Juliana Ferrazzi
home style tips

painting kitchen cabinets: 4 reasons when it’s a good idea

Painting your kitchen cabinets can be a great idea. But first, hear me out with this warning: painting cabinets isn’t always the cheap fix it’s advertised to be.

All the DIY’ers out there will tell you that the cheap way to update your kitchen is by picking up a brush and giving the cabinets a coat of paint. It’s one of the top kitchen renovation questions the design team hears at Black-eyed Susan. We love painting cabinets when it is the right choice, but no one ever talks about how expensive it can be. There are different levels of quality for painting cabinets, with factory finish being the most professional (and expensive) option. They will use a conversion varnish, almost like a factory car finish, that has a catalytic hardener in it. We also work with fine painters who can achieve the look of a factory finish without the same price tag, requiring layers of paint and sanding. Be warned that applying just any paint to your cabinets without any technique will leave you with the cost of fixing a kitchen full of peeling cabinet surfaces!

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes painting kitchen cabinets isn’t the answer. But how do you know when it’s the right choice? A fabulous new look, for much less than gutting your whole kitchen, while knowing you are still hiring professionals to deliver the end result. Here is what we go by: the top 4 reasons to paint your kitchen rather than do a complete overhaul.

1. Your cabinets are in good condition. Many kitchens have solid wood, painted or unfinished cabinetry. That typically provides a surface that can be easily sanded and painted. Professional painters take the cabinet doors with them and spray the cabinets to get that factory finish. We love this way the best, as it looks brand new! You just have to pick a paint color.

2. You like the layout of the kitchen. Kitchen planning and design takes an expert. When your kitchen is laid out well, even making a bowl of cereal is enjoyable. If the kitchen layout is sufficient, then that is a good reason to paint the cabinets. Why go through the expense if you don’t need to?

3. You like or can live with your countertop. This is a tricky one. There are so many beautiful countertops, from granite, marble, and soapstone to butcher block or quartz. It can be extremely tempting to start fresh. That being said, we have had cabinets painted with countertops that were just OK. Sometimes you have to compromise, as a new countertop is a big expense. Typically, there is a color that can be pulled from the existing countertop that we can make it work! We aren’t magicians, but we come close. Here are a few snapshots of a before and after where we were lucky enough to have black granite. It goes with everything! Sherwin Williams Snowbound was the perfect paint color for this transformation.

4. There are cosmetic changes that will make a huge impact. It’s all in the jewelry. The cabinet hardware adds sparkle that brings new life to the room. Polished chrome, black or brushed gold are stylish options. You can take an old world look and transform the cabinets with modern hardware. We used polished chrome for this client, and wow! With some added chrome accessories, the kitchen has a fresh new look. How about a backsplash? That’s where you can bring in your personality. We love tile and there are so many lovely options. In this case, we selected a sleek marble subway tile. Bright, classic and elegant. Perfect for our client! A new chandelier, updated window treatments and leather barstools were the finishing touches the kitchen needed.

Look at your kitchen and take stock of your likes and dislikes. With our kitchen and bath consulting, we can guide you with the selection of paint, hardware, backsplash, lighting and window treatments. Your kitchen can look brand new. Bon appetit!