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toni868

to paint or not to paint?

Toni
last month

Hello, we are thinking of updating our kitchen. I would like to paint it but my husband not so much. I was thinking of doing the two toned painted cabinets but just don’t know which ones to keep wood and which ones to paint? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Comments (33)

  • K Schu
    last month

    I love painted cabinets, so that’s my vote (although I’m not a fan of the two-tone look but that’s just me). It seems like your kitchen needs to be lightened up. If your husband wins though, I would paint the walls a lighter color, replace the countertops/backsplash with something lighter, and if you have the budget, replace the black appliances. It looks like a great space, though, with lots of potential.

  • K Schu
    last month

    Sorry, Houzz won’t let me edit and I didn’t say that the way I wanted. By lighter, I mean some thing with cooler tones that’s a bit more modern looking, like a white quartz with walls painted in a cooler tone, like a crisp white.

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  • houssaon
    last month

    I would not paint it. I would remove the large lighting fixture and install recessed LED lights and pretty pendants.

  • PRO
    Magnifico Profounde
    last month

    There are far too many other things to address before even thinking of spending 10K to have that painted. The light is tge biggest issue youre facing. And its one that will require an expensive reworking with multiple contractors involved.

  • jck910
    last month

    I like the cabinets BUT there are so many of them and those that hang over the windows would drive me insane. Have you thought of removing dome of them? And I agree the light needs to be addressed

  • susan49417
    last month

    Oh my there's a lot going on here and painting cabinets should be the least of your priorities. First, address that monstrosity of a light fixture and spend what it take to remove and put in proper lighting. Second, the glass block has got to go. The cabinets suspended in the middle of them......just not a good look. Just think how much brighter it would be with clear glass bringing in light. I would invest my money in those fixes which I think would be a huge improvement.

  • sholt576
    last month

    I agree with the others. I don't think painting the cabs is the right first step. For me it would be the light fixture. Then the other issues that have been mentioned: wall paint color, cabinets in front of windows, soffits...





  • HU-187528210
    last month

    I agree with all the above. Painting would be nice (id probably do the uppers) but focus on the other things first because the cabinet color isn’t the main issue.
    I’d start with flooring
    Lighting
    Countertops and backsplash
    Good luck!!! Great space to work with. Loads of potential

  • SeattleMCM
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I also agree with others. painting the proper way (so it doesn't chip) is very expensive, and nothing else in this kitchen makes sense. that old fashioned kitchen style should have never been paired with mod glass bricks, not even when it was brand new. and even if they weren't glass bricks, having full windows above and below cabinets like that? I would love it in a MCM or ultra-modern house but not here. then you have that crazy fluorescent light fixture, the angled soffits, and the way the cabinets jog up and down. normally I'm all about reusing, fixing and only replacing what needs to be replaced in an update. but this is a gut job from floor to ceiling. sorry.

  • chispa
    last month

    Myself, I would live with it for a few years, save my money and then gut the whole thing.

    I'm going to guess this was built in 1992?

  • Anon Ymous
    last month

    Totally agree with Beth H. Those changes would make a huge difference and it would be best to live with those first before thinking about paint

  • cawaps
    last month

    Count me in the "paint is the least of your worries" camp. The glass blocks don't bother me at all; I seem to be in the minority but I'm quite fond of them in a variety of applications. Though their natural home is in mid-century modern design, not traditional, as SeattleMCM notes.

    But..if it were my kitchen, I would be saving up for a major kitchen remodel rather than spending money on purely cosmetic changes now.


    First an aside: I'm not trying to make you feel bad about your kitchen. This is stuff that would bug me; maybe it doesn't bug you. That's okay. And maybe it does bug you but unless you win the lottery, a large-scale kitchen remodel isn't in your future. That's okay, too.


    That said, that kitchen layout would drive me batty. I don't think I've ever seen a G-shaped kitchen that was actually G shaped. Do you ever go into the deep corner of the G? There doesn't seem to be anything to bring you there other than storage, which means a lot of the copious counter space probably goes unused.


    I strongly dislike corner cooktops and corner sinks, and you have both. I also dislike the soffits in the two corners aesthetically, and you might be able to get rid of them or reconfigure them with a change of floor plan (guessing lighting in one and ducting in the other).


    The massive light box (is there a better term?) is oppressive both in size and with the dark wood. And it's a dated look. Removing it is something that should be do-able short of a complete remodel.


    But I wouldn't invest in painting the cabinets or new countertops with the existing layout issues.

  • kelli_ga
    last month

    What if you got rid of the upper cabinets and played with some open shelving or other open storage ideas (or nothing)? That might eliminate the paint color question.


