Paint Colors for Kitchens

Learn how to devise a paint palette for your kitchen.
paint-colors-for-kitchens_4x3

paint-colors-for-kitchens_4x3

Kitchen of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Photo by: Eric Perry © 2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Eric Perry, 2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

There's no set rule on where to start when it comes to choosing a color palette for your kitchen, but your wall color can help dictate how you design the rest of the room.

Crank Up Your Kitchen's Style

See All Photos

Renovation Plans

From the second designer Liz Caan and her husband, Geoff, purchased their 1920s Colonial in Chestnut Hill, MA, 11 years ago, she plotted to tear out the kitchen’s plastic cabinets, rip up the dated pine floor, and increase the square footage. But a total reno would come at a budget-busting price, so she instead decided to boost the personality of the 10-foot-by-15-foot space with colors and patterns.

Redecorating Reality

“I used attention-diverting tricks to disguise the flaws,” says Liz. Without enlarging the footprint or changing the layout, she created a cheerful dining and hangout spot for sons Henry, 19, and Leo, 7, and daughter Lilly, 14. “While it’s not the huge Pinterest kitchen everyone salivates over, it works for our family—and our bank account.”

Banquette

The breakfast nook was outfitted with built-in banquettes upholstered in wipe-clean vinyl. Deep drawers below stash bulky kitchen items. The custom walnut-topped table, coated with commercial-grade matte varnish, is impervious to stains and spills.

Walls

Black-and-white striped wallpaper by First Editions—hung horizontally and covering part of the ceiling—brings sophistication to the kitchen. “My hope is that the lines are so eye-catching, you don’t notice how small the room is,” says Liz.

Brass Accents and Shutters

Touches of high-shine brass—from the Thomas O’Brien globe pendant to the cabinet knobs and pulls—introduce some stylish gleam. “I love brass—it’s so glam!” says Liz. The home’s original wavy glass windows had character, but were drafty. The solution: insulating plantation shutters, painted Black by Benjamin Moore, that echo the lines of the wallpaper.

Floors

Hexagons painted light blue and navy (Blue Nova and Stunning, both by Benjamin Moore) introduce dramatic pattern—and disguise the ordinary pine floor. While the inevitable wear-and-tear would stress out some homeowners, the chips and scuffs don’t bother Liz. “It’s not supposed to be perfect.”

Baker's Table

There’s limited counter space, so a freestanding Williams-Sonoma kitchen island with a cutting-board top is a handy spot for chopping veggies, mixing drinks, and stashing bottled water. The Restoration Hardware mirror hung behind the table helps visually enlarge the kitchen—and hides an unused electrical outlet.

Cabinets and Countertops

While Liz hates the builders’ grade white laminate cabinets that came with the house, “at least they blend in,” she says. Dollar-for-dollar, swapping the previous owners’ green Formica counters for timeless black granite was the change with the biggest impact.

Some popular paint colors for kitchens include yellow, red, blue, white and green. Overall, lighter wall colors tend to work well in kitchens and can create an airy and inviting atmosphere.

When deciding on a color palette for your kitchen, it's important to think about the overall design of your home and the vibe you're trying to achieve. Ask yourself how you want your kitchen to feel. Is it country chic? Modern and sleek? French bistro? There are many different pieces of your kitchen that need to coordinate, including your cabinets, countertops, backsplash, wall color and even appliances.

The color of your cabinets can also have a major effect on the overall design of your kitchen. Many people play it safe and go with white cabinets, a fresh and classic look. Others gravitate toward wood cabinets in a range from blond to brunette while other options include dark gray, navy blue or even bright red.

If you definitely want to paint your cabinets a color, consider using a lighter color on top and the deeper color on bottom, or vice versa. Or, if you have an island, just paint the bottom of that a different color and keep the other cabinets neutral. This will help the kitchen from feeling overpowered by one hue.

Countertops are another area in the kitchen where you can incorporate some color. Available in a wide array of natural materials and bold custom colors, countertop options are endless. Classic marble or butcher-block-style wood are neutral choices that work well with a variety of wall and cabinet colors, while granite, quartz and other surfaces come in a wide range of colors.

Backsplashes are another way to add some color to your kitchens, and there are many different directions to go. You can choose from simple white tiles to more intricate and colorful designs. If you're set on using bold colors in your kitchen, your backsplash is a safe place to do it, and it can help liven up more neutral cabinets and countertops.

One of the safest ways to add color to your kitchen is via your walls and kitchen accessories. Chalkboard walls are in style right now and they can make a great addition to a kitchen. A classic black chalkboard is one option, but there are other colors you can choose from that might work better in your particular space.

If you have a table in your kitchen, consider painting the chairs a bright contrasting color. A colorful standing mixer, vibrant dishtowels, a cheerful window treatment, a quirky light fixture or colorful hardware can also help brighten the space.

Paint Your Cabinets
Keep Reading

Next Up

Contemporary Kitchen Paint Colors

Discover the best contemporary kitchen paint colors for your kitchen.

What Colors to Paint a Kitchen

Get guidance on what colors to paint a kitchen.

Best Colors to Paint a Kitchen

Discover the best paint colors to use in your kitchen.

Paint Colors for Small Kitchens

Energize your small kitchen with a coat of fresh paint to the walls and cabinets, and consider soft neutrals or bold color combinations that will make your space seem larger and reflect your design style.

Charleston Paint Colors for Kitchens

Discover the best Charleston paint colors for your kitchen.

Warm Paint Colors for Kitchens

Get ideas on how to use warm paint colors in your kitchen.

Blue Kitchen Paint Colors

Discover the best blue paint colors for your kitchen.

Green Kitchen Paint Colors

Figure out the best green paint colors to use in kitchens.

Painting Your Kitchen for Resale

Repainting your kitchen can be an effective way to spruce it up for homebuyers. Make sure to use a subtle color palette that is appealing to a wide range of possible buyers.

Feng Shui Kitchen Paint Colors

Discover the best feng shui paint colors for your kitchen.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.