Painting Kitchen Cabinets–Selecting a Paint Color

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Painting cabinets is definitely a big job, and one of the hardest parts is selecting the perfect paint color for your kitchen cabinets. Below is the current state of my kitchen, our cabinet painting has commenced. It’s probably going to be like this for awhile as I have quite a few cabinets still to tackle but even with just a few done, I am so excited about the outcome. Lightening up even one section of my current cabinets up is making a big difference. However, as soon as I started I unfortunately realized I made the wrong choice in paint color.

 

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As I showed you all in this post all about our Kitchen Makeover plan {below}, I planned to use Benjamin Moore’s White Dove for my perimeter cabinets. After all, it looked gorgeous in Christy’s kitchen HERE and I have seen it frequently as a top choice for cabinets, the perfect not-too-white.

Ideas to turn boring builder kitchen into a fresh, new space on a budget

After getting the first section of cabinets painted, then seeing it up against our backsplash my heart sank and I realized this color was not going to work. Our backsplash is too cool, the White Dove color is too creamy and warm. It’s a gorgeous color, but just not right for my room.

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Note: we hope to eventually replace the counters you see, I know its hard to overlook them. I am leaning toward black granite because it is so classic and as I have shared HERE  my real experience having marble counters, and I just don’t think I want the maintenance again.

 

Installing a cararra marble backsplash
 

The kitchen I long for is the one at the top of the post, a beautiful, classic white kitchen. However, I have accepted that this one is in a home with historic details, I am not sure I can easily translate that look into my basic builder kitchen.

 

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This picture above has been my inspiration since I committed to the marble subway tile. While the lighting in this picture isn’t the best, I am guessing that these cabinets are a true white-white? Not a creamy-white.

Here’s a tip to narrow down a paint color when you are making a long-term decision about a paint color. Use Pinterest to see what you are consistently drawn to.

I went to my Pinterest board to see what I have pinned over the last few years I have been contemplating this Kitchen makeover. One thing jumped out at me–I pin traditional white-white cabinets the most!

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So I am on the search for the perfect white-white paint. One like the island below. White Dove has a very creamy undertone, so I need something with more of a blue/gray undertone. After much consideration, I went with Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. It is a bright white and was perfect for what I was looking for.

 

 

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All that being said, I did spend more than a few minutes considering instead going with gray/greige. Because, what is not to love about this kitchen? This gets a ridiculous amount of repins so it must be a good one 🙂

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Or this one below, so pretty and soothing.

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UPDATE:  I love the results! You can see our finished kitchen makeover {as below} in this post HERE.

You can also see all my tips for getting an ultra-smooth factory finish when you paint cabinets HERE.

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See more about my kitchen makeover:

Breakfast Room Reveal

Kitchen/Breakfast Room Paint Color {my favorite color ever!}

The marble backsplash

The DIY Open Shelving

The DIY Under Counter Shelves {IKEA hack}

The Kitchen Makeover Plan

and…drumroll!

The Final Kitchen Reveal

The Other Side of Our Kitchen

 

Also, be sure to check out this post with how the cabinets are holding up two years later.

 

Also, you might find this post to be helpful about the Do’s and Don’ts of Painting Kitchen Cabinets.

 

The Do's and Don'ts to easily paint your kitchen cabinets. A step by step guide how to paint kitchen cabinets as easily as possible.

XO,

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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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Comments

  1. I painted my entire living room (myself) in BM Dove White and I don’t think it’s right either…. but it’s done and I’m not willing to paint the room again. My room faces north and I feel that it’s too grey… creamy yes, but too grey. I did paint my desk BM Simply White and I think it’s fabulous!!! I love that color. Take a look at it. Also BM Cotton Balls.
    Marcy

  2. We will be beginning our kitchen project in the fall and we too have considered White Dove. I have seen it in our friends home and I love it there, however, I’m afraid that it could read a bit yellowy in our home. My new considerations are Cloud White and Simply White. Light grey would be gorgeous with your backsplash tile, but sometimes getting the right grey can be hard too. Here’s hoping you can get back on course soon!!

  3. Oh I am so jealous that you are painting your cabinets white!! For now I am only dreaming of that for our kitchen! My opinion would be stick with white (as opposed to gray) because white is so classic and timeless. Gray is everywhere right now, but white kitchens have been been on trend for centuries! We used Sherwin Williams Pure White on our trim and I really love it. Were your cabinets in good condition prior to painting? We have some cracking, ect. in our cabinets and I am worried that painting them will just make the imperfections stand out more.

  4. I hate when something I was so sure was the right thing turns out so not the right thing. Our kitchen cabinets are a white white, but unfortunately I have to have the color matched now as it is an older Porter Paint color-Decorator White. All our trim in the house is the same color. I am dreading the day we start changing it all for a more current white!! While I like the look of some gray/greige kitchens I think it is trendy, and won’t last the test of time.

    • I remembered Megan’s (Honey We’re Home) cabinets being a true white, and she has marble countertops similar in colors to your back splash…she used divine white. Might be an option? I think it is a BM color.

  5. Amy, My cabinets are white/white in, if I remember, Benjamin Moore Ice Cube. I love them. No creamy undertones. My backspash is primarily white subway tile with two courses of a square blue glass tile. The Ice Cube doesn’t fight at all with the subway tile. One other mention. As a cooking instructor, I know how important countertops that can stand up to hot saucepans and skillets and spills that are acidic are. Marble looks pretty, but is definitely not a good choice for a kitchen – sounds like you already found that out. Granite comes in some beautiful very light colors that look similar to marble. Mine is white with blue/grey veins running through it. But the black is always dramatic. Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be beautiful. Can’t wait to see the big reveal.

  6. Hi Amy!

    I really like your white-white idea, but have such a hard time with undertones. Do you have any tips on selecting colors? I am also drawn to lighter cabinets on the top and darker on the bottom – Perhaps you could do white on top and gray on the base cabinets?

    I’m considering painting my kitchen cabinets too. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    – Jessica

  7. Try BM Decorator White! It is a bright white and goes with anything! Good luck!

  8. Amy…we often get in trouble when we over think things…always wanting to make the right decision when there are so many options to choose from…we start doubting ourselves. I love the white cabinetry with the gold hardware…such a exquisite look…and then I do love the creamy gray with the silver hardware….i guess I would have to decide on which design I am going for . . . the more exquisite or the more casual with the gray. White is a great option as you can change the look of the room by just changing out the hardware…from the exquisite gold or the shiny chrome for that more cottage look…The marble subway tile was a great decision!!…I love it and hope that one day I can replace my tile for the marble such as yours….

  9. Ahhh! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have stumbled upon your post! I am an owner of literally the SAME kitchen! Down to the countertops! So funny! I am starting the process of redoing our cabinets and I have not been able to find a paint color! You just solved my dilemma! Thank you!!!!

  10. When choosing a color, start with the bottom color on the page of the paint deck. That will be your undertone color. If you need a grey undertone for your white, find the page in the deck that has the last color on the page trending towards grey.

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