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The 16 Best Wall Colors to Update Cream Cabinets & Trim

Posted on January 21, 2023 by KylieMawdsley
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Are you FRUSTRATED with your cream cabinets or OVERLY warm white trim? Can’t find a modern paint color that looks good with them? You aren’t the only one. In fact, this is a topic I deal with DAILY in my Online Paint Color Consulting, and it’s ALWAYS the same story – cream cabinets, beige walls, and a deep desire for something FRESHER.

However, as the Rolling Stones always say, ‘You can’t always get what you waaaaant, especially if you have off-white or cream cabinets and trim’ (I might’ve added that last part). This is just ONE reason why I don’t recommend that ANYONE hop on the current trend of painting their cabinets some form of light greige, beige, or cream as I guarantee that in ten years, you’ll wish you’d chosen white (and will be whispering sweet nothings in my ear).

Closeup of Venetian Gold granite countertop with glazed cream Sherwin Williams painted cabinets and beige tile floor. CLIENT PHOTO, Kylie M INteriors Edesign

Sherwin Williams Dover White with glaze (which lowers the LRV)

But before we get into the best paint colors for your walls, let’s have a little chat…actually, let’s make it a big one.

Why do we need to TALK before we get into the good stuff? Does all of this seem like an awful LOT for one darn paint color?

I’m going to ask you a question…how has your search gone so far? Chances are you’ve been TRYING colors, and they aren’t working. This blog post is telling you WHY and teaching you HOW, so you can move forward with CONFIDENCE and stop struggling to find a color that doesn’t exist.

And if all else fails, there’s wine.



Based on existing finishes, especially in homes from the early 2000s, some kitchens don’t suit white cabinets and better suit a wood stain or a non-white paint color. In these situations, a warm off-white or cream can come in darn handy, often saving the DAY. I’ve fallen in love with MANY cream kitchens when they’re done well.

And that’s it. Seriously, I would love to give you more reasons why cream cabinets are awesome, but for the majority of people, cream cabinets are a HUGE PITA (I’ll let you figure that one out).

Travertine tile, Antique White glazed cream island cabinets, dark wood cabinets, best beige paint colour, Sherwin Williams Macadamia. Kylie M Interiors

Sherwin Williams Antique White with glaze

When updating the paint color on the WALLS in a home with cream cabinets or trim without updating anything else, it’s easy to forget that the surrounding surfaces are often coordinated with the cream cabinets.

This is an important detail because it’s not just your CREAM CABINETS OR TRIMS that will be fussy about their wall color partners; it’s their COORDINATED surrounding finishes. Some finishes aren’t so easy to transition into a more modern, more updated look, meaning your cabinets might be the LEAST of your concerns.

Sometimes there isn’t ONE MAGICAL paint color that makes your cabinets, finishes, and YOU 100% happy, in which case a ‘happy medium’ often comes in handy.

However, if you know the COLOR NAME of your off-white or cream cabinets, you’re already a step ahead…


Again, if you know your paint color, find its LRV and move on to STEP 2.

If you have NO IDEA what color is on your cabinets, the most common creams used for cabinets and trim are as follows. By the way, I recommend you get LARGE samples and place them on your cabinets to find your best match; small ones aren’t big enough to get a good read on for an important job like this.

  • Sherwin Williams Antique White LRV 72 (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Sherwin Williams Navajo White LRV 72 (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Sherwin Williams Creamy LRV 81, mild undertones and darn close to being a soft white (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Sherwin Williams Casa Blanca LRV 76 (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Benjamin Moore Navajo White LRV 78 (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Benjamin Moore Linen White LRV 81 is close to being a soft white but with a reasonably strong yellow hue (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Benjamin Moore White Down LRV 77 (SAMPLE HERE)
  • Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream LRV 72 (SAMPLE HERE)

If these aren’t close, go back and get more – get as close as you can, as this color will be your guide as you need its LRV.

When starting your color search, look for wall paint colors with an LRV of 55 or lower.  The goal is to get 20+ LRV points between your cabinet color and your wall color.

Of course, this can vary depending on how light or dark your particular shade of cream is:

  • if your cream paint color is LIGHTER (approx 78), you might look at paint colors with an LRV of 58 LRV or lower, as this would put approximately 20 LRV points between the two colors
  • if your cream paint color is DARKER (approx 72), you might look at paint colors with an LRV of 52 or lower, again putting somewhere around 20+ LRV points between the two colors

In this next kitchen, my Online Colour Consulting client wanted to step AWAY from the warm hues with something in the warm gray, greige, or taupe range…

Navajo White cream painted kitchen cabinets with darker taupe greige island and granite countertops. Wall colour a medium warm neutral.

However, the current color was working REALLY WELL with the existing finishes (although I’d love to see the island in BLACK). In fact, the backsplash, countertop, AND cabinets weren’t so inclined towards a light warm gray, greige, or taupe paint color at all.

Remember, just because you want a certain paint color doesn’t mean your home agrees!



Once you know the cream you’re dealing with, it’s important to acknowledge its strength. The more YELLOW it is (cream is a yellow hue colour), the more YELLOW it will look when partnered with colors that are cooler than it.

  • The more MUTED your cream is, the more flexible it will be towards other colors, as the YELLOW won’t be as bossy.
  • The COOLER the color is that you try to partner with your cream cabinets or trim, the MORE YELLOW you risk them looking (opposites attract and make each other stronger).
  • MOST of the cream colors on the previous list have reasonably strong undertones except for Sherwin Williams Creamy and Benjamin Moore White Down, which are more muted.
  • Cream cabinets with glaze on them will be LESS FRIENDLY towards colors that are cooler than them and will need colors that are that wee bit darker.



This is always a tough one, and at some point, you can only get so close to finding your exact color match when cabinets have a glaze on them.

Do your best to figure out what the ORIGINAL color might’ve been and add a few LRV points for the extra depth added by the glaze. This is an important step as this number will help guide you towards a STARTING point when looking for compatible paint colors. Yes, glazed cream cabinets or trim add another layer to the beast.

Dover White, cream cabinets with glaze, greige taupe walls with beige flooring and granite Venetian countertops, taupe backsplash. CLIENT PHOTO, Kylie M INteriors Edesign

Are you ready, Betty? Do you want to see the BEST PAINT COLORS for your cream cabinets and trim? To do this effectively and to apply to as MANY people as possible, I’m basing this on the AVERAGE cream kitchen (which is lighter than Sherwin Williams Antique White, for those of you with this particular shade of cream or one with similar depth).

Remember, I can only kill SO many birds with one stone – I’M JUST…ONE…WOMAN!

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray a greige paint color on walls with cream painted cabinets in Benjamin Moore Linen White, oak wood flooring, butlers pantry

The above combo is off, as the walls are too cool & light for the cabinets.


