Asked on Oct 15, 2013

What color cabinets and floor?

Audra Bailey
by Audra Bailey
My kitchen has burnt orange walls. I have managed to put in a new countertop and all new appliances but now Im stuck. I want a modern theme with dark cabinets and thin handles while my husband thinks that with all black appliances it might not work. Well what color should I do that wont look too red thanks to his wonderful wall color choice? Not to mention the floor. I dont even know where to begin with that. Do you match the cabinets if you use a wood floor or no?
q what color cabinets and floor, diy, flooring, home decor, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
  25 answers
  • I would not match the floor and the cabinets. If you want dark cabinets then think about taking some of the doors off on the top cabinets to open it up (like above your sink). I would also think about some other options for the kitchen since the cabinet design is more traditional~ paint the bottom cabinets black and find another color to compliment on top. Two toned cabinets can really update and may give you the modern feel you want. There is another option: cut out the center of the cabinets or design/find some material such as glass (you can make your own stained glass and bring in your burnt orange) to update the doors. The hardware for the cabinets will also make the design happen. You have a lot of options! The floor should be lighter than the cabinets. Is it linoleum?

  • Z Z on Oct 15, 2013
    My first idea was the same as @The Garden Frog with C Renee about using a darker color on the bottom than on the top. I was thinking stain, but then I always think stain first. I have fairly dark cabinets with mostly black appliances (fridge is stainless with black sides) and I'm very happy with the deep color of the cabinets. They're actually darker than the look in the first picture. As you can see we have no windows in our kitchen at all, but the room I'm standing in to take the pictures is a sunroom with a full wall of windows behind me and a french door at the far end. The island and the wood doors in the second picture show the true color of the cabinets better.

  • Linda Linda on Oct 15, 2013
    I would do the bottom cabinet doors black and the uppers a light color. The floor should be a light color. You can compliment the wall color with curtains and table covers that have the same color in them. I like vintage styles so I would paint the upper cabinets a light color and then use a crackle glaze on them.

  • Audra Bailey Audra Bailey on Oct 17, 2013
    Thank you for the suggestions. I like the idea about taking some of the doors off and the two toned cabinet color. I didnt even think about that! I still need help with the floor though. Yes its linoleum but its torn up and cracked in some spots. Should i instal tile? Im nervous about kitchen spills or water damage ruining the floor so i need something durable.

  • Audra Bailey Audra Bailey on Oct 17, 2013
    @becky, i love your kitchen. it is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Z Z on Oct 17, 2013
      Aw thank you @Audra. The designers are HoDe used to tease us about it because it was so different. Our home is a Victorian Revival so I wanted our kitchen to have a "furnished" look. Hubby didn't like the idea so we wound up with two faced kitchen. After we installed the cabinets he realized my vision and we changed the "normal" side by adding brackets and beadboard to make it look like a hutch. When planning anything with a spouse it's all about find a way to make you both happy. In building this home we found the things we each had strong opposing ideas on and were forced to compromise turned out to be our best work.

  • April April on Oct 17, 2013
    I've heard of people using chalk paint, like CeCe Caldwell's or Annie Sloan on lots of things, including kitchen cabinets. You can find the post here: Hope this helps! :)

  • If you have kids, then I would think about keeping/new linoleum since it is so easy to clean and durable. Tile can be slippery and if you drop a dish on it the dish shatters. (used to have tile floors with kids and tile is easy to clean but always had to buy dishes). If you keep checking out Lowe's and Home depot for close outs and deals even laminate or wood flooring would work. I bought my close out engineered wood floor at Home Depot for less than $500 and it stands up pretty well against 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a teenager. LOL

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Oct 17, 2013
    Not to mention that tile is VERY hard on my feet. If I could change everything in our great room, it would be laminated wood.

  • I would go with a gray stain or even paint. I would also take off some doors, as well. You could then put in a wood floor, to offset the gray cabinets and go with your orange walls. I would choose stainless steel appliances if you are going to keep your backsplash. Good luck!

  • Bobby Barbara Smith Bobby Barbara Smith on Oct 17, 2013
    I recently painted my old cabinets with a Taupe Gray. It blends well with black, stainless & white. I was going to use Chalk paint as I didn't want to sand the cabinets (allergies), but we ended up using Home Depo's new Paint & primer combination. No priming needed, no sanding, just a good cleaning to remove dust & oils before you paint. I removed my top doors, and painted the inside of the cabinets a teal color for a french country look, but if you wanted doors, you could maybe replace some with glass fronts, & leave some open. Good Luck.

    • Tami McCrackin Tami McCrackin on Oct 20, 2013
      @Bobby Barbara Smith I do NOT recommend refinishing kitchen cabinets without sanding, regardless of how well you think you've cleaned them! We had the typical 80's oak varnished cabinets and painted them a dover white. They were cleaned well...we thought...but not sanded. We primed three, yes three coats with a stainblocking, oil based primer and then finished with two coats of an acrylic paint. The cabinets looked amazing at first but then the paint started rubbing off in high-traffic areas like the silverware drawer, in front of the sink, etc. Over the last year and a half, the finish has continued to deteriorate. We had four professionals come look at it and they all said it was because they were not sanded. They all also advised to always sand, no matter what materials you're using as that is the only way to ensure adhesion.

  • Kendra Kendra on Oct 17, 2013
    Love your wall color Audra! I'm thinking wood floor, two tone cabinets ... darker on the bottom. It's a great kitchen already! The color on the floor & cabinets will really help pull everything together!

