advice on white cabinets please

diab123September 9, 2012


I've always had stained wood cabinets in kitchens but am considering the creamy white painted finish with glazing---but very concerned about how hard these are to keep clean compared to stained wood which pretty much hides everything. Interested in hearing from those who have had them for a good while already.

Also, how do they wear over the long haul? What about chips, staining, repair of finish, etc?

Thank you!

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Hi Diab123.

This subject comes up quite a bit on the forum. I did an Internet search for those threads and have linked them below. There's lots of reading here! FWIW, I love, love my white cabs. Good luck!

Oh, and many here, including me, think that white cabs with a glaze look dirty and dated. YMMV. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: White cab cleaning

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:50AM
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I agree that glaze makes white cabinets look dirty.I am in my third white kitchen and still love white cabinets. My current cabinets are much easier to keep clean than my last, which I painted myself. If you're looking at stained wood just to hide the dirt, remember even if it hides dirt, they will be dirty. With white, you'll see it and clean it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:42AM
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I agree that glazing white cabinets makes them look dirty. Glazing can be a good look with darker colors/stains, but not with white. I've had my creamy white painted cabs for eight months. There's only me in the kitchen, plus three cats who try to open doors with claw-filled paws, and so far, no chips or scratches. The paint is pretty strong.

Of course, any drip or dirty mark will show up, but a wipe takes care of it. I did a complete clean of every surface, nook and cranny, with water and a few drops of Dawn, plus a microfiber cloth. I have a small kitchen so it only took about 15 minutes. The main point was to get the dust, etc. that settles in the shaker insets and various moldings. I plan to do this every six months (or less) regardless of whether they look like they need it or not.

As rocketmomnkd ays, stained won't look dirty, but they just hide it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Just went through the same thing. We had honey oak and had them painted white. We decided against the glaze, I thought it looked dirty as well. Here's a picture of my cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove. I had them done about 5 mos ago and so far so good. Spots are easy to see so clean up is quick and easy. How they will wear will depend on quality of the job done. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Yes, look through the previous post that Breezy has suggested. With white you see the drips. With wood you see more dust. Half a dozen of one....
I agree about the glaze. It is currently not popular but more importanlty if it is not done right, it looks blotchy and horrible. I also do not like white cabinets with glaze.
One other thing you should consider with white cabinets. The seams do expand and contract. So, close up sometimes I will see a seam. I love my white kitchen, and this does not bother me. If this would bother you, than you are not a candidate for a white kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:43PM
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One of the things I like about white cabinets is that they DO show dirt. When we bought our house, it had contractor formica -- white! -- and people would say, "Oh, I couldn't stand keeping those white countertops clean." But if they -- counters or cabinets -- are dirty, don't you want to know? I do.

That said, I was also looking at an ivory cab glazed in pewter for my refurb. Now I'm worried. I will not hijack diab123's thread, but will open a new one. Critique welcome.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 3:09PM
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I have been going and back forth with this same issue and finally placed my order on Saturday with the cabinet maker. I decided on an off white color with no glaze. DH said the glaze makes the cabinets look dirty and my KD thinks the same, plus dated.

I currently have bright white (refaced) cabinets which are way too bright for my liking. I hope my new pick will be more subtle. My previous house had stained Oak cabinets and now having lived with white cabinets I will never go back to stained. I love the timeless look of white and it goes with just about everything.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:14PM
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