White Cabinets

I was recently involved in a discussion about white cabinets. One woman was adamant that she’d never put them in another kitchen–said they were too hard to keep clean. Although I’ve never had them in my kitchen, it seems white cabinets are quite popular, and timeless. I’m wondering about your thoughts on white cabinets. Any first-hand experience? Would you put white cabinets in a new kitchen?

I replaced old, saggy, falling apart white formica cabinets with… white cabinets (wood, painted).

They are NOT hard to keep clean-neither my formica ones with the el-cheapo handles and drawer pulls, nor the more expensive wood ones. Keep a Mr. Clean eraser sponge near your sink- when you cook if something spatters, do a quick dab and it’s gone. Once a year I do a full on wipe down with a damp paper towel (no soap, mfg. says water is fine but soap will erode the finish over time); once a year with my formica cabinets I did the same thing but with Dawn to get the grease.

They always look spotless with very minimal upkeep, and even after a big meal with pots in the sinks, dishes on the counter, and crumbs on the floor- there is a sense of serenity with plain white fronts taking up most of the real estate!!!

My experience for what it’s worth…

It has also helped that everyone washes their hands more frequently with Covid. So even the handles and drawer pulls (not white, they are metal) don’t get sticky anymore!!!


I love the look of white cabinets and would have no trouble keeping them clean (see Cluttered vs. Cleared vs. Cleaned thread). I think they are timeless and can be kept on trend with hardware (if they even have hardware). I just wish I had the type of kitchen/house where they would be appropriate.


I find my white cabinets, actually a very pale grey, are easier to keep clean than my old dark maple cabinets. Part of it is that if something does splatter, it’s obvious so it gets wiped up immediately.


I have white cabinets - not by choice - they came with the place. If I had my way, I’d replace them, only because I have a different aesthetic, but a kitchen reno is not in the cards short-term.

That said, the white cabinets work with the existing kitchen, and they are not hard to keep clean if you wipe as you go. We will do a seasonal cleaning, but would do that regardless of cabinet color.


Had white cabinets, they do get dirty. You do have to clean them, it wasn’t that hard but it is something you need to do regularly.

I would put them in another house.

My sister has white cabinets, I asked her if they were hard to keep clean. She didn’t have any problems, her cleaning person does it! :grin:


I plan to have my oak cabinets either refaced or painted….white. It will look terrific in my kitchen.

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I have white cabinets and I find them easy to keep clean. If they get dirty, I can easily see it and wipe them down.

I had dark cabinets in a previous home and those were harder to keep clean.

I’ve never had white cabinets, but would not hesitate to do so.

Yes, but only if you can go for factory-made ultra high quality ones with industrially baked-in washable paint. We are VERY happy with ours from Canadian manufacturer Cabico (in which I do not hold shares).

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We have white cabinets. We put them in five years ago and they still look brand new. Cleaning isn’t an issue.


We have beautiful custom-made super high end cherry cabinets. I can’t imagine EVER replacing them, they are like hand-crafted furniture and probably cost a fortune. The white is great, very modern looking. It definitely wouldn’t go with our home which was built in the 1880’s.

One thing to be said for wood is that it does not show dirt much.

With both kids having graduated university and flown the nest we have thought about getting the house ready to sell. Solid color cabinets, possibly white, have been suggested and seem to be in style right now. However, I like the wood. I am concerned that the style might change again by the time that we actually sell.

I am very interested to hear about experiences from people who have put in white cabinets, whether in a kitchen or in a bathroom.

I put a large white vanity in the master bath. I really don’t think I would do it in my kitchen when it’s time. My mom has some and has to keep using touch up paint. I like that they make everything look bright but they seem like a lot of work.

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I had painted off white (I’d call it parchment) cabinets in my house in Louisiana. They weren’t hard to clean, but I had to clean them more often than I do my dark walnut cabinets in my current house. I loved that they gave the kitchen a very modern, almost beachy feel. The walls were done in Behr “rhino”.
My feeling is, colors don’t really matter that much as long as there’s a good balance of dark to light. Well… any color but 90’s orange. I would never have an all white or all dark kitchen or bath. Go ahead and put in dark cabinets and floor, but have lighter counters and backsplash, for example.

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Have never touched up the paint. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the cabinet doors, but honestly, they aren’t high maintenance at all. And even an occasional splatter of tomato sauce- it’s really obvious, you sponge it off and it’s gone. I’ve never let anything crust over long enough to need more than a damp paper towel…


Same here. It seems to me that people that find white cabinets hard to clean, just don’t clean their dark cabinets. Those get dirty too, they aren’t magically deflecting grease and grime.


It’s not from cleaning, more like scratches on drawer fronts and cabinet doors from the setting on her engagement ring. It may have a lot to do with her pulls but it still requires repeated attention.

My off-white cabinets don’t look dirty, but they do definitely need some touching up where rings scrape or something. I just looked and almost all of the “problem areas” are near high touch places.
I also have cat’s who have scratched ours quite badly in a couple of places, but that’s another issue.

We installed white high-quality cabinets (Medallion) 4 years ago when we remodeled the kitchen and they look just as good now as they did on the day they were installed. We are now moving to a house that has high quality dark cherry cabinets (same manufacturer) and honestly, I’m really going to miss those white cabinets and the pale grey quartz counters. I love a light, bright kitchen that always looks clean. The dark cabinets and the brown, black and cream granite are just depressing to me and never seem clean, even though the kitchen has large windows and a skylight but it’s all still in great condition and I can’t justify replacing it all. If we ever do though, it’s back to light and clean for me!

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