Choosing Cabinet Paint Colors – Gray or Creamy White?

You have probably noticed that I have kitchens on the brain and it’s going to be a hot topic for awhile.  As my regular readers know, I’m planning a small kitchen update and I am deep in the heart of choosing lighting (see my lighting post here), backsplash tile, appliances and paint.  I’m currently going around and around about paint color.

Why is choosing cabinetry paint colors so HARD?!

It’s tough enough choosing the right shade, but right now, I can’t decide whether to go gray with my kitchen cabinets or a creamy white like the trim color in my house.  Or, alternatively, we could just have them re-stained in a little bit darker brown/walnut color.


I love painted cabinets and would love to brighten up the space so I’m about 90% sure we’ll be painting them.  

We are keeping our existing counters but we are updating the backsplash (I’m still undecided about what tile).  

If we paint, I’m considering:

Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies on the walls

Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies

And Benjamin Moore Navajo White on the cabinets

BM navajo white

It’s really hard to show these colors (or any color) on a computer because they show up differently depending upon your monitor settings. 

Here is a picture of how I see these two colors playing out together:


Photo via DecorPad

I love this look.  Except, my counters are dark, so here’s another inspiration picture:

 photo PICT0123.jpg

Creamy white cabinets, dark counters and gray walls

I adore these classic and timeless looking kitchens.  

BUT, I also adore these beautiful kitchens with gray cabinetry.  This one was shared on Cote De Texas:

sally wheat kitchen_smaller

Again, it has light counters, but here’s something similar that has dark counters:

gray cabinets black countertop

 My husband isn’t a fan of the gray but I think they’re both classic and beautiful options.

Here are a few other inspiring kitchen pics that have cabinets I love:

Nine & Sixteen blog

Nine & Sixteen blog

Here’s a close-up of her cabinets.

Nine & Sixteen blog

Nine & Sixteen blog

I also love this beautiful kitchen from Life in Grace blog.  She mixes all of the colors so beautifully.  This kitchen is elegant, yet totally approachable and functional.  

Life in Grace blog

Life in Grace blog

By the way, the color on her walls in Benjamin Moore’s Hazy Skies.  


I really love the picture above that I found on Houzz so I think I’m leaning towards creamy white cabinetry.  

The Internet sure is a wonderful tool when doing research for a home update, but it can also be overwhelming!  I think my problem is that I find too many things beautiful so it’s hard to settle with just one thing.  I also know that I will be living with these choices for a long time so it makes me get a little “analysis paralysis!”

So, what do you think?  Gray, creamy white or something altogether different?  I can’t wait to hear what you think!



Don't forget to share...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

21 Responses to Choosing Cabinet Paint Colors – Gray or Creamy White?

  1. K. Henley says:

    I personally like the creamy white cabinets with the gray walls, especially with the dark counter. I love your decorating style.

    • Julie Julie says:

      Thanks so much for your input and your wonderful compliment! I am also leaning towards the creamy cabinets and the gray walls. I’m so anxious to have this done! 🙂

      Have a great day!

  2. Kathy says:

    I’ve had white cabinets in two kitchens. They are very classic and always look clean. That sounds crazy, but they really do. I’m afraid gray may be more of a trend. I’m sure whatever you do, you’ll love.

    • Julie Julie says:

      Thanks for your input, Kathy. I also think white kitchens are classic and timeless. I’m leaning towards the creamy white…I just need to find the perfect backsplash! So many decisions!

      Have a great day!

  3. JudeB says:

    I too would be tempted to go with the white, although I do love grey, but living in the UK, and having quite a dark kitchen, makes me think that grey cupboards could be a bit depressing on a dull day. Looking forward to hearing what you settle on.

  4. Allyson littleton says:

    I love the creamy white for cabinets! Classics and timeless. Walls are so much easier to change over time so I’d go with the more classic color on cabinets. Hope you all are well. We sure miss all our TX friends!

