The BEST Kitchen Wall Color For Oak Cabinets

June 8, 2015

I wrote about it here, what I know to be the best wall color in a kitchen with oak cabinets/flooring:

oak cabs


It has been such a popular post, which means many are still looking for that perfect kitchen wall color.

Well, now you can stop searching!

green kitchen


The paint color that works best with the oak is a green with yellow undertones:

oak cabinets 2


Since writing that post in 2012, I have helped many select colors for their kitchens with existing oak cabinets. My conclusion is the same:

oak kitchen


A green with yellow undertones such as SW 6415 Hearts of Palm:

sw hearts of palm


Benjamin Moore Agave AF-420:



Benjamin Moore Georgian Green: HC-115

georgian green


The proof is in the photos! A pretty sage green will look amazing with your oak cabinets! Trust me!


  1. Yes, it’s true, sage green does look great — it did when we painted in 2009 and it still does. But, I am so tired of it! We have oak all through the house and I need a change!

    • Susan is looks like the Perfect Griege would work because it is a darker color. I would get a sample can and paint on poster board and look in the kitchen with different lighting. If you want to send picture, that would be great!

  2. Can you please tell me what color is on the wall in the top photo of this post? It’s the photo with the medium oak cabinets and the black/brown granite countertop. There is a bowl of fruit on the island. Thanks!

  3. I can’t tell you how many colors I have tried, but I finally found a color that I feel works great for my decor. We live on a lake and have oak cabinets, floor and natural wood trim throughout with dark mahogany accents (like the spindles in our staircase). I’m partial to blues and browns. With that said, I tried a chocolate color and it made everything pop while adding an elegant rustic feel. I’ve had many compliments. Just thought I would add my two cents for someone not partial to green.

  4. Kelly, I am moving into a new home with oak cabinets and bamboo hardwoods (similar oak tone). The paint now is a very yellow beige and it all feels too yellow/gold for me. We are going to paint ASAP. I am really in love with two paint colors, but not sure if they would work. I love Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay and Benjamin Moore Cocoa Butter. Do you think either of these would work? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Katie,

      Cocoa Butter has red undertones that I am afraid will clash with the oak. Oyster Bay is a beautiful color and should work well! Just to be sure, I would paint a sample board of 6206 Oyster Bay and 6207 Retreat- just a bit darker that might stand out nice. Let me know what you decide!

      • Kelly,

        Thank you so much for your help. I ended up going with Oyster Bay at 50% color. It turned out AMAZING! It looks so good with the oak floors and cabinets, as well as the stainless appliances! I would love to send you before and after pictures. How can I send them to you? I would HIGHLY recommend the color we chose to anyone with similar oak tones.

  5. I am at a loss. Just purchased a house with golden oak trim and cabinets in the large kitchen. The flooring is 10″ square white ceramic tile with 3″ cobalt blue tiles at the adjoining corners. Counters are white tile with a Laura Ashley trim tile in a pattern called Bramble Berry. I am pulling off the ‘Bramble Berry’ wallpaper but cannot change the tiles at this time. I do not care for the ‘country’ look, and would really appreciate help with a paint color for the walls. Thank you so much.

    • Because of all the white Maria, I would not suggest Grant Beige, (which works well with oak). I like the green paint colors the best with oak and also a terra cotta color would work well.

      • Thanks, Kelly. The accent tile on all the counters (the ‘Bramble Berry) has blue and green in it and the floor has cobalt blue 3″ sq. tiles along with 10″ sq.white, so the terra cotta probably wouldn’t work. Do you think a green would look ok since the floor is cobalt blue and white?

        • I agree Maria. You said the tile has green in it. Try to get a color close- look at BM Agave, or BM Georgian Green. Do either of those come close to the green in tile?

          • No, not quite. I’m confident I could find a green that goes with the tile, however I’m concerned green walls might not look well with my floor tiles which are white with cobalt blue accent tiles at the joining corners. Thanks for all your help, Kelly!

          • Kelly,
            I have Valspar Paris Mint in my living room which is back to back with my dining/kitchen area. I too have oak cabinets and wood trim in my kitchen. I like the Oyster Bay but would it clash with my living room? Any suggestions would be great.

          • Hi Jane, To be honest with you, I do think the Oyster Bay will clash. A lot of purple undertones in that color. I also am not sure how it will work with your cabinets. The Paris Mint is beautiful- and will work great with your oak cabinets. How about using a darker version of the Paris Mint in the kitchen? The contrast will look great! Hope this helps you.

