HomeHome Updates: Tips & IdeasHome Update IdeasThe 20 Best Paint Colors To Go With Oak (or Wood): Trim, Floor, Cabinets & More (PART 4)

The 20 Best Paint Colors To Go With Oak (or Wood): Trim, Floor, Cabinets & More (PART 4)

Posted on December 2, 2022 by KylieMawdsley

The TOP 20 Paint Colors to Update Wood Stains

Can’t determine which paint color best suits your wood cabinets or trim? Maybe you want to highlight the beauty of your wood and make it come to life. On the other hand, maybe you want to CAMOUFLAGE your wood as you find its stain or grain too bossy. Whatever it is you’re looking for – I bet I’ve got it (except for sanity, that’s in short supply around here).

Ideas to update wood cabinets, oak, cherry or maple with new hardware and backsplash. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color advice and blog

The best paint colours to update oak, wood cabinets, floor, trim and more. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, Diy decorating blog

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, you need to decide whether you want to accent your wood or whether you want to blend or camouflage it…The best paint colours to accent oak, maple, cherry or warm toned woods. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice.

  • Warm or cool paint colors that are a few tones lighter or darker than the wood tone will accent it more than colors with the same depth. Why? Because not only will you have contrast in color temperature, but in color DEPTH!
  • Even if you THINK you want to blend in your wood cabinets, you might be surprised at how awesome a well-chosen cool color can look.

However, if you want to downplay a strong wood stain, you’ll want to avoid cool tones and lean into these colors below…The best paint colours to camouflage, blend in or update wood, oak, maple cabinets, furniture, flooring or trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice and blogger

  • Keeping the paint colour a similar depth to your wood is a great way to keep things seamless, but it can be a bit bland looking if you choose a warm or neutral color. It’s better to go a bit lighter (OR darker) than your wood’s depth or shift into a slightly cooler (but not COLD) shade. This will add a bit of thoughtful layering without overexposing your wood. (There are sooo many jokes I could make…)
  • When it comes to cream, beige, and brown, find ones with similar undertones to the ones in your wood. This helps to keep things muted and subtle and prevents clashing undertones.
  • Some cream, beige, and brown paint colors can pick up a wink of green, which can look a weeeee bit murky against many warmer woods (especially, red or pink tones commonly found in cherry).



Yellow-stained wood finishes were especially popular in the 90s and fell a bit out of favor in the early 2000s. As for undertones, yellow-toned woods are often committed to yellow but can slide slightly into yellow-orange or, more rarely, yellow-pink or yellow-green.


If you want to make your yellow stain look LESS yellow, you might need to lean into it a bit with the following colors…

  • Cream paint colors with similar undertone profiles, i.e., if your wood is yellow-orange, you’ll pick a shade of cream that blends yellow-orange (like Benjamin Moore Navajo White.)
  • Subtle tan paint colors. Whereas beiges lean more on orange, tan paint colors lean on a yellow undertone (yellow-orange or yellow-green). A color like Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan or Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan can look pretty.
  • Some greiges look great with yellow stains. While there could be a minor degree of accenting, depending on the greige you choose, many greiges (with their green-yellow) undertone, are beautiful partners to yellow woods. Of the options listed, they’re the LEAST likely to blend out the wood tone, but also won’t OVERreact (depending on the greige).

The staircase in this next photo has a wood stain with yellow-orange undertones…

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray paint colour. Stairwell, yellow toned wood stairs. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, virtual online paint colour consultant

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray


These colors will make your wood POP a bit (pun intended…wink wink – I can’t help myself). This means that if you love your wood stain and want to contrast and accent it, these are the colors you’ll want to explore (you’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly).

As shown in this next photo, colors that are cooler than your wood will help highlight it…

Benjamin Moore Light Pewter warm gray paint colour, staircase with gray carpet, wood handrailing, black metal spindles. Kylie M Edesign

Benjamin Moore Light Pewter


Orange wood stains are super common as it relates to oak cabinets. However, you can find orange on almost ANY wood species, as the STAIN can have orange in it!

While yellow-toned woods are usually pretty darned yellow, orange-toned woods easily lean into yellow or red, but the dominant undertone is still orange.


If you’re considering using cool colors on your walls, think again. Sure, they can look GORGEOUS, but they will highlight the warmth and color of your wood finish, whether its cabinets, floors, trims, or furniture. To downplay an orange-inspired wood stain, check out…

  • Muted beige blends, preferably in the off-white to light depths (specific colors are coming shortly).
  • Some greige/taupe colors can be quite pretty for a moderate balanced approach. However, beige is your BEST bet.

Entryway or foyer with solid fir door and reclaimed wood flooring, board and batten walls. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, edecor and online paint color consulting blog

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray with golden oak trim, fireplace and wood flooring. Kylie M INteriors Edesign

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray


If you’re a bit of an exhibitionist and want to show off your wood, these colors will do the trick! You’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly.

  • Warm gray with a violet undertone can be particularly striking without being OVERLY contrasting.

Wood trim, wood floors and doors, Benjamin MOore Edgecomb Gray paint color on walls, entryway or foyer. slightly darker. Kylie M Interiors edesig



Red or cherry-toned woods are often the strongest of the bunch, adding depth and color to a room. Red-toned woods can also look slightly pinkish (pink being the light version of red) or can give off a subtle purple cast, depending on the combination of wood and stain choice.

