same color cabinets and counter top but my backsplash is different color of tiles to match the colors in the counter top. I want different color of cabinets but I do not want to paint them. I had painted white cabinets in my other house and I got tired of them. I want dark cabinets but afraid my kitchen will be really dark
    • Jeanne Jeanne on Jul 17, 2017

      Delores, take a look at I just read that post before this one (same slideshow), and the dark Java gel stain - painted on, not wiped, looks outstanding with those countertops. It may be just what you're looking for.

  • Karen Howard Karen Howard on Apr 02, 2016
    The real Question is-Do you prefer a Wood finish, a Stain, or painted cabinets & whichever you choose-what shade/of what color do you like? Good Luck!
  • Miren Ruiz Miren Ruiz on Apr 02, 2016
    yopintaria de color gris claro.O combinando gris claro arriba con oscuro abajo.Esta de moda,tanto el gris como el blanco.Tambien puedes combinar estos dos.Los tiradores en acero pulido quedaran muy bien.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Apr 02, 2016
    The layout of your kitchen is very spacious. My suggestion would be to prime and paint them midnight black in a satin finish. I think black would look wonderful with your stainless steel appliances and your beautiful counter tops. Best of luck.
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    • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Apr 03, 2016
      @Boadicea And look at those beautiful floors! I'd also hang sheer panels 4" from the ceiling to difuse bright light and keeping it airy. I'm so jealous.
  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Apr 02, 2016
    I think a nice dark cherry stain would look good with countertops and be a cross between modern and traditional depending on what other color you put in the rokm.
  • Pat whitmus Pat whitmus on Apr 02, 2016
    Do you have a FAV color that you constantly gravitate towards and will this color be in or near your kitchen? If you paint you might consider using a favorite color that you never get tired looking at.
  • Liz Liz on Apr 02, 2016
    I remember in a design class that the professor said to always use colors, (or stains), that are repeated elsewhere in the room. It brings a sense of continuity. I noticed a darker brown color in your counter top. Min Wax has a beautiful, traditional walnut stain. The more coats of stain that you apply, the darker it gets, so you have control of the color stain that you choose. Min Wax has a very helpful website, explaining how to use their products. I don't work for Min Wax, I've just used their wonderful products for years and trust them for beautiful results.
  • Cj Jones Cj Jones on Apr 02, 2016
    Its just as much work to stain as it is to paint. Light grey is a trendy color now and would break up the monotony of so much brown.
  • Cj Jones Cj Jones on Apr 02, 2016
    Its just as much work to stain as it is to paint. Light grey is a trendy color now and would break up the monotony of so much brown.
  • Vickie Donaldson Vickie Donaldson on Apr 02, 2016
    Personally I would paint the bottom cabinetry a darker color that goes with your color scheme and then have the top cupboards re-faced with a white. The come in and do only the frames and doors. It would be stunning. Don't be afraid of color. The grain from the oak won't show through as much with a dark color. Also use an oil base. It fills in the cracks better. When you paint get your Kilz tinted the same color as your finishing paint.
  • Katrina Thiessen-Beasse Katrina Thiessen-Beasse on Apr 02, 2016
    Why not just whitewash them? Light sanding to remove the sealant and open the pores up, wipe them down well, then dry-brush some white or light grey over the remaining stain.
  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Apr 03, 2016
    Hi Olga, I played with your kitchen photo to show you different color options for your cabinets. Hope this helps.
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  • Laura Williams-May Laura Williams-May on Apr 03, 2016
    II would paint because in 30 years they may be retro and someone will want to strip them If you have stained they will never be able to be taken back to the original condition.
  • Kar Kar on Apr 04, 2016
    I made my own. Painted this weekend love the results.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Apr 05, 2016
    Lol you are my new best friend!! I too hate oak cabinets with a passion and purchased my home just under 3 years ago. It literally drives me crazy! I have not done them yet for a few reasons. We HAD popcorn ceilings that I hated just as much so those had to go first off! Hiring someone to do it was going to cost about $10,000 which I thought was absolutely nuts! I ended up doing them myself and they came out beautifully! I thought I wanted the cabinets done in the Java Gel Espresso which I ended up doing in 2 of my bathrooms. I love it but realized that is not what I wanted to live with. I will eventually change out those cabinets. Now for the kitchen. I am home most of the time so I have the opportunity to really get a feel for my traditional home as well. I have stood in the dining room, living room, entry way in front and back and what I figured out is that I want all the rooms to coordinate with each other. So in the end I have decided to paint the bottom cabinets in a color I found called mink and the top cabinets I will do white but I will also change out the doors for open glass on several of them. Hope that helps!
  • Sandi Reynolds Sandi Reynolds on May 04, 2016
  • LuAnn Roberts LuAnn Roberts on Sep 22, 2016
    Cabinet Transformations by Rustoleum is the best and easy too. Many colors to choose from. I went from oak like yours to a chocolate brown.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Oct 01, 2016
