The Case for Matching Hinges to Cabinet Color

I've become very passionate about something.  It started out as something I tried in our first house down south years ago and since then, I've done it a few more times and I now won't ever deviate from not doing it.  It's maybe a small matter in the grand scheme of painting cabinets but I feel like it's not so small in the impact it makes.  

Hinges.  Specifically, like it gives away in this post's title, matching the color of your hinges to the color of your cabinets.  I know that these days, most cabinets are made with hidden hinges so this is a moot point for most truly modern kitchens but if you've got old cabinets that you're hankering to paint or have already painted, take note.  You might agree with me and you might not but here's my argument...

If you're doing a little kitchen makeover (or bathroom...or anywhere there are cabinets that could use a fresh coat of paint to modernize them), it's only natural to then replace the old hardware on them with new.  New pulls and knobs go a long way in updating cabinets.  You might even go a little farther and want to replace the hinges on the cabinets to match that pretty new hardware.  Makes sense.  It's logical.  But here's where things could go two ways.  You could get new hinges that match the hardware - you know, brushed nickel hinges to go with your new brushed nickel hardware -  OR you could scrap that idea and either buy hinges that match the paint or paint them to match.  If the color you're going with is black or white, you probably won't have the hardest time finding new hinges in those generic colors, making the switch fairly simple.  But, if you're going with the latest trend of green, blue, tan,'ll probably end up having to paint your hinges.  Lucky for you, you can pretty much find every color of spray paint on the planet these days so finding a match may not be that difficult.  (I'd recommend this primer* first though along with several light coats.  Opening and closing the hinges between coats also helps them not to stick in the process.)

Do I sound crazy?  Or are you smelling what I'm cooking?  Let me give you a few examples...this is the fun part.  This whole idea of mine started here in our master bathroom back in our second house (click here to get a whole tour): 

It's hard to tell at this angle but it was the best I could find.  Can you spot the hinges?  They're the same color as the cabinets.  They're definitely not invisible but they don't stand out like a sore thumb either.

If I photoshop them to match the hardware though, I bet you can spot them a little easier:

Same as in our current kitchen.  Here's what it actually looks like with painted hinges:

But if I had just shined up the old brass hinges to match the new brass hardware, it'd look like this:

I wouldn't say it's bad, especially since the kitchen is pretty so you don't notice the hinges that much but they're definitely there and with the modern look of hidden hinges in, I think they're better camouflaged if they have to be there.

Do I have you on my side yet?  Let me give you some more examples.  This is a kitchen from The Picky Painters and if you click on that link, it'll take you to a good tutorial on how to paint exposed cabinet hinges.  This kitchen had wood cabinets that were painted white and then hinges that were matched to the new hardware (I can't tell if they actually painted the hinges, ironically, or just bought new nickel ones but that's besides the point.)   

If they had gone down my highway and either painted or bought new white hinges that matched the cabinets though, this is what the same kitchen would look like:

Kind of a big difference, right?  You don't have all these specks of brushed nickel scattered throughout the sea of white cabinets.  Everything just looks more clean and continuous.

Here's another photo of cabinets showcasing Valspar paint:

They have that one visible hinge matching the hardware and it can't hide from nothin'.  Imagine how a whole section of black cabinets would look with silver hinges strewn throughout.  *thumbs down*

But, if you just replace or repaint the hinges to match the dark cabinets, well, adios.  Not one of the first things you see anymore.  They blend seamlessly into the background.

Here are more examples using photos from Valspar.  They had these photos up with the hinges matching the cabinet color so I photoshopped the hinges to match the hardware so you could see the difference.

Last but not least, you can click here to see a really pretty kitchen makeover by Holland Avenue Home, where she painted all of her hinges to match her aqua and white cabinets.  It wouldn't have broken the makeover if all of the hinges were gold but the way they just fade into the background is oh-so-much-better, right?

Okay, I've said my piece.  Color-matched hinges and cabinets fo eva and eva.  

Are you with me?  ;)

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  1. Thank you so very much for this post. I have lipped cabinet doors and have tried everything to install hidden hinges, but nothing works, so I’m struck with traditional hinges. I will be using gold hardware and wasn’t sure if I should spray paint the hinges white or gold. All the pics you provided really helped me visualize. You are right. Having hinges the same color really makes a difference.

  2. I have the same issue as the post on March 29th. Have no choice with older lipped cabinet doors. There aren't any hidden hinges that work. So I will go with white like my kitchen cabinets and stop stressing out. Thanks for your info. I agree with you 100%.

  3. Thank you! Just what I needed to see to make a decision on my hinges.

  4. Hidden hinges for my 1960s “rabbited” cabinet doors would cost me $1,000! This is the perfect alternative. Thanks!

  5. THANK YOU!!! I was waffling back and forth. Wasn't sure if the white would look cheesy with white. But now that you posted these awesome pictures, I'm doing my white hinges. Thank you, thank you for all your photos and photoshopping and doing the whole bit!!