Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you spend more than 400 hours every year, cooking, yes, but also talking, celebrating and just living. Some of your favorite memories undoubtedly occurred there — and others have yet to be made.
In fact, in a survey of 596 people by House Digest, 41.44% of respondents agreed — the kitchen is the most important room in a house. This is why choosing the best color for your kitchen walls can make or break this living space. Fortunately, a coat of fresh paint is one of the simplest ways to give your kitchen a fresh, new look.
“If you’re considering a kitchen remodel, one of the best ways to add color, and with less commitment, is with your paint color. Cabinets, backsplash and countertops can be more expensive and costly to replace, while updating a paint color is much more easily done (and more cost-effective).”Natalie Meyer, CEO/Principal Designer, CNC Home & Design
What Color Should I Paint My Kitchen?
Only you can decide, as there’s no one best color for kitchen walls. Even when it comes to popular kitchen paint colors, let your intuition — not the latest trend — be your guide.
“It may be tempting to follow the current trends, but the most important goal is to design a timeless kitchen for the long term that you won’t get tired of within a few years. Choosing materials, colors and finishes that you love rather than what’s trendy will help you enjoy your new kitchen for years to come,” Meyer says.
What to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Wall Paint Colors
When thinking about kitchen paint color ideas, first narrow down the basics. Do you want neutral paint colors for your kitchen? Or do you have a bolder look in mind? To answer these questions, you’ll need to consider several factors.
The Mood of the Space
Your kitchen can convey a cozy, homey vibe; make a dramatic, vibrant statement; or land somewhere on the spectrum in between.
“You’ll want to decide on a general color scheme based on the style of your kitchen … Light, warm neutrals in shades of beige, cream and greige … create a comfortable, welcoming environment that’s perfect for the kitchen.”Erika Woelfel, Vice President of Color & Creative Services at Behr Paint Company
Browse through the most popular kitchen colors that follow, but ultimately choose what speaks to you. “Lighter paint colors are used for a more clean, relaxed look,” Meyer says, “while darker colors can give a more moody effect.”
If your kitchen is small, shades of white and lighter colors can make it appear larger. Darker colors often do well in larger spaces, but there’s no rule that says you can’t choose any color you love in any size space. To make a bold statement in a smaller space, consider an accent wall in a darker tone.
Other Elements of the Room
Don’t even think about choosing paint colors for your kitchen without taking the rest of the room into account, including trim.
“Elements that are going to remain as they are like flooring, countertops, tile and hardware or appliance finishes should be considered when selecting a new paint color for the kitchen space,” Behr’s Woelfel says. “It’s best to choose a general color scheme, composed of two primary colors and one accent color, that ties all these elements together.”
If your cabinets are a lovely shade of green, for instance, make sure to choose a neutral paint color for your kitchen.
“All of the kitchen elements should be considered, but most important are your backsplash, cabinets and countertops, as these items may be positioned directly next to your paint color depending on the layout of your kitchen. By comparing samples of your paint color, cabinets, countertop, backsplash and flooring, you will be able to see how the different tones complement each other, and if you need to make any changes such as choosing a warmer or cooler tone.”Natalie Meyer, CEO/Principal Designer, CNC Home & Design
You can even work backward — choosing a color you love as an accent elsewhere in your kitchen and then building your wall color from there. “Painting the kitchen island an accent color is a great way to create contrast and interest,” Woelfel adds. “Behr’s Adirondack Blue and Vine Leaf are perfect accent colors that add timeless sophistication to a space.”
16 Best Kitchen Paint Colors
“Best” is subjective, but here are 16 popular kitchen paint colors to transform your space.
1. Behr Even Better Beige
This versatile neutral adds a warm, calming feel to your space. From Behr’s Designer Collection, Woelfel describes Even Better Beige as a perfect example of a reliable hue that can be used on walls and cabinetry alike.
2. Sherwin-Williams Pure White
This soft, neutral white can make your space fresh and bright, while adding a hint of warmth. As an added benefit, using Pure White on your walls allows you to easily add pops of color elsewhere in your kitchen, such as on a kitchen island.
3. Behr Tranquil Gray
Another foolproof hue, Tranquil Gray has warm undertones and a hint of taupe, adding a rich feel to this timeless shade. It’s the perfect neutral when you want to add some depth to your space without going too dark.
