A major part of a kitchen remodel is figuring out the right color palette. While this task can be a little tricky, wood cabinetry, especially maple, can add warmth, texture, and natural beauty to any kitchen design. The sturdy, rich material can also serve as an excellent backdrop for vibrant colors, interesting patterns, and curated decor.
Maple in particular is a popular wood because of its strength and neutral tone. It's commonly used in cabinetry because it can hold up in the kitchen — especially against kids who are constantly banging the doors closed — and because it also stains well if you want a darker shade. Grey Joyner, designer and owner of North Carolina-based Grey Joyner Interiors, especially loves maple cabinets for a modern aesthetic.
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When it comes to deciding what color to pair with the maple in your kitchen, though, Joyner loves going for rich neutrals and dark tones that allow the light wood to really pop. "I like to use charcoal or navy with maple wood cabinets," Joyner says. "I especially like Gentleman's Gray from Benjamin Moore as it has nice undertones that complement the maple color." On the flip side, she stays away from warmer shades like pink, red, and burgundy, as she says they won't pair well with the undertones of this particular wood.
Paint colors that go with maple cabinets are abundant, but the right hue can really highlight the tone of your wood. For instance, to bring out the warmer notes in maple wood, consider a light yellow, rich gray, or mint green shade for the wall color or tile. If you're looking to make a bold statement, opt for something a little more vibrant.
When you have wood kitchen cabinets and you're aiming for a color scheme that mirrors your personality, tastes, and decor style, it's key to think about how much or little contrast you want to create. Choosing shades from the warmer side of the color wheel will create a more cohesive look, since maple is characterized by yellow tones. But to create some visual interest and tension, go for a hue on the cooler side of the wheel.
15 Paint Colors for Maple Wood Cabinets
1. Clare Golden Hour
Yellow kitchen walls will draw out the honey-colored undertones of maple wood, resulting in a cohesive look for your culinary space. A bright shade like Clare's Golden Hour will warm up your kitchen space while amping up your cabinets. This color works especially well in a kitchen with a lot of natural light.
2. Sherwin-Williams Taiga
A dark sage green like Sherwin-Williams' Taiga brings out the earthiness in maple cabinetry. Lighter shades will work as well, so you can play around with the saturation of your paint and other decor based on how much natural light the room receives and the atmosphere you'd like to create.
3. Sherwin-Williams Moorstone
To make the most of the natural light in your kitchen, choose a pale neutral color like white, cream, or gray. Sherwin-Williams' Moorstone has a green undertone that will enhance the earthiness of maple wood. Add white stone countertops for a bright, elegant look.
4. Valspar In the Nick
If you want a bold color on your kitchen walls, try Valspar's In the Nick. A natural complement to the warm undertones of maple, blue is a striking choice that will make your kitchen look instantly happier. If such a vibrant shade feels like too much, you can try using it for an accent wall or a kitchen island.
5. Glidden Clear Yellow
Instead of pure white, go for an off-white shade instead. Despite its name, Glidden's Clear Yellow is an off-white that brings some warmth to a typically cool color. The yellow undertones of this paint will make your kitchen feel inviting.
6. Behr Vanilla Ice Cream
A light yellow like Behr's Vanilla Ice Cream will brighten up your space, especially if it's lacking in natural light. The popular shade is ideal for the kitchen, with its warm, inviting vibe. Add antique furniture and accents for a vintage vibe.
7. Valspar Sunspark
If you like yellow but want a richer shade that leans closer to orange or gold, try Valspar's Sunspark. This highly saturated color will make maple kitchen cabinets look light and bright. Pair it with a teal island for a dramatic look.
8. Glidden Oyster White
If you're struggling to choose between warm and cool colors, go with greige for the best of both worlds. Glidden's Oyster White, a light grayish beige, is just as neutral as white, but it creates a softer atmosphere and will contrast slightly less with natural wood cabinets. Pair it with taupe for a sophisticated look.
9. Behr Praying Mantis
Mint green is a current favorite in the interior design world, and it also happens to pair nicely with maple cabinets. Use Behr's Praying Mantis in your kitchen to bring a bit of the outdoors in. Mint green is a whimsical color that still feels natural alongside maple wood.
10. Farrow and Ball Salt
Maple cabinets will always pair flawlessly with white, a color that will allow you to take out the guesswork completely. Farrow and Ball's Salt is a crisp white with subtle purple undertones that you can use anywhere in your home, including your kitchen.
11. Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray
One of Joyner's favorite colors to pair with maple wood is Benjamin Moore's Gentleman's Gray. This paint combines blue and gray for a deep hue that will make your maple wood stand out. If your kitchen doesn't get a ton of natural light, use this shade as an accent behind your cabinets and paint the rest of your walls a lighter gray.
12. Clare Goodnight Moon
Another dark color to try is navy blue. Like Gentleman's Gray, Clare's Goodnight Moon will provide a perfect backdrop against which maple cabinets will pop. If you worry about your kitchen looking too dark, you can add balance with light-colored appliances, stone countertops, and other decor pieces.
13. Clare Wink
A light gray with subtle hints of purple and blue, Clare's Wink gets its name because it's not quite periwinkle, more just a wink of color. It's a fun twist on a classic that will give your kitchen a distinctive and slightly regal personality. For a bold and playful look, add accents in deeper shades of blue and purple.
14. Farrow and Ball Tar
While charcoal gray may feel dark in a kitchen, it actually pairs quite nicely with maple cabinets. Farrow and Ball's Tar is a rich shade right on the border of charcoal and taupe that will contrast with maple in a modern way. To keep your kitchen bright, go for white countertops.
15. Benjamin Moore Early Sunset
Paring warm colors like pink, orange, and purple with maple wood can be tricky because if you're not careful, they can clash. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done. A pale pink like Benjamin Moore's Early Sunset is just light enough and cool enough that it complements maple wood. If you really want a pink kitchen kitchen, go for a soft, dusty shade like this one.
Paint Colors That Go With Maple Cabinets
The yellow tones of natural maple wood may seem tricky to pair with paint colors at first, but there are plenty of great options. Cool shades like gray, blue, and green complement maple beautifully. Light neutrals like off-white and greige are also a good match. And don't be afraid of more unusual choices like soft pink and bright yellow-green.
Here are some of the best paint colors to pair with maple cabinets:
- Clare Golden Hour
- Sherwin-Williams Taiga
- Sherwin-Williams Moorstone
- Valspar In the Nick
- Glidden Clear Yellow
- Behr Vanilla Ice Cream
- Valspar Sunspark
- Glidden Oyster White
- Behr Praying Mantis
- Farrow and Ball Salt
- Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray
- Clare Goodnight Moon
- Clare Wink
- Farrow and Ball Tar
- Benjamin Moore Early Sunset