Painting Kitchen Cabinets White

llallaMarch 31, 2013

Hi, I have oak cabinets that I want to paint white. We have done a lot of remodeling...so the rest of the trim in the kitchen is Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (white). The walls are Benjamin Moore Morrel, the countertops are a light tan with white specs in them and the tile is gray with tan in it and tan grout.. My question is: Which white color of Benjamin Moore paint would look best on the cabinets? I think I want a warm or "creamy" white....but, I'm not really sure. I read I was supposed to use a different white than the trim. Any suggestions would be helpful and pictures would be appreciated, too. Also, if you have any particular suggestions about the painting process that would be helpful, please share :) Thanks!

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Eden-Manor

BM Linen White.

Here is a link that might be useful: BM Linen White painted cabs

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:00PM
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llalla

Thank you!! :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:53PM
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amandapadgett

We used Bone White by Benjamin Moore. It's a cream color that still does nicely with the white trim (window, crown molding and door casings).

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:47AM
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sis2two

My vote is Linen White also. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:53AM
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llalla

Hi! I got samples from the store (including the bone white and linen white)....so many I like/so hard to choose. Has anyone used Benjamin Moore Antique White on their cabinets? That is a front runner right now.....

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:38PM
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jerzeegirl

Painting oak is challenging because it's such a grainy wood. This article is very good in outlining the steps you need to take to get a smooth look.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to paint oak cabinets

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:51PM
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tinan

If it looks good in your kitchen on the chip get a sample and test paint the back of a cabinet door. Shades if white can look very different in each home as I found out when I bought a gallon of White Dove based on many photos of gorgeous kitchens. It looked awful in mine! I went and got samples and changed to Simply White. So lesson learned try out the color in your house do not rely on recommendations (other than as a starting point) or photos of other kitchens!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:55PM
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llalla

I did it!! I ended up using Benjamin Moore Aura in Antique White. The color is perfect!!! A nice warm creamy white. We still have to do the back splash and put on larger crown molding. We are also considering upgrading our Corian counter tops to granite. It was a lot of work. I did it completely by myself. It took me 9 days....while working full time. I absolutely love it! :) Thanks for all of the advise!!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:13PM
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rkb21

Wow! That's amazing!!! Great job.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:58PM
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llalla

Another after pic

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:11PM
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sundownr

Beautiful! It made such a difference and looks like you got a whole new kitchen!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:37PM
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ccfuss07

We painted our old cabinets Benjamin Moore's Marscapone and have loved it. We are putting in new cabinets now and I picked out a really similar color. It's a true white but still a bit creamy. Ask your paint store if they have a "cabinet coat" formula they can use. We used Aura and after a year it chipped and wore like crazy- we were constantly retouching. I was griping about them at the paint store and they told me I should have asked for this particular kind.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:12PM
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island

Wow fantastic!! Your hardware looks reall nice too. You should be very very proud of this.

Please tell us what you had to do to paint these so well! Strip the stain, prime, etc? What did it take and what products did you use? Use a brush? How long did it take?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Homeblessings

Beautiful job. Looks like you got the right white for your kitchen. Blends very nicely with your walls and floor.

I'd love it if you could take us step by step through the whole process. How many doors did you have to do. How many hours do you think the whole thing took. Nine days doesn't seem bad at all.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:35PM
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llalla

Thanks everyone! I am sooooo happy with the results!! I will post some more pics, too.
This is what I did:
1. Removed all doors/drawers (and removed hardware from them. Also, number the doors on the inside hinge area to make it easier when putting them back on. There were 28 doors and 12 drawers.
2. Sanded all cabinet stiles & rails.
3. Cleaned all cabinet stiles & rails with TSP.
4. Primed all cabinet stiles & rails.
5. Put on two coats Benjamin Moore Aura Antique White paint with a brush. I tried rolling it with one of those mini rollers, but I wasn't getting as good of results. So, I brushed all of it.
6. Then I sanded all doors/drawers with an electric sander on flat surfaces & sanding blocks on curved edges.
7. Cleaned with TSP.
8. Set up all doors/drawers up in my garage on plywood held up by sawhorses. I had small scrap pieces of wood (from my husband's scrap wood pile) under them to elevate them.
9. I primed back of all doors/drawers. Allowed to dry.

