HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBenjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams: Paint IdeasE-DESIGN: 3 Painted Oak & Maple Kitchen Cabinet Projects

E-DESIGN: 3 Painted Oak & Maple Kitchen Cabinet Projects

Posted on August 6, 2019 by KylieMawdsley


Painted (and stained) Cabinets: Before and Afters (and a BONUS project!)

I know how much you guys love your before and afters, so I figured it was time to show a few of my recent ONLINE PAINT COLOUR CONSULTING projects!

Now, I didn’t have enough good clear photos of each project to do up a blog post (I rely 100% on my E-design clients for their after photos!), so I figured I’d do a mixed post, which will also give you a whole whack of ideas to think about for your own home – it’s like a 3 for 1 deal!


BEFORE: You know, I didn’t mind the orange tone of these cabinets too much, they did coordinate nicely with my hair, but I was happy to hear that my client was ready for some fresh paint on them as they weighed down the kitchen quite a bit and kept it tucked firmly in the late ’90s…

Oak kitchen cabinet update ideas before being painted white with island colour (3)

AFTER: The kitchen is SO much fresher and brighter with the soft white uppers and lowers!

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultant. Painted oak cabinets, Sherwin Williams Panda white with green beige granite countertop, travertine tile backsplash. Kilim

BEFORE: The island needed a little face-lift to modernize the look of the green and peach granite and the travertine tile backsplash…

Oak kitchen cabinet update ideas before being painted white with island colour (6)

AFTER: LOVE me some SW Grizzle Gray on the island! The kitchen now has some personality and a whole new lease on life!

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, painted oak cabinets, dark green gray island off-white cabinets. Sherwin Williams. Travertine backsplash and green, orange, beige granite countertop. Kilim Beige

And thanks to my clients for sending these after photo along as interior photos can be a REAL bugger to get just right – ya done good.


BEFORE: Between the oak flooring and maple cabinets, there was just too much warm-on-warm for those green granite countertops and backsplash.

Maple or oak cabinets before being painted. Kylie M (1)

And you might notice that these first 2 projects have granite with green in them. This was a common trend in the ’90s and early 2000’s as admittedly, warm woods and green DO play well together, however, it’s about a) how much of one thing there is and b) the long-term limitations of committing to a colour in permanent surfaces, whereas neutrals tend to last longer.

AFTER: It’s like the room gave a GREAT big sigh of relief…

Sherwin Williams White Duck painted maple cabinets and green undertone granite with glass backsplash. Edgecomb Gray walls. Kylie M interiors Edesign

The new cabinet colour is SW White Duck, a really pretty warm, slightly greige/cream off-white. And notice how the floor and the countertops/backsplash balance each other off and play with each other, whereas before the room was heavily weighted into the warm family.

The Best Off-White Paint Colours


The Best Hardware to Update Wood Cabinets


For this project, I don’t have a FULL kitchen ‘before’ shot because it was from the realtor’s listing and I don’t have permission to use those! But, I have a few random shots taken by my client…

BEFORE: Again, that good old golden oak and cathedral style doors that were prolific in the ’90s. For this project, I had the warm-toned countertops and flooring to consider, as well as the travertine tile backsplash…

Oak kitchen before being painted, travertine tile and island (5)

AFTER: Seriously, this kitchen just makes me SO stinkin’ happy! And look at how they filled in the bulkhead area for a full-height cabinet look – love it.

Kylie M Interiors Edesign. Oak cathedral style arched cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Cloud White, travertine tile backsplash, beige countertop, navy blue Ocean Floor island.

We went for BM Cloud White on the main cabinets, a warm white – a wink warm for the floor, but right on point for the countertop and backsplash. Sometimes you can’t 100% satisfy ALL of the surfaces, and you have to prioritize things based on how they visually connect.

Read more: Our Painted Kitchen Cabinets – No More Maple! 

BEFORE: The island…yup, good old oak. And let me say that I am a HUGE fan of oak on cabinets and flooring, in fact, I redid our family room/bar area in oak (stay tuned for that one). However, it comes down to the stain and grain for getting a look that steps out of the ’90s and into a more modern style.

Oak kitchen before being painted, travertine tile and island

AFTER: Seriously? Seriously. I love this island. We went with BM Ocean Floor, a gorgeous blue that works it’s magic with the beadboard detail.

Benjamin Moore Cloud White painted oak cabinets with Ocean Floor navy blue island. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consulting

And I say ‘we’ as in the ‘Royal we’, as what I do is suggest a variety of options to try, based on the finishes in my client’s home and their personal tastes. From there, it’s my client who chooses the one that they love the most! I think this is a REALLY important part of the process for a sense of ownership and pride! And of course, if they can’t decide and need a 2nd opinion to finalize their choice, I love giving my two-bits.

Kylie M Interiors Edesign. Oak cathedral style arched cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Cloud White, travertine tile backsplash, beige countertop, navy blue Ocean Floor island.

And guess what? There is oooooone more project. But THIS time, my client wanted to KEEP their beautiful oak cabinets and was looking for some paint colour/countertop/backsplash ideas to update things…

PROJECT 4    Oak Cabinets – Stained with New Backsplash and Countertops

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Kylie, I thought you just drank wine and consulted on paint colours all day?’ Well, back in the day (like last year) I did consult on hard finishes like countertops and backsplashes and loved it. Flash forward to this year where my lil’ self is bustin’ her butt just to get through all of the online paint colour consultations that I had to limit what I had to offer.

