There comes a time when just about anyone with standard builder’s kitchen cabinets from one of those ubiquitous big box stores starts to hear a little nagging voice in the head. “Should I paint those kitchen cabinets?”
The arguments for painting are many: a fresh coat of paint has a way
of hiding the standard-ness of many cheap cabinets. Instantly, a bright
white or creme, or a funky color like lime or aqua can lend a standard
builder’s kitchen a bit of panache. Instant drama in a paint can. And
yet, painting natural wood is never an easy step to take. Some wood
purists feel a coat of paint defiles what otherwise would be all that
natural beauty shining through.
You can see right here what a coat of paint can do. In the before
photo, we have the standard boring builder’s cabinets in an oak finish.
Good enough but nothing special. Then, joila!, good enough is
transformed into pretty darn snazzy, thanks to a jazzy color scheme and
new door hardware. What a difference. In fact, the owners were able to
enjoy the best of both worlds, by letting some of the natural wood show
through on some doors.
So if you’re having the “painting the cabinets” debate in your own head right now, here’s what you should keep in mind:
1) Do you like how your cabinets look?
Sounds like a silly question, but sometimes we realize over time that
our plain wooden cabinets aren’t that bad. But if you cringe everytime
you enter the kitchen, that’s probably a sign in favor of painting.
2) Is your wood low-quality? All
wood is not made equal. Cherry cabinets, for example, are not in the
same league as plywood. If the wood on your cabinets is obviously of
low quality, don’t hesitate to get out the paint brush.