The Top 4 White Paint Colours for Kitchen Cabinets
Warm whites, cool whites, dirty whites, pink, blue, green – you name a colour, white’s got it covered! And choosing a white can be a HARROWING experience, especially if you aren’t starting from scratch, with existing finishes to coordinate with. So, I’ve narrowed things down to a few of my fave, ‘go-to whites’ for you to check out that should be white up your alley.
BTW: The best way to pick your fave white is to compare them to each other. This will really help you narrow down the undertones and decide which one best suits you and your home.
1. Sherwin Williams High Reflective White SW 7757
Oh, you want WHITE, do you? For me, High Reflective White is the best ‘white-white’. While there is the ODD Sherwin William’s store that doesn’t carry it for some reason, I’ve found that most SW’s do.
A simple white like High Reflective White will give you a pretty clean look, but remember, your home must be able to visually support a white kitchen. Many of my E-design clients find traditional whites just a bit too icy and cold for their space and need to soften things up a bit with a warmer white, especially when they have existing finishes to accommodate which often aren’t really that white.
What paint colours are similar to High Reflective White?
- BM Chantilly Lace. This is a popular one with designers. Personally, I find it a stitch too icy and while it does act ‘white’, there are other ways to do it without the cool edge
- BM Super White. This is just a touch softer while doing the same thing as Chantilly – looking like white
- SW Extra White. It’ll look like white, but like Chantilly, I find it a bit stark/cool
See more of this kitchen here: A Contemporary New Home
2. Benjamin Moore Cloud White CC-40
Definitely the most popular soft white, Cloud White looks like a ‘real white’ UNTIL you place it next to a ‘real white’ (like paper or my butt cheeks). If you didn’t know yet that it’s that type of blog – now you know. Just joking, I have an off sense of humour.
Cloud White has a subtle yellow/creamy undertone with a grounded neutral base which makes it not as stark as a traditional white. However, if you already have ‘white’ trim, white appliances or white windows, you WILL notice the difference.
See more Cloud White here: A Maple Kitchen Makeover with Cloud White
What paint colours are similar to Cloud White?
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster – just a wink softer and creamier
- Benjamin Moore Simply White. Has the warmth, but it’s cleaner and brighter, so the yellow can show up to the party a bit more
Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Simply White
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel & 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 location
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing 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
3. Benjamin Moore White Dove OC 17
White Dove is my FAVE on this page…or anywhere. Ever.
In the above kid’s room, you can see White Dove on the trim and walls.
While some whites and off-whites will give a ‘fresh and bright’ look, White Dove is white, but a touch softer and more subtle, without being as creamy as Cloud White.
What paint colours are similar to White Dove?
- Nothing…nothing compares to White Dove
4. Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005
Pure White is fantastic. It’s a white paint colour that sits in between the warmth of White Dove and the cleanliness of High Reflective White.
Read more: Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Pure White
What paint colours are similar to Pure White?
- Like White Dove, I don’t have any colours that come up to par. If I had to pick one, I suppose it would be BM Oxford White
Now, of course, there are OTHER approaches to take, such as off-whites, gray, greige and more, but to keep my sanity (and yours too), we’ll save those for another day!
Not sure which white is best for your kitchen cabinets?
Check out my affordable Online Colour Consulting!
Should You Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets White? And Which White is Best?
The 3 Best Off-White Paint Colours for Trims, Walls and More...
HOW to Pick the Best White for Your Cabinets, Trims or Walls
Kylie M E-Design, Interiors and Decorating Online, Virtual Paint Colour Consultant Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams specialist
Originally written in 2017, updated in 2019
HI, How does Seashell compare to Feather Down..I am trying to decide for my kitchen cabinets. Not wanting anything to stark white..cream, but not so yellow or pinkish. HELP!!!!!!!!