However, I’m HAPPY to say that I will be reintroducing the countertop option in the near future!

Now, back to this ‘au naturel’ ginger-inspired beauty (no, not me – the kitchen). My client’s package included paint colour for the walls, island, backsplash ideas and countertop options…

BEFORE: It had great bones with raised panel door style and crown moulding.

oak kitchen cabinets stained, not painted, before new countertop and backsplash

AFTER: Seriously…what a game-changer for this kitchen.

Ideas to update oak or wood kitchen cabinets. Greige subway tile quartz countertop. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

BEFORE: That’s a WHOOOOOLE lotta wood (that’s what she said).

oak kitchen cabinets stained, not painted, before new countertop and backsplash

AFTER: Painting the island was a great way to break up all of the wood without taking away too much.

Ideas to update kitchen with oak wood cabinets. Painted island, subway tile backsplash and paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert

BEFORE: Super heavy looking and the products aren’t doing ANY justice to that beautiful oak!

Oak cabinets stained before new countertop, backsplash and paint

AFTER: With a fresh new warm gray paint colour, backsplash and countertop, this kitchen has a WHOLE new lease on life – I couldn’t be happier (because it’s all about me – don’t forget it).

How to update oak kitchen cabinets and floor. Greige subway tile, quartz countertop, Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray paint color. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

Read more: Subway Tile Backsplash Ideas for Your Kitchen and Bathroom

So, there you have it! I hope this has gotten the creative juices flowing! If you want more, see the links below to more articles on great ways to update oak/wood cabinets!

Not sure how to update YOUR oak or maple cabinets?

Check out my Online Color Consulting packages!

Online paint colour consultant Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams, Vancouver Island, USA, UK. Interior, exterior, edesign colors. Kylie M Interiors, blogger marketing

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature


5 Ideas to Update Oak or Wood Cabinets WITHOUT Paint! 

4 Ideas: How to Update Oak or Wood Cabinets

The Best Hardware to Update Oak or Wood Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, Granite and More! 


  1. We definitely have the 90’s stain and grain thing going on…but our house has an open floor plan, cool stone fireplace and stone seating with big cushions, and wood beams at the ceiling along with the wood floors and built in cabinets not just in kitchen but living and dining…We haven’t painted b/c of the open floor plan and going from the all wood to the paint seems like a rough transition…thoughts?

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      Hi Dixie! If you have wood on the trims as well, I totally agree as all of a sudden, the kitchen can be the ONLY painted wood in a space, which can make it feel like the odd man out. If you have painted trims, you could have a bit more flexibility, but usually, one thing leads to another and the built-ins usually get included…of course, this can ALLL depend on your home and it’s look, but that’s the general progression.

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      Thanks Lauren! You know, I’m not sure? I usually recommend getting them professionally sprayed, especially with maple which has way less forgiveness for bloopers – oak has more flexibility for sure!

  2. Every one of those kitchens are just beautiful!! The transformations are just amazing in all of them, but the last kitchen just steals my heart! Love the warmth of the wood with the gray walls, beautiful backsplash and countertops! Great job Kylie!

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      1. Kylie,
        I love your emails. These posts are so insightful – I’ve learned so much. I almost feel I can update my kitchen without completely botching it up. But … I may be over confident and when I’m ready to update, should probably hire you to be safe. Haha! Wine cheers from Utah. ???? Yes, we have wine here. Yes, I have sister wives. Yes, just kidding. ????

  3. They all look gorgeous! I have a question..kitchen #2…white duck is a warm white…the backsplash is a grey..which I think is on the cooler side…I thought you had said your backsplash and cabinets should eithet be warm or cool? It looks great and I will soon be updating my maple cabinets and adding a backsplash..just wondering if they both need to be warm or cool.. Thanks!

  4. Hi Kylie,

    I get so excited when I get your post in my inbox. A great education on color with the added bonus of a giggle each and every time! Thanks!

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  5. Love the oak kitchen with the painted island. Wouldn’t a slide in range have been just the ticket, though, to complete the look instead of having the range compete with the beautiful backsplash?

  6. This post encourages me to have my cabinets painted. Will be contacting you shortly. My cabinets are not oak. NOT sure what they are but too dark for me.

  7. The first kitchen has cabinets that look like identical to mine. I love them after they’ve been painted! Just wondering if they filled in the grain on them before painting them? They look amazing!

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      Hi Ann, I’m pretty sure we used Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams! I have a review on that and I might even have a YOUTUBE review too!

  8. Hi Kylie, do you remember what the wall colour is in Project #3? I’m looking to paint my cabinets Cloud White and my walls are currently Edgecomb Gray. Wondering if it might look like Project #3… which would be great if so!

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  9. Hi Kylie, kitchen Reno underway here. Cabs will be maple with a light brown stain. I had the cabinet maker also build a permanent hutch in the dining room. I don’t want to stain it, thinking I need a pop of color there. I’m interested in the blue island in the final photo of this post. Do you happen to know what it is? Thank you.

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