What is the Best Color to Paint Kitchen Cabinets? Interior Designers Vote for These Shades

Kitchen cabinet colors can make or break the look and feel of your kitchen. With so many paint colors to choose from, it can be overwhelming to select the right hue for your cabinetry. To help narrow down the options, we asked interior designers about their top picks for cabinet colors. Here’s what they voted as the best colors to paint kitchen cabinets along with tips on how to use each shade.

White Kitchen Cabinets Are a Classic Choice

One of the most popular kitchen cabinet colors is white. Crisp, clean white cabinetry creates a timeless and versatile look that works with any style from modern to traditional. There are many shades of white paint to work with from bright white to cream and antique white. Here’s why designers love white kitchen cabinets:

  • Provides a fresh, airy aesthetic that opens up smaller kitchens
  • Creates a neutral backdrop that allows other elements like counters, tile, and art to stand out
  • Works with any color scheme from bold colors to neutral palettes
  • Feels clean, classic and elegant for an upscale look
  • Options like antique white have a slightly creamy tone for a warm, welcoming vibe

When painting cabinets white, opt for cabinet-grade paint in a semi-gloss or high-gloss sheen for durability and easy cleaning. Try pairing white upper cabinets with a darker color on lowers for contrast. Add architectural details like crown molding for a built-in upscale look.

White cabinets suit any style from modern to farmhouse. For a crisp contemporary look, combine glossy white lacquer cabinets with sleek metal hardware. Or try open shelving and exposed hinges on shaker-style cabinets for an airy cottage kitchen.

Light Gray Cabinets Are Versatile and Stylish

For kitchen cabinets with a slightly softer look than stark white, light gray is a versatile option. Cool-toned grays create a calming, elegant look for kitchens. Light grays work equally well in modern and traditional kitchen designs. Here are some perks of light gray kitchen cabinets:

  • Provides an easy-to-match neutral backdrop like white cabinets
  • Warmer than white for a subtler, more relaxed aesthetic
  • Crisp look perfect for contemporary kitchens when paired with modern hardware
  • Inviting and cozy for cottage kitchens when combined with visible wood grain
  • Matches any countertop material from white marble to quartz
  • Cool undertones complement stainless steel appliances nicely

Popular gray cabinet paint colors include Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. Distressed finishes on gray cabinets can provide an antiqued cottage look. For a more modern feel, opt for glossy lacquered gray cabinetry and sleek bar pulls. Gray and white is a stylish combo—try gray lower cabinets with crisp white uppers for a two-toned look.

Navy Blue Kitchen Cabinets Create Drama and Style

For a bold and dramatic kitchen, navy blue cabinets can’t be beat. Deeper shades of navy are having a major moment in home décor. Navy kitchen cabinets can lend a chic, sophisticated look or even a cozy cottage vibe depending on styling. Reasons to consider navy blue for your kitchen cabinets:

  • Makes a bold style statement that immediately grabs attention
  • Classic color works well in traditional and cottage kitchens
  • Sophisticated look perfect for upgraded luxury kitchens
  • Crisp white trim and subway tile offsets navy cabinets beautifully
  • Inviting warmth paired with natural wood accents and open shelving
  • Durable—hides fingerprints, splatters and water spots better than lighter hues

When working with darker cabinet colors, stick to semi-gloss paint finishes for easy cleaning. Add greenery like herbs growing in the window for contrast. Warm metallic finishes like unlacquered brass pair nicely with navy cabinets. For a beachy style, combine navy cabinets with breezy linen curtains.

Green Kitchen Cabinets Add a Fresh, Nature-Inspired Look

For kitchens with an earthy, organic aesthetic, green is an unexpected yet beautiful color for cabinets. Shades of sage, mint and forest green can create tranquil, nature-inspired kitchen spaces. Reasons to go green with your kitchen cabinets:

  • Fresh, inviting look that brings the outdoors in
  • Works well in cottage, farmhouse, or craftsman kitchens
  • Unexpected pop of color in place of standard white or wood cabinets
  • Pairs nicely with natural elements like stone and wood accents
  • Color ranges from bold emerald to soft sage depending on your style
  • Warm green with yellow/golden undertones ideal for small dark spaces

When selecting a green paint color, look at undertones that coordinate with your counters and floors. Cool green grays work well with marble. Warm mossy greens suit wood surfaces. For smaller kitchens, avoid darker forest greens. Instead, opt for minty or sage greens to keep things light and bright. Add potted plants, woven textures and rustic wood elements to enhance the earthy vibe.

Yellow Kitchen Cabinets Create a Cheery, Uplifting Mood

Want your kitchen to feel like a ray of sunshine? Yellow is such a cheery, uplifting color for kitchen cabinets. Shades of golden yellow, lemon and buttercream make kitchens feel bright and happy. Consider yellow cabinets for:

  • Uplifting color creates joyful, playful ambiance
  • Works in cottage, rustic, and farmhouse kitchens
  • Crisp white trim offsets vibrant yellow beautifully
  • Pairs well with natural woods and woven textural accents
  • Warm golden yellows ideal for dark spaces or north-facing rooms
  • Color ranges from muted buttercream to bold taxicab yellow

Select warm golden yellows like buttercream for a cozy, vintage vibe. Opt for zesty lemon yellow in contemporary kitchens with slick finishes and modern styling. Softer muted yellow works nicely for small kitchens, while bold taxi yellow makes a lively statement. Add plenty of white and natural light to keep bold yellow kitchen cabinets from overwhelming a space.

