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Is blue a good choice for kitchen cabinets?

Is blue a good choice for kitchen cabinets?

When choosing a color for kitchen cabinets, blue is a popular option to consider. Blue kitchen cabinets can create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, add visual interest, and allow you to incorporate your own personal style. However, before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of blue kitchen cabinets. This article will discuss factors like light, undertones, styles, combinations and more to help you determine if blue is the right choice for your kitchen design.

How Lighting Affects the Look of Blue Cabinets

One of the most important considerations when choosing any cabinet color is lighting. The amount and type of light in your kitchen can significantly impact how blue cabinets appear. Here are some key things to know:

– Natural Light: Blue can take on different hues depending on the time of day and amount of sunlight. Morning light often makes blue look crisp and clean, while afternoon light warms up the tones. Be sure to view cabinet samples at different times to see how the color shifts.

– Artificial Light: Cool white bulbs will emphasize icy blue tones, while warm white bulbs bring out more green undertones. Consider the type of lighting you’ll use most when deciding on a blue shade.

– Dark Spaces: Lighter blues can start to look dull and flat in dark kitchens without sufficient light sources. Opt for bright, bold shades of blue for darker spaces.

– Reflective Surfaces: Blues tend to take on the tone of surrounding materials and colors. If you have warm wood floors or countertops, this will likely influence the cabinet color.

Testing out samples and lighting is the best way to gauge how blue cabinets will look in your unique kitchen lighting. Pay attention to how the shade changes throughout the day.

Factors that Influence the Look of Blue Cabinets

From bold and dramatic to light and airy, there are many shades of blue to choose from. Here are some factors that impact the overall look and feel of blue kitchen cabinets:

– Undertones: Blues can lean cool, warm or neutral. Cool blues with purple undertones are bolder, while warm blues with green or yellow undertones have a softer, more traditional look.

– Saturation: Saturated blues are vivid and bright, while desaturated blues are more mellow. Consider the look you want to achieve.

– Sheen: Glossy cabinet finishes make blues appear more vibrant. Matte or satin finishes offer a more muted effect.

– Pattern and Style: Solid blue cabinets make a bigger splash. Blue patterns like stained glass or painted shapes have a more eclectic personality.

– Surrounding Colors: Blues contrast nicely with warm neutrals and pops of orange, red or yellow. Pairing different cool hues together can be more challenging.

Take these nuances into account when selecting a specific shade. Samples in different finishes are the best way to visualize how the factors above will influence the overall kitchen cabinet color.

Popular Styles of Blue Kitchen Cabinets

From contemporary to cottage, here are some of the most popular kitchen design styles that can be complemented by blue cabinets:

Contemporary: For a sleek, modern look, bold blues work well. Glossy finishes and clean lines emphasize the contemporary aesthetic. Dark navy or vibrant electric blue are striking options.

Transitional: Blue-gray cabinets with a weathered or washed finish create a nice transitional look between traditional and contemporary. Soft green-blues also straddle these two styles nicely.

Beach: For a casual, coastal vibe, look for light aquas or airy sky blues. Whites and natural wood textures accentuate the beachy appeal.

Cottage: Robin’s egg blue and pale cerulean work beautifully for a whimsical cottage kitchen. Pair with painted white cabinets for extra charm.

Eclectic: Make a bold, artistic statement by mixing and matching different blue finishes and textures. Add pops of contrasting colors for extra punch.

Traditional: Dusty blue, French blue and navy suit traditional kitchens. Matte finishes and simple cabinet fronts maintain the classic look.

Select a blue that aligns with your overall kitchen design vision. Consult magazines and Pinterest for style inspiration.

Appropriate Color Combinations with Blue Cabinets

Color coordinating blue kitchen cabinets with other elements is key to creating a cohesive look. Here are some go-to combinations:

– White: Crisp, bright white is a classic pairing for all shades of blue. It creates a clean and timeless look. White uppers with blue lowers is a popular option.

– Wood Tones: Warm wood cabinetry, floors and accents balances out cool blue hues. Oak, walnut and cherry complement blues especially well.

– Black: For dramatic contrast, pair rich navy cabinets with black granite counters or black hardware. Glossy finishes enhance this bold look.

– Greige: Sophisticated blue-grays work seamlessly with greige walls and backsplashes, which have beige and gray undertones.

– Yellow: Cheerful daffodil yellow gives pale blues extra pop. Use sparingly as an accent color for maximum impact.

– Metallic: Mixing metallic hardware, lighting and appliances with blue cabinets adds intrigue and sheen. Silver, gold and copper all pair nicely.

Always view color combinations in person before making final kitchen design decisions. Lighting will influence how the colors work together in your space.

Key Considerations When Choosing Blue for Kitchen Cabinets

Here is a summary of the key factors to keep in mind as you decide if blue is the right color choice:

– Lighting – Make sure the blue looks appealing in your kitchen’s lighting all day.

– Undertones – Decide if you want a warm, cool or neutral blue based on the overall look you want.

– Shade Variations – Pick a blue hue that coordinates with your preferred kitchen style and color scheme.

– Contrasts – Include wood tones, metals or accent colors that complement the blue.

– Finishes – Satin and matte finishes mute blue hues, while glossy finishes intensify them.

– Personal Taste – Choose a blue you genuinely love and that reflects your personality. Don’t worry aboutpassing trends.

– Vision – Picture your dream kitchen and decide if blue cabinets align with the aesthetic and atmosphere you want to create.

Taking the time to carefully evaluate these factors will ensure you end up with your ideal blue kitchen cabinets.

Pros of Using Blue as a Kitchen Cabinet Color

Here is an overview of the top benefits that blue kitchen cabinets can offer:

– Timeless – While trends come and go, blue remains a classic, versatile cabinet color suitable for all styles.

