How to Select a Kitchen Paint Color

How to select a kitchen paint color may be an intimidating task. I’ve been receiving the question “which color should I paint my kitchen?”

a lot

lately. Although, there isn’t any one-size fits all color, in today's blog post I will be sharing my design tips on how to select a kitchen paint color.



When I select a paint color (applies to any room), I always start by pulling a color from the largest pattern/surface in the room.

In a kitchen your starting point could be:

  • Countertops
  • Cabinetry
  • Flooring
  • Backsplash tile

Select one of these areas/surfaces for your starting point when selecting a paint color.

For example, if your countertops are a natural stone with a lot of movement and color variation, that is where I begin.


If your kitchen is open and exposed to other rooms, the color needs to compliment the patterns and colorations in nearby areas. For example, if your kitchen is open to your dining room which has floor to ceiling drapery in a colorful pattern that you are keeping, then you would have to select a color that connects the two rooms together.

When selecting paint colors it is best to work with patterns and colorations that already exist in the room (if they are staying). When you pull a color without any logic behind it and you found yourself saying; “Oooh this looks pretty. Let's do this color!” .. these decisions are typically unsuccessful and the result of repainting could be a costly mistake.

Commercial Kitchen Designed

by AMA Designs


: Before purchasing gallons of paint, buy a test can first and paint sample sheets to post on the walls. I personally like to sample a few areas of the room due to the different types of lighting affecting the space and at different times of day. Due to different types of lighting, the paint color will look different in an area with natural light versus an area with fluorescent light. I like to “live” with the color temporarily to see how it looks at different times of day (morning vs. evening).


When selecting a paint color, the color/finish of your cabinetry has a major effect on the overall design of your kitchen. The spectrum of wood stain finishes vary from blonde to espresso. With wood cabinetry, you would think that choosing a neutral color would be the path of the least resistance but it isn't as “easy” as it seems!

Depending on what species of wood and the stain finish, there are often undertones in your cabinetry. In this scenario, the best way to choose a paint color for your walls would be to select a paint color with a similar undertone which make your cabinets take a back seat.

Cabinets with darker wood finishes or a white painted finish are easier to select colors and give you more free range. If you have painted cabinetry, selecting a paint color for your walls will be relatively simple (unless it's an unconventional color).

Photo via:

Addison's Wonderland


If you want to shake things up and add a pop of color in the kitchen, the rule states that "Dark colors, cold neutrals, and cool colors such as blue, purple, and green do not promote hunger. Therefore, they do not well in kitchen environments."

With that being said, any color can be used and achieved in moderation. So I say the heck with the rules!

There's always an exception to the rule.

For example, instead of painting the walls green, designer Emily Henderson painted her center island a beautiful shade of evergreen. A pop of color in moderation goes a long way. The green added warmth to an overall white kitchen and a playful pop of color too!

Photo via

Emily Henderson

Black is an unconventional kitchen paint color but pairs beautifully with sharp whites. My personal favorite is when the cabinets on the perimeter of the kitchen are white and the center island is in black. In the kitchen example below, a black wall was painted on a short wall with a large window bringing in tons of natural light. The black wall color frames out the window, creating a focal point. Also, the warmth of the butcher block counters and open-shelving tones down the drama of the high contrast, making this kitchen feel warm and inviting.

Photo via:

The Brauns Blog

Photo via

 Z Plus Interiors

I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to select a kitchen paint color. Before you go, make sure to leave a comment! I love to hear from you!