While sometimes its hard to tell what undertone a wood stain has, there’s one hiding in there. This next wood finish has a slight pink undertone…

Benjamin Moore Cloud White trim and Edgecomb Gray paint color on walls with striped carpet stair runner and natural wood hand railing. Kylie M Interiors


While leaning into red (pink) can be scary, it’s often the best way to mute the STRENGTH of your red-stained wood…

  • Some beige paint colors that lean into orange-pink, but it depends on the exact wood stain/strength.

The burnt-red hue of the walls in this next kitchen isn’t favoring the gorgeous orange-red cabinets; this is a case of WAY too much of a good thing…

Benjamin Moore California Redwood rust red paint colour, orange wood cabinets, yellow stain wood floor. black granite. Kylie M.


Red or poink-toned woods can be super fun to play with as they respond SO well to cool colors. So, if you’re a bit of an exhibitionist and want to show off your wood, these colors will do the trick! You’ll see references to SPECIFIC colors shortly.

  • Warm gray with a violet undertone can be a more modest approach (it’s one of my fave choices with red stains).

In this next photo, Sherwin Williams Jogging Path provides a nice subtle highlight to the red furniture stain and red oak flooring…

Sherwin Williams Jogging Path with red oak flooring, cherry wood furniture, white wainscoting. Kylie m

Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to look at REAL COLORS! Remember…

MANY wood finishes will pick up on more than one undertone.

This means that not ALL of these paint colors will look good with ALL wood stains, but they should get you pointed in the right direction!



For a soft, subtle look, Classic Gray is a nice, slightly warm gray. This gentle shade of off-white has vague violet-pink undertones that suit MANY wood finishes. Its passive approach won’t blend with your cabinets but also won’t highlight or accent them.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, bathroom, maple cabinets, beige tile floor, black granite. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online paint color consulting, ecolor

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

If Classic Gray is CLOSE, but not hitting the mark, Sherwin Williams Egret White has a similar approach, as does Benjamin Moore Silver Satin.


Classic Gray doesn’t work well with yellow-green stains, but tends to humor a range of yellow, orange, and red woods.



Repose Gray is a warm gray paint color that’s SUPER unpredictable. While it can pick up a slight touch of green, it can just as easily wink at violet or even a touch of blue! Make sure you sample Repose Gray CAREFULLY and read its FULL COLOR REVIEW.

Sherwin Williams best warm gray paint colour for walls, Repose Gray. LIght wood floor and dresser. Kylie M.

The 10 Best Sherwin Williams Gray and Greige Paint Colors

Colors that are similar to Repose Gray, but with slightly different intentions include Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray and Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.


It’s always hard to say with Repose Gray. With its slightly dirty undertones, Repose Gray is especially pretty with more ‘brown’ wood tones – ones without dominant yellow, orange, or red (pink) undertones. In other words, it can handle a ‘bit’ of undertone, as long as it’s not overpowering or overly noticeable.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Repose Gray



Kilim Beige is a soft, subtle, and versatile shade of beige. While Kilim Beige has a main orange undertone, it can entertain various finishes and wood tones.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige, best warm neutral paint colour on stair wall with red oak cherry toned wood flooring.

Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige is a soft complement to the wood floor, stairs, and railings

How to Mix and Match Wood Stains & Finishes

If Kilim Beige is closer, but you need a color with slightly different undertones or depth, check out similar colors like Sherwin Williams Natural Linen and Benjamin Moore Muslin.


Kilim Beige doesn’t look as good with red-stained woods that lean red-violet or have a decent degree of yellow. However, it’s especially nice with orange woods or those with a mild red stain (like the stain on the stairs in the above photo).

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige



Abalone is a mix between gray, brown, and purple. The purple is subtle but adds a decent dose of color to get things out of the gray range. Abalone is also light enough to help offset a bit of the visual weight of darker cherry cabinets while still contrasting with white trim. I love how the purple taps into the wood tones without being ‘obvious’ about it (shown below).

Benjamin Moore Abalone, gray, warm greige paint colour with purple undertones. HOme staging tips and ideas

The 9 Best Purple Paint Colors

While Abalone is perfect for many rooms, if you need a shade with a similar, but slightly different approach, check out Benjamin Moore Collingwood, Barren Plain, and Balboa Mist.


Abalone is SO stinkin’ pretty with red hue woods, especially red-violet ones (above). However, it also suits some yellow woods, as long as they aren’t yellow-green and many orange stains.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Abalone



Collingwood is a beautiful warm gray with a subtle purple undertone. The undertone is quite passive, so this is a ‘gray-centric’ color. It can look wicked pretty with red or violet-toned wood finishes. Most grays can lean into ANY of the three cool gray undertones with the right lighting or exposure, but Collingwood usually holds pretty steady with its commitment to violet.

E-design and online colour consultation by color expert and blogger Kylie M INteriors. Benjamin Moore Collingwood in a hallway with dark wood flooring and black metal railing

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood

Benjamin Moore Collingwood warm gray paint colour in dining room with Pure White wainscoting, beige tile floor and transitional style home decor.

While Collingwood is the perfect warm gray for many spaces, your particular wood might need something a bit different. Check out Benjamin Moore Nimbus, Balboa Mist, and Sherwin Williams Alpaca.


Collingwood is flexible toward MOST wood tones, depending on your intentions. It can be a bit fussy with some yellow stains (yellow-green) as it prefers more legit yellow, orange, or pink undertones. My FAVE combo is Collingwood with red-stained woods.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood



Gentle Cream (also known as Barely Beige) is a great way to create a warm and inviting room without it looking overly golden. With its almost ‘butterscotch’ undertones, this color will sit pretty neutral with oak and other woods without camouflaging them or accenting them.

