The Best White Kitchen Paint Colors to Make Your Room Airy and Bright

A coat of simple white paint can dress up even the most tired kitchen, but the endless (and all-too-similar) color options can be overwhelming. Here are our top 10 choices to help you get it right.

Suzanne Kasler White Kitchen Makeover
Photo: Erica George Dines

Gleaming white paint is the apple of the design world's eye at the moment, brightening up walls, floors, countertops, and cabinets of the most fabulous kitchens across the country. A white kitchen feels as light and airy as a spring breeze and provides a perfect canvas for decorating in vivid splashes of color. But with thousands of white paint options on the market, how do you go about choosing the best white paint for your space? It's always best to pick a few options and test them out on your walls before you buy gallons and gallons of non-refundable paint. Brushing the color directly on the walls—not just taping up swatches—will ensure that your chosen white doesn't swing bluish in cooler light or warm yellow in a sunny room. To take the guesswork out of redoing your kitchen, check out our best white paint picks for your kitchen island, cabinets, walls, and floors.

Benjamin Moore Linen White

Designer Suzanne Kasler updated what was an overly dark Atlanta kitchen with the creamy white cabinets and walls pictured here. For a seamless look, she chose to paint the walls, trim, cabinetry, and ceiling all with Benjamin Moore's Linen White (OC-146) in the same eggshell finish. To keep the monochromatic space from becoming too stark, she added contrasting metal pendant lights, bright fabrics, and a dark stain on the refinished wood floors.

Benjamin Moore White Dove

Our go-to white paint for cabinets and trim is White Dove (OC-17) by Benjamin Moore. This classic, slightly creamy paint will make your all-white kitchen gleam—not blind. For cabinets, it's best to avoid ultra-pure shades of white, as they tend to lend a chilly feel to a kitchen. This shade will make your cabinets and trim look luminous in any light (including natural, diffused, or bright overhead), and though it technically resides in the "off-white" family, White Dove will read as a bright, cheerful, and clean shade of white in any space.

Benjamin Moore Winter White

"Probably 95% of the kitchens we're asked to design are white," says Alabama kitchen designer Cyndy Cantley. "It's so classic, doesn't date itself, and always looks pretty." Cyndy likes to coat the ceiling, cabinets, and walls in Benjamin Moore's Winter White (2140-70), a fresh, bright shade with a blueish-gray undertone. When making her selection, she makes certain to choose a color that complements the warm or cool veining of the countertops.

Benjamin Moore Snow White

Little Rock designer P. Allen Smith selected another cool white, Benjamin Moore's Snow White (OC-66), for cabinets, walls, and trim throughout his kitchen and cottage. The blue-hued white is as bright as a wintery day, providing an excellent contrast for dark floors. This color will look cheeriest in a south-facing kitchen with plenty of sunshine and warmest when accented with wood finishes.

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

Benjamin Moore's Swiss Coffee (OC-45) is our top pick for warm white walls. Swiss Coffee makes the perfect backdrop for all-white cabinets and trim in an eggshell finish for medium-to-large spaces or a satin finish in a super-small kitchen. A favorite among designers for its versatility and depth, Swiss Coffee is a creamy, sophisticated white—it will complement and enhance other shades of white in the room without appearing cold or stark, especially in kitchens that get a lot of natural light. Tip: Extend this color to coat your ceilings, as well, for a uniform look and a warm, friendly glow in the evenings.

Farrow & Ball All White

Painting your floors is a smart, budget-friendly option if you can't find room in your current renovation budget to refinish worn-out wood planks. If you go this route, make sure to take the proper preparation steps—including a light sanding and a deep cleaning—and spring for a high-quality paint formulated specifically for floors. Our favorite is All White (No. 2005) by Farrow & Ball. It's pricey, but worth it for its ability to hold up for years in high-traffic areas.

Farrow & Ball Pointing

If you're looking to make your trim pop, Farrow & Ball Pointing (No. 2003) will do the job with style. The color was inspired by the bright white pointing in masonry, but with a slightly warm undertone. Pointing is our top choice for highlighting ornate trim and results in the cleanest, crispest look. The glossier the paint, the more visible every line (and imperfection) will be.

Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory

Our former Southern Living Style Director turned decorator Heather Chadduck Hillegas prefers Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory (SW 7541) for cabinets that get a lot of use. "There's such a softness to the look, and it hides dirt well," Heather says. The ivory-greige hue complements brighter whites and can look warmer or whiter, depending on the light.

Sherwin-Williams Creamy

With Sherwin-Williams' Creamy (7012), the name says it all. This dreamy hue is an excellent choice for balancing out cooler colors in a kitchen. "My favorite colors are blue-green tones and the shades of old wicker and worn rugs—mostly hues you'd see outdoors here," says Florida homeowner Nikki Colquitt. Her designers at Maison Studios painted the kitchen cabinets in a gray-green (Sherwin-Williams' Austere Gray, SW 6184) and then painted the shiplap paneled walls and ceiling in Creamy to keep the room light.

Sherwin-Williams Pure White

The light but soft hue of Sherwin-Williams Pure White (SW 7005) is one of our top choices for kitchen ceilings and walls. This paint color has a touch of gray that pairs well with cool colors. Pure White will make your kitchen feel open and expansive while creating a clean backdrop for more saturated colors.

Do you consider yourself bright and cheery or are you more earthy and chill? Take the "What's Your Signature Color?" quiz to find out what color palette best complements your style!

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