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Wall Colors for Honey Oak Cabinets

Choosing the right paint color can bring a tired room back to life, and can make an outdated kitchen with honey oak cabinets look updated.

Honey oak cabinets were so popular in the 90s. If you had honey oak cabinets… you had arrived. But now, that orangey look is a bit outdated.

One way to really update your kitchen, even with those honey oak cabinets, is to paint it.

A note about color…

When choosing a wall paint color it is important to remember that honey oak cabinets bring more of a “color” to a kitchen than other wood cabinets. And the color they bring is orange. Your job in choosing a paint color is to pick one that downplays the orange, but also coordinates with it.

These paint picks, from Sherwin Williams, are a great place to start finding your perfect shade to pair with your honey oak cabinets.

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Here are 5 amazing paint colors to go with honey oak cabinets.

1. Steamed Milk (SW7554)

Steamed Milk, by Sherwin Williams, is one of my all time favorite paint colors. It goes with everything.

Steamed Milk has an LRV (light reflectance value) of 76. Sherwin Williams classifies it as a “light” color.

When you see Steamed Milk on your walls, it looks like a soft, creamy off-white. Since whites are really in style right now, this is a great color to pick!

Several years ago, I moved into a home that not only had honey oak kitchen cabinets, but also had honey oak moulding. I immediately painted the walls with Steamed Milk, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Here is a picture of the kitchen with Steamed Milk on the walls.

Wall Colors for Honey Oak Cabinets

Steamed Milk, and other light creamy colors, are great choices to pair with honey oak cabinets if you want to moderate the tones in the wood. Since cream colored paints have similar undertones to wood, choosing a paint color like Steamed Milk creates a cohesive look.

In case you’re interested, we updated this whole kitchen on a shoestring budget. Check out what we did and the after pics here.

2. Rainwashed (SW6211)

Rainwashed, by Sherwin Williams, is the perfect bluish green color to coordinate with your honey oak kitchen cabinets.

It has slight gray undertones in it that keep it from being too bright, but also has enough blue in it that it shows up as a true color on your walls.

This cool color will accent the warm tones in your honey oak cabinets and create a nice contrast to the rich orange hues.

It has an LRV of 59. While it is categorized as “light” by Sherwin Williams, I would consider it to be a light-medium shade. Rainwashed has enough depth that it makes a statement in the room but doesn’t make the room feel smaller.

It is very similar to Sea Salt, one of Sherwin William’s all time most popular colors. Rainwashed is better with honey oak cabinets, though, because it has a little more blue in it than Sea Salt does, and accents the orange in the oak in a beautiful way.

Sea Salt is a gorgeous shade to pair with lighter, less orangy wood and darker wood tones though, so don’t count it out completely! Find out more about Sea Salt here.

Rainwashed is such a pretty shade that, not only did I use it in my kitchen, I also chose it as one of the best blues from Sherwin Williams.


You can check out more about Rainwashed here.

You know the feeling you get when you walk into someone’s home and the paint colors are just perfect?

Introducing Love Remodeled’s 2021 Paint Color Palettes!

No more having to guess which paint colors are in style, and what paint colors go together well, this colllection of paint palettes does all the work for you!

Check out these gorgeous color palettes from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and PPG with all the hottest colors for 2021.

PLUS, I’ll show you the best white and gray paint colors to make your home look amazing this year!

Get them here for only $7!

3. Mint Condition (SW6743)

If you’re looking for a green that has a little more pop, check out Sherwin William’s Mint Condition paint.

This brighter green shade is another cool color that will accent your cabinets instead of tempering the colors in the wood like a warm color will.

Mint Condition has an LRV of 73, meaning that it has just slightly more depth than Steamed Milk. It is a light, but still bright shade.

If you’re someone who likes a little bit of color on your walls, this shade will do the trick. It is bright enough to make a statement but also subdued enough to blend easily with multiple types of decor.

4. Charcoal Blue (SW2739)

Charcoal Blue, by Sherwin Williams, goes great with honey oak cabinets. In fact, any dark, almost navy blue will go great with your oak cabinets.

This blue, and all dark blues, are cool colors that will accent the cabinets.

Charcoal Blue has an LRV of 6. This is a DARK shade! If you have a kitchen with a TON of natural light or vaulted ceilings, this may be a good option for you. If your kitchen doesn’t have many windows, I would steer away from this shade.

This smokey dark blue color pairs so well with the orangey tone of the wood.

5. Balmy (SW6512)

Balmy is an amazing light blue!

Balmy has an LRV of 66, and is a light color. It has a little more depth than a powder blue, and almost feels like a SUPER light navy.