1. They won’t make your cabinets or trim look anything OTHER than cream/yellow. They are a yellow hue paint color, and short of painting them, they ARE what they are.

2. Lightening and brightening is often the goal in rooms with cream cabinets. HOWEVER, these options won’t make your room look light and bright compared to traditional off-white and light paint colors.  But it’s not these paint colour options that are stopping you; it’s your cream cabinets and trim; they have limitations (and don’t kill the wee Ginger messenger!). Your room might look brighter than it USED to if it happened to be painted a darker color, but that’s as far as you’ll get short of painting your walls the same color as your cabinets or painting your trim/cabinets white. 



Remember, the yellow hue of your cabinets/trim may hold you back from your wildest colors dreams (full of paint samples, Ryan Reynolds, wine, and Doritos). But this doesn’t mean you can’t find a good happy medium.

If you CAN’T or WON’T paint your cabinets and trim, sometimes a happy medium is as good as it gets #truthbomb.

Some of the upcoming colors make me a BIT twitchy with some cream paint colors but settle okay with others. However, they might give you the flexibility to accommodate NOT JUST YOUR CABINETS but your other finishes as well to create a palette that looks purposeful and coordinated.

Paint colours that go with update kitchen cream cabinets that are glazed, cream trim. Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decorating advice ideas


Amazing Gray is AWESOME, and I love it with some of the more muted cream cabinets. Many people start with Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray, looking for a light shade of greige, but with its LRV of 57, combined with its subtle undertone, it’s just too soft for most cream cabinets and trims.

Amazing Gray has an LRV of 47, and its slightly noticeable green undertone goes with a relatively wide variety of cream cabinets and trim. This LRV puts Amazing Gray more than 20 points lower than the average cream paint color – AMAZING!

Best warm gray or greige, green undertone, Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray in traditional eating nook. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour diy blogger (2)


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these greiges aren’t good – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

Cream cabinets, warm off white cream trim with Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray, Worldly Gray, White Duck, wall paint colour ideas. Benjamin REvere Pewter. Kylie M Interiors advice and decorating blog


FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray



Stone Lion is a light-medium depth beige paint color with MUTED undertones. It sits reasonably well with most cream paint colors because it doesn’t have the same level of TAUPE found in Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige, which is most people’s first choice in this range (and is coming up shortly).

Paint colours that go with cream cabinets or trim, Sherwin Williams Stone lion

Stone Lion has an LRV of 38, making it a medium-depth warm neutral that’s WELL below the boundaries of cream. You could also explore the lighter look of Sherwin Williams Loggia with its LRV of 48. However, the lighter-again Shittake is too flat looking (not warm enough at this depth) for most cream paint colors.


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 


Aloof Gray is a gorgeous gray-green that sits on the LOWER end of the light range and is, hands-down, one of the best LIGHTER options for your walls. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a big consideration…

Opposites attract and make each other stronger, meaning that because Aloof Gray is COOL with a noticeable green undertone, it can make your cream cabinets look MORE YELLOW IN COMPARISON.Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray, best gray paint colours to go with cream cabinets or trim. Kylie M Interiors edesign

Aloof Gray has an LRV of 58, putting it in the DARKER end of the light range and questionable with some of the darker cream paint colors out there. For this reason, Aloof Gray is often better suited to lighter, muted cream paint colors.


  • Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray (could be a bit more reactive and will be better with lighter creams – SAMPLE HERE)

Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

Remember, sometimes the color YOU’RE wanting doesn’t suit your home. In this case, it’s about opening up your range a bit and finding the ‘next best option,’ even if it’s not what you had in mind. 



While Macadamia is AWESOME with cream cabinets, particularly Antique White, it’s also the type of colour many of my Online Color Consulting clients are trying to get away from! But this doesn’t mean it’s not a good option. The thing is, cream cabinets and trim (Antique White in particular) can be pretty fussy regarding the wall colors they’re partnered with – you won’t have many GREAT options, but this is one of them.

Travertine tile, Antique White glazed cream island cabinets, dark wood cabinets, best beige paint colour, Sherwin Williams Macadamia. Kylie M Interiors

Macadamia is a light-medium depth beige with an LRV of 49 and reasonably strong undertones. If you see how Macadamia WORKS but can’t bring yourself to paint your walls a beige THIS DARK, look at the lighter version, Softer Tan. However, it can be a bit fussy with overly yellow and/or darker creams, but it might fit the bill a bit better for YOUR particular cream color.



  • Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige
  • Sherwin Williams Malabar can be a hot mess UNLESS your cream has quite a bit of ORANGE in it.

Kilim Beige, shown in this next kitchen, is well-suited to the cream cabinets (similar to Sherwin William’s Antique White) and surrounding finishes…

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige paint color, glazed cream cabinets similar Antique White, wood floor, dark island, similar Giallo granite


You might be excited at the word ‘gray,’ but don’t be fooled – this is just another colour named by someone who was CLEARLY in the cups (which I definitely am after writing this epically long blog post). While Bennington Gray is certainly not as warm as Macadamia, it sure as heck ain’t gray.

Benjamin Moore Bennington Gray, a good paint color to go with cream trim or cabinets. Kylie M Interiors, online paint colour consulting

Bennington Gray has an LRV of 47 – BOOM, mad love. It’s also a great happy medium if your home NEEDS warmth but you don’t love the more traditional Tuscan approach of Macadamia.



FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Bennington Gray & Bleeker Beige



I LOVE Horizon Gray. Not only does it have a beautiful green hue to it, but it also humors a reasonable range of cream paint colors, as long as they’re SUBTLE and more muted. Just remember, the green undertone in Horizon Gray CAN make your cream cabinets or trim look a bit more yellow in comparison.

Benjamin Moore Horizon Gray, popular gray green paint colour with cream cabinets or trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Horizon Gray often works better than Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray simply because its LRV is lower, coming in at 51 to Aloof Gray’s 58.


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of grays rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

Remember, this process isn’t just about your cream cabinets; make sure the paint colors you’re exploring make sense with your surrounding finishes, such as countertops, backsplash, and flooring! 



If the above beige and tan paint colors are too strong, but you see how a warm shade MIGHT be your home’s best color, you could check out Grant Beige. Grant Beige is a tan paint color with a bit less undertone than many of the popular beige and tan paint colors without falling into the greige range.

Benjamin Moore Grant Beige with cream and espresso cabinets and dark wood flooring. Kylie M Interiors E-design and online colour consultant

Grant Beige has an LRV of 56, so it’s on the edge of the light and light-medium range, making it a great option, especially for some mid to light cream colors.


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

Sherwin Williams Sandbar and Benjamin Moore Clay Beige with warm white fireplace surround and built in cabinets. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Sandbar (left), Clay Beige 25% darker (right)

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Grant Beige

When looking for the best paint colors for cream cabinets and trim, the above colors are USUALLY where I start. But again, A LOT can change depending on the surrounding finishes, including the backsplash, countertop, and flooring.