Hi Moira, Seashell and Feather Down are quite different from each other. Seashell has a more grayed out yellow tone to it whereas Feather Down has a tan/orange feel to it (your cabinets won’t look those colours, it’s just the soft undertones). Seashell can work on cabinets but I think Feather Down is too heavy for a traditional ‘cream’ cabinet. If you’re looking for a cream that isn’t too yellow or pinkish consider Glacier White – one of my faves!
Hope that helps!
Benjamin Moore DOES have “straight off the shelf white” it’s “01” and available in most if not all product lines!
Thank you Lene! I had no idea. I’ve gone into the store before and asked for white and they’ve politely said ‘no can do Sue!’, so I am really happy to hear this – thank you!
I painted my oak kitchen cabinets in Feather Down three years ago and would do it again in a heartbeat! I have bisque appliances and wanted my cabinets to match them. My fridge especially just blends into the cabinetry…it’s a perfect match. LOVE this color! If I ever move I will definitely use it again.
Hi Kylie! Is creamy a good color for kitchen cabinets?
Hi Sue, yes, as long as you are okay with the slightly stronger yellow/warm undertone!
I have a black granite. What color would you suggest for cabinets? I love ultra modern, but my husband, not so much.
Hi Tatum! It does depend on your flooring, backsplash, exposure and what not, but generally speaking, for black granite, I might look at SW Pure White which is white, but has just a wink of warmth in it that softness it, so it isn’t cold or icy. 🙂
What do you suggest. I have black granite counters with subway white tiles as backsplash and my flooring is a chocolate wood looking tile. I would like a white that is kinda glossy but not too much glossy??? If you can understand that??? Also something that can be cleaned easily.
Hi Jackie, for questions like yours, I do refer to my E-design services! I try to give as much complimentary info as I can on my blog and if that doesn’t work, it might be time for a closer look! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
I am afraid that I will paint my oak (orangey) cabinets white and then soon….in a year or two, find that painted cabinets are going out and wood is back in! Maybe even warmer colours like orange??
Hi Joan! Well, believe it or not, I do like my readers to keep their oak cabinets when I think they are worth keeping. I’ve had clients hire me to have their cabinets painted and I say ‘hold up, you might want to keep this’. However, there have been MANY times where paint is just the thing! Of the oaks, the orange one (and some of the yellow ones) are the ones that are least likely to come back soon (in my opinion). Some oaks have more of a ‘brown’ look, so they aren’t overly warm, and if any, I think it’s those ones that have a good life to them. As for white cabinets, it seems that trends come and go, and while some go out COMPLETELY, white keeps staying around in some form or another. Generally speaking of the 2, white is a safer bet than the orange oak. I hope that helps!
Hi! I’m wanting to paint my orangey oak kitchen cabinets white. The back splash is creamy white and granite is that multi colored cream, black tan color. Pretty main stream hard to explain without me sending a picture. Trying to decide what color white to get to match that. Also, would we need to paint The pantry door and trim on the windows the same color as the cabinets? Thanks!
Hi Heathr, thank you for asking and you’re right, it’s hard without pictures, otherwise I’m really just guessing. AND I actually have an e-design business just for questions like yours! If you’re interested the link is here, I’d love to help! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Is it necessary to wax or somehow seal the painted cabinets? I am thinking about hiring this out and was wondering if this step is necessary. Thanks, Lyn
Hi Lyn, not at all! The new cabinet paints are SO hardy and are built to last as long as the prepwork is done properly!
Hi! Just wondering… Do you think the yellowing that happens with oil based paints is enough of a downside to go with the less durable water based paints?
Hi again Cristal! They funny thing is that many brands won’t sell oil based paints anymore. The new latex paints are made so hardy and are often called ‘Alkyd Emulsions’ as they spread more evenly than some of the older latex products and have durable finishes. I personally would never do oil again, after using the likes of BM Advance…
I am having the hardest time choosing a white paint. Went with white dove, but worried is not as crisp to make the trim pop. I actually like the color the of the mdf/ pine primed white trim. 😉 I wish I knew what color it was. I want my white to pop. Can you offer any suggestions? What white paint would you choose if you were painting your the trim and cabinets in your house today. We are using aurea stone divine for the countertops. I have kelly moore matched revere pewter on the wall (Funny but the KM matched did not turn out the same as BM’s color, but I actually like it better) .
