How to Tone Down Orange Oak Cabinets | Transform Your Kitchen in 5 Steps


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One of the most common features in many kitchens is orange oak cabinets. Regarding home renovation projects, the kitchen is often one of the most important and expensive. While these cabinets may add warmth and character to the kitchen, the bright orange can overpower a small space. If you want to tone down the brightness of your orange oak cabinets, read on for some simple tips and tricks to help you achieve a more subtle look. With a few simple steps and patience, you’ll be on your way to transforming the look of your kitchen in no time. Let’s learn how to tone down orange oak cabinets.

How to Tone Down Orange Oak Cabinets

Step 1 – Determine your paint shade.

Determining your paint shade is the first step to toning down your orange oak cabinets.

It’s essential to choose a shade that will be complementary to the existing hue of the cabinets. You want to avoid going too light or too dark, as this can make the cabinets look too flat or too drastic. 

Determine your paint shade.

` Consider the existing color palette of your kitchen decor and look for a shade that will match.

If you’re stuck, try experimenting with shades of grey, cream, light blue, or green.

Step 2 – Create a Tinted Primer.

The next step in toning down your orange oak cabinets is to create a tinted primer. 

You’ll need to choose a tint slightly lighter than the color you want your cabinets to be, as the primer will darken the color a bit when applied. 

Create a Tinted Primer

Apply the primer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you’ve done that, your cabinets should be ready for their new coat of paint.

Step 3 – Apply the Primer and Let Dry.

Step 3 is to apply the primer. It does help ensure the paint sticks to the cabinets and creates a lasting finish.

To apply the primer, use a foam brush or roller to apply a thin, even coat to the cabinets, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Apply the Primer and Let Dry.

Let the primer dry completely before moving on to the next step. 

It’s essential to give the primer plenty of time to dry, creating a durable surface for the paint to stick to.

Step 4 – Create a custom grayed-out paint color.

Mix a base color similar to your cabinets’ orange tones to achieve this. 

Create a custom grayed-out paint color

Once you’ve created the base color, add a small amount of black or grey paint to the mixture until you achieve the desired hue. 

It does create a custom greyed-out paint color that will tone down the orange hue of your cabinets without completely covering it. 

Once you’ve achieved the desired color, you can move on to the next step and start painting your cabinets.

Step 5 – Lighten your paint using a white gloss enhancer.

Apply a white gloss enhancer on the paint to lighten the orange oak cabinets. 

Read More: How To Paint Oak Trim White

Lighten your paint using a white gloss enhancer

It does brighten the orange hue and gives it a softer, more muted look.

You can either use a brush or a roller to apply the enhancer, and be sure to cover all of the surfaces evenly. Once it’s dry, you can check to see if the cabinets look lighter and if different lighting is required.

Step 6 – Ease your paint using a small amount of bleach.

Ease your paint using a small amount of bleach

Once you’ve achieved the desired color, it’s time to move on.

This step will help reduce the yellow undertone often in orange oak cabinets. To do this, mix one bleach with three parts water and use a small brush to apply it to the cabinets lightly. 

Cover all the surfaces entirely, and rinse the cabinets with clean water afterward. 

You should only do this step in well-ventilated areas as the fumes can be dangerous.

Step 7 – Lighten your paint using an even more white gloss enhancer.

Step 7 of toning down orange oak cabinets is to lighten your paint using even more white gloss enhancers. 

Lighten your paint using an even more white gloss enhancer

It does create a lighter, more subtle shade of the original color.       

Start by applying a thin layer of white gloss enhancer to the cabinets and then wiping it off with a soft cloth. After drying, add another thin enhancer layer and wipe off the excess. 

Repeat this process until you reach the desired shade and finish. Once complete, your cabinets will have a lighter, more subtle tone that won’t overpower the room.

Step 8 – Final Painting Steps: Paint, seal, and protect!

Now that you have completed the sanding and priming of your orange oak cabinets, it’s time to start painting them. Start by applying a coat of paint with a brush or roller.

Final Painting Steps: Paint, seal, and protect!

Make sure to review the entire surface, particularly the nooks, and crannies. Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat.

Once the second coat is dry, it’s time to seal and protect your cabinets.

Apply a coat of sealer to protect the paint from scratches and stains. Finally, apply a layer of clear skin to give the cabinets extra protection.

Expert Opinion

To sum up, you can tone down orange oak cabinets to create a more subtle and modern look for your kitchen. With the right color palette and accessories, you can transform the look of your kitchen from dated to chic. With a few simple steps, you can create a beautiful, updated space that you can enjoy for years.

Orange oak cabinets can be a great addition to any kitchen; however, if you want to tone down the vibrant hue, you can take some easy steps.

Start using lighter colors and materials such as white, grey, or off-white to contrast the orange oak. 

You can also opt for lighter countertops or walls in neutral colors to tone down the orange cabinets. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even paint the cabinets in a softer hue.

Adding accessories such as white curtains, lamps, and other decorations can also help to soften the overall look. 

Lastly, adding a backsplash in a muted color or texture can help to contrast the orange oak cabinets further, creating a more polished and serene atmosphere.

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