creamy glazed cabinets vs. finished wood

dbakerprFebruary 5, 2009

Hello, all. I've been lurking on this site for quite some time now, so I know I will get some good advice. We are redoing our kitchen -- actually, moving the kitchen to a completely different room -- and I'm stuck on my cabinet decision. We have to give the cabinet maker our final decisions by the first of next week. Here's the dilemma. I love, love, love any kitchen I see with the cream glazed cabinets (which we were quoted a paint-grade maple) that are so popular now. Now, I also like a cinnamon shade of cabinet as well, also with a glaze, either in maple wood or cherry wood. This will probably be a one-shot deal for us, and I'm concerned about making the wrong decision re the cabinets. We don't plan to sell within the next ten years. I know everyone says to get what you love, but I'm so afraid the creamy glazed cabinets may look outdated in a few years or I may grow tired of them; while the cinnamon maple or cherry cabinets may be more long-lasting stylewise. So I know someone else has gone through this ordeal re the creamy glazed or the stained with glaze. I'm a little hung up on the fact that my $16,000-plus creamy glazed cabinets (a big expenditure for us) are actually a paint-grade maple and not "good" wood. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks!!

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I also fell in love with the creamy/glazed kitchens I saw. DH wanted classic cherry, which I also like, but not love. I ended up with creamy white cabinets with no glaze. I was concerned that the glaze might date the cabinets too soon. I'm VERY glad I didn't get the glaze. Not only do I love my new kitchen, I also think it is more a timeless/classic look.

DH couldn't understand why maple painted cabinets were more $$ than cherry. I kinda agree with him. I guess it's the labor involved with the painting?

When making your choice, think of what would go good with the rest of your house. In my case, I thought wood cabinets was too much "wood" for my house. I think the creamy/white cabinets match the rest of my house more.

Good luck in whatever you get. There sure are a lot of choices!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:47AM
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I think many of us have this same dilemma. I love the creamy antiquey looking kitchens. I also love the cinnamon colour Maple. What I did to help me decide was to think about the rest of our house and our life style.
DH does mostly all of the cooking. He is a wonderful cook but man, is he messy. We also have a couple of large dogs (Boxers) so after thinking about these things, I opted to go with the pinky/brown/beigey spice coloured Maple cabinets. I have expected delivery date of the week of Feb 16, so looking forward to getting back in the kitchen. We are in demolition mode at the moment.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:29AM
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I am facing the same dilemna! I am drawn to any kitchen I see with creamy cabinets but my husband wants cherry in our new build. I have seen some gorgeous kitchens where the perimeter cabs are creamy with a glaze and the island is cherry or maple. See one example below. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:43AM
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Been there- done that! Totally understand! We had painted white cabinets, I really really really wanted creamy coloured glazed cabinets, DH wanted stained wood. We now have stained wood! (I actually like them- but pssst don't tell hubby)Am thinking maybe I'll get the painted glazed ones in the Main Bathroom...sigh ... someday.

However, don't think of paint grade maple as not good wood. If that's what's holding you back from getting your dream realized. (The ones I'm looking at for the BR are 2X the cost of the stained maple ones) I personally think a well-designed functional kitchen will not go out of date. On the other hand, DH DID say, we could always 'paint' our stained cabinets one day if we wished- so that is an option with going stained vs painted.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Hello, everyone. Just wanted to thank everyone that responded to my question. You've me given me good advice, and a few things to think about. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:01PM
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One question:

Over the years (before you found this site), what has been a consistent draw to you? Paint or stained?

I also really like many of the white/cream kitchens (especially w/the black granite or soapstone counters) but realized that (1) most of my adult life I've been drawn to cherry and (2) our "old" kitchen had painted "washed oak" and the paint did chip & scrape off over we ultimately went w/the cherry. I'm very glad I did b/c even though I still ooh & ahh over the white kitchens, I find that I love my kitchen more.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:21PM
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I just don't care for painted cabs. They are being done to death right now, and no matter how often people call them 'timeless', they are still going to shout 'zero decade' in a couple years.

Besides, if you get stained and find you can't live with them, you can always paint them later. Can't go the other dircetion, though.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 3:55AM
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Buehl's advice is spot-on. What type of cabinets have you favored "over the years"? I think we all see things that we are initially attracted to, but then we realize that they are just not "us".

The suggestion that painted cabinets will scream "zero decade" is a bit silly. Which century? My house has had painted cabinets since the 1930's. My previous home had the original painted cabinets from 1950. I loved those cabinets! They were indestructible and SO easy to paint.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 11:07AM
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I can't tell you which to get but don't assume that the cinnamon stained (or any other stain or glaze for that matter) won't be any less "dated" in a few years. Pickled oak anyone?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 12:02PM
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HA! I just went through the same thing :-)

My husband loves stained wood, we have 'wood to death' in the rest of my house because he is a woodworker by hobby. I'd like to do something different in my kitchen so, coupled with that and the fact that every cabinet place I visited I was always drawn to the creamy color cabinets, I am going with cream colored cabs. I love the glazed look but realized that you have to be careful because each manufacturer does it differently and sometimes the glaze can just look dirty where it catches in the corners of the cabinets. Also, there is usually a significant upcharge for the glaze. I recently cleaned all the wood six panel doors in my house - they looked like they were glazed and they were not :-( . I think my future kitchen cabs will look glazed (with dirt in the crevices) in a few years :-)

FYI, I don't know if you like the Starmark line of cabinets (I love Plain and Fancy but I can't afford them) but they are having a 50% sale on paint and glazed finishes I think until March.