Living room with south west facing exposure and rock fireplace with mantle. Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream. Kylie M E-design

Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream colour review by Kylie M Interiors. In guest bedroom wtih blue accents

The 5 Best Cream Paint Colors

If you’d like to sample a color that’s similar to Gentle Cream, check out Benjamin Moore Navajo White and Sherwin Williams Casa Blanca.


Gentle Cream can be a gorgeous partner to yellow and orange hue woods but can be fussy with red tones, depending on the exact blend.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream



Canvas Tan is a relatively neutral tan paint color that doesn’t fall too flat or greige toned for orange-toned woods NOR too golden warm, making it flexible for various wood stains, as shown below…

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan with light maple wood flooring and stairs. Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consulting and e-decor and design

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan in open layout living and dining with vaulted ceilings and fireplace. Kylie m Interiors paint colour

And while Canvas Tan is one of the more popular warm neutrals, check out Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground, Natural Tan, and Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan as well.


Canvas Tan is a bit fussier than some of the others and doesn’t love closer partnership with overly red stains (the dining set above is as close as you want to get). It’s also hit-and-miss with some orange-hued woods. It BEST suits yellow woods, especially ones that might lean a weee tiny wink into green.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan


Samplize peel-and-stick paint samples are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER, and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots.

  • Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on the location.
  • They’re more affordable than the sample pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling.

Benjamin Moore Collingwood SAMPLIZE peel and stick sample

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE



Stonington Gray is a stormy gray with a soft blue-green undertone; it’s a beauty if you want a subtle accent to your wood tones.

Farmhouse wood diy dining table, gray upholstered chairs, Stonington Gray paint color and round chandelier. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant

Contemporary mix traditional dining room. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, wainscoting, chandelier, dark wood floor, coffered ceilings. KYlie M interiors E-design

Stonington gray and Gray Owl. colour review undertones. Kylie M Interiors Edesign online

What’s the Difference Between Stonington Gray and Gray Owl?

If you’re looking for a shade that’s similar to Stonington Gray, check out Sherwin Williams Tinsmith, Silverplate, and Big Chill.


There’s not much Stonington Gray can’t do if you want to highlight your wood (without going over the top). Stonington Gray is friendly to MOST wood stains, including oaks, maples, and cherry’s.

Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray



Sea Salt is a lovely complement to most woods for a fun, fresh look. Sea Salt is a light-toned green blend with a gray-blue undertone to calm it down. Yes, it will slightly accent your wood stain, but it can look BEAUTIFUL! Read ALL about Sea Salt in its color review.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in home office, kids homework room with gallery wall. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, client photo

Sea Salt is a color unto itself, but for a similar (but tweaked) approach, check out Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments, Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray, and Silver Strand.


Because the goal is to highlight wood stains, Sea Salt is pretty flexible and you can expect almost any wood stain or species to pop against this cool-toned beauty.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Sea Salt



With trends leaning warmer, Natural Linen is bound to be a popular shade. With a light-depth, more modern approach to beige, Natural Linen’s warm, flexible undertones are a soft and subtle partner to many types of wood stains, including most oaks.

Sherwin Williams Natural LInen in room with wood furniture, beige taupe carpet. Kylie M Edesign

Natural Linen is DARN pretty, but if you need a color with a bit more this or that, check out the similar approach of Sherwin Williams Rivers Edge, Kilim Beige, and Benjamin Moore Muslin.


Natural Linen is a versatile warm neutral that suits a wid range of wood stains, especially those with orange (orange-yellow, yellow-orange) undertones. It can be a bit fussy with overly red wood stains and cherry woods.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Natural Linen



Jockey Hollow Gray is a gorgeous shade of greige with a decent green undertone. While it WILL accent the warmth of your cabinets, the neutral base keeps things a bit more in check.

Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray in entryway with orange toned oak floor and fir front door. Best paint colours for wood. Kylie M Interiors E-design and Online Color consultant

best paint colours for a stairwell with a light or yellow toned oak railing and risers. benjamin moore Sandy Hook Gray and Gettysburg Gray


Jockey Hollow Gray is a heavier approach than the others and is a beautiful complement to yellow and orange stains. I’m not as BIG of a fan of red hues, but that’s a personal opinion, as some will love it.



Silverplate is a slightly stormy gray with a vague blue (blue-green) undertone. While it CAN look cool, Silverplate isn’t traditionally cold. On the other hand, it’s not very warm but has a stormy softness.

The subtle undertones of Silverplate will slightly enhance any wood tone, but it’s a great way to create a more modern look with your yellow-toned wood (shown below).

Sherwin Williams Silverplate in dining room with oak floor and dark wood furniture. Kylie M Interiors e-decor, e-design and online colour services

And don’t forget about LRV when choosing a paint color! How to Use LRV to Pick a Paint Color


Silverplate isn’t BAD with many wood stains and humors most. As shown above, I love how Silverplate plays with a yellow-orange stain. And while it certainly suits red well enough, it’s not my PERSONAL fave.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Silverplate



Gray Cashmere is a soft gray with a strong blue-green undertone, making it almost whimsical with its fresh feeling (it usually favors blue over green). Gray Cashmere is similar to Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, but has more gray in it, leaving a whisper of color without being too powerful. This color will accent wood tones, not soften them.

Country farmhouse style kitchen with Cloud Whtie cabinets, black granite, butcher block island. Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert blog

Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere in kitchen eating nook with built in bench, cushions and round farmhouse style table. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour blog and consulting


Gray Cashmere isn’t SUPER fussy about its wood tones, although I’m not a huge fan of it with DARK espresso finishes. Gray Cashmere is especially pretty with most yellow hue woods, offering a soft contrast.



