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What color can I paint my kitchen?

Corinne Masterson
January 11, 2019

I’ve decided after 7 months that I really absolutely hate the color I chose for my kitchen (Benjamin Moore- Stonehouse). I’m sure it’s fine in other contexts, but between the tile & the cabinets (NOT chosen by me), I feel like the whole room is just a giant clay colored blur and I can‘t stand it.


I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I might actually want to swap to a gray color. I’ve been SO critical of the greige on greige on greige trend of the past couple years, but I don’t know what else to do to bring in some contrast. Maybe a white with a TINY hint of gray?


Definitely some kind of white. Can I get away with something nice and crisp?





Will I then have to paint my built ins? They are currently Benjamin Moore- Cloud White


The entryway leading into my kitchen is Benjamin Moore- Feather Down


The living room which you can see from my kitchen is Benjamin Moore- Berber White (another color regret. Too muddy.)


Some other colors in the house (all Benjamin Moore): Natural Wicker, Early Morning Mist, Quiet Moments, Moon Shadow


* If it matters, I have Venetian plaster all over my kitchen walls too. Also not my choice.

Comments (37)
  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    No gray. Try a soft, light sage green.

    Corinne Masterson thanked Anglophilia
  • Corinne Masterson

    What about white? No bueno? : (

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    Your floors are a pinkish beige (at least that's what it looks like on my monitor) which I think is throwing off what you thought the walls would look like. I think I'd go with a neutral white like BM's Simply White and also paint out the wood trim around the doorways and windows in the same color.

    Alternatively, you might try BM's Edgecomb Gray. Get a paint swatch and compare it with your floor before you apply. Might be a tad too yellow. If that works, I'd still paint the trim white.

    Corinne Masterson thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • sloyder

    +1 for a light green

    Corinne Masterson thanked sloyder
  • grapefruit1_ar

    Would you consider getting rid of the brown blind? If you need something for privacy or light control I would go with a white shade. Could you use curtains instead of any shade/blind? I think natural light coming in will help you with a perfect color choice,

    Corinne Masterson thanked grapefruit1_ar
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    leave the built-in the white it is, but use that same white for the baseboard, door and window trim. Then do the walls in a soft sage, or you could try a green/gray. bring home samples.




    You need a bit of color in that room. The white trim will help brighten it up w/all that wood.

    if green isn't your thing, try some of these that go w/your natural stone and flooring.




    some decent lighting would also help.

    do you have to have a ceiling fan over the table?

  • dyliane

    no gray with these floors and cabinets . will look awful

    Corinne Masterson thanked dyliane
  • Corinne Masterson

    Hi! Thank you everyone for your input I’m sorry it took me a few hours to respond.

    I would really rather not have a green color (although I do have green in other rooms so I have nothing against the color).

    I’m curious why I need some color Beth- I was under the impression that I was overloading on color with all of the tiles. You disagree?

    I thought about painting the trim- I’m just afraid that if I do, my blinds will no longer make sense. I’m really not looking to change out my blinds only because I just got them. Even if they were a bit of a misstep : /

    ETA: Yeah, I do have a ceiling fan over the kitchen table : / it was there when we moved in- definitely not by choice. I hadn’t figured out what to do with it yet

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    everything I see is in the neutral family. if you don't want green, try a blue, blue/gray, or any of those other warmer tones. The green colors I posted lean a little towards gray, so it's not like a green-green, if that makes sense.

    If you want a neutral, go for a warmer gray tone, or a sand color. your lighting is very warm, so it's hard to get an actual tell on your colors in the room.

    take a look at pendant lights or dining table lights that could replace the fan.

    and the white trim around the window will make your wood blinds pop w/the contrast. (you could always remove the wood trim and get simple white window casing at HD. Give it coat of semi gloss white trim paint. Ditto baseboards) That way you update it with taller baseboards.

    Corinne Masterson thanked Beth H. :
  • Corinne Masterson

    Ok- I’ll look into a green/grey. Maybe I will paint the trim too. I hadn’t considered doing that : D


    I need to start looking for light replacements too. It’d be nice to find a more attractive fixture that also happens to not be so warm

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Corinne, if budget is a concern, look on Lampsplusopenbox. great deals on lights. They are final sale, I think. You can find the same lights on their regular site for full price. I've ordered a few lights from them.

    as for the bulbs, try and get something in the 3500-4000K temperature for the kitchen. it will brighten it up a bit.

    Corinne Masterson thanked Beth H. :
  • missenigma

    Definitely paint the trim white as others have suggested. It will relate to the trim in the rest of the house as well as your white appliances. My personal preference is to have the trim be uniform throughout the house. It will also provide a nice contrast with whatever color you end up painting. Even with your existing wall color, look how nice your hutch looks against the wall compared with your trim. If you do nothing else, the room will be much improved by painting all the trim white.

    Others on here are steering you in great directions for a new wall color.

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • Corinne Masterson

    Enigma- maybe I’ll go ahead and paint the trim white first before even painting the walls just to kind of see where I’m at.

