A color expert’s advice for the best white paint for kitchen cabinets
Whether you’re painting kitchen cabinets, planning your kitchen in a new build or renovating your current kitchen with new cabinets, this is your one-stop-shop for choosing the absolute best white paint for your kitchen cabinets.
More than just selecting a white hue that you like, you’ll need to make sure it coordinates with the other elements in your kitchen and home.
I’ll walk you through exactly how you go about deciding on the right white for your countertop, backsplash and other fixed elements in the room. Let’s just say you’ll be a white paint color expert after this!
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The 6 best white paint colors for kitchen cabinets
These 6 whites should give you a good starting point, and hopefully one of these white colors will work for your kitchen. The first three whites in this list are considered true whites, free of undertones. These are bright whites! I’ll give you a good idea as to when you should select these.
The last three whites are off-whites. These are soft whites that either have yellow or greige undertones. These whites cannot be used where bright whites should be used and vice versa.
By the end of this post you’ll have a good understanding about which type of white you can use depending on the fixed elements in your kitchen like the floors, countertops and backsplash.
High Reflective White
Kicking off this list with one of the brightest whites out there–Sherwin Williams High Reflective White .
High Reflective White is an ultra bright white free of any undertones, and although the next two whites in my list are also considered true whites, High Reflective White is brighter than both of my next two recommendations.
High Reflective White needs to be paired with cooler elements to look cohesive. Think marble countertops, backsplashes on the cooler side, etc. You don’t want to use an ultra bright white with elements that have off-white tones–trust me, it won’t look good.
Look at the below picture to get a feel for what type of countertops pair nicely with High Reflective White .
If you test High Reflective White (or the other two true whites on this list)and you think you want something even brighter, try out Sherwin Williams Extra White.
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
A tried and true favorite white, Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is considered a true white, free of any undertones, if you can believe it! If High Reflective White was too bright, Chantilly Lace might hit the spot.
Now, this bright white may sure be popular, but it isn’t for every kitchen. This white doesn’t even have a hint of a soft undertone in it, so if your countertops/backsplash even have a whiff of a soft white undertone in them, Chantilly Lace is totally out.
You’ll need to pair Chantilly Lace with the whitest of white countertops to make it really work. I’m talking marble or some quartz/quartzite that is white with blue undertones.
The “darkest” of the true whites on this list, Snowfall White is just a bit softer than Chantilly Lace and High Reflective White. It’s softer in that it’s not quite as bright, but it’s still a true white, so there aren’t any yellow undertones in it.
I’d go with Snowfall White if your decor demands a true white, but you felt like the other two suggestions were just a bit too bright.
In addition to marble, Empira White quartz would also be a good match for Snowfall White:
The brightest off the off-white paint colors on this list, Cloud White has been a Benjamin Moore crowd favorite for years. Just like with all white paint colors, you have to be careful with Cloud White, as it doesn’t work for every room.
Cloud White has a yellow undertone and some greige to it, but it’s significantly more yellow than White Dove (review below).
Cloud White must be paired with an off-white countertop. If you put cloud white with a bright white countertop or backsplash, it will make your cabinets yellow!
Below is a sample of Brittanica Warm, that would work well with Cloud White.
Hands down, one of my favorite whites is Benjamin Moore White Dove. But even though this is one of my favorites, it’s still not a white I recommend each and every time. White Dove is definitely an off-white.
I really like White Dove because while it’s an off-white, it’s quite a bit versatile. It has more of a grey undertone in it, rather than a yellow (like you typically see with off-whites).
It’s absolutely a softer white, but it isn’t overly creamy. Now, I wouldn’t pair White Dove with marble countertops, but, it is going to be more flexible than your typical off-white, meaning, if the countertops you select seem like a cross between true white and off-white, you can’t go wrong with White Dove.
Below I have a sample of cambria brittanica, a popular shade of white quartz that looks very nearly white but has a bit of an off-white tint to it. This looks fabulous with White Dove, especially with the softer gray veining speaking to the gray undertone in White Dove.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster is the darkest of the off-whites on this list. The yellow undertone in Alabaster adds significant depth to this paint color and really works to soften up a space.
You can’t pair Alabaster with cool tones, you’ve got to go with something much warmer. The sample of Brittanica Warm would work well with Alabaster.
Helpful tips on choosing a white cabinet paint
How do I pick a white paint for my kitchen?
Without a doubt, you must compare your countertops and your backsplash to your cabinet color. Beyond that, you’ll want to make sure your flooring and adjoining rooms are harmonious with your cabinet color, as well.
I’d bring paint samples to the stone showroom to compare. The small samples you can get to take home with you are really too small to make a paint color decision. You can either paint white paint samples on white poster board or bring those peel and stick samples (the best idea!!) for the most accurate color reading.
If you have absolutely no idea where to start in terms of which white paint is going to work with your kitchen make sure to get several samples from this list.
I promise once you compare the large scale samples with your kitchen’s countertops and backsplash, you’ll know very easily which is too warm and which white is too cold.
I’d also recommend you take a look at one of my very helpful posts on white paint colors. Did you know that there are actually three shades of white paint?
You can’t just select any paint color with the name “white” in it or you’ll quickly realize the “white” you chose is actually an off-white and your marble countertops or stark white quartz will make your paint color look yellow.
Likewise, you don’t want to choose a stark white paint option and then pair it with an off-white countertop.
You might even realize after this exercise that you don’t need a white paint color, but rather a cream would work much better for your warmer countertops. No worries, check out my guide on cream paint colors here.
Your kitchen walls do not have to be white to match your white cabinets. Check out some of my paint options for kitchen colors with white cabinets here.
Are white cabinets going out of style in 2022?
As far as I’m concerned, white cabinets will never go out of style. As long as you choose a classic backsplash (something fairly neutral like subway tile in a solid color) and a complementary countertop material, your white kitchen will look timeless. If you need help choosing a backsplash for your white kitchen, make sure you check out my post on backsplash ideas for white cabinets.