Monday, May 5, 2014

S.O.S. Need Kitchen Paint Advice, Please!

My German Shepherd Security Agency warning sign
is still on our back door

For many years, our kitchen was white, as were most of our interior walls, because when we were building on/remodeling it was just easier to paint everything one color and be done with it. Years later, I decided to be adventurous and started painting rooms with a little more color. The kitchen got a pale yellow.

Although I love pale yellow on the exterior of our house, I have hated it in my kitchen since the day I stepped down off that step ladder and washed out my brushes. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but it certainly comes close.

 Last fall
Hopefully the railing, corbels, and post facings will go on this summer.

 If you hate the border,
just keep it to yourself please ;-)

I have talked to my daughter about painting the cabinets white, but you-know-who is dead set against it. Not sure why. It's not like there's some special virtue in oak - is there?? Maybe it's that Scandinavian heritage. But we do have an antique oak hutch and oak library table and chairs in our kitchen, so I can kinda see his point. Kinda.

 Oops! That's the James Herriot Kitchen
in Thirsk, North Yorkshire
(but it was in my 'kitchen' file)
I just noticed that it's YELLOW!
Hmmm. I wonder if that influenced me in choosing paint...

one wall of our kitchen is map

So with all the oak items and the gray and white floor and the brick, do you have any ideas of what color to paint our kitchen? It is in the middle of the house so it gets light from the bank of windows across the west, from the patio doors, and from the pass-through that looks into our office which has a bank of windows along the north. It can't really tolerate anything dark.

And to complicate matters, I just saw a copy of the May issue of This Old House magazine. A kitchen was all white except for like a pale aqua on the cabinets, which were gorgeous! Hmmm.

Isn't that spectacular?
Love that Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore!
I think that Magali got me started on that pale blue/green.

Of course I would still leave the hutch,
the library table and chairs,
and the window trim
in their original oak.

And actually, if my kitchen looked that good (as in the TOH magazine), I would have to redo all the other rooms on the main floor. Who wants to do that!? Which reminds me of my old business ed. teacher who won some contest with the prize being all new carpet throughout their house. By the time the carpet was installed, they decided it made everything else look bad, so they ended up spending a ton of money on new furniture. Let that be a lesson.

 Yes, little white lights up all year
Aloe and green onions to the right of the hutch
Dog water to the left

Do you think it makes my guests feel at home when I remind them, 'Don't trip over the dog water' when they're walking from the kitchen to the living room? :-)  And really, it's not like I can move the dog water, because Misty is blind...

By the way, did you know that when you buy green onions, you can use the tops and replant the bulbs so that they grow more green onion tops? Of course you have to make sure you're buying the ones with all those little threadlike roots. This was Kevin's experiment and he's been using green onions all winter from those he purchased in December. The hard part is remembering to use them!

I digress.

Anyway, any kitchen paint advice would be much appreciated. I need to do something to those walls this summer, even if I don't paint the cabinets. Got an opinion on the cabinets? Paint? No paint? Give it up?

All nice suggestions are appreciated, and almost all suggestions are tolerated.  :-)


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Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

I'm not a yellow girl either, although I don't mind your yellow kitchen. Our kitchen has a wall of windows and a door and is open to our family room area and living room and foyer....and I painted it a dark brown color and it looks great. I can't help with the painted cabinets as my husband is against it also and believe's our wood to be something great....I want to paint them, but won't. Good luck with picking a color!

Paulette said...

I painted my old cabinets white and while they looked very nice, I must warn you that if you whack the cabinet with a bowl or plate the paint does chip off. Keep the oak cabinets and change out the hardware. Have you looked at the website Houzz?
I enjoy looking at this site for inspiration.

Diane said...

A note about the cabinets-- once they're painted, you're sunk. And Paulette is right-- you'll be touching up paint for the rest of your life. Are you keeping the border? If so, maybe a color to match that. A nice, medium blue (not that 80s slate blue, mind you!). Might look sort of "Americana." Or maybe a medium type green? Good luck-- keep us posted!

