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How to Update Your Older Granite Countertops

Posted on July 11, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

Ideas to Update the Top 6 OLDER Granite Countertops 

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 colours 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 I’m here to help.

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

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…

  • SANTA CECILIA
  • NEW VENETIAN GOLD
  • SAPPHIRE BLUE
  • PEACOCK GREEN
  • UBA TUBA (seriously, who named this one, a Teletubby?)
  • BALTIC BROWN

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

But not ALL older granite countertops 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 in them 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).

Black granite with taupe pink flecks and cream cabinet. Kylie M Interiors kitchen update modernize ideas and tips

And by the way, if you think your granite countertop is calling all the shots, you might be surprised to hear that your BACKSPLASH actually calls first dibs on paint colours as it’s on the same vertical sight-line as the cabinets/walls – the preferences of your countertop come in second place.

Let’s say that again in a different way…

MOST of the time, your backsplash is more important than your countertop when it comes to coordinating cabinet colours.

Why?

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

Suuuuure, it’s all good in the hood if your countertop and backsplash coordinate, but if they DON’T (which is the case more often than not with homes from the 90s), you may want to think about refreshing it too.

Maple wood cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. Warm grey. Backsplash is greige taupe subway tile, granite. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy blogger.

5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home

In this next example, the granite countertop is still going strong, but the 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 along with a coordinated cabinet paint colour brought this kitchen back to LIFE!

Remember, your outdated countertops can STILL look amazing if you surround them with the right paint colour, backsplash and decor – in fact, there are some granites I’ve grown to LOVE in my E-Design adventures! The key is to stop FIGHTING your granite and choose paint colours and products that actually 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 colours and products that actually 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

So, what are the BEST ideas to update a kitchen or bathroom with outdated granite countertops?

  1. paint the cabinets and/or walls
  2. replace the backsplash
  3. modernize the hardware and light fixtures
  4. refresh the accents

Today we’re going to focus on coordinating your granite countertop with paint colours 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 colour 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) 

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

1. SANTA CECILIA GRANITE COUNTERTOP UPDATE IDEAS

SIMILAR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS: New Venetian Gold, Giallo Ornamental

Oh Ceciiiiiilia, you’re breakin’ my heart…anyways.

Santa Cecilia is a WARM granite with the following colours…

  • creamy soft off-white
  • warm golden tones and beige/orange hues
  • warm greige-taupe with a purple (purple-pink) undertone
  • black
  • a touch of burgundy/maroon

IDEAS TO UPDATE GRANITE COUNTERTOPS SAINT CECILIA in a kitchen.

Santa Cecilia Home Depot

The key with Santa Cecilia granite is that you SHOULDN’T introduce a colour on the cabinets that doesn’t ALREADY EXIST in the countertop.

If you add a new colour, there won’t be a visual connection between your cabinets and countertops and it’ll be hot mess. Any NEW colour needs to be in the form of an accent, not a full-scale commitment.

THE EXCEPTION. If you paint your main cabinets white, you could paint your island a darker neutral with a reasonably strong green undertone as rather than competing with the countertop, it will act like an ACCENT (but if you ask me, this approach can still look a bit dated).

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

BTW – there are SEVERAL varieties of this granite countertop and there’s ALWAYS variation between slabs, so the examples might not show the EXACT Santa Cecilia that you have.

The 5 Best Off-White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams 4 Warm Gray Paint Colours

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE SANTA CECILIA GRANITE?

Yes, but they have to be CONSIDERABLY warm and soft – not stark or clean.

JR Photography

It can also look nice if you have soft warm white main cabinets and paint the island a dark colour like a soft warm black that’s bordering on black-brown.

The Best Warm White Paint Colours

How to Choose the Best Paint Colour for Your Cabinets

BTW, Online Colour Consulting is how I support my family. So, while I can’t give SPECIFIC colour instructions on this blog post, you’ll find helpful links to some of my 450+ articles sprinkled throughout. My goal is to get you headed in the right direction and if you need more specific advice – please check out my packages and I can give you some personal attention! 

IF I HAVE SANTA CECILIA GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

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

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE SANTA CECILIA GRANITE?

  • while I wouldn’t put a gray on the cabinets, I would check out a CONSIDERABLY warm gray with violet undertones for the walls and absolutely NO blue or green undertones!
  • warm, golden-beige paint colours
  • soft muted cream paint colours

View into kitchen and family room before painted cabinets

Kitchen painted maple cabinets in warm white, Sherwin Williams Alabaster, Cream beige walls, Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online color consultant. Formal, traditional style open layout kitchen

JR Photography

The Best Paint Colours for Island and Vanities

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best Gray Paint Colours

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BACKSPLASH TO UPDATE SANTA CECILIA GRANITE?