These upcoming colors will be BETTER with lighter and muted creams vs. dark and rich ones, but depending on your surrounding finishes, you never know what will fall into place!



While I get AWFULLY nervous about Revere Pewter with the darker cream paint colors, it’s often a nice partner to lighter, more muted cream paint colors. It will still make the cream look more yellow ‘in comparison,’ but that happens so easily when you partner a warm color with a color that’s COOLER than it.

In this next photo, there are a few things at play…

1. The trim is WHITER than the cabinets, making the cabinets look more yellow in comparison. Overall, the trim looks considerably BRIGHT warm color with a reasonable yellow in it.

2. This is a LOW-LIGHT area and has Revere Pewter looking MUCH muddier than usual.

Benjamin Moore REvere Pewter, Cloud White Kitchen, red toned wood floor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online virtual paint consulting

Revere Pewter has an LRV of 55, making it a HEAVY light depth warm gray with a slightly earthy green undertone that doesn’t ALWAYS show up to the party. As it relates to coordinating with cream paint colors, it’s best if it DOES!

But once again, in this next photo, Revere Pewter looks WAY warmer and muddier than usual…

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter to go with cream trim and cream kitchen cabinets. Kylie M Interiors Edesign and update ideas


FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of grays rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 


Just like Revere Pewter, Colonnade Gray is TOUCHY with cream paint colors that either have more yellow in them OR more depth to them. But, it can be an interesting partner to creams that are lighter and muted.

This next example shows Colonnade Gray with cream trim in a bedroom. Notice how the cream DOESN’T ACT LIKE WHITE, but that’s because it’s not white, but at least it’s partnered with a modern paint colour!

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray with cream trim and shutters in bedroom. Best paint colour to go with cream. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy update ideas

The thing that makes Colonnade Gray a slightly better option to Revere Pewter is that it has a lower LRV, coming in at 53 to Revere Pewter’s 55.


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of grays rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray

Remember, the COOLER a paint color is or the more COLOR it has (violet, blue or green), the more it will CONTRAST with the yellow in your cabinets – nature of the beast, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty combinations if you’re so inclined.



Versatile Gray is a light-medium depth taupe paint color that can sit QUITE pretty with many cream cabinets. Why? Well, when surrounded by the right countertops/tiles or carpet, the taupe (violet, slightly violet-pink) undertone can be a pretty accent – AS LONG AS YOUR CREAM DOESN’T HAVE ANY GREEN IN IT.

In this next photo, notice how Versatile sits with the cream cabinets (similar to Antique White) while tapping into the needs of the countertop. Would I NORMALLY put Versatile Gray with cream cabinets? Nope, but again, when looking for a happy medium, sometimes you have to think outside of the color box!

Sherwin Williams Versatile Gray with cream cabinets, similar to Antique White and granite countertops. Update ideas with Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Versatile Gray has an LRV of 48, making it a great contender for a variety of creams.

However, a lot of homeowners are wanting a LIGHTER warm gray, greige, or taupe with their cream cabinets. Let’s take a look at the LIGHTER version, Popular Gray

Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray & Popular Gray with Antique White cream cabinets. Doesn't work together. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Do you see how the cream-yellow of the cabinets FIGHTS with Popular Gray (right)? And while Worldly Gray (left) is no screamin’ glory either, its slightly lower LRV makes it a BIT better (I still wouldn’t do it).


Because there isn’t enough LRV or difference in DEPTH between the cabinet color and these samples, so, even though my client might’ve WANTED a lighter warm gray or greige/taupe paint color, it’s easy to see how a light-medium version like Versatile Gray (or Amazing Gray, which is the light-medium version of Worldly Gray) makes a better connection – HOORAY FOR HAPPY MEDIUMS!


  • Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray, although it’s OFTEN a touch too cool/violet (SAMPLE HERE)

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Versatile Gray


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of taupes & grays rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 



Balanced Beige is definitely touch-and-go and HIGHLY dependent on your cabinets, the amount of YELLOW they have, and the GLAZE they have on them.

In this next kitchen, look at how flat and taupe Accessible Beige (left) looks compared to the glazed cream cabinets. And while Balanced Beige (right) is BETTER, it’s still too toned-down for the degree of warmth in the glaze – close, but no cigar!

Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige & Balanced Beige with cream cabinets with glaze on them and beige tile floor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

In this next kitchen, notice how the glaze on the cabinets isn’t as WARM as in the previous version. Because the glaze is more toned-down and the backsplash is agreeable, Balanced Beige is a MUCH better fit…

Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige with cream cabinets with glaze, travertine tile backsplash. Update ideas of the best colours. Kylie M INteriors Edesign

Balanced Beige has an LRV of 46, which is definitely in its favor.

And while it’s okay with some of the MORE MUTED and lighter cream paint colors, it’s too taupe for others (including Antique White and creams with a similar depth). The reason it’s in this section is that sometimes it’s just that happy medium between cream cabinets/trim and surrounding finishes. My BEST advice is to try it 25% darker, as you’ll have a better shot by lowering its LRV. Or even better, check out the darker version, Tony Taupe.

This next photo is very small. Remember…

I rely 100% on my Online Color Consulting clients who send their photos in – I take what I can get! And while this photo is small, it’s a great example of how Antique White (trim/door) doesn’t work with Balanced Beige walls…

balanced beige antique white

Notice how the cream trim/door looks even MORE YELLOW than usual compared to the Balanced Beige walls. In turn, Balanced Beige looks a bit pink/taupe-ish.


  • Sherwin Williams Loggia (SAMPLE HERE)

Oooo, I have a GREAT example of Accessible Beige with cream cabinets to show you, to hammer down how it’s NOT a great option…

can cream kitchen cabinets work with white walls or trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign diy update ideas

My E-Design client hired me to fix her kitchen, but it wasn’t as easy as changing the paint color. Sure, the backsplash and paint color were well-coordinated, but the granite and cream cabinets were doing their own thing and didn’t suit EITHER of the other surfaces. Accessible Beige (and the backsplash) look too taupe/flat compared to the yellow/cream of the cabinets – it’s a bad combination that makes the cabinets look more yellow and dated.

The above is a great example of a kitchen that has beautiful finishes that aren’t well-coordinated with each other. And paint can’t fix everything when a good foundation isn’t in place. Again…

Just because YOU want a certain paint colour doesn’t mean your home agrees! 

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige

Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 



Anew Gray is a POPULAR light-medium depth greige/taupe paint colour. However, it has less undertone than some of the previously mentioned colors. This means it can look a bit washy and non-committal compared to a cream paint color – sample carefully!Sherwin Williams Anew Gray to coordinate and update cream trim or cabinets in a kitchen. Kylie M Interiors Edesign


Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Anew Gray


BTW, if you’re getting paint samples, you should check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER, and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…

  • samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on the location
  • they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
  • if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE


While Pashmina isn’t always friendly towards some of the darker or more intense cream paint colors (ones with more yellow in them), it can be a pretty compliment to a muted cream or off-white.

