What color for kitchen cabs?

tibbrixJuly 17, 2014

I have horrible kitchen cabinets and want to paint them this fall. Wall color is BM Van Courtland blue. Ceiling is BM White Dove. House style is farm house. Would loves suggestions! And yes, I'd get new hardware as well.


This post was edited by Tibbrix on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 21:00

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A vote for BM White Dove -- simple fresh and matches the ceiling to create a more cohesive look ....

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:25PM
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I like BM Mayonnaise, BM Simply White, BM Cloud White and BM White Dove. Are you going to leave the wood stained beams in the ceiling? I think that could look great with white cabinets!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:38PM
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I agree with MarinaGal. Since you already have White Dove, it's a good bet. Since the color's on different planes with the light playing differently on them, it will be interesting.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:05PM
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White dove on your uppers and leave the lowers stained. Since the floor is also light, you need the lowers darker to ground the space.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:19PM
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You might also consider removing the spindle trim on top to update the cabinets. I did that to some wood cabinets that I painted white and I feel it improved the looks. I just used a jig saw because it was handy then sanded and primed the cut areas.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Your counters, backsplash and floors are shades of white, so if you go with white painted cabinets, it's going to have to play well with the whites you already have.

From the photo, the Van Courtland blue isn't a primary color in the space, is it?

A very soft, buttery yellow? A very light taupey gray?

Editing to ask if that's VC blue above your cabinets? It looks beige/gray on my monitor. My guess is that's the area you're referring to as VC blue.

This post was edited by peony4 on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 23:48

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:46PM
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It looks like the counter has some sort of a coloured vein through it - yes, no? If so what colour. I wouldn't go white with the counter.

How about a sage green or a grey-blue.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:53AM
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Would you not consider a soft sage, like blfenton, mentioned? I think we are overusing white and you have a lot of white and a nice break would be green, but then it's your kitchen and you do what you like. I have mayonnaise on mine but I don't think your kitchen is one that can handle mayonnaise. Your kitchen tends toward a blue white and mayonnaise is a yellow white. Of course, there are times when my monitor does not identify color well and it may be different in situ..

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 2:29AM
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Tibb, it's the spindles and wood valance over the sink that are dating the kitchen, not the cabinets. Remove the center from the uppers and have glass added, with mullions(wood separators), and you'll have very up to date cabinets. I can't see white with the white countertops, backsplash, and flooring, and blue just seems to,country. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:05AM
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I love her green cabinets, and I think they are very nice. Country? Yes, maybe a little Provence country and she has muntins/mullions in her uppers.


This post was edited by patricia43 on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 5:27

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:24AM
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Dup. Post

This post was edited by CarolT924 on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 16:59

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:10AM
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Hi Tibbrix - First I would remove the rail on the top of the cabinets and either remove the cornice above the sink or replace it with one that has a straight bottom. I would not paint the cabinets white, you have a white floor, backsplash and countertop which look to be in fine shape and the room could possibly be on white overload if you paint the cabinets white. Plus it may be a job to find a white that would play well with the others already in the room. I see color on your cabinets, a mushroom color, soft sagely green or possibly a soft golden yellow. Your wall color is lovely, but may need to change to something that would contrast nicely with the color you pick for your cabinets. I love your ceiling, it's beams, the light fixture and especially your window above the sink. I see your end result being a lovely soft, warm and cozy space.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:13AM
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I also like the idea of sage. I would not go white. I also agree that it's not the cabinets that are bad, but the spindles.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:13AM
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CarolT! Hi!

Thank you, everyone! You're all awesome, as usual.

White is my favorite choice as far as the Van Courtland Blue walls go, but I agree with those who say that the white floor and white countertops make that choice less than ideal due to saturation. Plus, my starfish with the stained glass pieces (on cornice over the sink) a friend made for me would get lost over white.

