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Tips for Selecting the Right White Cabinet Paint

We often share pictures of our current projects on our social media feeds and this time we want to give our blog readers a first glimpse into one of our most popular painting project requests. It’s no surprise that refinishing kitchen cabinets is top on the wish list of both our painting and contracting clients. Refinishing cabinets is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly remodeling option that can completely transform a space and extend the life of cabinets. It also takes a fraction of the time to complete compared to replacing your kitchen cabinets. Whether you’ve grown out of the original look of your cabinets or have inherited something you’ve wanted to change since the first day you moved in, refinishing cabinets is an easy way to update your space.

Many homes feature natural wood cabinets in varying stain finishes. Homeowners are delighted with the durability of these wood cabinets but are less thrilled with their aging aesthetic. Refinishing cabinets is a great option for those who are interested in keeping their cabinets and in achieving a new look for their space. While wood is the most popular material for cabinet refinishing, other materials can be painted too. The process of painting kitchen cabinets takes approximately a week to complete with minimal disruption to the use of your kitchen.

While paint colors for cabinet refinishing are not limited, one color is at the top of everyone’s wish list, white. White cabinets are the universal pleaser and are always in vogue. Its reflective properties allow a space to feel bright and expansive. It compliments knobs and pulls in varying metals. It’s also a timeless color featured in annual kitchen trends, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

To many peoples’ surprise, there isn’t just one universal “white” cabinet color. Recently, as we were pulling together a list of whites we've used on clients' cabinet projects we found a "white and pastel" paint deck that had hundreds of variations of white paint options and that was just one of several decks that contained whites. Walk into any Sherwin Williams showroom, or other paint retailer, and you will soon realize there are as many variations of “white” as any other color available. Many clients feel overwhelmed when faced with the decision to select one color. The decision is no easier when deciding which one white will work best in your space. The good news is there is no “perfect” color. The reality is that many colors will work well within any space and choosing one to complete your desired look can be achieved with a few simple tricks.

Tricks to Selecting the Right White

  • Collect at least 5 swatches to choose from

  • Compare your swatches to other colors in your space

  • Tape the swatch in your space for at least 24 hours

For any paint client undecided about color, we always recommend bringing paint swatches home to evaluate how color plays with the other colors, materials, and lighting in your space. This is especially important when painting your kitchen cabinets. The best way to evaluate a white kitchen color is to compare it to the other materials adjacent to it: baseboards, crown molding, chair rail, wall color, backsplash, countertop, flooring, and even appliances (especially if they are white). If you’re not in love with your entire kitchen and foresee some changes in the near future, consider which pieces you might be replacing and give priority to elements of the space that will remain. One tried and true tip for selecting a paint color is to tape a color swatch to your cabinet for at least an entire day. This provides an opportunity to evaluate how you like the color in different lighting from sunup to sundown. Natural light will change throughout the day providing bright light to some areas and shade to others. Color may be more pleasing in one type of light than the other. It’s important to “try on” the color as best as possible before settling on one.

Still undecided about which whites to begin looking at? Here is a shortlist of Sherwin Williams’ whites that we've recently used on kitchen cabinet projects:

If you’ve been plagued by decision paralysis and can’t decide on a color, we hope this guide provides some tips on choosing the “perfect” white cabinet color for your home. Still undecided? We can coordinate a meeting with a professional color consultant. While your style preferences may come and go, white cabinets are a classic option for homeowners looking for a cost-effective and timeless kitchen update. Contact us today to learn more.


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