Picking the perfect white paint color for kitchen cabinets

Hi there! I am very excited to blog today about picking the perfect white paint color for kitchen cabinets. If you have been reading the blog recently you know that we are updating our nineties kitchen (on a budget!). The first step has been painting the orange-toned, cherry cabinets white. We decided to make this the first step as our hunch was that may be enough to seriously lighten and brighten as well as update the kitchen (versus a complete redo). In our case, we cook a lot (this blog was started to share recipes…) and the layout is perfect. The looks not so much – classic nineties kitchen with the orange tones and sage green counters. We had a feeling that a fresh, white coat of paint may do just the trick.

I have been eager to share this with you (spoiler alert I love the new white cabinets) but have been swamped at work and as I mentioned in my last post, you have to empty your cabinets (or you should), and even when you empty the cabinets dust still seems to get everywhere! Not for the faint of heart my friends…and especially not for a busy working mom with little time on her hands as it is! But, with that behind me, I can say it has all been worth it. So without further ado, today’s post is how to pick the perfect white paint color for your kitchen cabinets – I am sharing my favorite resources as well as the steps I took.

Steps to pick the perfect paint color

Ok, so like any other home improvement project mine always start with reading my favorite blogs, magazines and checking out Instagram and Pinterest. This is easy but I will say beware when it comes to paint colors. Just because a color (and especially white) looks good in a blogger’s home does NOT mean it will work in yours. So doing some browsing is great as a start but the devil is in the details. Do not just take what they have used and go buy the paint and put it on your walls!

After getting an idea of what family of color I want to focus in on, I head to the paint store. We are fans of Benjamin Moore so I usually stick with their palettes although I have found some great colors in Behr and the other brands. Pick out as many chips as you like at this point. The chips will help you narrow down your choices. Again, if I can leave you with two caveats. The above warning about blogger/decorator recommendations, and a second – do NOT pick your paint and actually paint your walls based on a tiny paint chip. Years ago I had chosen what I thought was a blue grey, and it ended up being light teal on the walls (fortunately I like teal!).

Which resources offer great advice on picking the perfect paint color for kitchen cabinets?

After several mishaps of trying to paint a room using a tiny paint chip as a way to visualize, I realized I needed to take one crucial step – painting the wall at least partly or by using a fantastic peel and stick paint sample in a large size to see what the color actually looks like on OUR wall (not some blogger or decorator’s home).

So at this point, I usually narrow down my paint chips to two or three and then I either go buy a sample of paint, or I order the color from Samplize which I absolutely adore. Samplize paints two coats of the color on a large, peel and stick wallpaper square. You can move the sample around to see it in different lights and locations. Folks this was a game changer! It is really worth the cost (around $6), and actually less expensive than buying a paint sample (not to mention messy and time consuming to paint it on your walls and have to look at an eye sore for days until you actually paint #beentheredonethat).

In addition to ordering colors I think would work in our home, I also have two blogs that I highly recommend you check out for their advice on picking a paint color. The first is my absolute favorite with paint expert, Kylie offering a great advice with a good dose of humor (dang that gal loves her wine:). You can really get technical here and learn about the LRV of a paint color (light reflecting value) and where to find it for each color. She also has so many before and afters, and what I love is that she works with people on a budget. I do not personally find it all that helpful to read about people with million dollar design budgets redoing their homes (hello…wouldn’t we all have a perfect home with that budget? And, what fun is that!?). Kylie also offers really great review of all colors and especially whites. White Dove? She has you covered? Simply White? That one too. She is a fantastic, free resource that helped me so much. Folks, you need to learn the difference between your cool whites and your warm whites if you are going to pick the perfect white paint color for your kitchen cabinets.

The second blog that I recommend is Maria Killam. She also has some excellent advice about paint colors in general as well as many photos that can help inform your decision. She explains how to understand a color’s undertones (goodness when did this all get so complicated?). Between Kylie and Maria, there is a ton of great advice and frankly I would have picked the wrong white paint color for kitchen cabinets without their wisdom. Thank you ladies if you ever read this!

How did I ultimately pick the perfect white paint color for our kitchen cabinets

So after setting up Pinterest boards, searching #whitekitchen on Instagram, reading blogs and finding the wonderful advice from Kylie and Maria, I took those paint samples from Samplize and pasted them on the wall. I looked at those dang samples in the morning, at night and at all hours of the day. I moved them around, held them up to my backsplash and asked everyone’s opinion (well maybe not everyone but my one daughter who is very into design).

We looked at White Dove (too yellow), Simply White (also yellow), Decorator’s White (icky sterile, hospital white in our lighting) and dozens more. Finally we decided on Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee. It has no yellow undertones (again in our light) but was so much softer than the other whites under consideration. It also seemed to pair beautifully with another Moore color, Sail Cloth, which we decided to use for the walls. This entire process took about three weeks. If you don’t have that much time, you could possibly compress it…but I say, don’t rush it. Painting your kitchen cabinets is a big change so you want to get it right!