THIS is where a lot of people hop on the wrong bus – STOP, YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!

white subway tile and granite countertops

That’s right, if you’re thinking of doing a WHITE subway tile backsplash or heaven-forbid, MARBLE (yes, I’ve seen it all), you need to put on the brakes and shift into a new gear.

In the above example, my client was looking for a paint colour 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…).

So, instead of white subway tile, take a look at…

  • Soft off-white tiles that PERFECTLY match the soft off-white 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 in the countertop.
  • Greige-taupe tiles that have the same warm violet undertones as the flecks in your countertop. For this look, I would do a soft white grout to add a bit of contrast and visual interest

4 Subway Tile Ideas for Your Bathroom or Backsplash

2. NEW VENETIAN GOLD GRANITE COUNTERTOP UPDATE IDEAS

SIMILAR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS: Santa Cecilia, Giallo Ornamental

New Venetian Gold granite is VERY SIMILAR to Santa Cecilia, with only a few subtle changes…

  • soft warm off-white without much yellow in it
  • warm golden tones and beige with a mild green undertone
  • considerably warm taupe with a violet-pink undertone, bordering on pink/rose
  • almost black-brown
  • burgundy/maroon

Ideas to update modernize granite New Venetian Gold. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy advice

New Venetian Gold Home Depot

Just like with ‘ole Cecilia, you SHOULDN’T introduce anything new on the cabinets that doesn’t ALREADY EXIST in the countertop. If you add a new colour, there won’t be a visual connection between your cabinets and countertops and it’ll look fugly – trust ye old Ginger on that one. Any NEW colour needs to be in the form of an accent, not a full-scale commitment.

While this isn’t the case with countertops that have a more SIMPLE colour palette, once you get three+ colours in a countertop, adding a NEW colour to the palette can be a big mistake. 

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

THE EXCEPTION? NO EXCEPTION FOR YOU! Seriously, New Venetian Gold just wants you to pick up what it’s throwin’ down.

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.

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE NEW VENETIAN GOLD?

Yes, you can paint your cabinets white, but you need a warm soft white, not a stark clean one.

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

The 3 Whites I Would NEVER Paint My Trim or Cabinets

IF I HAVE NEW VENETIAN GOLD GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

HECK NO! Don’t let those wee little flecks trick you as they aren’t gray – they fall more in the taupe range (which is warmer with more of a violet-pink undertone).

One of my favourite applications with New Venetian Gold is to paint the main cabinets a soft warm white and the island a darker warm greige-taupe paint colour. You can also consider a dark brown or burgundy, but this blog post is about UPDATING your room, not back-dating it – wink wink.

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

CLICK HERE OR ON THE ABOVE IMAGE FOR AVAILABLE PACKAGES!

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE NEW VENETIAN GOLD GRANITE?

If you’re looking to freshen up your walls, you can check out some versions of…

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BACKSPLASH TO UPDATE NEW VENETIAN GOLD GRANITE?

Just like with Cecilia, you’ll want to make a good colour connection when it comes to your backsplash…

  • Soft off-white tiles that DIRECTLY match the soft white in your countertop. For a subtle look, match it with warm white grout. If you want to add some visual interest, choose a light to medium-depth grout that matches the taupe in 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 grout to add a bit of contrast and visual interest.
  • a lot of people look to travertine, but MOST travertine tiles have the wrong undertones for New Venetian Gold and Santa Cecilia.

3. PEACOCK GREEN GRANITE (BLACK) COUNTERTOP UPDATE IDEAS

SIMILAR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS: Green or Verde Uba Tuba

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

  • 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

Peacock Green Granite is a tricky one, as a lot of people see it as black, however, it has some VERY interesting and finicky undertones! Again, the key is to not introduce any NEW colour to your palette and instead, pick up one what 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.

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE PEACOCK GREEN GRANITE?

Yes, 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 one, nor a super COLD one. Instead, I would look at some of the WHITER shades of white.

BUT (a great big 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 colours in it (gray-green). And while we could easily do white cabinets, we have to take the backsplash and floor into consideration, both of which won’t be happy if we go white!

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 humour 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 you’re working with existing finishes that aren’t being replaced, it can be a challenge to update your kitchen. Remember, if you can’t find a paint colour that your existing finishes and you agree on, you may want to 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 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

IF I HAVE PEACOCK GREEN GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

Well, you can paint your cabinets gray-ish, but that gray will need some VERY SERIOUS green (green-blue) undertones in it. 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

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE PEACOCK GREEN GRANITE?

Refreshing your walls can be a great way to update the look of Peacock Green granite. Check out some of these…

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BACKSPLASH TO UPDATE PEACOCK GREEN GRANITE?

