A kitchen painted in a cheerful yellow is a welcoming, sunny space to cook and dine in. Yellow is an energetic, lively color that can transform even the drabbest kitchen into a bright, cheerful oasis. Read on for an in-depth look at why yellow paint is so popular for kitchens, how to choose the right shade, top paint brands to consider, and tips for making yellow paint work beautifully in your kitchen.
Why Choose Yellow Paint for Your Kitchen?
Yellow is one of the most popular colors for painting kitchens, for many great reasons:
Brightens Up the Space
A fresh coat of yellow paint brings light and energy into the kitchen. The vibrant hue reflects light around the room, making it feel more open and airy. For dark, interior kitchens that lack sufficient natural light, yellow is an excellent color choice to brighten up the space.
Looks Cheery and Uplifting
The color yellow evokes feelings of happiness, optimism and cheer. What better way to start your day than cooking and dining in a cheerful, sunshine-filled kitchen? The lively ambiance that yellow walls create will uplift your mood.
Makes a Style Statement
Painting your kitchen walls yellow is a simple way to add a splash of bold, modern style. The color yellow never goes out of fashion for kitchen designs. It makes as much of a style statement today as it did in decades past.
Complements Other Colors
With its happy personality, yellow complements an array of other colors beautifully. Team yellow walls with blue, green, gray or even red accents for a look that pops. Yellow also pairs well with most benchtop materials, including white marble, timber and concrete.
Yellow’s reflective properties work to make the space feel more open and airier. The pigments in yellow paint bounce light around the room, helping small dark kitchens feel bright and expansive.
Adds Visual Interest
Plain white or beige kitchen walls can feel uninspiring. Painting your kitchen yellow adds an element of visual interest and vibrancy to the heart of your home.
Expression of Your Style
Your kitchen decor says a lot about you and your tastes. Painting the walls yellow expresses your fun, lively personality and design aesthetic.
How to Choose the Right Shade of Yellow
With its uplifting energy, any shade of yellow paint can work beautifully in a kitchen. Consider the amount of natural light, your style and the mood you want to create when selecting a yellow paint color.
Warm yellow paint colors have orange or golden undertones. They give off a sunny, welcoming vibe perfect for kitchens. Warm shades like buttercream, goldfinch and sunflower look fantastic with wood cabinetry and furnishings.
Cool yellow shades have hints of green or blue in them and read more neutral and soft. Pale icicle, primrose and lemon chiffon are examples of cool yellow paint colors that work well for in kitchens. Cool yellows pair nicely with gray and stainless steel.
Vibrant yellow shades make for an energetic, bold kitchen. Colors like sunflower, banana and ochre add lots of personality. Use bright yellows sparingly on an accent wall or island bench to liven up plain white cabinetry.
Soft Pastel Yellows
For a gentle, relaxed feeling, soft pastel yellows like daffodil, cornfield and lemonade create a soothing kitchen backdrop. Pastel yellows suit all types of cabinetry and kitchen styles.
Avoid Greenish Yellows
Shades like green-yellow, chartreuse and lime have a slightly sickly tone for most kitchens. It’s best to avoid greenish yellows and stick to warmer or brighter shades instead.
Consider the Lighting
The amount of natural light your kitchen gets will affect how yellow paint colors show up on the walls. North-facing rooms with low light may look better with lighter yellow or pastel shades. South-facing rooms can handle deeper, bolder yellows without appearing too overwhelming. For east or west-facing rooms, warm medium yellows tend to work well.
Sample Paint Swatches
Never choose a yellow paint color for your kitchen without sampling it first. Paint swatches give you a sense of what the color will really look like on the walls under your actual lighting conditions. Brush paint swatches directly onto walls and view them at different times of day before making a final yellow paint selection.
Best Yellow Paint Brands for Kitchens
Most major paint manufacturers produce a wide range of yellow shades perfect for kitchen walls. Here are some top-quality yellow paint options:
Behr Premium Plus
Behr offers over 30 rich, intense yellow paint colors ranging from pale buttery hues to vibrant citrus tones. Their buttercup, sunflower and daffodil shades are excellent yellow choices for kitchen walls.
With over 15 yellow paint colors, Benjamin Moore is a go-to brand for quality kitchen paint. Their hints-of-yellow like Straw, Lemon Custard and Sunlit Allium work beautifully in kitchens.
Sherwin-Williams’ extensive palette includes light pastel yellows, warm golden tones and bright citrus hues ideal for kitchen walls. Canary, Jonquil and Crisp Linen are some recommended Sherwin-Williams yellow paint colors.
Valspar produces a Yellow Brick Road line of paint colors perfect for kitchens. Their shade options include cheerful School Bus Yellow, soft Sunflower and warm Happy Day.
Dulux offers sophisticated muted yellow shades like Primrose Hill, Yolk and Sundance that look amazing on kitchen walls. Their vibrant yellow hues also work well in contemporary kitchens.
Farrow & Ball
For a premium upscale yellow, Farrow Ball’s mineral-based paint offers muted tones like Cadmium, Cook’s Blue and Drawing Room Yellow suitable for stylish kitchen designs.
Be Sure to Get Kitchen & Bathroom Paint
When selecting any brand of yellow paint for your kitchen, be sure to choose one specifically formulated for kitchen and bathroom use. These paints have more moisture resistance and durability to handle humidity, grease splatters and frequent cleanings in busy kitchen spaces.
Paint Finish Options for Yellow Kitchen Walls
Yellow paint comes in a variety of finishes, each giving a slightly different look on your kitchen walls:
With a non-reflective matte look, flat yellow paint minimizes imperfections like bumps or uneven textures on kitchen walls. Flat works well for darker yellow shades that you want to tone down.
