10 Ideas for Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Painted kitchen cabinets are a quick, easy, and economical way to update your kitchen without the cost of a full renovation. If your kitchen cabinets are getting tired, a coat of paint can bring them back to life. You can even do the work yourself–a definite plus! Here are ten paint color choices to get you thinking.


Our Top Kitchen Cabinet Paint Color Ideas


1.   White - This is a timeless color that never goes out of style. Ultra-white is clean and perfect for a cool contrast. Ivory is soft and coordinates well with warm colors.

2.   Mint Green - This is a fresh and modern look that pairs well with either brown or gray.

3.   Vibrant Blue - Be it cobalt, azure, or periwinkle, tranquil blue is a perfect choice for the heart of the home.

4.   Charcoal - A chalky shade of black, this is dramatic. A great choice for making a statement.

5.   Rust - This could also be considered an earthy red. It goes well with greens and taupe.

6.   Midnight Blue - Moody and alluring, you can accentuate it even more with directional lighting.

7.   Fire Engine Red - If you're feeling ho-hum about your kitchen, wake it up with this bold choice.

8.   Coral - For those who aren't afraid of color, coral is a playful, fresh and clean choice.

9.   Yellow - Whether you go pale or vivid, yellow is cheerful. You'll start every morning happy!

10. Sage Green - This color can go with many different kitchen cabinet styles and looks beautiful with white walls.


Which of these colors appealed to you the most? Even if you don't go with those exact choices, maybe they gave you some idea of how painted kitchen cabinets could work for you. Everything starts with a plan. Read on to learn how to get it done or read our article on how to choose room paint colors.


Choose the Right Paint for Your Cabinets


Choosing kitchen cabinet paint colors is the fun part of this project, but it can also be the hardest too. When you go to any paint store, deciding which color to use can be daunting. Of course, you can always repaint if you need a do-over, but it's better to do it right the first time. Here’s how to make the decision.


  • Determine your color scheme. If you don't want to completely redecorate, coordinate your kitchen cabinet paint colors with your countertop, and backsplash. Wall colors are easy to repaint. However, the other features are not as easy to change, so be sure to coordinate those.
  • Choose paint for cabinets. In every paint store, there are many different types of paint. Make sure you're selecting a product specifically for cabinets. Get help from the clerk and let them know you want interior paint that's super durable. It's a smart idea to buy the highest grade, so you get the best results.
  • Buy some samples. Once you’ve narrowed it down to 3 or 4 colors, purchase a small sample of each. Home Depot offers many sizes including 8 oz. samples, Sherwin Williams has quarts.
  • Test your choice. Once you have your samples, apply each to a cabinet door, to see how they look. Make sure you view the colors during different times of the day. The colors can appear to change with different lighting. These tips should help you find the perfect shade.

Choose a quality paint as it makes all the difference in how well it covers and how well it wears. Semi-gloss is the best finish for kitchen cabinets because it's durable and easy to clean. Choosing the right type of paint finish and color is crucial for kitchen cabinet design.


Kitchen Cabinet Designs


If you need more decision-making help, here's a super useful tool for kitchen design ideas that match your inner-chef personality. Want even more ideas? Check out Pinterest’s before and after pictures for painting kitchen cabinets. When you see colors in other kitchens, you’ll get more comfortable deciding to paint.


If you’re still undecided, whether to paint or replace your cabinets, check out the newest kitchen cabinet designs. That will help you fully decide whether you're ready to paint or replace. You might even tour a few model homes from new home builders. Newly built kitchens have modern cabinets with functional designs like self-closing drawers and smart storage solutions that keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free.


You can also update your existing kitchen cabinet design by changing the hardware. New hardware is another way to change the look of your cabinets completely. Buy a few samples at your local store and try them out. Keep the receipt and return what you don't use. Home improvement stores usually stock hardware right in the store so you can buy what you need and take it home the same day. You can also special order a design if you have a preference that isn't in stock.


Find the Kitchen Cabinet Paint Color


If you've finally decided to paint, it's time to get going with your kitchen cabinet paint color. It may seem like a daring undertaking, but if done properly, it can give your cooking space a lot of style. It's going to change your kitchen's look and feel, and it’s fun to see it happen.


A rule of thumb on kitchen cabinet paint color is, warm colors make a space cozy and energized, while cool colors are relaxing. Also, take the amount of natural light into account when deciding on paint colors. It’s a design consideration as well as a practical matter because dark colors could trigger unintended lighting issues.


Don't feel limited in your choice of colors, either. You'll have plenty of colors to choose from, with thousands of shades. You'll be able to find the exact shade you want. Grab some paint swatches at your local home improvement center and take them home. It's always best to look at them at home before making a final decision. Store lighting can change the look of colors, and just one shade off can make a big difference.


How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Properly


Once you've done your research and made your decision, it's time to start painting! But what's the best way to paint your cabinets? Sherwin Williams has instructions, but here's our version:


1.  Remove doors and hardware. If you're changing hardware, keep the old ones until the very end, just in case. Set up a workspace and for the doors, so you have a place to work on them.

2.  Sand. If possible, you might want to sand the door fronts in your garage. Otherwise, if you’re working in your kitchen seal the A/C vents and put plastic on the kitchen door entrance to keep sanding dust under control.

3.  Prime. After sanding, apply a high-quality interior primer and give everything a good coat.

4.  Sand again. You'll do a second sanding to make sure everything is smooth as glass. Once you’re finished sanding, wipe off the cabinets with a soft rag. You don't want any dust particles getting into your paint.

5.  Apply the first coat. It's time to paint! Be sure to use a quality brush that's the proper type for your surface. You want to ensure you get the smoothest finish possible.

6.  Apply the second coat. Now you're in the homestretch. This last coat will ensure everything is covered well and you get the true hue of your paint color.


Once you're through painting, stand back and let it dry. Replace your doors and hardware, and voila! Your project is complete and you now have a brand new kitchen at a fraction of the price of remodeling. Nice!


Need more ideas or looking to paint another room in your home? Read how to design the perfect kitchen or see our living room painting ideas for added inspiration.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.

Published 10.1.19

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