The Ultimate Guide: What Color to Choose When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

painting kitchen cabinets

When we think of kitchen renovations, we often go to big-ticket items like new appliances or luxurious marble countertops. But the truth is, one of the most noticeable changes you can make doesn’t have to break the bank: painting your kitchen cabinets. Given that the cabinets take up so much visual space in a kitchen, the color you choose for them can dramatically alter the room’s personality and feel. 

The question then becomes, what color to choose when painting kitchen cabinets? Whether you’re a homeowner ready to take on a DIY project or someone looking for inspiration, this guide provides valuable insights into making that crucial color decision for your cabinets.

Matching Your Kitchen’s Theme

One of the first things to do is to assess the existing theme or style of your kitchen. Is it sleek and modern with high-tech appliances? Or is it more of a cozy, rustic space filled with wooden textures? It could be a blend of old and new, merging classic and contemporary elements. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll be better equipped to select a cabinet color that complements your kitchen’s overall vibe.

For example, if your kitchen features modern design elements like stainless steel appliances and marble countertops, you might opt for cool tones such as gray, navy, or even a subtle silver. These shades can make the metallic and stone elements pop, providing a harmonious look.

What Color to Choose When Painting Kitchen Cabinets?

The question of what color to choose when painting kitchen cabinets goes beyond aesthetics and becomes a reflection of your lifestyle. A splash of color can transform your kitchen from a mundane space to one filled with energy, excitement, or even tranquility.  Let’s explore some of the most popular choices.


The color red doesn’t just add a burst of vitality; it also stimulates the appetite. While not everyone dares to go bold with this color, using it sparingly can add a delightful focal point to your kitchen. A red kitchen island or lower cabinets can infuse your cooking space with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm.


Grey is less a color and more a multi-faceted palette all its own. It offers the perfect neutral background, making it easier for other elements in your kitchen to shine. From light, airy shades to dark, dramatic tones, grey gives you an incredible range of options when wondering what color to choose when painting kitchen cabinets.


Blue is universally loved for its calming qualities, and it fits snugly into various kitchen styles. Light blues offer a clean and airy feel, whereas darker shades can give your kitchen a rich depth. However, since blue can dominate the room, it’s wise to offset it with neutral elements, like white countertops or gray flooring.


Like a splash of sunlight, yellow cabinets can light up your kitchen. Yellow invigorates and is known to stimulate appetite, just like red. This color can make a smaller kitchen feel more open and welcoming. Pair it with grey and white for a balanced, contemporary look.


Green is the color of choice if you want something different but still widely appreciated. It pairs beautifully with natural elements like wood and can offer an organic, fresh feel to your kitchen. Lighter greens are calming, while deeper shades can be invigorating.


When in doubt, you can never go wrong with white. It’s a timeless choice that offers incredible versatility. Whether your style is modern, minimalist, or country chic, white cabinets provide the perfect backdrop for all color schemes and accessories.


Whether you prefer a natural wood look or consider deeper hues, brown offers warmth and neutrality. It’s a classic choice that never goes out of style and works well in kitchens with a traditional or transitional design.


For those who prefer a dramatic flair, black cabinets can offer a striking contrast, especially in larger kitchens or open floor plans. Paired with lighter elements, black can create a balance of tones that’s visually appealing.

Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted Lighter Or Darker Than The Walls?

When figuring out what color to choose when painting kitchen cabinets, you’ll find yourself contemplating whether they should be lighter or darker than the walls. The choice isn’t just about your design vision; it’s also about how colors can affect the perception of space and light within your kitchen.

The amount of natural light your kitchen receives can also influence your color choice. Lighter colors tend to work better in smaller, darker spaces as they can make the room appear bigger and brighter. Darker colors can add depth and richness but might make a small kitchen feel even smaller if not balanced correctly.

The goal is to achieve a balanced look that works harmoniously with your wall color, countertops, and other kitchen elements. Too much of one shade can overwhelm the space, so think about contrast and balance. If you’re painting your walls a medium shade, for example, going too dark or too light on the cabinets could disrupt this balance.

Test Before You Commit

Before you make a final decision, it’s wise to test your chosen color in the actual space. Paint a small section of one cabinet and observe it at different times of the day and under various lighting conditions. This step will help you get a better idea of how the color will look and feel in your kitchen.

Transform Your Kitchen with Highfill Painting—Your Partner in Making the Best Color Choices

What is the most popular color for painted kitchen cabinets? Deciding what color to choose when painting kitchen cabinets is no small feat. With endless options available, it can be a daunting task to pick the right shade that will both uplift your space and match your personal style. This is precisely why seeking professional guidance can be invaluable, and here’s how Highfill Painting provides you with a significant edge.

At Highfill Painting, we bring a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to every project. We offer a free color consultation service to help you make the best choice for your kitchen cabinets. We take the time to understand your vision for the space, your lifestyle needs, and even the psychology of color to help guide you toward a selection that perfectly harmonizes with your existing kitchen elements and the atmosphere you wish to create.

Ready to give your kitchen a transformative facelift? Contact us today for a free quote and consultation.

About Highfill Painting

Highfill Painting, a cornerstone of the local community, offers a comprehensive range of painting services designed to beautify and protect your space. With years of expertise, our family-owned business combines traditional values with modern techniques to deliver unparalleled results. Whether you're looking to refresh your home's interior, protect your exterior against the elements, or give your commercial space a new lease on life, our team is dedicated to exceeding your expectations.