    Beth- It really breaks my heart that i never heard of this website before lol. Would have saved my hours upon hours of scouting eBay


    I don’t really know what kind of pendant light I can get away with in that kithen. my ceilings are only like 8ft tall

  • anele_gw

    My kitchen is almost exactly the same and the PO painted it sage green. It does work well even though that’s not a color I care for.

    Corinne Masterson thanked anele_gw
  • Corinne Masterson

    Anele yess so you understand! I’m struggling with what “works” versus what I really like.

    This feels like prom when I wanted to wear a yellow dress but my mother said it “wasn’t a good color for me”. Ten years later and I still regret listening to her!


    Somebody else suggested BM simply white. Will that really clash??

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Simply White is a very neutral white, so it's not going to clash.

    (I just use the white straight from the can, w/no tint, on all of my trim)


    pick some lights that you like and post pics of them here, take another pic w/decent lighting that shows the entire table area. maybe we can photoshop them for you


  • missenigma

    @Beth H. - what brand are you using straight from the can?

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • jhmarie

    I have warm wood cabinets but painted my trim white and I really like the combination. There is something about the light coming through a window with white trim that feels bright and cheery:)

    My kitchen is a creamy beige - just enough color to set off the white trim. I think Beth means the "base white" that is used before any tint is added when they mix paint. I use that too. I use a brand mostly found in the mid-west - Diamond Vogel NuCling.

    https://www.houzz.com/photo/110720042-my-pics-work-in-progress

    https://www.houzz.com/photo/109854052-my-pics-work-in-progress


    I have a wood kitchens idea book - might give some ideas:

    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/75202366/list/wood-kitchens


    Most of the kitchens are warm wood, but there can be variations in tone that make one color work in a photo that won't work well in your own kitchen. Get test jars and paint large pieces of foam board. You can place them around the kitchen in different lighting and times of the day. Lowes had SW sample jars for about $3:50.


    One last thing - light bulbs can really affect colors. You might try changing up your bulbs - try LED daylight possibly, or some of the in between warm and cool ones. Sorry I am not more clear - I don't remember the right terms as I'm up too late:) Give your eyes a couple of days to get used to the new bulbs. I switched to daylight in the kitchen and did not like them a first, but in a few days, I liked them fine and they made my cabinets look more brown toned.

    Corinne Masterson thanked jhmarie
  • ratherbesewing

    Since the trim is white in your adjoining rooms, paint all your trim first. I think you will be surprised how much brighter the room will appear.

    Corinne Masterson thanked ratherbesewing
  • Corinne Masterson

    I was thinking like BM Super White or BM White Diamond. Maybe White Dove.

    But then I have to consider that my trim is Cloud White right?

    I think I’ll paint my trim today. And buy new bulbs.

  • missenigma

    Super White or White Diamond won't work. They will make your floor look dirty. You need a softer, warmer white.

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • Corinne Masterson

    ^ that makes sense. So what options for white am I left with?

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    Both @Beth H. and I suggested BM's Simply White. It's neither too cool nor too warm. It's the Goldilocks of white paint. ;-)

    Corinne Masterson thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • Corinne Masterson

    Thank you everyone! <3

    ***will simply white peacefully coexist with my cloud white trim?

  • missenigma

    Here's a thought. Do you already left over cloud white from your hutch? Your trim is going to need to be primed and then have two coats of top coat. If you have left over, cloud white, try it for the first coat. If you like it great. If not, switch to Simply White for the second coat.


    Alternately, you could pick of samples of Cloud, Simply & Dove and try them. I think any will work, but which one would work best is best determined with actual samples.

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • Corinne Masterson

    Unfortunately my trim paint is semi gloss & I would need matte for my walls : /

  • missenigma

    Oh you meant simply white on the walls?

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • missenigma

    When choosing the wall color, as others have mentioned, don't rely on the little chips. You need to buy sample pints. I like to paint sample colors onto poster board so I can easily move it around the room. I'm lucky, my local BM dealer has free pint Fridays where you can get one sample pint for free.

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • Corinne Masterson

    Ohh yes! I have cloud white on the rest of the trim in my home and on my built ins

  • missenigma

    Here are some of the sample boards I've made up over the years. Each one is 1/2 a poster board sheet.



    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • missenigma

    Personally, I don't think white walls are going to give you the lift you want. Go back and look at some of the color palettes that Beth H has suggested. Paint up some sample boards.

    Corinne Masterson thanked missenigma
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    misse,,,,I use BM Advance, but I've used straight-from-the-can-white on SW and Behr brands as well. it's just nice, bright, white without added undertones.

    Corinne Masterson thanked Beth H. :
  • Corinne Masterson

    How are these ? : /


  • salonva

    I saw a color on a wall that I thought was incredible- it turns out it is SW Lazy Gray. Where I saw it - it looked greenish blue ish and less gray but just beautifulSW LAZY GRAY

    Corinne Masterson thanked salonva
  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    What are the bulbs in your under-counter lighting? That might be making the room more drab.

    Corinne Masterson thanked hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
  • Corinne Masterson

    That is a really nice color- I actually do like it but I was looking for more of a version of white.


    hoover- I’m not sure- I definitely need to look at those. That’s a really good idea!

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