Gray kitchen cabinets are having a major moment right now. This versatile neutral works with almost any style, from traditional to modern. But with so many gray shades and undertones to choose from, it can be tricky to select the perfect gray for your kitchen remodel or redesign.
We’ll cover light, medium, and dark gray shades with both warm and cool undertones. We’ll also give tips on how to select the ideal gray to complement your kitchen’s size, layout, and aesthetic.
How to Pick the Perfect Gray for Your Kitchen
Choosing gray paint for your kitchen cabinets goes beyond just selecting a color you like. Here are some key factors to consider:
Consider the Size and Layout
The size and footprint of your kitchen should impact your gray choice:
- Light grays like Benjamin Moore Pale Oak and Foggy Day can open up and brighten a small kitchen.
- Deep charcoal grays like Benjamin Moore Black Pepper add cozy intimacy to a large eat-in kitchen.
- Soft medium grays like Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray work well for average kitchens.
Match the Style of Your Kitchen
Let your kitchen’s style guide your gray selection:
- For modern designs, cool-toned grays like Benjamin Moore Galaxy Gray or Revere Pewter create a sleek, contemporary look.
- In traditional kitchens, warm grays like Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray and Revere Pewter give a cozy, classic feel.
- Distressed, matte grays like Farrow & Ball’s Skimming Stone add cottage character.
Complement Other Elements
Make sure your gray cabinets pair well with other finishes:
- Warm grays with yellow/red undertones match wood flooring and granite.
- Cool grays complement marble and quartz countertops.
- Avoid matching cool-toned grays with cool tiles or stainless steel.
Look to Photos for Inspiration
Browse Pinterest, Instagram and design sites for gray cabinet ideas. Curate an inspiration folder to narrow down colors.
Test Colors In Your Space
Order samples and paint swatches to view grays in both natural and artificial light before fully committing. You can even paint a throwaway cabinet door before taking the plunge.
The 10 Best Gray Paint Colors
Based on popularity and versatility, here are our top 10 gray paint color recommendations for kitchen cabinets:
1. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
A gorgeous neutral that works everywhere. Its subtle blue undertone pairs nicely with white marble.
2. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
A light warm gray with hints of brown and green. Beautiful on Shaker style cabinets.
3. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
A very soft, pale gray with a greige (gray-beige) undertone. Brightens any kitchen.
4. Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray
A dark, nearly black charcoal perfect for dramatic statement cabinets.
5. Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray
A mid-tone matte gray with green undertones. Works in modern and transitional spaces.
6. Benjamin Moore Horizon
A light blue-gray that creates an open, breezy look. Stunning with marble.
7. Behr Peppercorn
A deep charcoal gray that instantly makes a bold impact. Use in well-lit rooms.
8. Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
A calming, versatile neutral that works with any style. Warm without looking muddy.
9. Behr Gray Screen
A green-gray that provides subtle color without looking too bold or trendy.
10. Valspar Shiitake
A dark gray-brown that pairs well with stainless steel and glossy cabinets.
Tips for Painting Your Cabinets
Once you’ve selected the perfect gray, use these tips for a flawless painted cabinet finish:
- Clean cabinets thoroughly and sand to rough up the surface.
- Prime first for better paint adhesion and coverage.
- Use high-quality cabinet paint in satin, semi-gloss or high-gloss sheens.
- Apply with a fine-tip paintbrush for a smooth finish.
- Finish with polyurethane for added protection and durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most popular grays for kitchen cabinets?
Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, Chelsea Gray, Coventry Gray, and Revere Pewter are some of the most sought-after gray cabinet colors.
What gray is best for a small kitchen?
Softer pale grays like Farrow & Ball Shadow or Benjamin Moore Horizon will maximize light and space in a small kitchen.
Should I avoid light or dark gray cabinets?
Both light and dark gray cabinets have their pros and cons in terms of maintenance and aesthetic. Choose based on your goals for the overall kitchen look and feel.
How does lighting change the way grays look?
Lighting can impact undertones – a gray may read slightly more blue or green in natural vs. artificial light. Always test samples in your actual kitchen lighting before deciding.
Gray kitchen cabinets offer flexibility to complement any design style. Follow this guide to pinpoint the flawless gray paint color for your next kitchen refresh. With the right shade and preparation, you’ll have a stunning and timeless kitchen you’ll enjoy for years to come.