HomeHome Updates: Tips & IdeasHome Update IdeasHow to Update Your Older Granite Countertops: 90s & 2000s (PART 4)

How to Update Your Older Granite Countertops: 90s & 2000s (PART 4)

Posted on October 11, 2023 by KylieMawdsley
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Ideas to Modernize Your Granite Countertops Without Replacing Them

Is your kitchen being held hostage by fugly granite countertops from the 1990s or early 2000s? Are you wanting to update your walls or cabinets but don’t know what paint colors will work – can you do white, can you do gray, can you do ANYTHING? And let’s not get STARTED on what to do with that ole backsplash…

Don’t worry; I’ve got your back and am here to help.

Most granite patterns from 20-30 years ago weren’t picked with LONGEVITY in mind; they were picked because they suited the current trends, trends that no longer apply unless you’re still sponge-painting your walls and stuffing plastic bags in your bra like me valances. The ones we’re hitting today include…

  • UBA TUBA (possibly named after a GORGEOUS place in Brazil)

Kitchen with wood cabinets painted Warm white, Sherwin Williams Alabaster, black granite countertop, wood floor, dining area. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, Jenna Christians home

If your countertop isn’t on the above list and you want me to include it – SEND PICS! If it’s one I see often enough, I’m happy to add a section on it! 

But not ALL older granite counters are a challenge, and in fact, some are friggin’ GORGEOUS and highly coveted. Others are maybe not coveted but are still easy enough to work with – the most TIMELESS and VERSATILE granite being BLACK.

Natural cherry cabinets, black granite, travertine tile subway backsplash, pot filler, stainless steel

However, even some of the BEST-INTENTIONED black granite countertops have flecks of pink, taupe, green, and blue that severely limit their long-term potential. This makes updating a heck of a lot more difficult, but not impossible if you have a lil Ginger in your back pocket (I pinch upon request).

Wood kitchen island, painted Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze, orange hue granite countertop, wood floor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign diy

By the way, if you think your granite countertop is calling all the shots, you might be surprised to hear that your backsplash calls first dibs on cabinet paint colors. 

Let’s say that again in a different way…

MOST of the time, your backsplash is more important than your countertop when coordinating cabinet colors.


Because the backsplash is on the same vertical sightline as the cabinets, the visual connection is more immediate. With the counter being horizontal, there’s a BIT more room for forgiveness.

Sure, it’s all good in the hood if your countertop and backsplash coordinate, but if they don’t (which is more often than not the case with homes from the 1990s/2000s…and even today’s homes), you may want to refresh them too.

5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home

In this next kitchen, the black granite countertop is still going strong, but the dated backsplash is limiting the room’s potential…

Painted maple kitchen cabinets before and after, similar to Benjamin White Dove. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, update ideas blog

After, you can see how a fresh new backsplash and a coordinated cabinet paint colour brought this kitchen back to LIFE!

Of course, if you don’t HAVE a backsplash, that makes things a bit easier…

Cherry kitchen cabinets before painting, beige tile floor

Kitchen, beige tile floor, granite Giallo Ornamental, Santa Cecelia, off-white painted beige cabinets and walls. Iron Ore island, Kylie M Edesign



Honestly? No. I know you might love granite countertops, and I won’t stop you, but just because you don’t like the answer doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’m talking about what the average homeowner is installing in their home (when they’re starting from scratch). Yes, some are installing granite, but the majority are choosing popular quartz countertops, quartzite, along with more affordable laminate counters.

Wood cabinets, Taj Mahal quartzite, old world feel, zellige tile backsplash, wood floor. Kylie M

While the backsplash is a touch too cool/modern, I LOVE this quartzite countertop/cabinet combo. 



  1. paint the cabinets and/or walls – hands down, this is the most affordable and effective kitchen update
  2. update your backsplash with more modern tile (subway tile is usually the best bet – and you don’t have to do white!)
  3. update your cabinet hardware and light fixtures 
  4. refresh your home decor and accents (less is often more)

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige paint color, glazed cream cabinets similar Antique White, wood floor, dark island, similar Giallo granite

Some new, but still slightly traditional home decor pieces would help this Tuscan-style kitchen. 

Remember, your outdated countertops can STILL look amazing if you surround them with the right paint colour, backsplash, and decor – there are some granites I’ve grown to LOVE in my Online Color Consulting adventures! The key is to stop FIGHTING your granite and choose paint colours and products that SUIT it – this is how you create a space with style and intention.

As the great Britney Spears once said, let’s hit that baby one more time…

The key is to stop FIGHTING your granite and choose paint colors and products that SUIT it.

