Painting kitchen cabinets brings me way back to our days of renovating our first home, a 1925 bungalow we owned in Spokane, WA. It had original cabinets, which had been painted pinkish-beige by the previous homeowner. I chose a new color scheme for the kitchen, which I had found on an inspiration card at Sherwin Williams. The only problem was that it was an exterior color scheme meant for a Victorian house. Somehow my love of it caused it to slip my mind that it wouldn’t be an appropriate look for a Craftsman-style interior.
We spend several days painting walls, cabinets, and trim, only to realize that I hated it. Thankfully, we had painted the cabinets white (the walls were a dark bluish green and the trim was painted brown) so the disaster was rectified with less effort than it could’ve been.
Then, we bought a 1948 house with a kitchen that had been redone to the nines in 1990. We had no money to rip out the kitchen and it was done so nicely (it had tons of big drawers and pull-outs, though I can’t say the beige-laminate-with-wood-trim look from Full House was really my style). So, I decided to paint them. You’d think I would’ve learned from the 1925 bungalow and painted them white. But I thought that was boring, so I picked pistachio).
Then we built a house, thinking all our problems would be over (since our “problems” were the constant projects of old houses). I got my first brand-new kitchen. I was excited. Then I found out it was builder-grade, dressed up with a pencil glaze to look like it wasn’t. Ripped. Off. Thankfully we sold the house before the finish started peeling off.
Fast-forward to our current house, and our 1990 builder-grade cabinets were too junky to paint. After all, you could tell. The uppers had that 1980’s cathedral arch, and were only 30 inches tall. We ripped them out and found used cabinets at ReStore that we painted to match. More about that here, here, here, here and here. It looked great, and then it didn’t. More about that in my article at American Farmhouse Style (link below).
The moral of the story: there are some really good reasons to paint your cabinets, especially if you’re doing the work yourself. There are also some really good reasons to rip them out and get something better.
Read all about painting or replacing kitchen cabinets in my article for AFS!