Before & After Oak Kitchen Makeover
While wood cabinets are definitely coming back in style, there is something classic and timeless about a white kitchen. AND if you’ve been drinkin’ my Koolaid for a while, you’re likely familiar with my fave saying. Repeat after me…
‘Just because it’s wood, doesn’t mean it’s good.’
If I could, I would tattoo this on my chest and would proudly show it to anyone who thought that their cabinets were better off ‘au naturel’ (particularly men, who think that any wood is good wood). But then I realized how awkward that would be, so I wrote it in jiffy marker and just showed Tim.
And I’m not saying ALL wood needs to be painted. I’ve done MANY E-design consultations where I’ve given my clients a hard no when they’ve asked if they should paint their cabinets – some wood cabinets are FRIGGIN’ gorgeous! Others? Not so much…
Now, these oak kitchen cabinets weren’t BAD by any stretch of the imagination and in fact, had a lot going for them:
- Dentil style crown molding (those little things that look like teeth all in a row) – super nice detail
- Small recessed valance, meaning they could have under cabinet lighting (oak cabinets rarely have this)
- NO exposed hinges – HALLELUJAH!
- They were in GREAT physical condition
So, why paint them, right? Well, it wasn’t the WOOD itself that was the problem, it was the COLOUR of it. And really, once the cabinets were painted they would still BE wood, they just wouldn’t be a fugly colour anymore. Sounds good to me!
Before, the room had a weighted, heavy look to it…
After – a fresh new face!
Before, notice the raised peninsula which really chopped-off the flow of the kitchen into the eating area.
After, SO MUCH BETTER!
Before, low lighting and heavy colours weren’t doing this kitchen ANY favours…
After, it’s like night and day!
Read more: How to Update Oak Cabinets WITHOUT Painting Them
Again, there was nothing wrong with the BONES of this kitchen, it was just looking dated (and the forest green countertops weren’t helping either…)
My client chose White Dove for the cabinets, which is one of the BEST white paint colours for cabinets. You can see here how it acts like white, without being too stark/icy looking. The paint colour on the walls is BM Pashmina, a GLORIOUS medium toned greige.
So there you have it, another painted kitchen makeover. Want to see more?
Check out my affordable and FUN E-design services!
How to Update Oak Cabinets WITHOUT Painting Them
Beautiful transformation! But I wonder how the cabinets would look if only the paint color and countertops had been changed? The dark colors were making the oak look worse, I think.
I love the White Dove cabinets. What color of gray is on the walls?
Hi Andrie, I’m such a dork, I forgot to put it in – it’s BM Pashmina! I’ll fix that RIGHT now!
I was thinking the same. I LOVE this kitchen! But the walls backsplash and counters have all been replaced with white.
The back splash and counters appear to be too white in the photo but actually, they aren’t. TCE 3001 quartz has various particles that are shades of gray, neutral and off-white, the reason why we used it for both the back splash and the counter. It complements our furnace in our living room adjoining the kitchen, maintaining a good flow throughout our open layout floor plan.
I meant “fireplace” 🙂
HELP – Can you go into greater detail about wood filler products to minimize the grain? Any recommends on grain filler product (or paint can achieve that) and comments on proocess is much appreciated. BTW – we are such huge fans of your blog – keep the articles coming 🙂
Hi Denise, I would LOOOVE to, but I just haven’t had any experience using wood filler- I’m kind of a fan of that oak grain coming through (so that it looks like oak!) Dammit, I wish I did, I hate to leave you hanging!
Hello hello! So, you asked me a question re: wood filler/cabinets, to which I didn’t have an answer (or an answer I can give you based in hands-on experience) – and that TOTALLY bugged me! So, I went online and looked at the various sites – some are basically like ‘use wood filler – it works!’ however things are rarely as easy as that. So, while I don’t have personal experience with it, I really liked the detail that this fellow gave on his site. Makes sense, and it’s more nitty gritty, meaning that he’s done it and figured out what works/what doesn’t – sounds good in my books and it’s info I would follow if I were to fill the grain on cabinets… https://www.cravingsomecreativity.com/painting-furniture-removing-wood-grain-texture-to-get-a-smooth-finish/
Now I will say that I think he used a paint with too much sheen on the cabinets – the more sheen there is, the more flaws are exposed and it can kind of look tacky (literally and figuratively). My fave is the BM Advance in the satin/pearl finish – washable, but you can’t see your reflection in it 😉
I hope that helps! I’m going to copy/paste this into the comment section, but not everyone gets the comment updates, and I wanted to make sure that you got this personally.
Very nice!, what is the back splash made of?
We used TCE 3001 quartz for both the counter and the back splash.
Kylie, I like your blog and your sense of humor!! My kitchen faces east and I have just finished removing stark white paint the previous owners put on our 1960’s birch slab kitchen cabinets. The paint was too icy white and the room truly looked sick. I love the white dove kitchen but is white a good choice for east kitchens? ( I did read your post about colors for east facing rooms). I can stain the cabinets American Walnut and be in keeping with most of this area where stained and varnished wood is still the first choice. Thanks for any suggestions.
Hi Gerry! Without seeing the kitchen, i REALLY am just guessing, but White Dove is lovely and soft. You might also want to look at SW Alabaster which has just a touch more warmth – but I can’t say whether they WILL work or not 😉 I do have an affordable E-design service though that is fun. This way I can look at your room and make suggestions that actually make sense! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Thank you for the information. I have painted my red brick fireplace White Dove, as well as doors and trim, so I am “married” to that color at this point. I will paint some foam boards and see if that helps me visualize the kitchen. Our closest Sherwin Williams dealer is 50 miles so Benjamin Moore is my best local choice. If I continue to be color confused I will sign up for an E-consult.
I love the White Dove for my cabinets. I have a North/West facing kitchen, is the Pashmina accent to dark?
Hi Cheryl, it can really depend on HOW much light you get – whether it’s north/south/east/west -as well as interior lighting/countertop/flooring. So, while I’d love to give you a yes/no, I just can’t without photos!
If you paint cabinets White Dove, do you paint your trim & ceiling the same? What color is in the living room? Love your blog!
Hi Pam! Well, I know that some people will mix their whites, but I’m pretty hardcore about it and love my whites to all be the same, this way I don’t get funky mix n’ match undertones. So yes, I would definitely do the same! And that was BM Edgecomb on the walls with Pashmina in the kitchen/dining area 🙂
We recently did our kitchen and used Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter on the walls with White Dove cupbards. LOVED the results. The Revere Pewter is a softer colour with a more subtle contrast to the White Dove.
What finish did you use for the White Dove on the cabinets?
Hi Alana! I’m sure it would have been BM Advance in satin finish 🙂
Hi, Kylie Is the main family room Edgewood Gray? I see the kitchen is Pashima.
I would like to know the color of the family room also…..
Hiya! This is Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray!
What sheen did you use on your cabinets? I don’t know to go with satin or semi gloss.
Oh, I’m DEFINITELY a satin girl, semi-gloss can be a bit shiny :).
Hi Kylie – if the island had been stand-alone (instead of connected) would you have kept it white dove? if not, what shade would you have considered?
Oooo, good question! You know, with this kitchen I’m not sure i WOULD do the island a separate colour, although I could be tempted by SW Urbane Bronze 🙂