Heron Plume is an interesting off-white – stuck between gray and taupe. Because of this, it can shift a lot depending on the exposure of your room. While its undertones aren’t overpowering, they can flash through depending on the finishes you partner it with.

Sherwin Williams Heron Plume kitchen with granite, wood cabinets, blue island, southwestern style. Kylie M E-design, online paint expert. Before photo


Heron Plume can be STUNNING with wood stains that are red-inspired, as it’s subtle violet undertones suit many red hues. It’s also pretty with orange-toned woods but can be a bit fussy with some yellow woods.



Edgecomb Gray is one of the most popular colors, sitting nicely between gray and beige, with no obvious preference for either. Its undertones are also passive, catering to neither greige (green) nor taupe (violet-pink). Edgecomb Gray won’t really highlight nor blend in with most woods unless you have DARK wood, which would be highlighted via the degree of contrast, not the color. 

Open layout living room, vaulted ceilings, wood beams, wood trim and floors. Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray walls, sectional, home decor. Kylie M

V1 Real Estate Photography with Kylie M.


Edgecomb Gray can handle wood stains with muted OR strong undertones, making it super versatile. However, be careful when partnering it with gray-wash woods, which can have a bit too much violet undertone for Edgecomb Gray.

Dining room in rustic mountain style home, wood trim, wood floors and table. Benjamin MOore Edgecomb Gray paint colour on walls. Kylie M Edesign

Remember to pay attention to your room’s exposure too!

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray



Colonnade Gray is a soft, light-medium warm gray, borderline greige. Because of this, it favors a very slight green undertone but can easily flash into the others depending on your exposure/interior finishes.

Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray with golden oak trim and wood fireplace surround. Kylie M Interiors Edesign


Colonnade Gray looks gorgeous with many yellow and orange-hue woods and more muted brown stains. It can also work with red ones but can enhance the red, so watch for that.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray

Kylie M Interiors Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray in home with gray brown wood floors



If you want a dynamic combination between your wood cabinets, trim, and walls, look NO FURTHER than green. In particular, Dry Sage is a beautiful partner if you want your beautiful wood to pop a little!



Green is pretty easy to please when it comes to its wood partners, enjoying yellow, orange, and even some pink stain colors! Just remember, your wood will POP in comparison!

I rely 100% on photos from my Online Color Consulting clients – thank you to everyone for sending them in! 



Again, it can be hard to go wrong with green. Fernwood Green is a warm green paint color with JUST enough of a neutral base to calm it down while leaving a GORGEOUS green hue on the walls!

Green paint colour similar to Benjamin Moore Fernwood Green, dark red cherry bedroom furniture. Kylie M Interiors CLIENT BEFORE PHOTO (1)


As shown in the photo above, woods with a red or pink undertone can look stunning with green paint colors. However, I also love how yellow-orange-toned woods look equally as much.



Imperial Gray is a gorgeous blend of blue-green and gray, creating a soothing, calming combination with many wood tones.

Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray, wood dresser, neutral sofa, drapes, home decor, best blue green gray blend paint color


In the above photo, you can see how beautiful the blue-green paint color looks with the red stain on the dresser. However, you’ll find that these types of colors can be equally as stunning with yellow and orange-stained woods.

Here’s Imperial Gray in the same room, just at a different angle, shown with more orange-stained wood…

Benjamin Moore Silver Satin warm gr



Coventry Gray is a stormy, subtle shade of gray with a whisper of green-blue undertones. This cool approach contrasts so nicely with warm-toned woods.

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray, popular grey paint colour, bedroom with gray blue linens, wood headboard. Kylie M Interiors client photos

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray


While woods with a strong red undertone look okay with a color like Coventry Gray, it really hits its stride with orange-stained woods or those with a muted yellow.


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


Want more?

5 Ideas to Update Oak Cabinets – (PART 1 in series)

MORE Ideas to Update Your Wood Cabinets – WITHOUT a Drop of Paint! (PART 2)

The Best Hardware to Update Wood Cabinets (PART 3)



Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting & E-Design Services!


Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign


How to Coordinate Different Wood Stains and Finishes

Should You Paint Your Cabinets – A Questionnaire

The 8 Best Whole Home Warm Neutral Paint Colours



  1. Thank you for this post- it’s very helpful!
    I wonder though.. If I chose gray cashmere as a wall color, what do you suggest for a trim color?

    1. Hi Shelley! For a fresh and bright look you could do Simply White which is a cleaner look than the traditional Cloud White. You could also look at White Dove which is a softer, more dusky version of off-white. And really, one of my personal faves is just regular old white! Now BM doesn’t do regular white as you have to tint their paints, but all other brands can do that for you.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks so much for this post. I have all golden oak trim and doors in my house with a paler oak laminate flooring. We have just moved our kitchen to our old living room and are planning to open up our whole living space. I have already painted my new (used) cabinets Amherst Gray, which I love. I love its contrast with gold/brass. My countertops will be Emerald Pearl granite–which is pretty dark– black with flecks of blue and white. I have a mix of stainless and black appliances– not as bad as it sounds. I am also making an antique hoosier cabinet part of my kitchen. An oil finish made it golden/red in color. Windows are mostly east and west, a little south.
    I am just really stuck on what to do for wall colors. Right now there are four coordinating shades of beige/brown that help tone down the oak. I would like to do something similar with shades of gray. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi, thank you for asking! When it comes to questions like yours I usually refer them to my Online Consulting, this way I can get more information and photos so that I can give you the best solutions possible! If this interests you at all, here’s the link… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/ You can then email me at kylie@kylieminteriors.ca and mention your comment and I’ll know who you are!
      Thank you for visiting my site, chat soon!