    I’m not crazy about the lighting either, but I think the layout is fascinating. It looks like a bar in a restaurant. IDK how functional it is for you, though.


    Maybe a refrigerator upgrade when the time comes.

  • Toni
    Original Author
    last month

    First of all just want to thank everyone for their input and suggestions. Definitely a lot to think about. We actually love the layout of the kitchen and love the glass blocks. We love the corner sink and corner cooktop. We also have another built in oven at the end of the island across from the cooktop which you can’t see from the pics. It is very functional for us. We don’t have it in our budget to do major renovations. And we may not be in this house forever. So we are trying to update it a bit on the budget we have. The light fixtures are definitely on our list of things to change and paint the walls. Removing the granite (we actually like the granite) and other major renovations are not in our budget. All other things like the soffits and the granite lip does not bother us at all.
    That’s exactly how we use that one area of the island “Kelli_ga” is like a bar/coffee place. The area next to the cooktop where the counter is lower than the other is used as a baking area. The sink in the island is very useful to have there so we would never think of getting rid of that part of the island. There is also a big walk in pantry next to the wall oven/fridge unit which is amazing! Really the only issues I have a problem with right now are the lighting fixtures and the colour of the kitchen cupboards. Everything looks so brown and beige.

  • lkloes
    last month

    Just painting will not update this kitchen. You will have spent thousands of dollars and it wontYou have some great suggestions above. Definitely address that light fixture first.

  • lkloes
    last month

    Just painting will not update this kitchen. You will have spent thousands of dollars and it won’t address the structural elements that make it look dated. You have some great suggestions above. Definitely address that light fixture first.

  • decoenthusiaste
    last month

    I vote with your husband. As many have remarked, the cabinetry is the least problematic thing here . You don't seem as concerned about the issues we see with the kitchen, but I'm afraid painting the cabinets will lower their value in the eyes of a future buyer. Is this your forever home? See what your husband thinks about the suggestions Houzers have made.

  • Jennifer Havin
    last month

    no to paint, as others have suggested updating the other things first and then going from there

  • starnold
    last month

    I like the layout of this kitchen, and find the glass block to be a feature. If it were me I'd order factory painted doors for the uppers (and maybe the pantry) and have the boxes painted on site to match. I'd choose blue, green or butter cream yellow and leave the lower dark woods, all which would work with the granite. I'd paint the ceiling a warm ivory white and use semi-flush light fixtures in a black metal finish to bounce light off the ceiling, I'd paint the metal on the dining fixture black as well. For the walls I'd use a reduction of what ever color I chose for the cabinets. And somehow I'd fine room in my budget to remove that one soffit over the corner sink.

  • herbflavor
    last month
    last modified: last month

    given what you say and what is shown...I would remove the doors from the cabinets on the glass block. I would source doors with seeded glass fronts. I would do something about the ceiling light fixture. I would leave the rest then. Since you rather like the glass block and the cabinets probably cant be removed [or can they?] without endangering infrastructure along there.....I take the approach MORE is MORE and glass doors is your ticket .But just that area. There is enough stone surfacing and cabinets elsewhere to give you balance with the glass feature that will result. Could be cool and within a budget for your purposes. the heavy dark wood along there is not good and I dont see colored doors as working there. You dont need to paint anything this way....except the painted areas above cabinets of course... [ lighter /cleaner color. ]

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    That ceiling light fixture needs to go before you do anything else then get some pot lights installed all 4" cans with LED 4000k bulbs and see if you need to change anything else. I am curious about the randome soffits especailly the one above the hood , what is its purpose. I agree with Beth on this one.

  • apple_pie_order
    last month

    Your kitchen looks spotless and well suited to your needs, especially the baking center. Remove the giant light fixture. Add recessed lighting with a broad beam that will spread sideways to illuminate the cabinets. Or add two or three semi-flush fixtures.


    If you really, really want to paint, all one color would be much better than two colors since there's already quite a lot going on in the kitchen's visual impression. A light cream would look great with the granite.

  • H202
    last month

    As others have said, this kitchen is so very 1992 that painting the cabinets wont help freshen it. And there are so many busy strong elements that I’m afraid painting would make it look worse- because a different color would look discongruous and be yet another element competing in the room.


    No matter what, do not go two tone. The last thing you need is TWO competing colors.


    In short, you could fix a couple of the big offenders that darken the kitchen (the ceiling light, being a big one). But i would not touch the cabinets unless you plan to also replace the ceiling light, counter and backsplash. Which is a big job and you should just redo the kitchen at that point. I would just save your money at live with it. You wont get any resale value from any of these improvements unless you spend a lot.

