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Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Uh, oh! Those 1990s oak cabinets... In recent times, homeowners have been taking the plunge and painting their once-beloved wooden cabinets. The culprit? An unavoidable "orange glow." But let's pause for a moment. Is this hue genuinely undesirable, or has it simply fallen out of fashion, awaiting a modern revival? Are oak cabinets coming back? Love them or paint them? Let's unravel this enigma and reach a verdict. If you've found yourself engrossed in these lines, you're likely grappling with the decision of whether to don the painter's hat for your cabinets or opt for new ones. However, let me toss another option into the ring for your contemplation.

Painting cabinets can make a big difference, but it can also be expensive and not always doable. If you want to spruce up your kitchen or bathroom without breaking the bank, here are a few tricks to consider that can add some style. Rather than struggling to hide the orange tones in the wood, think about trying this:

1. Choose the right paint color for the walls.

You can choose colors that will soften the orange tone of your cabinets, or you can go for colors that work well with the oak. Let me share a couple of color combinations I really like:

oak cabinets with dark wall
Source: Pinterest

Black, Dark Green, or Dark Deep Blue are an excellent and very stylish choices to update and compliment this beautiful and charismatic wood. Try Inchyra Blue No. 289 FB or

Not ready for a dramatic change? Then I can offer you warm deep gray like

Maplewood cabinets
Source: Tia Lucks Pinterest

What about Green?

Honey oak cabinets
BLIS Home Design. Staging

Still not sold on idea of keeping oak cabinets without painting them? Well, then let's try soft white for the walls.

oak cabinets

Flurry CC-100 BM is a good choice of off-white

wood cabinets
Source: Pinterest West Elm

also you can try White Sand OC-10 BM

Still not convinced that oak is Beautifull and Charismatic? Then let's try to paint sections.

white island
Source: Jillian Lare Pinterest

You can paint some of your cabinets, not all! Paint, re-design, or add an island! If you want to add rustic, vintage, or shabby chick feel, try chalk paint. This type of paint doesn't require special preparation or sanding.

2. Another idea to refresh the look of your cabinets. Add some rustic decor.

Add large accessories like; Large wall clock, bowls, trays, chalkboard, window treatments.

beautiful oak cabinets
BLIS Home Design

3.Change or add Hardware.

Black hardware will update the look dramatically, bringing your cabinets to another level.

black hardware

4. Add backsplash. Update with molding and trim.

BLIS Home Design. Staging

5. Layer your types of light!

It serves as the cornerstone of well-lit spaces, contributing to the creation of dimension and the establishment of ambiance. Craft a focal point through the inclusion of a captivating chandelier! Its grandeur need not be vast; uniqueness takes precedence. Take a glance at the Light fixtures showcased in the pictures—procured for a mere $50 apiece, then transformed through the art of paint and embellished with additional details. Maintaining consistency within an open floor plan is pivotal. This doesn't imply a requirement for all finishes or styles to be uniform; instead, it underscores the necessity for a seamless unity among the rooms. The overarching essence should flow harmoniously. Enter the same style of light fixtures, acting as the unifying thread to effortlessly weave together the overall feel.

Here is some Before and After.

open dated dining room

amazing oak
BLIS Home Design

oak cabinets kitchen

beautiful oak cabinets
BLIS Home Design

I hope I've managed to convey the charm and allure of oak and how it can truly shine with the right styling.

Not quite convinced yet? No problem!

If your heart still yearns to paint those wood cabinets and woodwork, there are a few essential considerations before you embark on that journey.

Red oak boasts intricate grains, and achieving a flawless paint job demands precise wood preparation – a multi-step process that's not exactly a walk in the park, especially for DIY enthusiasts. It can get a bit messy and time-consuming.

On the flip side, I have an alternative solution for rejuvenating your oak, and no, I'm not referring to gel stain.

I'm about to introduce you to different techniques – my personal recipes, honed for swift updates in home staging. Intrigued? Let's keep the conversation going.

Feel free to join as a member or drop a comment on the post. Let's connect soon!

beautiful door
BLIS Home Design

natural smile

Please let me know if you find this blog post helpful. If you have experience updating your oak cabinets please share, leave a comment. Let's help others to benefit from our experience, and not repeat our mistakes.

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