  • You have received some great feedback. How about we turn it around and ask you a question? When you walk into your kitchen, what feeling do you dream about? Bright and cheery? Functional? Modern and sleek? Cozy? Vintage or rustic? From there, you can get inspiration from other kitchens like @Z's! If you want more light in the room (since there's a smaller window above the sink), brighten up the upper part of your kitchen with the cabinets. If you want an all-over "fresh" look, brighten it all up. For Martha Stewart-ish, Paint the cabinets a dove grey and do the floor in a rustic type wood. All of this is DIY. We can't wait to see what you choose. Please post pictures when you're finished! Good luck!

  • Linda Linda on Oct 17, 2013
    Tile is very cold and hard on the feet. I painted my old linoleum floor 5 years ago and it's still holding up good. I painted white latex paint first over the entire floor using a flat nape roller on a long handle After it dried I applied thin painters tape to mark off 12x12" squares over the entire floor to mimic a tile floor.I then painted the floors a beige color with the roller. You can take a darker color paint and rub areas on each 12x12" sq. to mimic stone. After it dries peel off the painters tape to reveal the white painted grout. Finish with a clear water based varnish. I have re varnished the floor as needed about 1x a year or longer. I can wash the floor with a regular floor cleaner.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Oct 18, 2013
    Well I have unsuccessfully tried to clean the grout in the tile in my house, spending hours on it and it doesn't look a whole lot better. I wore out two brushes from Lowes, specifically designed for that purpose too. I tried every product under the sun. The only thing I haven't tried yet is a gadget that I saw on here that you attach to a drill. It was a homemade thing......might try that yet but after that it can just stay dirty and stained. If I had laminate, I wouldn't have to be going through all that. I never had any problems with laminate except for a small dent when I accidentally knocked off a toaster oven on the floor.

    • @Elaine Simmons We ended up using a tinted sealer from Lowe's. It matched the tile grout and wasn't too hard to put on...although time consuming. I ended up doing it after everyone went to bed, and it took me a few nights. Just a thought. Then it wouldn't stain again, because it would be colored and sealed all in one!

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Oct 18, 2013
    I will have to take a look at that but usually I don't like dark grout with colored tile.

  • Audra Bailey Audra Bailey on Oct 18, 2013
    you guys are all amazing! Thank you for taking the time to offer me suggestions! For one, i want modern and sleek! My house has the strangest layout on the planet. Its like the house was built for very small people. outlets are higher up on the walls then normal, ceilings are barely at code height, outlets are lower then normal and all needed rewiring which was fun to try and diy. The tiny window above my sink is the same as all the other windows in my house. you have to duck just to look out it. My fiance bought the house as a surprise to me so what can you do right? Painting of the linoleum sounds genius linda! I would love to try that in my bathroom! My kitchen is missing a huge piece in the corner and with ceilings this low, i dont want to add any more layers of stuff that bring me closer to it!Im thinking wood is the way to go but i just dont know what color would look good. should i try a cherry stain or will that be too dark with dark cabinets on the bottom. im not a fan of light colored wood floors though either and if i spill water, will it damage them?

    • April April on Oct 19, 2013
      @Audra Bailey - You're welcome! :D Sounds good. I understand about quirky houses. But it sounds like you have some good ideas on how to make it your own thus far. As for wood being damaged by spills; I think it would be okay, unless it was some major spill. I'm not a big authority on wood floors, though. :)

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Oct 19, 2013
    Audra, were you thinking real wood or laminate? If it is real wood you will have to put several coats of water based polyurethane on it.

  • Audra Bailey Audra Bailey on Oct 19, 2013
    hmmm well real wood floors are expensive as hell but im not a fan of how the other one sounds when you walk on it. Its like walking on plastic!

  • Kendra Kendra on Oct 19, 2013
    Another idea would be to go on a site that lets you load a picture, then try different color schemes on different items in the room to get an idea of what it will look like like. Sherwin Williams's website has that feature & I think Home Depot & Lowes?

  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Oct 19, 2013
    Audra, your current cabinet doors look like they are Shaker style, which is not very modern looking. If you can afford it, you could resurface the cabinet bases and go with more modern flat doors. If not, to DIY it, try putting a panel on the front of the cabinet doors, you could use metal panels, you can get cheaper metal sheets that look like stainless steel, or you could use a thin plywood and paint it to look like metal, there are several great metal looking paints available. You could have the doors silver and paint the cabinet frame a dark color to recede, so that the silver is what pops. I definitely would not paint the cabinets black with the orange walls, it would look Halloweenish. Good luck with whatever you decide to do! I look forward to seeing the results.

  • Audra Bailey Audra Bailey on Oct 20, 2013
    ok thanks kendra i will try that! Jean, that is such a good point! I hadnt even thought about that!!! i love halloween and everything but having my kitchen look the part might be a bit much. if i were to just add new handles, do you think that would help? I really dont want to diy all the doors if i dont have to. Ive been remodeling my whole house while taking care of my 6month old......something easy would be soooo nice!

  • Jeannie Jeannie on Oct 21, 2013
    I think I would use an oak floor and; maybe, some awesome modern wall decor in a light color. Thanks for your comments on my paint with the shine added.

  • Susan Susan on Nov 28, 2015
    The cheapest fix is to replace the handles and repaint the kitchen the wall color is fighting with the cabinet color, dont feel bad we have all done it. And its not an expensive fix and its less time consuming than repainting the cabinets thats a big job. Take off one of your doors and bring it with you when you pick your paint and get a few small pots of paint in the colors you like and paint a section of wall in the kitchen, I tried 6 before I chose my but its worth it to get the look you want.

  • Shi13841321 Shi13841321 on Nov 20, 2016 kitchen looks so much like yours. What I did was took two doors off for the floating shelf look. The color I used was Antique Walnut on cabinet...stain & polly coat water base. Not dark as was shown on can..cause it was a stain. Turned out red ..or black just traditional to Orginal style.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jul 31, 2021

    all white with either beige or grey tones as details