Choosing the right white paint color for your kitchen cabinets can be a challenging task.
At first glance, white paint looks like white paint. You may find yourself thinking, “Is there really much of a difference?”
Well, the short answer is, yes. White paint colors can be warm or cool, creamy or icy, and stark or muted.
If you have spent any time looking at swatches of white paint, you know how your head can start to swim after a bit.
Don’t worry, this article will help you choose the right white paint color for your kitchen cabinets.
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Warm White Kitchen Cabinets vs. Cool White Kitchen Cabinets
One of the first considerations to make is whether you want a warm white paint color or a cool white paint color.
Warm white paint colors are ones that have yellow, orange or red (pink) undertones. They tend to feel give a cozy and sunny vibe.
You can see how the warm white kitchen cabinets in this next picture look cheery and soft.
Cool white paint colors are ones that have blue, green or purple undertones. Cool white paint colors can feel stark, icy or chilly.
As you can see in this next picture, the painted white cabinets here look much more chilly than the previous photo.
Whether you choose a cool white or a warm white will depend partly on your preference, and partly on the fixed elements in your space.
So to start, think about whether you like warm or cool tones. Are you drawn more to creamy shades of white paints, or more to stark shades of white paint? Most people have a preference one way or the other.
Once you figure that out, consider also the fixed elements that you don’t plan on changing in your kitchen. This includes countertops, backsplashes, trim, etc.
For example, if you have a very cool toned quartz countertop, you should go with cool white paint colors for your kitchen cabinets. This will give you a more cohesive look, and will prevent your “white” cabinets from looking yellow next to your cool quartz countertop.
This is a picture of some marble countertop paint that I experimented with on my kitchen countertops prior to installing quartz. As you can see, the coolness of the countertop paint made my kitchen cabinets look super yellow. The overall look clashed because the undertones didn’t work together.
Now that I have a warm white quartz on them, the kitchen cabinets just look sort of creamy, instead of yellow.
You can tell if you have a cool tones in your kitchen by comparing the fixed elements to other whites.
For example, Chantilly Lace is a very neutral white paint color. If you hold a swatch of Chantilly Lace up to your countertop, does the countertop look a bit blue? That means it is a cool tone. But, if you hold it up and see the countertop take on more of a creamy look, your may have warm tones in your countertop.
This is an area where you will do best to lean into whether tones are already in your kitchen (assuming you’re not planning on replacing your fixed elements – like your countertop, backsplash, etc.).
If you have cool tones, play them up, or at least choose a neutral white paint color.
But if you have warm tones, be sure you don’t choose a cool white paint color for your kitchen cabinets.
What are the most common white paint for cabinets?
The most common white paints for cabinets are:
- Simply White
- White Dove
- Pure White
- Chantilly Lace
- Extra White
Let’s spend a little bit of time discussing each of these white paint colors to help you decide which may be best for your kitchen cabinets.
Benjamin Moore Simply White
Benjamin Moore Simply White is a bright white paint color that has just a hint of warmth to it. The warmth in Simply White comes from its yellow undertones.
Simply White typically just looks white, but can show a bit of its yellow undertone if you have some very true white or cool white tones in your kitchen.
Overall, this white paint color works on a lot of kitchen cabinets though. It isn’t so warm that it looks creamy, but also doesn’t look stark.
Here is a picture of Simply White on a door and trim, so you can see how it acts in real life.
Click here for more information about Simply White.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
Benjamin Moore White Dove is a very popular warm white paint color. It has a bit of gray and a bit of a beige sort of yellow in it that makes it look warm and soft.
White Dove can take on a fairly yellow appearance at times, so this definitely is not a white paint color you want for your kitchen cabinets if you have cool countertops or tile.
But, if you want a muted white that is trending towards an off-white, White Dove is a good choice. It is favored by many because of its soft and subtle approach to a white paint color.
Click here for more information about White Dove.
Sherwin Williams Pure White
Pure White, by Sherwin Williams, may be my favorite white paint color of all time (but it is so hard to choose!). Pure White also leans warm, but has much less warmth to it than White Dove, or Simply White.
Instead, Pure White has a bit more gray to it, which gives is a softness as well. It doesn’t really look yellow ever, but it also doesn’t look as stark as a true, bright white.
All that being said, Pure White will look like a bright white paint. The gray in it is faint, and is really only noticeable if you are comparing it to another truly pure white.
But, Pure White looks great on kitchen cabinets and tends to go with even some cooler toned whites.
