How (and When) to Paint a Kitchen

Paint a Kitchen in dark colours to create a sense of luxury

paint a kitchen in shades of taupe but add a big statement light as a focal point

When I revealed my own kitchen update last week it got mixed reviews. You can see the post here if you missed it. My design and blogger friends loved it. My non-design friends and conservative family members, not so much. Adding wallpaper to a kitchen was a step too far for some, and it’s not exactly a quiet wallpaper either. But sometimes a room just needs a bit of oomph. And sometimes it’s a bit tired and needs a re-fresh. But wallpaper isn’t the only solution. Sometimes all it needs is a lick of paint.

Paint a Kitchen in dark colours to create a sense of luxury

Cabinets are painted brown to complement the marble splashback and create a feeling of luxury. Cabinet colour – Char Brown 2137-20.

What to Paint

Choosing colours for the kitchen ultimately comes down to personal preference. To help decide what type of colour scheme you want to go for, consider what you want your eye to be drawn to. If you want your island to really stand out, then opt for a contrasting colour (this is a favourite designer trick btw) to the rest of your cabinets. For those seeking to make a feature out of their worktops, consider a cabinetry and wall colour scheme that will really make your surfaces stand out. The level of contrast you choose to have between your walls, cabinetry and island will accentuate different areas. Once you have decided what you want to be your stand out feature, you can then move on to choosing your ideal colour.

Paint a Kitchen in white to make accessories stand out

If you want to stick with classically clean white cabinetry,  you can bring colour into the scheme through your accessories. Wall colour – Pale Green 436, Trim colour – Chantilly Lace OC-65.

What Colour to Paint

It is important to consider first how much of a refurbishment you are undertaking. If you are just looking for a kitchen update but not a complete overhaul, you should choose a colour scheme that will complement your existing surfaces such as your floor and your worktops. Observe how colours look and feel in your kitchen space at different times of the day. Daylight plays an important role in the appearance of colour, so make sure you test a few different shades to find one that’s right for your space. I usually buy at least three different sample pots and paint large pieces of white card with the paint. That way you can move the samples round the space as the light changes before making a final decision. More than three and you will simply be overwhelmed by the choice.

Paint a Kitchen in shades of blue complemented by pale wood for a Scandinavian feel

A cool Scandinavian feel has been created here with two shades of blue which highlight the beech worktop and shelves. Kitchen wall colour – Mt. Rainier Gray 2129-60, Cabinet colour – Normandy 2129-40, Hallway wall colour – Breath of Fresh Air 806.

Painting the Cabinets

It’s all in the preparation. Even a glossy or laminate cabinet can be painted as long as the surface is primed with a suitable primer first. I’d always recommend a water-based paint – less smell and so much easier to clean up afterwards – and the best results are obtained with a roller.

Paint a Kitchen in shades of taupe but hang a statement chandelier for wow factor

A muted scheme keeps the kitchen looking sleek and contemporary but a large chandelier has added the wow factor. Wall colour – Silver Fox 2109-50, Ceiling colour – Pink Damask OC-72.

All images are courtesy of Benjamin Moore, available from Benjamin Moore, distributed exclusively in the UK by Shaw Paints Ltd.



  1. Reply

    Karen - Making Spaces

    May 30, 2017

    Good tip about only choosing 3 colours to test. If you look at more, you’ll end up going bonkers. I love that dark brown kitchen. Looks lovely with the panelling on those doors!
    Ps. love your kitchen update. Absolutely full of personality now!x

    • Reply


      May 30, 2017

      Thanks Karen. Not sure I’d want to look in a mirror while I was doing the washing up though haha. x

  2. Reply


    May 29, 2017

    I so wish I could paint my kitchen walls (but alas, rental!) – loving the cool blue and grey kitchens in this post hun x

  3. Reply

    Candy Pop

    May 26, 2017

    I love your new kitchen and I think the wallpaper is gorgeous! Really useful post – the blue kitchen is fabulous. x

    • Reply


      May 28, 2017

      Aww, thank you. My favourite is the blue kitchen too. x


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