Updated: Sep 22, 2022
Every client I work with wants to live in a beautiful space within a realistic budget. Two of the best areas to invest your money are the kitchen and bathrooms as those will actually increase the value of your home.
For our home, we had cabinets that were in great condition but were too dark for the galley kitchen layout. So we knew we wanted to paint the cabinets an interesting color that would also be more timeless than a trend. Easier said than done. I loved the idea of green cabinets but knew it needed to have enough gray undertone to keep it natural and more "timeless". Before we got too specific, we took a number of green swatches to pick out countertops.
Why start with picking out countertop first? Because it's easier to choose paint colors that work with a beloved countertop rather than passing on a countertop with beautiful veining because it clashes with your paint swatch. In the end, we chose to go with a honed marble countertop with beautiful gray veins. This once again affirmed a green shade with gray undertones would work best.
Then came time for painting the cabinets! After all our searching, we came down to two colors but ultimately went with the lighter option since we wanted to lighten up the room. So what is the best gray green paint for kitchen cabinets? The color we went with is Retreat by Sherwin Williams and the paint type is the waterborne alkyd paint by Benjamin Moore.
Now it was finally time to put this beloved color on the cabinets. Exciting initially and then slightly daunting. There are 3 time consuming factors to consider before beginning this process.
In order to properly paint, all doors and drawers must be removed and then reattached on the exact same cabinet location. This means that each door and hinge must be labeled so that they do not hang lopsided once finalized.
All wood surfaces that you plan to paint need to be sanded first. The reason for this is that the paint needs something to grab on to as it's being applied. Sanding can be very time consuming so consider investing in an electric sander and sanding sponges to get into the crevices. You don't want to sand away any detailing in the wood!
The cabinets will most likely require both a primer and a top coat. We had our primer tinted so that the top coat wouldn't need multiple passes. But even with just one coat of each, the specific type of paint used on cabinets is made to remove brush strokes so it takes longer to dry (36-48 hours). So account for the time it will take for painting AND hardening.
We were so overjoyed to see how the paint color lightened up the kitchen and made it feel more spacious. Plus the vintage Turkish rug beautifully tied in with the green color as well!
To polish it all off, we had to find hardware that compliment our freshly painted cabinets. I actually bought a variation of hardware from Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon. It's really hard to tell how the finish will look without seeing it in person so I ordered a couple of them all! To my surprise, I loved the brassy finish on some hardware from Amazon (affiliate link). I love to think I have the best gut instinct when making purchases online, but sometimes despite all the research, you just need to hold it in your hand.
Below is the product of all our sweat equity! After all the searching and work, would I still say you should paint the kitchen cabinets green? We absolutely love our gray green painted kitchen cabinets and have no regrets. The key to making any color work on your cabinets or in your home in general is watching the undertones. Don't look for a color in the green section of Sherwin Williams, look in the gray section that has a green bent.
Photography: Kaylynn Krieg Photography
Would love to hear your thoughts on the transformation or if you're planning to paint your cabinets green as well!