This next photo is a great example of Pashmina with a cream bed frame. While Pashmina has the potential to look MUCH grayer than this, it can also swing pretty darn warm depending on its surroundings and exposure!

Best greige, Benjamin Moore Pashmina in bedroom. Kylie M Interiors edesign, online paint colour advice

Pashmina has an LRV of 44, making it a great depth for a variety of cream shades. As for its COLOUR, Pashmina is a greige paint color with a very slight nod towards green.


FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Pashmina



Comfort Gray is one of the most POPULAR green-blue-gray blend paint colors because while it certainly has COLOR, its gray base calms it right down for a more muted approach.

This next photo is such a WICKED example of a cool paint color in action with cream cabinets…

Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray to go with cream cabinets and trim in kitchen with granite countertop. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, best update ideas

Comfort Gray has an LRV of 54, making it a bit touchy with some of the darker cream paint colors but an interesting option for slightly lighter, more muted shades of cream.

IN GENERAL, Comfort Gray with these cream cabinets is a beautiful COMBINATION. Would I like them in rooms that are next to each other? Sure. Do I want them right up against each other? It’s not that it’s not pretty, but the cool hue of Comfort Gray is making the cabinets and trim look MUCH MORE YELLOW in comparison, a look that not EVERYONE is going for…but maybe YOU ARE!

While I wouldn’t go any LIGHTER/more colorful than Comfort Gray (i.e., Sea Salt or Rainwashed), if you’re okay with this warm-cool play, it could work for you.

As an example of the type of cool color that straight-up WON’T work with cream cabinets, take a look at Sweet Bluette. Sometimes my clients need to SEE something to understand why it doesn’t work, and I’d say this gave a pretty clear eyeball on things…

Benjamin Moore Sweet Bluette with cream cabinets, looks BAD.


  • Sherwin Williams Argos (below, much grayer – SAMPLE HERE)
  • Sherwin Williams Sensible Hue (grayer – MAD LOVE – SAMPLE HERE)

Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray

The Best Blue-Green Blend Paint Colors



Argos is a WICKED pretty, light-medium gray paint color with a green-blue undertone. HOWEVER, being a cool paint color, it WILL make your cream cabinets or trim look that much warmer in comparison. This is a pretty combo, but it needs to be the look you’re going for.

Sherwin Williams ARgos in dining room with formal, traditional wood furniture and chair rail. Kylie M E-design, online paint color consultant


  • Sherwin Williams Tinsmith (it’s lighter, so be careful – SAMPLE HERE)
  • Sherwin Williams Silverplate (again, lighter – SAMPLE HERE)

Please note, if your cabinets are Sherwin Williams Antique White or similar depth, these types of beiges rarely work – they need to be darker to humor this type of cream. 

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Argos



In today’s average home? Yes, cream cabinets are outdated (don’t shoot the messenger!). These cabinets look more timeless in country-style, vintage, or traditional-style homes (some), particularly those with black countertops.


Aside from choosing one of the paint colors suggested above, a new backsplash can help cream cabinets look more modern. In particular, look for a 3×6 subway tile that’s the exact same cream as your cabinets.

Also, consider hardware in a finish that suits its surroundings (usually oil-rubbed bronze or black) but has a slightly more modern profile (check these out).

PHEW, we did it! Hopefully, you found the BEST paint color for you and your cream-inspired home. If not, you know who to call (or email, I never answer my phone…)

How to Update Cream Cabinets: COMMON QUESTIONS

And in case you’re wondering about some colors that I DIDN’T mention, there might be a GOOD REASON why I didn’t mention them…


And while I could go into all of the reasons WHY, by reading the above information, you’ll understand. These are colors that come up ALL THE TIME, with my E-design clients hoping to use them with their cream cabinets or trim.

OF COURSE, if your cream is on the LIGHTER side and has MUTED undertones (i.e., Sherwin Williams Creamy), you have a much better chance.

I could go on, but those are the usual offenders. If you have VERY light cream trim or cabinets, could they work? Maybe…if they do, send photos, but most of the time, they’re just TOO light or have the wrong undertones.


How to Update Cream Cabinets or Trim: COMMON QUESTIONS

The 10 Most Timeless Finishes for Your Home

The 12 Best WHOLE HOME Gray & Greige Paint Colors

The 8 Best WHOLE HOME Warm Neutral Paint Colors

Get your SAMPLIZE PEEL & STICK samples of Kylie M’s 8 recommended colors from this post!

the best paint colors for walls, update cream off white cabinets, Kylie M Interiors & samplize peel and stick



Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, signature, online paint colour consultant using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colours. DIY update advice ideas



  1. This is a great post and so helpful with my kitchen dilemma. Cabinets and trim are BM Swiss Coffee and walls are currently BM Monroe Bisque. While Swiss Coffee isn’t cream its definitely an off white and I’m having so much trouble choosing a wall color. Kitchen is north facing and countertops are an off white quartz. I so desperately want to change the walls but am unsure what will work with the Swiss Coffee cabinets. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    1. Post

      Hi Leslie, it’s just SO hard to say without seeing your countertop and backsplash and THEIR undertones. And yes, Swiss Coffee can be a bit touchy. It’s like BM White Dove, which I love, but of the two, it’s just SLIGHTLY more inclined to a weeeee wink o’ green. For this reason I would avoid anything with a taupe/violet/pink undertone.

      1. Hi Kylie, Thanks so much for replying. After reading your blog extensively I’m thinking of Edgecomb Gray for the kitchen walls. It wasn’t one of your suggested colors but I read another of your blogs where you covered Edgecomb Gray and felt inspired. I want a happy medium and I’m afraid to go too gray. The LRV of Swiss Coffee is 83.93 and Edgecomb Gray is 63.88 which would be a good match I think. I like that it is a greige color that may hopefully compliment the counters and cabinets. My countertop is Polarstone Olympia quartz (off white with gray/ taupe veining)and the backsplash will be the same. The counter guy is coming Monday to install the backsplash. I can’t bear to think about painting the cabinets again so I’m trying to make the Swiss Coffee work. The counters look a little grayish against the Swiss Coffee with my north facing window. My floor is wood with brown and gray tones. What do you think of the Edgecomb Gray? I’ve been living in Tuscan hell with the Monroe Bisque. Thanks!!! Leslie😊

  2. Our builder would only paint our trim SW natural choice. It’s the worst. We repainted the entire downstairs trim SW pure white. It’s so much better. Got rid of all our clashing undertones. I have colonnade gray with the natural choice trim in our master. It makes colonnade look purple. It drives me crazy but husband won’t let me repaint upstairs trim. Yet….

