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Choosing the right paint color can bring a tired room back to life, and can make an outdated kitchen with honey oak cabinets look updated.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 But now, that orangey look is a bit outdated.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

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you’re looking to hire someone to paint your home, you can be connected with a painting professional in your area by clicking here!

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!

Wall Colors for Honey Oak Cabinets

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Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Hi! First off, I love all your advice! I have what I would consider red oak cabinets (definitely lots of orange going on with tons of darker wood grain). I need to completely replace my outdated formica countertops and am planning on doing that. What paint colors would you suggest to go best with those cabinets and that would be easy to match up with a new granite countertop? Would you suggest choosing the countertop first and then painting? Thanks!

Lisa Gootee

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Hi Lauren! We built our house 20+ years ago. We have med stained oak builder grade cabinets. I presently have an attached bar . I want to detach bar and put in a small island instead. The cabinets still look really good and I don’t hate them. I am wanting to put in a backsplash, new counter top and new real hardwood flooring. I want island the island to be white and keep the rest of my medium oak stained cabinets. My trim in the house has a little more brown color than orange. I am keeping that also. I am thinking a white color granite countertop with a white subway tile backsplash. Suggestions for counter and backsplash please! I am totally stumped on the floor color. I am thinking lighter than cabinets, like butterscotch but think it maybe too much. Suggestions please! Also a good color for hardware and light fixtures. Thank you, Lisa


Sunday 17th of January 2021

Hi Lisa! I am usually a fan of keeping cabinets that are in good condition. I like quartz countertops, and also simple white subway tiles (either straight or in a herringbone pattern). Unfortunately, I don't have a good recommendation for specific ones! I haven't researched them much! You'll need to pick a countertop first, and then choose a subway tile that has a similar undertone to it. My recommendation is to pick the countertop you like, and then get several different white subway tiles and see which one goes best. Whites can look bluish or beige depending on the tile you pick, so make sure to compare them first! For the floor, I think that a floor color that is the same tones as the cabinets but a bit lighter or darker would work best. If your countertops have a bit of an orange color, makes sure that the floor you choose has warm undertones. For example, I have a fairly orange floor, and I stained my stair railings a deep brown with reddish undertones to coordinate (but not exactly match). You can't go with something that has an ashy or gray undertone, because this will clash - the colors would be too cool. So those are my best recommendations. It is really hard to give specifics without seeing the space. For the hardware, I love black knobs and light fixtures with wood accents. I modernizes them. As a second choice, go with brushed nickel. Hope this is helpful, but I fear it wasn't :). I'm sorry I can't be more specific!

Barbara Habicht

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Hi, I have oak cabinets and my counter top has greys, tans and creams in it. My floors looks like tile and are tan and grey. I like color and am wondering what would look good on my walls.


Saturday 7th of November 2020

Hi Barbara! I think blues or greens would look really nice with your colors. Take a look at Tidewater or Restful. Happy painting!


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hey! We have honey oak kitchen cabinets with a fake wood looking floor.. the wall currently is a dark red and I need to brighten up the space! Too much yellow/orange vibes going on. Do you think the steamed milk is a good color? Maybe lighter white? Thanks!


Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Chava! Steamed Milk is lovely, but it does read a little yellow. If you want to get away from the yellow vibes, you could go with Alabaster. Or, for an updated look, go with a greige such as Repose Gray or Edgecomb Gray. Good luck!


Saturday 24th of October 2020


First, I love reading your posts and am learning a lot about paint colors. I am getting the interior of my house painted. I have an open floor plan on the main floor. I have honey oak cabinets in the Kitchen (I'd love to paint them white at some point in the future - maybe) and white subway tile backsplash and counter top. I have a massive stone fireplace with some grey and seems like hints of pink/tan here and there. I use crystal, brass and pink accent pieces. I also have oak furniture and wood floors. I am not a fan of dark colors and grey walls. What wall color do you suggest? White Floure? White Duck? I'd like to also paint an accent wall in my dining room bordering the oak cabinets and appreciate any suggestions. Tradewind? Icelandic? Balmy? My bathroom and bedroom have oak as well. I appreciate any suggestions for the bathroom and an accent wall in the bedroom. Oh, I have white trim through out the house.


Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Hi Darla! Thanks so much for your nice comment! For your kitchen, I think White Flour might be a bit too orangey/yellow for your space. White Duck is very pretty, and could work nicely. For the accent wall, I LOVE all the colors you said, but I think that Tradewind might be a good bet. It is a good blue/green that looks nice with honey oak cabinets. In the bathroom, check out Tidewater or Watery. For the bedroom, I'm not sure what color the walls are, so I can't say for an accent wall. But, I will say, I'm loving wallpaper accent walls right now! Good luck!