    I would paint white on top dark on bottomones.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Oct 01, 2016
    Also add different handles or pulls.
  • Susan Susan on Oct 02, 2016
    if you use chalk paint there is no prep other than washing them down. You can also spray paint the hardware and save some money.
  • LuAnn Roberts LuAnn Roberts on Oct 03, 2016
    I will have to load some of them.
  • We have the same granite and it can be hard to find the right color of paint to go with it imo. We also have a very traditional and formal house and I had the same train of thought as you... we can't do cottage, we can't do this or that, and then I decided that yes, we *can* do anything we want as long as the decor is cohesive. I'm currently painting my cabinets Lamp Black from General Finishes and I absolutely love the transformation so far. And don't buy into the "no prep" because you'll end up disappointed when your paint starts chipping and flaking. I just did a post on prepping kitchen cabinets and it has a sneak peak of my cabinets. Good luck with it!
  • Jackie Jackie on Oct 05, 2016
    I had ugly cabinets too. We bought a home with very dark cabinets. I painted the top white and the bottom gray and added a gray and white glass mosaic backsplash. However you wouldn't need a back splash right away. You could use a cream on top and darker brown that blends with your counter tops for the bottom and add or paint the hardware a different color. Good Luck!
  • Sherry Boyle Sherry Boyle on Oct 08, 2016
    You could replace some of the door panels with a pretty class of your choice to change the whole look without repainting anything.
  • Linda Barrett Dirksen Linda Barrett Dirksen on Oct 22, 2016
    I can Invision a creamy color with your counter tops and beautiful floors, it will be stunning!
  • Ginger Ginger on Oct 26, 2016
    I agree that something needs changing. If you decide to stain try Minwax Polyshades all in one stain and finish. You can very lightly sand( no stripping needed) and apply the polyshades right over the existing stain to change the color. Here is a link to their colour chart If you decide to paint, depending on your budget, I'd consider trimming the inside of the frames on the cabinet doors with a rope moulding and then paint them all out in an ivory or cream ,replace the hardware and change your wall color. You could also go over the painted and trimmed out cabinets with dark wax to lightly bring out the detail on the trim. hope this helps. Here is a link to a photo illustrating what I mean. Hope this helps and good luck!
  • Dmotan Dmotan on Oct 27, 2016
    Yes, paint. I think gray in a warm tone would be wonderful. Benjamin Moore made a paint called Advance and it does wonders on cabinets.
  • Barbara Barbara on Oct 27, 2016
    You can use a white wash stain available at home Depot, this will give you a lighter color and is easy to apply with paint brush then wipe with clean soft cloth while still wet,
  • Adele Kurtz Adele Kurtz on Oct 27, 2016
    Here are a few studies to show you some of these ideas.
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  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 27, 2016
    I had the same challenge in my new home. I decided to degloss them, then repaint them in a driftwood gray milk paint, added a couple satin top coats and added some hardware. Here are the before and after pics. I absolutely love the look!
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  • DStewart DStewart on Oct 27, 2016
    How long did it take to dry between coats? And what did you use to degloss them?
    • Cindy Cindy on Oct 28, 2016
      Also, the milk paint dries very quickly. I had two coats completed within a couple hours on this section.
  • Barbara Barbara on Oct 28, 2016
    I only wanted a light finish so I wiped it off within a minute , you can leave it on longer for a whiter finished, this leaves a mat finish and is dry within 10 minutes , follow directions on can.
  • Cj Jones Cj Jones on Oct 28, 2016
    I like using chalk paint. It dries very fast and it doesn't show a lot of brush strokes. I usually use a sponge brush also. You need to use at least 2 coats of sealer over the chalk paint. It is a lot of work to re-do cabinets. Make sure you number doors when putting them back up. Good luck and happy painting.
  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 28, 2016
    The best de-glosser on the market is Rust-o-leums Zinsserr Paint Deglosser. It's only available online, but trust me when I say that no other deglosser works as well as this one and I've tried plenty. In my experience, the deglosser is the key to this whole project and I've done kitchens, bathrooms, linen closets and even my stairs and this is hands down worth every penny and saved me countless hours from sanding. As for the time between coats, I worked in very small sections because once you apply the deglosser, after giving it 30 minutes to work it's magic, you must put the first coat of paint on within 30 minutes after the deglosser has set (so one hour from start of deglosser, to paint application). I did two coats of milk paint and two coats of satin finish top coat. Hope this helps!
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    • Cindy Cindy on Nov 01, 2016
      Hi Hillela! I will send you a before and after pics of the kitchen and one of my bathrooms. I can also send you pics of my staircase if you are interested. Enjoy!
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  • Adele Kurtz Adele Kurtz on Oct 29, 2016
    Your cabinets are NOT ugly. They'd be lovely stained to contrast the floors and stainless. Here are pics to prove it. Please, let me know which you like best.
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    • Adele Kurtz Adele Kurtz on Dec 14, 2016

