How to Choose a Paint Color for Kitchen?

You know what they say; the kitchen is the heart of the house.

And for all the right reasons, it’s the most used area of the house. For example, it is the place where everyone gathers for meals at least twice a day.

A room that has such high traffic undoubtedly requires an excellent paint job.

Whether you have just moved in or want to give your kitchen some TLC, adding a new color will definitely give it new life.

However, finding the right shade for the kitchen can sometimes be quite tricky.

This guide will provide you with all the tips to help you choose the right color.

We will also provide unique color combinations and groups that might work for your kitchen. Keep reading to find out.

Tips to Choose a Paint Color for Kitchen

Knowing where to start when it comes to painting your kitchen can often be difficult.

However, by keeping the following tips in mind, you will be able to choose the perfect color for your kitchen.

Understanding Color Theory

To choose the perfect paint color for your kitchen, it’s important to get familiar with color theory. Color theory helps you understand how colors work together and how they affect the mood of a space.

Shade and Undertones

When picking a color for your kitchen, consider both the shade and undertones. Shade refers to the lightness or darkness of a color, while undertones are the subtle colors hidden beneath the main color. Colors can have warm, cool, or neutral undertones.

  • Warm colors: Reds, oranges, and yellows with undertones like peach, gold, or brown
  • Cool colors: Blues, greens, and purples with undertones like gray, blue, or green
  • Neutrals: White, gray, and beige with undertones that range from warm to cool

Choosing the Right Neutrals

Neutral colors are versatile and can create a calm and sophisticated kitchen atmosphere. Here are some tips to help you choose the right neutral tones:

  1. Identify the undertones: When picking a neutral, make sure it complements the undertones in your kitchen’s other elements, such as countertops, cabinets, and flooring.
  2. Test samples: Before committing to a color, paint large swatches on your kitchen walls and observe how they look in different lighting conditions.
  3. Consider your kitchen’s lighting: A light and airy kitchen with natural light can benefit from cooler neutrals, while artificial lighting can pair well with warmer tones.

Balancing Warm and Cool Colors

To create a harmonious and inviting kitchen, consider balancing warm and cool colors. Warm colors can evoke a sense of coziness and energy, while cool colors can provide a sense of calm and tranquility.

Here’s how you can mix warm and cool colors in your kitchen:

  • Pair warm-colored cabinets with cool-toned walls or vice versa
  • Incorporate warm and cool tones through accents and decorations, such as a warm-toned backsplash with cool-toned countertops or a mix of warm and cool textiles and accessories

By understanding color theory and considering shades, undertones, and the balance between warm and cool colors, you’ll be better equipped to choose the perfect paint color for your kitchen.

Remember to test samples and explore different combinations to find the one that best suits your taste and space.

Choose Your Kitchen Color Scheme

The first step in your kitchen paint job is to identify what color scheme you prefer and which will go with it the best.

Your kitchen scheme does not just include the kitchen walls but also the color of the cabinets, hardware, and appliances. It all needs to tie in cohesively.  

To pick out the right color scheme for your kitchen, you should consider a few factors.

For example, you must look at how much natural light enters your kitchen.

If it’s a lot, you can consider going for bold colors. If not, then sticking to neutral shades would be best.

Moreover, if you plan to paint your kitchen cabinets, counters, and floors, you can go with one uniform color. Otherwise, you can add pops of color.

Give Your Cabinets the Lead

Several designers recommend that you decide your color scheme based on the color of your cabinets.

This is especially true if you have large cabinets and smaller-sized walls. Hence it is best if you choose the color and finish of your cabinets first.

If you opt for a clear finish, the natural sheen of the wood will be highlighted.

However, if you decide to paint your cabinets, that color will determine the overall kitchen color scheme.

Match Colors with Kitchen Island

If your Kitchen Island and cabinets are of the same color, you should consider tying in that color with the paint of your kitchen.

Like matching your shoes with your outfit, you have to ensure that all colors are uniform.

We don’t recommend painting the walls the same color as the cabinet and islands; it should rather be a contrast.

Use the Backsplash to Choose Color

Are you confused about which color to pick for your kitchen? Consider pulling out a color from the backsplash.

