If I had to go back in time and repaint our greige kitchen cabinets, would I do it? We’re chatting about regrets and all the lessons I learned from painting our oak cabinets.
Before we bought this house, we owned a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Toronto. Not only was it the perfect place for a young couple, but it sparked my love of design even more. We had big windows in each room that overlooked the Toronto skyline, and a beautiful condo-sized kitchen.
That kitchen had dark laminate cabinets, quartz countertops, and a conventional stovetop built into the island. It was perfect for us at that time.
However, our kitchen now feels like we’ve taken a step back.
The day we placed an offer on this house, I knew two things. The golden oak cabinets in our kitchen needed to be replaced or repainted. And the brown laminate countertops had to go!
So that became the plan…
I decided I would figure out how to make oak kitchen cabinets look modern, on a budget.
How to Make Oak Kitchen Cabinets look Modern
I figured until we had a bigger budget to renovate the kitchen, that I would find a way to make the kitchen work for us right now.
So I did some research, and it turns out painting oak cabinets was a great option. Here are the ways I made our oak kitchen cabinets look modern.
- Paint the oak kitchen cabinet a color that will complement the rest of the house
- Update the kitchen hardware
- Clean and wipe down the cabinets
- Add lighting underneath the cabinets
Painting Oak Cabinets Before and After
Here are our greige kitchen cabinets, one year after I painted them. And of course, a photo of golden oak cabinets we started with.
You can also read exactly how I painted cabinets in 7 easy steps, without sanding them.
The Secret to Painting Oak Cabinets without Sanding
Did I tell you I painted oak cabinets without sanding them first? I know it’s crazy. So many people told me not to, and others told me horror stories of peeling paint and chipping.
But I am happy to say it’s been a year and there is not one single paint chip or peel going on.
Want to know my secret?
Using a great primer!
The secret to getting a high-quality finish and painting your oak cabinets without sanding them first is a good primer.
We used Behr’s Kitchen, Bath, and Trim, Stain Blocking Primer & Sealer.
Best Paint for Oak Cabinets
When it comes to painting, you want to make sure the paint your choosing is:
- Stick with a gloss, semi-gloss, or satin instead of a matte. (matte will not be good for wiping cabinets and avoiding stains)
- While any high-quality paint would work, we suggest grabbing a can of paint that is specifically made for painting cabinets and furniture.
- Lastly, grab an acrylic-latex paint over oil-based paint.
Painting Oak Cabinets Gray
I did decide I would paint the oak cabinets gray with a twist. We’re calling it Greige. It’s greeny, grey, beige?
You’ll see what I mean below. It’s a paint color I felt worked really well for our little country home in the forest.
The color we chose is called Sandy (5114-2) from SICO paint.
Do I Regret Painting our Oak Cabinets
Now, time to answer the question ya’ll want to know. Do I regret painting our oak cabinets?
Yes, and no.
It’s been a year, and they still look amazing. Actually, I am beyond impressed with how well the paint has held up. Not to mention there’s not one single chip or peeling happening.
I don’t regret painting the oak cabinets because they have changed the entire vibe of our home. Painting the oak cabinets have 100% made our home look and feel more modern, on a budget. And I would still recommend others to do the same if they want to update their kitchen.
But I’ve been really into more of a natural wood tone for the kitchen. Wood kitchen cabinets are definitely trending right now, and seeing them everywhere makes me wonder if I should have spent time sanding and stripping the cabinets.
Maybe that’s another project I can do sometime in the future. But my advice is to know what you want, and not to be afraid to paint your kitchen either.
Pros and Cons of Painting Kitchen Cabinets
When it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets we thought we would help you make an informed decision. So here are some pros and cons of painting kitchen cabinets, from someone who actually did it over a year ago.
- It may be a temporary solution
- It’s a lot of work
- If you choose to paint it yourself, it might not be as high-quality as a professional
- Added costs to make it look professional (either hiring a professional painter or purchasing a paint sprayer)
- Hard to touch up if needed
- It is a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen
- You’re able to do it yourself and save even more money
- It’s a quick way to update your kitchen
So now that you know what I think about painting kitchen cabinets, and how they’ve held up over the past year. Hopefully, this will help you figure out if you should paint your kitchen cabinets or not.