Color Ideas for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Discover the best colors for kitchen cabinets.
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Bored with your current kitchen and wondering how to spruce it up? Forget a major overhaul. Consider some color ideas for painting kitchen cabinets and see if that does the trick.

A focal point in the kitchen, cabinets take up a lot of space and demand that you look at them day after day. If they're painted a color you don't particularly love, chances are you're going to get tired of them in no time.

There are lots of colors that work well on kitchen cabinets, but it can be tricky to find the right one. Before selecting an unusual hue, take into account the other items and colors in the room. Look at your walls, counters, backsplash, floor and appliances. If you already have a lot of color in the room, it's best to go with white or neutral cabinets. There are many different shades of white to choose from, but all of them will help your room feel bright and fresh. White cabinets can also brighten up a dark room. Some good neutral colors for kitchen cabinets include light gray, dark gray, or greige (a mix of gray and beige). These neutrals will help ground your space and give you freedom to incorporate more playful colors via accessories and appliances.

If you tend to be more adventurous when it comes to color, your cabinets are a great place to have some fun. Yellow is a common go-to kitchen color; on cabinets you can try a light, buttery yellow or a pastel shade more reminiscent of lemonade. Sky blue is another popular kitchen color for walls and cabinets. It can create an airy, ethereal vibe and looks great with white and stainless steel accents. Mint green or bluish greens can look really nice on kitchen cabinets as well.

10 Tricks to Wake Up a Kitchen

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Before: Boring Big White Box

The list of design crimes: Barely any cabinet space, the awkward peninsula cabinets that chopped the room in half, broken oven, nasty peel-and-stick floors, and fluorescent lighting

©HGTV

The Winner at Work

When Meg first scoped out this kitchen emergency, she found an out-of-order cooking space in desperate need of a remodel. Turns out the Chicago family of four had plans for an overhaul, but projects in other parts of the house demanded their attention—and their budget—so their reno dreams were put on hold. But then: Meg swooped in to the rescue!

©HGTV

After: Much Smarter Space Planning

Meg didn’t tear out a single wall, but it sure feels like she did! By lining everything up on two facing walls, the layout is a lot less cramped. Meg’s tip: “Countertops on opposite walls shouldn’t be more than eight feet apart,” she says. “Any wider and you’ll want an island in between them.”

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Sleek Storage

For the cabinets, Meg paired rich cherry wood with modernish nickel knobs. Find the same ones at cabinetparts.com.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Invincible Countertops

The smart selection: off-white Corian that looks like marble but won’t stain.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Cushy Floors + Durable Pretty Furniture

Meg picked dark-stained cork for the floors. It’s warm and sound-absorbent. “It feels like you’re walking on gel!” she says. The dining benches can take a beating and keep on seating. Meg gave the floral fabric an iron-on vinyl coating so they can be cleaned with a Windex wipe-down after meals.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Glam Lighting

Meg created a custom fixture by hanging a cluster of mercury glass pendants at different heights over the dining table. “It makes the room shimmer,” she says. A leftover pendant was suspended above the sink.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Unexpected Stripes

Thinking outside the box, Meg flipped the funky glass tiles to run vertically along the backsplash. Little change, big impact!

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

No-Limit Mixing

Forget dining sets (so The Price is Right!). Meg prefers to mix styles and materials, so she pulled up a pair of cane-back wood chairs and upholstered benches to a painted metal table. “These are the kinds of risks that add personality to a room,” she says.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Hide-and-Seek Window Shades

Custom valances made of plywood and supercute fabric cover the blinds, which drop down for privacy.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Multi-Functional Space

It’s art. It’s a bar. It’s both! You have to love a house that says, “Help yourself to a drink.” Meg amped up the kitchen’s bar area with zigzag wallpaper and floating shelves.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Even More Seating

Metal bistro stools scoot under the extra-thick Corian counter. They come in handy for parties.

Photo By: Douglas Friedman

Darker colors such as emerald green, cranberry red, and navy blue can really make a statement on kitchen cabinets, but they work best in large spaces since they can darken small rooms. If you plan to use them in a tiny kitchen, make sure to balance them out with white walls and lighter accents.

The sky is really the limit when it comes to kitchen cabinet colors. If you're drawn to neutrals and more colorful shades, incorporate both by creating two-toned cabinets. The trick is to put the light color on top and a darker one on the bottom to help ground the space. Try this combination with white or gray cabinets on top and yellow, blue, green, or red cabinets on the bottom.

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