Kitchen Design - What to do with your Kitchen Cabinets

Coming up with a good kitchen design idea is equal parts fun and overwhelming. Here are a couple of things you can do with paint to overhaul your kitchen without ripping everything out.

Color - White Cabinets

Always a classic look, never going out of style, painting your kitchen or bathroom cabinets white is a clear win for a modern, clean look. White is a little tricky because there are so many shades. However, there are a few colors of note that we really like on cabinets.

First, is Cloud White OC-130, Color Theory's neutral color of the year. Cloud White offers a warmth in a tone of white that avoids sterility and lack of creativity. We find that painting cabinets with a Satin sheen in the Cloud White provides a smooth finish with added durability.

Simply White OC-117 has some of the same aesthetic qualities of Cloud White, yet in certain lighting conditions fares a little better. As a simple test, swing by your local paint store and pick up the two whites and tape them to your kitchen wall side by side and see how you like them over the course of the day. Do the colors change over the course of the day? If so, which color do you like best?

Last, Chantilly Lace OC-65. Chantilly Lace is the chalkiest of the trio. With the first two white paint colors, the warmth in them can sometimes become amplified by incandescent lighting which may be a turn off. The Chantilly Lace doesn't have that problem. While in a natural day light it will exude vibrance and cleanliness, throughout the evening it will maintain a pristine whiteness.


Change up your kitchen island

Going with a more dramatic darker color for your kitchen island will provide your kitchen design with an anchor, contrasting your lighter scheme all around. With the desire for more kitchen cabinet storage, sometimes the kitchen starts to enclose in on itself and it starts to look like some kind of mammoth. Especially if your current cabinets are a wood finish.

Painting your kitchen island just might add the variety you need. This two tone look has become very popular with modern kitchen cabinets.


Where to begin painting cabinets

The most important thing to get right in this process is cabinet paint. You do not want to skimp on paint when it comes to cabinets. The best paint for kitchen cabinets right now is a waterborne alkyd. As paradoxical as it sounds, waterborne alkyds are a somewhat newly formulated product that combines the durability and hardness of an oil based paint with the environmental standards of a water-based latex paint. 

We've had success with the lighter colors with Benjamin Moore Advance. Advance dries very hard but struggles with darker colors because of the amount of colorant necessary. For cabinets going from wood to paint, its best to start with the Advance Primer.


For darker colors and a faster dry time, you may consider Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic. While the Pro Classic doesn't dry quite as hard as the Advance and sometimes requires additional coats in lighter colors, we've still had excellent results with it and air towards using it on our cabinet projects.  Extreme Bond primer is the recommended primer to go with the Pro Classic on cabinets.


Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?



The decision is up to you on this one. This is definitely an advanced project and one that many DIY'ers report that they probably wouldn't attempt on their own again. The tedious factor is high as well as the elbow grease factor. But the time commitment is doable. More than a single weekend but it's easy enough to break up.

To Learn More about Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets with our DIY Guide to Painting Cabinets

What Kitchen Remodel Ideas do you have? Post in the comments!