21 kitchen paint ideas – beautiful colours to update your space

Have a scroll through these kitchen paint ideas and get inspired to give your kitchen a quick, budget-friendly update

Kitchen paint ideas
(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Kitchen paint ideas are often the quickest and cheapest way to update your kitchen yourself. You can have a whole new look in just a few hours and all it takes is a few cans of paint and very basic DIY skills. So to get you inspired to pick up a brush and get adding some exciting new hues to your kitchen, we have pulled together all our fave kitchen colours. 

Whether revamping an old kitchen by painting the doors or just adding some colour with a feature wall, using paint to spruce up your kitchen is well within the capabilities of all DIYers and we've got tons of kitchen colour schemes below. For loads more inspiration head over to our kitchen ideas page and if you have already got started on your project, check out our kitchen design feature for more practical advice.

1. Mix one colour tones for a cohesive kitchen paint idea

kitchen in a colour scheme of blues with wood worktops, shelves and accessories

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

One bold kitchen paint colour all over can lack interest, so why not try picking a few shades of the same colour to use in one room? Put the darker shade on the cabinetry and the lighter on the walls for a fresh, bright finish.

This lovely fresh blue-based Mt. Rainier Gray (2129-60) (opens in new tab) on the cooker wall is a great choice for a light and airy kitchen and the deeper shade of the Normandy (2129-40) (opens in new tab) painted units perfectly complements the colour scheme. The hallway wall is painted in a pretty sky blue shade called Breath of Fresh Air (806) (opens in new tab). The white gloss floor adds balance and gives the room a spacious feel. 

If you are looking to give your kitchen a refresh on a budget you can get painting kitchen cabinets yourself, just follow our guide. 

2. Pair two colours of the same hue for a cohesive look 

Kitchen painted in Annie Sloan paints

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Struggling to choose between two kitchen colours? Then, why not have them both? The key to this two tone kitchen paint idea is to find a feature the colours have in common - in this case, they share the same tone (in other words, light value). Putting the warmer kitchen paint colour on the walls - which have a greater surface area than the cabinets - will create a more inviting feel.

The wall paint used here is Antoinette (opens in new tab) from Annie Sloan, it works perfectly when paired with the darker, aubergine hues of the kitchen cabinets (a mix of Annie Sloane Aubusson Blue (opens in new tab) and Emperor's Silk (opens in new tab)) as it gives the pastel hue a more modern look. 

3. Follow the trend for inky shades in your kitchen

inky blue kitchen from Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Deep, dramatic alternatives to grey - green, burgundy and blue - are very popular paint colours for kitchens, creating an elegant appeal, an effect doubled if used on both cabinetry and walls. 

Kitchens with good light and high ceilings can take the darkest of paint colours, such as Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue (opens in new tab) Modern emulsion (shown here on the walls and floor); an eggshell finish in the same colour has been used on the units. Keep the finish sophisticated with a smart, contrasting white – Wimborne White (opens in new tab) is the perfect choice - and add a pop of colour in accessories to lift and modernise the scheme instantly. 

4. Choose a neutral kitchen paint for a Scandi feel

warm grey kitchen by Dulux

(Image credit: Dulux)

Although they are a hive of activity, our kitchens are increasingly becoming spaces we relax and socialise in. However you use yours, picking the right kitchen colour can aid the serene atmosphere of this space.

This peaceful, barely-there grey paint colour on the walls is called Brushed Buckle (opens in new tab) by Dulux. It has a warming tones to make it welcoming but is light enough to create an illusion of space – ideal if your kitchen is small and on the dark side. The units trim is called Rail Cloth (opens in new tab) and adds an extra interesting element to the scheme, while the middle section is painted in Pure Brilliant White (opens in new tab)

5. Let the cabinets take centre stage

light duck egg blue kitchen from the Suffolk range by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

Traditional style cabinetry suits the painted look perfectly. Shaker-style units lend themselves to a splash of colour just as well as very contemporary, high-gloss cupboards, so don't be afraid to embrace a new shade.

When you invest in a Neptune kitchen you get the fabulous option of choosing from their range of 28 original paint colours. They are ecologically-friendly and water based, with a choice of matt emulsion or eggshell finishes. Shown here is their classic pared-back Suffolk kitchen (opens in new tab) that’s hand-painted in Sage (opens in new tab) – a calming green that has a fresh, timeless feel. 

We have loads more inspiring Shaker kitchen ideas in our ideas gallery if you like the vibe of this kitchen. 