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh my, I'm no help other than to say, I'm sure you'll love them painted and then maybe not! Oh dear, not enough coffee yet to make up my mind! Tough choice! Good luck and just have fun~

Unknown said...

I would rather step over the dog water than feel out of place in a perfectly perfect kitchen any day!! When it comes to paint, I want to be bold I really do but I get the chicken and scare myself out of it!! OK, I guess I was of no help:( I will keep a eye out to see what you decide!!


MadSnapper said...

Please do not paint those beautiful cabinets. i have white and not wood and i hate white cabinets... they show every dog sloober, spill, and need constant scrubbing... i would love to have your cabinets. the walls i would go light what ever color.. my advice is to stop looking at the magazine kitchens. yours is lovely....painted cabinets chip really bad, been there done that many years ago... cabinets need to be painted only if they are to ugly to keep... yours are beautiful.

Vee said...

I am a yellow girl and I do love Herriot's kitchen... I'd go looking for white kitchens in Houzz or Pinterest and see what I could see. Not all white is created equal. Have you seen the blog Little White Cottage in the Woods? She is doing white in her kitchen with aqua you speak of.

Pamela Gordon said...

I think your kitchen is very cozy and homey. The cabinets could be painted but I'd go for a creamy white rather than pure white or perhaps a white wash/pickling. If you leave them as is I think soft blue similar to the blues in your border houses might work. Of course I love aqua anything. (those cabinets you shared are gorgeous!) We painted our living/dining open areas BM's Heritage Colours Hepplewhite Ivory which is a very soft creamy colour (almost yellow). It's warm and looks nice with our 'pine' finished wood pieces but it's not like your yellow at all. Have a look at Benjamin Moore. Can't wait to hear and see what you've chosen. Pam

Eileen said...

We had our new kitchen fitted eighteen months ago, oak cabinets and we painted the walls a creamy/milky coffee colour, so that's midway between white and yellow. I chose a red blind and red kettle for the splashes of colour.
Please don't paint your lovely oak cabinets or move Misty's water bowl :-)

TexWisGirl said...

because your floor is gray/white, how about a nice soft mauve? spice it up but in a subtle way. not sure how it'd look w/ oak, though.

Debbie said...

Well I have a feeling you are going to get as many opinions as comments, lol. But here is mine...first with the cabinets. I painted mine at the old house because the wood was the ugliest thing you ever saw. It was one of my many, many decorating mistakes. It chipped and was a NIGHTMARE until I finally replaced ALL of the cabinets years later with beautiful oak (much like yours). What a difference. The need to no longer touch up, be careful etc. was wonderful! I will NEVER paint cabinets again, haha. Unless! You go with the distressed look so that if something chipped or scrubbed weird etc., it wouldn't matter. Now for the paint on the walls (didn't know you'd get such a detailed opinion from me did ya? lol) I do love yellow, but yours might be a little bit too dark or vivid. With all the oak I'd go with a pale, pale gold, (just a hint of color) or cream. Then pick up a darker color such as burgandy or darker gold (or both) in your accents around the kitchen...rugs, towels, canisters, flower arrangements, etc. Might even throw in some olive greens. Have fun with this. How I love a make over (can you tell?) Enjoy your day!

J said...

Well, okay. Since you asked! i think I would pick out the lightest color in the floor covering - off white or cream or (again) vivid white. I would use that choice on the walls. Then I'd look for a bright, happy area rug that complimented the American border and repeat the colors in a silk flower bouquet on the table or counter. And I think the cupboards are lovely just as they are! Good luck on your final choice!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

I love the homey feel of your kitchen. I had a hard time painting my oak cabinets in my previous home but after I did I loved them! Oak is a classic wood, but sometimes we just need a change. I would definitely paint them white. Anymore they (don't ask me who they is, lol) say not to match your woods. Too much oak can become ho-hum. I love that shade of blue and a couple years after we moved in I painted my kitchen island and fan hood that color. Our cabinets were gorgeous alder, but just way too much wood for me. Hubby was reluctant but likes how it looks. Warmed up my kitchen immensely. Best of luck and can't wait to see! Also, white or a pale grey wall would look great with your flooring.

camp and cottage living said...