      I am so happy that I decided NOT to white-wash or paint my cabinets solid on either of my two kitchens. And Definitely that I did NOT replace -- $$$$$$ -- most new cabinets are inferior in construction to what we already have. One kitchen did great with a 4-hour cleaning -- looks new even after another year. The other we did the gray-wash technique, darker to neutralize the orange. Saved a ton of $ - so later on -- IF we decide to go new -- at least we tried something fun in the meantime.

  • Linda Barrett Dirksen Linda Barrett Dirksen on Oct 29, 2016
    Personally, I agree with some of the comments, they are not bad. I have the dilemma. Your granite is beautiful, how about a creamy off-white with beautiful new knobs and remove the middle door to expose painted shelves or have a paned glass panel put in to add interest to the wall of cabinets. I could really picture it with the flooring and counters. Let us know!
  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Oct 31, 2016
    Hi Robin, I do it in photoshop but I am sure there are other apps you can use if you don't have photoshop. If you want, send me the photo and I will do it for you. No problem. :)
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    • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Nov 27, 2016

      Yes! send me the picture and I can show you several color options. My email is



  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Nov 15, 2016
    You have a beautiful kitchen,the only thing that I would change are the knobs. I would upgrade them to match stainless steel appliances. I would also buy larger updated handles.
  • Shannon Olden Shannon Olden on Nov 15, 2016
    if you paint them with chalk paint, coverage is excellent. no priming or sanding. white or ivory would be nice. or ivory on top and french blue on the bottom. oak looks lovely painted as you maintain the grain but an updated look.
  • Diane Gifford Diane Gifford on Dec 13, 2016

    I do cabinets for a living. I personally would never use chalk paint on cabinets. You would need to wax them. That is not a preferred top coat for something like cabinets. You need something to withstand cleaning etc. I clean prime and paint. all sprayed in an enamel.

    • KK KK on Dec 26, 2016

      What to do with Honey Oak cabinets that have lost the varnish and need something done to get it updated

      - also oak railings for the staircase


  • Stolzy Stolzy on Dec 13, 2016

    I was stuck in-between budget with my kitchen also. You're lucky, you have beautiful counters and floors already. I used a white wash . There was one that had a blueish cast to it and another that was creamy. I went with creamy. I liked it so much that when we finished enclosing the old summer kitchen I wanted the old kitchen cabinets put there. So I still have them. With your counter the creamy would look really nice. Also, pop out a few panels and put in glass. The pane forms are inexpensive, but really classy.

  • Meg Meg on Dec 14, 2016

    I think the cabinets are lovely the way they are. Have you thought of just updating the hardware or using a molding added for more depth?

  • Sherry Mueller Sherry Mueller on Dec 14, 2016

    Defiantly paint.

  • Pat11183342 Pat11183342 on Dec 15, 2016

    I don't think your cabinets are the problem. What I believe is the problem, your cabinets and flooring color are close in value but not in color.

    I may have a cheap and simple solution for you. If it doesn't solve the problem, at least it's cheap and easily undone.

    I believe to solve the visual issue you need a black or dark brown cabinet floor base (sorry I'm drawing a blank on the proper name, but the wood base the cabinet body rest's on. Might be called mop board). I would take a piece of cardboard or scrap wood and paint it black than place it against the mop board. See if that helps. If it does, than change the mop boards or just paint them. if it's not quite right, I suggest changing the cabinet's hardware to black or dark brown also. Again to a trial, buy one knob or drawer pull and try it on.