      1. Hi Denise, no, gray and oak won’t clash, just keep in mind that grays with cool blue/green/purple undertones can be slightly enhanced by the warm tones of the oak. I lot of people lean toward warm grays for a softer, low-key look.

  3. Kylie,
    There is oak trim in our 1969 ranch home. I’ve always toyed w/ the idea of painting all the trim/doors, but this seems so daunting and stained trim is easy to keep clean! I so appreciate the advice on your site about wall color to go with oak!! My living room currently is that green with brown/yellow undertones from the 90s. It is a good fit for our trim, but needs a fresh update! Can’t wait to sample some colors you recommended. Thanks again!!

  4. Hello, your website is great! This post has been very helpful. I have a kitchen with orange/yellow oak cabinets and trim, darker floors and medium counter tops, and off white backsplash (they are all in the same color family and flow nicely). I am having trouble with what colour to paint walls as I have white appliances. I was considering gentle cream, but would that look off with white appliances?

    1. Hi! Gentle cream would actually be fabulous. The problem comes up with you get into ‘off-whites’ as they can look dirty compared to white. The great thing about Gentle Cream is that it dives head first into the ‘cream zone’ making it a non-competitor for the white. You are good to go my friend!

  5. Hi Kylie,
    Ive been searching for this type of info on pinterest/houzz for about 3 years since we moved into our 1900s house with orange/red woodwork. Im redoing our bedroom and have it narrowed down to sea salt, rainwashed and palladian blue (we have wythe blue in our kitchen and i love it!) I have deep purple curtains in our bedroom and a large dark gray rug. Any advice for choosing one of those colors or maybe one i havent considered. Thanks!


    1. Hi Anne, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! You know, I love all of those colours, but my fave is Rainwashed. I love that it’s subtle but still colourful – the others are fab as well, but I feel like Rainwashed does the job just on a softer level. If there were to be 1 more colour it would be Gray Cashmere, but really its another level softer and more gray than those colours and likely not the range you are looking at (I did almost pick Sea Salt for my laundry room though and ended up doing Behr Sliced Cucumber which was a touch more on the green side.)
      Chat soon!

  6. hi, i have light oak cabinets, black appliances and im looking to paint the walls in a blue. with a beige floor, what shade of blue would u reccomend?

  7. Im a little confused…you showed a lot of blue and green examples…but what if you dont like your oak!
    Most of the neutrals were in the gray family which can go blue…I absolutely don want green or blue…looks too 80’s to me with the oak. I am really struglling with this one!

    1. Hi! There should be some good ones to check out in there, including Muslin, Stone House, Balboa Mist and Navajo White. Now I’m working on a blog post to focus specifically on paint colours like those that won’t accent oak, but it won’t be ready for a few weeks yet!


        1. Post

          Hi Leah! I haven’t done one specifically for that, but within this post I did refer to warmer neutrals being a better way of not highlighting oak whereas greens/blues and cool tones can accent the oak. But i SHOULD do one quite specifically for it, shouldn’t I!

  8. Another great post! I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the upcoming post about oak. I’ve got a clear finish on red oak floors, and honestly, they read orange to me. To top that off, the trim and all woodwork (including my cabinets throughout) in my house are Sherwin Williams Dover White, which leans yellow. I’m beginning to think there is no grey option for me, and I’m SO bored of the color it’s currently painted, lol!

  9. Hi, terrific article! I’m having raw wood (oak) installed next week, staining it natural and getting dark chocolate cherry tables and a cherry fireplace. Vertical blinds are beige and burgundy. I’m thinking of doing a burgundy accent wall, but not positive what to do the other walls, especially the one where fireplace is going. I was thinking toasted almond, but not sure how that will look. What do you recommend? Thank you very much!


  10. Hi,
    We moved into a 1992 4 level split home a year ago. The walls were all originally painted pink!? and the last owners painted white over this, which bled through and gave all the walls a muted pink color. This really clashed with all the light oak that is throughout the home. I was perplexed to what color would go with the oak, and found your website! My husband hated the pink everywhere to say the least!
    THANKYOU! you were able to give us good ideas as to the color to choose. BTW, there are millions of colors out there, and can be so daunting as to which color and shade to pick. I stressed all last weekend, looking at colors and samples, and chips and spending hours and hours researching colors of paint.
    (We have oak throughout the home, so changing the color of the oak was out of the question.)
    I was very brave! and i choose Benjamin Moore Sharkskin. Scariest thing, worse than buying a house! Not for the faint of heart for sure! I was on pins and needles all day, and when i went home, i didnt know whether to cry or just say WOW!!! The color just pops with all our white baseboards and trim!
    It turned out wonderful! It matches the oak beautifully, and we have bold walls, just like a new house! With all my dark brown/beige accents, it looks incredible!
    I am a true fan and believer of your webpage !!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
    I tell everyone about your site now! Finally someone who actually knows what they are talking about and is willing to share it too!
    thank you! thank you! thank you!
    A Kylie M Interiors Fan!

  11. Floors and trim are oak! Trying to find a grey that I did not blue, green, purple! Painted the bedroom Essintails grey Sherwin Williams. But it looks purple. Was thinking Mindful grey or light french grey, what do you think?

