Painting your kitchen cabinets but struggling with colors? Choosing the best kitchen cabinet color is difficult for homeowners. Especially with all of the white, green, navy blue, and dark gray color trends that are in right now.
No question, it’s common to feel overwhelmed with hundreds of kitchen design ideas. Given that, we’ve created a guide to finding the perfect kitchen cabinet paint colors to create a look you’ll love. Not to mention, our 11 best cabinet colors are classic shades that will stand the test of time. As opposed to the typical fly-by-night interior design trends.
To help you pick the best colors for cabinets we asked our painting experts here at Improovy for the latest and greatest hues. From classic white cabinets, painting kitchen islands, to darker colors, our trend-worthy list covers it all. Likewise, we’ll showcase before and after pictures of cabinet painting projects to inspire your next kitchen makeover.
After selecting a few of the most popular kitchen cabinet paint colors, try placing swatches next to your countertops and backsplash. That way, you’ll get a better idea of how a new cabinet color coordinates with your current kitchen’s look.
Whether you prefer a neutral white kitchen color or two-toned cabinetry style, the photos in our top 11 cabinet paint colors will make deciding easy.
- White Dove By Benjamin Moore
Kitchen trends come and go, but Benjamin Moore’s White Dove (OC-17) remains a popular cabinet paint color year after year. It is a creamy, soft white cabinet shade with warm undertones. No doubt, White Dove looks amazing in your kitchen when paired with a black granite countertop. This is evident in the awesome before and after painted kitchen cabinets below!
Moreover, White Dove is a warm neutral kitchen color that is quite versatile. Specifically, it does have hints of yellow and gray which pulls it back from being too stark. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend pairing it with white quartz or granite kitchen countertops as it may look too yellow in contrast.
For your reference, this is brighter white with a higher LRV of 85. As a result, it may take a few extra coats to cover. All in all, this classic shade sets a welcoming and balanced tone for any farmhouse or open concept kitchen home interior.
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- Pure White By Sherwin-Williams
Pure White by Sherwin Williams is another favorite white cabinet paint color among homeowners. This super popular white tone for cabinetry strikes that rare balance between warm and cool. As shown in the kitchen cabinet before and after photos below, it works well as a sleek upper color for a two-tone configuration. It also balances well with stainless steel appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves.
Now, Pure White (SW 7005) is more of a brighter white versus a softer tone like White Dove. As a result, it actually pairs very nicely with white countertops like veined quartz or marble. Indeed, we love using this trendy white kitchen cabinet color for contemporary or modern cabinet door styles.
Accordingly, it contrasts beautifully with textured backsplashes for a picture-perfect kitchen design option. With the pandemic, we all could use a little brightening up in our kitchen and main living spaces.
Learn about how to choose between satin and matte paint finishes in our latest guide.
Trend Alert: Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets
One of the hottest design trends many homeowners are opting for is two-toned cabinets. This unique kitchen cabinet design is where you have two different colors on the upper and lower sections of your cabinets. Typically you’d want a lighter color for upper cabinets and a neutral or deeper color for the bottom drawer faces below countertops.
You can also coordinate a two-tone color combination between the main cabinets and kitchen island drawers and boxes. This works best with a lighter color for the main drawers and an accent cabinet color for the island.
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- Dovetail SW 7018 (Drawers or Lowers)
We’ve covered some classic white cabinet colors so let’s dive into the neutral gray family to mix things up. Sherwin-Williams’ Dovetail is a medium-toned gray kitchen cabinet color that certainly works well as a lower drawer contrasting color in white kitchens. Likewise, it’s a top choice for a kitchen island to add a pop of color to any modern kitchen. However, this trendy gray cabinet tone can stand on its own, especially in open kitchens that get plenty of natural light.
Not only is it one of the world’s most popular gray-painted cabinet colors, but Dovetail has enough warmth to create an inviting space where dinner guests will want to hang out at. Ultimately versatile, it plays nicely with starker shades like Pure White or warmer neutrals like White Dove.
What we like most is that Dovetail (SW 7018) has an LRV of 26. This means it has excellent coverage when painting. Not to mention, it has enough depth to pair with most countertops and kitchen flooring combinations.
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- Benjamin Moore’s Simply White
Many design experts swear that Simply White by Benjamin Moore is their go-to paint color for kitchen cabinetry. And we don’t disagree, as this warm white can cozy up even the most sterile, cold kitchen layouts. As with most white paint colors, this shade works best with plenty of natural light. Moreover, it has very soft yellow undertones so we recommend it in kitchens with plenty of northern or cooler lighting.
