Should I paint oak cabinets white?
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Should I paint oak cabinets white?

I’m redoing my house with the intention of selling it. The entire rest of the house is designed with the latest trends, but the kitchen was remodeled in the mid 80′s and has those honey colored oak cabinets. I’m replacing the counters with something very current, but the honey oak look hasn’t been trendy for a very long time. If I paint them white, the kitchen will look like a modern kitchen. But I’m worried that maybe buyers will like the wood look more than the white look. What do you think? Home design magazines rarely have the oak cabinets anymore, but a lot have white. Do you like oak cabinets? What about white?

These aren’t my cabinets, but this is kind of what they look like, only a bit more weathered.
It doesn’t matter if i personally like them or how functional they are, just how they look to a potential buyer. I’ve never stained anything, that scares me a bit. It sounds so hard!
Thanks for the tip on the mineral spirits and linseed oil!
Yea, I will never understand people spending crazy amounts of money redoing their house to sell. 75,000 is an awful lot of money to gamble with! I feel pretty confident that I will recoup my investment. I plan to spend about 3,000 for the whole house and do the work myself. Fortunately a wonderful floor plan and many upscale details are already in place, they just need to be polished and highlighted. There were 3 other offers that came in right after we had signed the contract, so I know what a great property we have and I think we can make a little money. We have a lot of equity anyway, so we can weather it if it doesn’t make anything. I think I will keep the cabinets as-is and polish them with the mineral spirits and linseed oil. I looked that up and there were some gorgeous examples of wood given that treatment!

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    1. Alan says:

      Sometimes I wonder when I see these things on TV ‘curb appeal’.

      I know someone who spent $75,000 on remodeling and for 3 years she’s been trying to sell her house.

      I sold mom’s house in 4 months, got 2 offers in one month, ‘as is’ for the price we’re asking for.

      The house across the street, just spend $15,000 improving it, and 2 people only went to their open house. It was foreclosure. The house next door, they couldn’t sell their house. They removed the Greenhouse, cleaned up the landscape and they got so frustrated, they finally decided to live there.

      My son bought a house that was too small, the previous owner did some improvement, when my son bought it they ripped everything up and made the rooms bigger & added a wrap-around deck.

      No one knows exactly what the buyers want.

      If I was the buyer, I prefer oak as is.

    2. JUAN FRAN$$$ says:

      Just refinish them in their natural color. Strip all the old off and use clear Poly-lacquer to redo them to bring out the rich texture of the wood.

    3. TAG says:

      If it is a nice quality oak, I would keep them the way they are. If really want to do something with them, strip them and coat them with a clear lacquer or a stain. To me, the look of good wooden cabinets are a lot nicer from a design point of view and from a quality standpoint.

    4. kimm says:

      oak cabinites are soo much better, and less of a hastle

      my mother complains about her cabinets (they are white) all the time, they get to dirty they dont look good, trust me oak is not out of stlye just stain them and stuff:):P

      white is also very hard to clean and cleaning would be almost every week. its annoying

      trust me you will want your old cubboards back if you paint them white.

    5. mg says:

      Personally I love oak wood cabinetry. I think it is a sin to paint over real wood. If their nice, you can try to clean them up, then give them a good coat of polish. If their nicked, Old English will cover the nicks.

    6. I am I said says:

      You shouldn’t paint oak cabinets. Oak has an open grain, which will still be very apparent after painting.

      You can refresh the finish without stripping by cleaning with a mixture of 1-part mineral spirits and 1-part boiled linseed oil. They will look brand new.

      Woods that are suitable for painting are closed grain woods, such as poplar, maple or even MDF.

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