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Painted Cabinet Color Dilemma? Help to the Rescue!

I have wood cabinets and wood trim, I am finally going to get the painted cabinets of my dreams-but have no idea what color to choose…Help!

MCY: This is definitely a big decision, it's a puzzle really and I usually start with the pieces we already have in place. These are the big players, counters, floors and existing trim in the house or the main area being painted.

What are they?

So, we just splurged on new counters and they are everything I could have hoped for, Vermont Soapstone. I have wood floors and some tile floor that’s a gray green color, the trim is painted linen white and the walls are a light soft green blue.

MCY: Amazing!!! The soapstone is one of the prettiest I have ever seen, honestly. Let’s pull a palette together, our color puzzle pieces. Looking at the counter we have an inky, dark, blue green with a vein of cream, taupe and even some jade tones. The floor pulls this in nicely with the gray green, the linen white on the trim is right there in the lightest tone of the counter and the wall color is perfect.

Should we match the trim color? I first thought I wanted to do a taupe color but it felt too blah.

MCY: I feel the cabinet colors should be very close to any painted trim, so close you cannot exactly tell them apart, this is so they are not in direct competition with each other or in contrast-not fighting. Or to be more dramatic, a darker or a different color entirely. If the taupe is too blah, I agree, let’s take a look at a sweet partner to the Linen White trim. I think we need to take that color and find a version that has a touch of gray, a touch of green…something that is well balanced.

I’m confused!

MCY: Let’s look at a these together, side by side so we can see the subtle differences. Here we have the Linen White and also from Benjamin Moore, Jute.

When we look at the colors we need to plan on doing so in all different light, so after we choose it is great to order some larger swatches from a company like or pick up a sample quart from your local paint store (our favorites Springfield Paint or Rocky’s) and paint up an old cabinet door or poster board.

I like this one, Jute! Do you think it will be too light? Will they be hard to clean?

MCY: On a scale of one-to-ten, let’s say Linen White is a 2 and Jute is a 3. While it is light, it is soft and that connection to our big counter puzzle piece is gorgeous. When we analyze the color we can see there is a balance of gray and brown, it is a super creamy beige.

As far as taking care of painted cabinets, plan an additional step to your regular cleaning routine. There is nowhere for the dirt to hide like on the wood, but that actually makes maintaining them pretty easy. We have a care kit to share with you. Let’s put everything together to be sure you like your choice.

I actually love it!

MCY: Yes! I can tell, when you are sure the feeling is genuine relief, like a smiling exhale and when undecided, people tend to hold their breath. The puzzle is almost complete! Your kitchen is going to be stunning!

Marie Crane-Yvon is an artist, designer and craftsman-together with her husband Jim they own Crane-Yvon interiors in Westfield, MA. With great skill and care, they have perfected the art of cabinet refinishing in their area.

To learn more about their family business visit


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