Updating yellow oak cabinets (lots of them). Is there a technique for glazing to add color, but still see the grain?

  13 answers
  • Lisa D Lisa D on Jan 21, 2012
    Thank you, Becky Sue. I have researched Annie Sloan...love the look and ease of use, but have not researched opaque paints. I am hoping not to sand too much.

  • Lisa D Lisa D on Jan 21, 2012
    This is not going to be as easy as I thought. I spoke with one of my favorite Ben Moore color specialists and it sounds as if it is going to be a trial and error attempt at accomplishing what I desire. That is all part of the fun, though! Thank you, again, for your response.

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Jan 22, 2012
    Go with Annie Sloan - you will not regret it.

  • Lisa D Lisa D on Jan 22, 2012
    Thank you, Donna. Part of me wants to go the Annie Sloan route just to see what everyone is talking about. Do you know if they will provide the opaque look that I am looking for or will it be a complete color overhaul? The fact that you can use the paints without sanding and priming is a huge plus in my book. To be continued...

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Jan 22, 2012
    Yes, the good thing about an opaque look is you would dilute the paint with about 50% water (less paint less $$) When doing anything that's been in a kitchen I would suggest washing the grease off with TSP. Then just brush the mixture on and wipe it off immediately. If you want more color just do it again when it's dry. Old White should give your oak cabinets a nice look. Contact an Annie Sloan stockist for more advice and for sample size paints - get some scrap oak similar to your cabinets and try them out. www.bestfurniturepaint.com - Patty is our NJ stockist and will ship anywhere.

  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jan 23, 2012
    I see a trend of kitchens with lots of cabinets to go the way of painted surfaces and away from stained. Most of the wear on cabinets is the doors, so maybe you can consider only concentrating on reworking those by painting them and leaving the rest of the cabinet as is if you're just concerned a change to make the kitchen different. If the issue is that the existing oak cabinets are in excellent shape but need to look shiny and new-looking, simply prepare the surfaces and put on a clear-coat. That will still allow for the same wood-grain to show up but look more pleasing as the kitchen lights and the sunshine does it's thing...

  • Lisa D Lisa D on Jan 23, 2012
    Thank you Donna and Ricardo for your thoughtful responses. The issue is threefold: look, time, cost. The color scheme of bringing the outside in (grays, grasshopper/sage green, blues, creams) clashes with these yellowish oak cabinets. I am planning to paint the island and a detached cabinet and a built in cabinet (to your point Ricardo), but there are so many other cabinets in the kitchen that I am trying to neutralize their effect on the room. There is not a lack of storage space. I long for that perfect way to make an economical, but sound design statement.

  • Anything that is OPAQUE refers to the fact that you cannot see through it. Any paint product will completely cover the wood grain. If you still want to see the grain, you are looking for a solution that is "semi transparent or translucent". Are you just wanting to make them appear to be a darker color of wood?

  • Lisa, your cabinets can be darkened with an over glaze. Believe it or not, the color of the glaze would need to have blue or purple undertones. That will cancel out the yellow. I know that can sound confusing. People are amazed when they tell me a color is too green. . . so I add red! It's just the way color works.

  • In one of my personal homes,(a fixer-upper), I washed the cabinets with light steel wool and mineral spirits. I had a a reddish color added to a gallon of polyurethane...oh my gosh, they were gorgeous & the house sold when others were not. While I do like the Annie Sloan look, it is a worn European look and I can hear that, that is not what you are looking for. Also, it would have to be sealed for kitchen use and the prep to the wood would be extensive. Tinting the sealer is what you are seeking.

  • Lisa D Lisa D on Jan 24, 2012
    Kass, it is funny that I just now see your post because I have come to the conclusion that a glaze is the way to go. After reading all the posts and thinking about it way too much, the darker glaze actually will work beautifully. I still plan on painting the island (maybe even aged black or reddish a la Lee Anne). Thank you all for your responses!!

  • I respect you for doing it, I would do a test board first. My cabinets were dark and not oak. It was hard work but very rewarding!

  • Lisa, If you are breaking this down into manageable "bite size" pieces, do your cabinets first since they are probably the largest element in the room. Then stand back and decide the direction you want to go. Lee Anne's idea about the island being different is a great way to add some personality. It will be easier to decide which direction you want to go with that once you see more of the puzzle completed. Good luck. We want pictures!!!!