  1. Then primed front & sides of all doors/drawers & allowed to dry.
  2. Put two coats paint on back of all doors/drawers.
  3. Put two coats pain on front & side edges of all doors/drawers.
  4. Put door/drawers back on.
  5. Put new hardware on.
    I would say I spent about 55-60 hours working on this. I work full time, so I worked on this during all of my spare time. It took at total of 9 days. I did it completely by myself without any of my husbands help!! :) It did really help to have an electric sander and a cordless drill.
    Since I took these pictures, I have also had my husband install a new faucet in the same color as the handles/knobs. We are looking at granite to replace the Corian....and we will be doing a DIY project to make the crown molding bigger. I will also post pics when that is all done....but that may be a few months :) I would definitely recommend doing this to anyone who wants to update the look of their kitchen!!! It is A LOT of work....but definitely worth it. The one thing I found is that the Benjamin Moore Aura paint is a "thick" paint that doesn't keep a wet edge very long.....that was my only complaint about the paint. I did my bathroom cabinets last year with Benjamin Moore Aura in the color Black Bean Soup. I love them, too. They have held up perfectly. There is not even a single chip in the paint. For the kitchen I used a semi-gloss finish. For my bathroom I used a Satin finish. Please let me know if you have anymore questions. I will be happy to answer anything I can.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:47PM
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llalla

Another pic

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:49PM
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llalla

Another pic

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:53PM
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island

Wow, thank you for taking the time to post all the details! GWers are so generous!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:21PM
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EATREALFOOD

You deserve a dinner out for all that work. It looks very nice and bright. Looking forward to seeing your new counter choice.
I love Aura paint because it covers so well and mostly because all the colors go together, you can't make a mistake coordinating adjoining rooms(within reason).
I'm surprised that your vanity held up so well. The wonderful BM shopkeeper by me also suggested cabinet coat for cabinet painting.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Holly- Kay

Your kitchen is lovely. It looks so professional!!! Your new hardware looks great in your new kitchen and I am so anxious to see it when you are finished with the counter! I love your BM morrel on the walls. It has a very warm, inviting glow to it.

The cabinets that we are removing during our kitchen reno are a golden oak. I am considering keeping enough of my cabs to redo the laundry room that has cheap, builder's grade cabinets. I would love to refinish them in a creamy white.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:29AM
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ci_lantro

The one thing I found is that the Benjamin Moore Aura paint is a "thick" paint that doesn't keep a wet edge very long...

llalla, FYI, you can add an 'extender' to paint that will help overcome that problem. Floetrol is one brand. Here's a link to Benjamin Moore's version:

Here is a link that might be useful: Extender

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Sherrie Moore

Beautiful job!! I am impressed, and without your husbands help. I wish I was as handy!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:48AM
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nhbaskets

Our son and DIL recently moved into a house with similar cabinets. I've been encouraging them to paint them white and will definitely show your before and after pictures. Beautiful job! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:09AM
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nhbaskets

Deleted duplicate posting.

This post was edited by nhbaskets on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 9:11

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:10AM
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sis2two

That looks so good! What a transformation of that space. And the fact that you did it yourself is amazing to me. Ours have just been repainted as well and I love the lightness it brings to the space. We are waiting on a couple of doors and then hopefully I can post pics too. Great job!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:15PM
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llalla

I noticed some of my step by step directions were out of order. Oops! Sorry.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:06AM
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feisty68

Great job! Your counters are actually really nice too :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:30AM
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canuckplayer

I did the same. My DH isn't very good at painting. He says "a blind man would be glad to see it" for a few other things too. I don't let him help with painting and our whole house has been repainted-by me. When we moved into our current home, the cabinets were golden oak. I hated it. I did the same as you with the scraps of wood under, but did it in the basement (It was winter and we park in the garage). After sanding and TSP, I put 2 coats of primer and 2 of melamine (lightly sanded between each coat). Even with 4 coats total, the melamine didn't cover well and it streaked terribly.
So, I repainted everything with 2 coats of Behr Super White semi-gloss. (now 6 coats total).
Unfortunately, Behr didn't stand up. The tops of the doors under the sink rubbed off when wiping the doors down.
It chipped on 3 of the cabinets. Guess I'll have to start all over again and repaint some day. Guess I'll use BM next time.