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      Builders are SO weird sometimes! It’s like, don’t they want the home to look its best? I always wonder if it’s because they keep like 5-gallon tubs of a colour, so they can save money! I’m glad you’ve made a few shifts though that you’re feeling better about! You’ll find Natural Choice a bit easier too a it doesn’t have a ton of cream in it and has that bit more greige inside.

  3. This is so comprehensive and so helpful. Thank you!! I came so close to painting my kitchen cabinets an off white to brighten them up from their dark cherry (Tuscan style) and so glad I held off.
    Can you now speak to what cabinet colors would go well with the warmer colors on walls, ie canvas tan and neutral ground on walls/alabaster on trim. Thank you!!

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  4. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the cream trim tips!!! Above you said SW Amazing Gray was awesome. What do you think of using the darker colors on its color strip such as Intellectual Gray or Anonymous with SW Antique White trim? Thank you again!!

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      OH HECK YES! I try to keep my advise for ‘mass appeal’, but the darker ranges could also look QUITE lovely (those are some of my faves 🙂

  5. Like a chain smoker lives there…can’t stop laughing! I knew there was something rubbing me wrong with those glazed cabinets and wall color and couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks for doing it for me! Lol.

    Thanks for such a comprehensive post, there is so much thought and precision here, wow!

    The answer for me here is…just paint the darn cabinets. I know it’s a pain and a hassle and for many, $$ b/c you aren’t going to do it yourself, but in the end, it’s worth it if you can do it one way or another.

    We have oak cabinets and I followed your advice and painted a Sherwin Williams color that you suggested (Canvas tan or natural tan — from a video), and you were right — though this wasn’t my favorite paint color, the color compliments the cabinets and doesn’t fight with them. But still, even this good choice isn’t helping me love either the paint color or the cabinets. We were going to wait wait wait to do a full reno in the kitchen, but I think I can be satisfied for the next 5 to 8 years with a mini reno — paint the oak trim and cabinets which I just can’t get myself to love, make a few other changes (probably backsplash and counters and add one floor to ceiling double cabinet pantry) and live with the layout, floor I don’t love but which has a enough deep green/gray (which I do love) that I can play off of, and call it a day. I.E. save for vacations for our daughter’s last 4 years in our house…want to spend that time making memories 🙂 But don’t want those oak cabinets in them — haha!

  6. Our house is one of those early 2000s era homes. The trim throughout is painted SW (Duron) Shell White, the kitchen floors are red oak with a slightly red/orange stain, and the adjacent foyer tile is a green/gray ceramic that mimics slate. We are exploring a kitchen redo, and I thought I wanted white cabinets, but after reading this post, I’m not sure white will suit! To my eye, the Shell White trim doesn’t look off white, but I’m guessing it is? If so, then do you think a milky white cabinet would work better than a true white? Thanks for the timely post!

  7. Thanks for your expert insight into colors! I have a painting dilemma. My home is an older home with a small kitchen, oak cabinets (not honey oak more light orangey-reddish), light tan tile backsplash, cream countertop and light cream/beige quarry tile flooring. It is what it is for now and my husband doesn’t want to paint the cabinets. The saving grace -a skylight, so it stays pretty light. The not so saving grace – cream/biscuit appliances 🤮 for now. I’m so at a loss as to what color to paint my walls. The present paint I believe is Creamy. I had hoped for a very light blue-green but after reading your article realized the cream appliances will pop out ughhh. And then there’s those oak cabinets ughhh ughhh. Please please can you lead me in the right direction with some helpful hints (and also so I can uncross my eyes and toss the 1,000 paint sample charts I have in front of me??). Thank you!

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      Oh Nancy, I know it can be so HARD! Yes, a blue-green on the walls WILL highlight the cream of your appliances – sad but true. And a light one at that – any cool colours have to be DARKER than the warm colour they’re being partnered with.
      Have you looked at something like SW Amazing Gray or Felted Wool as a happy medium perhaps??? Not what you had in mind, but again, sometimes what we want isn’t going to work and we have to find the NEXT best thing 🙂

  8. Great post! I have antique white cabinets and matching trim. My flooring is a brownish tile and countertops are a earth tone quartz. I like the SW color of the year evergreen fog. How do you think that will look?

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      I loooove Evergreen Fog, totally. I think it could look STUNNING with Antique White, keeping in mind that the green will contrast with the warmth of Antique White and can make it look that bit warmer in comparison. I also love the slightly lighter Escape Gray.

  9. Great post and perfect timing! We’re redoing a bathroom and the vanity and medicine cabinet we bought are a very creamy yellow with a marble top. I first painted the room Benjamin Moore Horizon. As soon as we moved the vanity in I realized my mistake. Too cool, too blue. Am going to see how Versatile Gray looks instead. We did put bead board on the walls and I was planning to paint it along with the trim white dove but now I’m not sure that’s the right decision. I’m ok with the yellow but maybe I should paint everything (walls, trim) a cream shade that will blend with it instead.

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  10. Wish this article was written before I painted many of my walls Kilim with my off white trim. It seems to work in my home though. Thanks for this very timely article, I still have a few rooms I need to paint. I was just noticing the other day how yellow the trim looks in the laundry room that I painted light blue a long time ago.

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      Well I do LOVE Kilim Beige, but yes, it can be a bit trickier with cream trims :). Hopefully the info is helpful for your next rooms – a warm gray/greige with a green undertone (in the light-medium depths) is a PRETTY compliment to Kilim Beige in a palette!

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      1. Hi Kylie,
        I need to rent your brain for a while my own is frazzled 🤯. Have been trying to book consultation but can never manage to get a slot I’m too slow 🐌 was wondering if they are open every Monday Wednesday and Friday for booking or just on some days ? Can imagine you’re in hot demand

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  11. Hi Kylie,
    I was so surprised to see I know a kitchen on your site! I am confused as to whether to pick gray or not. I thought You recommended those shades. I am thinking these pictures came from clients who hired you. I have a soft heart I know but I makes me feel bad for them when you say “gag me with a spoon” or “like a chain smoker lives there”. All of us are trying to learn about color trying our best and come to you as the expert. Everyone deserves to come home to a house they love.

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      Hi Kathleen, I so appreciate your commment.

      MANY of the samples shown are examples of what NOT to do courtesy of curious clients! When working with a client, they often have an idea of what they want and ‘need to see it to believe it‘ when I say it doesn’t really work. Once they hang the samples up of what they THINK they wanted, it can be easier to see why it doesn’t work.

      (Also, I promise, the gag me with a spoon isn’t about the kitchen, but about the combination of it with warm white – it’s actually one of my favourite cream kitchens! However, I appreciate your comment and will adjust – thank you :).)

