By Susan Hall Mahon
October 03, 2019
Photo: Amy Neunsinger

Color trend season is upon us, with paint companies releasing their forecasts for the new year (blues and greens are having a moment, according to Sherwin-Williams, PPG, and Behr). But what’s actually happening inside people’s homes when it comes to paint?

Now we know which colors Americans are gravitating toward in the kitchen, thanks to Paintzen, a company that helps homeowners pick paint colors and hire skilled house painters. The company recently compiled years of data to determine which paint colors were used most commonly on kitchen cabinets in their clients’ homes.

Courtesy of Paintzen

The results are five colors that trend toward the neutral end of the spectrum, with white, putty, and gray hues winning out: Delicate White, Toasted Almond, Dover Gray, Magical Moonlight, and Stargazer.

“We were able to see that timelessness is still "in-style,” with classic colors such as white and gray being on trend,” says Meghan Stewart, a color consultant at Paintzen. “We also saw these colors again and again throughout all markets we service, not just one single geo location.”

Photo: Annie Schlechter; Stylist: Liz Strong

While all five colors earned a top spot, classic white is a constant winner with homeowners. “Our number one request is to paint cabinets white, especially if they are currently stained,” Stewart says.

Choosing timeless shades like these helps homeowners feel confident that their kitchen will stay in style for longer, Stewart says. “It also gives them the flexibility to play with items in the space such as furniture, decor accents, and area rugs.”

The colors that landed at the bottom of the popularity pile were warm, saturated shades, like reds, oranges, and yellows, Stewart says. “You will see a deep navy or green every now and then though.”

If you’re ready to revamp your kitchen cabinets with a new shade, there are several elements to consider other than your color preference alone. The amount of natural light, kitchen size, and number of cabinets are important to consider when choosing a cabinet color.

“If your kitchen receives a lot of natural light, you can opt for a warmer color since you don't need to rely on the paint to brighten the space,” Stewart says.

"Typically though, we see that clients are using paint to bring energy to a room, which leads to cooler whites being used in kitchens and bathrooms," she says. The only caveat here is that the lighter the color used, the more easily you’ll be able to see fingerprints and dirt.

Related: Our Favorite Paint Ideas for Beach House Kitchen Cabinets:

“If you have a lot of cabinets and are working with a larger room, that's a good case to either paint cabinets a darker color or at least the bottom half of them,” Stewart says. “Since there's ample room, and especially if it receives a lot of natural light, you can use darker shades without making the space feel cramped.”

And one final reminder from Stewart: Once you’ve settled on your perfect kitchen cabinet color, “always remember to use paint that’s specifically formulated for cabinets that's durable and easier to wash.”