May 29, 2024

Housing Designer

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Ask Maria: Help! My Cabinets are Many Shades of Off-White

4 min read

If you’re in the middle of a renovation, you may be staring at your paint colour and wondering if you made the right choice. Here’s a reader question about her kitchen cabinet colours. And right now, I can totally relate.

This week I received this question from a reader:

Ask Maria Colour Advice

Help, are there too many whites?

I have been reading ALL your paint color advice for months. You must certainly be the world’s best when it comes to this topic! I came across your name and website again when I asked Google why my off white cabinets look like they’re several different shades (and only one is pretty).

I’m so sick over this,  as it’s a beautiful and huge new kitchen in a brand new house.  I don’t want to seem ungrateful,  but I’m so disappointed I could cry! Can you please help me? Is it the light? How can I fix this? More lights in the ceiling perhaps,  pointed at the cabinets? Re-paint wall color to match cabinets exactly?

My husband is trying so hard and I don’t want to push him over the edge. If I knew the solution,  it would certainly help in moving forward.  I’ll gladly pay you whatever you would want for advice.  Photos attached.  Thank you so much!

Kitchen renovation woes

I’m so glad she asked this question because I have the same problem with my new kitchen (the colour is existing and I’m keeping it the way it is).

Ok so here’s my kitchen right after we took possession the walls are taupe and the cabinets are green beige.

Walls SW Alabaster or BM Cloud White | Cabinets General Paint Duck Down

Then I had the walls painted white just because there is very little wall space and I chose an off-white because it matches the off-white in my timeless Calacatta marble backsplash (which I love).

However, notice the cabinets looked cream when the walls were a darker taupe but now that the walls are off-white you can clearly see the green undertone (because the cabinets are now darker than the wall colour)

That’s fine, the neutral undertones in my new house are green beige, orange beige and yellow beige.

And now I’ve noticed something else. 

This photo below is unedited. And if you look closely, you’ll notice the the actual cabinets look slightly greener than the crown moulding and even the side panels.

Yet the paint colour is identical.

By the way my perimeter countertops are a violet grey and they will be replaced but that’s not happening before I move in.

Now why am I even noticing all these shifts in the light?

Because I’m in the middle of a renovation and  HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO LOOK AT BUT THE PAINT COLOUR.

Did you get that?

Let it sink in.

Calm down people, calm down.

This phenomenon is even worse in the middle of an installation when everything is a mess and the only thing you’re staring it IS THE PAINT COLOUR.

There is nothing wrong.

Kiss your husband, tell him, “Thank you for working so hard to make me happy!” Because that’s what it sounds like he’s doing 🙂

Here’s when you should get worried that the paint colour is wrong.

When the countertops get installed. That’s when you’ll immediately know if you made the right choice or the wrong choice. 

Back to my cabinets for a minute. Maybe the doors were sprayed and the rest of it painted by hand? If that was the case then they would by default look different even though the paint colour is identical simply because they are different paint brands. 

There is NOTHING to do but decorate.

Style your kitchen so you have something pretty to look at other than the way the light shifts the paint colour.

Read More: Ask Maria: Help! My White Kitchen Cabinets Seem to Change Colour

See the rest of this kitchen here

My Sister Elizabeth’s Kitchen

My sister Elizabeth still has pink beige glazed cabinets from the Tuscan trend but she doesn’t even notice them because of the expert styling we’ve done with her kitchen (above).

Upper Shelves in holiday kitchen

Holiday tour of my house in 2016

We’ve all been there

Years ago I arrived at a clients home who had painted one wall in her kitchen 11 times. Her painters had been at her house for two months.

Because trying to fix an elusive and ever-changing  paint colour is not only expensive, but a recipe for crazy.

You-welcome GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Move on from this obsession already, to a much more interesting problem, which is:

How you’re going to decorate your kitchen?

Use the money you would have spent changing paint colours for a decorator to help you make it pretty!

I love you! And it fills me with joy to hear that my content helped make your home happier!

Thanks for following me and asking this question! I think (and let me know in the comments if I’m right) this helped a lot of you!

If you’d like your colours to fill you with joy when you walk in the room, see my eDesign packages here.

Become a True Colour Expert in 2023, register here.

If you have a question for my Ask Maria Column, clean up your room, take photos and email them here. Please note, questions without photos cannot be considered.

Related posts:

5 Things Everyone Should Know about Light and Paint Colour

5 Reasons Your Paint Colour Looks Wrong; It’s NOT the Lighting

4 Reasons Your Paint Colour Looks Bad (FYI White Paint is NOT Sunlight)

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