Gain inspiration with these painted and stained oak projects that will help love your home again. In this list, we will show you 13+ different projects we have done in our home to help get rid of that honey oak.
Ultimately, this allowed us to cheaply modernize and update our home. From painting cabinets to railings you can really change the look while staying on budget. With my last oak painting project, I think it is safe to say that most of that grainy honey oak color is mostly gone from our home. We still have honey oak wood floors that eventually will be updated, but I actually don’t mind the look and color of them.
Will oak trim come back in style?
I do not have a glass ball, but my guess is “No”. There are so many other great woods out there that the honey oak that is in all houses built in the past 30-year time span will need to upgrade or modernize in some way or another.
Have you seen any new construction with honey oak in it? I know that I have not. While I do feel that more light and natural woods will be making a comeback, I do not feel the construction-grade honey oak that was all over my house will be making its way back in style.
Even, this Bob Vila article talks about how honey oak kitchen cabinet trends really make your house look dated. Other articles have mentioned oak as possibly coming back, but they are not referring to the good old honey oak that we have (or I think can I say had) throughout our house. I am sure these trends will continue into 2023 as well.
How to get rid of the oak color (not replacing)?
There are times when you can completely update the look of oak in the home by changing the items around the oak. And other times, if you want to keep existing cabinets, molding, and trim, then updating with paint or stain is your best bet. We have never used actual stain, only gel stain to help update cabinets and old pieces of furniture.
Because let’s be honest, I am always looking for the cheapest and easiest way to modernize our home. Sanding old items and replacing oak banisters and cabinets isn’t easy or cheap!
We have never used this product and you can see what our kitchen cabinets look like now. If you don’t mind the texture the grain gives off after painting then save yourself the step.
How to paint oak cabinets, trim and doors
Here are the basic steps (if not using chalk paint) we have taken for the painting projects in this list.
1. Lightly sand the wood with extra-fine sandpaper. This is only to rough up the surface.
2. Use a deglosser to wipe down the oak.
3. Tape any areas out that you do not want to get primed and painted.
We always have used Sherwin Williams latex primer and have been very happy. Some people will say that you must use an oil-based primer to help stop the grain bleeding. Most of the time, I can’t stomach the smell or have even been pregnant while painting so the latex primer is my best bet.
5. Use a latex enamel paint like Sherwin Williams ProClassic, SW Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel (our new favorite) or this Behr paint we have used in our projects.
6. 2-3 coats may be needed to achieve your desired look.
7. Let the paint cure before adding hardware (like these awesome large handles used in our bathroom vanity), moving furniture, or letting kids bang it with their toys (obviously, we have had that happen before).
Do you need help deciding what color of paint to use?
We recently just tried Samplize and it totally beats having to buy individual paint samples. These 9″ x 14.75″ samples will get shipped directly to you and save the hassle of clean-up (we loved that).
You can also check out our post, see our review and hopefully get the answers to those frequently asked Samplize questions.
If you need help figuring out what paint colors to use, check out how we easily chose paint for our island using large paint samples.
13 DIY projects That Can Cheaply Update Your Home
What is your favorite way to update a space? I guess I have to say mine probably involves painting (and I am happy that these painting projects really did upgrade the oak in our home).
If you are reading this post, then you are also probably just looking for other budget-friendly ways to update a dated home. We just finished painting our glass tile in our kitchen and you won’t believe the outcome.
I will always say it is the way you can get the most bang for your buck. We love that we were able to modernize our home by painting and staining the existing honey oak.