/ / / Don’t Paint Your Cabinets White!

Don’t Paint Your Cabinets White!

Of course I don’t mean to never paint your cabinets white!  I’m more here to encourage you to take a chance and TRY a color on your cabinets especially outside of the kitchen.

UPDATE: If you want detailed instructions on painting cabinets I have a new post: CLICK HERE  or if you want to learn the differences between hand painting or spraying cabinets, CLICK HERE. 

Newly Painted Sage Green Cabinets
Newly Painted Sage Green Cabinets

While surfing Instagram, no one stops on the bright white kitchens more than me.  Oh and the ones with the marble or quartz counters, yes! It’s like decorating drugs.  Love it.  It also made me start not liking my dark cabinets or granite counter tops.  Sad, but true.

Espresso Stain Cabinets Before
Espresso Stain Cabinets Before

When I moved into my home 7 years ago, dark stained cabinets were in and so much more sophisticated than my light maple cabinets in my former master bath. Whole-heartedly I went with the Espresso stain and satin nickel knobs. Back to my Instagram surfing.  I started staring at my master bath cabinets and granite picturing something new.

Do you do that? Stand and stare at things in your home wishing they would instantly change?

I went as far as to price counters and nope that was going to be way too much. This girl is always on a budget!  There isn’t money to change to marble or quartz anytime soon, but I can paint!  Paint is the most affordable game changing option and new hardware too.

So, with my paint and color background I started thinking about how I can make my granite look better.  It’s all about opposites and putting one color against another to pull out the look of a third color.

Luckily, I had a great place to start determining the next color of my cabinets.  Over the years I’ve acquired beautiful pieces of artwork, drapes and an amazing rug that traveled from house to house.

Ballard Designs Artwork
Ballard Designs Artwork
Pottery Barn Rug in Sage Green
Pottery Barn Rug in Sage Green
Drapes with a Sage Green Damask Design
Drapes with a Sage Green Damask Design

Plus I had the room painted a nice neutral color from Valspar called Cream in my Coffee 3003-10C and at the same time pulled out the wall mirrors and added champagne gold framed mirrors.

My granite was dark, but there was a pale gray fleck I could pull out and the room paint was pulling out the lighter neutrals in the granite.

When you look at all that was in the room, it was kind of obvious! A nice grayed green would be beautiful.  Then add some champagne gold cabinet hardware to complement the framed mirrors. The color I chose was also from Valspar Carolina Inn Club Aqua 4004-3B.  Seems appropriate since I live in North Carolina 🙂

Sage Green Master Bathroom Cabinets
Valspar Carolina Inn Club Aqua 4004-3B Master Bathroom Cabinets

See how the paint changed EVERYTHING. It turned out so beautifully! Green and gold are one of my favorite color combinations.  Now the granite goes with the tile to blend as a neutral.

The room has a cohesive feel and is so soft and pretty. Plus it’s unique!

Sage Green Cabinets with Gold Hardware
Sage Green Cabinets with Gold Hardware

The champagne gold Amerock hardware was the PERFECT accent to the sage green. I sized the hardware to the drawers and cabinets plus added pulls.  The hardware adds a new element of visual interest.  It’s OK to mix metallic finishes!  They still look great with the chrome faucets and even my oil-rubbed bronze curtain rod.

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For the smaller drawers I used a knob that was 1 3/8 inches and for the larger drawers I used a larger 1 3/4 inch knob. The pulls are from a different collection, but the cool thing about Amerock is that the finishes match from collection to collection.  The cabinet door pulls are 128mm or 5 1/6 inches.  The 128mm refers to the distance between the holes, where the screws attach.

If you want to learn how to install cabinet pulls where your knobs currently are, please watch this simple tutorial How-To Install Cabinet Hardware

Champagne Gold Hardware on Sage Green Cabinets
Champagne Gold Hardware on Sage Green Cabinets

It would have been easy and safe to pick white for my cabinets, but as you look at my finished master bathroom it wouldn’t be as interesting in white would it?  So in your own home, take a chance and try another color for your cabinets! Look for inspiration in art, rugs or even a great home decor accessory.

My Guide to Properly Painting Cabinets

After working for a paint company for over 5 years and training the Lowe’s associates that work in the paint department, I know a lot about paint!

I have true knowledge on the best technique and paint to use. This won’t be a painting tutorial, but basic information for if you want to consider a similar project.

UPDATE: If you want detailed instructions on painting cabinets I have a new post: CLICK HERE

Supplies for Painting
Supplies for Painting


You MUST prime! Luckily, the primer I recommend means NO sanding.  Happy day. I’ve used Valspar’s Bonding Primer countless times on every paint project with perfect results.

When you prime, it’s just a light coat and the color underneath will show through.  Let it dry overnight.

Cabinet Enamel Paint

Use Valspar’s cabinet enamel.  It’s a water-based paint that dries hard like an oil paint. Amazing and that means NO CLEAR COAT needed. Yes! Liberating.