I'm the last person to give advice on paint colours since I couldn't decide myself what colour to choose!
I love your hutch, Judy, and all of the tables. I do think whitish cabinets would make the wood in your furniture stand out even more. Maybe Hubby would fall for that line of thinking??

Carla from The River said...

I have to agree with Paulette. We painted our cabinets white and yes they do chip if hit with a bowl or plate. With kids they do get a bit dirty too.

Have fun! Looking forward to seeing what you do.

RURAL said...

Ah the hated color on the walls's so much work to repaint that you always have to think, and rethink before doing it. But if you find the color that makes your heart sing, go for it.


Heide at ApronHistory said...

Personally, I am all about white and clean looking. So, I would paint cabinets white. And as a previous comment mentioned, I think your oak table and hutch would then we able to show up better. Of course all that being said, I know how hard it is to convince a man to paint wood. (Sometimes I think it is because they have no imagination.)
As for walls, I think a white, but a slightly warmish white. Then if you found a few bright containers(I can see a painted bread box or tin canisters) for the counter to store things in, for a cleaner look and get a brighter rug that will add a bit of color.

I think the reason you didn't like the yellow is because it is too much the same tone with all the oak.
Houzz is wonderful! I get lost on there for hours, but it is very helpful for visualizing.

Terri D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri D said...

I hate that you can't edit comments on Blogger!!

Oh my, I am not a good one to make suggestions. With gray and white floors, yellow was probably a good choice, though that aqua is very pretty, indeed. We have wood trim throughout our house, and I hate it. It has an orange cast to it, but if I paint the trim in one room, it would have to be done in the entire house and my knees & patience would not tolerate a whole-house paint job. That orange color includes the kitchen cupboards, which are ancient and also hated. I'll be happy to see what you decide...maybe it will motivate me!

Debbie Harris said...

Hi Judy, I say keep the oak they are beautiful. Keep the dog water as it is. Your boarder is fine, I actually have one very much the same, just not so many houses and the flag. We used BM heritage paint through out our country cabin as I call it, and it is such a warm comfortable feeling in every room. We too have oak cabinets and we have pieces of furniture in the living room out of oak. In our kitchen we used a soft green and in the living room a soft yellow/gold, both are very warm with oak. Our ceilings are a soft white, not a stark white. They blend well together. Also BM heritage.
Instead of all the work and money towards changing the oak out you should change the flooring?
We were planning on painting our cabinets a country/barn rust red, but after reading what some said to you about painting and chipping, I may change my mind. :-)
Have fun, take your time, play around with colors and ask God to show you. He cares about painting in our lives as well. :-)
I look forward to hearing what you come up with.
Joy! Debbie

laurie said...

I like your yellow kitchen but it's always nice to have a change. I'm not sure about painting cabinets, but I do like the look. You have some tough choices!

Melissa said...

I shouldn't be one to make suggestions - since our house is still builders white besides my pink craft room. (priorities of course!). Anyway, my mom painted her bathroom this dried thyme color and it is beautiful! I think it might look nice in your kitchen with the wood and your border. Once on the walls it doesn't look quite as dark as this sample - Good luck deciding! And I'm with Mr. Cranberry - I would be terrified to paint cabinets! :)

Denise said...

I like your kitchen, as is.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

A light slate blue would look beautiful. But you'll need to hold the blue next to your floor color to see how it looks. It might make the gray look dingy if you get some hues. It's hard for me...I have to SEE it first! lol Hugs!

Donna Wilkes said...

