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Call me crazy … but I am going to repaint the kitchen cabinets

I know. I just painted the cabinets a year and a half ago. And they look great! But I think I want to change them anyway.

Let me explain why.

(P.S. these are the exact reasons I’ve given Ryan who just rolls his eyes at me. And when a girlfriend came by the other day after seeing my instagram post about wanting to repaint, I told her these things, too. I’m not sure she left fully convinced, but she just smiled and shook her head at my crazy ways. Friends like this are good.)

Okay, so this is a picture you might see me post of our kitchen.

I took it with my phone on a very dreary, rainy day with all lights off. Then I did the normal photoshopping I do to most photos of the house – lots of lightening and brightening. It looks like such a bright, natural light-filled kitchen!

Alas, this is not true. Here’s the picture straight from the iphone camera:

See how DARK it is?! So dark.

So dark that it’s bumming me out.

Let me remind you the backstory of this kitchen:

When we moved into the house in October 2017 our plan was to leave the kitchen alone until we did a full remodel – removing a wall, adding more windows, reorienting the kitchen and dining rooms. We were going to just live with the perfectly function, yet totally not our style kitchen for a few years.

And then on our first night sleeping in the house I heard Ryan’s drill from the other room and knew just what he was up to. The upper cabinets just didn’t work for us.

And that started a mini kitchen makeover. For about $1000 we transformed the dated space to something so handsome and functional (see that before and after post here). The biggest change was painting the cabinets.

We went dark on the cabinets for a couple of reasons.

  1. I adore a white kitchen forever and always but because this was just a ‘in the meantime’ update, trying something totally different sounded fun.
  2. This house has pushed me in a more masculine direction with color choices.
  3. We needed to find a way to tie the dark gray tile floor in with the speckle-y granite tile.

I would love to replace the counters and have seriously considered finding some sort of concrete-like skim coat product (is this such a thing?) to diy my way to something less speckle-y. We won’t fully replace the counters or floors until the full remodel which is still far-off so finding a way to make both of those elements work is essential.

This is the color palette we landed on:

Shoji White for the walls, Iron Ore for the cabinets, trim and doors and the Peppercorn represents the tile floor (although once I got home from the paint store I realized that the floor is slightly lighter than Peppercorn. But you get the idea).

It really does look nice.

As long as it’s either super bright outside, all the lights are on or photoshop does it’s magic.

So I’m feeling like I should try a new color on the cabinets to see if I can brighten up the space.

Again, keep in mind that this is all just a big experiment with very little risk. We are not planning on keeping these cabinets long-term so I don’t mind painting another layer on them. And while I want them to look nice, they do not have to be perfect. This takes all the pressure off. Also? If the new color looks terrible, I can just paint them back.

I should also mention that I find painting to be fairly enjoyable.

Okay. So here’s what I’m thinking for color. I’d like to pull some of the taupy gray from the counters and warm things up. My initial thought was to use my favorite neutral warm gray – Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. We had it in our mudroom in the old house and it is the wall color up on the third floor (see it here).

I painted a piece of paper and taped it up to the cabinet just to get an idea.

I know it’s hard to tell from this photo. I didn’t do any post-processing to try to keep the colors as true as possible.

I like the color; Ryan thinks it might be too light. And I see his point. We might want something a little richer to tie the floors and counters together.

After the boys’ football game last weekend, I popped into the paint store to grab a few samples.

The shoji white is our wall color, peppercorn is close to the floors and iron ore is what the cabinets are painted currently. I pulled the warm taupe-y grays that caught my eye.

I was going to buy a few sample pots to bring home, but the Sherwin Williams lady told me they have another sale coming up next weekend and so I decided to wait (and save 40%!). So I just came home with the little paint chips.

It’s kind of helpful to see the colors next to the counters. See that medium taupe in there? I think that’s the color I want to pull out.

I think I narrowed it down to these four:

Fawn Brindle, Mega Greige, Shiitake and Agreeable Gray (which is a near-match to Revere Pewter).

Here are the colors pulled from the Sherwin Williams website, which all feel way darker and browner than the paint chips. I’ll go in once the sale starts and grab a few sample pots to try out. It’s just too hard to choose a color based on tiny paint chips.

Just to give see what it might look like to go lighter, I played around with photoshop.

Truthfully, I don’t really love it. But I don’t hate it either. The dark cabinets will probably always be more photogenic and striking, but I’m more concerned with how the kitchen feels on a regular day and like I said up there, the dark is feeling so dark.

The trim will stay the same for now (when we remodel we’ll replace it all with simple white trim) and so I don’t want the cabinets to clash. And I love the warm wood of the shelves so that needs to go with the new paint color, too.

So that’s what I’m thinking. I need to find a color that feels brighter, works with the gray floor, speckle-y tile and dark trim, and ties in with the wood shelves.

Am I crazy? Should I try it? (actually, don’t talk me out of it! I really want to see how they look lighter.) And which color should I pick?

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