Painting ideas for an oak kitchen

Written by emily maggrett
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Painting ideas for an oak kitchen
Pale oak shades match well with light, yellow-based green shades. (kitchen cupboard detail image by ewa kubicka from

Whether your kitchen features oak cabinetry, oak floors or oak trim, you will want to choose a paint colour which harmonises with oak tones, rather than one that will clash with them. In general, oak has yellowish undertones, which means that it will be best complemented by warm paint tones. However, you should experiment with painting small areas of your kitchen in order to determine which colour paint will work best for it.

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Terra cotta reds make a great foil for warm oak shades. Dark, muddy corals can look graceful against darker oak floors. Burgundy accents and milk-white walls will set off golden oak cabinetry. Although the overall effect may strike you as dramatic, sand-coloured oaks meld well with crimson walls. Pair distressed oak with pale red walls. Pale shell pinks lift up pale, unvarnished oak cabinetry or walls. Whenever you use red to paint large areas, accent it with white, so that the red does not feel too overwhelming.


Buttery yellows will work well with pickled oak cabinetry. Deep yellows play well off of honey-gold cabinetry, especially if your kitchen has white appliances or counters. Dark or mustard yellows can go well with darker oak shades. White walls accented with sun yellow can set off light yellow oaks. Saturated yellows make a great accent for light oaks, as well. Dusty yellows meld well with grey-tinged oak.


To update pickled oak cabinetry, back it with pale almond or biscuit-coloured walls. Khaki tones flatter darker oak shades. Warm, yellow-inflected beiges complement honey-gold oaks, helping to create a striking monochromatic effect. Pinkish-browns work well with honey-gold oaks, as well. Soft taupes set off light oaks, while coppery tones make an excellent counterpoint for medium-range oaks.


Rooms with light oak floors look handsome when paired with pure white walls. Unstained or weathered pale oaks gain rustic elegance from off-white walls. Pair darker oak walls with warm cream cabinetry; accent with iron or brass hardware. Pink-inflected whites flatter pickled oak furniture or cabinetry.


Use dark, muddy greens with medium-range oaks, and keep the effect light by trimming with white or bright yellow. Battered or whitewashed oak cabinetry looks stylish when contrasted with smooth, sage-green walls. Verdigris greenish-greys mellow red oak cabinetry, while pearly sea-greens can give honey-gold oaks warmth and sophistication. Soft pastel limes also mate well with honey-gold and darker oak shades.


China blue accents, when paired with white walls, balance attractively with oak trim or moulding. Greenish-turquoise walls, when paired with white cabinetry, add vivacity to oak-floored kitchens. Ice blue walls make an elegant match for oak countertops. Red oak works especially well with pale pastel aquas. Grey-blues balance stylishly with pale oak wood, while Wedgewood blues or deep slates make the most of medium-toned oak flooring.

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