Would you paint cherry cabinets?

dominoswrathDecember 11, 2012

We had custom cherry cabinets installed in our kitchen about 7 years ago. At the time, I was in love with really dark wood cabinets so it's a pretty dark stain. I still adore them, but in spite of all the tudor style character, our house has smallish rooms and not a lot of natural sunlight.

I was considering painting them. Is there any reason cherry shouldn't be painted?

We are thinking of selling our home in the future, so wanted to brighten things up a bit.

It's a 1920's tudor style home with traditional decor, spanish plaster, natural hardwood floors, etc., not contemporary. Not to say that painted cabinets are contemporary.

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marti8a

I wouldn't, but I then I really like natural wood.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:08PM
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palimpsest

I would not.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:27PM
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roarah

I love cherry so no I would not. what are your counters? Maybe there are other ways to lighten the room.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:40PM
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deee_gw

I love white kitchens but I would never paint cherry cabinets.

Is it possible to refinish the cabinets? If you post some pictures perhaps the forum can give you ideas about lightening up the rest of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:53PM
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yayagal

I wouldn't but I would strip them and bleach them. A friend of mine did it and they look fabulous. I think you can find the directions on line. By lightening them up the kitchen became a much more relaxed space and she decorated it beautifully.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:26PM
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springroz

I would put more lights in!

Nancy

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:36PM
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susie100

Heck, no!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:02PM
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GreenDesigns

Address the lack of light by installing lights. The cabinets actually sound quite suitable to the home's style where painted cabinetry would be a style miss-step.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:24PM
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HomeMaker

In a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:29PM
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debrak_2008

No I would not but then I just installed dark cherry cabinets. I would evaluate your lighting. Can you post a photo? I'm sure there maybe other things you can do. This is a dark time of year, do you always feel its too dark?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:41PM
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kitchendetective

Nope. I love dark cherry cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:45PM
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jen9

I have natural cherry cabinets in my kitchen that have aged to the medium redish-orangish look and I am considering painting some or all of mine ... so the fact that they are cherry would not keep me from painting them.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:48PM
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crl_

For resale purposes? No. I would look at changing paint color and lighting, but I would not paint cherry cabinets for resale purposes. I think more buyers would be attracted to cherry cabinets than would be attracted to a home paint job. (And I say that as someone who has painted cabinets, but they were twenty year old builders grade oak.)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Nope...sure wouldn't.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:14PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

I agree with adding light and not painting custom cherry cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:07PM
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bronwynsmom

We painted the cherry cabinets in our old kitchen, but they weren't particularly good ones.

That said, I would paint anything except fine antiques if I wanted to. Or have them painted, if the work required more skill and/or patience than I have.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:07PM
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Cindyloo123

If I were looking for a home to buy, painted cabinets would really give me pause. If they were not properly prepped the paint is going to chip off and I would be afraid of that.

It does amaze me how many people are painting their cabinets because even with the proper prep, I still think paint would eventually crack and or chip.

And I would not paint over cherry unless there was extensive damage on the original finish.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:23AM
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EG3d

NO, especially no if they are nice cherry cabinets. Add lighting. Under cabinet lighting as well. Can you install a skylight or two in this area?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:39AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Dark cherry sounds appropriate to your home's style. White painted cabinets in a Tudor--not so much. Unless they are dramatic cathedral arched with beveled and camed leaded glass and antiqued and distressed. That could possibly work, but it would have to be a very careful line to walk to not get into Disneyland Tudor.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:55AM
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vsalz

When I was researching cabinets, the highest priced lines had painted cherry rubbed down on the edges to show the wood underneath (distressed). They were gorgeous.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:42AM
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madeyna

If your planning on selling then no. I would invest the time and monney into other ways to lighten up that room.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Oakley

I agree with the others, if you're going to sell, then don't paint. The easiest way to fix the problem is to add more lighting and under-cabinet lighting.

Even with my white kitchen, it's on a west wall but there's a covered patio there too, and the natural light is awful, except when I turn the lights on. I put a small lamp on my counter, along with under-cab lights and it makes the room bright and cheery.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:24AM
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gmp3

Perhaps a picture would help us decide.

I am leaning towards not painting.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:54PM
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SheeshareeII

I wouldn't but I'd love to install cherry cabinets. I definietly wouldn't if you're going to sell.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 2:29PM
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ellendi

Yes to posting a picture.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:20PM
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caminnc

It would depend on the quality of the cabinets. High end, no.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:15PM
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itltrot

Another vote for other options besides painting the cabinets. But I'm not opposed to painting any wood. In this case it sounds like the cherry belongs in your home more than paint especially if you are already planning to move. Check lighting, wall paint, counters/backsplash first.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:46PM
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dilettante_gw

Definitely not! A major impetus for the trend toward painted cabinets is that builders can get away with using cheaper materials underneath. Custom wood cabinets are already a luxury item, but in a few years' time, they'll be very rare and a huge selling point. And even though it's technically possible to strip them down and refinish them, it's an enormous amount of work, and they would never look as nice as they did before they were painted.

I agree with everyone who suggested looking into adding more light. Lighting options, especially for undercabinet lighting, have really improved.

Another possibility would be to add a greenhouse window, as long as you choose one that works with the house's Tudor style (small panes, possibly diamond shaped, leaded glass if possible, casement style, etc.).

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:33PM
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mpwdmom

No, never. Add lights. Possibly under-cab lighting too.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:34PM
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dominoswrath

I was surprised to get so many responses! I will not paint the cabinets.

We already have plenty of lighting - canned lights, under cabinet lighting, interior cabinet lighting with crackle glass -- it's just a small kitchen and would feel so much brighter with lighter cabinets.

The bigger problem is that on some of the cabinets there is some whiteness from moisture - due to the contractor who rubbed them with oil (which you are NEVER supposed to do) after they were stained. Depending on the time of year and humidity levels, the whiting comes through the stain and well, they look "dirty" though they are not. There's nothing we can do to rectify it short of stripping them down completely (and the trim has fluting so it would not be an easy undertaking), and restaining them, but even then I was told there is no guarantee to remove the oils.

I think I'll change the wall color to help lighten the room up. It needs to be repainted anyway.

Thanks again for all the feedback.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:24PM
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debrak_2008

The contractor should have fixed that.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 7:14AM
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