Green painted wood cabinet in laundry and mud room. White Dove walls, slate flooring. Soapstone countertop. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color blog DIY

I believe the above countertop is actually soapstone, but it proves my point – going WITH IT works! 

Maple kitchen before painting

Maple painted wood cabinets, Sherwin Williams off white with dark greige green island and granite countertop. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color expert

I wish the backsplash were 3×6, not trellis (as the trellis is 2012-2015) but it’s still more updated! 

Today, the focus is coordinating your granite countertop with paint colors and backsplash ideas, as they’re your best BANG FOR BUCK ideas (non-street corner style). But before we get started, I want to make a VERY IMPORTANT POINT about painted cabinets…

If you want to paint your cabinets and can’t find a paint color that both YOU and your countertop love, it might be best to leave them stained wood! This can ESPECIALLY be the case if you have a backsplash or tile flooring that isn’t SUPER well-coordinated with the countertop – PAINT CAN’T FIX EVERYTHING (but wine can certainly help) 

Should You Paint Your Cabinets or Leave Them Stained – A QUESTIONNAIRE


Are you ready to dive in? I know I am…

Ideas to update outdated old granite countertops. Kylie M Interiors. Paint colour, backsplash. Uba tuba, Cecilia, Baltic Brown, Sapphire Blue and more




Oh Ceciiiiiilia, you’re breakin’ my heart…well, as far as countertops go, she really is.


Because so many people are over the likes of St. Cecilia, Venetian Gold, and Giallo Ornamental. They’re tired of the gold, the taupe, and the lack of a nice, modern white base to work off of. And I get it, I have a primary bathroom with this exact countertop that is yet to be updated (maybe next year).

St Cecilia and Venetian Gold are WARM granite countertops that can hold the following colors…


Santa Cecilia Home Depot

Granite countertops, New Venetian Gold and regular Venetian Gold, warm countertops and update ideas for them. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

The key with these granites is that you SHOULDN’T introduce a color on the cabinets that doesn’t ALREADY EXIST in the countertop.

If you add a new color, there won’t be a visual connection between your cabinets and countertops – you could have a hot mess on your hands. Any NEW color should be in the form of an accent, not a full-scale commitment.


  1. Depending on the surrounding space, furnishings, and backsplash, some kitchens can pull off a darker greige or dark green hue.
  2. If you paint your main cabinets a soft, warm white or off-white, you could paint your island a darker neutral with a reasonably strong green undertone. This way, rather than competing with the countertop, it will act like an ACCENT.

In this next kitchen, while this isn’t as warm as St. Cecelia or New Venetian, it has a similar look. The reduced warmth and simple subway tile leave room for a fantastic green hue on the cabinets!

Green painted wood kitchen cabinets, granite countertop, Sherwin Williams Rosemary, white subway tile. Kylie M

However, as shown below, Sherwin Williams Antique White is too yellow for the backsplash, countertop, and tile floor combination…

Antique White painted cabinets. Granite countertops are Santa Cecilia granite, Antique White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign before

By the way, there are several varieties of these granite countertops, and there’s always variation between slabs. The examples might not show the exact St. Cecilia/Venetian/Giallo that you have.

The 5 Best Off-White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams 4 Warm Gray Paint Colours



Not every countertop-backsplash-floor combination can handle white cabinets. If the stars align, yes, you can try a shade of white, but it must be CONSIDERABLY warm and soft, not stark or clean – and even then, depending on the space, it can be a stretch.

JR Photography

I also can’t give specific whites, as we’re talking about a) three different countertops b) some of these can vary even within the same type c) I’m a Color Consultant and GIRLS GOTTA MAKE SOME MONEY!

Granite countertop similar to Giallo Ornamental, Santa Cecelia, beige tile floor, off-white painted beige cabinets. Kylie M ONine paint color consulting

I AM here to get you off on the right foot and have two helpful blog posts full of some lovelies…

The 4 Best Warm White Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore

Sherwin Williams 3 Best Warm White Paint Colors

I also have a premade Samplize bundle full of my FAVORITE WHITES to compare for almost any kitchen.


If white seems overwhelming for your kitchen, a happy medium is painting your main cabinets a soft off-white that speaks more to the lightest, most subtle shade in your countertop.



Nope. The gray you think you’re seeing in Santa Cecilia and Venetian Gold is more of a taupe, so it’s warmer with a subtle violet or violet-pink undertone.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige paint color, glazed cream cabinets similar Antique White, wood floor, dark island, similar Giallo granite

As shown in the above photo, while MOST of my clients are getting rid of their cream cabinets, they’re one of the best choices for countertops like St. Cecelia, Giallo, and New Venetian.

Tile Trends: Subway Tile, Zellige, Herringbone & More – don’t worry, I’ve included a link at the end too!



