Decorating & Design

December 3, 2008

Melamine Paint Tips

Q. In our kitchen, we have oak cabinets and the countertops are a hunter/teal green, which I really dislike. Replacing the countertops is not an option at this time, so I am interested in painting the cabinets an off-white colour to brighten up the space. Can you please suggest a colour that would work with the green countertops, along with a colour for the walls and ceiling? The backsplash is a white ceramic tile and there’s also white ceramic tile on the floor. I would love a warm, inviting look.

A. Since you’ll be painting the cabinets, walls and ceiling, you might want to think about painting your counter too. It takes a few steps, but if you really want to change the look of your kitchen inexpensively, cover your green counter with melamine paint in a limestone-beige colour. Make sure to wash your counter with TSP before you paint and use small rollers for best results. Your hardware specialist will be able to give you step-by-step instructions on painting kitchen countertops.

For your cabinets, a creamy colour like Timid White (OC-39) from Benjamin Moore in a satin finish will coordinate beautifully with either the existing green or newly painted countertop and will give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Think about replacing some of the upper cabinet door panels with glass for added sparkle. Install brushed nickel cabinet hardware for a more contemporary look or wrought iron for eye-catching contrast.

If you have crown moulding in your kitchen, paint it a bright white, like Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore, in keeping with the white ceramic tiles on your backsplash and floor.

If you want a monochromatic kitchen or if you decide to keep your existing hunter/teal green counter, choose a neutral off-white wall colour that won’t compete with the colour of the counter, like Benjamin Moore’s Opaline (OC-33).

However if you prefer colour for your kitchen walls, Benjamin Moore’s Saybrook Sage (HC-114) is a pale green that would result in a warm, inviting look. Paint the ceiling the same white as your cabinets.