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Adding Color To The Kitchen

by Gail McCauley

With inclement weather still upon us, there has never been a more opportune time to update the "epicenter" of your home with color! Regardless of whether your dream kitchen consists of a cozy farmhouse eatery, a contemporary bistro, or you lean towards traditional kitchen table sets, the creative use of color represents a budget friendly way to rejuvenate this hard working, all important family space.

Renovating the kitchen with color can be as elaborate or as easy as you prefer, depending upon whether the intention is a complete overhaul of color or simply introducing splashes of additional hues into the space. Examine existing kitchen surfaces to determine what needs "sprucing up" or modernizing. Painting cabinetry can take the form of an array of innovative, decorative finishes. Soft whitewashed cabinet fronts assist with fashioning the aura of a coastal cottage. Deep toned, distressed decorative finishes can make a mountain retreat out of any ordinary kitchen!

The introduction of an innovative backsplash can provide the focal point for the kitchen space, representing the thread that ties the entire space together. Create a monochromatic color scheme by mimicking cabinetry, countertop and wall covering colors. Or, introduce powerful contrast by painting the backsplash a dramatically deeper color than cabinetry and personalizing with stenciled motifs that reflect a desired theme. Customizing kitchen surfaces with painted freehand techniques can highlight a specific color scheme and reflect a designated repetitive pattern, (such as stripes) that is present within the kitchen.

Do not overlook nontraditional kitchen items as potential paint candidates and sources of inspiration! Classic design elements such as cabinetry, ceiling, floor and window coverings, moldings and trim all provide a wealth of opportunities to add dynamic color to the kitchen space. Sometimes the most interesting spark of color can be found amongst the most unanticipated sources! Explore the possibility of painting the chandelier that hangs over the dining table, timeworn cabinetry and drawer pulls or an unfinished wooden microwave storage cart. Perk up inexpensive shelving by painting trim or highlight hanging plate or pot racks with the application of an unusual, cutting edge paint finish! Eclectic kitchens are in! Unexpected painted furnishings and accessories can be manipulated to unify the entire space or represent a powerful focal point within the kitchen.

Several manufacturers have designed high quality kitchen and bath paints to address the specific cleaning and moisture needs that are present within the kitchen space. New latex high gloss paints are excellent candidates for kitchen cabinets. Consulting with paint professionals or on-line at for preparing, painting and finishing the intended surface will help to assure the most effective results for your impending kitchen renovation, regardless of the size of the project.

Refresh your kitchen with color now, and enjoy the fruits of your labor throughout the entire year.

Gail McCauley for the 
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

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