Kitchen Cupboard Paint Colors

Updated February 21, 2017

Homeowners who are thinking about replacing their kitchen cupboards may benefit from repainting them instead. A good coat of paint can give a kitchen a whole new look, and is much less expensive than a new set of cabinets. However, the wrong colour could blend into the walls, make the kitchen feel oppressive or end up seeming too strong for the space. Choosing the right paint colours for your kitchen cupboards is the first step to a whole new look.


White and other light tones are a classic choice for kitchen cabinets, and have the advantage of making spaces look bigger. Country-style kitchens can benefit from white cabinets. However, in a kitchen where the walls are already white, cabinets that are too pale may fade into the background. White cupboards in a spacious kitchen can make the room feel barnlike and echoing. In these cases, consider painting the walls a darker tone first, or tint the paint with another colour to provide visual interest.


Another traditional kitchen colour, yellow is valued for its warm feeling and works well in rooms that don't get much natural sunlight. According to Better Homes and Gardens, yellow creates a warm, welcoming kitchen and is best used in dark kitchens or kitchens positioned on the north side of the home. Yellow blends in well with wood tones and a number of other colours, so it may work well with existing decor Choose pale or muted yellows and reserve strong tones for accents, though. Very bright yellow cabinets may seem overwhelming.


Blue cabinets provide a calm feeling, and are popular in kitchens with an Old World or Mediterranean decorating theme. They go well with blue enamelware and tile. Pale and dark blues both work on kitchen cupboards, but darker blues are best used along with a light wall colour. Too many dark tones can make your kitchen feel like a cave.


While black cabinets might seem like an unusual choice, they can work well. Strong tones such as black work well in kitchens with bright walls, floors and ceilings and an open plan. HGTV recommends removing the doors from black cabinets, allowing the dishes inside to be visible and creating a sophisticated look.


Cabinets in green can be bold and modern or soft and natural, depending on the tone you choose. Bright lime or kelly green cabinets do well when complemented with white walls and bright appliances. Softer shades, like sage, make an excellent addition to country kitchens and European designs. Use green in kitchens with plenty of light, however. Otherwise, reflections from the cabinets may make food look unappetizing.


Bright red can make a striking statement in your kitchen. When used well, it creates warmth and excitement. When used in a space that's too small, too dark or too enclosed, it can feel oppressive. Better Homes and Gardens recommends pairing red cabinets with gold trim. Rose tones work well in kitchens where strong reds are too much, but avoid pairing them with orange-toned woods.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.