My "Go To" Paint Colors...Kitchen Cabinets

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors!

Kitchen cabinets.  Oh my.  
Today I'm sharing my go to paint colors for your kitchen cabinets.

Should I paint my cabinets?  Is it OK to paint over oak? Are white kitchens trendy?  
Do you have a "good gray" for my kitchen cabinets? 

These are questions I get asked all the time.  
Bottom Line: If you don't LOVE your kitchen the way it is, then yes, you should totally paint your cabinets.  Even if they are oak.  White kitchens are not trendy, they are timeless.  There is no timestamp on a white kitchen.  There are many "good grays" and "good whites", but every kitchen is different, because there are other elements to consider like countertops, backsplash, flooring, and appliances.  
Not to mention natural light!

Here are my "go to" paint colors for kitchen cabinets.

Chantilly Lace is not only one of my favorite kitchen cabinet colors, but also trim colors.  This is a pure white.  Not a creamy in any way.  If you have white subway tile, or white appliances, I recommend this color.

White Dove is used all the time.  Again, this is also I color I use on trim.  If your cabinets are that creamy white with a brown glaze, then I nearly always recommend White Dove for trim.  If you want a white kitchen but are nervous it will feel too sterile, and you're looking for something a little softer, then White Dove is for you.  

Swiss Coffee is a creamy, very light greige color.  It's off-white without looking dirty.  For example, because of the lack of natural light in my client's kitchen (below) we had to go with more of an intentional color on the cabinets.  We used Swiss Coffee.  Her kitchen still reads like a white kitchen, but if we had gone with a more pure white, her cabinets would have looked dingy because there just wasn't enough light to make them sing.  Swiss Coffee is a rich creamy color with gray undertones.

Gunmetal not only looks fantastic on cabinets, but also looks sexy on walls.  Think master bedroom color.  Gunmetal is medium gray with blue-green undertones.  I have it on the cabinets in my laundry room and (per my recommendation) my neighbors have their lower kitchen cabinets this color.  It's soft without being light.  Looks great with black granite countertops.  Gunmetal--love it.

Lead Gray was also on my go to list for grays.  This is another rich and swanky color, that can look totally blue or almost black, depending on the light in your space.  This color is amazing on cabinets.  If you're nervous to try it, use it as your island color in a white kitchen.  

Have I mentioned any of your favorite cabinet colors?  What am I missing? I would love to hear from you in the comment section!  If you'd like to learn more about how natural light can effect color, my friend Anne-Marie has written a very informative post here.

If you missed any of the earlier installments to this series, click here & here.

Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriorsinfo@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.

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  1. I wish I had known about Swiss Coffee last summer when I painted my 90's oak upper cabinets. When I was finished & attached the doors to the frames, I was stunned at how bright they looked. My kitchen is like your clients dark kitchen. The layout is the same also. My kitchen is very dark. The bright white cabinets look "off".
    Because of that, I never finished the job & the lowers are still unpainted.
    I have black granite counters. If I paint my lowers Gunmetal, will it make my kitchen look less stark?

  2. It has taken me 3 years but I finally convinced my husband to let me paint my kitchen cabs. (he's my worst client ever!!) love your 3 favorite color post Abby- bookmarking them forever! Xo Nancy

  3. I am loving this series you are doing, Abby!
    I've never had the opportunity to paint cabinets since I rent, but I love the white tones you shared. I think they are my favorite.

    I grew up in a very nice old house, but the cabinets were very plain flat wood that had been painted mustard in the 70's. I can only imagine how much more beautiful that kitchen would have been with white cabinets. So much light and brightness to bounce around!

  4. I love a good white bright kitchen. My go-to's are DIY ones from Ikea...inexpensive and easy to assemble. Especially if your existing cabinets are in good condition, all you have to do is purchase the drawer/cabinet faces for an instant facelift! Love this post...painting them white is such a fresh and fun project!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  5. white dove and dove wing are my FAVES. i think ive done everything i can possibly do in my home in dove wing

  6. I just stumbled across this series of "Go To Colors" and it is great! I am thinking about using Brewster Gray for my kitchen cabinets and walls, I am going for something a little different but love that it showed up on your "Go To Grays!"

  7. What brand of paint is Swiss Coffee?

  8. Hi. thanks for the article. I found it very informative. Choosing a color combination for your home interior can be a challenge, but color also can be a powerful tool for transforming a plain space into a sensational environment. Here are some tips to get you started.


  9. I have a small kitchen and we are currently priming the cabinets. I was going to go with White dove, but worry that my "off white" pedestal table and chairs are going to look tacky. Do you think I should repaint table and chairs the same White dove? I did them in behr "off white" this past summer.

  10. Even if the RTA Wholesale Kitchen Cabinets may save or may cut down on the labor costs compared to semi-custom or custom cabinets, the homeowners should have the basic DIY skills to be able to install the cabinets.
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Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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