I think men have a wood gene in their DNA. I use Dover White (Sherwin Williams)- it is a warm white. I love silvery grays and blues and yes, Magali is a bad influence - I am thinking sea glass too. If you come over, don't trip over the dogs' water or step in the cats' food dishes. The pets have taken over the house.

Cheryl said...

First of all, I do not hate your border. In fact, I'd like to live in that mustard color saltbox house. :)

Secondly, I am going to chat about your kitchen. It's a great room! I would LOVE to have all those windows and natural light!

I wanted to paint my cabinets for years, but my husband was not so sure. (Something about painting natural wood. Men don't seem to like that for some reason.) When he gave me the go-ahead, I jumped right on it...and I have never been sorry. Not once.

Since you like the aqua/blue-ish color, how about that for your walls, and white for your cabinets? That is such a bright, cheerful look, the aqua is restful, and so many colors play along with that combination.

Just my I'm going to go back and see what everyone else said.

Cheryl said...

And now that I have read everyone's comments, I'm going to add two more cents. ;)

We used Benjamin Moore's Advance® primer and paint. It has a tough finish and we've been very satisfied with the durability. (I won't say that there is no chipping, but it is minimal.)

Yep, lots of men with the "don't paint wood" opinion.

I forgot to say that I love Misty's water bowl there, because it is a sign of love.

I should not make comments or talk decorating at this time of night, because I am too verbose.

Deborah said...

My friend, I would go with a lighter green on the walls and definitely change out the knobs on the kitchen cabinets. When we put the house for sale, we were told by the realtor that doing that and putting a coat of wood oil on them would make a hugh difference and it did.There are lots of pretty greens out there. :-)

E. Beth. said...

ok, ready ... you did ask for advice. but some how i think you will not listen, don't we usually take our own advice in the end??! right??! ... i would never paint wood ever??! sorry, i don't like it ever. i love wood cabinets of any sort of wood. pine, chestnut, whatever. i love it!! prefer just clean plain wood. i love the border, it looks very teacher like or american feel to it. i would say go with white or pale white (maybe they call it off white) over any color of paint. it is easier for resale if you ever sale your house. i would add color in accessories. paintings / wall art. other decor. that is my way. simple but easy. & when you get bored with the decor you move it or get rid of it. so fun!! ( :

Anita Johnson said...

I wouldn't paint wood's the one thing in our house that always looks new! Your home is beautiful. I gave one comment about wood and will look forward to seeing what you decide to do. I love the map...please keep that. OK, now I have made 2 suggestions! Oops!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I like painted cabinets. Show him all the white Scandinavian kitchens. It would probably be perfect given how far north you are.

The other idea I have, is pick up some kitchen brochures at Lowes and Home Depot and see what colors the kitchens' walls are painted with your type of finish.

I love aqua or turquoise.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your house is charming. I would love to have a yellow kitchen so I'm probably not much help to you but I do love that Stratten Blue paint. I just bought a wall shelf in that color.

Unknown said...

Just follow what your taste is telling you! Like in the pictures. White cabinet and blue walls or blue cabinets and white walls. You do not have to paint the rest of your first floor the same color. Just stop it at one wall. Look for contrast. Oak is the cheapest out there and it's not big deal to paint it. You don't have to paint the furniture. They give contrast with the walls and in French country you see wood furniture with white a lot. The problem in your space is that everything is yellow. You need contrast and different colors to be pleasing to the eye. This is actually my dream kitchen. I want a white kitchen whith blue walls. I am renting right now and it's driving me nuts!! So ugly.
You can have the cabinets done professionally and you won't have to touch up or make sure you do all the steps very well if your budget is short. Thanks so much for linking! Your house is gorgeous!!
Le chateau des fleurs blog

Unknown said...

Oak is nice I've always loved it. Perhaps with a different colour, off white perhaps or something like it.

J_on_tour said...

Your house always fascinates me, it says something about you and your family. Can't believe that such a wall paper border exists ... I'll have to look out for one of the skyline of Oxford or York :-)


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