5 Colors You Should Never Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, Pros Warn

These days, it’s certainly acceptable to think beyond the traditional all-white kitchen, but you should be mindful when making your color selection.

“Using color in a kitchen is one of the greatest ways to stand out as a designer and to take risks,” Callie Rippolone, the founder of By Callie Rippolone Design, says.

However, it turns out that not all kitchen cabinet colors are created equal. While we’re certainly seeing an influx of wonderful, unexpected hues making their way into the kitchen, interior designers still agree that some shades are better off being used in a different room of the home.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home and a place where many hours are spent and conversations are had,” Kara Piepmeyer, the founder of Studio Kosma, says. “We always work to create a welcoming, supportive sensibility, with grounding tones.”

Before you paint your kitchen cabinets—which is generally a costly, long-term investment as it is—you’ll want to read what the pros have to say below to ensure that your color choice will stand the test of time.

Below, they highlight five colors that they would not recommend using on cabinetry and share why they maintain these strong opinions.

Deep Browns

Danielle Slutzky, principal at Flair Design House, recommends steering clear of shades of deep brown when painting the kitchen cabinets.

“They can make the kitchen feel unfriendly and uninviting, probably not what is envisioned for the central living space and heartbeat of the home,” she says. Additionally, she suggests avoiding drab, dark browns, which can often feel outdated and stale if not paired with the right complementary colors.

However, if you love the color brown and can’t imagine a kitchen without it, Slutzky says to opt for a lighter shade, such as warm oak, tan, taupe, or almond brown instead. She explains that they have a more relaxing effect as opposed to an overpowering one.


Slutzky is also inclined to avoid shades of gray on the kitchen cabinets, given that these hues can often look cold and intimidating alongside stainless steel appliances.

“The monotone gray run of cabinets and appliances in the kitchen can leave a lackluster, uninspired feeling in what should be one of the happier spaces in the home,” she says.

Piepmeyer agrees that a cold gray is best avoided. “Cold colors tend to wash out a space and drain it of warmth and soul,” she says, noting that rich and cozy colors are best.

Trendy Neutrals

On a related note, while parting ways with gray, you may want to steer away from what Jennifer McKissick, the founder of Jennifer McKissick Interior Design, considers “trendy neutrals” in general.

“I have a hard time recommending any kitchen cabinet color that isn’t a shade of white, especially if you are considering resale value,” McKissick says. “In my opinion, it’s the only color guaranteed to never go out of style, and is the most universally sought after.”

Choosing the “it” color of the moment for your kitchen may end up dating your home, the designer explains, given that trends can change so rapidly from one year to the next.

Hot Pinks and Purples

While Taylor Fusco, the founder of Tay Fusco Design, is all about experimenting with pops of color, she recognizes that certain hues, such as hot pinks and purples, simply don’t belong on the kitchen cabinets.

“Any shade of purple should also be on the ‘never should you ever’ kitchen cabinet color list,'” the designer says.

That said, while hot pink should be avoided, Fusco is open to the concept of painting cabinets a softer, lighter pink that leans more neutral.

Sunshine Yellow

While sunshine yellow is nice and cheery, it might not be the best bet for your kitchen given that this room may be lacking in square footage.

“It can be overwhelming and has the ability to impact your perception of space meaning your kitchen might feel smaller than it really is,” Rippolone says of the color.

She explains how yellow limits the flexibility of changing the overall color scheme of your kitchen if you decide to redecorate in the future.

Read Next: 37 Kitchen Cabinet Colors That Won’t Get Old

Read the original article on The Spruce.

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