Help! Newly installed white cabinets don't match paint swatch.

shalagoJuly 24, 2012

Our kitchen cabinets, which are custom made by a local cabinet maker are in the process of being installed. The white that we chose is Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Our cabinet maker color matched it to a commercial grade oil based enamel paint in which he sprays on the cabinets. The color is not matching to the simply white at all. Is this because our Simply white that we sampled on a piece of primed wood is from a latex based paint? The color match formulation that was used on our cabinets is an oil base enamel. My question is: When everyone on this kitchen forum says that they are using a specific color by Benjamin Moore, is it REALLY a BM paint OR are they COLOR MATCHING it with another paint? Our cabinet maker said he couldn't use a BM paint because it wasn't formulated for commercial grade enamel finishing. If you did use BM, was it done professionally? And did they have to get a certain formulation? ALSO- our whites are so inconsistent between uppers and lowers. Is this due to the way the light is hitting it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Need to make decisions. Please see attached picture that shows difference b/w uppers and lowers, as well as the actual BM Simply White painted wood sample in the upper right cabinet! thank you!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First, I have a horrible problem with my uppers looking a completely different color than my lowers. The lowers turn turquoise in natural light, where the shaded uppers remain a gorgeous, gray/sage/green. SO yes, that could be the light.

HOWEVER Matching is matching.
Did you bring home samples and paint them on your walls to see how the color would behave in the lighting in your home?

Does the swatch & cabinet truly not match, or are you looking at the cabinets saying, "It's not the same?" Because if they really DON'T match, they're not color-matched.

It sounds like your guy is a professional. Start talking with him. Check to see that the swatch REALLY doesn't match. If it does and it's your lighting, you got trouble in River City, because he's done his job. Now if you start changing your paint, you're going to incur a lot of $$.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. Cab install should be a happy time. My cabs are painted BM Simply White. And when I say 'painted' I mean sprayed with actual BM paint, Satin Impervo Waterborne to be exact, from the BM store. I didn't want oil-based paint for the yellowing factor.

My uppers seem to be the same color as my (few) uppers; I never noticed them to be different.

Didn't your cab market give you a sample sprayed door to approve first? If so, are your cabs different than that? If you got a sample and your cabs are appreciably different, then you've got some ground on which to stand.

Have you spoken with your cab maker about your concerns?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Decades ago, I had some latex wall paint matched at a paint place that was different from the branded paint swatch I carried in. It ended up a different color. When I called to ask, I was told there was a different amount of titanium (I think it was 'titanium' ... it was decades ago) in the base, and that it varies from brand to brand.
I wonder if this is what happened to you? Especially since the color match is between oil-basedlatex.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Personally, it looks barely off. Jardly enough to notice. You should put your samples in the lower cabinet where there's light. The shadows are obscuring the vision in the uppers. And your placement of the samples is accentuating the shadow in the back of the cabinet rather than letting you actually see what it looks like on the frame edge, where the sample is. Put the sample on the side of the cabinet, in full sunlight.

Oil doesyellow over time. Even if it were 100% matched when it was sprayed, it won't be the same color by the end of the first year. I doubt it could yellow rapidly enough to account for a not quite match here, but it won't be the exactly the same by the time you finish the project.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Within 2 years your cabinets will be noticeably yellower. My GC insisted on using oil paint on the trim in my New Orleans house and from 2010-2012, there was a non-uniform change in color (depending on the amount of natural light) but I doubt that's your issue here.

Talk to your cabinet guy. He sounds like an old school guy and he may have an explanation that will satisfy - doesn't look like this is his first rodeo.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I debated between two BM colors: Cloud White and Simply White. I gave my painter the large color chips and he painted out two sample doors for me in each color (satin finish). The colors matched the chips, but had much more depth and richness in the satin on an actual door with contours. After weeks of agonizing, I chose Cloud White. My cabinets looked EXACTLY like the sample doors, only better. When the job was done and the painter gave me the remaining gallon of paint, I discovered they'd had it matched and mixed by Kelly Moore, which is fine, since KM is a very good paint and they are excellent matchers.

My kitchen gets a lot of light and strong shadows. I also get plenty of reflected light from foliage outside which can make everything look green during certain times of day. What my eye perceives as different from Cloud White my brain translates to the right color.

I would suggest taking doors or drawer fronts from cabs you suspect are different and putting them in the same controlled light, maybe in a different room, and then decide if they are indeed different. If so, have a conversation with your painter.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oil and latex versions of the "same" paint color are not identical in color. I don't know the science behind this (different light reflection? pigments appear different in different mediums?), but I know this is the case. In our house we painted the kitchen walls in oil based Hawthorne Yellow. We ran out out of paint for one section and got a quart of the same color in latex but supposedly the same sheen -- the colors were close but not an exact match. We thought there had been a mistake in mixing up the new quart so we tried again and got the exact same results.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mine were actually sprayed with benjamin moore simply white paint. i avoided a cabinet maker who wanted to color match for this every reason.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ours were painted with BM (really BM) Simply White in oil. At first, I was upset that they did not match the swatch card either. They were much whiter, and it drove me nuts. However, our contractor (who was not responsible for the painter) assured me that the paint took a couple of weeks to cure, and it would be much more like the chip after that time. That has proven to be true. They've now been painted for about a month, and they're much closer. I think that if our painter had put an adequate number of coats of paint on, they would match perfectly because one spot where it's a tiny bit thicker is an exact match now.