  6. HI Kelly, I have oak cabinets as well and am trying to decide on a paint color for my kitchen. Do you think SW Pavilion Beige or SW Nomadic Desert would work? I’m adding granite counter tops with neutrals and black. Thank you! Amy

    • I would stay away from the SW Pavilion Beige because of the red undertones. The SW Nomadic Desert looks like yellow undertones but I have never used it to be honest so I am not certain if it will work. Be sure to try a sample before you chose a color.

      • Thank you for your response. Can you suggest a beige or taupe shade that you think would work, even if it’s not made by SW? I don’t want it to be too light, yet not too dark. Thank you so much.

          • Hi Kelly, we have oak cabinets and bought light beige tile, worried it looks too blah. Wouldnlack granite patterned counter. Does floor have to contrast or match cabinets?
            Jane, Texas

          • Hi Jane,
            Yes, I think a black granite counter would look nice and bring in some contrast. Floors should not contrast, or match cabinets because it will look like you are trying to match and it never works. Better to keep your floor a medium neutral that works with everything. Hope this helps!

  7. What color is the green in the top picture above? Is there a Sherwin Williams green you recommend- my kitchen cabinets, flooring, and granite look almost identical to the 3rd picture about and I’d love specific names to consider. My kitchen opens to my living room which is done in navy and tans.

  8. I have medium oak cabinets (1985) and a walnut color trim/moulding throughout the house. My husband wants to paint the cabinets white. I’d rather leave them. Could you suggest a paint color for the walls?

  9. Hi, our cabin has light knotty pine kitchen cabinets in an open floor plan. There is also a peaked cedar ceiling. The walls are currently painted white, which seems a little cold. We have a bank of east facing Windows which let in lots of light, but in the evenings I would like a paint color with warmth. Do you have any suggestions? I am seeking a warm neutral, but am not overwhelmingly fond of green. Thanks in advance.

  10. Hi, I love all the comments! I also have oak kitchen cabinets and oak hardwood flooring. I currently have a blueish wall color but am looking to find a color that would blend in with my living room, which is a kind of beige wall color, with black furniture and bard red décor. I’d like to pain my kitchen a color that would not clash with the barn red. Do you think the Georgian green color would work well?

  11. Hi Kelly,
    I just purchased a house that has darker hard wood floors with a slight hint of red, the trim and window casings are a honey oak color. My living room is currently painted a taupe color and I’m looking to repaint to a more masculine color. Do you by any chance have any suggestions for this bachelor that isn’t particularly fond of green? I might add that I have an open floor plan and the kitchen has hickory cabinets. Any advise you could offer would be much appreciated.

  12. I am stumped. I have a kitchen/dining that joins the living room/hall area. I have painted the living/hall in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I love it. I was thinking a darker grey for the kitchen/dining to make the Revere Pewter look a little greyer. But the sample I got of SW Elephant Ear makes it look like a warehouse. I have a lot of light in the kitchen/dining. I have Early American Oak cabinets, dark granite countertop, and light pecan floors. Painting the door facings and baseboards white. Any suggestions?

  13. I also have honey oak kitchen cabinets with cream tile floor. Just installed new Venetian gold granite. Would love to bring in some blue that would tie in with the blue in my accent tile for backsplash. I have oak chair rail also. Was thinking oyster bay on bottom and 50% oyster bay for top. Trying to keep the room light.

  14. I need some help with paint colors! I’d love to paint our whole upstairs. I’m looking for a farmhouse type look but I’m not changing our cabinets, which are oak. We have hardwood floors all throughout the upstairs. I have a few colors I picked from SW. I like Sea Salt and Rain. Any suggestions? I’ll try sending pictures.

    • Hi Carli,

      I would need to see photos to help you with colors for your home. If you would like to work together, I do online color consultations. It’s easy! You send me a few photos of the room and a brief description of what you are looking for. I charge $45.00 per color to make sure you get the perfect choice to work with your home. Let me know. Thanks for writing!

    • We painted our bathroom with medium stained oak cabinets and our bedroom with the same color trim with Behr Catheral Gray PPU18-14. I love this color and it works well. I have such a hard time picking paint colors normally, but this one worked!
      Kelly, I was so excited to find your site today! I see lots of pictures online but hardly anyone ever states the color or manufacturer. I’ve written down all your suggestions and can’t wait to go get the chips tomorrow! We are trying to update our downstairs now – same oak cabinets and trim. Thank you so much!!!

  15. I have oak cabinets and oak hardwood floor in kitchen with open concept into family room. Counter top is green with grey and white specs. Would like to use a sw whit color. Any suggestions. Oak furniture and brown leather sofa. I painted the formal living room with Behr beachfront. Trying to go with a coastal style.

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