6. Keep it simple with white kitchen paint

You can’t beat an all-white kitchen– bright and crisp, it acts as a blank canvas for the rest of the scheme, enabling you to add and swap out accent colours quickly with accessories. Picking a simple kitchen colour scheme also means it will be far easier to update and match to new utensils, appliances or dinnerware.

In this deVOL (opens in new tab) kitchen the cabinets have been painted in Damask and the walls and shelves have been kept the same shade of white too. The choice of wooden flooring however keep the kitchen from becoming too clinical, which we fully recommend doing if you are going for an all white everything kitchen paint idea. 

For more white kitchen ideas head to our gallery. 

7. Make a kitchen island the focal point 

Magnet kitchen in grey with a dark red island

(Image credit: Magnet)

Glossy, bright, apple reds are making way for a new team of more muted hues – think plum, oxblood and vermillion. Paired with sleek, contemporary units, they offer a demure, but modern kitchen paint alternative to anything high-shine or in your face.

This Linear design (opens in new tab) from Harvey Jones has a modern look with steamlined units. You can choose any paint colour you like, and they will hand-paint it on for you; shown here is Fired Earth’s eggshell Dragon's Blood (opens in new tab). One advantage of doing this is that if you get tired of the colour after a few years you can give your units a new lease of life by re-painting them. 

8. Use warm tones to brighten a white kitchen

modern white kitchen with grey and warm red walls

(Image credit: Crown)

If your units are modern and white, choosing hotter kitchen paint shades for the walls will visually warm up the space. This allows you to embrace the modern look (and easy-to-clean nature) of minimalist white cabinets, without being left with a clinical feel.

On the right wall Toffee Apple (opens in new tab) adds warmth, while Spice Jar (opens in new tab) is a unifying, neutral option. 

9. Create a blackboard wall in your kitchen

wall planner in Gettysburg Gray from Benjamin Moore in a kitchen

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

A really fun kitchen paint idea for a family kitchen is to have a wall of chalkboard paint. It might keep the kids amused under your watchful eye, or can be used to leave notes and shopping lists. Annnd, chalkboard walls needn't always be black, here Benjamin Moore's Gettysburg Gray (opens in new tab) has been used as an alternative. 

You can really easily DIY a chalkboard, head over to our step-by-step to find out how. 

10. Grey is always going to be an on trend kitchen colour

fitted bar dresser in a modern kitchen in an Edwardian home

(Image credit: Philip Lauterbach)

We couldn't put together a kitchen paint ideas piece without including the classic grey. Literally, will our love for this colour ever end? Grey does undeniably work great as part of a kitchen colour scheme especially if you want to keep things neutral but want to be a tad braver than just going for white or cream. 

Try using a few different tones of grey to break up a wall of cabinetry, or choose a different colour for a kitchen island. And if you want more grey kitchen ideas, we've got a feature filled with ideas you are sure to love. 

grey kitchen from original btc

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Here's another grey kitchen right at the other end of the spectrum. We love, love, love the contrasting painted chairs that are set off perfectly by the grey. More on how to paint furniture in our step by step guide.

11. Try a clashing colour combo 

Might just move into our guesthouse DABITO (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @dabito on Jan 13, 2019 at 10:17am PST

Olive green and salmon pink? Who knew it could look so cool? To recreate this kitchen paint idea, try Farrow & Ball's Calamine (opens in new tab) and Card Room Green (opens in new tab). And if you want more advice on how to make these contrasting colours work go and check out how you can use a colour wheel for interior design and colour scheming.

12. Add some retro vibes with brighter kitchen colours

Small kitchen? It doesn't mean you can go big on the kitchen paint colours! Check out @hardcastletowers (opens in new tab) brave small kitchen. For a similarly glorious turquoise try painting your kitchen walls in Dulux's Marine Splash (opens in new tab) and use colourful kitchen accessories and appliances to add even more pops of colour.

Love the the retro vibe of this kitchen? Go and check our more of our retro kitchen ideas

13. Choose terracotta for an on trend Mediterranean vibe 

Dulux Spiced Honey used in a kitchen

(Image credit: Dulux)

Terracotta walls have been a huge kitchen paint trend so far this year. Bit less garish and orangey than the colour that graced many a home during the '80s, think Mediterranean vibes, rather than your Grandma's kitchen tiles. It's earthier, warmer and a whole lot cooler.

