Painting Kitchen Cabinets White, why so popular?
So you are thinking about painting kitchen cabinets white? There are a lot of Denver paint contractors to call, but few know how to properly paint white kitchen cabinets. Whenever I go to see a customer and ask them what it is that they don’t like about their cabinets, they always tell me, “The color! I can’t stand how they have turned orange!!” It feels like almost every kitchen in Denver has an orange, or yellow/orange kitchen…so if you are shaking your head right now, you are not alone.
I get asked by new transplants to Denver, why are all the kitchens like this here? And the truth is cost. You can put it back on the builder, but the choice to put these cabinets in always lies with the original home purchaser. Not too many homes were built as specs in my opinion. If they were, most of the time, those are the ones that have the higher level finishes in them. So, just like my wife and I were on a budget when we built our first home (I can even remember being okay with the popcorn ceilings. YUCK!), people are always trying to get the most house for their money. They cut corners on finish details thinking they can always upgrade later. Hardly anyone does.
The next thing that has contributed to the rise in painting kitchen cabinets white is the fact that so many people wanted solid surface countertops and were tired of the laminate countertops that use to proliferate the home landscape. So, in order to sell a house in the last 10 years, you had to be able to advertise “granite counter tops.” Well, once you have granite on the counters, very few people want to trash the tops in order to replace the cabinets. This brings the cost of redoing a kitchen from $20k to over $30k usually. So painting kitchen cabinets white to match the trend is a great option.
Why not re-face the cabinets?
Great question and I’m glad you asked. The reality is, it is almost as expensive to re-face cabinets (meaning you replace all the doors and drawer fronts and put a skin, or veneer, over the boxes to completely change the look of the cabinets) as it is to buy new cabinets.
Can you change the stain color? No, not really. You can try to do one of two things. First, you could try to strip the cabinets and then stain. It is very labor intensive to strip the cabinets, and it might be MORE costly to do this than to replace. I’ve investigated dipping the cabinet doors, but even the guys that do this process (and you could not pay me enough to work with those chemicals), can’t guarantee that all the finish will come off. If all the finish does not come off the surface, you cannot re-stain them and get an even color. Stain needs to penetrate inside the wood, unlike paint.
Some people try to do a gel or over stain on the existing
finish, but those products do not hold up over time. The will wear unevenly and look worse than what you had to begin with. It’s like painting with stain, but it doesn’t have the binders like a paint does (think prime coats, bonding primers, etc), to hold up over time. This might be an option if you are selling your house, and don’t care about what happened 3 months down the road, but I do not believe it is a great solution.
The last thing that has contributed to the popularity of painting kitchen cabinets white is the trend of light and bright. The last decade, all we used was earth tones that were progressively getting darker. We hit a turning point about 5 years ago into the light neutrals and grays, and we are not turning any time soon. Have you gone to Houzz.com or Instagram, or Pinterest lately? Just do one search for kitchen cabinets, and about 90% of what you will find will be white painted cabinets.
With the trends and the reality of granite counters, and people not wanting their yellowed-out cabinets (oak or maple), painting the kitchen cabinets white is a really great option. It is a third the cost of re-facing and can be as much as a fifth (or more) the cost of replacing. Not to mention, you can keep your counter tops.
Are you only painting kitchen cabinets white? No, we are doing some grays, blacks, and the occasional blue, but about 80% is some form of white for the cabinets. If you need help picking the right color, we have you covered. We have color designers that will come out and help you find just the right shade.
Will they hold up? They sure will, but they do scratch. Customers always want to know if they can scratch, and I always remind them that their car, which has the most durable finish I can think of, will scratch or chip if you impact it. The good news at Walls by Design is that we offer a free touch-up program for all our painting projects, including painting cabinets. We will come out each Jan/Feb to do up to one hour of free touch-ups.
How long will it take? Most kitchens can be painted white or any other color in about four days.
How much does it cost? Every kitchen is different. It depends on the type of wood, the number of doors and drawers, and the configuration, but our average painting of kitchen cabinets white is about $3,200. Since we started our new process for painting cabinets white, the cost has increased as we have learned what can happen if certain things happen. One of the things we have learned is to do more prime coat when we are painting oak cabinets, so as to reduce the grain appearance. This cannot be eliminated from a cost perspective, but we can minimize it.
Painting cabinets white is one of the most technical painting procedures, and I highly recommend that you work with a paint contractor that has painted a lot of kitchen cabinets. Whoever you talk to, should be able to walk you through their process, and should do a good job of educating you on the process. Know that the preparation, number of coats, application process, and the paint that is used are HUGE factors in making sure you get a good end result.
So, if you are considering to paint your kitchen cabinets white or any of your cabinets, please contact us. We are one of the biggest, and I might ad best paint contractors in Denver. We would love to give you a free estimate.