What Color Should You Paint The Inside Of Kitchen Cabinets?

Renovating your entire kitchen can cost a pretty penny and can be a considerable inconvenience. Simply painting the kitchen cabinets can update the look of your entire kitchen on a minimal budget. You've chosen your paint color but now face a dilemma. To paint or not paint the inside, and what color should be used? We have done the work to find some solutions that may work for you. 

It is not necessary to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. However, if you choose to paint your cabinet's interior, it can be done using these methods:

  • Paint the interior and exterior of the cabinet the same color
  • Use a contrasting color on the inside of your cabinets
  • Choose a white or neutral color on the inside that compliments the exterior

Leaving the inside of the cabinets wood is also an option. Now we will dive deeper into the above methods and look at some examples of each. Additionally, we will further explore the process of painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Painting the interior of your cabinets can be a tricky and time-consuming process. Be 100% sure of your decision before you begin this process. 

Elegant interior of a kitchen area with opened kitchen cabinets and white marble flooring, What Color Should You Paint The Inside Of Kitchen Cabinets?

Should You Paint the Inside of Cabinets?

Whether or not to paint the inside of your cabinets comes down to personal preference. A coat of paint isn't necessary, as the wood in your cabinets is protected against oil vapors and grime by the exterior. You can, however, spruce up your kitchen by painting the interior of your cabinets as well. 

Maybe you want to add a pop of color or make your cabinets look more uniform. Let's explore the different styles in which to paint your cabinet's interior. 

Paint the Interior and Exterior of the Cabinet the Same Color

If you've already decided to paint your kitchen cabinets, you may want to paint the inside as well to have a cohesive, uniform look. Painting both the interior and exterior the same color creates a clean, sophisticated look. Some people don't like the contrast between the cabinet's exterior and the wood inside. 

Some homeowners choose cabinets with glass panel doors or completely open cabinets. Fancy dinnerware or other special items can then be put on display. In this instance, you would probably want the interior of your cabinet to be painted since the inside of your cabinet can be seen. Depending on the look you want to achieve, the color can be the same or different from the exterior. 

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White cabinets with gorgeous dishes inside

The cabinets in the photo have been painted white, both on the interior and exterior, creating a clean, streamlined look.

In this example, it's possible to see inside of these cabinets because of the glass panels. The white interiors seamlessly blend with the white exterior, impeccably showcasing the items on display. 

Use A Contrasting Color on the Inside of Your Cabinets

Adding a contrasting color to the inside of your cabinets will certainly be eye-catching.  The sharp contrast in color will instantly grab attention. Be careful in choosing the color. Consider using a complementary color or a shade of the same color. Also, the inside color of your cabinets should complement the other colors in your kitchen area. 

As mentioned earlier, open shelving and glass panels are a current trend in kitchen cabinetry. If your cabinets have either of these features, this is the perfect opportunity to add a little hint of color. Your cabinets will stand out using this method. 

In this instance, a gorgeous blue was used on the interior of this cabinet.  The china, dinnerware, and other items match perfectly back to the blue interior. Using the blue inside the white cabinet ties this look together flawlessly.

The hint of green on this cabinet's interior matches back to the glassware and compliments the oranges and purples in the dishware. While the green is not a bright pop of color,  it provides a charming background for the dishware to be displayed.  

Choose a white or neutral color on the inside that compliments the exterior

Gone are the days of only seeing plain wooden or neutral-colored cabinets. More and more designers are implementing color into their kitchen cabinetry. Color on the outside can be fun, but a neutral interior can offer some contrast and lightness.

A dark color on the outside can make the cabinets look heavy. A light interior can break up the darkness of the exterior. Also, if you decide down the road to repaint your cabinets, a neutral tone will always be in style. Thus, the interior won't have to be repainted. 

These beautiful green cabinets are offset with a white interior. Using the white interior provides contrast and breaks up the heaviness of the dark green. 

What Color Should The Inside of White Cabinets Be?

Any color can be used inside white cabinets. It all comes down to design style and personal preference.  A white interior and exterior are very clean and simple. Using a splash of color on the inside of white cabinets can make a huge impact. Leaving the wood alone and not painting it all is also an option with white cabinets. Here are a couple of examples.

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A rustic and boho themed kitchen using the white and brown colors

This example shows both a white interior and white exterior

These white cabinets are accented with a turquoise interior

How Do You Paint the Inside of Kitchen Cabinets?

You've decided to take the plunge and paint the inside of your cabinets. Be aware; your kitchen will be out of commission for several days. It is important to take the proper steps and not cut any corners in this process. Here are some steps to help you along.

Clean out your kitchen and cover the counters

Remove everything from the inside of your cabinets. Don't just set them on the counters. Move them to a different room.  You don't want to have to work around all that extra stuff. Cover your counters, backsplash, and anything else you don't want to get splashed with paint.

Remove the doors

Most likely, if you're painting the interior, you're probably painting the exterior. Taking the doors off will make painting them and the interior much easier. 

Clean, clean, clean

Give everything a good scrubbing. You may want to use a degreaser to remove any build-up. Do a thorough job. Paint will not stick well to a dirty surface.


Make sure the primer you select works well with your wood. Whether you choose an oil-based or water-based primer is dependent upon the type of wood you're priming. Two coats of primer may be needed to offer better coverage and protection. 

Sand and Caulk

When the primer is completely dry, sand the cabinets with 220-grit sandpaper. This will ensure a smooth texture, making it easier to paint. Fill in any cracks with caulk. After the caulk has dried, sand those areas down as well. 


It's finally time to paint! Be patient. Getting into all those corners and underneath surfaces can be tricky!  Again, consider using two coats for better coverage and longer wear. Remember, let each coat dry completely before adding another.

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What Paint is Best for Inside Kitchen Cabinets?

Oil-based paints can be a hassle and dangerous. But, latex-based paints can sometimes compromise A new hybrid called Acrylic Alkyd gives you the best of both worlds. You will be left with a beautiful, lustrous, yet durable finish. Plus, it can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

Choose a finish that is either satin or semi-gloss. These finishes are the easiest to clean and show the least amount of dirt and grime. Here are some paint options that may work for you.

  • Behr Urethane Alkyd Satin Enamel
  • Valspar Cabinet and Furniture 
  • Benjamin Moore Advance
  • Sherwin Williams Emerald or Pro Classis

Can You Spray Paint the Inside of Cabinets?

You can use a sprayer to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Spraying your cabinets can result in an extra-smooth, professional-looking finish. Also, brush strokes won't be seen using this method. Keep in mind; this technique may require some practice! You might want to practice with your sprayer and get the hang of it before you begin your cabinet project. 


Find this paint sprayer available on Amazon.

To Summarize

When it comes right down to it, the color you decide to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets is up to you! Your opinion is the one that matters most. Whether you choose to paint them the same color as the outside or add some contrast by using a different color, you can't go wrong. And if you tire of that color in several years, you can always repaint them! 

Read the following articles for more design inspiration:

What Color Walls Go With Gray Kitchen Cabinets?

13 Gorgeous Neutral Kitchen Color Schemes

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  1. I love the idea of painting the inside of my kitchen cabinets. But how do I do that without getting paint the other parts of the inside–or my arms?

    • SF – Painting can be tricky, so if you’re just beginning, paint one area at a time and let it dry. If the interior shelves are removable, take those out and paint them separately, letting each side dry thoroughly before turning. Before starting, get some painter’s tape and mask any parts that should stay unpainted. I hope it helps!

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