    1. Hi Brenda! Sounds like you need a gray with a weeee drop of brown in it – otherwise yes, you will come up against those cool undertones for sure! From there, I would need to refer you to my E-design as I get so many questions a day, it’s hard to answer them all the right way without seeing the photos and spending some time with them! If that interest you, you’ll find my packages here… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/product-category/interior-paint-colors/

  12. We have turned our deck into an all-season room with 14 windows , cherry stained trim and cherry stained breadboard ceiling and floor.
    Everyone says to use grey on the end walls and the little spaces between the windows but both my husband and I love green so hopefully you will help me pick the right color.

  13. Our 100 year old house is filled with oak trim, beautiful but challenging. Since reds, oranges, and yellows encourage conversation and appetites, I would like to paint my dining room a color that accomplishes this. Dining room has south-facing windows and an original built in oak china cabinet. Table and buffet are dark wood and the floor is light yellow oak (no stain,) Any suggestions? Is there a red I could use?

  14. Hi there! Could I use SW Agreeable Gray or SW Repose gray with orange toned oak cabinets and floor? Thanks for the advice!

  15. Hi Kylie,
    I am absolutely LOVING all the helpful information you are sharing on your blog!!! THANK-YOU!!!! I am currently deciding between SW Repose Gray or BM Edgecomb Gray to paint the majority of my bedrooms, entryway, and hallway. Which one do you prefer? Can I use them both in different areas?

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      Well if it were me I would lean toward Edgecomb as it’s softer and warmer, more of a greige, whereas REpose Gray is a warm gray, so it’s cooler toned…And you can use them in different areas, I wouldn’t say they are totally magical together, but they aren’t bad.
      If you want any insights where I can actually see your home, you can check out my E-design, it’s affordable and fun and I can spend some quality time with your home (via photos) and with you (via the questionnaire) to come up with solutions that work!
      If that interests you at all, here’s the link… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/

      Take care!

  16. HI Kylie, I am so confused. My house was built in 1989. I have a great room, kitchen, dining and family room. All Medium Oak ( not sure if orange or brown) cabinets and trim. I have dark teal (more green than blue) countertops and have always painted the walls beige or taupe. Beige ceramic tile on the floor. Boring! I want a drastic change. Changing the woodwork is out of the question. I would like to put in a grey barn wood floor, not sure if I can. I also want my house to pop! Please help me to decide what I need to do to change my boring decor.

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      Hi Diana! Wellll, the gray barnwood look makes me nervous. I think it could look a bit too busy and mismatched…and keep in mind that the gray barnwood is GORGEOUS, but also VERY trendy. It would be ideal if you could find a wood floor with a bit more of the warmth in it, the same warmth that you would find in your existing woodwork…

  17. Hi Kylie! I love your website! What do you think about BM Revere Pewter with blond/orange parquet floors and wood work? Its a large room facing west with lots of windows.



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  18. Hi Kylie,
    I recently ran across your video on accessible beige by SW. I have a bedroom, pretty good size that has some light ( plantation shutters sun never shines directly in facing north) therefore paint I have chose in the past appears dark green when in actuality it is a lighter taupe or tan.
    I have recently purchased a tuffed linen headboard and want to lighten up the room with new paint. What are your thoughts in me choosing accessible beige? The rest of my home has warm earth tones with a rustic look.
    Any help would be appreciated.

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  19. Feel lucky to have found this. Your advice to the other readers has been wonderful. My problem is having a mixture of woods. I have a teak parquet floor, and a beautiful 1920s vanity in a similar color of wood. The rest of the furniture in the room is Golden Oak. An addition there are window shutters and closet doors made of yellow pine. Is there any way to pull this room together?

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      Hi Catherine, I BELIEVE that was BM Sea Haze 🙂 It was someone else’s image, which I’ve since taken off. I hope that helps!

  20. Loving your web site!!!! Painting my combo kitchen family room and learned a ton about paint colors from your site. We painted our orange trim decorators white but my Maple kitchen cabinets still have the orangish/yellow color. The room has windows on the north and west sides with the bigger windows being in the west. According to everything I have read colonnade gray seems perfect but wondering if it will look good against the cabinets. Im trying to minimize the orangeness of the cabinets. Would love your thoughts!! ~Robyn

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  21. Would Balanced beige with a white dove trim go with dark oak stained doors in a open floor plan ? If not what would suggest?

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  22. Hi Kylie,
    First, I really enjoy your posts! So much good information.
    What do you think about painting kitchen cabinets the same color as the walls? I have vaulted ceilings and semi open concept home; I’m contemplating painting both the walls and cabinets wool skein. Floors are medium oak.
    Marty, Cincinnati

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      Hi Marty, yes it can look good! Because you will be changing sheen from walls/cabinets/ceiling, that can provide a subtle shift that can really play nicely with a colour!

  23. Hi Kylie! Loving all of your posts – so much more than simple inspiration. You really help someone to understand how color works! I’ve been loving cream shades for my open kitchen-dining room (was painted a horrible dark green by previous owners and is North-facing), but I love the Kilim Beige above! Wondering how it will look in a room with northern light. I really want to brighten and warm it up, which shouldn’t be too difficult as I have cherry cabinets, cherry flooring and a large bay window. It looks great in the above photo, with high light, but I see that it has a lower LRV than the others I’ve been sampling. Do you think it will flatten too much in Northern light? I want to avoid a bland brown-beige kitchen and may go with Gentle Cream instead!

    Also – I have several ideas of paint colors I love (most of which I discovered on your blog) and would like throughout the house, but I’m not sure how to make it flow as I like a few different decorating styles (romantic, french country, traditional). Which e-design package would be best if I already have several colors I’m considering?

    Thanks so much!

