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Project Spotlight: White Kitchen Cabinets

We’ve explored the merits of white as an accent color, but white cabinets are particularly tone-setting in the kitchen.


White kitchens are trending, and it’s no surprise. Today, we’re looking at what white can do as a color in your kitchen, with a recent client of Basurto Painting as a great example. We’ve explored the merits of white as an accent color, but white cabinets are particularly tone-setting in the kitchen. White kitchen cabinets declare that conditions are safe. At first glance, you can easily see whether the white cabinets in a kitchen are clean, which makes them very demanding for most homes.


The potential mess and stains in the cooking process represent a challenge, but it’s also a very confident color for that exact reason– daring a spill or an accident to come along. If you know you will want to clean any mess up immediately, white cabinets can be a thing of beauty, always looking fresh as you enter your kitchen.

The photographs and video presented here are from a remodeling project in Willow Glen that Basurto Painting recently completed. “Oil-based paint is very popular,” Nico explains. “15 – 20 years ago, it was the best enamel for woodwork. However, with new EPA rules, the oil-based paint has been diluted and thinned down to where it’s not as good as it used to be, and not to mention that now is discontinued in California.”


Our client was keen to regain the luster and sheen that her original oil-based white had created but had not aged well. Those oil-based whites oxidize over time and have turned a decaying yellow color. So Nico was faced with the challenge of giving the client a look they wanted with the available materials today. “They had a color that she really liked, and she loved from 10 or 15 years ago– I’m not sure how long it was. She really liked the color, but since the original painters used an oil base, it was yellow at any part that gets direct sunlight. That’s just the way oil-based paint works.”

“After ten-plus years of use, the client’s original paint had nicks and scratches, and some areas were peeling, so she wanted to refinish. But she wanted to go back to the same color that she had originally, so we figured out the colors…”. Part of what made this task manageable was the homework the homeowner had done when she first had her kitchen painted. “She was very diligent. She had all the color names and sheens that she used ten-plus years ago. We got that information to the paint store, and they matched the same color. We sampled it out, and so, she has a brand new kitchen, just the way it looked (or better than) ten-plus years ago!”

And repainting with an original oil-based coat is a very different approach than a latex-painted surface. “Ideally, you will need to go over with an oil base, either primary or oil-based paint, in order for it to adhere properly.” The original paint must be stripped and reprimed. “At Basurto Painting, we are always researching products and brands to make the homeowners’ painting experience easier and more pleasant.” Nowadays, we use water-based/waterborne latex products that are not near as toxic or as intense. Using waterborne or latex products, the experience for the homeowners is much better than it was in the past.


The Benjamin Moore gives the finish an oil-based appearance, but it’s wholly water-cleanable, and the scent is maybe 10% of what the oil would be. And so it’s an oil alkyd but is water-thinnable. It’s just a great product.

As usual with Basurto, the process is a checklist of innovative steps, starting with a small sample surface for the homeowner to approve and then moving directly onto the rest of the kitchen. “First, we gotta dismantle the whole kitchen. Take off all the hardware, remove the doors, remove the drawers, mask the floors and the countertops, and any other surrounding surfaces that are not getting painted.

Simply stripping the wood isn’t enough. We clean with a degreaser TSP to help remove any grease buildup that hasn’t it. And then, the next step is sanding… we use various grades of sandpaper from anywhere from 180 to 320, sometimes even 400, depending on the particular application. And then after that, it gets cleaned again with a damp cloth and vacuum.”

After that, the primary application comes. We apply the primer, Insul-X Stix (Insul-X is a division of Benjamin Moore). In this case, the prime coating was mainly done with spray because our client wanted a super-smooth finish, and you will be able to see in the pictures the kind of final product that we got with spraying. “After the primer, we let that dry overnight to complete sand to a powdery finish. 

And then the first coat of paint comes. In this particular case, our client liked that sort of luster, that sheen of the oil-based paint minus the yellowing part, so we suggested Benjamin Moore Advance, which is waterborne… An oil-based process is kind of the best way to describe it… it acts just like an oil base and gives it that slick finish.” You can see just how good this process turned out for their client’s kitchen remodeling in the video below!

In the market for a new look for your kitchen? Contact Basurto Painting for kitchen painting and repainting services! You may also schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to serving you.