Kitchen Paint Colors with Dark Cabinets

Sarah Robinson
Warm neutral colors complemented with dark cabinets

Kitchen Color Ideas with Dark Cabinets

Dark cabinets can create a sleek and sophisticated look in any kitchen. They’re an especially great choice for those who like to have a bit more of a dramatic vibe in their homes. However, you need to be careful when working with dark cabinets, as the look can feel too heavy or overwhelming if not done right. The key to working with dark cabinets is to create balance. You want to either highlight the undertones in the cabinets by pairing them with like colors, or go with a high-contrast look of dark and light or bright. Let’s take a look at some creative color combinations to really make your dark kitchen cabinets stand out.

  • Add a splash of color
  • Bright white
  • Warm Neutral,
  • Cool Neutrals

Add a Splash of Color

Add splash of color to dark cabinets

If you’re after a more playful, funky look, why not experiment with bold colors? A bright pop of color really stands out against dark cabinets. However, you don’t necessarily need to put your bright colors on the walls—you could try something a little different by painting a bright kitchen island or using colorful furniture to add that unexpected element. While it’s easy to get excited about using color, try to stick to one or two bright shades and keep the rest of your palette neutral to really round out the space.

Bright White

white walls with brown cabinets

For really dark brown or black cabinets, accenting with bright white creates a modern vibe. It’s a cool, high contrast look is great for modern spaces. If you go with all white walls, or a white backsplash, brighten things up with small pops of color through accessories and appliances. If you want to keep the backsplash and walls on the darker side as well, you can always use white as your accent color. For example, if you have dark cabinets, a dark backsplash, and gray walls, you can bring in white accents through stools, a white kitchen table and chairs, white dishes and bright white decorative accessories. It’s a simple color palette that really stands out and makes a big visual impact.

Warm Neutrals

If you have dark wood cabinets, try a color palette that brings out the warmth in the wood. We recommend that you choose lighter neutrals with warm undertones, such as creamy white, beige, taupe, warm-toned grays, linen, or a very soft blush pink. To take this a step further, you can emphasize the warm undertones in your paint color by adding accents in the same color family. For example, if you have creamy white paint on your walls, you would add in some yellow accents, or to amplify a paint color with pinkish undertones, you could add in darker pink accents.

Cool Neutrals

Cool neutral colors with dark cabinets

For darker wood cabinets with cool undertones (like espresso or an almost-black shade of brown) you’ll want to stick to cooler toned neutrals. This color family includes shades of blue or lavender-toned gray, dark blue-gray, greige, or even sage green. When you choose a lighter shade that matches the undertones found in your cabinets, it will really open the space up and make it seem brighter. When it comes to accent colors, look for brighter versions of the base color you’re highlighting. For example, gray with blue undertones would do well with a range of blue accents to make things pop.

Are you ready to work on your interior painting projects or repainting your kitchen cabinets? Get a free estimate today!