Kitchen Series: Going Green

January 19, 2021

Green cabinet paint colors - IHOD

You may remember I originally debated between timeless white and going green. I originally was worried more about re-sale value, but chances are we will be here a good long while. So I re-focused on the original goal of renovating this house to what feels more like us! That being said, color is always what I am drawn to most, and I think it’s possible to use timeless shades. After researching several color options, we are going GREEN after all. Below is a cheat sheet of fantastic green paint colors for kitchen cabinets too.

We will be completely replacing these cabinets so which gave us some freedom to test directly onto the fronts! The new ones will be going all the way up to the ceiling.

From Left to Right on the back wall (no filter):
Green Smoke – Farrow and Ball
Caldwell Green – Benjamin Moore
Silverado Sage- Magnolia
Intrigue – Benjamin Moore
Enchanted Forest – Benjamin Moore
Calico Blue – Benjamin Moore

Some helpful tips for when you are selecting a kitchen cabinet color:

1) Picking a color online will rarely translate exactly the same in your home. Computer screens have different calibrations, photos online have often been edited, lighting in someone else’s home will look differently in yours, etc. If I am drawn to a paint color online I will often search the name of it to see how it looks in several spaces before even picking up a sample.

2) Take the paint swatch home from the paint store before ordering a sample. That paint store lighting will fool you. Bring home those swatches and tape them up in your room so you can get a better feel for it. This will save you all the money and time in ordering samples.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

sherwin williams pewter green and dark olive

By Kelsey Leigh Designs

3) Take note of lighting throughout the day. How does the paint sample look in the morning, afternoon, evening, and at night when the lights are on? Chances are it can shift drastically….especially with greens. It may look blue grey one hour and blue green the next. This is why I tried several shades, and was surprised by the one I ended up loving the most. It just worked well in our space at all times of the day.

4) Consider the other players in the room. We will be selecting the other kitchen details after selecting the color. However, maybe you are just painting cabinets vs. starting from scratch? If so, consider the other materials in the room. If you are working with already installed countertops or kitchen hardware, it can make a big difference to see how the paint colors work with the materials you have to give you that overall picture of the finished outcome.

Design by Chad Esslinger

​​​​​​​5) Type of paint – Our cabinet install company uses Benjamin Moore which is why we stuck with sampling their color palette. I found this sight to be helpful for Benjamin Moore equivalents to Farrow and Ball colors. Color matching can be a gamble to be honest, depending on the employee working so I usually prefer to get a color straight from the source. However, you can bring a swatch into the store to try color matching. We did this for Green Smoke by Farrow and Ball and loving the way it’s looking!

The same color in different lighting. Can you believe it??

Our paint picks – Picking a paint color for this kitchen kind of felt harder than naming one of my children. Maybe because it was the pressure of long term commitment? I’m slightly kidding, but I will say landing on THE color is worthy of a celebration. As of today, we feel strongly about Green Smoke by Farrow and Ball, and the island will be natural wood. ​​​​​​​The color reads completely different around the room as seen above, and was way brighter on the island than the back cabinets. It kind of left our heads spinning! I’m telling you – green is a fickle beast.

Update: I changed my mind again. (Shocker) We narrowed it down to Intrigue by BM or Pigeon by Farrow and Ball

best green paint colors for kitchen cabinets

These are a range of greens from light to dark that I actually sampled or have seen done well in other spaces. The top two were the very first I tried before deciding to go dark.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Will continue this series throughout the renovation in hopes of sparing you a headache or two along the way;)

Leave a Comment

  • Oh my goodness I love Essex Green! I have a large accent wall in my living painted Essex Green, and I loved it so much we used it for our master bedroom. My friends thought I was crazy because its so dark, but it’s absolutely stunning. I love how bold the color is! I will almost certainly use it again in another house if the time comes!

  • Such a great idea to test out the colors on your old cabinets to get a good feel of how they look in your kitchen with the lighting changing from morning to evening! I absolutely love the color you chose! I am refinishing rather than replacing them so I don’t want to change up the colors on my as to ruin them so I’ll take your word for it! I don’t think I’ll regret it!

    • Anna Liesemeyer

      Ah how exciting! Let me know how it turns out! Intrigue is another front runner for us that is looking good in all light:) Good luck to you!

  • What a beautiful kitchen. Interesting article from which I get some good ideas for the kitchen I have to set up in my new house.

    Thank you very much

  • These are really great points to consider when picking the right color! I actually got my bathroom cabinets redone by a local cabinet refinisher in Farrow and Ball’s Green Smoke- it is such a lovely, high-quality color!

  • Crista Ballard

    Did you end up picking Pigeon or Intrigue and what does it look like?

    • We decided on Pigeon, and every day I am borderline close to switching to Intrigue. Ha! Love them both. We will be getting a sample soon from our cabinet company.

      • Are you buying directly from Farrow and Ball or having BM do a color match of pigeon? Pigeon is really beautiful but the price is awful. You have to use their primer as well.

        • That is a great q! We are having it color matched by Benjamin Moore. That is what our cabinet makers prefer to use. It may be slightly different from the original but the sample we tried is by BM and we really loved it!

          • Hi,
            I realize it’s an old post but were you successful at matching Pigeon with a BM color? The one a site is suggesting is way off I feel like. I love Pigeon but my cabinet maker uses BM paint. Thanks

    • I couldn’t believe it when I saw your green samples on old doors that will be replaced. I’m doing the very same and have it narrows down to intrigue and pigeon. Small world! Did you try card room green?
      You ended up with pigeon…? Is it a love affair?

  • Elisabeth Kaestner

    Thanks for all the tips and I would love to go green in our kitchen too. What color are your walls/trim in your kitchen? Did you leave them as-is or also update them once you had the green cabinets done?

  • Where did you get your black and white backsplash?

  • Thanks for sharing! I fell in love with Benjamin Moore’s Rosepine as soon as I saw it at our home improvement store and have been planning on using it for my cabinet painting project in a few weeks. My husband said it was too “moody” of a color to use in the kitchen, but I’m going to show him this blog post and I’m pretty sure it will convince him to just go with it haha!

  • Hi! I noticed one of the pics you shared above had pewter and ripe olive listed as the colors. Can you tell me what the cabinets in that pic were painted? I’ve gone on the SW app but can’t figure it out! That is the exact color I’ve been looking for! Thanks!

  • Felicia Cummings

    I’m painting my kitchen cabinets. My kitchen does not have windows. I have white appliances. I want to use a green. Should I go light greens since room doesn’t have windows? I like sage green.

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