6 Top Colors for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you’re renovating your entire kitchen or just selecting a new paint color, deciding on the right hue for your kitchen cabinets can be nerve-wracking. You are the one who lives in your home and will have to see your cabinets every day.

There’s a reason that cabinets should be your first consideration when choosing to change the color of your kitchen. Depending on what material and hardware you use, kitchen cabinets typically consume half your kitchen renovation budget and take up approximately 40% of the visual space in your kitchen.

Colors That Work for Your Kitchen

paint kitchen cabinet colors

There's nothing more inspiring than cooking in the kitchen of your dreams. Whether you're exercising your culinary chops in the most efficient small kitchen or you've got endless storage and counter space, creating the ideal environment is much like perfecting your favorite recipe.  All of your design elements should play well together and create a cohesive look.

Kitchen cabinet colors can affect the mood of the room and dictate how the other pieces of your kitchen design fit together. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you see all of the color combinations available. Your cabinets are the centerpiece of the kitchen. Cabinets are like the walls of your kitchen; they set the tone of the room.

Wall paint color is important too; however, the kitchen cabinets will take up most of the wall space.  It is recommended to choose the color of the cabinets first, then decide on the wall and other features later.  

Here are some of the current most popular colors for cabinets:

1. White

White cabinets are timeless. That's why you see them in a lot of kitchens. They’re always in style and allow for flexibility in the rest of your kitchen. White kitchen cabinets fit perfectly into a traditional design, minimalist and contemporary designs. There’s a little more maintenance involved with white cabinets simply because they’re white and tend to show dirt and smudges more quickly than other colors.

2. Blue

Besides adding a pop of color, blue can make you feel good. Color psychology shows us that blue has calming effects and brings feelings of peace and tranquility when used in moderation.

Make sure you love the shade of blue you picked out before the paint is applied to the cabinets.  The shade of blue must pair well with the rest of the kitchen and living spaces surrounding it if you have an open concept layout.

A gray-based navy is a fun color that makes cabinets more neutral in the kitchen. Blue kitchen cabinets are also a great look for those wanting to create a more relaxed or beachy feeling to their home.

3. Gray 

Gray is the new go-to neutral color.  It is not as stark as white, but not as traditional as wood. Gray paint colors can range from classic to contemporary depending on the shade and its surroundings. 

With a variety of different tones, gray kitchen cabinets can skew either warm or cold, making it easy to pair with a variety of backsplash designs, countertop materials, and appliance finishes. Whether you have a farmhouse-inspired kitchen or a more contemporary cooking space, gray works with nearly all kitchen styles and cabinet designs.  

If your kitchen space is small or has limited natural light, dark gray cabinets could make it feel smaller and darker. Deep, saturated hues absorb light, whereas light shades bounce light back into the room, amplifying the brightness in the space. It’s better to opt for light gray cabinets in small spaces and use dark gray shades to ground a larger room.

4. Green

Green paint color pairs nicely with white oak, either on the flooring or on open shelving. It adds a natural vibe to kitchen spaces. There are many shades of green, allowing you to change the feel of the room based on the hardware and lighting. Green is versatile enough to mix and match classic and modern design elements.

Darker greens make a kitchen feel more like it was custom made as opposed to the standard white kitchen. Adding a color within the dark range is a way to make it special and versatile.

5. Bold Colors

A pop of color on your kitchen cabinets makes a style statement like no other. Not everyone likes neutrals; choosing a bold color might be the unexpected twist your kitchen needs to reflect your personality and be unique.  

Bold colors in large doses can become overpowering however, so be careful which color you choose and how much of it you use. It’s also more likely that you’ll grow tired of them sooner than other color options.

If you know you want a pop of color but are hesitant, there are other creative ways to add color to your kitchen decor. Find the perfect bold piece of art, opt for a colorful refrigerator or range, or paint an accent wall instead of all your kitchen cabinets.

6. Two-Toned Cabinets

Two-toned kitchen cabinets offer the best of both worlds. Typically, two-toned kitchen cabinets are white uppers paired with a darker color base cabinet. For lower colors, popular choices include grays and blues, canary yellow, mint green, and dark purple.

The white uppers allow just enough contrast and neutrality to allow for bolder colors on your base cabinets without the overall look being overwhelming. Darker colors near the ceiling can make the ceiling seem lower than it is, so keep that in mind.

Maintaining the Color of Kitchen Cabinets

To keep kitchen cabinets looking their best, you’ll need to keep on top of maintaining them. Quickly clean up any spills, splatters, or water spots with a soft cloth on kitchen cabinet paints. The sooner these spots are cleared off, the less chance they have of staining or discoloring the cabinetry.

Old food particles also get more difficult to remove if not cleaned quickly. To get rid of dried-on splatters may require intense scouring and harsher cleaners that can harm the cabinet finish. Avoid using a dishcloth or a dish wipe on cabinets. These items may carry buildup from oily food or unforgiving cleaning chemicals on them, which may damage cabinet surfaces.

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Kitchen

Selecting a color scheme involves much more than staring at dozens of paint chips at your local hardware store. You'll have to consider the rest of your kitchen's features, from the lighting and the backsplash to the flooring and the hardware, to ensure that your cabinetry's colors tie the rest of the elements together.

The color scheme encompasses the entire space, not just walls. Step back and consider everything from accent walls, cabinets, and appliances; it’s all involved in choosing your kitchen paint colors.

Match Cabinets to Countertop Colors

Your options for countertop materials are nearly endless. You can choose a splashy countertop color, such as aqua, or go for a sophisticated monochromatic look using slate or stainless steel. Natural stone, such as granite and marble, is also a popular complement to cabinets because the stone often features different colors of veining or flecks.

Backsplash

Most backsplashes are made to coordinate with kitchen cabinets and countertops. Pulling a color from your backsplash will give your kitchen flow. Some colors go out of style, as do some hardware choices. You can’t know how trends will change in the next few years, so your best bet is to pick what you like, but don’t go too wild, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years.

Lighting

Consider how much light your kitchen gets. If your kitchen doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you will want to stick to light shades in warm tones for your kitchen walls and cabinets. Light, warm colors give the illusion of adding light to your kitchen. If you have large windows in your kitchen that allow plenty of natural light in, you have a little bit more flexibility to add some darker tones into your palette.

In kitchens, lighting is usually directed toward the work area. This could mean track lighting pointing toward the counters or hanging island lights shining toward the center of the room. When you’re choosing cabinet paint colors, consider the shade of your cabinets and think about where you want the eye drawn. The eye will naturally look in the direction of the light, but by contrasting your cabinet color with your countertop color, you could bring the focus upward.

Cabinet Style and Hardware

When it comes to the order of selecting kitchen design elements, cabinet hardware is last on the list. Once there's a final decision on the paint color and countertops, the hardware is chosen so that it all comes together.

Hardware should be unique but not too bold so that it blends in with the whole scheme of the kitchen.  It is recommended to pair black hardware with modern light fixtures for an edgy look or use brass bin pulls and knobs if you're seeking a classic feel.

Bring Your Kitchen to Life

Ready to add some color to your home? The Painting Pros has the shades you want and a skillful painters to apply it. Our experienced team of painters can paint the kitchen cabinets and a whole lot more.

If you can’t decide on the right color for your cabinets, we can help you there too! We offer free color consultations for all paint projects.

Schedule a service call with a professional painter today!

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