Thank you so very much for your blog! LOVE reading all your posts!!!
What “type” of paint do you recommend for hardiness. My daughter had hers spray painted by a cabinet maker and they’re chipping like crazy! Thanks.
Hi Linda! When it comes to cabinets, it’s a blend of quality paint and GOOD prepwork. If the prepwork isn’t 100%, there isn’t any paint that will save you. Sanding/cleaning/high quality primer, those are the essentials. From there, I go to BM Advance for a hardy top finish. Any painted finish will chip, but it shouldn’t be THAT bad 😉
I have maple cabinets and alot of them. I have honey oak floors and the countertop is Gallio Ornamental. Typical early 2000 kitchen. I want to paint the cabinets. At first I was thinking Edgecomb Gray and now I’m going back to Dove White. My walls will be a warmer greige either SW Assesible Beige or Edgecomb Gray. I’m fighting with the warm tones in the floor and the granite. Any suggestions? I also have a long buffet in the kitchen that I was thinking of doing a different color… maybe a blue/gray or Chelse Gray or that new blue that I see on pinterest. Thoughts?
Will white dove be a noticeable difference with white windows? I love warm, creamy white but have white windows above my kitchen sink
Hi Brooke, it can depend on the brand of window, but I would expect that you will see a shift – not by much though. I have white windows and White Dove trim and it is a BARELY THERE shift.
I have white dove trim and want to paint my orangey oak cabinets white. ( very warm granite countertops and wood beams on the ceiling)
I have poured over your articles but am unsure which white would work. I don’t want to overpower the dove white nor have the cabinets look dirty.
What do you suggest?
Have you worked with painting maple cabinets white where there is a natural oak floor and natural oak trim on windows (old style)? Maybe white dove vs cloud white?
Oooo, that’s a tough one as all of a sudden your cabinets are the odd man out! I would recommend going with a soft warmer off-white rather than a white, just to reduce this a bit :).
Hi Patricia, we have the same combo in a summer cottage and chose to paint the walls Benjamin Moore Simply White. I can attest to the colour being a perfect white without it being stark and looks great on large walls. It might be a nice choice for your cabinets.
I am painting my kitchen and family room Winchester Tan (BM), and i would like to pick the right white to pain golden oak cabinets white, currently I am looking at (BM) Simply White, but what color trim. My granite is black, and oak flooring throughout. Would there be a better Cabinet and Trim color. HElp… i am terrible at this. MAny thanks
Hi Kylie! So much love for all you do for all of us! Quick question – can BM White Dove walls work with SW Extra White cabinets with white subway backsplash? I don’t really want to put Extra White on the walls, I want something warmer but not yellow (that’s what we all say!). Granite is white-black-taupe Verona. Thanks a bunch!
Hmmmm. Makes me a bit nervous in that the warmth of White Dove could set off the cool vibe of Extra White, whereas Extra White will set off the warmth of White Dove. Will this be ‘bad’…no, but i just don’t know if it will be that good as they might just seem like a mismatch – too much the same (being white) but different undertones. Makes me nervous… :).
What white paint will not cast a yellow tone in my kitchen?? I have ultra white trim. I tried ballet white paint on the cabinets and it looked really yellow. My floors are neutral warm..
Thanks… I was thinking chantilly lace???
My kitchen has a lot of natural light and faces south..
Hi Kylie! I am stuck on a white for my cabinets. I just put in LVP flooring in.Med brown color and have granite countertops that are almost blk. We want to paint the island a Chelsea or Cinder gray and will change the island countertop to a white quartz with a bit of gray. Any suggestions for the white paint color? Will Chantilly lace be took Stark.? I am also thinking of simply white or BM Alabaster..
