Readers White Kitchens inspired by Colour Me Happy


I help lots of my readers in on-line consultations with choosing the right white for their painted cabinets, the right countertop, flooring and hardware (lots here on my Pinterest boards) and lighting.

And many of my readers use my posts on white kitchens, backsplash tile, flooring and hardware to inspire their decisions on their own!

Here’s two kitchen sent to me recently from two of my lovely readers:

“I just wanted to write you a note to say Thank you!!  I found your blog 3 years ago and read your post about white kitchens and painting those 1980’s golden oak kitchens white and….three years later I finally did it and I love it! 

Your voice was in my head helping me along the journey.  Yes, painting a kitchen is quite a journey!   I followed your advice to paint that oak, I hired a decorator to help with color selection, and I kept my back splash simple.  I felt like I had 2 design professionals in my kitchen with me!

Cheers to you making the world a more beautiful place one upcycled kitchen at a time.”


Here’s what Leigh did to her cabinets:

For the uppers I used a paint brand called Reclaim-beyond paint in off white.  The color was roughly customized by adding ½ tsp of another reclaim paint called Pebble to each cup of the off white.  Adding the pebble slightly greyed down the off white.   The upside of this paint is that is fills in the oak grain so well that you have to inspect very closely, in any light, to determine that these cupboards are oak and they look sprayed.  The downside is that up-close they have a slight texture and you can feel the texture.  I would not call it orange peel but it is there.  Not everyone would like that, but if you are not going to spring to have them professionally sprayed I would say this is a great choice for oak cabinets.
For the lowers I used a paint brand by Country Living called Textured Basecoat in Chocolate.  This is a very thick paint and unless you want a distressed look I would not recommend it.  I originally thought I wanted a distressed textured look to my lowers but as I began painting I found that I wasn’t comfortable with the look and began thinning the paint out with water.  I love the way they turned out but it was a lot of unnecessary work and fuss using this paint.  I was so tired of working with this paint after finishing the doors that I had it color matched at Sherwin Williams and used that to paint the bead board and turned legs on the peninsula.


She did a lovely job, I love the pendants and counter stools she chose!



I love the hardware she chose as well. If you have dark countertops, oil rubbed bronze hardware looks great!


Cynthia McCrae-Foster found my blog when she was looking for information on painting cabinets and here is the result!



She installed Kashmire White granite countertops.



 She tested a few wall colours, this one is BM Natural Cream.

Have a great weekend everyone! xoxo Maria

Related posts:

Three Ways to Update a Brand New House

Dated Oak Cabinets to White & Fresh: Before & After

Is Quartz Sexier than Granite? Yay or Nay

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones to learn how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.



leave aREPLY

  1. Wonderful kitchen upgrades! Love the darker lower cabinets. Maria, you are the best at sharing your experience and information. One behalf of all of your readers–THANKS!

  2. I love white kitchens! Like all these pretty renovations too. Why am I always stuck with a dark stained kitchen??? My husband would NEVER let me touch the kitchen cabs to paint them, one thing we can’t agree on 🙁

    • Poor Anne…I feel your pain 🙁 I talk to clients all the time who’s husband feels the same way about dark stained wood cabinets. Maybe you could persuade him by showing him these great redos!

      If I ever figure out why men love wood so much, I’ll be a millionaire! I think it has something to do with the “hunter/gatherer” instinct in men 😉 In our area the mantra must be “wood = good = God”. Haha!

      Thankfully my husband said “go for it!” when I told him I was going to paint our kitchen cabinets. We both loved the results. Hard work? Yes. Worth it? Ten times ten thousand and then some 🙂

    • Your husband would never LET you paint the kitchen cabinets?! Isn’t it your house, too?

      If you’re the one doing the bulk of the cooking, tell him you’re sick and tired of working in a dreary, outdated kitchen and, until you get a new one (or at least painted cabinets), you won’t be cooking another meal. Tell him to feel free to eat out.

    • I too have a husband who could not “get” the idea of painted wood anything! My solution was a little more drastic and a little less confrontational. I bought all the supplies, kept them in my car, and when he went golfing, took down all the cupboard doors and had the primer and the first coat on quite a few of them by the time he came home. Well what’s to be done by then? He didn’t help until I had finished one small bank of cabinets and then realized how nice and bright things were. End result, hubby helped and the kitchen was wonderful. Your “painted furniture” post really helped too, Maria.