Since the kitchen is often the busiest room in the house, Simply White (OC-117) allows for an inviting atmosphere where friends and family can gather while waiting on dinner to be served. This color works best with natural wood butcher block countertops or dark granite with a kitchen island. Also worth mentioning is that it’s a warmer-leaning white without any gray undertones. This makes it a wonderfully crisp white color for kitchens or trim, doors, ceilings, and even exteriors.
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- Sherwin Williams’ Naval SW 6244
Blue cabinet colors for kitchens are ever more popular these days and Naval (SW 6244) by Sherwin Williams stands out as one of the best. No question, dark navy tones in a kitchen are trendy. However, the key to finding a timeless blue cabinet paint color that won’t go out of style is to choose a more neutral hue. Along those lines, Naval does not disappoint.
It’s a deeper blue tone that works as the main cabinet color or as a contrasting kitchen island color. In particular, we love pairing Naval with stark white sinks or grayish countertops. In like fashion, this lovely blue hue works great with brass-colored cabinet pulls, handles, knobs, and faucets. And since Sherwin-Williams deemed Naval as its 2020 color of the year, we’re guessing it’ll be some time before it goes out of style, if ever.
- Rookwood Dark Green (Sherwin Williams)
One of the top kitchen trends this year is green cabinet paint colors. That’s why we had to add Rookwood Dark Green (SW 2816) by Sherwin Williams to our list. Indeed, this wonderfully natural green kitchen cabinet color has been flying under the radar for years.
As a dark forest green, it’s perfect for a natural contrasting kitchen island paint color as shown below. Surprisingly, this is Sherwin’s darkest green paint color which is perfect if you want to go bold in a two-tone cabinet design setup in your kitchen.
This deep green kitchen paint color pairs nicely with brass light fixtures and natural wood floors or butcherblock style countertops. Likewise, Rookwood Dark Green works well with natural straw or farmhouse elements. These are often found in modern or new kitchen feels that lean into the nature theme. This is one of those shades of green for cabinets that can act as a focal point for any contemporary kitchen remodel straight off of Houzz or HGTV.
- Mysterious, Benjamin Moore
Looking for a deeper navy blue paint color for your kitchen cabinets? Benjamin Moore’s Mysterious AF-565 may be the perfect hue for your cabinet boxes and doors. First, this is a deep, rich denim blue that can register as black in some lights. Given that black paint colors are all the rage for interiors and exteriors this year, we see Mysterious as an extension of that trend.
As kitchen cabinet color trends continue to adopt sophisticated shades of black, we’ll see more of these hues pop up in modern color schemes. No question, darker shades will continue to be used as an accent color on a kitchen island and as a two-tone option.
This cabinet color is almost charcoal with hints of navy as an undertone. Nonetheless, it’s categorized as a classic neutral that works well in both contemporary and traditional kitchens or home designs. Lastly, pair this deep blue with white countertops and subway tile kitchen backsplashes for a sophisticated aesthetic.
- Summer White By Sherwin-Williams
Warmth and natural environments are big in today’s kitchen design trends. Cue Sherwin-Williams off-white cabinet paint color, Summer White (SW 7557). Indeed, this is a warm pastel cabinet hue that evokes the feel of a warm summer day. Use it on wood cabinets paired with a rustic range hood for a country kitchen feel.
While beige pastels have been out of style since the mid-2000s, Summer White is more of a warm white when painted on cabinets. It works especially well paired with darker countertop materials like granite, pictured above in a recently completed kitchen renovation.
As a warm color choice for kitchens, this airy pastel can brighten up any small space with a hint of sunshine. Plus, its way easier to clean an off-white cabinet surface versus a stark white like Chantilly Lace. If you like to cook, that is a major consideration when picking cabinet paint color palettes.
Modern Kitchen Cabinet Styles:
- Shaker Style cabinets are the most common design at the moment. This style consists of 5 flat panels, often used in traditional or contemporary designs
- Louvered Style cabinets have horizontal wooden slats, adding a unique style to kitchen cabinetry. They are great for storage needing ventilation, as the louvered doors have space between each slat
- Beadboard is a cabinet style made of rows of vertical planks with ridges between each plank. The look of these cabinets makes perfect in a cottage or country farmhouse
- Chantilly Lace (OC-65)
While we all can’t live in a picture-perfect world, we can channel those vibes with nice delicate white cabinetry. Indeed Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (OC-65) fits that bill. This very popular neutral crisp white paint color is great if you want to open up a smaller kitchen. Accordingly, its clean sharpness makes it great for kitchen cabinets.