      As for the chain smoker one, these samples weren’t meant to be coordinating wall colours and these cabinets weren’t staying painted this colour – the homeowner was over them too! The samples were for a different consult but were HELPFUL for this blog post (which I really appreciate as they became learning tools!) Again, they help to show people what really doesn’t work!

      Thank you though for your note. I will take your comments to heart, as there’s NOTHING wrong with having a soft one :).


      1. Don’t lose your irreverence, color is a topic we all get tied up in knots about. Your disarming approach invites us all to have fun.

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  12. I have struggled with trying to find a griege color to make the trim pop for a year now so thank you for sharing! Our home is painted in the typical builder grade sw natural choice with sw pure white trim. Honestly, I love how it looks with our off white kitchen cabinets so maybe it’s my eyes lol. I still come back to natural choice. North facing light I think helps bring in that cooler light to tone down the yellowish tones but at times that pinky undertone shows up in the cabinets. I don’t want to change the wall color because I’d have to paint the whole darn area- living room, stairway with a lower LRV, and I like the warm airy feeling everywhere else. I and hubs gravitate toward warmer tones so i think I’ll paint some adjoining rooms in colors that compliment natural choice..I can live with a little yellow 🙂

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      Thank you, Melissa, I’m SO glad you found it helpful! It’s VERY INTERESTING that it’s flashing pink on the cabinets, as it’s MORE likely to pick up the tiniest wink of green!

  13. Hi Kylie. Your blog post has been very helpful. What do you recommend for the ceilings? And should the trim match the cabinets or the ceiling? We moved into a house with very off-white cabinets. The walls and ceilings are painted divine white and all of the trim is pure white. I am interested in painting the walls evergreen fog but I am wondering about the trim and ceiling?

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      Hi Jennifer, thank you!

      So, you have walls and ceilings in Divine White RIGHT now with Pure White trim and want Evergreen Fog walls. It’s hard to say without seeing the space and how close the cabinets/trim are, but it depends on what you want the cabinets to DO. If you want them to look a bit more muted, GENERALLY speaking, you would have the ceilings/trim the same as them, this way there wouldn’t be a ‘whiter’ colour for Divine White to be directly compared to. If Divine White is directly compared to Pure White, it will show the off-white/beige look of it off a bit more. If it were ME…oooo, it’s tough. If I didn’t have too much trim/molding around the kitchen I might shift to Pure White wherever I could. However, if there’s a lot of trim near the cabinets, i just might lean into Divine White, perhaps 50% lighter on the ceiling.

  14. Thanks Kylie. I am actually looking for a cream. One that looks a lot like the Wentworth kitchen by HEATHER HUNGELING DESIGN. It’s a creamy white. I know she says it’s believable bluff by SW but I’m looking for a SW paint closer to the actual photograph. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks.

  15. I’ve come to love you Kylie! My house had to be gutted about 80% after a recent hurricane but still intact are my glazed antique white upper and lower cabinets and Cecilia(?) granite, but my dark stained island has to be replaced. When I built 8 yrs ago I remember it being so easy to pick out all these warm colors I love. I swear I decided on my granite in 5 minutes flat, and it all looked beautiful together. I had SW Oyster Bay on my cabinet wall and kitchen door- which looked great to me bc it’s just warm enough of a color to not look cool, SW Dover White trim, and Tony Taupe in the living room- all open floor plan. I’m no color guru but after reading your recent posts I think all this time I had it going on and didn’t even know it bc now tony taupe is becoming more popular! My dilemma is now that I’m forced to remodel I figure I should go with something updated, more modern. I’ve contemplated every blue green gray there is for my island color but nothing ever feels right. I’ve come full circle and landed back on stain or maybe SW Status Bronze. After reading your post on old granite I now see why. And my granite isn’t even that old, but I’m obviously limited. Also, I’ve tried so many whites next to the cream cabinets- I think I’m doing BM Pale Oak in living – but nothing. Darker colors look so much better next to them. I’m so glad I saw this new post. I think now I can stop trying so hard to make something work that just won’t, and I need to embrace what I’m drawn to instead of what I think I’m supposed to be drawn to. If you do have any other color suggestions please please let me know. If not thanks for your expertise I completely enjoy all I’ve learned from you !

  16. Hi Kyle! This article is filled with soooo many bits of goodness! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us less inclined. After reading this I decided to FINALLY take a leap of faith and paint my kitchen SW Amazing Gray. I wanted to create flow into my adjacent dining room (BM Edgecomb Gray) but had been holding off due to the fussy nature of my cabinet colour (BM White Down). Here is what I ran into – the colour looks AMAZING with one exception. The backsplash area (no tile, just paint for now) looks a very cold shade of Gray and makes the cabinets look yellow. However, when the under cabinet lights are on …. ta da …. AMAZING again. I realize light affects everything but I didn’t have this drastic difference with the old paint colour (BM Bennington Gray). I am about to run to SW to have the paint altered towards something like Loggia. Would this be a mistake?

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      Hey Carina, I would just LOVE to see photos of this – seriously, it’s SO helpful for myself and for readers!!!! I can then take a look at you countertop and see if Loggia would work for you, if you’d like???

  17. This was a really great post! Thanks so much for all of this detail. We are looking to repaint our master suite. Our whole house has antique white trim and beige warm colors everywhere except this suite. We have a southern exposure and over time the antique white trim which is considerable in this area and we will not paint, has yellowed and now is almost an exact match to BM Bracken Cream with an LRV of nearly 74. We definitely won’t paint walls to match because that would be too yellow. Our bathroom has gray tub, vanities, shower tile and we like the way the yellow works with this gray. Our bedroom is now a periwinkle color that looks beautiful with the yellow in the trim but we want to go more neutral. We do not want a gray with green undertones but would like to find one that stays more cool. Our first choice was Repose grey. Do you have a gray suggestion that might work best knowing our trim color is more yellowed and we don’t actually mind that. Also open to other suggestions and would consider sticking to a beige them but if we bring that into the bathroom area, not sure how it will work with all the grey existing on vanities, tile and tub. There are French doors leading from bedroom to bathroom so we would like this to be one cohesive space.

  18. Hi Kylie,
    Great posting! You totally nailed this one!! I have cream cabinets (custom mix of cloud white & white down 78 lrv) which became the same color as my molding, french doors, some paneling and trim. Most of the paint colors on my main floor are 50 lrv and below. I also have straight up ceiling white. The ceiling white was a nice contrast to the paint color and works fine with the warm light hitting it. None of my cream color touches the ceiling…except for the room we are working on now that has crown molding and is in northern light. It’s awful – – like the smokers room you described. Is my only option to paint the ceiling in this room at 50% of this cream color? That is my thought, but I’m worried that it will start to spiral into the hall ceiling, etc. and potentially darken the room. It’s so funny (or not) how color is truly all relative to what it is next to and lighting. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Many thanks!