Most of the time, the backsplash colors are in coordination with those of the cabinets.

Hence painting color from the backsplash might help create a uniform and aesthetic look in the kitchen.

Consider the Natural Light

The natural light in your kitchen space can make a world of difference to the vibe and appearance of your kitchen.

This is because natural light can make a room appear bigger or small.

Hence it is best that you choose a color accordingly. You can go with bold and bright colors if you have ample natural light.

However, sticking to safer neutral shades would be a better bet in a dark kitchen where there are minimal or no windows.

Choose the right artificial lighting.

Various types of artificial light sources, such as incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED, can impact the appearance of paint colors.

For instance, incandescent lights give off a warm, yellowish glow that can complement warm tones like reds and oranges, while fluorescent lights tend to produce a cooler, bluish light, which suits a more modern design.

Go Beyond a White Kitchen

Nowadays, you have a multitude of choices when it comes to painting your kitchen. There is a variety of colors that you can choose from.

This is why you should look beyond a white kitchen and consider different shades. For example, teal, sunflower yellow, plum, and so much more.

Maintain a Healthy Balance

Whichever color you choose to go with, the key to a uniform and aesthetic look is to have a balance.

Too much of one color, regardless if it is white, grey, or blue, is not appealing.

You can maintain a healthy balance by adding pops of color to neutral backgrounds. Or you can also go with contrasting color combinations.

Match the Light Fixtures

To add more depth to the color scheme you choose, consider matching it with the light fixtures.

Nowadays, most modern light fixtures come in a variety of colors, such as black, bronze, or gold.

If you go with any of these, they can really help tie in the overall color scheme of your kitchen.

Consider Your Undertones

All colors have their undertones. When you can understand and identify what these are, you can easily decide on a color scheme that aligns with the island, floor, and cabinets.

It will also save you the hassle of choosing a scheme that might not look appealing depending on the undertone.

Identify Color Temperatures

Besides the undertones, another important thing to identify is the color temperatures. Warm-toned colors have a distinct undertone from cool-toned ones.

Hence, by identifying both color temperatures and undertones, you will be able to choose a color that better aligns with the kitchen.

Add Pops of Color

Whichever color you choose to go within your kitchen, it is always a good idea to be colorful.

Adding pops of color will make your kitchen look interesting and unique. You can do this by choosing vibrant colored accessories, dinnerware, appliances, and whatnot.

Don’t Overdo with Grey Colors

You might be tempted to go with a grey-colored kitchen or have a color scheme that incorporates grey.

While it is an excellent shade and is found in most trendy kitchens, too much of it might not be a good idea.

This is because it can easily make your kitchen look dull.

Looking at Your Existing Kitchen

When choosing a paint color for your kitchen, it’s essential to consider the existing elements in the space. This will help you create a cohesive and visually appealing kitchen color scheme.

In this section, we will discuss four key aspects of your existing kitchen: cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and appliances.

Existing Cabinets

The color of your existing cabinets plays a significant role in determining your kitchen color palette. If you have white cabinets, you have more freedom to choose a wide range of colors, as white goes well with almost any color.

For wooden or dark cabinets, consider lighter shades for your walls to create balance and contrast. Always make sure the wall paint complements the tone and style of your cabinetry.

Existing Countertops

Countertops also influence the color palette for your kitchen. Determine if your counters have a warm or cool undertone. You can then choose colors that complement this undertone.

For example, if you have granite countertops with cool gray veins, consider using cool-toned paints for your walls or cabinets. With wooden or butcher block countertops, warm, natural hues are a great choice for the walls.

Existing Backsplash

Your backsplash is a significant design element in your kitchen, often reflecting your personality and style. To create a cohesive look, it’s crucial to consider the colors and materials used in your backsplash.

For a bold, colorful backsplash, pick a more neutral paint color to let the backsplash stand out. If your backsplash is neutral or monochromatic, you can introduce colors on the walls or cabinets to add visual interest.

Existing Appliances

The color of your appliances also plays a role in choosing a kitchen color scheme. Stainless steel appliances are versatile and work with a variety of colors.

