What are the worst colors to paint my kitchen cabinets?

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When it comes to painting your cabinets, it can definitely be appealing to add a pop of color for visual interest. However, it’s important to remember that your cabinets aren’t exactly an accent piece in the larger scheme of your kitchen design, they are the focal point. With this sentiment in mind, I would always recommend keeping your color choice for kitchen cabinets in neutral tones. While it may be tempting to leap for the hottest trend, keep in mind that because the kitchen is often the central gathering place in the home, it’s best to maintain a timeless aesthetic as far as color choices go.

While I love to recommend accent island colors or two-tone color schemes in kitchen designs using navy, deep green, and gray hues, there are some colors I typically urge clients to avoid.


The first color I would recommend steering clear of for kitchen cabinet painting would be Yellow. Yellow is a color that can often be thought of as bright and cheerful, however, when applied on a large scale in your kitchen it can read as aggressive and abrasive. The color’s high level of reflectivity can make it visually overstimulating and the energetic mood that yellow sets may make your guests less likely to stick around and relax in your home. Even softer tones of yellow in a kitchen space can give the appearance of your cabinets being “aged” or “tarnished” which isn’t likely the goal for your newly painted cabinets.


The next color I would avoid in cabinet painting is the color red. Although trends are leaning back towards the use of earthy hues, a bright red color in a kitchen can be off-putting as it connotes anger and alarm. Small accessory pops of red can be appealing in giving a kitchen a retro or homey vibe, but painting cabinets in a bright red can lead to aversion from guests and future home buyers alike.


When refinishing your kitchen cupboards, purple is another color I would not suggest. The largest issue in using a purple tone is that it is very difficult to pair aesthetically with current styles of flooring and countertops. It’s extremely difficult to use purple on cabinets without it coming off as gimmicky or childish. The shade of purple can also give the whole kitchen a dark ambiance which many homeowners are trying to avoid.

The majority of homeowners these days are seeking a classic and welcoming design in their kitchen. Using colors that evoke brightness, cleanliness, and tranquility should be the main objective when selecting a color to paint your kitchen cabinets. When applied thoughtfully and creatively, any color can result in a stunning kitchen design, however, the safest bet is to avoid using some of the more risky hues in regard to kitchen cabinet painting.

Choosing the best color for your kitchen cabinets can be intimidating. It is a big investment and since your kitchen is most likely the area you spend the most time in, you want to be sure to get it right. We make selecting colors easier for our clients by providing them with a complimentary color consultation with one of our designers.

You can learn more about our cabinet painting services here.


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