Aside from the previously mentioned warm whites/off-whites, there are other shades to consider for your walls and/or cabinets…

To show you how gray rarely makes the cut, in this next photo, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray looks okay thanks to the natural light warming it up a bit…

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, kitchen with red wood cabinets, St. Cecilia granite similar to Venetian Gold - Repose too gray

However, from a different angle, it’s too cool to connect…

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray with St. Cecelia, Venetian Gold look granite countertops, too gray walls. Kylie M Edesign

This isn’t to say it’s a hot MESS; it just isn’t the best choice.



This is where many people hop on the wrong bus – STOP, YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!

white subway tile and granite countertops

If you’re considering doing a WHITE subway tile backsplash or heaven-forbid, MARBLE (yes, I’ve seen it all), you must put on the brakes and shift into a new gear.

In the above example, my client was looking for a paint color for her cabinets. I had to break it to her that paint wasn’t going to fix things and could, in fact, further the disconnect between her backsplash and countertop – she needed a new backsplash. And of course, I can’t FIND the after photos to show you, but maybe my client is reading this and will resend them (wink wink nudge nudge…).

Instead of white subway tile, take a look at…

  • Soft off-white tiles that PERFECTLY match the soft off-white colors in the countertop. For a subtle look, match it with soft white grout. If you want to add some visual interest, choose a light to medium-depth grout that matches the greige/taupe on the countertop.
  • Taupe tiles that have the same warm violet undertones as the flecks in your countertop. For this look, I would do a soft white/off-white grout to add a bit of contrast and visual interest.

4 Subway Tile Ideas for Your Bathroom or Backsplash

ideas to update Venetian Gold or Saint Cecilia granite, this doesn't look good

In the above example, the walls are too drab and flat for the type of warmth in New Venetian Gold (and don’t even get me started on the backsplash #hotmessofundertones).

BTW – there can be A LOT of variation between slabs, so the examples might not show the EXACT Venetian Gold that you have.

Before we go, I want to share a GORGEOUS kitchen with Santa Cecilia granite counters and WOOD CABINETS!

Wood kitchen island cabinets, orange stain, wood floor,granite countertops, stainless steel, pendants, Benjamin Moore Texas Leather greige brown gray blend green

Some kitchens were designed with wood cabinets in mind, not painted cabinets. If all else fails, consider keeping your wood cabinets and updating other elements in your space.

Wood Kitchen Cabinet Updates: Real Homes, Real Budgets




Peacock Green Granite has a DOMINANT black base along with the following colors…

  • green-blue blend with some gray to calm it down
  • gray with a blue-green undertone
  • golden brown specks/veining (more so than Uba Tuba)
  • a WINK of taupe
  • specks of white

Peacook Green, black granite countertops. Ideas to udpate and modernize the kitchen or bathroom. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, best cabinet paint colours

Peacock Green Granite Home Depot

The ever-famous Peacock Green Granite is a tricky one, as many people see it as black, however, it has some VERY interesting and finicky undertones! Again, the key is not to introduce any NEW color to your palette; instead, pick one you already see.

THE EXCEPTION. There’s NO exception with this bad boy – you’ve got to go with it, or you WILL be going against it!

BTW – there can be QUITE a bit of variation between slabs, so the examples might not show the EXACT Peacock Green that you have.



You can pull off white cabinets as long as you’re okay with a high-contrast look. As far as the ‘actual white’ goes, I wouldn’t do an overly warm or super-cold one. Instead, I would look at some of the whiter shades of white.

BUT (a great big booty-sized one…), there are more things at play in a kitchen, such as backsplash tiles and flooring. In this next example, while the countertop here isn’t Peacock Green, it has similar colors (gray-green). And while we could easily do white cabinets, we have to consider the backsplash and floor, both of which won’t be happy if we go white…

It’s not JUST about your countertops!

Maple, cherry toned kitchen before being painted and updated (6)

In my client’s Online Colour Consultation, I suggested several options, of which they chose a SOFT, warm off-white to humor the needs of the backsplash and tile floor while still updating and brightening the space…

Kitchen update ideas, green granite, black appliances, painted off-white maple cabinets, travertine backsplash. Sherwin Balanced Beige walls. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online consultant

When working with existing finishes that aren’t being replaced, it can be challenging to update your kitchen.

Remember, if you can’t find a paint color that your existing finishes and you agree on, stick with wood until you can budget for a larger remodel.

Before, from a different angle…

maple cherry kitchen wood cabinets before being painted

And after, MUCH lighter and brighter, without being stark white…

Maple kitchen cabinets painted off-white with beige tile floor and backsplash. Balanced Beige walls. Kitchen update ideas. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultant

Should I Paint My Cabinets or Leave them Stained? A QUESTIONNAIRE


Well, you can paint your cabinets gray-ish, but that gray will need some VERY SERIOUS green (green-blue) undertones. If you don’t embrace these hues, your cabinets could look violet (as every gray has undertones) and will CLASH with your countertop.