However, white or black appliances can limit your color choices. Ensure the paint color you choose complements these appliances, and the overall kitchen color scheme feels cohesive and balanced.

Remember, selecting a paint color for your kitchen involves considering these existing elements to create a harmonious space where you and your family can enjoy cooking and dining.

Keep the mentioned factors in mind while picking the perfect color for your kitchen, and you’ll create an inviting and visually appealing area for everyone.

Choosing a Paint Color Based on Your Kitchen Size

For small kitchens, opt for light and neutral paint colors like gray or white. These shades help brighten up the space and make it feel larger than it actually is.

Additionally, lighter colors can be used to create a fresh and clean look, which is perfect for a kitchen.

  • Light shades: white, light gray, cream
  • Benefits: brightens up the room, makes space look larger

On the other hand, if you have a spacious kitchen, you can experiment with bolder paint colors. Darker shades like navy blue or emerald green can add depth and character to your kitchen.

However, be careful not to make the space feel overly dark or heavy. You can balance the bold colors by combining them with lighter shades, such as white or cream for the cabinets or backsplash.

  • Bold shades: navy blue, emerald green, dark gray
  • Benefits: adds depth and character, can be balanced with lighter tones

Another aspect to consider when choosing a paint color for your kitchen is the overall design theme and style of your home. If you have a modern kitchen design, go for sleek, streamlined colors like gray or gray-blue.

For a more traditional or farmhouse-style kitchen, you might want to select warm hues such as beige, cream, or pastel colors.

  • Design themes: modern, farmhouse, coastal
  • Colors to match: sleek and streamlined hues, warm tones, pastels

In conclusion, choosing the right paint color for your kitchen is based on factors like the size of the space, your personal preferences, and the overall design theme of your home.

Making Use of Paint Samples

When choosing a paint color for your kitchen, it’s essential to make use of paint samples.

This will help you visualize how the color will look in your space and under different lighting conditions. Here are some steps to guide you in making the most out of paint samples:

  1. Get sample boards or large stickers: Both Home Depot and Lowes sell 24-inch x 24-inch drywall squares, which can be used for applying paint samples. Alternatively, you can also purchase large paint sample stickers that are 9″x14.75″ with the exact paint provided by the brand for a more accurate representation.
  2. Apply paint samples: Apply two coats of paint to the sample board or sticker, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly. This will give you a better idea of the color’s true appearance under various lighting conditions.
  3. Observe under different lighting: Move the sample around your kitchen, observing how the color looks in bright areas and darker corners. The colors will appear different in the morning, daytime, and evening under artificial light. Consider when you use the room the most and choose the color that looks best during that time.
  4. Combine with other elements: If you already have a kitchen design in mind, make sure to compare the paint sample with other elements you plan to use, such as cabinetry, countertops, and backsplash materials. This will help you ensure a cohesive and harmonious look.
  5. Consult a designer: If you’re struggling to decide on a color, consider consulting a professional designer who can help you choose the perfect shade for your space. They have expertise in determining how colors will work together and can offer invaluable advice on what will best suit your taste and needs.

By making use of paint samples, you can confidently choose a paint color for your kitchen that will enhance the overall look of your space and make it a more inviting place for you and your family.

Interesting Color Combinations for Kitchens

Whether you are on the lookout for neutral shades or vibrant hues, going with a specific color combination can let you enjoy both of them.

Doing so will mean that there is not too much of one color, and the color scheme will be well-balanced.

Here are the trendiest color combinations for kitchens people have been opting for:

Pale Blue and White

If you are looking for calming and relaxing vibes from your kitchen, then this is the color combination to go with.

It is exquisite and not too hard on the eyes.

Bright Green and Blue

If light-toned colors don’t appeal to you, then consider this combination. It will make your kitchen look bright and vibrant.

This is why it’s perfect for small kitchens without any windows.

Blue and Black

A dark hue that will be great for kitchens with big windows is this one.

It feels warm, rich and adds a hint of sophistication.

Green and White

Another popular color combination that many people opt for is green and white. These make the room look bright and fresh.

They also work great with wooden elements. Hence wooden cabinets with green and white kitchen walls are an excellent combination.

