choosing cabinet & back splash colors

GinAndersonAugust 13, 2014

I am at my wits end. Who would have thought painting your kitchen cabinets white would be so difficult?! We are going to paint our maple cabinets because they have yellowed so badly. We never did a back splash (14yrs ago). At that time we thought we wanted some kind of tumbled marble. Now, I want just a simple white semi-gloss subway tile and my husband would like travertine. I've been trying to find white colors for both cabs and back splash that doesn't clash but go with our current granite (giallo veneziano), (which has a lot of pink/beige that I would liked to downplay and our med. red cherry floors.) I keep reading about undertones, undertones, undertones. I can see undertones in some things, but not others. Our current color scheme is green, tan and burgundy. I know these are warm colors. We have white trim, but it's too bright for the cabinets. The granite also has a lot of browns and gray in it, so I've begun to think about taupes. I'm so confused by colors that are ivories, antique, cream, etc, ect. Please help me with good white color combinations that don't clash or make one look dingy or pinky. I'll try to upload some pics, if I can figure out how to do it. I apologize for the length of this post.

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I found a picture on Houzz of a kitchen with Giallo Veneziano. The cabinets are painted with Dunn-Edwards Paint in Whisper. I would suggest painting large pieces of poster board or foam board with white paint samples & prop them around your kitchen & granite to see what looks good with your countertops & your lighting.
Undertones: May_flowers is our undertones expert. Hopefully she'll pop by with some words of advice.
Edit: added photo

This post was edited by romy718 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 22:42

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Romy718, thank you for your input. I've seen this beutiful kitchen. I don't remember if the description mentioned what tile they used. I've been going about trying to find the tile first, figuring that it would be easier to pick a paint color for the cabinets that would go with the tile, if that makes any sense. I'm really frustrated because I keep second guessing myself. I just don't want to end up with either the cabs or back splash looking dingy or too pink due to the granite. I have to get this right. My husband isn't too keen on painting our expence maple cabinets, but I really would like to brighten it up! It would be so great to have May_flower offer some suggetions!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:48AM
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I don't know if I can help pick white paint. But you should read the thread in Home Decorating that funcolors is posting in about whites. She's a paint expert and doesn't post often, so hightail it over there and hopefully she'll be able to help.

I have a few general comments that I'll post in another reply.

Here is a link that might be useful: paint discussion

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:17AM
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It is a hard granite to work with. White doesn't feel quite right with the dark granites that have a lot of gold. My living room and dining room colors are warm too, and when we brought granite and quartz samples home, the white stuck out like a sore thumb. So we used a quartz that is a grayed beige, aka greige, which has yellow undertones. Truthfully, if I were you I'd be itching for a new, light-colored countertop as the main update to my 14 year old kitchen. Doesn't mean that I'd get it though!

Your husband wants what most husbands want--wood cabinets and stone backsplash. From everything I've read about travertine, it should be avoided like the plague. You will end up with a pink backsplash. He also doesn't want to paint the cabs. I look at the intricate moldings and don't blame him. Have you considered a medium stain instead? From everything I've read, it's a lot easier than painting. Sand and stain and done.

Now, about that "everything I've read"... The internet will have you thinking your maple is too yellow, your cherry is too red, and your oak is too orange. Bad bad bad colors! (But good if you need a "pop" of color.) I never noticed my oak floors were orange until I read it here. Now all I see is orange, but I'm not sure why I should feel bad about that. Your light maple cabs do look good with your granite, so maybe the color is okay. But we live in a white and gray design world now, and your granite does look nice with white cabs in romy's pic.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Mayflowers, thank you so very much for taking the time to give me you insight! I've read the paint discussion thread, however, I will need to reread it several times before I can "get it". A lot of it flew so high over my head that I felt dizzy, lol. You are dead on in some of your comments. I would absolutely LOVE to get new granite, but if I even look like I'm about to suggest it, I'd be dead on the spot from the daggers shooting from my husband's eyes!! You have to understand that when he finally agreed to getting granite in the first place, it was like winning the lottery for me!! We are by no means wealthy people, and we way over shot our budget! My husband is, not what you would call a tight-wad, but is very very conservative with money. He does, though, love a "good deal" and will buy 3-4 of something that is on sale whether we need it or not. Drives me nuts. It's killing him to paint the cabinets because we paid so much for them and he tells every paint/tile sales people so..."We paid a lot of money to get natural maple, now she wants to PAINT them"..."coulda save a lot of money", I really do understand where he's coming from, the remodel was supposed to be our last hurrah. I'm sorry for the rant, just needed a little venting because this whole thing is becoming so stressful. I guess I'll get some MORE paint samples. I've only been looking at paint from Lowe's, Home Depot and Kelly Moore. Haven't seen much discussion of their paint colors, seems like everyone is on the BM banwagon. I just figured that their's was too expensive. I've heard people say that they have a place like Home Depot mix up BM paint for them (?) how do they do that? Just take a paint chip/strip of BM and ask for that color? Can you do that with any brand? Once again, thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:31PM
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I can see only a little of your cabinets but I think they still look very nice! Maybe instead of painting the cabs, think about painting the walls? Maybe only in the kitchen.

As for paint, BM and SW are very good quality paints by all accounts -- I have used SW, they go on sale regularly and are very good at matching colors from any other brand (at least my store is). I have also used Valspar and Clark & Kensington and think that they are fine for tighter budgets. Sheens and textures vary amongst paint brands -- I find Behr eggshell too glossy, for example, and I have read people comment on a lovely velvety finish with BM.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:06PM
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If you go to Sherwin Williams, pick up their Whites and Lights brochure. There's about fifty colors divided into warm and cool colors and it's very easy to identify the undertones. Many of the warm beige, taupe, and tan shades clearly have a peachy or fleshy undertone, so avoid those. Some are yellow, and that's what you're trying to get away from.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:15PM
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