Painting Oak Cabinets White and Gray



See how painting oak cabinets white and gray, in the kitchen, can make a big impact to update the space.  New countertops with tile and shelving for dishes, also add a nice touch.

white kitchen feature

Submitted By Mom and Her Drill


Here are some other projects of hers: Pallet Wall, Tree House, Powder Room

I an engineer and single mom of 3, I like tearing up houses and building tree forts, and I’m currently building a beach shack without enough money.

When I moved into this house (my current house), I immediately remodeled the kitchen.

I did it quickly and with almost no money. I didn’t put hardware on the cabinets, and I slapped some color on the walls that turned out to be a mistake…but I needed the extra storage and counter space, so creating a well-thought-out color scheme wasn’t a priority.
Now that I’ve had time to live with these colors, I got tired of them. I only picked the yellow/red accents to go with the furniture I owned. It wasn’t really me. I’ve been dreaming of an all-white vintage look for literally 10 years. Back 8 years ago when brown and “earth tones” were all the rage, I was dying for a little cottage where painting oak cabinets white could be done right.
I felt really constrained by a lack of money, and the dark, strongly colored furniture I already owned. It turns out all I needed was some time to think, and get myself to the point where I could “let go” of my things freely, (without living in terror that I should keep them to sell if we needed food).

(Excuse sink full of dirty dishes) heh.. and I’m debating on window treatments right now..
The blue tape on the front of the counter is holding the tile together while the Gorilla glue sets. I bashed a plate into the tile and broke it.
The top cabinets are still white, but i painted the lower ones Silver Mink by BM. The wall color is now Natural Choice by SW, which I decided to try after seeing it on The Lettered Cottage– it truly is the perfect cream. I *heart* the blogosphere!!
I stumbled on this Milk Glass hardware!  I had never seen cup pulls done in colored glass. I found milk glass knobs for the cabinet doors on Ebay, but I couldn’t resist these pulls..



Here are some updated final kitchen images.




You can also see how painting oak cabinets white in these kitchens made a great difference:

white kitchen cabinets 1white kitchen cabinets 2white kitchen cabinets 3

Meet the Author: Justin

Check back soon to learn more about this author. Read More


  1. says

    So pretty! I had the same cabinets done in knotty pine which I painted white and loved it. I love that you painted the bottom ones grey and the wall colour is perfect. The milk glass knobs are the perfect touch :)

  2. Bev says

    the original kitchen looks like standard cabinets – how did you get the wainscotting on the painted cabinets?

  3. Ellen says

    You did good! Your kitchen is absolutely fantastic and well worth the wait that you had to endure!

  4. says

    Combining white and gray is just like fusing together two of the most classic color options available. It’s refreshing yet exciting at the same time. Thanks for showing us the nice pictures.

  5. amy says

    a reminder of your amazing talent and resourcefulness! yeah, cassity, for picking a fabulous feature!

  6. sara says

    Possibly popped the panel out of the faceframe and replaced it with beadboard, glued beadboard on top and did an excellent job of cutting– and caulking before painting, or ordered new doors. However, if one orders new doors, the style is to cover the center stile between door pairs. I’m betting number 2 because most doors frames are glued–unless you can use a heat gun to release the glue–I have no idea if that works.

  7. Kimberly Templeton says

    I am getting ready to paint my lower cabinets black. The upper ones are white and I have the same tile backsplash. There are wood floors.Stainless and black appliances. There are two large windows in the eat in area that are going to have black and whitel Chevron drapes-floor to ceiling. Black tendy barstools at the kitchen bar. Would the gray soften up the look or should I stick with the black???

    • says

      You could always try a coat of grey primer before committing. Live with it for a week and see if you like it. If you don’t finish up with black. It sounds like the black would work though, so either way- go with your gut!

  8. Gretchen says

    Im in love with the shelving you used. I see those exact ones in many kitchen updates. Please where are they from??
    Any details regarding them anyone????

  9. carol jane says

    Love your kitchen. I am so bad at picking paint colors. I never would have picked a cream wall color with white and gray cabinets. Looks so pretty! i love the shelving too!

  10. Kelley Bell says

    Before cabinets do not have the pretty lines, your remodeled do have that extra texture & that does add so much character! Very pretty! How can I create this same look with my original bland oak cabinets? Thanks, K

    • says

      Kelley, that is beadboard. You can either try Beadboard wallpaper (less durable easier install) or a 4′ x 8′ sheet of bead board cut down and glued in place! GOOD LUCK!

  11. MelissaMelissa says

    Hi! Love your kitchen! I wanted to ask what color your cabinets were? I have natural choice on my walls too and having a hard time finding a white that is just right for my cabinets, yours look great! :) thanks!

  12. Celeste says

    I’d love to paint my dark brown cabinet but am so intimated – is there a way to find the step by step process for doing it successfully so I don’t have to hire a professional – trying to keep cost s down,

  13. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been having a minor panic attack- having just bought a new house with a kitchen that looks like your “move-in” picture, and thinking that I wanted to rip it all out and start fresh, but I’ve just plonked down my entire life savings on the new house. The kitchen (and my lack of money to fix it) have been giving me nightmares– but then a friend suggested I paint the cabinets. I was skeptical, but I think this might actually persuade me to do it! Bless you!

  14. Caryn S. (Scrapnsing) says

    Funny… I have an all white kitchen and I HATE it! Seems like I am wiping down the cabinets multiple times a day. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the cabinets are covered in laminate and are actually melting and peeling because of the heat from the appliances! I am having my FIL paint my cabinets a very pale brown, almost off-white. I had my floors done in wood and I’m replacing my white appliances (the plastic handles of which have yellowed) with stainless steel. And yet, I think this is lovely. I really like those drawer pulls, I’ll have to research and find out if they come in other colors. Love the moulding details you added to the original cabinets too.

    Also, I used to have those red and white canisters. Mine never closed properly and I gave them away. Really odd!

  15. says

    Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in
    your post is simply great and i can assume you
    are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  16. L Cooper says

    You seem to have captured exactly what I’ve been picturing in my mind for our kitchen reno. I absolutely love the white and gray together! We’re doing our reno on a pretty tight budget and can’t get new appliances. Unfortunately our appliances aren’t all bright white like yours, the fridge is off white, but after seeing this I’m tempted to try out the appliance paint I keep reading about so everthing will at least match. Thank you for sharing, I feel very inspired now!

  17. Kobi says

    This looks amazing! My kitchen looks just like the before picture. I love these ideas! Don you guys have a tutorial on the counter top somewhere on your site? Thanks!

    • Cass says

      Hi Kobi, this is a post from one of our awesome guests, so there might a tutorial over on her site (Mom and Her Drill, linked up top) but I’m not certain. Thanks!

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