Cherry Cabinet Magic: Lighten & Refresh Your Kitchen Oasis

The allure of rich, warm cherry cabinets often draws homeowners in, only for them to later discover the challenge of keeping the space feeling bright and inviting. Fear not, for we have the ultimate guide to transform your kitchen from dark and heavy to light and welcoming.

Imagine the transformation, as a simple coat of lighter paint on your cherry cabinets instantly illuminates your culinary sanctuary, ushering in a fresh, modern vibe. But paint need not be your only savior; a plethora of tactics awaits. Illuminate the heart of your home with strategic lighting, swap in lighter countertops, or dazzle with a radiant backsplash.

Consider the subtle yet striking impact of updated hardware in lighter finishes, breathing new life into your cherry cabinets. Embellish your kitchen with vibrant plants, inspiring artwork, or vivid dishware to cultivate an enticing atmosphere. Embrace these simple, transformative changes and watch your cherry cabinet kitchen evolve into the bright, welcoming haven you’ve always desired.

Painting Cherry Cabinets

If you want to lighten up your kitchen with cherry cabinets, painting them is a great option. Here are some tips to help you get started:

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Choosing the Right Paint Color

Choosing the right paint color is important when painting cherry cabinets. You want to choose a lighter color that will help brighten up your kitchen. Some popular colors for painting cherry cabinets include white, cream, and light gray. You can also consider using a paint with a satin finish to help reflect light and make your kitchen appear brighter.

Preparing the Cabinets

Before you start painting your cherry cabinets, you need to prepare them properly. Start by removing all the cabinet doors and hardware. Clean the cabinets thoroughly with a degreaser to remove any dirt or grease. Then, use sandpaper to rough up the surface of the cabinets. This will help the paint adhere better.

If your cherry cabinets have a lacquer finish, you will need to remove it before painting. You can use a chemical stripper to remove the lacquer or sand it off. If your cabinets have an aged look, you may want to consider staining the wood before painting to give them a more uniform appearance.

Applying the Paint

When applying paint to cherry cabinets, it is important to use a high-quality paint that is durable and will last for years to come. You should also use a paintbrush or roller that is designed for use with the type of paint you are using.

Start by applying a primer to the cabinets. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smooth surface. Once the primer is dry, apply the first coat of paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. You may need to apply a third coat of paint to achieve the desired look.

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After the final coat of paint is dry, reattach the cabinet doors and hardware. Your newly painted cherry cabinets will help brighten up your kitchen and give it a fresh, updated look.


One of the most important aspects of lightening up a kitchen with cherry cabinets is to ensure that there is enough light in the room. This can be achieved by using a combination of natural light and artificial lighting. In this section, we will discuss the different types of lighting you can use to brighten up your kitchen.

Natural Light

Natural light is the best way to brighten up your kitchen. If your kitchen has windows, make sure to keep them clean and unobstructed to allow as much natural light as possible to enter the room. You can also install sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light and prevent harsh glare.

Overhead Lighting

Overhead lighting is essential in any kitchen. It provides general illumination and helps to eliminate shadows. Consider installing recessed lights or fluorescent tube lights in the ceiling to provide bright and even lighting.

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to add extra light to your kitchen. It can be used to illuminate work surfaces and make it easier to see what you are doing. LED lights are a popular choice for under-cabinet lighting because they are energy-efficient and long-lasting.

Kitchen Lighting Fixtures

Kitchen lighting fixtures can be used to add a decorative element to your kitchen while providing additional light. Pendant lights, chandeliers, and track lighting are all popular choices for kitchen lighting fixtures. Make sure to choose fixtures that complement the style of your kitchen and provide enough light for your needs.

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Brightening the Space

Cherry cabinets can create a warm, inviting atmosphere in your kitchen, but they can also make the space feel darker and smaller. Fortunately, there are several ways to brighten up your kitchen and make it feel more spacious. Here are some tips:

Adding Reflective Surfaces

One way to make your kitchen feel brighter is to add reflective surfaces. Mirrors, stainless steel appliances, and glass-fronted cabinets can all help to reflect light and make the space feel more open. You can also consider adding a mirrored backsplash or a glass table to reflect more light.

Using Light Colors

Light colors can help to brighten up your kitchen and make it feel more spacious. Consider painting your walls a light color, such as white or pale blue, and using light-colored curtains or blinds to let in more natural light. You can also use light-colored furniture and accessories to create a cohesive look.

Light-Colored Backsplash

A light-colored backsplash can help to reflect light and make your kitchen feel brighter. Consider using white subway tiles or light-colored mosaic tiles to create a backsplash that complements your cherry cabinets.

Light-Colored Countertops

Light-colored countertops can also help to brighten up your kitchen. Consider using white or light-colored granite or quartz countertops to create a bright, airy look. You can also use light-colored laminate or butcher block countertops for a more budget-friendly option.

White Trim

Adding white trim around your cherry cabinets can help to create a clean, bright look. Consider using white crown molding or white trim around your cabinet doors and drawers to create a cohesive look.

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White Curtains

White curtains or blinds can help to let in more natural light and make your kitchen feel brighter. Consider using white cotton curtains or sheer white curtains to create a light, airy look.

Light-Colored Rug

A light-colored rug can help to brighten up your kitchen and make it feel more spacious. Consider using a light-colored rug under your kitchen table or in front of your sink to create a cohesive look.

