12 Great Paint Colors for Kitchen Islands

white kitchen cabinet kitchen island
Photo: Grace Laird Photography

Ah, the kitchen island—the unsung workhorse of the kitchen. Perhaps the most multifunctional space, the island provides a place to gather, work, and if we're being honest—drop your stuff when you walk in the door. In many homes, they add smart storage and, in an increasing number of kitchens, a pop of color. According to the Houzz 2021 Kitchen Trends Survey, 41 percent of renovating homeowners are opting for a kitchen island paint color that contrasts their cabinet color. Of those, the majority go for classic colors that never go out of style; 27 percent go for blue and 20 percent choose gray, with white and black as runners up. Whatever hue you choose, painting your kitchen island is a great way to set the tone for your kitchen, whether that's bright and bold or totally subdued. Looking for where to start? Here are some tried-and-true, designer-approved kitchen island paint colors.

01 of 12

Green Meets Gray

Maison Studio WaterColor, FL Neutral Kitchen with Shiplap Wall Backsplash
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

It only feels appropriate this serenely green kitchen is located in Watercolor, Florida. Designers Allison Smith and Anne Scott Shelley of Maison Studios used Sherwin-Williams Austere Gray (SW 6184) to achieve a laid-back coastal style. The Austere Gray pairs well with Sherwin-Williams' Creamy (SW 7012) paint color on the wall panelling and cabinetry. Together, they create a neutral, relaxing space. Perfect for a coastal kitchen feel in sunny Florida. See more of Smith and Shelley's design prowess in the rest of the home here.

02 of 12

Bold in Black

Holly Williams Colonial Revival House Renovation in Nashville, TN
Annie Schlechter; Styling: Matthew Gleason

In star musician Holly Williams' Nashville kitchen, Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black (SW 6258) provides the perfect backdrop for brass accents and vintage-meets-modern style. The black and white palette is part of a larger theme throughout the space. See more of this gorgeously curated home here.

03 of 12

Bermuda Blue

Modern Family Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

If you happen to fall in love with two good blues and find that it feels impossible to choose between the two of them… then you don't have to! Designer Amie Corley proves two shades are better than one in this Missouri kitchen makeover. Benjamin Moore's Bermuda Turquoise (728) transforms the island into the center of attention. It's contrasted by Benjamin Moore's Kensington Green (710) on the rest of the cabinetry. While the turquoise kitchen island certainly stands out and provides a fun pop of color, it also helps to make the space cohesive, as it is the perfect complementary shade. See and learn more about the design choices in this kitchen here.

04 of 12

Neutral Nautical

2019 Idea House Kitchen
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Liz Strong

Designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas infused our 2019 Idea House, located in Crane Island, Florida, with a sense of coastal calm using a palette of neutral paints. In the kitchen, Sherwin-Williams Tinsmith (SW 7657) evokes the ocean at dusk. Tinsmith adorns the walls, trim, and cabinetry, perfectly creating a calming and neutral space. See more of our 2019 Idea House and learn more about this serene-looking kitchen here.

05 of 12

Daring Deep Blue

Blue Herod Kitchen
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Adam Fortner

Interior designer Lindsey Herod uses Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue (HC-155) to transform this kitchen from blah to bold. And pairing it with the exposed, natural wood of the ceiling beam and bar stools was the perfect design choice. Using such a bold blue (or any other color) may seem daunting, but as you can see, the results are well worth taking the dive. Learn more about choosing the perfect paint color and prepping your kitchen for a makeover here.

06 of 12

Catch a Cool (Blue) Breeze

Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam Charleston, SC Home Blue and White Kitchen
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

Give "island time" new meaning with this breezy blue. Olivia Brock of Torrance Mitchell Designs coated this South Carolina kitchen in Farrow & Ball's Parma Gray (No. 27). The studio tile in the backsplash is a perfect match and an impressive accent piece that helps to accentuate the Parma Gray even more. See more of Brock's design of this South Carolina home here.

07 of 12

Surfer Pearl

Chelsea Meissner Kitchen
Jillian Guyette

Chelsea Meissner used the sandy shade Benjamin Moore Seapearl (OC-19) to ground the kitchen in her Low Country surf shack. The Seapearl painted cabinetry is the complement to the glossy, emerald Clay Imports tiles which evoke the Caribbean. See Meissner's complete and stunning home design here.

08 of 12

Gray Zone

Natasha Lawler Charlottesville Home with Gray Kitchen
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Gray often gets a bad rap as a color or design choice. Many feel that it is a boring color that seems difficult to design around. But Natasha Lawler's colorful Charlottesville, Virginia kitchen uses Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray (HC-168) to prove it can have just as much personality as any other hue. See the full tour of Lawler's home (which happens to be filled with Christmas cheer!) here.

09 of 12

A True Classic

2018 idea House in Austin, Texas Kitchen
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

For our 2018 Idea House, designer Meredith Ellis wanted to create a kitchen "that would look just as good in 20 years." So, she coated the kitchen cabinets and island in a classic, Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray (SW 7015). She wanted blue in the kitchen, and Repose Gray was a perfect choice for a neutral, complementary color. Learn more about how Ellis designed this kitchen and view our entire 2018 Idea House with a walkthrough here.

10 of 12

Airy & Bright

Ginny Stimpson's Bay House in Fairhope, AL Blue Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Homeowner Ginny Stimpson coated everything but the floor and counters in her Fairhope, Alabama, kitchen in Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light (No. 235). It may be a subtle color, but it's a bold (and worth it!) choice to cover practically everything in it. Stimpson's design choice ultimately serves to brighten and lighten up the space.

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Earthy Elegance

Dream Kitchen: The Gathering Room
Laurey W. Glenn

Designer Melanie Pounds designed this Birmingham, Alabama kitchen with the distinct intention of giving it a European flair. A few coats of Benjamin Moore's Cromwell Gray (HC-103) on the oversized island was just the ticket to achieve that. Read more about everything that went into the design of this gorgeous kitchen here.

12 of 12

Just-Right White

White Lake House Kitchen
Laurey W. Glenn

Benjamin Moore Cream Froth (2158-70) adds to a palette that's light and bright but not too stark for this Alabama lake house. It's paired with Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream (OC-96) on the walls. The Ann Sacks backsplash is a touch that helps to make the space more interesting and dynamic in the midst of neutral paint colors. See the full tour of this lakefront home here.

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