I don't know about the BM versus non BM for the finish you got. (Ours were brushed.) I'm sure that if you call, a BM store could tell you what was possible and whether your painter was telling you the truth or not.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can't offer a solution but I can from experience mention a few things regarding color matching.
Our perception of color is the reflection of light from the surface. As the surface changes so does the color. As the light, which has color, changes so does the color. Nearby colors also change our perception of a color.

It is possible(easy actually) to mix a color that matches in one light and does not match in a different light- don't remember the name for this phenomenon but having done critically exact color matches across lighting temps for a long time I know it to be so.

A few points in sheen difference also shifts a color enough for it not to match to the careful eye.
As WindyCityLindy pointed out many solvent paints take a longer period of time to dry down.
When we have to have a match done we always get a sample door for approval.
If something is to be painted to match the cabinet color we don't get the paint by number or name, rather have them then match the cabinet door. I do a lot of BM and SW matches with the factories, I know the SW colors come from SW not sure of the BM matches. In any case, since it is a different sheen (always), sprayed, and a different paint they are not a dead on match to the named color.
Many mainstream mfg's also top coat with a clear (which adds to the shift) for protection.
Now, having done matching for many years I can be hyper-critical about it.

If it doesn't dry down sufficiently (or was sprayed a few weeks ago) I'd look into making samples using the same paint and then see if there was a clear top coat solution that changes the sheen slightly. Not knowing exactly what the paint is I don't know if that is a possibility-some oil based enamels will not accept a top coat. One can hope anyway. Only other alternative is another coat of color. Either way the total build could get to be an issue and the maker won't be happy.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you everyone for all your advice and suggestions. I have read each and every one of your posts. thank you-
First let me back this up by saying this: My cabinets were initially installed with a sprayed paint on them- a "Pittsburg" paint that my cabinet maker (yes he is old school!- fantastic builder and very nice to work with) had matched up to BM sImply White. Pittsburg is the paint he prefers to use over anything else b/c of it's commercial grade quality. We did not ask for a sample of how the actual color would look but we did however see what a sprayed cabinet looked like. Separately we saw what BM simply white looked like. I guess that's where the mistake was b/c even though it was color matched using a "formula" the cabinets casted a faint lime green tone. The kitchen looked like a "white kitchen" but when you held up real WHITE- you could see a huge difference. SO, without hesitation, our painter took our cabinets down and re primed and sprayed what he could and hand painted the other cabs which had the granite on it. Before he did the "2nd paint", he showed us the white we would be using and asked for approval. It looked white and much better than what was there, so we approved it for our cabinet builder to go ahead and re spray the cabs. Ok- 2nd install- cabinets go it, some look WHITE and others look really off. No consistency. NOT HAPPY!! That's when I wrote my first post on GW. SO, we had our cab guy here today and again, with a great attitude and willing to solve this "white" issue we are having, we decided to talk to the people at BM and do some more research and we are now testing BM Simply white in the ADVANCE. This came highly recommended by the BM people. Apparently the yellowing that you MIGHT see in an oil base is not for YEARS to come- and that's very slight. BUT the oil base paint is the best when it comes to preserving the cabinets from nicks and scratches and with white cabinets, you have to be very careful of that.So with all this being said, my husband and I just held up two painted SIMPLY WHITE BM boards. One on the corner upper and one next to it. BOTH the same white. The one on the curved cabinet is a different color than the one next to it- it has almost and icey bluish tint to it. NOW we think it may be the lighting. So, my husband just ran to Home Depot to get a different bulb for the ceiling light. We will try this before we have our cabinet guy take down everything and repaint!!! I just think white cabinets in our kitchen may just be very inconsistent. Go figure, we have a slew of big windows with natural light and a ton of high hats. this kitchen reno is just part of a huge reno on our house/ gutting and addition- that went smoooooth. The kitchen cabinet part is what's giving us a hard time. going on 5 months without a kitchen. UGH!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am sorry you are having this problem. I am kind of having a similar problem. I too got Benjamin Moore Simply White but I used the Waterborne. My cabinet maker had his painter paint them by spraying. When the cabinets went in certain ones looked yellower than others. They don't know what happened. Five gallons bought at once at Benjamin Moore. The crown moulding looks bright white even though I saw that it was coming from a gallon of simply white. Weird! I hope that it is just the lighting with your kitchen. I am not sure what we are going to do.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm lucky enough to know at least mine is lighting.
However, it took 4 different paints to finally come up with something that doesn't convert.

My uppers will remain my beloved Duron 'Rugged Trail' in Cabinet Coat paint, and the bottoms will be Valspar's 'Colonial Beige'.

Just crazy.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How big of a range do you need for 13+ feet of wall?
We are narrowing down our kitchen design bit by bit,...
Gap between backsplash and over-the-range microwave?
Hi, all. Does anyone have an over-the-range microwave...
Kitchen design assistance - Small kitchen
I have a 12x13 foot kitchen with way too many entry...
Expand or Not to Expand… What would you do with this floorplan?
I’ve been following the kitchen forum and squirreling...
Silestone lena
Has anyone used Silestone "Lena" quartz in...
Sponsored Products
Americh Madison 6632 Tub (66" x 32" x 22")
Modern Bathroom
Afina Arch Top Large Recessed Medicine Cabinet - SD2430RARC-BV-L
$350.00 | Hayneedle
Rectangular White Ceramic Wall Mounted Or Vessel Bathroom Sink
Louis Poulsen | AJ Eklipta LED Wall Light
Floral Pendant - Black - David Trubridge
$630.00 | HORNE
Scatter Giclee LED Reading Light Plug-In Sconce
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™