I want to paint my new house in Mindful Gray. I have 13ft ceilings in kitchen and living area open concept with cedar wood beams. I really love Alabaster for my kitchen cabinets and trim. Do you think the Alabaster will go with the Mindful? Thank you!
Oooo, if you mean SW Alabaster, it’s ‘okay’, but I find it a bit warm for Mindful and would lean more into SW Pure White :). And definitely not BM Alabaster!
I’m searching for a creamy white for the exterior of our house and lighter white trim. Would BM linen white work? What are your thoughts about Chantilly white BM and Simply white
I think your best the of all blogs.
Stainless steel everything in kitchen white counters.
Not crazy about gray. Want paint color that will warm up my ugly kitchen cabinets.
This blog is my new best friend! I have been devouring your posts as we have been planning a complete kitchen re-do. We are installing Caesarstone London Grey quartz countertops in a kitchen/living/dining room whose main source of natural light is east-facing windows. Torn between BM White Dove which is more ‘matchy’ to the counter and BM Simply White which has a bit more of a contrast. Worried White Dove will be too yellow and Simply White will not work with the east-facing natural light. They both ‘look’ good. Advice?
Hi Nancy, did you decide? And what backsplash are you using? I am installing Colonial White granite that has whites, beiges, creams, black, and purple. (Sounds like a mess, but pretty…). Curious to what you went with…Thank you!
I have been looking at houses for sale online and if I see another kitchen with gray walls and white kitchen cabinets I am going to drown myself in a bath tub full of vodka.
Well, you gave me my morning giggle – well done! Yes, it is SO nice to see wood cabinets come back in style. I did some in our bar area, just to do something different and i LOOOOVE them!
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Hello Kylie! THANK YOU for your great advice. So appreciative of your knowledge and the humor to relieve this decorating stress! 😉 I’m replacing your favorites (Venetian Gold counters and orange, cathedral arched oak cabinets) with Colonial White Granite (warm and soft with cloudy grays, green undertones, purple garnets that I don’t love but accepting b/c it’s better than venetian gold). Wish I could justify quartz for my home…anyway, I have BM Vanilla Milkshake trim and SW Anew Gray walls. The vanilla milkshake isn’t common but love how it looks. Anything was better than the orange oak trim. Would you suggest vanilla milkshake cabinets (some areas are close to trim & doors), simply white, or white dove? I still need to get the backsplash (MAJOR CRY ON CHOOSING THAT ONE!). Any advice would be so helpful; praying for your response!
Hi Kylie! I have learned so much from all of your articles! We are considering painting our kitchen cabinets white. We have white crown molding already in the kitchen that flows into a hallway as well as molding around the entry to our great room and dining room (and white doors throughout). I assume I should match the cabinets to the molding, but how do I best determine the current color of the molding? The kitchen has northern exposure with a decent size window as well as a bay window in the breakfast nook (or whatever it is called these days – the place where our kitchen table resides). All these white paints are making me want to just stop and drink some wine!
Hi Lisa! Well, first off, wine can definitely help ;). Here’s what I would do. I would go to the paint store (I’d hit two – BM and SW) and pick up:
1. Their whites white (BM Chantilly Lace and SW High Reflective White)
2. Warm versions (BM Cloud White, White Dove and Simply White / SW Alabaster, Pure White and Dover White)
3. cooler versions (BM Super White/Decorators White / SW Extra White)
Bring those home and stick them on your trim to see which one blends the MOST! It can be tricky as the sheen of your trim can skew things, but that will be as close as you can get. You can also take a piece of trim into the paint store and have them colour match it, but I’ve seen some PRETTY HOT MESSES that way, you have to really double-check it on a larger scale.
I hope that helps!
Thank you so much! I know we are on the cooler version, so now it’s down to figuring out which one works best. Do you have any advice on picking the one that blends well but isn’t too stark since we have northern exposure?
