How to Paint an Open Concept Kitchen
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Valspar.
The fact that we’re chatting about painting my kitchen means that we are almost done with this space! It’s wild how far we have come over the past month and a half. While I’m excited that we’re finally at the painting stage, I was very conflicted about painting our kitchen. And that’s because I had no clue what color to paint it and where I should start and stop the color.
Our kitchen is on our first floor and our entire living room, hallway, and kitchen are painted the same color. I had no clue how I could paint an open concept space with different colors. Where do you stop and start the color? Once our kitchen cabinets were installed, my contractor said I could go ahead and paint while we waited for the countertops to be installed. That meant I had a week to figure out what color to use and where to paint it.
Why Paint It?
Now, you may be wondering…why not keep the exact same color? I considered that. But once I saw the cabinets installed, I realized that the cabinets almost matched the walls. It was beige on beige and a tad boring. I want our gorgeous cabinets to pop off the walls, I don’t want them to blend in. Seeing the cabinets in the space sealed the deal for me, I needed to paint the walls a contrasting color.
Choosing a New Color
If you’ve been around here for a while, then you know that I’m always preaching that you should repeat colors throughout your home for a cohesive look and color palette. For example, I painted our office built-ins Valspar’s “Chimney Smoke” and I also used that same color in our basement bathroom makeover.
In our kitchen, the island color is the same color as Rory’s built-ins (KraftMaid “Bonsai”). I also painted the DIY chair rail in her room to match that gorgeous cabinet color. I obviously love that sage green color, so I decided to use that same color in the kitchen.
Color Matching Paint
Did you know that you can easily color match just about any color at Lowe’s? All you have to do is take the color you want into the paint department; they’ll scan it; and then they’ll create your custom color right then and there. I took a piece of trim from the cabinets to Lowe’s; they color matched it, and a few minutes later I was leaving with a gallon of paint. If you want to use this exact same color in your home, the above photo includes the formula that you can show to the paint employee to recreate it!
Valspar also offers a Love your Color Guarantee, so if the color isn’t exactly what you wanted, they will reimburse you for the original purchase.
Because this is a kitchen space that will see a lot of action, I decided to go with Valspar Signature Interior Paint & Primer. It has scuff shield technology, which means it resists scuffs, scrubs, and stains. It’s also fade-resistant, which is a must for our sunny kitchen. The two walls around our dining table will be painted with this paint because I know Rory will be sitting on that bench with her dirty hands and touching the walls. I can easily take a wet cloth and wipe up any marks she makes. This is the perfect family-friendly paint!
I also decided to go with an eggshell sheen. Eggshell is great for walls in high-traffic areas because it’s a bit more durable. And if you’re confused by what “eggshell” really means, think of an actual eggshell. The shell has a tiny bit of a shine to it, but not much. That’s what eggshell looks like on your walls.
Tips to Paint an Open Concept Space
So I had my paint all figured out, but then I had to decide where I should stop and start the paint color in this open concept kitchen. Because our quartz goes all the way up the wall in the main area of our kitchen, there is no area that needed paint on that side of the room. Instead, I just focused on the dining and bar area.
We’ll have tall cabinets that will be installed on this side of the room. They will go all the way up to the ceiling, so I decided I could use the last cabinet as my stopping point. I was already planning to use beadboard, painted with the sage green color, in between the tall cabinets on the bar side, so why not continue that green color all the way to the left of it?
So here’s what I learned when it comes to painting an open concept space. Make sure you have clear starting and stopping points for your paint colors. You don’t want to have to draw a line in the middle of the wall. Instead, use a door, cabinets, or a new wall to break up the paint color for you.
Tips to Paint your Kitchen – Video
To show you the painting in action, I created a video with my best tips for painting. I walk through how to open and close a can of paint, my best tips for cutting in at the ceiling, what supplies to choose, and more. You can watch it on Youtube here or below.
You’ll notice that I had to put a big line of painter’s tape on the wall for the stopping point of the sage green color. However, I knew that the stopping point would be behind the cabinet, so I wasn’t too worried about that line looking perfect. It looks a little strange without the cabinet, but once the cabinet was added it was perfection!
Here are all of the painting supplies I used in the video. These are items I like to have on hand for every painting project.
- Valspar Signature Interior Paint & Primer (in an eggshell sheen)
- Valspar Signature Ceiling Paint (in a flat sheen)
- Valspar Interior Drywall Primer & Sealer (for ceiling before paint)
- Valspar The Perfect White Interior (for trim in a semi-gloss sheen)
- Extension Pole
- Painter’s Tape
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Rollers (3/8″ nap)
- Paint Tray
- Drop Cloths
- Hammer (to close can)
- Flathead Screwdriver (to open the can)
For the ceiling paint, I went with Valspar Signature Ceiling paint in a flat sheen. You want to use a flat sheen on a ceiling because it hides imperfections. No ceiling will be perfect (ours certainly isn’t) and this will hide any flaws. As for the trim around the door and windows, we used Valspar The Perfect White Interior paint in a semi-gloss sheen. Semi-gloss is great for trim because it’s durable and you can easily wipe it clean!
Painted Kitchen – Before & After
So are you ready to see it now? You’re in luck because you’re also getting a sneak peek at this side of the kitchen that is almost done. We still need our wine fridge to arrive and to hang the TV, but we’re just about there!
I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about painting the walls in here just because I didn’t know how the color would look against the cabinets. I was also worried about the flow with the rest of the house. After seeing these before and after pictures, I’m confident that I made the right decision for the space.
Loving the Custom Color
This color really is a chameleon. In some lights, it looks sage green and other times it looks like a dark gray. Either way, it is such a gorgeous tone and works so well with the island color.
And it makes the cabinets look even better! That taupe color of the cabinets (KraftMaid “Cottage”) no longer blends into the walls. Instead, it pops off the sage green and the colors complement one another beautifully. If you’re looking to update a space in your home, I definitely recommend the Valspar Signature paint line. They have endless color choices (or you can color match!) and you can easily shop their paint at Lowe’s.
We are almost to the finish line, people! On Thursday, I’m planning to show you the new dining furniture in place. I still don’t have the bench cushions, but for the most part, the little dining nook is complete. I can’t wait to show you!
Catch Up On Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before Photos
- Hiring a Designer
- Our New Kitchen Layout
- Design Plan & Mood Board
- Single vs Double Bowl Sink
- Ordering Our Kitchen Cabinets
- Tasks To Do Before a Kitchen Renovation
- Our Old Kitchen Is Out
- Creating Our Electrical Plan
- Our Kitchen Cabinets Are In!
- Kitchen Hardware Guide
- Dining Nook Design Plan
- Choosing Quartz Countertops
- Painting the Kitchen
- Our Dining Room Nook
- Finding a Kitchen Runner
- Our New Lighting
- Our Wood Butcher Block
- The Kitchen Renovation Timeline
- The Big Kitchen Reveal
- What I Learned from Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before & After Video
- Our Kitchen Appliances
- Renovation Budget & Cost
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.