What Color Complements Maple Cabinets?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Maple cabinets are a great choice for both contemporary and traditional kitchen designs. Because of its soft grain and durability, maple tops the list of popular natural woods to use for cabinets. Choosing what wall color complements maple cabinets is important as this will ultimately affect the overall look of your kitchen.

The best color to accentuate the reddish-brown hue of maple is green–particularly grayish-green or sage. Other complementary colors are yellow, taupe, teal, and light blue. It is important to choose a complementary color to enhance the look of your maple cabinets. Experimenting with these different color options will help you find the perfect match for your maple cabinets.

The warm shade of maple cabinets is sure to become the dominant color of any kitchen. The combination of the cabinets and the wall colors will create the basic color scheme of the kitchen.

Do You Need an Interior Decorator?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

The Top Colors That Complement Maple Cabinets

Even from among the colors listed above, you still have the creative freedom to individualize the look of your kitchen. A new coat of paint will help you achieve your desired kitchen aura, whether the theme be neutral or bold.

1. A Green Color Complements Maple Cabinets

Colors are complementary when they are across from one another on a basic color wheel. Since green complements maple and other shades of red, shades of green are considered the ideal match for maple-colored cabinets.

A subdued shade of green such as sage contrasts particularly well with maple cabinets.

A mushroom hue–a shade of gray with just a hint of green–is also a tasteful choice for maple cabinets.

2. Yellows And Oranges Complement Maple Cabinets

Neighboring hues on the color wheel, shades of yellow and orange, are an excellent pick for a kitchen with maple cabinets. Maple paired with yellow or orange walls will brighten up any kitchen and provide a warm and sunny feel.

If you are considering going the neighboring color route, deep yellow and pumpkin orange are popular choices. These shades will give your maple wood kitchen a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing look.

3. A Neutral Color Complements Maple Cabinets

If you want to create a simple, sophisticated look you cannot go wrong with selecting a neutral color. Using neutrals in design allow you some versatility while maintaining a classic look. The best neutral colors to pair with maple cabinets are taupe, cream, or off-white.

Likewise, pure white is a simple yet refreshing look for a maple wood kitchen. Overall, any of these neutral shades alongside maple will offer an airy yet cozy feel to your kitchen.

Another advantage to picking a neutral tone is that it will be easy to accentuate the look by including colorful decor and appliances. If you’re drawn to neutral-colored walls but still yearn for a pop of color, consider investing in eye-catching curtains or wall trim.

4. Shades Of Blue

For a vibrant, eye-catching kitchen, consider light blue or turquoise walls to pair with your maple cabinets. Teal is an on-trend wall color that complements maple quite nicely.

Light-blue is a dreamy option for maple cabinet pairings that won’t look quite as saturated as bright shades of blue. Of course, bright shades of blue are great options if you’re looking to create a striking and bold culinary space.

How To Pick The Perfect Color Combination With Maple Cabinets

If you are unsure which color scheme suits your kitchen, there are some tips and considerations to keep in mind. Remember, your choice in coloration should reflect your individual personality, taste, and decor style.

How Much Color Contrast Do You Want?

The contrast between your maple cabinets and wall color will strongly determine the overall look and feel of the room.

Minimal contrast–such as yellows and oranges–typically results in a relaxing, homey space. A high contrast color scheme–such as greens and blues–elicits a much bolder feel that will make the room pop.

What Shade Are Your Maple Cabinets?

Maple cabinets can range from shades of brown to red to gray. While the slight variation in hue may seem inconsequential, it can nevertheless impact the look of the accentuating wall color.

You should determine if your maple cabinets have a yellow or a blue base. This information will help you pick out the ideal palette.

For example, a lighter, sunnier color complements maple cabinets with a yellow base. On the other hand, contrasting colors, like blues and greens, best accentuate blue-based cabinets.