  • Sheila Crighton Sheila Crighton on Dec 17, 2016

    Great kitchen. I love my painted cabinets... easy to clean. Here are my thoughts... I would consider a taupe colour on top cabinets and blue on bottom given yr floor and countertops.

  • Sheila Crighton Sheila Crighton on Dec 17, 2016


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  • Sheila Crighton Sheila Crighton on Dec 17, 2016

    Darker blue... navy

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  • Sarah A. Victory Sarah A. Victory on Dec 18, 2016

    I have previously had a new house w/similar granite. The cabinets were finished w/a creamy glaze and the inner edges of the panels were highlighted w/ a subtle burned look. I would upgrade the cabinet knobs and handles first and do a back splash (hard to tell if that is tile or not). I like the cabinets----the kitchen could use some personalization unless you like the minimal look. It seems that when one upgrades one thing several other pop up. Been there and I empathize! Best of luck. Merry Christmas!

  • Mcu11939048 Mcu11939048 on Dec 19, 2016

    Paint cut out centers and add glass will change whole look and add hardware cheap fast fix

  • Mar1293249 Mar1293249 on Dec 19, 2016

    Those cabinets look great! Just paint them or give them to me. Seriously, a country or farm kitchen is the new fad. They will look great in white or blue. Good luck!

  • Thelma brooks Thelma brooks on Dec 19, 2016

    if you paint white, I would suggest you go with a softer hue. Maybe off white. Pure white does not have the character of a softer white. Maybe chalk paint would be pretty.

  • Cbl8775653 Cbl8775653 on Dec 19, 2016

    i know that painted cabinets are all the rage now. I would never have them. I grew up in a 1912 farmhouse that had white painted kitchen cabinets. There were problems with them. First every speck of dirt was noticeable. Every splash of food, every finger print. The paint would get chipped and when Mom repainted them the dings were still noticeable. This was a working diary farm in N Dak. There were 3 active kids. Every Friday afternoon it was my job to wash those cabinets in preparation for the Sabbath. I now have oak cabinets and love them. The cabinets of course still have to be cleaned but not every little thing shows and dings, which happen especially if one has children, are much much easier to hide. Mine are 20 plus years old and still look great. Think long and hard before you repaint them especially if you have children. I

  • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Dec 20, 2016

    I agree. Olga, if in keeping with the character of the house, you want to update but not to white, stick with what you have. If it's merely to tone down the blond appearing hue, go to a reputable paint store and get advice.

    You'll want to talk to someone with experience, not a Christmas hire. That's all these guys (gals are better) do all day long; advise about paint and stains.

    Can you remove a door or a drawer and take it with you? That way the person helping you will have visuals.

    It appears someone has gone to the expense of granite countertops. Take those colors into consideration,too.

    If it's paint you want, how about a carmel color?

    Word of warning, you have one heck of a job ahead of you. All those doors should be removed before painting.

    I'd get a wiping stain, put some on a door back and see if it looks good. However, with the factory finish, there is little chance the stain will absorb and make much difference.

  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Dec 20, 2016

    Your cabinets are not ugly. I agree with many others do not paint them. But do paint your kick plate (someone called it a mopboard) black or dark brown, this will separate the floor and cabinets. Change your knobs to handles that match appliances, if you can't afford the expense at this time, paint the knobs either stainless, brushed nickle or oil rubbed bronze, (rustoleum product). Put a glass centre in your upper corner cabinet cabinet, if you don't want it clear, create panes with stained glass tape and use a glass paint (found at the craft store) on the inside to frost or make a pattern or put in a stained glass piece or see a glass shop that has muted glass for bathroom windows. You will be surprised at the difference these few changes will make. Good luck and please post when you have done your updates.

    • Charl Charl on Dec 26, 2016

      But they will still be oak...went out in the 80's. If done right, painted cabinets will look great and hold up great. She definitely needs a contrast with the floor. That style cabinet painted is very up to date...shaker style. I am contantly going to model homes for ideas...white is very popular now. It never goes out of style, besides looking great with stainless steel appliances. Cream cabinets will be great too with that granite. I agree, change out the hardware...I would suggest brushed nickel...Amazon has great prices for that, and a glass cabinet would add a lot too.

  • Janie Fields Janie Fields on Dec 20, 2016

    Your cabinets look great--just not the right color.

    Take the doors off. Take hardware off (replace later).

    Sand down to the bare wood --doors and boxes.

    Stain a color you like. Poly 3 or more coats. and you will be happy.

    Sand between each coat when dry.