The Best Blue-Green Paint Colours



Whether you’re painting your cabinets, island, or walls, refreshing your surrounding color palette can be a great way to update the look of Peacock Green granite. Check out some of these shades…



If you want to update your backsplash, it will depend on what color your cabinets are (and for brevity and sanity, I can’t cover them ALL), but generally speaking…

There are other similar outdated granite countertops with green in them – like this next one. In this case, we’re looking at a WARM green, not a cool green, and would adjust our colors/undertones accordingly…

Sherwin Williams Wool Skein, beige with green undertone with green granite. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

BTW, I have some FANTASTIC blog posts regarding updating the green-inspired surfaces in your home; check them out here…

How to Update Forest Green Countertops, Carpet or Tile

The Best Accent Tiles to Update Forest Green Countertops

How to Update Forest Green in Your Home



Oh, that Sapphire Blue counter is ALWAYS a bugger with its particular blend of colors…

  • black
  • rose-taupe blend (pink-violet hues)
  • gray with a strong blue-violet undertone
  • soft dark taupe-based brown

Ideas to update, modernize Sapphire Blue granite countertops. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, paint cabinets and backsplash ideas, advice blogger

Sapphire Blue Granite Home Depot

Seriously, I actually had to take a deep chug of wine straight from the bottle breath before I dove into this one.


Well, what I have to WRITE isn’t always what my readers want to READ.



That’s a hard no.


While some granites with no white in them suit white cabinets, the particular colors in Sapphire Blue can look more dated with white cabinets. If you REEEEAALLLY want white cabinets, DON’T choose a warm white, and be cautious with your wall color choice (which we get into shortly).



There are USUALLY exceptions. This countertop could have some exceptions, depending on the flooring (hopefully a wood stain) and the backsplash, which is hopefully not white.

BTW – there can be QUITE a bit of variation between slabs, so the examples might not show the EXACT Sapphire Blue you have.



This is where we can breathe a little easier and go back to our sippy cups, as YES, you can paint your cabinets gray. But it can’t be ANY old gray or the more POPULAR gray paint colors like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray or Gray Owl. You’ll want to sample the following carefully…

Should I Paint My Cabinets or Leave them Stained? A QUESTIONNAIRE

Remember, some kitchens were designed to suit WOOD cabinets, not white ones.



If you want to freshen up your walls, you can check out some versions of…



Again, it can depend on what color your cabinets are, but generally speaking, check out…

  • Taupe tiles with the same undertones as the flecks in your countertop.
  • Warm gray tiles with reasonably strong violet-pink undertones (the key is to MATCH one of the flecks in your countertop).
  • Gray tiles with a blue-violet undertone.


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






SIMILAR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS: Butterfly Green, Peacock Green, Amazon Green

Uba Tuba is tricky as there are SO many versions and color blends. While some focus hard on a cool green with gold, black, and silver flecks, others drop all of the green, grabbing only black, gold, taupe, and white! So, I’m going with the two UBAs I see the most…

Paint colour and backsplash ideas to update uba tuba green granite countertops. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online diy advice blogger

Uba Tuba Granite Home Depot

Uba tuba granite ideas to update for cabinet colour, tile backsplash.


YES! Most versions of Uba Tuba do just fine with white cabinets.

But while white might be tempting, look at how gorgeous these natural stone countertops and wood cabinets look with color-blocking in Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

kitchen with slate tile backsplash, black granite countertop, dark gray green painted hood fan and cherry wood cabinets. Kylie M Interiors

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams 4 Best White Paint Colours



Some of the Uba Tuba’s love gray cabinets as long as you hone in on the right undertones…

  • If you have the green-based Uba Tuba, you’ll want a gray with cool green or green-blue undertones and AVOID violet.
  • With the black-based Uba Tuba, avoid gray cabinets, as they could enhance the gold and make the countertop look more dated.

Painted wood maple cabinets. Pure White and Iron Ore, Sherwin Williams Kylie M Interiors online virtual paint color and decorating advice. Black granite countertops

By the way, HUUUUGE thanks to my E-Design clients who sent in their after photos; I couldn’t do this without you! 



If you want to freshen up your walls, it depends on which Uba Tuba you have…

The 12 Best Whole Home Gray & Greige Paint Colours



Regarding the best backsplash to update Uba Tuba, it can depend on what color your cabinets are. Let’s start with the green-based Uba Tuba shown above…

  • With WOOD OR WHITE CABINETS and Uba Tuba, check out gray-green tiles (NO VIOLET HUES!), white tiles with NO yellow undertone, or green tiles (if you feel brave).
  • With gray/green cabinets and Uba Tuba, check out a clean white subway tile.

