My newly painted white kitchen cabinets

**Update:  to see my more recent post on our updated kitchen, please take a look at this post.  I hope you enjoy (we are!)

Before we moved down south we had completely remodeled our kitchen in our 1920’s colonial home. I loved the maple cabinets, deep sinks, silestone countertop and new floors. Nine months later we sold our house and moved down south.  Leaving that kitchen was kind of sad and this was the kitchen in our new house.  I didn’t trade up in the kitchen that’s for sure.  The appliances were actually white and black when we bought the house.  We brought the stove and purchased the dishwasher and microwave when we got down here.  I like the layout of this new kitchen but I am not a fan of this type of oak.  The countertops in the picture are a light gray – not real pretty.

The cabinets in this new house were actually in decent shape so we didn’t really feel that we needed to replace them.  However, I had read about people painting their oak cabinets white with much success.  There are forums after forums talking about the steps for this big  job and many different ways to get the job done.  So when we decided it was time to paint we had our steps figured out and it took a weekend to get the job done.  It really wasn’t too bad at all – and I love the results!

So here is a picture of my inspiration and dream kitchen.  It’s actually the kitchen from the movie “Something’s Gotta Give,” and if you google white kitchen/black counter tops this picture is sure to come up.

Ok, so I don’t have a viking range or an island the size of New York City, but I just love the black countertop,white cabinets, stainless steel appliances with the white subway tile.  I also really like the pendant lights over the window and the beadboard behind the hutch on the right there.  The dark floors are my other love and that is our next little (big) project.  I am hoping for handscraped hickory or something darker, but we will see if we can swing that.  I just love everything about this kitchen.  I think this would be considered modern country – which is definitely my style.

So here is the kitchen painted.  We still need to put on the hardware.  The drawers will be the brushed nickel pulls like you see on all the drawers in the inspiration picture and the doors will be knob pulls.  I also want to put some trim up on top of the cabinets to finish things off.  There are some cabinets on the other side of the room along with my fridge that just aren’t in this picture.  I am not sure if you can see it in this photo, but the backsplash is white subway tile and the counter top is a black granite that has some flecks of brown in it.  I really love how it has turned out so far.  I just love my white kitchen.  It is so bright and airy and it really reminds me of a country farmhouse kitchen from the 1920’s with a modern twist.  I always imagine my grandmother cooking in here and it makes me happy:-).

I will post more updates as we have them.  The hardware should be on sometime in September and the floors will probably be a couple more months.

If you would like some information on painting your cabinets white you can go here or here, but here are the basics of what we did.  The color we used was Sherwin Williams Basic White and we used their latex semi-gloss.  Jim removed the drawers and doors from the cabinets and set up some saw horses in the kitchen to do the painting on.  It was too humid and hot outside otherwise we probably would have done this out in the garage.  After lightly sanding them, we used a product to degrease the wood.  We then primed with an oil based primer with one coat.  We used a small roller to paint the doors and then went over that with an angled high quality brush.  Jim did all the trim with a smaller angled brush.  We did two coats of the paint and that was plenty.  We also emptied all the cabinets before painting because there was some dust flying around.

When I was in Sherwin Williams I asked the girl working there what she recommended and she was a great help in determining what products to buy all the way from the brushes and rollers to the paint and primer.  So don’t be afraid to ask the people at your paint store for opinions or advice.

If you are one of those people who cringe at the idea of painting cabinets let me just say this.  I probably wouldn’t paint cherry cabinets or nice maple, but the orange-oak is not nice wood – sorry.  There is some oak that is nice, but the cabinets up top were not those.  Don’t be a hater of the white cabinets!!!  Embrace the white.

Has anyone ever painted their kitchen cabinets before?  How did they turn out?




  1. The cabinets look beautiful! I absolutely love white cabinets even over nice, dark wood cabinets. I’ve never painted cabinets before, but I have a feeling it might be in my future when we move so I’ll have to keep this information in mind!

    • Thanks Erin – I definitely recommend taking the leap:-). You should do it – it’s really not too hard, just make sure you follow all of the steps and you will be good!

  2. Your kitchen looks great! My husband is going to be painting the kitchen cabinets at our cabin this week. I can hardly wait to see them all fresh and white. (They are currently bright green and yellow! Can you even imagine it?)

    • Thanks:-)….Oooh, green and yellow cabinets, that is an interesting combo! You will have to take pictures of them painted and do a before and after. Actually my friends painted their cabinets at their cottage a cream color and that was what got us off our bottoms to paint our cabinets finally!

  3. Deborah Mendez-Wilson says:

    I painted my hideous orange-oak kitchen cabinets about a year ago, and I could not be happier!! My small kitchen now looks brighter, more modern. I get a sense of accomplishment every time I walk into it. I highly recommend taking on this project for anyone who wants to give their dated kitchen a facelift. The only regret I have now is that I wish I had put in a nicer backsplash from the get-go. We used Travertine, and with the white cabinets, it just looks too washed out. At some point, I’m going to get marble mosaic or subway tiles put in to really make it pop. I did the work myself, and used Ikea handles. … You’re right about the orange oak, though. It’s completely builder grade. … Good job! Your house looks great!

  4. Deborah Mendez-Wilson says:

    Here’s an after photo of my kitchen. The whole project cost about $150. Beats spending thousands of dollars on refurbished or new cabinets! … That “Something’s Gotta Give” kitchen is my favorite, too. 🙂

  5. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in our colonial farmhouse home on an actual farm 🙂 Thanks for the guidance.


  1. […] year I did a post about our kitchen updates. We painted the oak cabinets in our kitchen white and that generated a lot of hits. Apparently lots […]

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