White is a color for kitchen cabinets because it’s timeless and extreme. White cabinetry sgives a clean and fresh appearance to kitchens of all designs and is a great blank canvas to play with various colors across the interior.
However, due to their many colors, selecting a paint color to match your white cabinets may not be easy. Before you search for a flush, follow these suggestions from expert paint colorists to get the look you’re looking for. Arianna Cesa, director of the associate department and color development and marketing expert with Benjamin Moore, suggests studying the cabinets’ shades of white before beginning. Different white paints are not identical; some tend to be warmer or cooler.
“White paint colors come in many tints and shades, and the colors you place next to them can affect how the undertones of the white paint color cast,” she adds. Warm white cabinets should be coupled with a warmer color on the walls and reverse. “This helps to create a cohesive color flow and can lessen the chance of sneaky undertones coming through,” she states.
For further ideas for kitchen colors, We asked color experts to recommend their top shades that go well with white cabinets, which they suggested.
Sophisticated Dark Olive
If you’re looking to bring color but don’t want to move too far away from a neutral palette, Sue Kim, director of color marketing at Valspar, suggests Flora as an elegant, dark alternative. Flora can be described as “a deep, blackened olive that embodies choosing quality over quantity to create a new sense of purpose,” she states. The black undertone of the color creates a richness and powerful appeal without becoming overwhelming. “This color incorporates charm and sophistication and would look great paired with warm wood tones to emphasize the inspiration from nature,” Kim says.
“Blues pair well with white cabinets, as they are extremely versatile and can match the undertones of white kitchen cabinets,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. She suggests painting your kitchen with Stardew Sw 9138, a soft slate blue with a great combination of cool and warm undertones. “It’s a beautiful dusty blue that feels calming, and it has a hint of grey that gives it a modern and refreshing twist,” she says.
Delicate Dusty Pink
“I always think white units work better with softer colors or mid-neutrals,” says Patrick O’Donnell, color consultant and brand ambassador internationally with Farrow & Ball. “If the color is too dark or strong, the units can ‘shout’ a little too loudly. Though, this can vary depending on the amount of cabinetry in your kitchen.” This is why O’Donnell suggests going with something unexpected, however, with a jolly and calming air, such as the pink color of Pink Ground and Set Plaster. The muted, dusty pink shades can be “the perfect antidote to the cleaner white of your cabinetry,” O’Donnell adds.
Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr Paint Company, recommends making visual contrast using the color Cracked Pepper. The dark shade is also elegant and more edgy than black. It’s strong but doesn’t overwhelm the room, making it an ideal accent piece. If you’re unsure about dark-colored walls, paint a smaller area like an accent wall or the kitchen island. Cracked Pepper is a great match for contemporary and industrial kitchen designs as with most gray shades.
If your white cabinets appear more relaxed on your counter, Cesa recommends looking for an appropriate shade with a cool blue, green, and gray hue. For instance, Benjamin Moore’s White Heron and Decorator’s White have cool undertones with gray shades such as Gray Owl and Iced Slate. If you want to add color to your kitchen, you may like Van Deusen Blue, HC-156, and Palladian Blue. The soft blue hues are the perfect background for a contemporary or classic kitchen. They add a sense of calm and elegance to any room.
“Bring the calm and liveliness we seek from the outdoors straight into the kitchen with a hazy green shade like Green Trellis,” Kim suggests. “Immersing oneself in nature allows us to ground ourselves, and this color emphasizes nature and calmness,” Kim says. It is fresh and energizing with white cabinets and a subdued gray-green hue, especially in kitchens with plenty of sunlight. The versatile shade can be used with a variety of countertop finishes as well as flooring and is particularly effective when paired with natural materials like ceramic, wood, and stone.
“If you want to make more of a statement, Carnelian SW 7560 is a deep red that looks classic and sophisticated when paired with white,” Wadden states. The deep saturated violet color has warm red undertones. It may appear brown in specific lighting. This color combo is perfect for those who want to create the tuxedo look in cabinets–a dark shade for lower cabinets and a lighter color on an edgy color for the upper cabinets. “It suits all sorts of design styles, from cottage to contemporary,” she says.
White is an excellent neutral that can be used as a base for lighter and darker shades,” Woelfel states. She suggests a dark blue-gray shade like Behr’s Adirondack Blue to bring depth to the design. The gray undertone lends the blue hue a feeling of elegance and maturity and creates a tranquil and calming ambiance. Make the space more lively by incorporating a pattern on the backsplash and other kitchen appliances in similar shades.