Best Paint Colors for Dark Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing a paint color for dark kitchen cabinets is no easy task. I’m speaking from experience! We were faced with this dilemma last year as we were planning our kitchen design.

It was decided pretty early in the design process that we wanted dark kitchen cabinets, but we didn’t want to go so dark that the cabinets looked black. And we didn’t want to have too much blue or green in them either.

After a lot of research and comparisons, we decided on Railings by Farrow & Ball. In this article, I’ll discuss this color and some other amazing dark colors that we almost chose.

Sample Before You Paint

Before you invest money in gallons of paint, it’s extremely important that you sample several paint color options first. You can do it the old-fashioned way which is time-consuming and messy. Or you can use Samplize to order large peel-and-stick paint samples with accurate color representation.

Farrow and Ball Railings

As we first started looking for a dark paint color for our kitchen cabinets, Farrow and Ball Railings caught my eye. It was exactly what we were looking for, bold, but timeless! Railings is a softer alternative to black with blue undertones. It is a dramatic color, but at the same time offers a relaxed feeling to our kitchen.

Benjamin Moore Midnight

Midnight by Benjamin Moore is a bold, yet saturated grey. It is a beautiful grey that will illuminate any kitchen cabinetry. Midnight is the perfect balance of dark and moody, but yet still soft and classic.

Farrow and Ball Down Pipe

Another one of our favorites is Down Pipe by Farrow and Ball. Down Pipe is a dark lead grey with blue undertones. It is a great color to use on kitchen cabinets if you want to go darker, but not black. It has just enough hint of blue to give it a softer touch. It’s a gorgeous color that is very sophisticated

Farrow and Ball Studio Green

If you are looking for a darker color with lots of personality, you may want to look at Studio Green. It is a classic by Farrow and Ball being one of the first colors they ever created. As green symbolizes peace, balance, and harmony, we know it would be a perfect color for kitchen cabinetry.

Design: Park & Oak

Benjamin Moore Cheating Heart

If you are wanting something with a shade of blue, Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore would be a great choice. It is a dark navy with lots of class. This blue-toned dark color is perfect for any kitchen cabinetry. It looks great paired with lighter walls for lots of contrast.

Design: Christopher Scott

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore is a luxurious grey with slight green undertones. It is a beautiful color that will add a lot of character to kitchen cabinetry. Kendall Charcoal makes a kitchen seem cozy while still keeping with a classic feel. It is stunning when used with brass hardware and pops against a light natural stone countertop such as marble.

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  • Reply Danae Christensen

    Beautiful choices! I’m actually thinking of using down pipe and railings in my house on doors and built ins! Did you end up using the farrow and ball water based paint or did you do a laquer and color match? And were you happy with your choice? Thanks!!

    October 29, 2020 at 10:50 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks! I’m not sure actually. They were painted before they were delivered to us.

      November 11, 2020 at 11:11 pm
      • Reply Dyana

        But the color is Kendall charcoal? Does it ever look purple or brown?
        Picture looks great.we considering charcoal trying to pick the right one.

        August 19, 2022 at 8:12 pm
  • Reply Annette

    What is the white wall color that you chose for the walls? Did I miss that somewhere? Also do these windows face south, north?

    November 11, 2020 at 11:06 pm
    • Reply Henry

      It is Sherwin Williams Pure White. The windows in our kitchen face east.

      November 11, 2020 at 11:12 pm
  • Reply Shouneez Surve

    Hi such a beautiful space. Based on your paint color advice, would you advise cream cabinets matched with the Railings for the island/base cabinet?

    November 12, 2020 at 6:16 am
  • Reply Jeanette

    Hi, stunning kitchen! I’m just in the princess of renovating my kitchen and have similar colour of units. I have a stainless steel built in oven but can’t decide on cabinet handles. Are yours brass? They look beautiful.

    December 12, 2020 at 5:47 am
  • Reply Abby

    This open and bright kitchen is stunning. I love that you have black cabinets but it still feels so open and light!

    December 15, 2020 at 4:35 pm
  • Reply Kristin Clippert

    Question re: Durability of black cabinets…
    Ive asked for a black cabinet island (mostly drawers) with waterfall white marble countertops w lots of veining, thinking the white / black will pop. But my kitchen designer is encouraging me to do a wood grain tone in the island cabinetry because he thinks it will “not show as much wear and tear as black” and wood grain can be repaired more easily. What do you think? These are high end cabinets in a contemporary/ modified shaker (very thin rails). I do not have pets, and my kids are teenagers – not destructive. So I sort of disagree. What do you think in your experience? Any tips are appreciated.

    September 22, 2021 at 9:57 pm
  • Reply Lorna Tweedie

    Hi Brooke. Can I ask where your lovely stripy sisal type kitchen floor runner is from please?

    February 3, 2022 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply D. J. Stavropoulos

    What finish do you recommend for painting cabinets? I see that Benjamin Moore has Pearl Satin, Semi-Gloss, and High Gloss all recommended for cabinets. Most of these photographs appear to be on the low end of the sheen spectrum, so I’m assuming Pearl Satin? Thanks.

    March 22, 2022 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply D. J. Stavropoulos

    Hi. Wondering what finish you recommend (and which did you choose) since Benjamin Moore has 3 that it recommends for cabinets: Pearl Satin, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss. Most of these photos have low sheen, so I’m assuming Pearl Satin? Thanks.

    March 22, 2022 at 5:10 pm
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