If you have the black-based Uba Tuba, you might look at…

  • With WOOD OR WHITE CABINETS, try a soft white subway tile, but NOT a stark one (if you have white cabinets, the two whites should match). Partner it with a soft beige grout to pick up on the gold tones in the countertop. You can also look at some travertine tile backsplashes. Doing this in a more MODERN subway tile pattern can update the look of this black granite.

Backsplash Ideas to Update a 2000s Kitchen



Ahhhh, Baltic Brown, you’ve been kickin’ it for a long time my friend, and I know ALL of your dirty secrets, including colors like…

  • black
  • the very odd wink of cream (not overly yellow)
  • MAJORLY orange-hued (leaning orange-pink rather than orange-yellow)
  • green (cool green-blue, not yellow-green)

But, NO TWO GRANITE SLABS WERE CREATED ALIKE, and this is the case with these brown granite countertops, as Baltic Brown is available in slabs that are a bit darker and richer like this…

Ideas to update, modernize Baltic Brown granite countertop tile. Painted cabinets and backsplash. Kylie M Interiors Edesing

Or lighter and brighter like this…

Ideas to update modernize Baltic Brown green granite countertops, painted cabinets and backsplash. Kylie M Interiors edesign, diy decorating advice blogger

Which makes it REALLY HARD for me to specify which direction you should go in. So, I’m going with what I see in the AVERAGE consult with Baltic Brown.

Painted Kitchen Cabinet Updates: Before & Afters



For the love of everything beautiful – no. Because Baltic Brown doesn’t have legit white in it, white cabinets look stark and out of place in a kitchen with these countertops.

However, you CAN paint your cabinets a soft, warm off-white, as long as it doesn’t lean into yellow/cream. Baltic Brown favors an orange undertone and one that leans slightly into red (pink) rather than yellow. Some modern off-white, beige paint colors can be interesting partners to Baltic Brown.

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

Painted oak cabinets, Baltic Brown granite green countertop, travertine backsplash. Update ideas Kylie M Interiors Edesign. (3)

6 Questions To Ask BEFORE You Paint Your Cabinets WHITE



You can paint your cabinets gray, but they can’t be a TRADITIONAL or standard gray paint color; they need a MASSIVE shot of green in them and absolutely NO VIOLET OR BLUE! Along with a heavy dose of green hue, you’ll also want some depth –  no off-white or light depths for THIS countertop.

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

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

The Best DARK Green Paint Colors



If you want to freshen up your walls, you can check out some versions of…



I like working with Baltic Brown, as it’s pretty clear on its preferences…

  • Some travertine tiles. The key is to choose an updated subway tile pattern, not a diamond or square-lay pattern. The above travertine tile has a great COLOR, but the diamond pattern dates it. Your Baltic Brown must lean reasonably into peach (orange-pink).
  • Gray tiles with a strong green undertone.


Paint Color Ideas to Update Your Outdated 2000s Home (PART 1)

The Best Backsplash Ideas to Update a 2000s Kitchen (PART 2)

Ideas to Update Your 2000s Home: Hardware & Lighting (PART 3)

5 CASE STUDIES: 2000s Kitchen Updates: Tuscan, Travertine, & More (PART 5)

Ideas to Update Your 2000s Bathroom (PART 6)



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

Chat soon,

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

Tile Trends: Subway Tile, Zellige, Herringbone & More

Painted Kitchen Cabinet Updates: Before & Afters

Quartz vs Granite Countertops – Which One is BEST For YOUR Home?

5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home

5 Ideas to Update Your Fireplace

The New Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock



  1. What are best paint colors for walls with a seafoam green granite and mocha terra ignis subway tile. Should I go lighter or darker than the tiles? I have traditional natural cupreous birch cabinets in good shape that I love the grain but am also drawn to these painted cabinets ( altho my husband says don’t get any ideas!!) Why are men like that!

    Have looked at your packages and am unsure which one is appropriate for kitchen wall colors with cabinet colors – (granite and backsplash are recent installs.) Thanks Kylie!

  2. I have one of the unfortunate granites you mention and a budget of about 45 cents. I’ve been reading about coatings for countertops that you can just paint on, with colors like black, black w/ tiny white speckles, etc. Frankly, they sound very appealing. Do you have any opinions about this?

    1. Post

      Oooo Jude, I’d be careful as while the idea sounds good, on a product like granite I worry about the durability and longevity. I mean, ANYTHING is paintable, but countertops are such high traffic areas! I’ve seen many painted countertops done this way, but the ones I’ve seen have been worn down in areas. I lean more towards embracing what you have and working WITH it, rather than against it :).