Patricia43 and the other greenies, I really like that antiqued green, and I have thought about it. Just not sure with the Van Courtland Blue walls . If I went the green route, which is very tempting, I think I'd want to repaint the walls away from the blue, and I really don't want to do that because that wall over the oven is VERY hard to paint. But, I do love those green cabs and think they are perfect for a farm kitchen.

blfenton, I'm impressed by your eyesight. The counters do have veining through it, not outstanding, though, but enough to give them a mix of light gold and ivory.

Patty_cakes, I'm not at all concerned with updating the look of the kitchen. It's an old farmhouse I rent to beach vacationers, so some quaintness is okay. I'm really not looking to contemporize it at this point. I have mixed feelings about the spindles on top. They actually go great with a hutch I have in the DR I got on CL. I'd be nervous, in fact, that taking them off might make the cabinets look like they were just thrown up there and are missing some kind of finish. As I said, mixed feelings. I wouldn't have bought these, but here they are!

Agree, though, with Carolt re: the wavy bottom of the cornice over the sink. That I may well replace with a straight piece.

The cabs are in worse shape in person than in the pick. Only thing in my house people routinely say "You might want toâ¦(paint those)"! Lol.

Insides are worse. Someday I'll replace them and the counters, but that day is far off and likely after I've moved on to the hither world, up or down is yet to be determined.

Peony, yes, that is the VC blue on the wall over the upper cabs. The colors in there now are evenly spread between the blue, stainless, black, and white. No one color dominates.

You suggested a taupe, which is what I'm leaning toward, I think. Antiqued like in Patricia's photo? I think an earthy, creamy cool taupe would work well and be farm-kitcheny enough. Anyone know one, preferably BM?

Thank you again!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:03AM
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I would definitely do a white and also paint the beams. For a farmhouse, it will be beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Thanks Oakley. Beams are definitely staying exposed. I actually had the ceiling painted when I bought the house, but the exposed beams really go with the tenor of the house.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:21AM
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we did BM clay beige--not sure how it will work with the blue? we have it paired with gray walls, and warm counters? check a lot of the OC colors in BM-lots of creamy darker beige colors to choose from!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:39AM
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I wouldn't do white. Could you choose a gray that might work w the existing blue? What a cute space BTW

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Thank you Christine,

I looked at the Clay Beige swatch,and it's way too beige and warm for the VC blue, also has a green undertone, which I definitely don't want.

Ugh. Just the thought of picking a paint color makes me feel tired.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Hmmmâ¦.BM Silver Fox, antiqued with a chocolate brown?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:47AM
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A chalky white or a white like the color of string so your various whites separate. My sister did her kitchen in a subtle variety of whites, and it's fabulous.

And keep the spindles and the scallops, otherwise you'll end up with a generic contemporary instead of a kitchen with charm.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I like Patty's suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:09AM
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silver fox with brown could look really pretty. especially if that blue is cooler? silver fox is a bit warmer though. we have stardust on the walls of our kitchen--it's 1 darker--I'd call it a "brown gray" it pairs well with the clay beige cabs.so the silver fox could be the same? Here is another kitchen pic with wall color--we used purple as accent color because it went well with wall color--so the blue may work?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:15AM
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Mtn, thank you! It's an interesting house. Two farm outbuildings from 1880 tied together by adding other rooms. Kitchen and Master bath (which mirrors the kitchen on the other side of the large DR which is between the two) were crammed in there.

jterrilynn, I like patty_cakes's suggestion about the glass-front cab doors too, and if I ever get the $$ to put in new cabinets, I will likely put glass-front in, but only on the cabs next to the refrigerator, which is where the dishware is. The ones next to the stove hold my pots and pans and the cooking stuff, spices, etc., and those aren't' things I'd want showing through glass.

I also like glass that has the chicken wire embedded.

But, until that big bag o' cash falls out of the sky and lands at my feet, I have to work with what I have.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:17AM
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I understand what you are saying Tibb! However, by the time you buy all the paint and supplies $$ you could have just taken a few of the doors into a cabinets maker shop and had some seeded glass put in. Some of that seeded stuff will only show a shadow of whatâÂÂs inside the cabinets. The cabinets look so nice with the beams.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:34AM
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How big a deal would it be to freshen up the stain?

