What Color Hardware For Dark Brown Cabinets? (Find Out Now!)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Oak cabinets are a traditional and typical sight in homes. They are usually made of real wood, are long-lasting, and provide good functionality. However, when matched with their original hardware, which ranges from pure white plastic to a gleaming gold finish, these cabinets can appear obsolete.

The best color of hardware for dark brown cabinets includes black, silver or nickel, or even oil-rubbed bronze. These colors will help bring out different hues from your dark brown cabinets, creating a nice customized look that you can enjoy for the years to come. Just make sure it’s something you like.

We’ll go through these and other color options, as well as other ways to make your oak cabinets look more modern. Your oak cabinets can be brought up to date with a simple hardware update.

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Hardware For Oak Cabinets

Let’s begin by determining what hue oak cabinetry is. Oak cabinets, often known as Honey Oak cabinets, have a distinctive wood grain pattern with gold or yellow overtones.

These cabinets were popular from the 1980s to the 1990s and are known for being a sturdy and hefty material, which is why, as long as they are in excellent condition, they are frequently updated rather than replaced.


Black hardware is sleek and sophisticated, and it contrasts beautifully with golden oak cabinets. The dark color contrasts with what may appear to be obsolete cabinets. Most countertops and upgraded appliances will look great with black hardware.

Silver And Nickel

A softer contrast, such as silver or other related tones like brushed nickel, would go with practically any decor design.

This is a neutral finish that, for the most part, will not add warmth to your cabinets. Avoid silver finishes that mirror or reflect if you’re seeking to balance out the yellow undertones. These can readily take on the color of the cabinets reflected in the mirror, adding to the room’s warmth.

Oil Rubbed Bronze

The right blend of black and brown is oil-rubbed bronze hardware. This may appear black in some circumstances, however, it will reflect a dark bronze luster when exposed to light.

This is one of the few occasions when a warmer finish will complement wood cabinets. Because the bronze is so mild, it won’t overwhelm the room with warmth.

This hardware also appears to be higher-end and heavier, making it more appropriate for classic homes than modern or contemporary ones.

Related Guide: What Color Cabinets Go With Oil Rubbed Bronze?

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How Do I Update My Oak Kitchen Cabinets?

Oak cabinetry, despite being roughly 30 years old on average, is likely to be in excellent shape if properly cared for.

That’s why, despite their dated appearance, it’s worth attempting to update existing oak cabinets before purchasing new ones.


Changing away from the old hardware for something more modern is the simplest method to refresh your oak cabinets. If you have original knobs on your cabinets from the 1990s, they may be white plastic or white ceramic with a flowery motif.

This hardware will date your cabinets and should be removed if you want a more contemporary look. Any gold or orange/brass hardware should be replaced as well since it brings out the oak’s yellow overtones and can be overly warm.

Not only do you have a lot of color options for hardware to contrast the yellow undertones of your oak cabinets, but you also have a lot of designs to pick from to help update them.

Rather than the traditional round knobs, simple bar pulls are trendy. For more subtle elegance, go with more elaborate handles and knobs in pure black.


The unusual grain pattern of oak cabinets is one of its most distinguishing qualities. This serves as a reminder that the cabinets are made of actual, substantial wood rather than plastic. You may modify the color of your cabinets without losing that vital quality by staining them.

This is a more difficult project because it necessitates sanding all of your cabinets first. The end outcome, though, will be stunning.

To make your cabinets look sleek and stylish, stain them deeper, with a brown or even crimson undertone. For a more rustic aesthetic, sand them down and stain wood with a grey-colored stain.


Modern kitchen with wide island, stainless steel appliances, dark cabinetry, tile floor, granite counters, bar stools, and in show-stopping condition tiled backsplash

Paint is the best option for a comprehensive color change. Most people think white is the best color to use to modernize oak cabinets, but there are plenty of other possibilities.

Oak cabinets will be entirely hidden by black. Alternatively, you can maintain some of your oak cabinets by painting only the bottom cabinets white or another color and leaving the upper cabinets unpainted.

Replace Your Cabinets

Of course, another option is to completely replace your cabinets with a different type of oak, but this is more expensive than the other options. It all depends on your budget and preferences.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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