Slightly glossier than flat, eggshell yellow has a soft, velvety appearance. It stands up well to cleaning and hides flaws. Eggshell is ideal for heavily used kitchen walls.
A popular choice for kitchens, satin yellow offers a smooth, subtle sheen that highlights architectural details beautifully. It’s easy to clean and quite durable.
Semi-gloss yellow has a medium reflectiveness that adds depth. It’s very scrubbable and stain-resistant, making it a good option for accident-prone kitchen walls.
High-gloss yellow paint has a shiny, light-reflecting surface. Use it sparingly on trims and accent walls to contrast with flat or eggshell main walls.
Tips for Making Yellow Work in Your Kitchen
Thinking of giving your kitchen a cheerful yellow makeover? Here are some handy tips:
Test Yellow Paint Samples on Walls
Never select a yellow paint for your kitchen without first testing it on the actual walls. Brush test swatches and view them throughout the day to pick the best shade.
Pair with White Trim and Cabinets
White cabinetry and moldings keep things fresh and prevent an all-yellow kitchen from feeling overwhelming. Yellow walls with clean white trims and cabinetry create a timeless combo.
Add Contrasting Accents
Include blue, green, black or gray accents in the kitchen to contrast beautifully against yellow walls. Try a dark blue island bench or vintage green refrigerator.
Use Yellow on One Wall or Accent
If concerned yellow may be too bold for your entire kitchen, use it on a single accent wall instead. Or highlight an architectural detail like a window frame or display shelf in a vibrant yellow.
Select Warm Metal Finishes
Warm metal trims and fittings like brass complement yellow walls nicely. Cool silver tones can sometimes clash with yellow.
Include Natural Textures and Materials
Natural elements like wood cabinetry, marble counters, woven lampshades, and live plants help balance out bold yellow walls.
Use Soft Neutral Tones in Open Kitchens
For open floor plans where the kitchen flows into other living areas, soft neutral or pastel yellows prevent the bold color from overwhelming adjacent rooms.
5 Beautiful Yellow Paint Color Schemes for Kitchens
Need inspiration for stylishly incorporating yellow paint in your kitchen? Here are 5 stunning color schemes to consider:
1. Vibrant Yellow with All-White Kitchen
A vibrant sunny yellow paired with crisp clean white cabinetry, counters and backsplash creates a cheerful, welcoming kitchen. Try Benjamin Moore’s Glidden Yellow or Sherwin-Williams Buttercup.
2. Soft Yellow with Gray and Wood
Cool gray cabinetry and hardwood floors provide an elegant contrast to pastel yellow walls. Benjamin Moore’s First Light or Behr Candle Glow work well with gray and wood tones.
3. Golden Yellow with Navy Blue Accents
Warm golden yellow walls pop beautifully against navy blue accents like a kitchen island, appliance or backsplash tile. Consider Behr Rising Sun or Valspar Pollen Burst.
4. Mustard Yellow with Black and White
For contemporary flair, rich mustard yellow walls look amazing with high-contrast black and white kitchen elements. Try Farrow Ball’s Hay or Benjamin Moore Tangy Mustard.
5. Retro Sunshine Yellow with Teal
Create a fun retro diner look by pairing vivid yellow walls with teal-colored accents. Behr Lemon Zest or Benjamin Moore Sun Valley are perfect happy sunshine yellows.
Yellow Kitchen Inspiration
Need more inspiration before decorating your kitchen walls yellow? Browse these gorgeous yellow kitchen photos and designs:
This vibrant yellow kitchen looks bright and welcoming with crisp white Shaker cabinets, brass hardware and matching bar stools. The yellow walls are Benjamin Moore’s Glidden Yellow.
This airy Scandinavian kitchen uses a pale pastel yellow paint on the tongue-and-groove boards. The soft yellow Benjamin Moore First Light looks serene paired with white cabinetry.
The vivid mustard yellow island makes a dramatic style statement against the slate gray and white cabinetry in this modern kitchen.
This cottage kitchen uses pastel daffodil yellow walls and vintage turquoise appliances to create a cheery retro vibe. The yellow paint color is Benjamin Moore Lemongrass.
This charming farmhouse kitchen features a sunny yellow island that contrasts beautifully against the white cabinetry and oak wood floors.
Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Kitchen Paint
Still deciding if a yellow painted kitchen is right for you? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Is yellow paint too bold for a kitchen?
Yellow may seem bold initially but often ends up feeling cheerful and welcoming. Softer pastel or muted yellows are easy to live with. Use bright yellows sparingly on accent walls or cabinets.
Does yellow make a room look bigger?
Yes, yellow is an expansive color that reflects light, helping small dark kitchens feel more open and spacious. Pale lemony shades work best to visually enlarge a room.
Is yellow paint outdated?
Yellow paint for kitchens never goes out of style and remains a popular, versatile choice. Vibrant, muted, pastel or retro yellows always have a place in kitchen design.
What colors go well with yellow in a kitchen?
Blue, green, white, black, gray and wood tones all complement yellow beautifully in kitchens. Try yellow walls with navy accents or a soft yellow paired with oak cabinetry.
Can yellow walls look okay with oak cabinets?
Definitely, warm golden yellows like ochre, saffron and mustard work beautifully with golden oak cabinets. Just avoid cool greenish-yellows.
Does yellow make you hungry?
Some experts believe sunny yellow kitchen walls stimulate appetite. Yellow activates the release of gastrin and glycentin – acids that aid digestion. A cheery yellow kitchen may boost cravings!
A kitchen painted in a lively, uplifting yellow is guaranteed to brighten your day. Try out this fun color trend with confidence by following the tips in this article for choosing the perfect yellow hue. Pair your yellow walls with white, blue, gray or wood tones and accessories for a fashionable, welcoming kitchen space you’ll never want to leave!