Next post – I will reveal the “after” photos. I am waiting for a new hood and we need to repair one part of the backsplash before I can share the photos with you. Until then, do your research before trying to pick the right white for your kitchen cabinets! Mimi

Updating our nineties kitchen on a budget

Hi all. It has been awhile but goodness we have had a lot going on…not the least of it an upgrade to our nineties kitchen. That’s right. The nineties called and they want their kitchen back! Oh and what a throwback it was. Orange stained cabinets with sage green counters. So, how do we update it on a budget? Well today’s post is short but I promise much more as I really wished someone had clued me into what goes into painting kitchen cabinets as a start! But what would a home decorating post be without a “before” picture? See below my friends.

The nineties kitchen – orange stained cherry cabinets and sage green counter tops….how do we update on a budget?

So first, this kitchen has delivered so many delicious meals and I realize just how fortunate I am to have it! Please do not think I am not grateful…but that said…well, it is time to enter 2021. We can still honor our possessions by giving them a facelift right?

So that is what we did. The details will be in posts to come (promise…I am still not 100% there as this involved emptying all of those cabinets, rewashing EVERYTHING as dust was EVERWHERE…). So, let’s call this a sneak peek and a post so y’all know I am still around:) Until then… Happy St. Patricks Day (I am part Irish so I love a good St. Patricks Day!). Mimi

How to decorate with digital art ( from Etsy)

Hi all. Today I am excited to share how to decorate with digital art from Etsy. It is inexpensive, creative and with the array of offerings on Etsy, the possibilities are limitless.

Like many of you, the months of hibernating at home has me evaluating every room with a critical eye. Recently I moved a large piece of art out of the foyer and into our dining room, and I love the new placement. However, as I searched around for a replacement for the front hall, to my dismay, I learned that without spending hundreds of dollars I could not find anything. Then I discovered some great matching brushed gold frames at TJ Maxx ($15 for 3 on clearance!). I bought six, and as it turned out, the frames were just the right size for some beautiful vintage and art prints that I downloaded and printed from our color printer. While it was a stroke of luck to find these frames, I have seen similar ones at Michaels and big box stores.

How to decorate with digital art from Etsy – first steps

So the first step is to assess your space. Is it casual? Formal? What is the color scheme? How big is it? For this particular project, the area is an alcove as you enter our main front entrance. Below the wall is a console table with some decorative objects. The feel of the area is slightly formal (but not stuffy) as the rooms that branch off of the foyer is the formal dining and living rooms. The walls area pale ivory with a hint of yellow (Benjamin Moore Niveous) and the floors are natural, hard wood. With that in mind, I started the fun part – searching for art.

Originally I was not looking specifically for digital art but I realized as I entered search terms that this option was available. Some of the art types and terms I considered included:

Asian art

Botanical prints (there are dozens of digital options here)

Abstract art

Mid century modern

Most of the Etsy shops also allow you to sort by color, size and type of art so other categories may appear as you get started. Beware, a few hours can go by as you surf around in Etsy (enjoyable hours I may add).

As I was looking for a slightly vintage, formal feel with those specs in mind I finally settled on Wonder and Chaos a delightful shop full of interesting and sometimes whimsical prints at very reasonable prices. Their vintage theatrical prints really caught my eye (see photo). I then found other prints that fit the feel and color scheme of the area.

What size to download?

A great benefit of digital art is that once you download the art you usually have access to multiple sizes. In my case I was searching for roughly 8 by 11 which would be easy to print at home and would fit into my beautiful, bargain frames. I noticed though that you can download a larger size and go to a photo processing site such as Shutterfly to print if you want one of those larger pieces.

Printing and other tips

The first time I printed out one of the prints I used plain white printer paper. This was not a bad idea to get a sense of layout. However, that quality paper is NOT going to give you the best print as I soon found out. I happened to have some very fine Cranes resume paper (remember when people actually used paper for resumes?). It was such a huge improvement to print on very high quality paper. While a box of high quality paper may be pricy compared to regular print paper, it is well worth it. Also, many of the Etsy shops offer printing tips which I highly recommend you read.

After printing out each print (I had chosen six), I grouped them together in different layouts. My bargain frames also had a great bonus of a paper template so I could tape up the gallery before putting in any nails. If you buy frames without that sort of template I would recommend tracing the frames onto craft paper and then cutting them out. A level is also key to ensuring that you hang the templates straight. Lastly, I used double sided tape to lay out the frames to give an idea of how I was going to display the art.

How to decorate with digital art from Etsy
My paper templates to help me layout the gallery wall

I decided to slightly stagger my middle grouping for some interest. Then I hung the pictures (once again using a level). Here is the finished wall.

How to decorate with digital art from Etsy
The finished gallery wall…all for a total of $60!

Above you can see the finished wall (and yes my photo is a bit cut off…still learning on the photography front!). The entire wall cost $60 which is a fraction of what I would have paid with paper prints and trying to frame them custom. I also have access to the larger sizes or can print multiple copies. All in all I have been so pleased with this find!

I hope you enjoyed this post on how to decorate with digital art from Etsy. Please share with your friends and come back often!