If you like the Charcoal Blue color, but don’t want to go with a color that dark, this Balmy is a great pick for you.

It is also one of Sherwin William’s top paint colors for beach homes and coastal style decor.

6. Accessible Beige (SW7036)

Sherwin William’s Accessible Beige is a beige paint color that has slight gray undertones.

Accessible Beige has an LRV of 58, which is considered “light.” This beige is Sherwin Williams best selling beige because it is versatile and goes well with many styles of decor.

Since Accessible Beige is a warm shade, it will blend with the cabinets more than a cool color will, softening the look of the wood tones and creating a more cohesive feel to the space.

This warm shade is a good coordinating color for honey oak cabinets. Since it is a neutral, it goes with most decor. Against white trim, it is dark enough to make a statement.

Check out this post for all the details on Accessible Beige!

7. Mindful Gray (SW7016)

Mindful Gray is a warm greige paint color. Greige paint colors are shades that are a mix of beige and gray. Mindful Gray leans more towards gray, making it a good shade to pair with oak cabinets if you want to accent the color of the wood.

While it is a warm shade with purple undertones, it has enough gray in it that it won’t blend with the cabinets.

Mindful Gray has an LRV of 48, which Sherwin Williams still classifies as “light.” Don’t be fooled though. Mindful Gray is not really a light color. It should be reserved for a room with lots of windows or high ceilings.

Greige paint colors are super in style right now. If you’re looking to make your honey oak cabinets look more modern, Mindful Gray, or another amazing greige paint color, should be on your shortlist.

Choosing the right paint color for honey oak cabinets makes all the difference.

Hopefully these paint colors will inspire you to paint your kitchen to really update the look.

Wondering how to pick the perfect paint color?

I have a great solution for you!

Samplize sells 12×12 stick on paint squares in almost every paint color. These eco-friendly, peel and stick squares are made from real paint, so they will show you exactly what the paint color will look like.

I love Samplize squares because they are able to be placed on your wall and peel right off when you’re done. You can move these paint squares around your room to easily tell whether a color will go in your home, with your furnishings and accents, and with your lighting.

Plus, you can pick the perfect paint color without having to run to the store or open a can of paint, and you won’t be pressured into picking a color because you have a bunch of different sample colors painted on your walls!

Oh, and you get free shipping and $5 off your first order – that is basically like getting one square for free!

For some other paint colors that go with natural wood, check this post out!

Another easy way to update your honey oak cabinets is to change out the hardware.

Get rid of those gold pulls and knobs (which, in more modern styles, are actually back in fashion!) because they pull more orange into the kitchen when you have honey oak cabinets.

Instead, pick up some black or bronze knobs and pulls, as they help to neutralize the orange that your eye sees in the wood. Here are a Bronze Bar Pull and a Black Cup Pull to inspire you! I’ve personally used the Cosmas brand and they are a great quality product.

If you want to update your kitchen without replacing your honey oak cabinets, check this out!

Adding cabinets of a different color is a great way to compliment your current wood cabinets. Have a two toned kitchen is called a “tuxedo” kitchen – and they are highly desirable. According to Zillow, homes with tuxedo kitchens can sell for as much as $6000 more than comparable homes.

Check out how I added gorgeous white cabinets on a wall in my kitchen, as an accent to my oak cabinets.

Mixing Oak Cabinets with White Cabinets

Other Resources to Help You Paint Your Kitchen

Before you start, make sure you choose the right paint sheen for your kitchen. You need one that is both durable and scrubbable, since kitchen walls tend to need wiped up a lot more than other walls in your house.

Final Thoughts on Wall Paint Colors that Go With Honey Oak Cabinets

Choosing the right paint color to go with your honey oak cabinets is important in updating your kitchen, but it is most important to choose a color that you love!

Check out this list for even more kitchen paint colors!

I hope this list inspires you! And remember to check out the painting resources to help you as you go.

Want more paint color ideas? Check out the best colors for wood trim!

Looking to hire a professional to do the job? You can be connected with a painting professional in your area by clicking here!

Wall Colors for Honey Oak Cabinets

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Tuesday 30th of March 2021

Hi Lauren! I am so excited I found your site. I am trying to update our home and it looks like you might have a lot of great ideas. At this time we need to paint the whole house but I am stumped as to a color for our kitchen. We have mostly oak wood trim and floors but the kitchen cabinets are maple with an inlaid cocoa accent line. We do like them a lot but the yellow wall paint has got to go. I like your idea for a tuxedo look and am thinking of painting just the island in a different color. Anyways, this kitchen is in the middle of the house with a kinda open floor plan and has a window in the ceiling. This gives it some light during the day. The countertops are a gold/cream/black speckled granite. I think it was called Venetian gold or something like that. I do not like it all now but not sure when we can replace it. I am trying to get away from all the gold and would like to make the cabinets pop. Any ideas would be so appreciated. Thank You!


Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Hi Theresa! A painted island will really update the space! You could go with a white, such as Pure White or Simply White for the island (I tend to like wood and white cabinets together). For the walls, right now the yellow is bringing even more warmth into the space. I think it would be nice to balance all the warmth of the wood out with some light or medium depth blue or green walls. Something like Comfort Gray, Rainwashed or Rain might be nice. You could also go really safe and do a cream on the walls, but that won't do too much to balance out the warmth of the room. Hope this helps!


Sunday 28th of February 2021

We are swimming in yellow-orange honey oak. Both our floors and kitchen cabinets are honey oak. What paint color(s) would be best with our honey oak situation? Our realtor has suggested that we NOT replace our white laminate countertops, and instead offer potential buyers money to select what they would like. I'm willing to paint the cabinets, if needed. We have a big window in the kitchen that is trimmed out in (of course) honey oak. I was thinking about trimming it out in black for a nice update. Any advice is most welcome. Thank you so much!


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

@Lauren, Thank you so much for taking the time to offer your insight. I appreciate the advice about gray. I think you're right, that's a very safe choice right now, as grays are trendy. I appreciate the perspective of someone who gone the FSBO route--and three times! We plan to move within two years, so we have some time to complete these updates. Again, thank you so much!


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Hi Angela! I find that greiges are the best bet when selling a house. They're neutral, so the buyer is able to imagine their own designs on the space, but they're also trendy right now. Plus, they look good with honey oak. Check out Agreeable Gray, Repose Gray or Mindful Gray and see if any of those look particularly good with your honey oak situation. Painting the trim around the window is a good idea too. It'll give the space a more updated look. In my non-realtor, but three time FSBO home seller, experience, painting your cabinets will definitely help get people through the door to take a look. The pictures on the internet will be more appealing than a honey oak kitchen will. BUT it is a lot of work. And if you put in the listing that you're offering money back for kitchen updates, people will be happy with that too. That's my two cents :). Good luck with your home sale!!


Saturday 27th of February 2021

Help! I feel so overwhelmed! I am trying to choose a whole home paint color. I have honey oak tone trim/baseboards and cedar shiplap ceiling, yellow wood kitchen cabinets with cedar shiplap walls. It is smaller open layout home that gets light from all direction from windows. I want to stay light/airy but tone the wood tones down. We moved in a year ago and most walls are some form of basic white color. Can you recommend warm off whites that would help tone done the wood? We do not have budget to replace/paint trim/baseboards. I have tried steamed milk but fear it may be too orange?


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Hi Selene! Steamed Milk may have too much yellow/orange in it for your space, I agree. Have you considered Edgecomb Gray, White Duck or Egret White? They're all very pretty, less yellowish off-whites that may help neutralize some of the tones in the wood. I also particularly love light blues and greens with those shades of wood. No worries if that isn't your cup of tea, but I thought I'd throw it out there!

Cindy Fitchlee

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Hi, I am trying to paint kitchen and family room. I want more of a neutral color, having a hard time trying to narrow down choices. My cabinets and hardwood floors are orangey maple. We have plenty of light, picture window in family room, plus four sky lights. My fireplace stone on wall is beigey with accent tile on floor that is green. My colors in family room are gray and beige. My appliances in kitchen are black. Was thinking darker gray for walls, not sure if I like that with cabinets. Now thinking maybe silver color. Looking at Sherwin Williams for paint. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Saturday 20th of February 2021

Hey Cindy! I would stick in the greige family with your different shades. You have a lot of warmer tones, and I think that a warmer gray will pull it all together. I have a post on the best greige paint colors that will help. I love Agreeable Gray and Repose Gray, but check out the list and see which ones you like best!

Kathryn L Kato

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Just painted my kitchen with medium (a little brownish/orange) Oak cabinets in SW Mindful Grey. It does not have windows but has a high ceiling and space above the cabinets. I was a little hesitant it might be too dark but I accented with pure white pottery and some herbs, and a pure white trim and it looks so clean, fresh and updated. I also made sure I had daylight light bulbs so it looks more grey and less green. My floor is a light cream colored ceramic tile with some grey and beige My adjoining living room is SW Alabaster with pure white trim. I love it! Thank you for your suggestions!

Peggy White

Monday 8th of March 2021

@Kathryn L Kato, Would you share some pictures?


Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Kathryn, I'm thrilled that you love how your room turned out! It sounds absolutely lovely. Great job!!