This is very important! Don’t shake the can and only stir it.  If you shake little bubbles will end up in the surface of the paint and when those bubbles pop they will leave dimples.  Dimples are cute on babies, but not on cabinets.

Two coats should be fine, but please let the 1st coat dry overnight before applying the 2nd coat.  Don’t place the hardware until a full 24 hours has passed since the 2nd coat.


Apply with a high quality brush designed for water-based paint.  I’m partial to Wooster and love their brushes.  They are worth the money! Clean them well and they will last for years.

Foam rollers.  Yes, luckily you can buy the cheap pack of foam rollers.  They are the perfect applicator for Valspar’s cabinet enamel paint.  I’ve tried applying the cabinet enamel with a regular nap roller. It over applied the product and created drying issue.  So I’ll help you avoid this issue!

Mick Loves the New Color

Now start staring at your space, visit a paint store for color options, and picture what is possible for your own unique look. 

Hey, it’s paint and if you don’t like it, then paint your cabinets another color or even white if that’s what you love!

As my FREE GIFT to you, with email sign-up a detailed paint sheen project guide! 

You will know the right sheen for every project…


Please consider following me on Pinterest and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. If I wanted to add a clear coat over the cabinet paint, could I? If so, what would you recommend? I have thought about using this cabinet paint to cover an entryway wooden bench and I feel like a clear coat would add extra protection and shine.

  2. When we moved into our home ten years ago I absolutely loved the dark Merlot cabinets that were in the kitchen and both bathrooms. They all had Formica countertops. We eventually replaced the kitchen countertop with granite. Like you, I had toyed with the idea of painting my kitchen cabinets white. However, that is waaaaaay too much work and my husband couldn’t stand the disorder till it was done.

    So ….. now I’m turning my attention to the two bathrooms. I’d like to paint the countertops to look like granite or marble ….. something to look like texture and depth. I would also like to paint the dark cabinets to be a light, airy color.

    I know my husband will say the cabinets should be the same as the kitchen and the countertops should match in each bathroom. What is your opinion?

    Also, we want to paint the living room …. It’s been ten years! However, I LOVE color; he wants all the rooms to be the same color. He calls it the color crayon house if to many rooms are different colors. So …. what is correct?

    I would really appreciate your help. Thanks.

    1. Jo Bill, First a marriage counselor I am not LOL! I’ll share my thoughts and you two will have to work it out 😉 Each one of my bathrooms (3.5) and my office has different cabinet colors and my kitchen is a creamy white, so YES they can all be different! You may want to show him my Before/After and End of Summer Home Tours so he sees how it all works. My downstairs is OPEN concept, so I made sure all the wall colors are the same value (light/dark). Then they coordinate seamlessly. Hope that helps! Link to home tours below…


    2. Thanks. That helped a lot! As for working out out with my husband …. shouldn’t be a problem. We communicate really well and discuss first. I just needed to know if I was being reasonable before approaching him with it. I “taught” him how to love a feature wall. LOL

  3. Love the tips! What are your thoughts on chalk paint for cabinets? Also, if using this method on large cabinets, what do you think about a spray gun? Oh, and paint peeling an issue yet for you?

    Still very obsessed with your designs and color choices, obviously!

    1. Chalk paint won’t be as durable and adds steps in the process, for instance you have to apply multiple coats of either wax or polyurethane. So to me a coat of primer and 2 coats of cabinet enamel is easier! Dig through Pinterest and you will find “chalk paint regrets” when used for cabinets. I haven’t had ANY peeling only minor chipping where likely dust was under the primer. When I say minor I mean the size of a pinhead and only 3 spots. Touched up with a tiny craft brush and no issues. I’m obsessed with the Wagner paint sprayers. Just went to a conference and got to use one. I’d recommend the investment to speed up the process and to get the smoothest finish. I’m planning on painting some furniture with a spray gun soon and will post about it 🙂 Thanks, Toni and sorry for the long reply!

  4. Due to a major water leak in our master bath, I get to start from scratch. 🙂 After reading this post, I may try a color on my oak cabinets that I just told my husband I was going to paint. He said “I wouldn’t”.And I said “Then it”s a good thing you’re not the one putting the bath back together.” lol I love the color you chose and even have it in a large picture I want to keep in there. And I LOVE Valspar paints. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Oh sorry that happened, but happy you have a plan! I have no regrets on the color and I used the leftover paint on a chest too.

      I am going to do some more painting soon and will be with you in spirit! Glad I can help and thanks so much for comment – it means the world to me.

  5. I was ready to tear down the porch rails till I realized building code requires them. Thanks – your cabinets look great! I have a question, does the top coat have a yellow tinge? Because I want to paint the cabinets white and I don ’ t want it to be yellowish.

    1. Thanks! Scroll to the very end of the post and it shows the type of paint I used, which is a latex that dries hard like an oil paint. No top coat and no yellowing! Saves a step.

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