10 Surprisingly Creative Ways to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

10 Surprisingly Creative Ways to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Nancy Mitchell
May 14, 2018
(Image credit: Kvarteret Makleri)

Sure, you could paint your kitchen cabinets all the same color, but if you're looking at this post, you're probably someone who likes thinking outside the box. As color makes more and more of a showing in the kitchen, there are more and more different ways to paint your kitchen cabinets, whether you're going for a quirky look, something super stylish, or something in between.

If you're planning a kitchen makeover, or just like to dream, here are a few options to get those creative juices flowing.

(Image credit: Elle)

1. Mismatch your island

If you want a little contrast, but aren't looking to go too wild, try this: Paint the main kitchen cabinets and the island (or a non-adjoining bank of cabinets) in different colors. The gray and navy in this kitchen from Pelle coordinate neatly, and make for an interesting contrast while still hewing to a very traditional aesthetic.

(Image credit: Rehabitat Interiors)

2. Mix wood with paint

Here's a similar idea from Rehabitat Interiors. Instead of two different paint colors, they kept half the cabinets wood and painted the other half a light ice blue — a great way to combine color and warmth in the same space.

(Image credit: Kvarteret Makleri)

3. Just paint the doors

The owners of this lovingly preserved apartment did something clever in the kitchen. Instead of painting all the cabinets the same color, they just painted the doors a light green, which adds nice dimension to the space. Using two different shades of mint also makes it look both retro and modern at the same time.

4. Paint all the surfaces

Painting your upper and lower cabinets the same color is pretty standard stuff, but painting the walls the same color can really take things to a new level. This kitchen from Københavns Møbelsnedkeri, which really commits to that light blue, has been one of my favorites for years. Covering your kitchen cabinets and walls in the same color is a great recipe for a beautiful, immersive look.

(Image credit: Design*Sponge)

5. Paint your open shelving

This photo from Design*Sponge proves it's possible to get the look with open shelving, too. I love the way the dark background makes the white dishes pop.

(Image credit: Stadshem)

6. Boldly colorblock

This kitchen from Stadshem (via Coosje) demonstrates the colorblocked look in a more dramatic way, with two differently colored sets of cabinets meeting at right angles.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

7. Paint just your lower cabinets

The ultimate exercise in colorblocking (and a very popular trend in recent years) is painting your upper and lower cabinets in different colors, as in this San Francisco home. Painting the upper cabinets white can have the effect of making them recede into the wall, which helps the room look bigger without forfeiting storage space.

(Image credit: Marcante Testa)

8. Paint your upper and lower cabinets ... different colors

Of course, there are lots of applications for upper/lower combos that don't involve white. This one, by Marcante Testa, creates a beautiful colorblocked effect — but it's worth nothing that the upper cabinets are still painted the same color as the wall. This, plus their minimal detailing, helps to create a lighter effect in the space.

(Image credit: Bolig)

9. Paint half of your lowers

This kitchen from Bolig follows the general colorblocking idea — but the color only makes it partway up the lower bank of cabinets, like a wainscot. It's an unexpected and charming way to add color to your kitchen.

(Image credit: Dwell)

10. Go for a playful effect

Or you could make like this kitchen from Dwell, where drawers and cabinets of different colors mix together on the same block. The look is unexpected, sure, but also fun, and dynamic, and perfect for those who want their kitchen to be anything but boring.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 11 Kitchen Cabinets With Paint Jobs We Love

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