  3. Kylie,
    Thank you for all of this information! This is exactly what my husband and I have been discussing lately. What we should use on our backsplash and cabinets and save the Santa Cecelia granite. Your suggestions have greatly helped us with the next step of shopping for the updates. We painted the walls SW Gossimer Veil, changed the floors from creamy tile look to a warm chestnut hickory 5″ wide plank, My only concern is we used SW Pure White on our trim in all of the updates. What cabinet color would you suggest? We will take your information and start looking for the backsplash next. Thank you again for posting the 2000 to 2020 update!

    1. Post

      Hi Judy! Well, if you used Pure White on the trim already, I would DEFINITELY recommend continuing that on the cabinets for the sake of flow, otherwise, one white can EASILY make another look dingy/yellow/etc.. in comparison :). And I think Pure White could be lovely! I almost wonder if you had them darken it by 25% if it would give it just a bit more body, while still keeping it flowing with the trim…hmmm…

  4. I just love reading your articles. I am a true fan. This last one hits home so much for me since I did put black granite in around the early 2000’s. My backsplash is sand-soap and cherry cabinets. (sound dated..?? lol I’m working on total home updates now a little at a time ) My floor tile is neutral, but also sand-soap. I’m so tempted to paint my cabinets in a warm off white. How hard is it to pull off a tile backsplash? Will I have to replace the wall board?? My other question is – With all the painting going on with cabinets today, How well does the paint hold up? If it were factory baked on, I would assume, pretty well. I’m just afraid I would be sorry in a few years when it has family wear and tear going on and starts to peel or chip. Thought?? ~ linda

  5. What off white color for the cabinets would you recommend with Baltic Brown granite ? I’m trying to brighten up my kitchen.

    1. Exactly what I need to know as well. I use Behr paint and there are so many shade of off white. Idk which one to choose. I was also confused on the back splash comment. Subway tile but not square or triangle.

    2. On a previous blog post in the comments section, Kylie referenced that she thought the cabinet color (used in the kitchen with Baltic Brown counter) was SW Panda White. I just had a friend use the SW Grizzle Gray for her lower cabinets (which is depicted in one of the pictures (the island) for the Baltic Brown kitchen) and it really toned down the oranges and yellows in her kitchen! I am in love with Grizzle Gray (for my island) and want to check out Panda White for my upper and lower cabinets. I do not have tile backsplash, but want to have some installed. I just am overwhelmed, so I can’t make any decisions at all! Hope this helps

      1. I love that color on the island! I’m dealing with Baltic brown, light brown cabinets, diamond-laid beige backsplash, and giant floor tiles to match the backsplash. Bathrooms are the same – two of them have beige (I’m not saying beige in an affectionate tone at all) tiles coming halfway up the way. So much beige in this house!!!
        Anyway, I do not have an island. I want that grizzled gray, but I think I need as close to white cabinets as possible. The kitchen only has a west-facing window with an overhang. Essentially, I have to flip on lights to find this game at any time of day. (Grrrr I hate dark rooms).
        Back to the gray – what if I painted my floors that color?

  6. Hi there, I think I have light Baltic Brown granite (yea?!) above you mentioned that you could do a soft white cabinet in a kitchen if the color didn’t lean yellow. Can you give some suggestions? Also, what were the colors used in the example (off white perimeter cabinets and green island?) thanks!

  7. Hi.
    Just bought a little house with an 8×10 kitchen. I am replacing the horrid old cabinets with light (barely golden) oak cabinets. I’m going to try and use the black granite that came with the cabinets (got them used from a national charity). The granite is black with subtle golden and silver flecks (Galaxy??). The cabinets have beautiful black hardware which plays well with the granite. Appliances are stainless steel. The floor will be Daltile Ayers Rock Solar Summit, the 13×13″ tiles. Walls will be Benjamin Moore Wales Green. The question now is the backsplash. Don’t want to introduce any complicated patterns to war with the speckled black granite or the highly variable slightly streaked floor tile. The tile comes in 3×3″, 6 1/2 x 6 1/2″, 13×13″, 13×20″ and 20×20″. How would a backsplash using the smaller sizes of the floor tile work? It is light beige with variable streaks of a sooty color (like you skittled a #2 pencil sideways over it), variable streaks of a golden beige, and has a surface just like natural slate, i.e. not perfectly smooth. Thanks for possibly bringing clarity to confusion!