Oh my Lord, I need a nipple on my Prosecco bottle! We just had Taj Mahal quartzite counters and gray and white calcatta marble subway style in maple which translates to gray and white with an occasional light maple vein. Now between age and the new installs, our cabinets have gone yellow (formerly PPG Desert Fawn-Older color) .our Walls are Mesa Tan (SW) and I am thinking of a change there as well. My window which was just installed faces N.E. but very little direct sun comes in.
ANYWAY, help with white trim color! Considered Arcade or Ibis prior to reading your blog. I love your blog! Paint selection is a trial.
Well, if THIS isn’t the funniest comment I’ve read in a while, I don’t know what is! Taj Mahal is aaaaamazing! As for trim colour, I tend to say pretty traditional for MASS versatility, rather than picking up whites that could flash pink or anything scary. Check out the likes of BM Simply White or SW Pure White :).
I am repainting my white kitchen. Currently the cabinets are a different white than the walls. Is it ok to have the walls, ceiling and cabinets different or can/should they be the same white? The two whites I like are White Dove and Simply White. If the cabinets where WD would they look ok by the SW walls?
Hi Janet! I do get a BIT nervous with mix and match whites. Simply White is cleaner/whiter and that touch more yellow than White Dove and I might worry a bit about White Dove looking just a bit dingy in comparison. I’d get a quart mixed up of White Dove in satin finish and do 2 coats on a sample board, tape it up on the wall with Simply White and see how they flow :).
I am going to go with your suggestion and have cabinets painted SW alabaster. The house is open concept with a full wall of windows. I want a warm white for the walls. Should I paint them alabaster also?
You betcha – and I would love to see photos when it’s all done!
Trying to figure out what undertones I am looking for if I have more yellow butcher block countertops. Thank you for your help!
Is Mascarpone BM a flexible white paint for trim?
I wouldn’t do it – too yellow 🙂
Will you please tell me the color of the blue island in the first picture (under SW High Reflective White)?
I really appreciate your help 🙂
Hi! I’m getting ready to do a kitchen remodel and I’ve been reading your blog (which is super helpful!) and now I’m scared/ stuck. My doors and trim in my entire house were all painted by the previous owners in what appears to be SW Crisp Linen. Which I’ve actually never minded and most people identify as “white” when they come over. I want white/cream cabinets in this remodel and was just going to do the cabinets in the same Crisp Linen as the trim and doors but I’m thinking you would tell me NOT to do that 😬 since crisp linen has a pinky/peach undertone. What white/cream should I do on the cabinets so as not to clash with the crisp linen doors and trim? Floor is a traditional warm medium brown wood look LVP, countertops are black soapstone with cream and green veining. I plan to do a beadboard backsplash in the same color as the cabinets so I guess I’m stuck on that too
I’m painting my walls SW Alabaster. What white would you suggest for cabinets & trim?
Personally, I would stick with Alabaster. When you mix whites, one exposes the undertones in another. The only other type of white you could use would be a brighter warm white, but it would make Alabaster look more yellow/cream, just in comparison. If you keep Alabaster as the WHITEST white in the space, it acts more as it should.
In my kitchen I have urbane bronze walls – there are not many wall surfaces, the backsplash is a high vertical full wall design in white octagonal tile. The cabinets were already painted an off white like alabaster but it’s different and more creamy than the backsplash . I want to repaint them so there are not competing whites. This kitchen is open concept and will flow into a living area with white dove walls. Any suggestions for the kitchen cabinets ?
Hi Renee, your BEST plan of attack will be to find a white that blends with your tile. If it’s not the same, it will look either more yellow, creamy, dingy, etc… of course you could do a NON-white, in which case your countertop will call the big shots! If you like the idea of white cabinets, SW Extra White and High Reflective White are often similar to ‘white tile’ – same with BM Chantilly Lace. However, once you throw White Dove in the mix, you’re back mixing warm whites/bright whites again. Sometimes there isn’t a happy medium between what’s there and something bigger has to shift – either White Dove OR consider non-white cabinets that go with the countertop :).