– Soothing – Pale to mid-tones of blue evoke feelings of tranquility and relaxation in the kitchen.

– Appetizing – Blue can stimulate the appetite, making it an appealing color for kitchens and dining spaces.

– Unique – Blue cabinets make a refreshing change from ubiquitous white and brown kitchens.

– Adaptable – The wide range of blue shades means you can find a hue to match any style.

– Durable – Many blue paint finishes stand up well to bumps, grease, moisture and wear-and-tear.

– Stylish – From navy to robin’s egg blue, the color looks eternally chic and sophisticated.

– Natural – Blues found in nature, like sky blue and cerulean, feel innate to the kitchen.

– Timeless – While trends come and go, blue remains a classic, versatile cabinet color suitable for all styles.

Painting or staining your cabinets blue is a simple yet dramatic way to infuse your kitchen with personality while staying highly functional.

Potential Cons of Blue Kitchen Cabinets

Despite their many advantages, blue cabinets do come with a few cautions to keep in mind:

– Cool Tones – Some shades of blue can give off an icy, uninviting feel in a kitchen if not balanced properly.

– Limiting – Too much blue can feel overwhelming. Use it judiciously in combination with warm neutrals.

– Trendy – Very bold or unconventional blues may look outdated down the road. Opt for more flexible hues.

– Impractical – Super dark blues show every fingerprint and spill. Medium robin’s egg or periwinkle blues hide messes better.

– Resale – Blue cabinets may deter some home buyers who prefer conservative colors. Stick to muted, versatile blues.

– Lighting – As mentioned, some blues can appear garish or dull depending on the lighting. Be very selective.

– Cost – Removing or changing brightly colored cabinets can be pricey if you tire of the look.

While these factors do not make blue a poor choice, they are worth contemplating. In most cases, you can find the right shade of blue that minimizes any downsides.

Best Blue Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets

To inspire your blue kitchen cabinet plans, here is a closer look at 10 top-rated blue paint colors for kitchen cabinets:

Navy – Classic, nautical navy looks striking with brass hardware. Behr Marquette Navy or Sherwin-Williams Naval are gorgeous deep shades.

Blue Gray – Subtle and warm, blue-grays pair well with marble and wood. Consider Benjamim Moore Gray Wisp or PPG Smalt Blue.

Periwinkle – Cheerful and pretty, soft periwinkle blues complement cottage kitchens. Colors like Behr Hipperholme accent white counters perfectly.

French Blue – Sophisticated mid-tone blues like Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace give a Parisian feel.

Robin’s Egg – For kitchens with beach house or farmhouse vibes, robin’s egg blue from Behr or Valspar add vintage charm.

Powder Blue – Pale, calming powder blues like Sherwin-Williams Poolhouse bring subtle color.

Denim Blue – Relaxed and welcoming, darker blues like Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue resemble worn denim.

Slate Blue – Gray-blues like Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue offer a slightly edgy but still neutral look.

Teal – For a more exotic, tropical flair, greens-blues like Behr Misted Mint sizzle.

Midnight Blue – Deep, moody blues like Sherwin-Williams Naval give an elegant, luxurious impression.

Be sure to get color swatches and samples before finalizing your blue kitchen cabinet choice.

Should You Hire a Professional?

While a skilled DIYer can potentially paint their own kitchen cabinets, hiring a professional painter offers some important advantages:

– Expertise – Experienced painters are familiar with specialty cabinet paints and techniques needed to get an immaculate, long-lasting finish.

– Efficiency – Professionals have the right tools and workflow to complete the painting quickly and properly. No dust will spread to other rooms.

– Full Service – A painting contractor will prep, clean, prime, paint and seal the cabinets, potentially saving you a week of work and headaches.

– Warranties – Many professional painters guarantee their paint job for 1-5 years, protecting you from chipping, cracking or fading. DIY paint jobs have no backing.

– Cost – In the long-run, the added cost of hiring a pro is often worth it to get premium results and maintain the value and beauty of your cabinets.

While certainly more of an investment, enlisting professional help is wise if you want your blue kitchen cabinets to turn out picture-perfect. Poor paint prep and application by an amateur will show.

How to Maintain Blue Kitchen Cabinets

To keep blue cabinets looking like new for years to come, incorporate these maintenance practices:

– Use soft cloths and gentle cleaners. Avoid abrasive pads or powder cleansers that can scratch the finish.

– Rinse any overspray or debris from dish soap or food splatters promptly to prevent staining.

– Dry cabinets fully after wiping them down. Allowing moisture to linger can damage the finish over time.

– Work quickly to wipe up oil, grease or acidic spills. They can etch into cabinet finishes if left too long.

– Tighten any loose hardware promptly. Movement can rub off paint around knobs or pulls.

– Consider adding bumpers to bottom cabinet corners to prevent scrapes and nicks from kitchen items.

– Keep cabinets out of direct sunlight. UV exposure will cause fading over time. Install window treatments as needed.

– Buff out minor scuffs or scratches. Then touch up paint to maintain the protective layer.

– Clean out crumbs or dust buildup under cabinets. Debris attracts moisture that damages the wood and paint.

– Repaint every 3 to 5 years. Refreshing the finish maintains the vivid color and protective barrier.

Following these tips will help you enjoy stunning, long-lasting blue kitchen cabinets for over a decade.


When thoughtfully planned and executed, blue kitchen cabinets provide a sophisticated, inviting focal point in any kitchen design. From lighting to color combinations, keep key factors in mind to ensure the blue you choose works perfectly. Pay attention to shades and finishes that best match your overall vision. While blue cabinets come with a few cautions, their versatility, timeless beauty and calming appeal make them a win for many kitchens. With the right maintenance, your blue kitchen cabinets will maintain their like-new appearance for many years, while adding personality and flair.