    1. Did you decide on a backsplash? While I’m not immediately familiar with all the color names you listed, I was just thinking of the black granite, white cabinets, green walls – and I thought of glass subway tiles. Then wondered if that was insane – are glass subway tiles still a thing? Like the greenish sea glass- looking tiles?
      Then, if tiles are ridiculous, what about a metal backsplash? Like smooth stainless steel? I’d love to see a pic. The colors intrigued me. (I’m over here pouting about Baltic brown with no real natural lighting – my cave kitchen.)

  8. I bought a little house with a small Ushaped kitchen that has the peacock/black countertops. They previous owner had painted the wood cabinets something close to glossy chelsea gray, and they did look violet, and they clashed with the beige floor tile. I decide to freshen it up with Urban Raincoat (Behr) in an eggshell finish, and it totally works!

  9. Hi! Love this article. Do you have any pictures of a Sapphire Blue Granite makeover? I’m moving into my first house and realized that I think the granite is sapphire blue 🙁 I had been all ready to paint the cabinets panda white based on your first example and then I realized the granite is not the same.

    Thank you!

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      Hi Lynnee, that’s actually Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray on the island! And I do have to be careful with how much complimentary info I give away as my clients paid for the full consult, so I like to respect that as much as I can :).

  10. Thanks for all the great information! I have Venetian Gold countertops but greige and taupe furniture nearby. I am painting walls and have been looking for a greige taupe color as you mentioned. I need to use Benjamin Moore paint. Would Edgecomb Gray have the violet-pink undertones you suggested?

  11. Hi! Could you tell me the name of the green-gray color and the cream color on the last set of cabinets under Baltic brown? I’m obsessed with that set and would like to paint my cabinets those colors.

  12. Hey!!
    My counters isn’t one mentioned above but mine are called Caledonia. They have black, brown, gray and some white/cream in them.
    My cabinets are currently white, from factory, very close to SW pure white. I’m wanting to paint the bottom half.. was thinking Urbane bronze. My backsplash is the larger white subway tile but I can change that to. What would be a good option do you think? Or maybe I shouldn’t?
    Also a coordinating wall color? My current color is worldly gray but seems kind of drab and boring to me. Want something more light and airy without being yellow. Thinking Shoji or Asthetic white?

  13. Hi Kylie

    We have just moved into our new home and its 14 years old so the kitchen is a little outdated. I am not someone who is very creative and cannot come to a conclusion of what color will look good.
    Also the backsplash is old. but I dont want to spend money on it I just want to Paint it myself

    if I send you pictures would it be possible to suggest a good color that will make my kitchen look udpated and a bit modern

  14. I have ugly baltic brown granite coutertops, with matching granite backsplashes. My chabinets are cherry wood. (I didn’t pick the combo.) The cabinets are in good shape (some wood needs restoring) and I am not sure i want to paint them. It is a small kitchen, so price aside, does it make more sense to get new granite/quartz? Thank you.

  15. Love all of your posts! So much great information that pairs well with wine 😉 I have dated granite countertops called Tan-Brown. I thought they were Baltic-Brown for the longest time but just realized they are Tan-Brown. What color cabinet paint would look good with this granite?

      1. We also have tan brown and painted our years ago to Benjamin Moore Sonnet. I’m currently looking to repaint them to Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter and the walls the SW Greek Villa with brushed nickel hardware.

  16. white cabinets, black galaxy granite, open floor plan, ivory furniture in LR gray in FR attached to kitchen. Large area, lot’s of black granite in kitchen.Need a paint color for both. Floor will be light wood. It is now SW Ivoire which has worked well but time for a change..Back of house, lots of windows, but darker part of house..Pretty neutral decor but would like to add blue accents in pillows etc..HELP!! I’ve been studying paint chips for a year, and can’t decide…

  17. Hi Kylie, thanks for this great article. I have Madura gold countertops and 4 inch backsplash with a travertine backsplash only above the cooktop. I have honey oak cabinets that we want to have painted a creamy/off white. At some point we may replace with a light quartz countertop with warm veining as the kitchen is open to family room where we have honey oak built ins. Any recommendations for cabinet and wall paint colors?

    Thanks so much!

  18. Hi Kylie,

    We always referred to our black granite as just that: Black granite. We knew it was a builders special type from 2006. It’s polished and includes a backsplash that goes all the way up the 18″ to the white cabinets. It’s a LOT of shiny black granite. I got it in my head to hone it to make it more modern. Then just before finding this article I dropped something and bent down and happened to glance up and see the underside of the granite, and I think I have gold Uba Tuba. Polished, it’s very dominantly black with slight gold speckle. (You have one picture above that looks similar). But on the unfinished underside where it looks like a coat of something mostly clear was put on the unpolished stone its very brown. So if I honed it I think I would have black and brown speckled granite that might look more brown/gold than black. Honestly, it could look really cool. But if not, that is A LOT of granite and money to be sad about. Just thought to share my dilemma. You don’t mention honing here which is an upgrading option, but for these Uba Tuba variants the results might be surprising. Have you any experience with this?

