The Best Gray Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets Are Anything But Boring

gray kitchen cabinet with no glass doors
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMBER MAY

Gray might not have the same appeal of millennial pink or Gen-Z yellow, but its one hue on the spectrum thats hard to live without, especially when it comes to painting. Look around and youll start to notice it everywhere: living room walls, bathroom vanities, andour new favorite spot to use itkitchen cabinets. Gray is about as uncomplicated as it gets. The tricky part is nailing down the right shade.

Go too dark with this timeless color and itll skew charcoal; too light and your space will read as a lackluster white. In an effort to get to the bottom of which brands, finishes, and undertones are the best for cabinets, we decided to work our way backward, pinpointing our favorite kitchens and figuring out the essential swatches from there. These five options were the obvious winners:

Ammonite, Farrow & Ball

open glass pantry cupboard
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEIDIS BRIDGE; DESIGN BY BYRDESIGN

Beatriz Rose, principal at Los Angeles firm Byrdesign, loves this bright shade for an exposed pantry. It has a milky quality that makes a glass cabinet look gorgeous, she says. The soft hue also easily blurs into the background, helping other parts of a room shine. In this modern Venice Beach, California, kitchen, she chose it so it wouldnt compete with the Moroccan floor tiles.

French Grey, Little Greene Paint Company

The Brits have the whole cupboard thing down. Exhibit A: This Manhattan townhouse by London-based kitchen design firm Plain English. The entire home is swathed in a gray that has the just-right undertones of blue and red, or as Little Greene calls it, the perfect middle tint.

When Josh Lekwa, a senior associate at Elizabeth Roberts Architects, used the same color for a client in New York, he opted for an oil eggshell finish, which is typically only used in the U.K. and is known for its durability. Its very livable, he says. No scuffs here.

Frost, Rustoleum

light gray kitchen cabinets
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY ANDREWS; STYLING BY ELAINA SULLIVAN

Daniel King and Meghan Lavery, the founders of Home Union, discovered the ultimate budget saver when designing their Brooklyn rental: Rustoleums transformation kit, which includes a paint specifically formulated to hide the grain of worn-down cabinets. The couple opted for this grayish white, which lends itself to their Technicolor decorand masked what King calls a terrible orange-tinted wood that was there previously.

Moles Breath, Farrow & Ball

dark marble counters with cool gray cabinets and open wood shelving
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG; DESIGN BY DISTRICT DESIGN

Carmel Greer of District Design brought the drama in this narrow chefs kitchen by covering the formerly warm wood cabinets in this fabulously sullen hue and swapping the granite countertops for a honed black marble.

Stone, Portola Paints

warm gray kitchen with a farmhouse sink
Photography courtesy of Studio McGee

You cant get any more neutral than a color called stone. To keep it looking high-end in this space, designer Shea McGee added shimmer with brass hardware and extended the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling.

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