    I also replaced all the outlets and plug in covers,

    cut out some or the door inserts in the corner

    and replaced with glass

    This takes a LOT of time but it is well worth it

  • Charl Charl on Dec 21, 2016

    White cabinets look beautiful...worth the little extra up keep....never go out of style.

  • Charles Charles on Dec 21, 2016

    Our cabinets are similar. When time comes we will stain.

  • Bee Bee on Dec 21, 2016

    We've painted cabinets white in several houses. Would do it again. It really improves the light.

  • Kj Kj on Dec 21, 2016

    I think you should take a look at your counters (gorgeous!) and find a nice light color that will compliment them but. To make them too bright. Blend t he colors you have to work with and tie them together so nothing screams at you.

  • Joye R. Foster Joye R. Foster on Dec 23, 2016

    WARNING!!! This a project that is bigger than I once thought. The preparation is very important. Do not skip steps.

  • Nancy Parisi Nancy Parisi on Dec 24, 2016

    I agree with all who say the prep work is most important. Yes, you will have to take off doors. I have solid wood cabinets, they are really shabby after 20 years. I considered having them painted ..... way expensive. My main problem, tho, was that the oak grain would probably show through the paint. Its been about three years since the estimate, and I am still deliberating.

    • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Dec 30, 2016

      Apparently there is a primer that helps fill in the grain a little so it is not so noticeable when painted, but I cannot remember what it is, maybe the paint specialist at Lowe's or Home Depot will be able to help. I was also told to stain with a darker gel stain, less prep and suppose to down play the grain. Good luck with your project. I too am still waiting to do mine, but have a hubby that doesn't like to paint solid wood cabinets oak or not, so will go with a gel stain. We also live in a log house so a little more difficult to decide which way to go.

  • Cj Cj on Dec 25, 2016

    I like wood, and more so with the grounds us. I agree that may be the hardware be updated (can be expensive so really shop around). I think the back splash is the issue. We renovated our kitchen and instead of tile we used glass sheets with a pattern( rain fall). Whats great its easy to clean and if you're creative you can come up with some very unique and original creations.

    It also looks like the tops are open and with accent lighting, some plants and cantainers it will beef up the look

    and tone down the cuboards.

    If these are solid wood, it would be a shame to paint. Stains come in some really great options now too.

  • Sta16295296 Sta16295296 on Dec 26, 2016

    I had cabinets almost identical. They were in great shape though and had pull out shelves etc. I had them refaced for less than half of new cabinets and it turned out fantastic. The whole project only took 3 days.

  • Sue Sue on Dec 30, 2016

    Your kitchen is beautiful! Leave it. The painted cabinets are a fad. People are going to have chipping problems, looks cheap, etc. Then what? Stripping paint is a NIGHTMARE!

  • Nancy Parisi Nancy Parisi on Dec 30, 2016

    Thanks, Nancy. I doubt the solid wood cabinets will be painted in my lifetime. Solid wood' , you know, ( stars and flowers around that 'solid wood'.) I am thinking about a darker stain, tho. I would have to remove the lacquer finish...yes, lacquer. We have a ton of cupboards, so it takes some doing to get up enough oomph to start.

  • Pmono7690 Pmono7690 on Dec 30, 2016

    Perhaps use some of the thermo plastic look like tin for the center of the door panel. That way you can lighten them up some. Others have recommended using glue with these, but I did a back splash with a brad nailer to cover up red Z-brick. This is a very small kitchen, the white makes it look ten times better. The fake tin tiles I got at a yard sale for $5 for 7 of them. Best $7 I every spent!

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  • Martin.deborah63 Martin.deborah63 on Jan 01, 2017

    Paint! New hardware! Wow what a kitchen!

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Jan 01, 2017

    I vote for painting them an off white/bone color. I had similar cabinets like yours & I had a professional painter do the work.

    He he took the drawer fronts & drawer fronts to his shop and did a coat of primer and 2 coats of enamel paint. He sprayed them and he did the cabinet trim by hand with the primer & paint. The project took 4 days (1 day to remove the drawers & doors, 3 days for painting & last day to install everything back). He told me to be careful with them for 3 weeks so they had time to cure.

    Heres es the picture of the "after" with them painted. Cost to have them professionally painted was $1,100.

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    • NancyMaria NancyMaria on Jan 21, 2017

      I like the job you did on the cabinets, well done. But is it just me or is the backsplash fighting the countertops. I would like a brushed stainless steel backsplash. Just a thought.

  • Deborah van der Toorn Deborah van der Toorn on Jan 03, 2017

    I would suggest changing the wall color first. It could make a tremendous change in how the cabinets look.

