White Cabinets

I painted my ugly dark wood 70s cabinets white about 25 years ago. In the past 5 years or so I’ve noticed that the paint around the handles and other high touch areas is getting harder and harder to clean. Perhaps it’s time to repaint them.

We installed white cabinets two years ago and other than a light dusting of the raised trim, I’ve never had to clean them. Dark cabinets make the kitchen too dark. White is bright and cheery.


The same thing happened to my dark stained cabinets but in reverse where the finish was fading in the high touch areas.

I had white cabinets in one house that needed touching up every six months or so, but it was very easy and looked great even with multiple touch ups. It was for little scratches, not grime.

We moved into a new house two years ago that has the painted hazelnut glaze finish on the cabinets. They aren’t solid wood, but I love them - they look very nice and are easy to clean.


We put white cabinets in our kitchen three years ago - LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I find they’re easier to keep clean because you can see what needs to be wiped. Our kitchen is bright and cheery, and does have a beach vibe like someone upthread mentioned (that was what I was actually going for when I picked the cabinets, countertops and wall color.)


I moved into a house with them and after 25 years needed to renovate. Replaced the old white cabinets with… new white cabinets!

Love how clean they look and how easy they’ve been to care for.


We’ve never had much luck with white anything, so I have a bias against white. White plastics yellow. White woods get dirty, and show scratches more easily. White appliance never match each other unless from the same mfr. Love the look though.

I have white cabinets in my bathroom. They are really beautiful. But I don’t know that it’s a fair comparison to kitchen cabinets, since I’m not cooking in the bathroom. I think I’ve always had some shade of white or cream cabinets in my bathroom. The only issue I can think of is inside the drawers where you keep makeup. In my last house, even though I had shelf liners in all drawers and cabinets, it got pretty filthy inside that drawer where I stored my makeup. Now I keep my makeup inside a large zip lock baggie inside my cabinet so the blush/eyeshadow doesn’t muck up the inside.

If you have good quality cabinets, quality paint of the appropriate type, and you don’t mind wiping up splashes, I don’t see how they would be more high maintenance than other types.

People should get the kind of cabinets they love unless re-sale is an issue and would be affected by their choice.


I love white cabinets - they have a timeless look. I have never had them because H doesn’t really like them. That said- I hope the next house we buy has them.


I have off-white cabinets that came with our new build house 5 years ago. I love them, but I do think this white/white trend will come to and end and I wonder how outdated the look will become? Seems like every new house has your typical trendy “everything is white and grey” and I can’t see that lasting.


The grey is already moving out and being replaced by green.

White though has been popular in kitchens since the 1990 so it’s a pretty long “trend”. White may morph to different shades of white but I think it’s pretty timeless at this point.

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I agree. There are all kinds of ways to do white in a way that isn’t sterile and cold. I’ve seen a lot of kitchens that have white uppers or lowers and a different finish on the other bank of cabinets. Or white cabinets with a different color island and backsplash.

It may not be so ubiquitous in the future, but I don’t think it will ever be “out.” JMO


I think white cabinets are a really safe bet for a kitchen. It is universally popular and brightens up the space. The trend now is to break up the cabinetry with different colors or materials such as a combination of painted cabinets and some natural wood. But this is a trend that might date a house twenty years from now. Cabinet door styles can date a house, such as arched raised panel. And Shaker style cabinet doors will be forever associated with the early 2000s :slight_smile: But they are less ‘fussy’ than all the raised panel.

My opinion is that all the raised panel, ledges and fine detail are harder to clean than a specific color. All those little grooves are where everything collects.


I think white cabinets can look timeless, depending on their style. Still, I have no desire to ever have them again.

We have painted white shaker cabinets in our temp. house and I will not miss them. The builder’s standards have slipped over the years and he focuses on form to the detriment of function. Cheap paint, with poor prep, was used on both the kitchen cabinets and the light greige bathroom cabinets. They looked fine at first, but showed scratches and edge wear within six months.

Cabinets in the new house will be natural wood, mostly walnut, with slab doors for our desired retro look. The stained wood raised panel cabinets at home have held up well for about 15 years, while the painted and glazed ones started showing wear within five years.

Love the color contrast in this pic.
We looked at a house about a year and a half ago that had something similar except the island was painted a bright navy-ish color. LOVED that kitchen. It’s too bad the rest of the house wasn’t right for us. I almost convinced myself to put an offer just for the kitchen.


I agree that white is timeless, so I think it’s a safe choice. My kitchen is too small for this, but I’ve seen some very attractive designs with a single, bright (orange, for example) range in a white kitchen. Personally, I adore color, and one of the nice things about “building” white is that you can accessorize however youlike… Annie Selke and Maine Cottage, for example, have some awesome options for color if you want something to liven up those neutrals.

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OP, here. Thanks to all for your feedback. We’re meeting with our kitchen designer guy tomorrow and have decided to go with a navy island and white perimeter cabinets; thinking ‘marble’ quartz countertops. Wondering if anybody can recommend a specific navy paint and/or a specific quartz pattern that you’ve seen/had. I’m still doing research, so would appreciate any direction/thoughts you might have.


Sounds like it is going to be lovely!!! We have a blue/grey island called “peppercorn” but it’s definitely not navy.

My bathroom counters are quartz and I love them! I believe it was called blanco crema (or something like that). It’s mostly white and has very subtle grey veining. It’s sooooooo easy to clean and maintain.

We’ve been looking at new builds. The higher end design builders are all showing white cabinets, mixed with colored cabinets or island. The popular colors are grays/blues. I fell in love with a kitchen that had white cabinets, marble quartz falling waters counter, a royal blue island, gold tone handles, white appliances with gold tone handles.


Highly recommend Cambria quartz. Had it installed in our recent house, and it is beautiful and does not stain! There are many patterns you can choose from.