Cherry wood is known for its rich color and lustrous quality. It comes in six main varieties, which range in color from amber to dark reddish brown. Among the most popular choices for flooring is Brazilian cherry, because of its exceptional strength. On the Janka hardness scale (a measure of wood hardness), it ranks near the top, far above other common options like maple, oak, and pine. Other varieties, like black cherry, rank near the bottom.
Even within the same type of cherry wood, the color varies depending on the part of the tree it comes from. Heartwood (from the center of the tree) is typically darker than sapwood (the layer beneath the bark). Cherry also has a tendency to change color over time as it matures, and to look different depending on the light, appearing more orange or golden in brightly lit spaces.
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Because it was so popular in the '90s, this kind of wood is sometimes considered outdated now. If you're looking to modernize the look of your floors but live in a rental home or aren't ready for a remodel, a fresh coat of paint on the walls can make a big difference.
"Very often, people move into a pre-existing home with cherry hardwood flooring and want to incorporate their modern design sensibility," says Courtney Wollersheim, interior designer at FLOOR360. "Assuming their design preference follows what's trending — an earthy neutral palette and a version of farmhouse like Scandinavian or coastal or possibly midcentury modern — the first step is to tone down the strength of the floor color with wall colors in cool neutrals like greige, light creamy whites, or warm grays. Avoid paint colors that lean too warm or yellow, as they will bring out [the] redness of cherry wood."
On the other hand, maybe you love the vibrant color of your flooring and you're not looking to mute it at all. Warm colors are not off limits for you. Shades like soft pink or terra cotta can highlight the undertones of your cherry wood floor. Other factors to keep in mind include the level of contrast you're looking for and the amount of natural lighting your room receives. With plenty of light, you can go for deeper colors that may overwhelm a darker room. But if you happen to have a room with little light and love navy blue or forest green, you can also use these as accents alongside a lighter main color.
Here are 14 of the best paint colors that go with cherry wood floors, including both warm- and cool-toned shades.
14 Paint Colors to Pair with Cherry Wood Floors
1. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
You can't go wrong with white walls, especially if you choose a dimensional shade like Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. This color is bright, crisp, and clean, with a subtle depth that keeps it from looking stark. It's a particularly good option if you love your cherry wood floors and want them to be the undisputed star of the room.
2. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is an ultra-light gray that won't compete with your floors. As with other white and off-white paint, it will give a contemporary vibe to a room with cherry wood floors of any shade. This versatility means it won't matter if your cherry wood floors change color over time, as they tend to do.
3. Dutch Boy Whispered White
Dutch Boy Whispered White is a soft cream that would pair nicely with the warmer undertones of cherry wood. A light neutral, it provides a clean backdrop for vibrant hardwood floors. Choose this shade if you'd like something with a little more warmth and weight than pure white.
4. Dutch Boy Mousey Tint
A light taupe, Dutch Boy Mousey Tint is a deeper alternative to Whispered White. This shade will give your room a cozy, modern feel. For a sophisticated monochrome look, layer in other shades of taupe, brown, and cream.
5. Benjamin Moore Pink Harmony
A sweet pastel pink bordering on peach, Benjamin Moore Pink Harmony brings out the red undertones of cherry wood floors for an unapologetically warm, vibrant look. To pull off a shade like this, keep the rest of the color palette simple and go for modern, streamlined furniture.
6. Dutch Boy Native Copper
Evoke the feeling of a red clay desert with a rich, earthy shade like Dutch Boy Native Copper. Paired with dark wood floors, this rusty terra cotta will look both neutral and dramatic. Balance the color scheme with a royal blue sofa, or bring out the drama with black or burgundy. Native Copper would also make an ideal accent wall.
7. Valspar You Are My Sunshine
There's nothing more cheerful than bright yellow wall paint, especially in the kitchen, where it sets the tone for meals lovingly prepared with friends and family. A shade like Valspar You Are My Sunshine will bring out the golden and amber tones of cherry wood floors.
8. Sherwin-Williams Poolhouse
If you'd prefer a cool hue to contrast with the warmth of your cherry wood floors, consider blue walls in a shade of slate like Sherwin-Williams Poolhouse. Near-neutral but with a little more color than gray, this paint will make your space look moody and modern. It will look especially striking with wooden furniture.
9. Sherwin-Williams Waterloo
For a more dramatic alternative, opt for a dark blue like Sherwin-Williams Waterloo. Its cool tones will pop with lighter cherry wood floors, especially in rooms with lots of natural light. Alternatively, use it as an accent color alongside a lighter gray.
Classic navy blue, such as Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, works well as a dark neutral. A cool color, it balances out the warmth of cherry wood while retaining depth and drama. Pair it with lighter floors or add a contrasting rug to keep the room from looking gloomy.
11. Dutch Boy Comforting Neutral
For a monochrome look with a bit of temperature contrast, pair your warm cherry wood floors with a cool brown like Dutch Boy Comforting Neutral. Add pops of hunter green or teal for a moody look, or try a lighter shade like turquoise or pale blue.
12. Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue
Natural wood and dark green are a classic combination reminiscent of an old study or library. Choose a smoky shade like Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue to bring out the depth of your cherry floors. To complete the look, add brass fixtures and a banker's lamp.
13. Behr Frosted Sage
If you want to create a calming space, nothing does the trick faster than sage green. Choose a pale shade like Behr Frosted Sage to highlight dark, red-toned cherry wood floors. From there you can take your palette light with white or cream accents and gold fixtures, or create a dramatic color scheme with colors like black or teal.
14. Sherwin-Williams Calypso
If you want to go really bold, a bright shade of turquoise or aquamarine, like Sherwin-Williams Calypso, will beautifully complement cherry wood floors, while also bringing a sense of playfulness to your room decor. For a more subdued look, use this color for trim against pale gray walls.
Paint Colors That Go with Cherry Wood Floors
Designers are of two minds about whether you should pair warm cherry wood floors with cool- or warm-toned paints, so opt for a color and tone that suits your individual space and the atmosphere you want to create in your home. Cherry wood floors can be the dramatic highlight of a room or a home if you let lighter paint colors take a supporting role. White, off-white, beige, and cool grays are good options. Alternatively, the richness of the floor can be toned down with strong paint colors that have the depth to hold their own and neutralize the warm cherry wood. Think, sage and forest greens, navy blue, or peach and copper hues.
Here are some of the best paint colors that look beautiful with cherry wood floors:
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
- Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
- Dutch Boy Whispered White
- Dutch Boy Mousey Tint
- Benjamin Moore Pink Harmony
- Dutch Boy Native Copper
- Valspar You Are My Sunshine
- Sherwin-Williams Poolhouse
- Sherwin-Williams Waterloo
- Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
- Dutch Boy Comforting Neutral
- Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue
- Behr Frosted Sage
- Sherwin-Williams Calypso