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50 Shades of White

I know what you’re thinking, but “50 shades of white” actually describes my husband’s face when I told him I wanted to paint our kitchen cabinets. This is the rest of conversation as I remember it. (He may have a slightly different recollection.)

Him:  But I like our kitchen cabinets! It seems like we just replaced them.

Me:  That was already 9 years ago! And now that we have fabulous floors, they kind of compete with the cabinets.

Him:  That sounds like a big project.

Me:  Well, sure, but I’ll do it all by myself. You won’t have to help at all.

Him, snorting:  Yeah, I’ve heard that before!

Me:  I’m not hearing a real solid “No” in there anywhere…

Him:  I’ve learned it’s better not to tell you no when you get one of these ideas in your head.

He’s a good man. Very wise. And I’m an optimistic person, so I’m sure what he really meant was “Sure, Honey, you go ahead and do whatever your heart desires and I will be here every step of the way to support you.”

So I started picking colors. I know I want white, but which one? There are probably about 200 or so white colors, just in Valspar’s color line alone. I narrowed it down to 34 and was pretty proud of myself so far. I picked up color swatches of my 34 top contenders and brought them home to look at in my kitchen. I’m going for a warm white, so I was able to eliminate some of the swatches immediately if they were too dark, or two yellow. I got them down to 13, and then started really obsessing. I wandered around the house with those 13 swatches, held them up to the cabinets, to the floor, to each other. Finally I’m down to 3.

Picking the Perfect White for Kitchen Cabinets:

I know this may seem like splitting hairs, but I don’t want to have to repaint these cabinets. Ever. (Although to be fair, my definition of “ever” as it relates to home decor is pretty short.) But still, this is one that I want to get right. So I’m asking for your help. Leave me a comment below and tell me which of the following colors you like best. I’ve arranged them on a background that matches the wall color I’ll be using.Favorite Whites on Brown


I know the colors may not come out quite right on your computer screen, but they go from a grayish white on the left to a true white on the right. They look a little blue on my screen, so you may have to use your imagination.

This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing on refinishing kitchen cabinets. Next week, I’ll be doing a round up of my favorite posts from people who know a thing or two about repainting cabinets, so you can see where I’ve been getting my information and inspiration. Then I’ll be diving into the real work, and keeping you updated as I go. If you have any questions about taking on a project like this yourself, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to address them as we suffer go through the process together. Here are a couple of “before” pictures so you can see why I want a new look for the kitchen.

Kitchen Before 1

Kitchen Before 2It’s very…brown. In my defense, the floor used to be almost white, and everything made a little more sense then. Oh, well, it was worth it for the floor, which I just realized is pretty dirty in this picture. That’s OK. It’s going to get a lot dirtier before we’re finished!

What do you think? Am I nuts? And don’t forget to vote for which white is your favorite.

Jill Moorer

Wednesday 12th of November 2014

Totten's Inlet is my vote! Love your floors and I think the creamier tone cabinet would contrast the floors enough without feeling cold. Good Luck! Love your Blog!


Thursday 13th of November 2014

That's my favorite Jill! Thank you and it's so good to "see" you!

Beth Niebuhrb

Sunday 9th of November 2014

I like the Swiss Coffee at least on my Mac.


Thursday 13th of November 2014

Thanks for stopping by and voting Beth!


Friday 7th of November 2014

I didn't know there were so many different whites. Love the floors and the cabinets. White cabinets would really make those floors stand out and vice versa. Anticipating the results I know it will look great.


Friday 7th of November 2014

Thanks Niekka! I agree, I think it will be worth it in the end...

Marquita Herald (@marquitaherald)

Friday 7th of November 2014

Yep, definitely got a brown theme going on in the kitchen. Love the floor, agree with white, though I wouldn't hazard a guess on which one. I've never undertaken a DIY project like that but it sounds interesting so I look forward to following along. :-)


Friday 7th of November 2014

Thanks Marquita! Yes, it should be quite the adventure!

William Rusho

Friday 7th of November 2014

My sister has a kitchen similar to yours; her husband is very handy at carpentry. He took a router, and removed the center of the cabinet doors and put in glass, it made it look like they got new cabinets, and also brightened up their kitchen.


Friday 7th of November 2014

I envy your sister - I love the idea of using glass fronts. My kitchen is so small that you should see the chaos behind those doors! It would not be a pretty sight. :)


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook