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Cherry cabinets are a stunning feature in any home, offering rich, warm tones that range from deep red to light cherry pink. Choosing the best paint colors to accompany cherry cabinetry or cherry wood furniture can significantly impact your kitchen’s overall aesthetic.

Here are the best wall paint colors that can either tone down or complement the rich hues of cherry wood, depending on the look you’re aiming for in your kitchen color scheme.

90's style kitchen with cherry wood cabinets and black iron accents.

How to Downplay or Highlight Your Cherry Cabinets

Ever wonder why certain colors look so good together, while others just… don’t? That’s where color theory comes into play, and it’s a game-changer for decorating your space, especially when you’ve got standout features like cherry cabinets to work with.

Color Wheel Basics

A color wheel shows how colors relate to each other. Colors can be primary (think red, blue, yellow), secondary (mix two primaries to get green, orange, and purple), and even tertiary (mix a primary with a secondary to get those in-between colors).

Modern kitchen with cherry wood cabinetry and light gray walls.

Complementary Colors: The Pop Effect

Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple — these pairs are born to stand out. When used together, they create a look-at-me vibe that makes everything more vibrant.

For cherry cabinets, which love to show off their pink or reddish-brown tone, choosing a complementary color (like a shade of green or blue) doesn’t calm things down; it turns up the volume. It’s a way to say, “Hey, look how awesome these cabinets are!”

Colors to Complement Cherry Red/Pink Tones

1. Rich Cream: Creamy colors with pale yellow undertones can enhance the warm, red hues of cherry cabinets, creating a cozy, inviting kitchen. Colors like Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White (OC-95) or Sherwin Williams’ Creamy (SW 7012) echo the warmth of the wood, making the red or pink tones pop in a welcoming way.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Navajo White.

2. Deep Green: Dark green shades, like olive green, can complement cherry wood by adding a touch of contrast that highlights its richness without overpowering it. Consider deep, muted greens with blue undertones, like Benjamin Moore’s Essex Green (HC-188) or Sherwin Williams’ Evergreen Fog (SW 9130), to bring out the beauty of the dark cherry wood cabinets.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog.

3. Earth Tones: Earthy tones, such as terracotta or burnt orange, can accentuate the warm undertones of cherry cabinets. These colors create a harmonious palette inspired by nature, enhancing the cabinets’ natural beauty. Look for colors like Benjamin Moore’s Firenze (AF-225) or Sherwin Williams’ Cavern Clay (SW 7701) for a bold yet complementary choice.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Firenze.

Colors to Avoid

  • While the right greens and creams work well to accentuate those red and pink undertones, certain complementary colors just don’t pair well with cherry oak at all.
  • Grays, greiges and other neutrals with a strong green undertone just don’t mesh well with the cherry cabinets.
cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Grant Beige.
The green undertone of BM Grant Beige is very much just ‘blah’ with cherry cabinets.
  • Bright whites create too stark of a contrast.
  • Soft green-blues or pale greens like SW Sea Salt (usually such a pretty color) don’t pair well at all.
  • Bright blues like BM Stratford Blue are also entirely just the wrong color to pair with cherry red, as they really emphasize the red undertone.
cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Stratford Blue.

How to Tone Down Cherry Red/Pink Tones

Want those cherry cabinets to whisper elegance rather than shout? Instead of reaching for complementary colors, you’ll want to look at more subdued or similar shades. Think neutrals like light gray, soft warm gray, or even greige (that’s gray + beige, a true MVP).

These colors create a backdrop that lets your cabinets blend in smoothly, without the drama. Just remember to avoid tans and beiges with strong green undertones.

The Best Wall Colors To Modernize Cherry Cabinets

The following paint colors have been chosen because of their soft taupe or pink undertones, which helps to tone down and modernize the cherry tones, instead of accentuating them like a contrasting (complementary) color would.

1. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray is great with cherry cabinets because it tones down the wood’s strong red colors, making the kitchen feel calm and cohesive.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray.

It’s not exactly white but more of an off-white with a hint of gray, placing it in the gray family. This subtle color helps balance the cherry’s boldness without clashing or overpowering it.

2. Sherwin Williams Alpaca

Sherwin Williams Alpaca is a soft greige, a perfect blend of gray and beige, that brings a warm and versatile neutral to any space.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Sherwin Williams Alpaca.

When paired with cherry cabinets, its subtle hue gently downplays the cabinets’ vibrant red undertones, creating a harmonious and inviting kitchen atmosphere.

3. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist is a light, airy greige with a subtle violet undertone that adds a touch of warmth and sophistication.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist.

This delicate balance makes it an ideal partner for cherry cabinets, as it softly diffuses the bold red undertones

4. Sherwin Williams Heron Plume

Sherwin Williams Heron Plume is an excellent choice for a very light paint color with cherry cabinets.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Sherwin Williams Heron Plume.

Its soft, almost ethereal quality, combined with subtle warm undertones, complements the rich depth of cherry wood without overwhelming it. This paint acts as a gentle contrast, highlighting the beauty of cherry cabinets while maintaining a light, spacious feel in the kitchen.

5. Sherwin Williams Incredible White

Sherwin Williams Incredible White has a special light violet taupe undertone, which works really well with cherry cabinets.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Sherwin Williams Incredible White.

It comes across as a soft, light gray with the perfect amount of warmth. This helps tone down the cherry’s redness, making the kitchen look classy without making the colors clash. It’s a smart choice for a clean, modern look.

6. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak is my favorite – and for good reason – when looking for the best paint color to go with cherry cabinets. It’s a soft, warm beige with a hint of gray, making it incredibly versatile. This color complements the rich tones of cherry wood by offering a light, neutral background that enhances the wood’s natural beauty without competing with it.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Benjamin Moore Pale Oak.

Pale Oak’s understated elegance allows the cherry cabinets to stand out, providing a clean and inviting look that’s both timeless and modern.

7. Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige

Sherwin Williams’ Accessible Beige is a warm greige with a subtle taupe-pink undertone that makes it an excellent choice for pairing with cherry cabinets. This undertone gently neutralizes the cherry wood’s redness, creating a soothing and balanced backdrop.

cherry wood cabinet with a swatch of Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige.

As a member of the greige family, Accessible Beige brings the perfect blend of warmth and neutrality, ensuring the cabinets’ richness is highlighted without overwhelming the space.

SW Acccessible Beige is an immensely popular paint color, and for good reason!

modern bright kitchen with cherry cabinets, slab backsplash and white countertops.

Considerations for a Harmonious Kitchen Design

  • White Countertops: Pairing cherry cabinets with white countertops can create a striking balance, offering a classic look that appeals to many. This combination works well with a variety of wall paint colors, from warm color palettes to cool tones, providing flexibility in achieving your desired kitchen ambiance.
  • White Tile Backsplash: A white tile backsplash can serve as a simple way to brighten the space and add a modern look. It works as a neutral element that allows the cherry cabinetry to shine while providing a clean, fresh look.
  • Different Colors for a Unique Aesthetic: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors or incorporate a contrasting color for a non white kitchen idea.
  • Small Kitchen Paint Colors: If your cherry cabinets are in a smaller kitchen design, this factor may also alter the way your kitchen looks with different paint colors. Be careful in choosing a paint color that not only complements cherry cabinets, but is fitting for a small kitchen, too.

Don’t Forget…

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

Bringing It All Together

Color theory is your secret ingredient to picking the perfect paint color to work with your cherry kitchen cabinets. By carefully selecting the right paint color and considering the overall design elements like countertops, backsplash, and flooring, you can create a beautifully harmonized kitchen that enhances the natural beauty of cherry cabinetry.

Whether you’re aiming for a traditional look with earth tones or a more contemporary style with light colors and modern accents, the right color palette can transform your kitchen into a space that feels both unique and inviting.

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