  • Linstap Linstap on Jan 04, 2017

    I had these same cabinets! I chose to paint the walls the darker color in the grain- kind of a burnt orange / brick color. It was very high end looking and now I love the wood!

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  • Sharon Mccoey Sharon Mccoey on Jan 04, 2017

    I would have glass put in some of the raised panel upper doors. Being able to see dishes and glasses will cut down on the too much wood vibe.

  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Jan 04, 2017

    Doesn't sound like you want to paint them - they are fine and look nice, so leave them. Put in a nice tile backsplash to really brighten up the kitchen and replace the hardware with something nicer and paint the bland walls. It will seem like a new kitchen without the effort of painting those cabinets - which is a huge job btw!

  • Andrea Andrea on Jan 08, 2017

    I think I read you are painting them. I have the exact cabinets I plan on painting when it warms up. I've been researching grain filler. What did you decide on that?

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 10, 2017

    A professional paint job will be about $2500-$3000 (maybe more depending on where you live). because you have so many cabinets. Some people opt out of painting the interior doors and insides. Personally, the doors must be painted on both sides to look right. I personally would not paint them. If you are a great DIYer, you could stain them. But you have to be meticulous to get a consistent matched look on all the cupboards. Maybe a new backsplash and knobs might help you at least like them a little. Another option might be to remove the two small doors over the fridge and use as display area or make a wine rack there.

    • Denise Gossen Hyatt Denise Gossen Hyatt on Jan 21, 2017

      Thank you for the idea to remove the doors on the cupboard over the refrigerator. I don't use that cabinet since it is so hard to reach for a height challenged person like me.

      I don't know what I would display but that is a good idea.

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 10, 2017

    Put glass inserts in just a few cabinets.

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  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 12, 2017

    You do have a few different types of colors kind of competing against each other, the orange cupboard, the sort of cherry colored floor and the peachy pink neutral on the walls! and then the Browns and tans of your counters. I would paint a cream or off white color, or white wash them to neutralize some of the many color pallePTS and allow your floor and counters draw more attention. Do not do any grain filler, the grain looks very nice coming through. And I believe you can add handles to make them look a little more upgraded.

  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 12, 2017

    Oh, and definitely change the wall color. Gonna be a little hard to work with the floor and counters, you may have to go a grey tone on the walls to help blend with the counters(is that a grey shade in there?) and negate the color of the floor. But definitely go cream or white wash on the cupboards to help brighten and neutralize all the different colors.

  • Douglas Beliakoff Douglas Beliakoff on Jan 14, 2017

    As high as those ceilings are, and as bright as that room is, you can choose to go a little more dramatic without it being overkill. I would go with black, change the hardware to stainless to match the appliances, and then start thinking about the wall color. I'd love to see something from the "olive green" family. I would also use under-the-counter lights above AND below the cabinets, shining up AND down. If you are unsure about the lighting, try strands of Christmas lights first. Keep us posted!

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    • Loretta Loretta on Jan 21, 2017

      I really like your idea and think it could work really well there. But she wasn't even willing to use the Java or Espresso, so not sure she would go for the black. But I like it and the walls an olive sounds nice as well!

  • LDodd LDodd on Jan 20, 2017

    Try painting the walls instead of the cabinets. The cabinets don't look bad at all -- at least not on my screen. Some Old English scratch cover might help even out the color on any pronounced grain. Changing the "too busy" pattern/color of the countertops could be worth considering.

    • Doris Jean Miller Doris Jean Miller on Jan 27, 2017

      I love my wood cabinets and I change my colors often so easy. I'm on yellow right now and oak cabinets. When they need a bit of cleaning I use The Victorian House Finish Rejuvenator to eliminate the grease buildup and get rid of the dog scratches and water damage around my sink. It's an old product made in Oklahoma I've used for years but it's on the web now.