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      Hi Mandy! Hmmmm, Kilim might make me nervous and I do worry that it will flatten out a bit as well. On another note, I DOOOO love Gentle Cream. Now depending on ‘how cherry’ your cabinets are, it might just have a bit too much warmth on the golden/yellow end, but that being said, the northern light will slow it down. I hope that helps! If not, yes, I do have my E-design and it does depend on how many rooms you’ll be doing. You’ll just need to count up the rooms that will be different colours from each other and choose the 2-5 room I would think! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/product-category/interior-paint-palettes/

  24. Is there ever a deep red/wine color that could be paired with a darker orange toned wood trim? The previous color was a green color, however I tend to lean toward the darker, richer colors.

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  25. Hi! I have red oak cabinets in my kitchen with browns/ blacks/tans in quartz counter. What color would go good with those colors and would another color trim look good? I want to change and update my trim in my house. I have a bay window in my living room and have the oak trim throughout my house. What would you suggest colorwise?

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      Hi Elisha, thank you for asking! I actually have an e-design business just for questions like yours – otherwise, I’m guessing as to what your home REALLY looks like, furnishings, floorings, exposures, etc… I do try to give as much complimentary, helpful info on my blog as possible, and if that doesn’t work, it just might be time for me to take a look! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/

  26. Totally on the struggle bus. We moved and all my previous furniture and wall colors seem to clash in the new northern lighting of the house! Your site has been so helpful! Based on this article would you say that a taupe (to be exact SW Taupe Tone) will tone down deep cherry/mahogany furniture? Or is that just too much?

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      Oh Brittney, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! We just moeved 2 months ago and our house is 100% north facing and DAMN it’s a cool gray/blue light. I knew that before we bought it, but arghh – I miss my southern light! And yes, getting into the taupe end of things, those with a slightly stronger red in them (or slightly pink/purple) can help to tone things down a bit, whereas if you did blue/green, it would enhance the cherry furniture…I might like to see a touch more of those undertones than Taupe Tone has, but it’s a good place to start!

      1. Well after many samples and many trials and MANY errors… we decided on SW Perfect Greige. It makes the cherry wood look a little more chocolaty… I guess we’re going for cozy instead of fresh and bright lol I mean unless you have a suggestion. I think I’ve purchased half the paint ever made at this point. Your site is hands down the best educational site for paint! Thank you!! #50shadesofgray #50shadesfreed

  27. I am finally removing the wallpaper from my kitchen! I planned to paint it SW Ivoire – the color on my family room which is open into the kitchen. Wow! It looks awful next to the medium oak cabinets!! Both rooms /one long room face south. Do you think SW Buff or BM Windham cream would work? I love a hint of yellow…
    Thank you for any words of decorating wisdom you can pass along!

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  28. Thanks again for the helpful advice! Is there a Sherwin Williams color that is close to Classic Gray? I’d love to use it since our cabinets are similar, but Sherwin Williams is more convenient for me. Thanks!

  29. Hi Kylie!
    Thank you so much for this article, it reassures us in our choice of Classic Gray for our MCM home. I’m torn on a ceiling color any suggestions? Chantilly Lace, White Dove or Simply White???
    Thank you,

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! I can see now why I could never get things just right in my living room. Amber colored trim & pink beige carpet. In a 9 year old house. Oy!!! The builder was either drinking too much, or needed more to drink! Anyway, we are planning to replace the carpet with wood floors, but leave the painting dilemma to the future owners. However, I’d like put on it a fresh coat of neutral paint. I’m partial to the grays that have green undertones – like Stone Harbor & I love Sedate Gray, but from what I’ve read, green is not a favorite undertone of most people. It does make the trim look nice (as nice as orange trim can get!) but will green be a total turn off? I love Gentle Cream, too, but I’m afraid it’s too light & will make the trim pop to much. The nice thing is I have 3 living spaces worth of furniture to choose from to put in the living room, so I can decorate around almost any wall color. I don’t want to over think this – okay, it’s too late for that. We’re moving & I just don’t want the walls & trim to be an eye sore. Can I pull off a miracle here?

  31. You are a genius!!! Thank you!!! To lighten our house, we took out 75% of a wall between a dining room and kitchen. Only a small pony room remained. Well, along with honey maple cabinets and black granite and beige fake marble tile floor in the kitchen the prior homeowner installed 10 years ago, and 1960s white oak in the dinning room, along with gray and white marble backsplash we added 1 year ago, .

    We followed your advice for YELLOW wood! BM Collingwood! At 25% lighter, it was still too dark for the space we were working to brighten! At 50% lighter it’s breathtaking! And it’s upgraded the look to a modern Greige!


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      It is okay, it can sometimes flash a bit cool, so it depends on your exposure. I might prefer it more with southern light and orange wood over northern light. 🙂

  32. Hello,
    This might sound stupid but I have a tendency to overthink things a bit…Thanks to your blog I choose a color and I painted my laundry room, that faces south, BM White Dove..it’s gorgeous. Washer and dryer are white.. tan tile..my problem..picking out a shelf color…for the walls..why do I struggle with this?
    Well…I could do white..or a wood…but which one, home depot had like 6 different types of wood..I wanted to cry. I freeze up and can’t make a decision..Is this normal? Anyway..white might be nice..but boring.. I do like a calm, serene look..is dark to much contrast? .Any suggestions are helpful.

  33. Fabulous post Miss Kylie! Can you tell me the color of the kitchen walls in the first picture? It’s gorgeous! Much thanks!

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      Hi Cindy! If it’s literally the first picture, the colour is SW Pure White (you can find the full blog post on my home page!). If it’s the first ‘kitchen’ photo, that’s SW Mindful Gray :).