Gray and White

Gray in any room is an excellent choice. It pairs well with most colors and adds an aura of undeniable sophistication.

Not just that, but this combination is also excellent if you have wooden floors or cabinets.

Canary Yellow and Blue

Yellow and blue is a timeless combination that you can rarely go wrong with. In fact, it is perfect for small kitchens.

Whether you have many windows or none at all, this color combination will work well for you regardless.

Turquoise and Light Yellow

Another bright and eye-catching color combination that we love is that of turquoise and light yellow.

If you are looking to amp up your kitchen and not make it look plain and boring, we recommend this combination.

A good idea is to paint the walls with a light buttery yellow.

Then paint the cabinets with a bright but slightly muted turquoise shade. Not to mention, the buttery walls also go perfectly well with wooden floors, windowsills, or cabinets.

Teal and Concrete

Do you already have concrete walls in your kitchen? Then this would be the perfect combination for you.

It will also be cost-effective for you. Instead of painting the concrete wall, you can leave it bare and paint the cabinets instead.

You can also add pops of teal through dinnerware and kitchen accessories.

Black and White

A timeless and unbeatable color combination that you can never go wrong with is undoubtedly black and white.

It is classic and exquisite. Not to mention, you can do a lot with this combination.

For example, you can add pops of any bright color such as bright pink, red, teal, or bright yellow.

Any of these you can incorporate through accessories, kitchen items, and even small frames.

Best Colors to Paint Kitchen

We can understand if you don’t want to spend too much and simply want to add some style to your cooking space.

If that’s so, you can consider any of the following colors for your kitchen. Remember to keep a healthy balance and not overdo these colors, though.

  • Historic Blue
  • Sky Blue
  • Sunflower Yellow
  • Country Green
  • Pink
  • Burgundy Red
  • Dark Gray
  • Pale Blue
  • Poppy Mint
  • Dark Plum
  • Rustic Green
  • Pale Pink
  • White
  • Soft Taupe
  • Pure Black

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when selecting a kitchen paint color?

When selecting a kitchen paint color, consider factors like natural light, your design style, the size of the space, and cabinetry colors. Light plays a vital role in how color looks in a room, so make sure to observe how your kitchen lighting affects different shades.

Additionally, think about your design preferences and aim to choose colors that complement the look you’re going for.

Which colors work best for kitchen walls and cabinets?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for the best colors for kitchen walls and cabinets. Your personal style and taste will determine what works best. However, some classic options include white, gray, and beige for walls and neutrals, blues, or greens for cabinets.

Experiment with different color combinations that match your design vision and make your kitchen feel welcoming and functional.

How do I choose a paint color to brighten my kitchen?

To brighten your kitchen, opt for lighter colors like pastels, neutrals, or light shades of your favorite hue. These colors can make a space feel larger, airier, and more inviting.

An excellent resource for choosing the perfect paint color is the Sherwin-Williams Color ID palettes, which provide expertly coordinated options to mix and match.

What are popular modern kitchen color trends?

Current kitchen color trends include bold hues like navy blue, deep green, or terracotta, as well as minimalist palettes featuring whites and grays. These trends allow for a sense of creativity and personalization in your kitchen design.

Remember, trends come and go, so choose the colors that feel right for you and your space.

How do neutral paint colors fit into kitchen design?

Neutral paint colors are timeless and versatile, making them a popular choice for kitchen designs. Neutrals like white, beige, and gray allow other decorative elements to stand out, providing a canvas for you to showcase your personal style.

They can be paired with various cabinetry and countertop options for a seamless and cohesive look.

Should I opt for lighter or darker shades in my kitchen?

This choice will depend on factors like your design preferences, the size of your kitchen, and the amount of natural light in the space. Lighter colors can help small kitchens appear larger and more open, where darker colors can add depth and create a cozy atmosphere in larger kitchens.

Ultimately, it’s essential to select shades that complement your personal style, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect balance.

Last Few Words

Choosing a color to paint your kitchen does not necessarily have to be a tricky or overwhelming process.

By keeping the aforementioned tips in mind and choosing the color you prefer most, you can find the most suitable one to amp up your kitchen space.

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