  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 21, 2017

    By the way Olga, my friend in an apt used an Espresso color on the cabinets that have that faux grain kind of paper on them, and it looked fantastic to see the grain still coming through the paint!! Even though the grain was fake, but it still looked fantastic! She used a satin finish. I agree with going black and then painting the walls olive. I would even change out the floor color when you can. I think that is laminate, not hardwood, right? If it is wood then yippee, you on,y have to change the stain color!,

  • Irene Gronewald Irene Gronewald on Jan 22, 2017

    you have wood floors ..white sqare tile stainless steel appliances...a beautiful nuetrel colored counter top...hmmmmm do you want them to stand out or go away? blend in..white or beige or color of a newly painted wall...if to make them" pop" do dark earth in black leather brown...definately put stailess steel hard ware the long type that stands bring out appliances could take a sanding block and sand corners to bring out wood underneath...i do like the way the dark painted cabinets turned out...but in my kitchen...i like lighter colors....good luck

  • Ros16435266 Ros16435266 on Jan 22, 2017

    I would paint them an enamal cream color which will wash off nicely if anything gets on them and I would add some really nice hardware in silver Handel's you can always drill another hole I just seen these the other day on e-bay they are knifes forks spoons for cupboard and draws in fact I ordered some for my kitchen! Hope this helps!

  • Ros16435266 Ros16435266 on Jan 22, 2017

    Also you could redo your backsplash with self adhesive squares in multi colors of creams and browns. To match the enamel cream color paint for your cubboards!

  • Irk8415906 Irk8415906 on Jan 23, 2017

    paint them! it will look fresh. It's what people are doing now and go look at painted cabinets at pinterest or DIY.

  • Kj Kj on Jan 23, 2017

    Before you do anything, try using a degreaser and giving them a good old-fashioned scrubbing! You could be surprised by the color of the finish when you are done! It may take away that orangy tone that seems to be throwing off the balance of the room, colorwise.

    My other suggestion, if that works out well, is to paint the walls a bright toned navy blue. With the beautiful crown molding, and lighter cabinets, the stainless will be the focal point. Change the hardware to stainless or nickel, and give the floor a good high gloss "waxing" and I think the room will have a completely different feel to it.

  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 23, 2017

    I just saw another posting about someone painting the cabinets black and it looks fantastic! I would do a search on this site for kitchen reno's and look at the ones where they have painted them black. Just a thought :)

  • Lynn Lynn on Feb 07, 2017

    I'm a kitchen and bath designer.....which means I see a lot of kitchens. Right now the hot color is grey. You could try painting the cabinets a medium grey, the walls a light grey.

    Put some new handles and Knobs in stainless.

    I have off white uppers and Java lowers.

    I would have gone all white, but grandchildren are rough on the lowers!

    if you do decide to paint the cabinets, make sure you sand and prime. The paint wont stand up to cleaning if you don't.

    You can order paint and primer right from a cabinet company. It comes with directions.

    Good luck.

  • Caroleconway Caroleconway on Feb 08, 2017

    Paint them. So much easier that restraining and much easier to touch up

  • Magnoliagirl Magnoliagirl on Feb 10, 2017

    I would keep it simple. If it were my kitchen, I would paint the cabinets white, them give them an antique finish with a brown glaze. Check with Sherwin Williams...they have the best cabinet paint. Paint the island a different color to add interest. New drawer pulls will make a big difference too! If the island has a thin Lauan panel on the outside where seating might be, you can add beadboard for better wear, and takes paint well. I can't see the island, but adding a decorative cornice at each end on the overhang adds a decorative feature also. First, take steps to prepare the cabinets correctly, and they should last.

  • Barbara Barbara on Feb 13, 2017

    The decision you make for your kitchen will depend entirely on your personal style. I have a 'farmhouse style' kitchen in our early 50's home simply because I like the look. I like your existing flooring and I'd stay away from anything tiled, grout is such a beast in kitchens exposed to fumes/grease from cooking. I'd paint the cabinets in a soft ivory semi-gloss, paint the surrounding walls a slightly darker color of your choice (mine would be a 'country blue') and keep the ceilings and other woodwork (window and door trim) stark white for lift and contrast. Changing the drawer pulls and knobs can blend or add interest - I used oil-rubbed bronze to coordinate with two new light fixtures and our existing black granite countertops. Light reflecting decor items on top of the cabinets, maybe Ball canning jars or a pretty dish collection with color, could round out the finished kitchen with minimal $$ investment. I found our cabinet hinges and the knobs/pulls new on Ebay instead of paying exorbitant prices elsewhere. Go with good paint: Sherwin Williams, I painted our kitchen 10 years ago and there are no chips, scratches dings, etc - SW just has the best paint, a little more expensive, but worth it in the end, you won't have to redo them every 2-3 years. Our kitchen was 'greige' originally as it was trendy at the time, but made it too dark and depressing for me.

  • Painting is definitely easier if you're wanting something quick stay away from trends especially if you potentially may want to sell the home...trending a kitchen and a bath can date your home and make it difficult to sell later down the road... try to stick with something that is Earth Tones that most people can work with. .. going gray or black dates you're home and causes difficulties for sales or even if you want to change up your kitchen later it's a lot more work..