Click here for more information about Pure White.
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Chantilly Lace is one of the cleanest whites you will find in a white paint. The only brighter white may be Behr Ultra White or Sherwin Williams High Reflective White.
Chantilly Lace is mostly a neutral white. It will go with warm or cool tones, because it doesn’t have a lot of color in it. Instead, it just looks bright, clean, and white.
Chantilly Lace is a great color for kitchen cabinets if you want a very neutral white paint color. It plays nicely with almost any other shade, which is also a bonus of Chantilly Lace.
Click here for more information about Chantilly Lace.
Sherwin Wililams Snowbound
Snowbound is a soft, warm white with pink, purple, and gray undertones. It is probably the most “colorful” white paint color on this list.
Snowbound is another white paint color that trends towards an off-white shade. It will definitely cozy up your cabinets, but gives off an altogether different feeling than the warmth of Alabaster or White Dove.
If you want a soft, warm white that has a bit of energy to it, Snowbound might be a good choice for your kitchen cabinets.
Click here for more information about Snowbound.
Sherwin Williams Extra White
Sherwin Williams Extra White is the best (and only cool) white paint color on this list. Extra White has blue and gray undertones that make it decidedly cool.
Because of this, it doesn’t go well with warm whites, but is a great choice for kitchen cabinets if you have super cool countertops or tile in your kitchen.
Extra White will give a very stark, icy look to your kitchen cabinets.
Click here for more information about Extra White.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Sherwin Williams Alabaster is an extremely popular white paint color. It is used on walls, trim, woodwork, and, you guessed it, cabinets.
Alabaster is a soft, warm white paint color. It has a bit of gray and a bit of yellow in it. This is where the softness and warmth come from.
Alabaster is similar to Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, but has a bit more gray in it, which gives it a little more of a muted look to it. In addition, the yellow in White Dove has a bit of a beige quality to it when compared to Alabaster.
Alabaster is a go-to paint color for warm white kitchen cabinets.
Click here for more information about Alabaster.
Wondering how to pick the perfect paint color?
I have the best solution for you!
Samplize sells 9×14.75 stick-on paint rectangles in almost every paint color.
These eco-friendly, peel and stick rectangles are made from real paint, so they will show you exactly what the paint color will look like.
Simply place them on your walls next to your trim, furnishings or fixed elements, and easily see whether the paint colors work in your space and with your lighting. Then, peel the sheet right off your wall and reapply it somewhere else if you like!
Oh, and you will receive them tomorrow with $5 overnight shipping! But, if you enter your email, you’ll get $5 off your first order – which basically means that you will get free, overnight shipping!
Samplize sheets are truly the easiest (and fastest!) way to test a paint color in your home.
White Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets in 2022
In 2022, white painted kitchen cabinets are still hugely popular.
The classic bright white paint colors, such as Simply White and Chantilly Lace are always in style.
But, we are seeing designers trending toward warmer tones, and this extends to the kitchen as well.
In some homes, you see people continuing with those classic white cabinets, but pairing them with gold handles and hardware.
For others though, you may find kitchen cabinets moving towards off-whites, such as Snowbound or Pale Oak.
There will always be a place for white kitchen cabinets, and the easiest way to get the look is to paint your kitchen cabinets.
How do I paint my kitchen cabinets white?
If you are planning on painting your kitchen cabinets white on your own, you’re going to have to do a lot of prep work. This includes cleaning your kitchen cabinets with a degreaser, and then sanding, priming and painting.
While the process is easy, it can be a bit tricky to get the finish just right.
If you’re interested in painting your kitchen cabinets yourself, check out this post on painting cabinets (and filling the wood grain first!).
Because of the time and work it takes to paint kitchen cabinets, some choose to hire a painter. Typically, a professional painter will spray the kitchen cabinets. This gives them a more flawless finish.
Click here to be connected to a painting professional near you.
Final Thoughts on White Paint Color for Kitchen Cabinets
White paint colors for kitchen cabinets range from bright whites, such as Chantilly Lace, to warm whites, like Alabaster, to cool whites, like Extra White.
The best way to determine which white paint color is going to work best in your kitchen is to view each paint color in your home. Remember to look at the white paint color next to your countertops, trim and tile to determine which white paint will be best for your kitchen cabinets.
Painted white kitchen cabinets are timeless. They go with any design style, and give your kitchen a classic and sophisticated look.
Pick up your Samplize squares here and get started on choosing a white paint color for your kitchen cabinets today!