We love Dulux's Toasted Terracotta (opens in new tab), especially when it's combined with brighter reds like Dynamite Red (opens in new tab)

14. Add warmth with orange hues

Vanessa Arbuthnott orange kitchen blinds

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

Give a north-facing kitchen a warm glow with an orange kitchen colour scheme, yes we did just say orange paint. Not normally a four wall colour we know, but look how it works here in this slightly darker kitchen. Choose something more muted like Arancia (opens in new tab) from Graham & Brown, and pick a more neutral colour for your kitchen cabinets.

15. Choose a black kitchen for a dramatic appeal

Dark shaker kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

A kitchen that's stained, painted or lacquered in black makes for an astonishingly cosy and comforting space, especially if matched with beautifully grained wood for that much-needed texture and warmth. Going for this look? Ensure the room gets lots of natural daylight and that the artificial lighting is perfectly planned. 

Get more black kitchen ideas in our gallery and find out how to plan kitchen lighting in our practical guide.

16. Be on trend with a pale pink and sage kitchen

A bar area at the end of a run of kitchen units complete with copper coating and wooden bar stools

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Pink doesn't have to be a bold choice, you can almost use it as a neutral shade. In this kitchen you can barely notice the pinky hues of the walls. But how gorgeous does it look with the sage kitchen cabinets and gold highlights? 

Take our tour around the rest of this candy coloured kitchen and for more pink room ideas check out our feature. 

17. Paint your kitchen ceiling

Kitchen with wooden cabinets with blue painted ceiling

(Image credit: Clive Nicholls)

Don't forget about your ceiling when thinking about kitchen paint ideas. Keep your walls neutral and add a pop of colour with your choice of ceiling paint. The chalky finish works perfectly in this farmhouse-style kitchen but your could be bolder if you are feeling brave – dark, deep colours look amazing if you have lofty ceilings in your kitchen.   

Check out our guide to how to paint a ceiling

18. Create a retro feel by mixing greens and blues

Kitchen painted in Valspar paint

(Image credit: Valspar )

These kinds of dusty, muted blues and greens are everywhere at the moment and we love how they look in this slightly retro kitchen. Pinch this kitchen paint idea and paint your cabinets two different colours, (you could even add another colour for the kickback). Keep it all quite subtle and choose colours that have similar tones. Match your kitchen colours to the one above with Valspar's Dried Basil (opens in new tab), Aerial Pursuit (opens in new tab) and Fluffy Robe (opens in new tab).  

19. Remember beige is back (and looks fab)

Yep, beige is no longer the colour of rented rooms and bleak hotel rooms! It's cool again and looks gorgeous as part of a kitchen colour scheme as demonstrated above with Farrow and Ball's Mouse's Back (opens in new tab). Pair it with gold or black hardware for a really stylish look. 

20. Be bold with colours even in a traditional kitchen 

pink painted kitchen diner with blue aga in a cottage

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

Think that traditional kitchens always have to be soft and filled with neutral colours? No way! Just check out that statement space. We are kind of obsessed with how this deep coral take a very traditional space and turn it into something really quirky, almost a bit boho like. The rugs and the matching chair covers only add to that cottagecore vibe and we can't get enough.

For a similar red try Farrow & Ball's Blazer (opens in new tab).

21. Add a hint of yellow in a light filled room

Open plan kitchen painted in Farrow and Ball Hay

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

Yellow can be a tricky colour to decorate with, but pick the right shade and the right space and it can look lovely. This is Farrow & Ball's Hay (opens in new tab) and it a lovely warm, subtle yellow that would work well in a kitchen that  gets plenty of light. Pair with some grey blues and wood accents for a modern but still quite rustic feel. 

Which paint colour to choose for your kitchen? 

Dark colours, including grey and black, are popular, with wall colours often contrasting to add impact. If you would rather keep your cupboards light and neutral, a pop of colour on the walls will be much easier to update, should you wish. And if you're painting your kitchen cabinetry a bold colour, consider limiting it to a short run of units or a kitchen island, with a more neutral shade on the other cabinets; this will be ultimately easier to live with – and change in the future if you want a new paint colour.

Which paint to use for kitchen cabinets?

Looking for the best paint for kitchen cabinets? A good eggshell will be tough enough for units, while modern emulsions will work for walls, ensuring that they are still wipeable. However, there are some fabulous speciality paints for kitchens on the market which can be a good option if you have a young family. Both Crown (opens in new tab) and Dulux (opens in new tab) have good ranges if you want wipeable, grease-resistant paints. 

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Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.