​These 8 are the best kitchen colours to paint

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Cleveland Road Phillips Tracey Architects Modern kitchen
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When it comes to kitchen colours, conventional wisdom tells us that warm neutrals and bright tones are the best choices. How so? Because these (and it’s been scientifically proven) make both the cook and diners feel more comfortable – and if there’s one thing we all want to feel in our kitchens, it’s comfy, right?  

But before you dash out to grab the first can of paint you see, how do you know that bright yellow (or orange, or blue… ) will complement your kitchen’s style? Are you sure that soft beige is complementary to your wooden cabinetry? In fact, do you have any idea what the style rules are when it comes to kitchen paint ideas? 

Rather have a look at the information regarding kitchen colours below – it may just surprise you what we’ve learned from our top-notch Kitchen Planners

1. Kitchen colours: What are the “rules”?

When it comes to correctly styled kitchens, the rules tell us that very dark colours, cold neutrals, and the other cool colours like blues, greens and violets do not promote hunger. Thus, they are not recommended for kitchens. 

However, kitchen colours should definitely follow personal taste. Even though black is known as a bad choice for a kitchen, it can ensure quite the timeless touch in a modern/contemporary cooking space. And when it’s paired with the contrasting colours of stainless steel appliances? Then that black becomes simply brilliant!

2. Kitchen colours: The power of warm neutrals

Classical elegant frontage with a more relaxed facade towards the sea Des Ewing Residential Architects Classic style kitchen
Des Ewing Residential Architects

Classical elegant frontage with a more relaxed facade towards the sea

Des Ewing Residential Architects

With enough shading or tinting, any colour can cross over into the neutral realm. It just depends on which type of neutral you want. And if you’re scared that you might pick the wrong neutral, just remember: it’s hard to go wrong with mid-range neutrals.

A lot of people deem neutrals as boring, yet they don’t have to be. With a little bit of red, yellow, or orange, neutrals (including your white kitchen paint) can be warmed up for a more inviting look. Add some green, blue or violet, and the neutral cools down to flaunt a more calming vibe.

3. Kitchen colours: Reds

Quilted Maple Kitchen with Red Wall designed and made by Tim Wood Tim Wood Limited KitchenCabinets & shelves
Tim Wood Limited

Quilted Maple Kitchen with Red Wall designed and made by Tim Wood

Tim Wood Limited

Red is the best colour for stimulating appetite – why else do you think it’s being used for so many restaurants and take-away chains? And even though red is not for everyone, it is available in so many different shades that can make a kitchen pop, either on the walls or the cabinets. 

In a kitchen with lots of dark colours, red can easily cut through the gloom. A kitchen with stone-grey appliances can pair up quite nicely with a warm red, ensuring a proper focal point for the eyes.

4. Kitchen colours: Rich browns

Arran Ivory Island | Sigma 3 Kitchens Sigma 3 Kitchens Classic style kitchen
Sigma 3 Kitchens

Arran Ivory Island | Sigma 3 Kitchens

Sigma 3 Kitchens

Brown symbolises the earth, the very place where our food comes from. Thus, it just makes sense to bring some brown into a kitchen, right? 

And as it’s considered one of the neutrals, brown pairs up quite nicely with the majority of colours. Pair a warm brown with a deep shade of green for a very natural look, or let your kitchen’s reddish-brown walls play off the dark brown cabinetry.

5. Kitchen colours: White on white

Contemporary White Shaker Kitchen Stange Kraft Ltd Modern kitchen Solid Wood White
Stange Kraft Ltd

Contemporary White Shaker Kitchen

Stange Kraft Ltd

Most of us start our day in the kitchen, and white is one of the best hues to energise a room. It has a fresh and clean feel – the best ambience to hit you first thing in the morning as you stumble into the kitchen in search of coffee. 

But what about a white-on-white kitchen? Famous designers like Christopher Peacock made certain that all-white kitchens became classy (and that white kitchen paint became that much more popular). Choose white for everything: walls, cabinets, floor, countertops, you name it. 

homify hint: Got white MDF cabinets in your kitchen? Go for the ultra sophisticated look with white plastic stools, a white-on-white wall clock, plus small white appliances. Complete this dashing look with stainless steel pendant lights for a touch of shine.

6. Kitchen colours: Toned-down yellows

Green & Yellow Wall Tiles | Traditional Range Deiniol Williams Ceramics Country style walls & floors Ceramic
Deiniol Williams Ceramics

Green & Yellow Wall Tiles | Traditional Range

Deiniol Williams Ceramics

What better colour for your kitchen than one which mimics the sun? It’s friendly enough to grab attention, yet distinctive enough to complement most types of wooden cabinetry in a kitchen. 

Similar to whites, yellows reflect maximum ambient light – a real winning choice if you live in a gloomy townhouse or row house. Yet, yellow lacks that sterile feeling that white is so often prone to.

7. Kitchen colours: Blues

Although not the most popular choice for kitchen paint, blue can work exquisitely well in the right shade. 

When lighter shades of blue are used, they can evoke a crisp, clean look and are recommended for walls, cabinets, or even the ceiling. But keep in mind that blue is quite a revitalising colour and works best when used sparingly. You don’t want to overpower your culinary space with colour, do you?   

So, use blue as you please, but be sure to accent the rest of your kitchen paint colours with hints of white, grey or other neutral tones to keep it from feeling too cool and gloomy.

8. Kitchen colours: Greens

Fallowfield | Traditional English Country Kitchen Davonport Classic style kitchen Wood Green

Fallowfield | Traditional English Country Kitchen


Another natural colour on our list! And as there are so many different green hues to pick from (lime, mint, seafoam, basil… ), the world is your oyster!

We recommend pairing that green with some white and wooden accents. And if you really want to be adventurous, splash some emerald green in your kitchen – it was, after all, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2013. Let’s see how it styles up an accent wall, cabinets, or even your island, shall we?  

Bonus kitchen colours idea: Flaunt your island

Fascination kitchen by Mowlem & Co Mowlem&Co Built-in kitchens

Fascination kitchen by Mowlem & Co


Ever thought of treating only your kitchen island to a superb new colour while leaving the rest of your cooking space as is? Similar to your cabinetry, some proper planning needs to happen before you even so much as touch a paintbrush (including removing all hardware, cleaning and sanding the surfaces,  protecting the surrounding areas, etc. 

Remember to allow 48 hours for drying, lightly sanding, and applying the second layer of your semi-gloss oil-based paint. That’ll ensure your new kitchen colours, once dry, will seem as fresh as possible. 

Bonus kitchen colours idea: Dark and dramatic

New range of doors #2020 PTC Kitchens Built-in kitchens Grey
PTC Kitchens

New range of doors #2020

PTC Kitchens

In terms of kitchen paint ideas, black can make for a truly elegant colour palette when done correctly. Remember to include lots of lighting (natural and artificial) and add shiny elements (stainless steel appliances, glass and mirrors). And award yourself bonus points if you manage to include the warmth and texture of some beautifully grained wood in your new black kitchen.

Up next for your Interior inspiration: What colours go with navy? 

Which of our favourite kitchen colours would you pick?

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