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 1:50

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 1:45AM
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llalla

It has been almost a year since I painted the kitchen cabinets, and two years since I painted the bathroom cabinets. It has held up wonderfully. Not one single chip in the paint. I love Benjamin Moore Aura paint. It is the only kind of paint I use.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:15AM
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susanlynn2012

Lialla, your kitchen cabinets painted using BM Aura held up beautifully which is great to know! They also look wonderful. Which finish did you use (Satin or Semi-Gloss)? Which primer did you use? You did not sand?

After my busy tax season, I have so much I want to do but I do want to paint my shiny lingerie chest of drawers from bright white to an antique type of white or whatever white works to match the rest of my bedroom set which is Durham Maple in the Sand White rubbed out finish. I needed a tall skinny bureau to put my humidifier on top on a wall that had the space for it so I bought this online but it is so white but has inset drawers to match my bedroom set and is a solid polar wood so does not have hardly any grain. I wish I knew they were discontinuing the Durham White set, as I would have bought another piece of furniture from the set. The set is slightly lighter and slighter whiter than Shiloh's Soft White cabinets but definitely creamier than Shiloh's Polar White. Thank you so much for the update. You did a wonderful job in painting them.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:48AM
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ruralredhead

I am totally impressed and inspired. We are just in the sanding phase but these photos and your story are encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:35AM
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DIYfever

Looks great, your floors pop now, and I love the hardware. I have the same type of cabinets and I'm also going to paint them white. This is encouraging!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:10PM
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llalla

Thanks everyone!
lynn2006 --I did sand them. I used an electric sander for the flat surfaces and sanding blocks for the rest. The primer I used was: The primer I used was: Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer- Urethane Acrylic.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:03PM
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llalla

I used semi-gloss paint-- Benjamin Moore Aura-- Antique White

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:09PM
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jellytoast

llalla, just read through your thread ... glad you came back to post about how it was holding up. You did an amazing job and it really looks terrific. I love Aura paint, too, though it is tricky to work with!

You say that you used a satin finish paint on your bath cabinet as opposed to the semi-gloss in your kitchen. Having lived with them both, do you have a preference for one or the other? I can't make up my mind which to use on all my trim. The BM semi-gloss appears extra glossy as opposed to other brands, IMO. Do you find that to be true? I was wondering if their satin was more like other brands semi-gloss? What is your opinion?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:30PM
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llalla

jellytoast-- I also painted all the oak trim and 6 panel wood doors in our house. I used Benjamin Moore Aura Chantily Lace in satin finish for the trim and Benjamin Moore Aura Black Bean Soup in satin finish for the doors. I agree that BM is shinier/glossier than other paints. If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same thing. I am glad I used the BM semi-gloss in the kitchen, because it cleans up really easy if you have spills/splatters. In the bathroom, I didn't think I needed it that glossy....and I am happy that I used satin finish. However, I agree that BM paint is glossier than most paints....so a semi-gloss in BM is probably more of a satin in other brands?? I can post some pics of my bathroom, trim & doors, ect...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:39PM
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llalla

Here is a pic of trim/doors in my master bath I painted in Benjamin Moore Aura satin finish in chanitly lace and black bean soup.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:47PM
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llalla

And a before & after of master bath cabinets

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:49PM
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jellytoast

Thank you, llalla! I love those Black Bean doors, and your bath cabinet ... what a transformation! Amazing what a little paint can do!! Thanks so much for posting these pictures ... they are a big help. The satin finish looks like it has plenty of gloss for my purposes. It does look like BM's satin is comparable to other brand's semi-glosses.

Wow ... what are you going to paint next??

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:55PM
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susanlynn2012

Illala, thank you so much! I also love your bathroom changes! I wish my cabinets were in better shape in my kitchen since then I would paint them. But I do have a few pieces of furniture that I will use your technique.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 5:45PM
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