Painting your kitchen red can transform the space into one that radiates warmth, energy and sophistication. With the right shade and application, a red kitchen can become the focal point of your home. Here are some tips and inspirations for using red paint effectively in your kitchen.

Choosing the Right Shade of Red

The key to choosing the perfect red for your kitchen is finding a shade that complements your existing decor and creates the mood you want. Here are some popular red kitchen paint colors to consider:

Classic Reds

Classic reds like cherry, fire engine, and apple red have a vibrant, saturated finish that makes them truly pop. These bold reds pair beautifully with stainless steel appliances and chrome fixtures for a sleek, modern look. They also give an energetic ambiance perfect for sociable spaces.

Earthy Reds

For a more grounded, natural feel, look to terra-cotta, brick or rustic reds. These work well with wood cabinetry and bronze or nickel hardware and lighting for a cozy but upscale aesthetic. Their versatility allows them to fit with both traditional and contemporary designs.

Deep Reds

Deeper reds like burgundy, merlot and maroon offer a sense of drama and luxury. Use them in small doses on accent walls or cabinetry to create an elegant, sophisticated look. Tone them down with creams and woods.

Soft Reds

If bold red feels too overwhelming, soft reds like blush, rose and salmon offer a gentle dose of color. Their light pinkish tones feel feminine, calm and romantic. Pair them with light wood floors and breezy linens.

Red Kitchen Paint Ideas and Inspirations

Approaching red kitchen paint the right way can make all the difference. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

All-Red Kitchen

For serious red lovers, consider painting the entire kitchen red – walls, ceiling, cabinetry and all. Use the same intense cherry red throughout for super sleek cohesion. Add contrast with black and white accents. Use sparingly to keep the look chic rather than kitschy.

Red Accent Wall

An accent wall behind the stove or sink is the perfect way to get a taste of red without going overboard. Use a bold shade to make it really stand out. Consider using red on the island for extra pop.

Red Lower Cabinets

Ground the space by pairing rich red lower cabinets with neutral uppers and ceiling. Contrast them with light granite countertops. Use gold hardware for extra luxe detail.

Red Ceiling

Painting the ceiling red adds an unexpected punch of color and gives the room a cozy, enveloping feel. Pair with white upper cabinets to keep it looking airy and fresh.

Red Backsplash

Use red tiles or mosaic sheets to create a backsplash as a focal point. Complement it with neutral cabinetry and steel appliances. Consider running the backsplash up part of the wall for added drama.

Red Kitchen Island

Make the island the star of the space by painting it an attention-grabbing red. Contrast with white perimeter cabinetry and ceiling for balance.

Tips for Painting a Red Kitchen

Follow these tips to ensure your red kitchen paint job goes smoothly and turns out looking its best:

  • Prep properly – Thoroughly clean and sand surfaces first. Apply primer and 2-3 coats of paint for best coverage.
  • Sample colors – Get sample pots to view reds on walls before committing. Colors look different in larger spaces.
  • Consider undertones – Look at undertones so the red complements other finishes like floors and countertops.
  • Use high quality paint – Invest in durable, high-quality kitchen paint that can withstand cleaning and moisture.
  • Add shine – Use semi-gloss or high-gloss sheen for added vibrancy and easy wipe-down.
  • Be strategic – Use red sparingly on accent walls or islands. Too much red can feel overwhelming.
  • Protect walls – Add an extra durable coat around busy areas prone to messes, like around the stove.

Frequently Asked Questions About Red Kitchen Paint

How do I choose the right red for my kitchen?

Consider the mood you want and how much maintenance you’re willing to do. Bold, dramatic reds show more flaws, while softened reds are more forgiving. Look at undertones so the red complements your existing finishes.

What colors complement a red kitchen?

Classic pairings like white, black and wood tones beautifully balance red. Bring in neutrals like gray, beige or cream on adjacent walls. Stainless steel, chrome and gold accents also pop nicely against red.

Does red make a kitchen look smaller?

Darker reds can potentially make a small kitchen feel more closed in if used throughout. Opt for soft or light reds instead. Strategically using red only on an island or accent wall prevents this.

Is red paint easy to maintain in a kitchen?

Deeper reds show flaws like grease splatters more than lighter shades. Use high-quality durable paint with sheen to make cleanup easier. Adding an extra protective coat around heavy use areas helps.

What kind of paint finish should I use for a red kitchen?

Eggshell or satin finishes work for walls, as they are washable and minimize flaws. Use semi-gloss or high-gloss on trim, cabinets and high traffic areas for added durability and wipeable finish.

Does red kitchen decor ever go out of style?

While color trends come and go, a classic red kitchen remains timeless and iconic. Focus on quality paints and materials over trendy hues to get longevity from your red kitchen.


A red kitchen opens up so many exciting design possibilities, from classic, retro diners to sleek modern spaces bursting with energy. Carefully choosing your red shade and strategically applying it through accent walls, cabinetry or backsplashes allows you to create your ideal aesthetic. Follow these tips to get your red kitchen paint job done right. With some planning and preparation, you can enjoy a gorgeous, lasting red kitchen design that immerses you in warmth, vibrancy and visual intrigue.