Kitchen Wall Colors


Kitchen wall colors can make or break a kitchen color scheme.

And yet, it's just paint.

You're not making a lifetime commitment.

And painting kitchen walls is the easiest, fastest, least expensive way to create a fresh new look.

How do I find the perfect
kitchen wall color?

1. Pull color from things in the room

Obviously, if you have a complete kitchen already, the cabinets, flooring, countertop can suggest a wall color.

If you're doing a new colorful backsplash, choose a paint color harmonious with it.

Are there curtains at the windows? Antique dishes on display? Any of these might contain a great color for the walls.

2. Carry a color or theme from the rest of the house

Consider the colors of other rooms, but don't be hemmed in by them. If the rest of your home is mostly neutrals, the kitchen can be the place to go a little wild.

Usually there isn't a lot of wall space in a kitchen, so you can let color pack a punch!

If the kitchen is open to the family or dining room, marry the spaces with similar colors.

3. Choose a color based on how it makes you feel

Paint colors for kitchens don't have to follow today's trends - use a color you really like!

I once knew a young woman who loved pink. Her kitchen walls were pink...an unusual kitchen wall color. Yet with vintage white cabinets and white appliances, the effect was charming!

Certain colors make each of us feel good. It's true of fashions we wear and the colors we paint on our walls.

Here are basic kitchen wall colors and the feelings they usually inspire:

  • Yellow - cheerful, sunny
  • Blue - cool and refreshed
  • Orange - warm, restful or stimulating (depending on the hue)
  • Green - relaxed, reassured
  • White - airy and clean

4. Pick a color to change the room's look and feel

Want it to feel larger? Use whites and pastels.

Want it to be cozier? Warm colors: yellow, orange, red shades.

Want a rich and elegant look? Darker tones in blue, green or burgundy look upscale...or even amber or purple

More modern? Crisp white, cool gray, Chinese red.

More cottage style? Robin's egg blue, seafoam green.

More country? Barn red, denim blue, hunter green,  sunshine yellow.

Fond of neutrals but want a change? Try subtle shades of gray, gray-brown, gray-green...a neutral feel with a zesty difference.


Designer Tips on Choosing Kitchen Wall Colors

Don't go too pale.

The larger the room the more depth its color should have. Deeper tones work well in big kitchens.

Some designers suggest choosing a color and then going with the lighter shade of it on the paint card, saying colors look darker on the walls.

Well, in my opinion, some do and some don't. I believe most people err on the side of colors that are too pale, too washed out. Go for the gusto!

"Muddy up" a color for interest and subtlety

Using a grayed-down version of a paint color you like will make it pretty and unusual, and you won't get tired of it.

Look for undertone hues in your wood cabinets

For instance, oak or maple with yellow undertones goes well with a paint color with yellow undertone.

Bright colors are better in small doses

Consider painting a bright color on an accent wall, as a "backsplash," or just the area behind the stove.

Don't be concerned with perfect color matches

A bright citrus color in your backsplash tile can look great with paler peach walls.

Use gloss, semi-gloss or satin...never flat paint

Need I say it? Kitchen walls need scrubbing down occasionally.

Need tips on painting? Check out this helpful page on How To Paint a Room.

Paint Sample Tricks

  • Bring home a bunch of paint chips in all colors you're considering. Don't be shy - take as many as you want.
  • Tape individual samples on the walls so you can see them in your kitchen environment under different lighting. Good color should change subtly with different times of day, and how much natural light the room gets plays a big part in decision making.
  • Use paint chips to create a storyboard for your kitchen color scheme. Read Interview with a Color Expert to find out how.
  • Colors "borrow" from each other. For paint samples with more than one color, cut them apart to see your color by itself. And take out of the room anything removable that has color before you judge a paint sample.
  • Never make a final color decision at the paint store. Always take a paint chip home.

Trial by paint - an excellent way to choose kitchen wall colors

All major paint companies make small sample cans you can have mixed to your potential color.

Splash it on the wall with the most natural light and then live with it for a while - better than a miniscule paint chip! Have this sample mixed in the brand of paint you plan to buy.

Having an item color-scanned for a sample?

Make sure they give you the formula for a 1-gallon can and 5-gallon bucket.

Again, get a sample in the brand of paint you plan to buy...they're not interchangeable.

Take advantage of "visualizers"

Some of the big paint companies offer "visualizers" on their websites. Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer is one of the easiest to use, with stock photos or upload your own.

Other ways to visualize kitchen wall colors? Paint store brochures, remodeling magazines, kitchen cabinet catalogs and websites.

Interview with a Color Expert

Kitchen Color Design

The Color Story of a Kitchen

Floor Colors for Kitchens

Ceiling Colors for Kitchens

Kitchen Appliance Colors

Kitchen Cabinet colors

White Kitchens


Back to Kitchen Color Schemes

Return to Home Page from Kitchen Wall Colors

Thinking of remodeling?

Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.

Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.

Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.


See our DIY section...

...for how-to on kitchen remodeling - including
How To Tile a Backsplash.