Also, maybe remove some of the upper doors or replace with glass.

Just thinking if it's a rental, paint may be less durable than leaving the wood cabinets (which BTW look pretty nice in the picture).
What kind of wood is this?

If you NEED to paint, maybe two-tome, bottom dark blue, top white.

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 9:55

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:50AM
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Below is a beautiful paint color for cabs, my sil did them and I love it so much more than white. It's a nice light color and would blend with the blue.

Here is a link that might be useful: BM halo

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Removing the spindles and straightening out the cornice were my first thoughts too (to modernize the look). If you decide to paint, I love nosoccermom's blue and white combo.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:59AM
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If you remove the spindles (and I probably would --- unless you put more animals up there), could you add a small molding, or is that going to be a problem over the window side?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:14AM
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I just put in taupe/greige cabinets with pale gray quartz and was looking for a lighter wall color to go with BM White Dove trim and ceilings. I found a really great color consultant who recommended HC 173 Edgecomb Gray (which is just a shade lighter than Revere Pewter, a great color) and OC-20 Pale Oak. The latter seems too light on my walls and would probably be the same for cabinets, but the Edgecomb Gray is a lovely greige.

Here is a link that might be useful: Edgecomb Gray

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:16AM
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I just canâÂÂt imagine the upkeep on non-factory finished painted kitchen cabinets in a rental. I need a nap just thinking about it.

If you want to brighten it up buy a cool rug runner.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 11:33

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Love the cozy beamed kitchen! If you do two toned - I vote for White Dove uppers and medium or medium/dark gray for the lowers to go with the VC Blue. One medium gray is BM Fieldstone gray. Have seen it in a house with exposed beams and blue and white accent pieces.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Can you tell me if the roman shades in your kitchen and DR are working shades or faux.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:07PM
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It's fine that they look old-fashioned--it's a farmhouse on Cape Cod. I would restain them. Are they alder, pine? Either will take a stain easily. Then add new laminate for some color.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Another vote for stain since maintenance on painted cabinets can be a bit much. You could stain them a sage green like Minwax Driftwood. If you painted them Kittery Green and grasshopper coordinate with VC Blue

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Holly- Kay

I actually like the spindles and scalloped cornice. It gives your kitchen a warm cheerfulness. I also love the exposed hinges on the cabinets. DD has exposed hinges and I love her kitchen!

I think painted cabs would look wonderful but agree that in a rental they would take a lot of abuse and may cause you to wonder "what in the world was I thinking?" somewhere down the road.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:16PM
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I'm back!

Wow. So interesting.

While I was out, I got thinking that it might make sense to just sand and destain them. I think jterrilynn is correct about the stained cabinets going well with the exposed beams.

Cabinets are pine. Agree, may_flowers, et, al. about leaving the spindles. I think I"d regret taking them out. Problem with taking out the cornice, I think, is that I think it's all one piece. I recall looking at it when I first bought the place to see if that would work and concluding that it wouldn't.

But, I really like nosoccermom's blue and white. I was thinking last night about doing the cabinets in a blue, did it on colorjive, etc. I think a combo of nosoccermom's blue and white and jterrilynn's glass doors for the top cabs would be very nice.

to the left of the refrigerator is one of those broom closets, and the lower cabs to the right of the friged are drawers.

Where I am standing taking the photo is opened up a bit, with glass sliding doors behind me, the VC blue walls, and a neutral brown and ivory weaved indoor/outdoor rug. What you see of the floor is just about all of the kitchen floor. I leave that blank so that dogs can lie on the tile if they get hot. It's the only tiled floor in the house.

Thank you all for your input here. I think I've decided on either sanding and restraining, or going with NSM's blue and white with Jterrilynn's glass doors if I can swing it. I hosted Thanksgiving out of that kitchen last year. The year before, someone had rented the house to host 23 members of her husbands family for Thanksgiving! You tell me how one gets dinner for 23 out of that kitchen! Lol.