Hire An Expert To Choose What Color Complements Maple Cabinets

Paint companies such as Sherwin-Williams, PPG Industries, Benjamin Moore, and Clare offer great resources to assist homeowners. These resources can help you pick out your ideal color palette. Check out their websites to access color-picking tips, resources, and expert services.

  • Use a color sampling tool —Both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer virtual color sampling apps that allow you to visualize a room in any color. First, upload a picture of the room you would like to paint. Next, enjoy experimenting with different color schemes all through the touch of your phone. Using these apps, you get a true feel of how you would like your kitchen to look.
  • Hire a designer —Still stuck trying to pick a color scheme for your kitchen? Consider hiring a residential interior designer to help create the kitchen of your dreams. Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and other renowned paint companies offer a variety of virtual and in-home consultations with expert designers. 

The Best Paint For Kitchen Walls

A vital first step in the painting process is to first apply primer. Primer is the basic first layer of paint that ensures you will have a smooth, even paint job.

Unless the paint you are using is a paint-primer combination, you should prime before painting. This is especially true if the wall you are painting is porous as it can absorb moisture, oil, and odors.

Once you have decided on the color, you should begin considering which kind of high-quality paint you will use. There are many paint options and it is important to pick one that will help you achieve the best results. A high-quality paint will meet the following criteria:

  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Even surface coverage
  • No paint bleeding
  • Smooth paint coats
  • Uniformity
  • No gaps
  • Clear color separation

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based Paints

Oil-based and water-based (also known as latex) paints are the two types most recommended for indoor use. The main difference between the two is that you clean oil-based paints with solvents and water-based paints with soap and water.

Oil-based paints were once considered the go-to for residential use as they were more durable. However, it was discovered that they released a toxic organic compound into the air when dry. Fortunately, water-based latex paints have become far more durable and is comparable in permanence.

Another quality that puts water-based paints in favor is the smell. They typically have less of an odor as they are applied and while they dry.

Paint Finishes

It is also recommended to use a finish–also known as sheen– after painting. Finishing paints typically come in five different varieties depending on their level of glossiness:

  • High-gloss
  • Semi-gloss
  • Satin
  • Eggshell
  • Flat

Professionals will typically recommend satin/eggshell or semi-gloss paint for kitchen walls. For walls that get stained or cleaned frequently, it is recommended to use flat or satin paints for easy touch-ups.

Do You Need an Interior Decorator?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

Are maple cabinets out of style?

Maple cabinets reached peak popularity in the 90s yet are far from going out of style or appearing outdated. Maple wood kitchens have a timeless look and offer versatile themes and aesthetics. There are many ways to upgrade maple wood kitchens to your liking, whether it be a traditional or modern look. These upgrades include repainting your kitchen, investing in new appliances, or refinishing the cabinets. 

How do I modernize my maple cabinets?

Other than painting the walls, there are other ways you can give your maple cabinets an updated appearance. 

  • Install lights under the cabinets
  • Try out some removable wallpaper
  • Install crown molding
  • Replace boring hardware
  • Install creative cabinet door knobs
  • Remove some of the cabinet doors
  • Change the countertop
  • Add trim to cabinet doors
  • Repainting the cabinets 
How do I keep maple wood from yellowing?

A common complaint of homeowners with maple cabinets is that, over time, they fade and take on a yellowish hue. This is common when natural wood is exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.

Unfortunately, it’s also common for wood to turn brittle after being treated with harsh, oil-based finishes. Oil-based finishes can cause the wood to break down over time and take on a dull, yellowish hue.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent this common affliction without breaking the bank. Many homeowners swear by applying a colorless, water-based acrylic as a finisher on maple cabinets. Water-based acrylics are easy to apply and do not yellow over time.

Other highly-recommended finishes that do not yellow over time include:

  • Water-based polyurethane
  • Tung Oil
  • Paste Wax
  • Tinted Wash

These products are all inexpensive and consumer-friendly, and you can purchase them at any hardware or home-improvement store.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

More by Stacy Randall