How To Paint Cabinets

Ready to transform your kitchen from ho-hum and House Beautitful? Consider giving your cabinets a facelift with a new coat of paint.

Try a soft color. Employees at Johnston Paint & Decorating say a lot of customers are asking for a warm cream color or a soft gray to use on their cabinets. “Gray breathes new life into a room and makes it brighter. It gives it a feeling of new,” says designer Melissa Murphy. She adds that a growing trend is lighter colors that give a coastal feeling.

Use a glaze. Adding a glaze over painted cabinets adds depth and highlights raised panels, Murphy says. Designer Kitchens & Bath designer Jenny Anderson says she is seeing a lot of off-white cabinets with a brown or gray glaze.

Don’t make decisions based solely on trends. “Just because you like it doesn’t mean it fits the rest of the house,” says Stephen Rust of Stephen Rust Design Studio. A modern kitchen might not look good in the context of an older house. “That context will really hurt you,” Rust adds. Make the new work with the old.

Plan ahead. The kitchen is the most expensive part of the house when it comes to updating and homeowners should be careful. “You can spend a lot of money and it could still come out ugly,” Rust says. Make sure you create a plan before starting any project and stick with that plan.

Hire a professional. Rust’s tip for those thinking about painting their own cabinets? Don’t. Updating cabinets can give a kitchen a new look, but it’s also tedious work. “It’s really better to have a professional do it because if you make a mistake in the kitchen, it can really come back and hurt the value of the house,” Rust says. Homeowners should also remember that cabinets expand and contract due to humidity. A professional can point out facts you might not have known, and help you avoid problems in the future.

Other Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen 

If painting the cabinets isn’t for you, try updating the countertops. You can also paint or tile the backsplash. If you have an island, this gives you the opportunity to add another color to your kitchen. Designer Melissa Murphy says islands are usually a rich, dark color but a soft green or blue-green can be used to add a splash of color.

“I’ve also seen a really pretty red island,” Murphy adds.

You can change the hardware on cabinets as well. Ted Foley of Foley Custom Cabinets says more of his customers are asking for convenience hardware, such as sliding cabinets, to make moving around the kitchen that much easier.