Choosing the right paint color can bring a tired room back to life, and can make an outdated kitchen with honey oak cabinets look updated.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 But now, that orangey look is a bit outdated.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.
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.
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.
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.
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 own 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.
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.
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.
For some other paint colors that go with natural wood, check this post out!
If you want to check out these colors without actually painting your walls yet, be sure to pick up some sample paint squares from Samplize. These 12×12 adhesive squares, made with real paint, can be easily applied to your walls to see how each paint color will look next to your shade of cabinet. When you’re done, you just pull the square off, leaving your current paint color intact until you’re ready to paint! Oh, and right now you can get $5 off your first order – that’s almost like getting one sample square for free!
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.
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.
If you need help painting your room on your own, check out this painting guide, where you can learn all the tricks and tips to painting a room easily.
If you’d rather hire someone to paint your home, you can be connected with a painting professional in your area by clicking here!
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!
I hope this list inspires you! And remember to check out the painting resources to help you as you go.