  5. Both colors are beautiful. I like the white — but the grey has just that added panache — and I’m not a fan of grey. The backsplash will be fun to find — what are you leaning towards?

  6. karen rust says:

    I don’t normally comment on blogs…..I’m not much of a talker but more of a browser…hehe I had to chime in on this post though because it hits close to home. We have a custom cherry stain on our perimeter cabinets but our island is done in Benjamin Moore Navjo White and we absolutely love it! We are slowing incorporating more of the Navajo white into our main living level also because we love it that much.

    • Julie Julie says:

      I’m so glad to hear about your experience with the Navajo white — I see all kinds of lovely pictures of it on the Internet and the color is almost identical to my trim and mantel color, so I think I will like it! Happy you chimed in on my dilemma! 🙂


  7. That’s such a hard call!! I adore the gray cabinets but wonder if it’s a trendy color. You can’t go wrong with white but do what’s calling to you. Make sense? Every other choice you’ve made in your home is beautiful. I have no doubt you’ll choose well.

    We have white cabinets with glaze on them in this house and I love it!

  8. Pauline Cordery says:

    Hi Julie,

    I would choose the creamy white colour. It would work perfectly with your countertops being dark. You saw a photo of my kitchen and we brought the countertops up the wall a little to create a backsplash. I would paint the walls a pale grey, not too dark. If you wanted to change your window treatments, then I think these colours would work well. You have quite a lot of light coming in from your window. Pewter or black drawer pulls and knobs would look great. This is so exciting!

  9. Ann Collver says:

    I have used the Navajo White on my cupboards and was well pleased with the results. Have you considered painting all cupboards the creamy white and the island and walls the gray? I think it would look sharp, plus it seems to be very stylish to have your island a different color than cupboards.

    • Julie Julie says:

      So happy to hear that you like the Navajo white in person — I think I will like it too! Yes, I was thinking the white on all the cabinets except the island (my husband would really like for it to remain stained — we’ll have it freshened up) and then painting the walls with a very light gray or maybe even another color if I find something I like better. Thanks so much for your input!


    • Pauline Cordery says:

      I agree with Ann Oliver. Painting the island a different colour is a great idea. That would look very good!

  10. Bonnie Jean says:

    I would stick with the creamy white for the cabinets. The gray , considering you have dark counters, I think might be a bit too dark depending upon the amount of natural/installed light in the kitchen. Gray doesn’t really convey warmth… I think a very pale banana(inside) yellow, a sage green, or a very pale version of a robin’s egg blue would be a bit warmer… or a very pale/not pink salmon or peach. Something warm rather than cool. Just my opinion.

  11. Cindy says:

    I’m in the process of painting my kitchen cabinets now and chose white. This will be my third kitchen with white cabinets and I just can’t get over how much I like them. I’ve chosen to paint my island a different color just because. You could do that too or you could paint the upper cabinets white and the lower ones grey. Just some ideas.

  12. martha says:

    I really enjoy your blog….I like the white shades better for your kitchen. I have such difficulty reading your posts because of the flags for Facebook, Google ,etc. I don’t know how to make them go away. I noticed the other day that someone commented on this same problem. I use Foxfire on my laptop. I didn’t have this problem before you moved. .

  13. martha says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!! I don’t have the flags anymore over the post.

  14. Sharon says:

    Your cabinetry is so pretty…I can’t wait to see what you decide!

  15. Debby says:

    I lean toward the lighter cabinets. I think the gray may date itself. White is timeless. I am in the middle of a full kitchen gut/redo. I am choosing a dark gray wall to contrast and tone the white and I love the color combo. Then I am using pops of red in the kitchen with accessories and golden yellow tones in the eat in area and dining room. They look gorgeous with gray. I too use to think gray was a cold color but it isn’t if you dress it nice. 🙂 I think it’s so sophisticated and my mantra through my entire reno has been Simple but pretty. Good Luck. I too love that you removed the flags. I think I will tune in more often now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *