Most popular shades of paint for cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom

Hands down, when it comes to kitchen cabinets, white is the most popular color, and this is followed by closely by gray (as well as greige) and then navy.  Cooler colors are most in style, so will also see some other light blues and even aquas.

Best Paint Colors For Kitchen Cabinets and Bathroom Vanities

In this article, I’m going to share the most popular colors and shades for cabinets.  If you’re looking for advice on how to paint kitchen cabinets, check out this article:  How to paint cabinets the RIGHT way.


Please note that this article contains affiliate links; you can see my full disclosure at the bottom of the page


Should you do the same color on the island as the rest of the cabinets?

best shades of paint for kitchen cabinets | best paint colors for kitchen cabinetsThis is completely up to you.  The trend is towards using a different color for the island, especially if you have a larger kitchen.  Sometimes people change just the cabinets. Sometimes, they also change the color on the counter tops.


If you use 2 different colors, I would recommend that they have a large contrast (i.e. one is much lighter than the other.  One could be white and the other black.  Or a light gray and dark gray.  One could be white and the other navy.  You get the idea.


If you’re going to do a color on one, I’d recommend that the other be neutral.  Also, some people choose to do the top cabinets a different color than the bottom cabinets.  There is no right or wrong here; it’s a matter of preference…and balance.


best colors for kitchen cabinetsNOTE:  Many of the full kitchen pictures in this article link to Wayfair, and you can buy many kitchen and bath items at Wayfair, including farmhouse sinks, pendant lights, tiles, vanities, etc.  One of the great things about Wayfair’s site is if you click these room scenes and continue on to their site, if you hover over the picture, you’ll see little price tags…and if you click those, you can find out how much the item costs (and even buy it, too).  So, those pictures are labeled with a link under them that says “Shop the post.”  Click the link or the picture and you will be taken there.

Shop the post – find the items in this kitchen


Best shades of white for painting cabinets

Why is white the most popular color for kitchen cabinets?

white kitchen cabinets - best shades of paint for cabinetsThe answer is simple.  It’s lighter and brighter so it makes your space look larger and cheerier.  White cabinets are also neutral, so they go with virtually any type of flooring, counter top, and it gives you more flexibility on your backsplash.


White also looks clean and modern.


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Creams and off whites are also popular, but the whiter you go the easier it is to coordinate.


If you are planning to sell your house in the next few years, I’d recommend you stick with white as it is the most popular and will make your space look larger.  And, I’d recommend gray paint for the walls (see:  Best paint colors for selling a home)


Which are the whitest whites?

Best shades of paints for cabinets - best whites and off-whitesWhen it comes to whites, there is a myriad of options.  Yes, if you go to the paint store, you will find over 100 whites…maybe even 200. It gets a bit overwhelming.  No paint is a perfect white, all of have undertones of some sort – a hint of gray or a hint of yellow or a hint of beige or a hint of something.


But if I were to choose the whitest white, these would be my selections.  For Sherwin Williams, I think the most white white is Highly Reflective White.  And, Extra White and Pure White are also very white.  All are great options.  For Benjamin Moore, I choose Super White, followed by Pure White.


true white kitchen cabinet paint colorsWhen you look at these colors in isolation, they will all look pretty white.  As you look at the chart to the right where you can see them all together, you’ll see the subtle differences.  But, do bear in mind you only need to make one selection…and when it’s in your kitchen, you won’t see it next to the other whites.  So, choose what you love…and what goes best with your other kitchen selections.

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Great off-white selections:

best shades of white for kitchen cabinetsSometimes going with an off-white or slightly creamier color is better, given the other selections you’ve made in the room.  Here are some great “off-whites”…and bear in mind the term off-white is subjective.  Some people may call them whites.  It doesn’t matter what it’s called, select what you like best and what goes best with your countertop, floor, and backsplash.  (or make sure those selections go well with paint LOL).


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For Sherwin Williams, I love these amazing whites/off-whites:

  • Alabaster
  • Snowbound
  • White Duck
  • Zurich White


Check out these two cabinet make overs to see the difference between one of the white whites and an off white.  The one on the left is Sherwin Williams Extra White and the cabinets on the right are Sherwin Williams Duck White.

white painted cabinets - sherwin williams extra white  best colors for painting cabinets - sherwin williams white duck





Before committing to a color, especially a white color, I’d recommend that you go to a store and invest in a tester.  They are generally in the range of $5-$7 and well worth the investment.


Remember that whites are highly reflective, so they can be influenced by other objects around them (e.g the tint of your light bulb, the leaves of the trees through the windows, pieces of furniture).

Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams           Benjamin Moore


Best gray shades for painting cabinets

best shades of gray for kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanitiesGray is the 2nd most popular color, and it’s on the rise.  Light grays are most popular, but mid and dark gray work super well.  I love gray cabinets with Calacutta marble…or quartz look-alikes.  And, gray cabinets look stunning with dark hardwood floors.


If you have a large kitchen with an island, consider using a light gray for the main cabinets and a darker gray for the island (could be a mid gray or a dark gray).


Gray is stunning and sophisticated.  It looks great on the walls, the cabinets and the floors…it’s popular in all 3 areas.  But, make sure you don’t over use it.  If you plan on using gray on the walls, make sure that one of those grays is significantly lighter than the other (generally 2-3 shades lighter).


Best paint colors for kitchen cabinets - gray cabinetsAs you can see there are also many grays, some with warmer tones, some with cooler ones.  If you’re using gray or marble on the counter tops or in other places test the grays together to find the best fit.

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Here are some of my favorite grays:

Light grays:

  • Sherwin Williams: Reflection, Silverpointe, Gray Screen
  • Benjamin Moore:  Bunny Gray, Gray Owl


Mid grays:

  • mid gray cabinets - best paint shades of paint of kitchen cabinetsSherwin Williams: Repose Gray, Light French Gray, Online
  • Benjamin Moore:  Stonington Gray, Metropolitan, Coventry


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Dark grays:

  • Sherwin Williams:  Software, Kendall Charcoal, Steely Gray
  • Benjamin Moore:  Gray (yes, that’s a real color), Kendall Charcoal, Chelsea Gray, Amherst Gray



Best gray kitchen cabinet ideas:

Oh, and check out this video for some more gray cabinet ideas.  There are some great backsplashes and other design ideas I love.


Most popular greiges for painting cabinets

7 greige shades for painting kitchen cabinetsAs the name implies, greige is a combo of gray and beige.  These are warmer grays and they are also very popular as they are neutral so they go with almost everything.  They have a way of pulling in both cool and warm tones for a room.


Here are my top greige picks for cabinets:

Sherwin Williams:  Agreeable Gray, Useful Gray, Analytical Gray, Mindful Gray (my favorite of the bunch)

Benjamin Moore:  Revere Pewter, Ozark Shadows (my favorite of the bunch), Fieldstone


As you can see, some of these greiges are more beige, some more gray, some more taupe.


best paint colors for kitchen cabinets - greige

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Best shades of blue and navy for cabinets

navy blue for kitchen island - best shades of paints for kitchen cabinetsBlues are soothing and stylish, and they are growing in popularity.  By far, the most popular blues are in the navy family (this holds true for cabinets, walls, area rugs and other home decor).  See 10 Clever ways to decorate with navy.  Navy has almost become a neutral color.


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Navy is great because it goes well with both silver and gold hardware (but I recommend brushed nickel as it never goes out of style and shows finger prints less).  It also goes well with white and grays.  I see navy cabinets often used for the island as a key focal point.


best cabinet paint colors for a coastal kitchen - pale blue cabinetsOther blues work well for the kitchen, especially some of the lighter more powdery blues, especially if you plan on using a white farmhouse sink.


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best shades of navy for kitchen cabinetsBest shades of navy for kitchen cabinets:

Benjamin Moore:

  • Kensington Blue
  • Van Deusen Blue
  • Newburyport Blue (my favorite)
  • Hale Navy

Sherwin Williams:

  • Indigo
  • Commodore (my favorite)
  • Honorable Blue
  • Dress Blues
  • Naval


Be careful not to go to dark with navy in the kitchen, especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light.  If you go too dark, it can look like black and it takes away from the cool navy trend.


Best light and mid blues for cabinets:

best shades of blue for kitchen cabinetsIf you’re looking for a light or mid blue for your cabinets here are some amazing choices.  The numbers correspond to the graphic.

  1. Sherwin Williams Mild Blue
  2. Sherwin Williams Hinting Blue
  3. Sherwin Williams Wondrous Blue
  4. Benjamin Moore Palatial Skies
  5. Benjamin Moore Celestial
  6. Benjamin Moore Blue Dragon
  7. Benjamin Moore Riviera Azure
  8. Sherwin Williams Honorable Blue
  9. Sherwin Williams Commodore
  10. Sherwin Williams Dress Blues


Best paint shades for a beach/coastal look (aquas, teals, greenish blues)

aqua, teal greenish blues and coastal colors for kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanitiesIf you’re looking for a coastal look – either for your home near the beach or to create an oasis, check out these amazing aquas, teals, turquoises, coastal blues and greenish blue hues.


These can work well in the kitchen or the bathroom.  These paint shades look amazing on wall, too.

  1. Sherwin Williams Swimming
  2. Sherwin Williams Tidewater
  3. Sherwin Williams Open Air
  4. Benjamin Moore At Sea
  5. Benjamin Moore San Clemente Teal
  6. Sherwin Williams Tradewind
  7. Sherwin Williams Meander Blue
  8. aqua bathroom vanity with open shelvinBenjamin Moore Crystal Springs
  9. Blue Allure
  10. Aqua Marina


You can find this aqua vanity here.


Conclusion for best paint colors for kitchen cabinets

best shades of paint for cabinets - white cabinets and black islandAs you can see, there are many options for painting kitchen cabinets.  When it comes to paint, the possibilities are endless and the world is your oyster.  The whites are most popular, and if you’re selling your home, I’d recommend this option. But, as you can see, there are so many wonderful gray, greiges, blues and aquas.  Which is your favorite?

Shop the post – find the items in this kitchen


Oh, and if you’re looking for advice on how to paint your kitchen cabinets or the best types of paints/finishes for cabinets, check out this article on how to paint your kitchen cabinets the right way.

Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams          Benjamin Moore


Related articles:


Best Paint Colors For Kitchen Cabinets and Bathroom Vanities