Reader Tracie asked Decorating Den:

“I have an “All Oak” kitchen, oak cabs, floors, chair rail and bead board wainscoting. I am going to re-do the cabs in a darker stain, and wanted a suggestion on what to do with the oak chair rail and wainscoting. I don’t want to paint them white, as then I feel I’d have too many colors going on (I intend to leave the oak floors as they are). Any suggestions on what to do with the window trim, chair rail and wainscoting?”

Our friends at Remodeling Concepts, Yardley kitchen remodelers, had some advice for Tracie:

We suggest you brighten up the kitchen by painting the cabinets, wainscoting and trim white. If you stain the cabinets a darker color, it would make the kitchen look even smaller. I would keep the oak floors as they are because they will keep the warmth of the kitchen. For the walls, you can go with neutral colors or add a splash of color. Another way to add color is if you have upper cabinets with glass doors, paint the inside of the cabinet with a bright color. You could also change the look of your kitchen by changing out the hardware on the cabinets. Dark hardware on white cabinets makes a dramatic difference.

Either way you choose to go, there are proper protocols to refinishing cabinets, wainscoting and trim. If you choose to paint, you must first scuff off the old layer of polyurethane. Then prime the cabinets and paint two coats of your color of choice. If you would like to re-stain the cabinets, wainscoting, and/or trim you must sand the old layer of polyurethane. Then stain the cabinets and then add two new coats of polyurethane.

A great resource for ideas is Houzz. You can find great examples of kitchen with white cabinets.

For help with your Northern Virginia kitchen design, contact Decorating Den today at 703.239.8112.

Please be aware this answer is a suggestion. We will not be held responsible for any issues that might arise from your remodeling.