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      Oh Kerri, it can be SO HARD, can’t it? But, it sounds like you already learned so much about your home and your cream before you even read this blog post – great job! BTW, I love the sounds of the Cloud White/White Down blend!

      And yes, my FIRST thought is to get your cabinet colour lightened. I would try 50% and 75%, see how both of these look. I even WONDER how Cloud White might look – assuming that’s not what’s there right now, as it is such a pretty warm white.

      I’d also LOVE to see how this all looks!!!

  19. This is so good! In my last house that was built in 2009, it had Tuscan vibes but I wanted to update it so I ended up going with accessible beige. It turned out lovely!

    Another question, I had my husband go to Sherwin Williams and get Extra White. They gave him the white off the shelf also called Extra White. Do you know if the base they use (Extra White) is the same as the color Extra White 7006. It would seem like the base Extra White wouldn’t have any tint to it. Why the heck do they call them the same thing?! Now I’m confused because I may just have base on my ceiling and base moldings in my basement. Help?!!

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      Hi Suzette, YES, it is the same white (they do the same with High Reflective White, just to confuse everyone ;)) – these colours are often used as BASES for other colours. I’ve found that if they had some extra white tint to the gallon, it improves the coverage a bit more too :).

  20. I am SO tempted to jump on the greige cabinet trend like you mentioned (possibly SW Modern Gray) but don’t want to run into some of these same problems down the road! I know you said you don’t recommend it, but if I were to go this route, would the same advice still apply that my walls should be at least 20 LRV points difference to create enough contrast? And would it be a mistake to go lighter on the walls, in a soft white range? Thank you in advance, your blog is super helpful!!

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  21. Kylie, thank you so much for your insight. I feel like this post was written for me! Having this dilemma as we speak! Early 2000’s home, SW Creamy trim and cabinets. When we bought the house it was painted Practical Beige on the first floor and Napery on the foyer and second floor. (Why not one color throughout? Whyyyy??) I then thought it would be a great idea to repaint Silver Strand on the first floor and Accessible Beige 70% on the foyer and second floor. Again, why didn’t I do one color throughout? The world may never know. 😂 And of course, the Silver Strand pulls alllll the yellow out of the trim and cabinets with our West-facing windows on the first floor. I really want to brighten up the space and I’m deciding between Creamy, Swiss coffee and Greek Villa on the walls but I don’t want the undertones fighting each other. However, the sample of Creamy (from Samplize) looks very yellow to me. I’m afraid it might be too much as an overall color. Should I cut the formula or leave as is? Paint the downstairs Accessible Beige and call it a day? Move houses and start over? 🤣 Thank you so much! 😁

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      Hi Maren, you know what? I just finished a YOUTUBE video showing a whole RAAAAANGE of ideas with cream cabinets, including Sherwin Williams Antique White AND….CREAMY!

      Long story short, if you’re going to do cream walls, they need to BE Creamy. You could tryyyyyyy 25% lighter, but this could increase the yellow in Creamy, hard to say – but it NEVER hurts to try. I’m hoping the hubs will get teh video edited early this week and put it out – it’s really nice to see things in action :).

  22. Kylie,
    This is an awesome tutorial on cream colors! I’ve been refreshing my home for sale and have run into almost every scenario you described. We’re finished now, but I’m thrilled to see that I eventually wound up with much of the solutions you suggested. And sometimes, out of sheer frustration, I’ve just created just the right undertone and LRV by mixing paint colors. (of course, these colors could never be duplicated as I mixed by eye!)

    On another note, we are moving to a new build and I’m already daunted by where we are starting. The trim is SW Princeton White, which isn’t available to retail customers, only builders. I even called SW and they wouldn’t give me the LRV or undertones or breakdown. My cabinets are factory painted KraftMaid Moonshine and although I have a sample chip, I need more info. Are you familiar with these colors? How would you suggest I begin with finding the undertones and LRV of these colors?

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      Hi Donna, I LOVE to hear this, clearly you’ve got some great instincts!

      So, I sent an email to Sherwin Williams about Princeton White; we’ll see if I get anything back :).

      Now, I don’t know anything on Moonshine by Kraftmaid, but to look it up online, it gives me the same concerns as cream cabinets – I see it giving you a hard time down the road and potentially limiting your choices? But again, I’m only looking at online images :). I mean, the YELLOW of cream cabinets can be tricky, and while the online images of Moonshine are all over the place, it’s not necessarily the COLOUR, but the DEPTH that will be tough. It looks like an off-white/light depth cabinet, so it takes up ‘that colour slot’.

      1. Kylie,
        Thank you for your response! Moonstone does look like an off-white with green-gray undertones. I know I will be in for a challenge and look forward to working with you on this. The builder confirmed that they will be painting the walls Princeton White as well. Once we are settled, I’ll be in touch to purchase one of your packages for selecting new wall colors. Depending on what the Princeton White trim looks like, maybe we can keep it. To my eye, in the sample home, it looks close to Pure White – but not exactly. I’ll be interested if you hear back. Thank you again!

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      Hey Donna! So, I hear back. She was surprised that I’d heard about this magical colour. The LRV is 76 and she’s sending me a sample to peruse – I’ll let you know!

  23. Good grief! While I always love reading your blogs, is there any paint colours other than brown beige or grey tones that will
    Go with cream cabinets? Mine are yellow undertones with a south facing room. But I am honestly am really sick of all these colours! What about greens? Sage green, spring green etc. Anything other than greiges, beiges etc!?? Thanks! Currently in this house we bought, its a dark brownish grey colour with the cream. Its depressing!

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      Hi Stephanie! I do have several gray-blue-greens and greiges in that blog post to check out, along with Comfort Gary which is a green with gray in it!

  24. Kylie, thank you for your extremely helpful analysis and playful delivery.

    I have vintage blonde midcentury bedroom furniture and am having a hard time finding a wall color. The room faces north.

    For curtains maybe a chocolate or coconut shell might work?

  25. This is so helpful, thank you! And probably why I have been struggling to find a wall color with our glazed white kitchen cabinets. Quick question….we have a very open kitchen, family room, hallway, entry foyer, open upstairs. Meaning there is nowhere to “stop” the paint color. There’s no moulding or trim on the doorways, it all flows together with those rounded edges you’ve mentioned before (why do builders do this?!?). Can I paint my kitchen walls something like BM Revere Pewter with LRV of 55 then the rest of the rooms (family room, hallway, entry foyer, open upstairs) Revere Pewter lightened by 25%? I love colors about 62 LRV (thanks to your blog!). But I know my cabinets NEED the lower LRV but I just don’t want that low LRV ALL over my house so I was trying to compromise by painting only the walls that NEED the low LRV RP standard strength then lightening it by 25% for everything else. Or do people not do this anymore?!? Should I just pick 2 complimentary different colors? Or am I stuck needing to paint everything the low LRV to satisfy my cabinets?