  • tozmo1
    last month
    last modified: last month

    #1 remove the light fixture and replace with cans per above. #2 Paint the walls. It's really monochromatic now. Even the cat blends in. If you do just those two things, it will look so much brighter. The cabinets are quite nice. Don't paint them.

    If you want to spend a little more, I'd change out that vent hood to something more current. Here's one that's basically your same colors. A little paint and a sharp vent hood give it more pop.


    Portland Hills Transitional · More Info


    Here's my crude photoshop of a new one.



    Or just paint the one you have. I actually like that better and much cheaper. Don't paint any other cabinets.



    ou could brighten it up with some colorful or at least light colored counter chairs


    Elegant Alamo Estate · More Info


    So I removed your light, painted the vent hood and added some new chairs.


    Or colorful chairs


    Y

    Are you open to painting the trim around your window?

    Right now it's all one color but that color isn't bad, it just needs some breaking up. I fear painting those beautiful cabinets won't help if you don't address other more easily and inexpensively done things.

  • felizlady
    last month

    I would first look into improving the whole lighting system. The fluorescent-behind-plastic panels clashes with the glass block which clashes with whatever is behind the blinds…casement windows?
    If the house is one level, you could replace the fluorescent with a skylight for natural light plus a few pendants for more direct lighting. If the kitchen has a room above, consider removing the framing and the fluorescent lighting and installing pendants and recessed lighting.

  • SeattleMCM
    last month
    last modified: last month

    cawaps I love glass bricks too! just not here. your post was a lot more tactful than mine.

    so to offer some constructive advice:

    in order to keep the cabinets (which would save a ton of money), I think drywalling over some of the windows and replacing the glass brick would bring more sense into this kitchen. normally I am not for covering up natural light, but this space is not modern enough for windows above and below cabinets.


    if your budget does not allow, these cabinets are in fine shape and the style seems classic enough. rather than painting them, I think painting the walls, updating the cabinet pulls, and getting new countertops would be a bigger bang for your buck, and the rest of the stuff could happen later.

  • sholt576
    last month

    You've gotten so much great feedback!


    I like the glass brick too, just not so much having the cabinets cutting through it. So, herbflavor's suggestion of getting doors with seeded glass inserts is intriguing. Or seattle's rec of covering over the top portion of the windows. However, if having the cabinets cut through the windows isn't an issue for you, that's awesome, too.


    Also love the super easy suggestion of lighter/brigher bar chairs. I think a new fridge would help, also.


    I was guessing that your primary sink was the one close to the fridge and stove. The other sink is just really inconveniently located. Your granite looks really nice and works really well as a backsplash as well.

  • Jainag
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think the first thing you should tackle are the lights, then I would tackle the cabinets, and for those cabinets I would probably add another row of cabinets on top of the existing uppers as it would give you more storage and solve the problem of the the cabinets "floating" on glass block while giving a more high-end feel of cabinets all the way up to the ceiling and reducing on costs because you do not have to get rid of the glass block and replace with drywall.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    you say you're on a budget? painting those cabs (professionlly and correctly) will be in the 8K-10K region. are you ok w/that?

    I'd skip painting the cabinets and instead spend the money on a new, fresher, lighter countertop (quartz if you prefer), with a tile backsplash.

    I know you say the granite is ok, but if you want a change, it really should be top on the list (BEFORE you paint your cabinets) Trust me, it will look 10X better w/a new countertop and backsplash.

    New cabient hardware.

    Pendant lighting

    Paint the walls a fresh, light color (no beige)

    and bring in recessed lights and remove the spaceship.

    That should cost you less than painting all those cabs and give you the refresh you're after.

    Here is a nice example of what you could do with your kitchen with lighter countertops, tile backsplash and a soft sage/blue wall color


    Doing some glass in some of your upper doors will 'open' things up a bit.

    new pendant lights, and nickel hardware complete the look.





    these are darker cabs, but same idea


    bring in some lighter counter chairs





    As you can see, your cabinets aren't the problem. everything else surrounding them is an issue.

  • Toni
    Original Author
    last month

    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the feedback. Definitely gave us a lot to think about. So we did decide not to paint the cabinets and try to tackle some of the issues that were brought up. Definitely changing the lighting in both kitchen and dinette area. Painting the walls to a lighter color. Getting a new range hood. New light colored counter stools. Putting glass in some of the uppers and change hardware on cabinets. Removing the soffits over the sink and cooktop is something my husband thought we could also do. We don’t want to get rid of the glass blocks cause we love all the natural light it gives. We are also painting our trim in the house so the window trim will be painted. I’m thinking this is a good start and hopefully it will look good. 🤞

  • smh225
    last month

    Good decision. Would love to have those cabinets!

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    ooh, good plan! post updates when you have them!