  3. Although I’ve had a reeeeealllly tough time convincing people in our area about the benefits and joys of a white/light kitchen, I have been on-board with the look for a long time. I too painted out our wood cabinets in our former 1955 home back in 2003. Paint too the kitchen from a rather dark room to a wonderfully light and airy space. I also painted over the 1970’s green vinyl flooring with an off white 😉

    I cannot say enough about how I LOVE white kitchens. Thankfully our “new to us” 1961 home already had the cabinets painted white before we purchased it.

    Beautiful after examples pictured here. Thanks Maria for doing this post. I may just have to save it and send it to clients who are reluctant to see how paint can make a huge difference 🙂

  4. Maria, your blog has been a phenomenal source of info to me! I am in the process of building a new home and have come back time and time again as reference. Thank you for sharing you knowledge with all of us.

  5. We all love a before and after, especially a detailed and successful one like this. I’m putting the link on my Facebook Group Page to encourage my readers who want to pretty-up their kitchens to sell. Thanks for another inspiring and informative post!

  6. Hi Maria, I did my kitchen in BM Mountain Peak White, per your blogs suggestion in an answer to another reader, referencing subway tile. I adore it and it does indeed play okay well with others in my kitchen. I am about 2 months out from having the kitchen completely finished and when I do, I will send you finished photos.

  7. Love the changes. Also bookmarked this page for when it comes time to changing our 70’s original kitchen–flooring and all. Thanks Maria for inspiring us and being a source of information so that we can do the redo right the first time.

    Anne, sometimes a comment from another male figure does wonders. The dont want to hear suggestions from a spouse but when it comes from another male-they reconsider. Now you have to find that male with a white kitchen. Go figure-but we know men are from Mars.-Ha

    • Hi Lynne,
      I don’t think wider is a trend, I think it says “We spent twice as much for our countertops” and it’s a stunning look! Sigh, I could think of many other things I wanted to spend that extra money on and thick edges were not at the top of my priority list for my countertops anyway.
      Thanks for your comment Lynne,

  8. Hi Maria,
    Love your blog and your color abilities! I LOVE the first kitchen you showed in this post- is there a way to get the details on that kitchen? What color white are her cabinets, and what is that fabulous countertop? I have a kitchen that is pink/peachy wood and an entire beautiful brick wall (with all the color variants of brick, a bit red, black, white and the gray/green mortar). Have painted my trim in my house white dove (which I love), and plan on painting my cabinets the same. I want to somehow tie the countertop to the brick wall. Would that gray countertop of the first picture do the trick? Or is white or cream best yet again?
    Can’t wait to see the full and final pics of your new kitchen. It looks absolutely fabulous. I hope you are enjoying your new home.


  9. HI Maria, we are redoing another bathroom in our house and of course I came to your blog for ideas. Just happened to see the latest white kitchen makeovers. Especially love Leigh’s with the dark bottoms.

    Just wanted to let readers know that since we reno’d our kitchen in late 2010 ( which you featured in March 2011) hubby and I only love it more every day! In the beginning he was resistant to the idea but trusted my design sense (and yours!) now he is the one who says how glad he is we got rid of the oak.

    It’s just a joy to spend time in that room now and I have several friends who are wanting to change their kitchens because of our reno.

    So to anyone thinking about updating that tired oak kitchen into a bright beautiful white kitchen all I can say is “what are you waiting for”!!LOL

  10. Maria I have asked for your help in the past and well here I am again. I’m painting my kitchen cabinets which have yellowed. My trim paint is BM Cloud White- semi gloss. The painter suggested a satin finish for the kitchen cabinets and a den cabinet which you can see from the kitchen. What do you suggest? Is it ok to mix sheens. Next year I plan to add a banquette in the breakfast nook, and a new fireplace mantel and surround in the den, so do I use a semi gloss for the banquette and fireplace. Too many decisions:)

    • If you are ‘moving forward’ and want to switch from Semi-gloss to Satin and eventually everything will be the same then yes you should switch or if you have to use latex paint then I would go for a higher sheen for better durability. Maria

      • I just had all the trim painted this past summer with the semi gloss. I like the sheen on the semi gloss. So are you saying it will look bad if I have a mix of sheens? Can you recommend a high sheen if I use latex paint. I think the painter was going to use a BM paint.