Bright Accent Color

Adding a bright accent color can help to create a focal point in your kitchen and make it feel more lively. Consider using bright yellow, green, or blue accessories, such as a vase, a set of dishes, or a piece of artwork, to add a pop of color to your space.

Storage and Organization

If you have cherry cabinets in your kitchen, you might be struggling with keeping your kitchen organized and clutter-free. Here are some storage and organization tips that can help you:

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a great way to show off your beautiful dishes and glassware while also keeping them organized. By removing the cabinet doors and replacing them with shelves, you can create a more open and airy look in your kitchen. Plus, you’ll be able to easily access your dishes and glassware.

Here are some tips for using open shelving in your cherry cabinet kitchen:

  • Use matching dishes and glassware for a cohesive look.
  • Don’t overcrowd the shelves. Leave some space between items to create a more visually appealing display.
  • Consider adding some plants or decorative items to break up the monotony of dishes and glassware.
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Cabinet Pulls and Knobs

Updating your cabinet pulls and knobs is an easy and affordable way to give your cherry cabinets a fresh new look. Here are some tips for choosing the right cabinet pulls and knobs:

BrassModernMatte Black
ChromeTraditionalBrushed Nickel
CrystalTransitionalPolished Chrome

When choosing cabinet pulls and knobs, consider the style of your kitchen and the overall look you’re trying to achieve. If you have a modern kitchen, go for sleek and simple pulls and knobs. If you have a more traditional kitchen, choose pulls and knobs with more intricate designs.

Updating your cabinet pulls and knobs can make a big difference in the overall look of your kitchen. Plus, it’s an easy DIY project that you can do in just a few hours.

Adding Decorative Elements

Adding decorative elements to your kitchen can help lighten up the space and make it feel more inviting. Here are some ideas:

Plants and Flowers

Plants and flowers are a great way to bring life and color into your kitchen. Place a small potted plant on your windowsill or hang a planter from the ceiling. You can also add a vase of fresh flowers to your countertop. Not only will plants and flowers add a pop of color, but they can also help purify the air in your kitchen.


Adding a mirror to your kitchen can help reflect light and make the space feel larger. Hang a mirror on the wall or add a mirrored backsplash. Mirrored backsplashes are a popular trend and can help create a modern and sleek look in your kitchen.

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Metallic in the Kitchen

Adding metallic elements to your kitchen can help create a bright and shiny look. Try adding metallic knobs and pulls to your cabinets or a metallic faucet to your sink. You can also add metallic accessories, such as a copper tea kettle or a stainless steel fruit bowl, to your countertop.

By adding decorative elements to your kitchen, you can help lighten up the space and make it feel more inviting. Plants and flowers, mirrors, and metallic elements are all great options to consider.

How to Make Cherry Cabinets Look Modern

If you have cherry cabinets and want to update the look of your kitchen, you can make them look more modern with a few simple changes. Here are some tips:

1. Choose modern hardware: One of the easiest ways to update cherry cabinets is by changing the hardware. Choose modern handles and pulls that have clean lines and a minimalist design. Brushed nickel or stainless steel finishes work well with cherry cabinets.

2. Add glass doors: Another way to modernize cherry cabinets is by adding glass doors. This will give your kitchen a more open and airy feel. You can choose clear glass or frosted glass for a more contemporary look.

3. Paint the walls: If you want to brighten up your kitchen and make it look more modern, consider painting the walls a light color. Light gray, white, or beige are all good options. This will help to offset the dark color of the cherry cabinets and make the space feel more open and inviting.

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4. Install modern lighting: Lighting can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Consider installing modern light fixtures that have a sleek and minimalist design. Pendant lights or track lighting work well with cherry cabinets.

5. Choose modern countertops: If you’re planning to replace your countertops, choose a material that has a modern look, such as quartz or concrete. These materials have a clean and sleek appearance that will complement your cherry cabinets.

By making these simple changes, you can update the look of your kitchen and make your cherry cabinets look more modern. With a little creativity and some careful planning, you can transform your kitchen into a space that you’ll love spending time in.

Lighten Up a Kitchen with Cherry Cabinets: Key Takeaways

If you have cherry cabinets in your kitchen and want to lighten up the space, there are several key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Pair cherry cabinets with lighter colors like white, beige, or light gray to create a more airy feel.
  • Consider pairing cherry cabinets with darker colors like black or navy blue for a more dramatic look.
  • Use pulls and knobs in a lighter finish to add a touch of brightness to your cabinets.
  • Add more lighting and use brighter bulbs to brighten up the space.
  • Install a light-colored backsplash to reflect light and create a brighter ambiance.
  • Consider installing white trim around your cabinets to create a contrast between the warm cherry wood and the bright white color.
  • Use lighter-colored countertops to create a brighter overall look.
  • Thoroughly clean your cherry cabinets and wipe down dirt and grease before attempting to lighten them up.
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By following these tips, you can significantly lighten up your kitchen with cherry cabinets and create a brighter, more inviting space.


Hello! I'm Nikita, the creator of Abodenation, a blog dedicated to home improvement, troubleshooting, advice, and decor. With years of hands-on experience and a keen eye for detail, I love sharing my passion for creating functional, beautiful, and comfortable living spaces with others. Join me on my journey to transform houses into homes, one project at a time.

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