  34. Your design majesty, please help!

    I know the post is dated, but really struggling here mama

    Kitchen is early 2000s builders brown as far as the eye can see….and facing North. Brown foor, granite, cupboards.

    Learned from your other posts I was leaning towards warmer Cloud White to offset the North, but now back to square 1 because it’s not a cool color to contrast the wood. *cries. Pale Oak was possibly planned for other rooms

    I plan on utilizing your multi-room design services, but am waiting until I got this darn kitchen paint out of the way

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      Hi Stacy! I think Cloud White sounds good! I mean, a cool colour would contrast the wood and make it ‘pop’ as it would be warm against cool. HOWEVER, contrast, as in ‘lighter vs darker’ is also a great way to do things – from what I’m reading there, I don’t see a problem at all!

  35. Hi Kylie,
    I love this post.My home is all oak floors and trim,it leans toward being orangey.How do you feel about Benjamin Moore Sonnett? I’m looking for a neutral.

  36. Hi Kylie
    I’m hoping you can PLEASE help me. We just move into a house with stained pine wood ceilings and walls in an orange brown. The kitchen cabinets which are all part of the same room are the same color along with the wood furniture. The room is pretty open to another room that we painted BM polished slate. I know more dark. The room faces south east with not much natural light coming in so pretty dark most of the time. I’d like to paint the walls in a warm off white but leave the ceiling and trim as is. I’m worried about picking a color that would be too warm with all the warmth in the ceiling and cabinets and with the green ajoining room I really don’t want anything that comes off as yellow. I think I’ve read ALL your blogs and I’m looking at all your favorite off whites. I’m leaning towards colors like Navajo White, White Down or maybe something with a little more color like bone white. I’m thinking Gentle Cream may pull too warm with all the other wood and warmth of the polished slate in the next room. White Down, with the grey could tone down the warmth some or not compliment the wood enough? I’m also afraid of going too light if that may reflect the orange in the ceiling. I want the feeling of warmth and light and fresh but not too stark or too dark with all the other dark colors. So I’m stressing out as my husband is priming the walls now. I also have medium grey sofas and a lighter beige carpet if that makes a difference. I’d really appreciate any advice you can give me!

  37. Hi Kylie
    There’s a picture on your website where tou changed fro dark to light in your family room. Bedtime your gray couch is a couch (or pub-like table with gray chairs. I have looked at every piece of furniture online, virtually (no pun intended!) EVERYWHERE links would take me— which is how I found you! I’m kinda wishing you were my BF or next door neighbor right about now!
    Anyway, can you point me to a piece like that? ? Looking for that wood and metal, but there’s a lot going on in my (previously owned) home with open floor plan. Where can I (or you) find that piece? Thanks

  38. Goodmorning Kylie,

    I previously sent a message, but 3fir the life of me I cannot find it 🌝.

    I’m in a pickle, and hoping you’ll ease up some of these difficult decisions im enduring.

    My master bedroom is in the back of my home, North and west, with one window on the West and one on the North. I’m in a colonial on 2nd floor. The window on the West oversees my neighbor’s house and roof, house being a light beigh, and roof like a beighy-orange. The North just overlooks a wooded lot, but is a ways from my window and backyard. My furniture is a dark oak, orangy-red, and i think I see some hues of yellow. Oh, my room right now is a very dark olive, and it just has to go. 🌝

    I’ve re-read several of your blogs so many times and just overwhelmed between the direction of the windows and/or furniture color, and what could possibly be a great color for walls, trim and ceiling.

    I do already have dover white on trim, and some added to ceiling paint throughout my home, Nomadic Desert and Dover in South living room, but future advice moving forward is greatly appreciated if you wouldn’t mind.

    I read you like matte on walls, and satin on trim and have never done that. I usually do satin on wall, and semi-gloss on trim. Is changing up for bedroom okay to try in bedroom.

    Again, thank you, and hope and the fsmily are well dyuring this difficult time we’re in.


  39. Hello Colour Guru!

    Your site is the Best! After reading blogs and reviews for a few weeks I just found this one which suits my situation, re orange toned trim, floor and furniture in a well lit northern exposure.

    But…..I want to go white. (Hay….I heard you gasp!!).
    Re….my target being Scandinavian Farmhouse.
    I’ve read all the info on choosing whites, and exposures and I’ve narrowed it down to BM Simply White or White Dove. Leaning more to Simply White but will know more once the Samplize order arrives. Current colour is BM Vellum so really don’t want to go into yellows again.

    Any other suggestions, Neighbour?

    Karen in Nanaimo

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      Hey Karen!!!

      Okay, so I’m a sucker for White Dove and its subtle softness. Simply White is beautiful, I just wouldn’t want its yellow to pop up in any awkward way against your orange-hues. Have you checked out SW Alabaster as well??? I mean, ALL of these have a yellow undertone, that’s what makes them warm, but we can get it quite muted :).

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      I’ve found Balboa Mist to be quite pretty with some woods that have some yellow to them. Sometimes it’s more about the surrounding finishes like the countertop/backsplash, more so than the cabinets themselves!

  40. Hi there,
    What paint would you suggest for a little girl’s room? Oak trim throughout with a light gray carpet. I would love a pale shade of pink.

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  41. This was a lovely article. Thank you. I do have a question. I am thinking of updating my kitchen. My floors do not need any work. They are stained with a vibrant orange undertone (Wood stain is Minwax Colonial Maple). If I want to “accent” my orange wood floor and trims in my kitchen (and adjoining family room that gets lots of light), what colors would you recommend I look at for the KITCHEN Cabinetry, backsplash and walls?
    Thank you in advance!

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