    Depending on whether you want to go to light or dark you have wood floors you have a light-colored backsplash your countertops have a nice color to them I would pick a color in your countertop whether it be dark or light to do your cabinets in.

  • Claude Claude on Feb 14, 2017

    My sister painted her a grey/white and they are georgeous! I would stay away from black unless you have a childless household. Limited black, like for an a mass...not so nice. If you doubt me, hang a black sheet over a few doors for yourself.

    good luck...

  • Arlene Arlene on Feb 17, 2017

    You have pretty granite countertops. They'd look fabulous if the cabinets were "French vanilla" with brown glaze! Please show us all what you end up doing!

  • Karen D. Klinefelter Karen D. Klinefelter on Feb 18, 2017

    I wish I had them, I would just clean with a good orange cleaner. my cabinets are metal with contact paper.

  • Martha Lopez Roland Martha Lopez Roland on Feb 18, 2017

    I was so tired of my oak cabinets. I kept talking to my husband about painting them, which he constantly turned his nose up to the idea. So, one day I just took a few of them off & started painting them. Once I finished painting all of them we got new black handles & knobs on them. He was really happy with the outcome! It was funny too, my Mother-in-law came down for a visit & thought that we had gotten new cabinets. How funny is that? She also loved them, as does everyone that's been over. We had some new windows put in our home, & when the Specialist from Lowes came over to give us an estimate, he was just amazed at how good they looked. He said that his wife had been wanting to paint theirs too. So he took pictures to show her how ours came out. Needless to say, now my husband lets me do whatever I want to Our Home! haha

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  • C C on Feb 18, 2017

    Keep in mind, if you paint you can never go back to stain unless you strip them. I would stain them a different color and if you still aren't happy with them, go ahead and paint them.

    • See 1 previous
    • Doris Jean Miller Doris Jean Miller on Mar 10, 2017

      This Rejuvenator has saved so many pieces..antiques and wood floors. I use it for everything. Flipped 3 houses using it.

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  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Feb 18, 2017

    Stain comes in many colors and basically simple to do. Later when you have the budget to renovate, you could sell your stained ones online whereas painted ones might not sell as quickly. Great kitchen.

  • Dmotan Dmotan on Feb 20, 2017

    I had my cabinets painted with Benj. Moore oil paint. So pleased. If you want latex base, get Advance paint by Benj. Moore. The grain coming through won't hurt anything. Many new cabinets in kitchen display places have the grain showing and the cabinets are painted.

  • Sue Sue on Feb 20, 2017

    I had contemplating doing the staining of cabinets in my old house in Missouri however I was also introduced to a paint that you can use on kitchen cabinets and it lets the woodgrain come through and it actually looked very nice

  • Sarah Sarah on Feb 21, 2017

    I just refinished our kitchen with General Finishes Gel Stain in an Antique Walnut color. They have a lot of different finishes. Antique Walnut is still dark but not as dark as Java. The stain was easy to apply and you don't have to sand, which with painting you usually do. I have more cabinets than you and I was able to keep my cost under $100.

    Here is a link for the different colors they have.

    They also have milk paint which also has good reviews.

    Here is a link to my project I just posted here on Hometalk about it.

    Good luck!

  • Trudy Tutti Trudy Tutti on Feb 22, 2017

    My vote is for gel stain

  • Trudy Tutti Trudy Tutti on Feb 22, 2017

    I thought this DIYer did an awesome job w/ gel staining her cabinets. She used your least fav color, but just pick the color that suits you.

  • Jodi Jodi on Feb 22, 2017

    I'd paint them white and do the island a grey. Or all of them black with brushed nickel mental pulls.

  • Lauralee Warren Sparrow Lauralee Warren Sparrow on Feb 22, 2017

    You can use the cabinet kits from Lowe's. or do it yourself. You will not have to strip them. The kits have paint, a dark stain that will bring the wood grain back out. (kind of magical how that works.) and then a poly coat sealer. White is the new thing. but colors work also.

  • Makeful Makeful on Mar 13, 2017

    If you decide to go the paint route, chalkpaint is a LIFESAVER. (Not to mention money saver). You don't have to use primer and the wax coating makes it splatter proof without having that shiny gloss you get from "satin" paint. See how we covered an old nightstand here, but you can TOTALLY use chalkpaint for cabinets!

  • PAMELA PAMELA on Mar 15, 2017