One key consideration is that Chantilly Lace has an (LVR) Light Reflectance Value of 92.2. In other words, it’s extremely light and clean. Keep in mind, higher LRVs mean more prime and paint coats are needed to cover cabinet surfaces properly. Whether you’re DIY painting walls, trim, or cabinets, its notoriously difficult to cover in one or two coats. As long as you budget for at least 2 or 3 EXTRA coats, you’ll be fine using this as a kitchen color.
Be that as it may, this shade is great for kitchen cabinets with rustic home decors. Benjamin Moore says this shade creates an illusion of soft silk and linen. We largely agree. Since this is a bright white cabinet paint color perfect for breezy kitchens that open into a living room or great room.
- Studio Green By Farrow and Ball
A yummy color for cabinets worth trying is Studio Green (No.93) by Farrow and Ball. This is the boutique paint company’s darkest green color. However, it lightens beautifully without losing its rich color. A dark hue like Studio Green may come off as intimidating, but it makes a smaller room look large.
With that said, Studio Green goes well with shaker-style cabinetry for a bold statement. Nevertheless, you can still paint your flat-surfaced cabinets, but it just really makes your shaker cabinets stand out.
- Antique White, PPG Paints
At first glance, Antique White by PPG (PPG1024-2) adds an elegant statement to any kitchen cabinet. It’s a pale, caramel white with bronze undertones. Indeed, this color works well with wood flooring and white walls, giving your kitchen cabinets a timeless classic look.
Likewise, this shade will brighten up your kitchen with little to no light. Overall, Antique white is the best PPG paint color for kitchen cabinets. Considering how popular the farmhouse kitchen look has been, this is a great shade to remain on-trend. Use this paint color only in cooler-leaning kitchens to offset stark white tiles or fixtures. If paired with other creamy, warm surfaces like travertine tile flooring or tan walls, it may look too yellow.
The Best Paint For Cabinets
You need special paint and primer when painting kitchen cabinets. Likewise, there are multiple steps in the prep process you cannot overlook including sanding the surface and even skim coating rougher cabinet face textures. Given the amount of time and skill it takes to properly paint cabinets, we recommend skipping this as a DIY project for homeowners.
The best finish for cabinets is achieved using a specialized sprayer versus rolling or brushing. While you can rent a sprayer as a homeowner, the skill needed to apply cabinet paint properly is very high. You can visit Home Depot’s paint sprayer rental page for more information.
In any case, some home painting jobs are just best left to professionals. Cabinet painting is definitely one of those projects. However, using the right kind of paint matters. Here are our recommendations for the best Sherwin Williams cabinet paint as well as Benjamin Moore.
Top-Rated Cabinetry Paint From Sherwin
First, you’ll need a solid bonding primer after prepping your cabinets for painting. An excellent choice is Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer. Whether you are looking to transition your traditional wood paints to white this primer is a must-have.
Our painting experts use this base for durability and easy coverage. It ensures secure bonding on tricky kitchen cabinet surfaces for a high-quality smooth finish. Furthermore, this primer offers scratch resistance and water sensitivity.
Which Sherwin Williams paint is good for cabinets?
First impressions matter, that’s why Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel is best for a smooth luxurious cabinet finish. This line of paint is stain and scratch-resistant, two of the best characteristics to have in your kitchen cabinet paint selection.
Sherwin Williams’ Emerald dries hard making it durable. Not to mention, it has great color retention with is important for white cabinetry. Moreover, color retention is key to changing cabinet colors to darker shades like Hale Navy, pictured below.
Benjamin Moore Advance Cabinet Paint
Benjamin Moore Advance has been a popular paint base for many years now. Many contractors use this as a go-to because of the excellent quality and cost per gallon compared to Sherwin Williams Emerald. Lastly, this paint is self-leveling which ensures a smooth finish when spraying cabinets.
Advance is a waterborne alkyd that dries like oil-based paint. With that said, only soap and water are needed to clean and sustain your cabinet from wear and tear.
While Behr, Valspar, and Glidden all have cabinet paint products, we recommend sticking with Sherwin or Ben Moore if possible.
More Expert Painting Advice
Finding this cabinet paint color guide useful? Get more tips from the experts at Improovy by selecting our most recent articles below:
Cabinet Paint Color FAQs