The Best of the Rest: More Cabinet Color Ideas

Beyond the most popular options, interior designers also recommend these unexpected, unique cabinet color ideas:

  • Red: From cherry red to deeper burgundy, red cabinets make a dramatic style statement, especially when paired with white. Red works in modern, cottage or retro kitchens.
  • Purple: Light lilac or deeper jewel-toned purple can lend a playful, elegant vibe. Pair purple cabinets with warm metals and white trim.
  • Black: For seriously bold contrast, black cabinets work well in modern and industrial kitchens, especially when paired with chrome and stainless steel.
  • Teal: For a pop of color, ocean blues and deeper teals work nicely in beachy, nautical or eclectic kitchens. Try open shelving to prevent dark teal cabinets from feeling too imposing.
  • Orange: Burnt orange, terra cotta, or softer peach create a warm, welcoming vibe. Works well in Tuscan, farmhouse or rustic kitchens.

Don’t limit yourself to plain white or wooden cabinets. Ask your interior designer about unique color options that can lend your kitchen style and personality while also hiding cooking mess. Just steer clear of high-maintenance light pastels. Opt for bolder or deeper tones that hide wear in busy kitchens.

With so many enticing paint options, selecting just one cabinet color can be a challenge. Start by thinking about the overall look you want to achieve in your kitchen remodel or design plan. Consider elements like countertops, flooring, existing paint colors and the room’s lighting. From there, choose a versatile shade like light gray or white if you want an easy-match neutral. Or go bold with navy, green or even red cabinets to make a stylish color statement. The designers have spoken—it’s time to pick your perfect shade and add colorful personality to your kitchen in a fresh new way.

What is the Best Color to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

When it comes to choosing a color for your kitchen cabinets, the options can seem endless. With so many paint colors to pick from, it’s tricky to select just one perfect hue for your cabinetry makeover. The key is deciding what look and feel you want your kitchen to have. Do you want an airy, neutral palette or a bold, vibrant color statement? Complementary colors or high-contrast?

Interior designers recommend some excellent kitchen cabinet color ideas across the color spectrum. Clean, bright white is a timeless choice that creates a fresh, neutral backdrop. Light grays have a slightly warmer, more relaxed look than stark white. Green lends an organic, earthy aesthetic for a nature-inspired kitchen. Yellow infuses cheerful, sunny vibes. Navy blue makes a sophisticated style statement.

Beyond classic whites and neutrals, don’t hesitate to go bold with color. Red, purple, black, orange and teal cabinets can all help set the tone in your kitchen. Just make sure to choose deeper, bolder hues that will hide cooking mess better than soft pastels.

Consider the look you want for your kitchen and home. Think about elements like flooring, countertops, and room lighting. Decide whether you want your cabinet color to blend in subtly or make a dramatic statement. Ask your kitchen designer for advice on choosing the right color to match your counters, floors and décor style. The options are endless, so have fun exploring colorful cabinet makeover ideas before deciding on just the right hue for your space.

FAQs About the Best Cabinet Colors for Kitchens

What is the most popular color for painting kitchen cabinets?

White is by far the most popular color choice for kitchen cabinets. Crisp, clean white kitchen cabinets have a timeless, classic look that works in both modern and traditional kitchens. White cabinetry keeps the kitchen looking light, bright and spacious.

What color cabinets are in style for 2023?

For 2023, expect to see lots of lighter toned cabinets like white, light gray, cream, and beige. These versatile neutrals pair with any style. Bolder navy blue cabinets are also on trend, along with earthy green cabinets in sage and forest hues.

What is the best white to paint kitchen cabinets?

For kitchen cabinets, the best white is an ultra-crisp bright white. Try Benjamin Moore’s White Dove or Decorator’s White for a clean look. For a slightly warmer white, Swiss Coffee by Behr is a popular off-white paint color for cabinets. Opt for cabinet-grade paint in a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish for durability.

Should you paint interior kitchen cabinets?

Painting the interior of kitchen cabinets is an optional final touch. If you’re painting cabinet exteriors, consider painting the interiors to match for a seamless, finished look. Opt for cabinet enamel paint formulated for interiors since the insides won’t need as much cleaning and scrubbing as exposed exterior surfaces.

What kitchen cabinet color makes a small kitchen look bigger?

White, light gray, and lighter wood tones like maple or birch can make a small kitchen appear larger and brighter. Avoid using dark colors like black, brown, red or navy on cabinets in a small kitchen. Instead go for light, bright, airy colors and plenty of task lighting.

How do you choose a kitchen cabinet color?

Consider your overall kitchen design, the look you want, and elements like flooring, countertops, appliances and lighting. Neutral whites and grays blend seamlessly, while bold navy or green makes a stylish color statement. Look at color palettes and experiment with paint swatches before committing.


Selecting the perfect color for your kitchen cabinets is an important decision that impacts the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. While white may be the safe default, don’t overlook other lighter neutrals like warm grays with undertones that complement your counters and floors. For a touch of color, green and blue cabinets are designer-recommended options that add style while still remaining versatile and easy to match.

Be bold and brave—paint your cabinets navy, red, yellow or another color you love. Just opt for deeper tones over pastels. Consider the look you want, along with elements like existing finishes and room lighting. Ask your kitchen designer for advice on choosing a color that aligns with your vision. Then take your time testing out paint swatches before finally landing on just the right shade to give your kitchen a beautiful and personalized look you’ll enjoy for years to come.