Good luck! I do think a white or a cream kitchen is sort of timeless (I had a white kitchen 20 years ago) but most people I know in my area of the country (northeast) still do opt for stained cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 12:25PM
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I like the creamy glazed cabinets, too, and have the same fear that it will go out of fashion as I'm striving to have a "timeless" kitchen look.

Up until reading on this forum, I wanted to go with solid maple doors and have the paint done on top of that. I have since heard that MDF actually takes the paint better and has less cracking. So, I'm kind of torn between having a cabinet with wood underneath it versus MDF. I am currently pricing out Cabico cabinets. I'm hoping that there will be a cost savings by going with MDF.

The all wood cabinets that I'm drawn to are the natural cherry and alder wood. I already have quite a bit going on in a small space with several oriental carpets. Since my kitchen is in the middle of the open space, I've opted for the cremey cabinets to keep things light and airy.

Good luck on your decision!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Why not do the kitchen in both the painted & clear-finish(cinnamon..etc..) wood cabinets combined? The combo can add interest and break up the "all wood" look while still tapping into it.

I just did my kitchen in a combination of cherry wood and warm-white(sherwin williams navajo white) peninsula with beadboard. I used the following picture (see link) as an initial guide, though I have soapstone counters & farm sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: example

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Ha, ha. I can't believe this thread! I could have written some of the posts myself.

DH wants cherry.

I find myself drawn to white (but not glazed) and soapstone, in addition to sleek, very modern wood kitchens. I know, totally different looks!

But we have a third and more important criteria: resale. If all goes well, this is a 3-year house for use, so resale is key. We're in New England, so the most popular high-ish end kitchen look is SS, granite, and cherry. We've got our SS appliances, so we're set there. I personally don't like granite unless it's honed and "quiet", but I can deal with that. Cabinets??????

I want the kitchen to be the thing that the buyer oooohs and aaaaahs over. of course you can't please everyone, but what's the best choice? I dunno. In every shelter magazine for the past year, the kitchens have been 99% white/soapstone. Does that mean that in 3-4 years the buyer here (Maine, so things trickle down fairly slowly) will go, "Oh, that's what I always wanted, just like a magazine!" ....or... will they say, "oh, white and soapstone, that's so 2009!".

DH's choice: simple shaker cherry cabs, seem like they will always say, "good quality high-ish end kitchen", atleast in maine. I'm not sure the white will. Perhaps to some people, who read shelter mags, they WILL seem dated in a few years. And then there are those people who don't stay on top of trends, and would see them as REALLY old, and tied to a simple, rural life they want to escape (like 2 years ago when my daughter campaigned our city to change the zoning ordinance so she could have chickens, so many people were worried it would make the city seem backwards and white trash! They could not believe that it was actually the more educated, well-off young families that wanted chickens, now!)

Sigh. I hate making these decisions. I wish we were going to be here forever so we could choose what makes us happy without these other constraints! I am jealous of those of you who can follow your heart in your kitchens!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:20PM
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Interesting! I grew up with painted white cabs. My mom, who lives on her own in another home from the first family home, has painted white cabs again. I've never really thought of them as becoming outdated as I've seen them my whole life, both then and now!

I redid my kitchen in 7/08 and went with wood stained - mainly because I wanted something different from what I grew up with. But I've always loved the look of painted white, too. I really think of white, painted cabs as classic - just like many wood stained (but not all).

I think it has more to do with the "style" of the cabs -- than the stain vs white paint? I went with a Shaker style hoping I was going classic... but I do dream of having white painted someday, too!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:02PM
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I have both. I live in a house built in the 1980's lots of ugly dark pine and no kitchen window. I so wanted a White kitchen to brighten things up. But my wood loving husband (I think it's a guy thing) would not hear of it. He is usually so easy going but was dead set against all painted. So we compromised and did both. It may be dated someday but for now It makes me happy and won't eveything be dated 10 years from now? Heres a link that might interest you.

Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen in progress

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:32PM
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i'm in with the camp that advises to do both. first i started out with an all white, painted kitchen. then i decided to go with a stained island. now, i'm doing a baking armoire in the stain as well. i have a feeling if i don't get to ordering soon more will change. good luck, i don't think you can lose with either choice!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:37PM
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Well, it's me again, the original poster of this message. Just wanted to let you know that we went from one end of the spectrum to the other. We have chosen walnut cabinets on the perimeter cabinets and creamy glazed cabinetry for the island. The counter will be viatera quartz in palermo. The samples look beautiful together. Cabinets will be installed this coming Monday or Tuesday. I'm so excited! We visited the cabinet shop for one more look, and to sign our contract, and we just fell in love with the walnut. Now, hopefully, our kitchen won't look too dark!! Thanks to all who responded to my post. I appreciate your advice.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Just found this thread...I am in the middle of kitchen planning and am in LOVE with soapstone and do not want stark white, but creamy warm white cabinets and DH is a cherry loving man, so compromising with the island cherry. Does anyone have finished kitchen pictures with this combo? Would love to see them! I checked on the FKB and did not see any from those listed in this thread. If you are still out there, would love to see them! Thx in advance

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:24PM
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