    I’ve already perfected my straight line painting with our BM Stonington Gray playroom and BM Edgecomb Gray dining room, both of which open to the hallway and foyer, respectively, that I’ve mentioned.

  26. So I am planning to paint my kitchen BM Calla Lily (top pick at the moment) or BM Pale Moon or possible BM Soliel. I currently have what seem to be an Antique White (warm tone, they were painted before I moved here so not sure of the actual color/brand) cabinets that are really the same color as all the trim and closet to current wall color. I do like the cabinet color but since I have to repaint everything I want to make sure to pair it with the Yellow of the wall color. I see a lot of the white kitchens use a very bright white which I do not want. I want to complement the yellow but not be brightish but warm. I see the simply white or dove white might be options or like the mayo or alpine white. Yes spins the head and now I have oodles of swatches and samples lol. I have a fair amount of light in the room. Basically the whole kitchen area is getting repainted including walls, cabinets, trim ceilings. For a yellow paint on walls (and backsplash that will have colors of white, cream, beige in it), is there a white / cream cabinet color that would be good (or ones to stay away from?

  27. Yes! My cabinets are BM linen white and I HATE it! They were already that color. They are top-notch cabinets, but the color is awful!! I want to repaint, but don’t know what to paint them since the backsplash is cream, too. Yuck!!

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  28. Many thanks for the article: found the introduction to LRV informative.

    But really, why does the entire world, seemingly, want to look like a Pottery Barn or Restoration HW catalog, based largely on shades of gray or beige. I get that photographs really well, but is pretty darn boring to live with – especially when everyone is using those tones. What about actual colors?

    Just moving into a Craftsman shotgun bungalow that has the grey walls, cream trim treatment. Would really like to find better alternative: especially given how drab place looks in winter light (or really gloom).

  29. I love this article but I need desperate help. I love cream cabinets and I did choose it for our cabinets in a new build because all of our home furnishings is very warm and would clash with white white. I took the cabinet to get match what color it was. It is the closet to Benjamin Moore Spanish white. The LRV 76.28. The kitchen and dining and living room is open floor concept so the walls In these rooms will all be the same color since it is one big room anyways. I could accent the wall in which the cabinets hang. The counters are ethereal glow silestone counters. I choose this because of the slight gold streaks. I would love to accent the wall the cabinets would hang but I have no idea what will go with it. Plum? I am also thinking gold hardware. I am more of a elegant tradition girl. I do not like grays. Also I don’t know how to look for color by the lrv to begin with. I hope you can give a little advice.

  30. We are getting kitchen cabinets in SW alabaster and are planning on painting the trim the same. Would like a whole house color that is a warm neutral to go in the kitchen, dining and living room (north facing) and that will work well in the tall bright south facing entry. What SW color would work best, is there one?

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      Hi Tiffany! While Alabaster matters, equally as important are the flooring, countertops, tiles, and any type of fireplace stone, brick and furnishings – I’d just be shootin’ in the dark if I were to give you a color!

  31. This was great. Now I know not to paint my cabinets a cream. I am having trouble deciding on a color for my kitchen cabinets. Currently they are cherry wood. My counter top is one of the creamy granites with black and dark brown worked into it pretty heavy. My backsplash is travertine. The space is small so I want to brighten it up. I love the Sherwin Williams color sea salt and thought of painting the walls that color. But just not sure about the cabinets or if I should leave them cherry and change the hardware. They do have some wear I would like to repair or cover. Thoughts?

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      Hi again! Now, it’s SO hard to say. Travertine backsplash USUALLY caters towards soft off-white beiges like Benjamin Moore Maritime White – colors like that. I mean, a hardware update is a GREAT start, but from the sounds of your finishes, Sea Salt might not have the warmth your finishes need, especially if it isn’t a color you can find in your countertop/backsplash. If you get stuck, I do have a great consulting service! It’s out of stock right now, but will be back next week! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/hire-kylie/#packages

  32. Just bought a home with the most maddening “cream” trim…I’m pulling my hair out w paint colors! We did not want to repaint all the trim and it honestly didn’t look all that cream until we started changing their browns and beiges. I thought it was close to Dover white, but it makes Dover white look bright white. From old paint cans it looks like it’s a valspar color called Woodrow Wilson linen. In my bedroom I wanted to do all off white walls with an accent wall in a dark navy with framed moldings. Anyway, if I match it I’m afraid it will look so yellow…any thoughts on a cream to compliment this super yellow cream trim?? Appreciate any thoughts, I’m about to paint the living room for a 3rd time bc I’m struggling so much, so I’m hoping to get the bedroom done right lol! I LOATHE this trim color!

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      Oooo Manda, it sounds to me like you already DO have super yellow and its hard to avoid once its there. If you hit it with a wall color that’s a more muted cream, it will only accent how yellow it is. I would lean into matching it as your best solution to a tricky spot. Otherwise, I would just hang tight until you can paint the trim. I”m sorry!

  33. Long time fan and project manager/house flipper here. You’ve guided me away from many potential paint catastrophes, and I enjoy your humor and spunk! I’ve always been happy with the paint we’ve done in our reno’s and new builds (as have the buyers!)
    Now I’m helping my mom sell her house (it’s been on the market for a year.) She has yellow glaze sponge paint throughout the 5000 sq feet. It was beautiful for her and kudos to her for following her heart into Italianate but we’ve yet to find a buyer who sees it the same. Currently, most of it is being painted buyer-friendly Agreeable Gray and looks great so far.
    The problem area is the kitchen with its Windham Cream-like brown glazed cabinets, brown travertine backsplash. With the stainless appliances everyone has demanded and a new island, it’s not in the budget to paint them. I’m hoping if it’s done right, with dark hardware and dark light fixtures, it could be pivoted to the mountain lodge look desired in the area.
    The living room situated at 45 degrees of the kitchen area has a charcoal gray stone fireplace, we are looking at dark Clarksville Gray with charcoal on the flanking bookcases. The island will be sage, or charcoal. Then there’s the yellow to deal with.
    Very glad to read that Agreeable Gray won’t go, although it is in adjacent hallway. Tried Simply White, it’s awful! Was thinking Accessible Beige, but no.
    So it’s Agreeable Gray from the hallway and adjacent large room to the left of staircase is converging with the living room’s dark gray green in this kitchen/dining area with its cream yellow cabinets, soon to be contrasting island and it’s many angled seating area (never do a 45 degree attached room, awkward).
    After reading your article, I’m trying to decide if I can go with a darker gray or beige on the wall by the cabinets, and in the seating area, or is this too many colors for potential buyers to handle? Thank you for listening! I hope my description didn’t make your brain hurt like mine is!

    1. Post

      Hey Kristen! It SOUNDS to me like you might need to try a more mid-toned greige with a reasonable green undertone? I mean, it’s super hard to say without seeing the space, but that’s my first thought – something like SW Intellectual Gray???

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