4. Behr White Lavender
This light, neutral shade has hints of blue and magenta that can bring a calming vibe to your space. Traditionally, we associate lavender with relaxation and tranquility of mind. This makes White Lavender ideal if you like to use your kitchen for self-reflection while enjoying your morning coffee.
5. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
Described by Benjamin Moore as “an essential white with just the right amount of warmth,” this creamy, off-white color provides a perfect neutral backdrop. Pair Swiss Coffee with beige, browns and other earth tones, or even a deep navy blue if you’re so inclined.
6. Sherwin-Williams Alabaster
Another soft, warm white, Alabaster has a slight yellow undertone, so it won’t feel cold or overly stark. While it’s not quite off-white, it leans that way. Yet it’s versatile enough to pair well with a variety of other colors, from beiges to grays and even subtle greens and blues.
7. Behr Blank Canvas
Behr’s 2023 Color of the Year — Blank Canvas — “is the perfect backdrop that is easy to build upon and highlight other features in the room,” Woelfel says. This warm, barely off-white will freshen up your space with a welcoming vibe while leaving it open to endless possibilities.
8. Behr Etched Glass
Part of the gray color family, Etched Glass is a very light shade of gray-blue that will bring a dose of serenity to your kitchen. Even though Etched Glass has some color to it, it’s considered a neutral.
9. Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray
This is Sherwin-Williams’ No. 1 greige (gray+beige) color — a versatile kitchen paint color idea that works with warm and cool accents alike. Depending on your kitchen’s lighting, Agreeable Gray’s taupe, violet and green undertones can become more pronounced.
10. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
This popular kitchen paint color “provides a versatile bridge between warm and cool tones,” Benjamin Moore explains. Another greige color, Revere Pewter has a crisp element to it that works well if you’re going for a clean look. It has subtle earthy, green undertones.
11. Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt
A pale, blue-green paint color with a coastal vibe, Sea Salt will bring a soothing, airy feel to your kitchen. Use it to add a splash of color to your kitchen while maintaining a serene ambiance.
12. Behr Conifer Green
Part of Behr’s 2023 Trends palette, Conifer Green is the ideal color when you want to make a statement, Woelfel says. Part of the gray color family, this cozy, mossy green evokes the feeling of calm tranquility you might get while walking through the forest, bringing a natural ambiance to your kitchen.
13. Sherwin-Williams Clary Sage
Looking for a natural feel that’s still modern and refined? Clary Sage, a muted green that still works as a neutral, checks all the boxes.
14. Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
This “use-anywhere shade of navy with a classic maritime feel,” as Benjamin Moore puts it, is a rich, timeless paint color for your kitchen. Hale Navy looks impressive on an accent wall paired with a crisp white.
15. Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn
This dark charcoal gray is deep and moody, CNC Home & Design’s Meyer says, and it has subtle purple and blue undertones, depending on the lighting. Use Peppercorn to add depth and a luxurious feel to your kitchen, offset by a true white.
16. Behr Cracked Pepper
Another statement paint color for your kitchen, Cracked Pepper belongs to the black color family but has gray and even slight deep blue undertones. It’s an ideal dark neutral shade for a striking accent wall.
Picking the Best Color for Your Kitchen Walls
Think you’ve spotted the best kitchen paint color for your kitchen? Before taking the plunge, get a sample to try out on your kitchen walls. What looks amazing on your computer screen or at your local paint store will look very different once it’s in your home.
“When choosing a paint color, I always recommend that clients get a larger size sample of the paint color, such as an 8.5” x 11” sheet, and tape it to the walls of their existing kitchen. That allows you to see how the paint color may change depending on the time of day and how much natural light you get into your home.
“Certain colors can appear differently in the morning and evening, and even different types of lighting (recessed lighting, chandeliers, etc.) can change the tone of a color.”Natalie Meyer, CEO/Principal Designer, CNC Home & Design
Ready to Tackle the Rest of Your Home?
A fresh coat of paint will breathe new life into your kitchen, but it needn’t outshine your home’s other rooms. Complete painting projects one room at a time and soon your entire home will feel refreshed and new. The resources below can help you liven up other important living spaces — and guide you on what to do with all that leftover paint: