Help please- should I paint these cabinets?

misawachick5April 9, 2013

I have maple cabinets that have an orange-brown stain. They were custom, installed by the previous owner when the home was built 14 years ago. I've tried for the two years I've lived here to like the stain but it's just a bit too orange for me. I dream of a creamy white kitchen (I love painted cabinetry) but I realize I am blessed with beautiful quality cabinets so I am scared.

I've thought about leaving the cabinets alone and changing the counters/backsplash, but then again wouldn't that mean planning those expensive upgrades around a cabinet stain that I don't iike? That doesn't seem right either.

Current counters are Corain mojave - also not my favorite, but if the cabinets were a different color - either lighter or darker, I think I'd like it more. They're a great work surface and in perfect condition.

I've considered changing the stain to something darker but it sounds like it will be very expensive. Whatever we do to them we'll pay it done, as I am too chicken about messing them up.

What would you do if this were your kitchen?


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Another photo, closer. There are cabinets on the back of the island, too. Thanks, in advance!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Your cabinets are beautiful so you could go either way. I just had mine repainted in a creamy white and it makes all the difference in the world. For years I considered painting them, but put it off thinking I could live with them. For me it was the right decision. Once everything is completed, I plan to post pictures. There are so many helpful people here that can give you objective ideas. They are who really encouraged me and gave me a new perspective. If you have always dreamed of having a creamy white kitchen, I think that's your answer.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Your questions are similar to mine. I have maple cabinets (lighter than yours) and corian countertops. I definitely want to change my countertops but I go back and forth on the cabinets. I don't dislike them terribly and think with new countertops and a backsplash the cabinets won't be bad but I'm not sure about putting all that money into countertops over 15 year-old cabinets. I'm anxious to see what responses you get.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I would have them painted a creamy white, if that's what you love! Do you have the funds to also do countertops, backsplash, and floors at the same time?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Just read azpedsrn's response about adding countertops on 15 yr. old cabinets. I will say that if your cabinets are structurally sound and in good shape, I wouldn't hesitate to keep them. My cabinets are 13 yrs. old and very well made so painting rather than replacing them made financial sense. The cabinets in question appear to be in good shape and if so I wouldnt be concerned about changing the countertops and/ or backsplash.
Just as a personal opinion, I would remove the medallion piece on your hood. I think it kind of dates it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:41PM
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I agree about the medallion! I'm wondering if I can have my contractor pry it off and fill in any holes/marks left and then paint it. I'd like to change the corbels too, but I think it would need to be done when the backsplash goes.

I have the funds to paint the cabinets now, and can change either the island or perimeter counters. I can do all new counters/backsplash next year, and probably new floors the year after.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Your cabinets are lovely as is so I can see why you are hesitating; though the entire effect does come off as rather blah. What strikes me the most, not so much the color/stain of the wood, but that there is a lot of it. Some other changes you may want to consider are:

1. replace the hood and/or refrigerator door with stainless steel.
2. paint the island
3. paint the uppers only
4. replace a few of the upper cabinet doors with glass inserts.
5. remove one or both of the appliance garages
6. change the backsplash
7. paint
8. add rugs
9. replace the counterstools with ones with backs.

  1. add a skylight over the island
    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:46PM
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We stained ours darker. Our backup plan in case it didn't work out was to paint them. Both finishes were roughly the same price. Staining comes with it's own set of problems, as the wood has to be properly prepared and the finisher needs to know what they're doing to make the stain even.

If you are going to paint, you can do some modifications to the cabinets if you wish. I would remove the appliance garages in the corners (provided you have countertop under them and are not going to replace the counters right now). You would need to take the cabinets down to modify them. Don't know how much DIY you want to do, or you could find a cabinetmaker or carpeter who could modify them for you. Glass might look nice in the doors of the diagonal corner cabinets.

Take your time to figure out what you want. We didn't figure out everything before we started, and I wish we had thought a few things through a little better.

Here's a link to our re-do. I'm not suggesting you do this, but that you might get some ideas from it (what you might or might not want to try). You have a nice space to work with. Looking forward to seeing what you do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Re-stained maple cabinets

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Someone mentioned painting the uppers a creamy white and leaving the lowers stained. Some of my favorite kitchens have that combination. I would have done that had my lowers been stained. Mine were green. Because you have so much wood, you may want to think about it. You could then leave the island stained which would tie into your lowers. You have a great space to work with. The stainless hood is a good idea as well as taking the panels off of your refrigerator. This would help break up the wood.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:20PM
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What great ideas! Thanks so much! :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:02AM
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