And yet, I can seat 23 people for dinner.

Thank you again. I'll mull it over over the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:24PM
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I would look at various shades of blue, like a denim, or blue gray or gray.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:58PM
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eandhl, thinking of BM philipsburgh blue.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:00PM
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If restaining, I would definitely keep the rail and cornice. If painting I would remove them, love the uppers painted light and the bottoms dark, nice contrast with countertop and floor.

If properly prepped, primed and painted the cabinets should hold up well under normal conditions. We painted ours in our previous home, had them over ten years with three young ones running around.

And Tibbrix, if I get the chance to rent your place you can rest assured I would treat it as if it were my own. Look forward to hearing your decisions!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:15PM
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those are faux--I am a novice and intended to make them working-but that never happened--they are just faux toppers!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Would you have a tutorial that you used.
I like the size od your pleats.
I also want faux.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:43PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I love the blue and white or a blue that is like a milk paint which is very country feeling. It has been one of my favorite things.
Some examples

Here is a link that might be useful: Blues

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:15PM
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I'm trying to picture your base cabinets in one shade of blue, and your walls another shade. Or are you considering painting the walls?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Peony, no, walls will stay the same color. Philipsburgh blue and the van courtland go nicely together, I think.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:51AM
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It'd be a pleasure to host you and your family.

Really unsure about the spindles. I actually don't want an updated look. I want a no scratches, paint drops, cheesy look.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Those pleats were an unfortunate accident! I intended on making working shades, so I made the fabric the full length of the window....then when I bailed on that idea-I just pleated with the help of my engineer husband (who is very very precise in measurements)...to get it to the finished length we wanted, with the pleats. It took a lot of trial and error...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I too am one who is afraid of that wear and tear of painted cabinets in a rental might be too much upkeep. How about stripping and staining with a color stain. I know they have lovely grey and white stains and I am sure there might be some navy ones available too. It might give you the option of more color without the upkeep. I have been toying with color staining my next set of cabinets for just that reason. Lovely home you have there!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:17AM
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roarah, thank you for the compliment. It's an interesting house, and I love it. Made out of farm outbuildings!

I suspect what'll end up happening isâ¦nothing. I'll probably live with them as they are until I can get new ones, which will likely be never. Sigh.

We'll see. If I get inspired, I'll take them on.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Come on, Tibbrix, you got all winter! One door a week and you're done by Valentine's Day!

Doesn't it make more sense to stain them if you feel unmotivated? Pine should sand down pretty fast. Then what, stain, and is there some type of lacquer applied over stain? None of that priming, painting, sanding, painting, repeat, repeat, repeat that painted cabinets entail. I think they'd be pretty with a light stain. I still have my Bennington Pine bedroom set in honey pine from 1978 and I still like the color.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:34PM
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Oh, I love your cheerleading, may_flowers. When I bought the house, I did SO MUCH WORK, including painting every square inch of it, including windows, woodwork, doorsâ¦everything. I only hired painters to do the kitchen and MB ceilings. I was so burned out by the time I finished, so now, I feel like I should be ready to go again, but as soon as I start thinking about actually doing it, that burn-out feeling rears its head.

You never know! I really would like to do something with them.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:39PM
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I like the idea of sanding and staining vs. painting. Your house has so much character and charm. Keeping what you already have makes so much sense. I agree with may flowers, do it at a leisurely pace over the winter and by rental season next year you will have a whole new look!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:54PM
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Thanks bonnieann. Actually, my house is available to rent year round, so it's hard to plan for long-term projects. However, I'm lucky in that it's a small kitchen, not a lot of cabinetry, and I'm sure any fall/winter tenant would put up with 1/2 finished, 1/2 still to do! After all, they have to put a sock in the bedroom door to keep it from rattling if it's windy, and the lock for the master bathroom door is a block of wood you turn down at the top! Lol. Most find it fun and charming.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:28PM
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