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

  • With WOOD CABINETS and Peacock Green granite, I would look at gray (with green-blue undertones) or green-blue tiles. White would be awfully stark, but that could shift depending on the wall colour.
  • With WHITE CABINETS and Peacock Green granite, I would look at gray (with green-blue undertones) or green-blue tiles.

There are other, similar 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 colours/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 post re: 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

4. SAPPHIRE BLUE GRANITE UPDATE IDEAS

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

  • 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.

Why?

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

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE SAPPHIRE BLUE GRANITE?

That’s a hard no.

BUT WHY NOT?

Because Sapphire Blue doesn’t have any white in it, it’s a tough sell to introduce it on such a large scale as cabinets. You CAN, but I’ve found that with the particular colours in Sapphire Blue, white cabinets can make it look more dated. If you REEEEAALLLY want white cabinets, DON’T choose a warm white and be cautious with your wall colour choice.

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

IF I HAVE SAPPHIRE BLUE GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

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 some of the more POPULAR gray paint colours like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray or Gray Owl. You will want to sample the following carefully…

  • Grays with decent blue-violet undertones. Blue LOVES to move around, so make sure you hit the right one and the right depth (nothing too light)!
  • warm muddy grays with a soft violet undertone (check out my DOZENS of paint colour reviews!)
  • colours that are even warmer, going into the subtle taupe end of things

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

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE SAPPHIRE BLUE GRANITE?

If you’re looking to freshen up your walls, you can check out some versions of…

  • warm grays with NO GREEN UNDERTONES
  • taupe paint colours with violet-pink undertones (something like Sherwin Williams Popular Gray is a good place to start)
  • I would be careful with the whole ‘gray with a blue-violet undertone’ thing. Some of these can work well on cabinets but can feel a bit too cool for walls unless they have some good depth/body to them

5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home

Sherwin Williams Best Gray and Greige Paint Colours

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BACKSPLASH TO UPDATE SAPPHIRE BLUE GRANITE?

Again, it can really depend on what colour 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

5.  UBA TUBA GRANITE COUNTERTOP UPDATE IDEAS 

ALSO KNOWN AS…

  • VERDE UBA TUBA
  • BUTTERFLY
  • GREEN LABRADOR OR VERDE LABRADOR
  • GREEN UBA TUBA
  • UBA TUBA GOLD

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

Uba Tuba is tricky as there are SO many versions and colour 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 UBA’s 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.

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE UBA TUBA GRANITE?

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

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams 4 Best White Paint Colours

IF I HAVE UBA TUBA GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

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 purple
  • if you have 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

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

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE UBA TUBA GRANITE?

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

The 12 Best Whole Home Gray & Greige Paint Colours

WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BACKSPLASH TO UPDATE UBA TUBA GRANITE?

When it comes to the best backsplash to update Uba Tuba, it can really depend on what colour 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’re feeling 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.

6. BALTIC BROWN GRANITE UPDATE IDEAS

Ahhhh, Baltic Brown, you’ve been kickin’ it for a long time my friend and I know ALL of your dirty secrets, including colours 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 definitely the case with Baltic Brown as you can get slabs that are 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.

CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE IF I HAVE BALTIC BROWN GRANITE?

For the love of everything beautiful – no. Because Baltic Brown doesn’t have legit white in it, white cabinets would 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 favours an orange undertone and one that leans slightly into red (pink) rather than yellow. Some of the more modern off-white beige paint colours 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)

BTW, HUGE thanks to my E-Design clients who send their after photos in, I couldn’t do this without you! 

6 Questions To Ask BEFORE You Paint Your Cabinets WHITE

IF I HAVE BALTIC BROWN GRANITE, CAN I PAINT MY CABINETS GRAY?

You can paint your cabinets gray, but they can’t be a TRADITIONAL or standard gray paint colour – they need a MASSIVE shot of green in them and absolutely NO VIOLET OR BLUE! And 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

WHAT ARE THE BEST PAINT COLOURS FOR MY WALLS IF I HAVE BALTIC BROWN GRANITE?

If you’re looking to freshen up your walls, you can check out some versions of…

WHAT ARE THE BEST BACKSPLASH IDEAS TO UPDATE BALTIC BROWN GRANITE?

I actually 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 COLOUR, but the diamond pattern does date it a bit.
  • Gray tiles with a strong green undertone.

READ MORE

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

5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home

The 6 Best Paint Colours For Kitchen Islands & Bathroom Vanities

5 Ideas to Update Your Fireplace

The New Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock

NEED HELP?

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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

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2020, UPDATED IN 2021 WITH MORE GOODIES FOR YOU!



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Comments

  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
      Author

      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!

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      Author

      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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      Author

      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.

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