  19. Hi Kylie:
    I am so inspired by this lengthy post as I have the dark black, green, taupe flecked granite in my kitchen and am in renovation mode now. I chose new fronts for the lower cabinets in a shaker style with a black hint of green in it colour- SVELTE. I am painting out the bases myself to match. The uppers will be a new installation and configuration in a SAND colour. New backsplash in a glass subway tile that coordinates with the upper cabinet colour as you suggest. I was wondering if you could tell me the brand and name of the hardware in the very first photo on this post? I really like that it a knob/handle combination. Hope you can help and thanks for all your suggestions. They are inspiring, certainly logical and manageable to create a new look in our kitchens.

  20. Hi Kylie,
    We are moving into a condo with New Caledonia granite and very dark wood cabinets. Very dark! The whole place is painted off-white, including where the backsplash would be. I was thinking of using painted bead board for the backsplash. Also, bead board on the front of the island facing the living room. Color ideas? Thank you!

  21. Kylie, I read this post a gazillion times. It is extremely helpful 🙂 I have Baltic brown and read through your advice to get a color for my cabinets. At first I was going to go with Alpaca SW for the paint even though it had a lot of purple/violet, but I realized this would be a huge mistake which is exactly what you said. I ended up going with SW City Loft for the cabinet color. It doesn’t have as much green as you suggested, and it’s because I couldn’t find a color with green that I liked other than SW agreeable gray – but that felt too dark for cabinets. City Loft is truly a chameleon color and it look’s COMPLETELY different on walls than on cabinets. It works really nice with my granite, the only issue is my lighting and trim color (pure white) are bringing out the yellow in city loft which I’m not really going for and so I’m changing both – which is a pain honestly. I am putting 25% of SW taupe tone on my walls and already loving it. I don’t think city loft is for every kitchen but I am loving it in mine. I love all your blogs and posts Kylie, you are a wonderful creative artist and I plan to pay for your advice on future big projects because of all the many posts like this one that give great advice. 🙂

  22. I am religiously working thru your posts as we try to rescue an early aughts Tuscan-style tragedy (think mustard, mustard, and more mustard). But I’m posting to ask the color of the dark cabinets in the first pictures from this article. I love this color! I really want to try it out.

  23. Hi Kylie,

    I have a question, I have the Giallo Ornamental granite with warm tones but I also have Light Gray Shaker cabinets, I am stumped on the what color and style backsplash to use. The cabinets are very very light gray.

    1. Hi Kylie, we are remodeling our 90s house, busted our budget and left the kitchen for last (maybe should have started there). Santa Cecilia granite, and medium walnut stained maple cabinets. Sad and dingy travertine backsplash. Cream cabinets seem to be on the way out and the budget has no room to paint them anyway. I don’t hate the stain color. So my options are limited and I’m starting with the backsplash, off-white subway, updated the lighting, new more contemporary range hood. We have an island and I’ve thought about changing to top there only. Do you ever see this? Please let me know if I’m heading in the right direction. Other ideas welcomed. Thank you!

      1. Post

        Hey, Lori, you’re TOTALLY on the right track! I’m also glad to hear you’re keeping your wood cabinets as so many are gorgeous. For the island top, I would be careful as not many counters will coordinate. It would need to be a more or less solid color that PERFECTLY MATCHES one of the colors in your granite. I have this granite too, so I know that won’t be an easy task. SERIOUSLY, the backsplash is going to make a huge difference.

        Why don’t you send me an email with your kitchen photos and some of the subway tiles you end up bringing home. Bring home a WIDE RANGE as how they look in your space vs in the store will change a lot! kylie@kylieminteriors.ca
        This way, I can at least help you narrow down which tiles seem to connect!

  24. Hi, I am Ana from Brasil and I am having a hard time letting your joke about the word Ubatuba go. Ubatuba is the name of a gorgeous city here in Brasil (probably where this granite comes from). It is a word in tupi (language of one of the indigenous people here) and has 2 different meanings: junction of canoes or place with a lot of cana-do-rio (kind of grass).
    Other than that, thanks for your tips on how to update granite kitchens, I really liked your ideas.

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  25. Love this post! My older granite countertops are starting to look a bit dull and outdated, so I’m definitely bookmarking this for future reference. I’ve heard that updating granite can be a bit of a challenge, but these tips look like they could make the process much easier. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Help! I thought our bathrooms might be Baltic Brown but unless your colors are not looking accurate on the screen, my countertops appear much more orange than any of your images. I can’t even get a very accurate photo. 🙁

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