Kitchen Paint Colors for the Walls to Match Oak or White Cabinets

Choosing the best kitchen paint colors involves three important factors:

  • The color of your kitchen cabinets (oak or white).
  • Recognizing the undertones in your cabinets, flooring, and furniture.
  • Coordinating a balanced color palette.

You can pick your favorite colors, or try to mimic photos of other kitchens, but you'll likely be disappointed by the results. Read on to learn what color to paint your kitchen walls for stunning success.

Kitchen Paint Colors with Oak Cabinets

First, decide whether you want to accent the color of your wood cabinets or minimize them so they blend into the background.

How to Highlight Your Oak Cabinets

Kitchen Paint Colors - Beige Walls Honey Oak Cabinets - Kimberly PaintingTo accentuate the look of warm oak, use cool kitchen paint colors. Consider shades of blue, green, or purple.

Or use neutral colors with blue, green, or purple undertones. Choose a paint color several shades lighter or darker than your cabinets.

Gray paint colors are the hottest trend in interior painting, but if you want your oak cabinets to look their best, do not choose kitchen wall colors with gray undertones.

How to Soften the Look of Your Oak Cabinets

Kitchen Paint Colors - Dark Cabinets Brown Walls - Kimberly PaintingBefore choosing kitchen paint colors, determine the undertones of your oak cabinet finish. The most common are yellows, oranges, and reds.

To minimize or blend the look of your oak cabinets, use kitchen paint colors in browns, beige, or creams.

Select colors with similar undertones as in your cabinet finish and choose slightly lighter or darker shades of paint.

Updating Oak Cabinets is Easy

Since you’re painting the kitchen walls, give your cabinets some TLC, too.

  • Add or update handles, pulls, and knobs.
  • Choose a unified color palette for kitchen decor. A variety of colors, metals, and textures makes the room appear cluttered. Most times, a neutral theme is best for oak cabinets. Some greenery gives the room energy.
  • Add crown molding (the crown that sits on top of your cabinets) and a valance (a strip of wood attached to the bottom of your upper cabinets). Ask us about our carpentry services.
  • Install new lighting and fixtures.
  • Give your kitchen a makeover by painting the cabinets and the walls.

Kitchen Paint Colors that Compliment White Cabinets

White Walls, White Cabinets - Gorgeous!

Gorgeous White Kitchen Cabinets Gray Backsplash Black CountertopsKitchen paint colors in shades of white give the room a clean, spacious feel. White cabinets on white walls complement each other, no matter the shade or sheen.

You can choose bright white cabinets against warm white walls, or off-white against cool white, for instance.

The challenge in choosing white kitchen paint colors - whether on the walls or the cabinets - are the undertones. Whites come in tints of almost every other color including beige, cream, gray, blue, green, pink, and purple.

White paint colors also reflect surrounding colors. Consider the undertones of your flooring, accent walls or decor, furniture, light fixtures, and even the view out the kitchen window.

Here are a few of our favorite white kitchen paint colors.

  • Sherwin Williams Pure White (SW 7005)
    Pure White is on the cooler side of the palette, but it is soft enough to pair with nearby warm or cool colors. Use Pure White on your walls (or cabinets), and paint the ceiling, trim, and doors a different sheen of this same color.
  • Sherwin Williams Extra White (SW 7006)
    Extra White mixes best with a cooler color scheme. It’s crisp and contemporary. Again, use a different sheen of Extra White on trim, ceilings, and cabinets.
  • Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008)
    Alabaster is your warm, cozy white as kitchen paint colors go. It’s almost off white with a creamy feel (without yellow undertones). Alabaster looks gorgeous paired with either a warm or cool decor color palette.

Light Gray Walls, White Cabinets

Light Gray Kitchen Walls with White CabinetsA light shade of gray looks clean and modern on your kitchen walls, just not as bright as white.

Sherwin Williams Lazy Gray (SW 6254) is a good example.

Greige Painted Walls

Greige is a gray paint color with beige undertones that radiate warmth. Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice (SW 7647) is a wonderful example of Greige that pairs well with white cabinets.

Yummy Dark Brown Kitchen Walls

Dark Brown Kitchen Paint Colors on the WallDelicious shades of dark brown on the walls accent the clean look of white cabinets.

But be sure to match brown kitchen paint colors with the undertones and shades of existing browns such as flooring and furniture.

Consider Bitter Chocolate (SW 6013) or Chocolate Powder (SW 9082).

Warm Up to Beige Walls and White Cabinets

The right beige tone contrasts white cabinets to create a soft, warm, and welcoming space.

Keep the decor in neutrals and balance dark and light colors. We like Sherwin Williams Classic Light Buff (SW 0050).

Dark Blue in the Kitchen? Stylish!

White Gray Kitchen - Dark Blue IslandIn a kitchen with excellent lighting (both artificial and natural), a dark blue paint on the walls boasting white cabinets is elegance defined.

You can also do the reverse - white walls with dark blue painted cabinets. These two colors are a perfect balance of contrast and compliment.

Blue is a versatile accent color, too. You could paint the kitchen walls a light gray, the cabinets white, and the island navy. As always, be aware of the undertones in your paint color choices, flooring, and surrounding decor.

Choose lush blues in navy, cobalt, indigo, or denim.

Do You have Black Kitchen Appliances?

Kitchen Paint Colors - White Cabinets Black Refrigerator - Kimberly Painting - Cumming, GAWhite walls, white cabinets, and black appliances rarely go well together. The contrast is too high. It makes your kitchen appear cluttered and small.

But you can make it work by balancing the color palette.

Here are some ideas.

  • You can do it with medium to dark countertops and a darker backsplash. Then your cabinets are the only lighter focal point in the space. Choose lighter kitchen paint colors for the walls to balance the color scheme.
  • Paint the lower set of cabinets, and the island if you have one, a medium to dark gray.
  • Install a backsplash that’s similar to the color of your cabinets, like a white subway tile, to even out the light and dark shades in the room.
  • Paint all of your cabinetry medium to dark gray.

Kitchen Paint Colors Give a Home Your Personality

You'll want to envision how different colors will look on your walls, in different lighting, and with the rest of your house. You can place color samples from paint stores against your walls, but the swatches are small and they aren’t made with actual paint.

To get a better idea of how kitchen paint colors will look against your wood cabinets, we recommend Samplize. These large peel-n-stick samples are made with genuine manufacturer paint.

You spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, entertaining, and making memories. Whether you have oak cabinets or white cabinets, choosing complimentary kitchen paint colors for the walls, ceiling, doors, and trim brings your kitchen to life.

Contact Kimberly Painting for a free consultation.


Schedule a Free Estimate