Choosing Colours for your Kitchen

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The kitchen is often the heart of the family home. A place you can utilise colour to create a vibrant, inspiring space to reflect your interior style.

Be bold with dark shades or produce a simple, neutral scheme with a highlight of colour to reflect your personal style. To add texture and pattern, use wallpaper to create a welcoming space for dining and entertaining.

Our range of finishes provide a durable, beautiful effect for walls and woodwork, including kitchen cabinets. Our paints have been specially formulated to withstand busy family life, little hands and even pets.

How should I choose a kitchen paint colour?

Consider Existing Colours

When choosing colours for your kitchen, try to decide what sort of style you are looking to achieve, taking into consideration colours that already exist within the space. Surfaces, tiles, flooring and artwork are all elements that should be included as colours within your palette.

If there are any architectural features or areas of interest within the kitchen that you would like to draw attention to, consider using colour to highlight these.

Sample Colours in Situ

When beginning your decorating project, take time to research schemes that you would like to recreate and browse images on Pinterest or magazines for inspiration. Consider how the space, orientation and light in the room will affect the colour.

Order sample pots of your selected shades and paint out large swatches onto A4 pieces of paper. Place them on different walls around the kitchen throughout the day to see the impact of varying natural light on the colour.

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Which paint finish is right for my kitchen project?

When selecting paint for your kitchen, you can choose from both water-based and oil-based paints.

Suitable Finishes for...Recommended FinishesWhy?
Kitchen Walls

Intelligent Eggshell

Intelligent Gloss

Intelligent Matt Emulsion

Our Intelligent Paints are completely washable.

Perfect for busy family kitchens.

Kitchen Units & Woodwork

Intelligent Eggshell

Intelligent Gloss

Flat Oil Eggshell

Eggshell paint is designed to resist moisture and staining.

Perfect for protecting your woodwork whilst maintaining complete scrubbability.

Kitchen Floors Floor Paint

Floor paint is exceptionally durable, with an attractive mid-sheen finish.

An easy yet dramatic way to change the feel of a room.


Water-Based Paints

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Our Intelligent Paints are breakthrough water-based paints which are quick and easy to apply. They are completely washable and can be used with utmost confidence on most surfaces including plaster, woodwork and radiators.

Our Intelligent Paints are also certified as ‘Child Safe’ so are completely safe to use in all areas of the family home.

Intelligent Eggshell 

Intelligent Eggshell is our most highly recommended kitchen paint finish. Formulated to resist moisture, staining and general wear and tear, Intelligent Eggshell paint has a tough yet subtle finish. This makes it the perfect water-based finish for woodwork and both kitchen and bathroom walls.

Use this quick drying, low sheen finish for walls in the splash zone and any woodwork, including kitchen cupboards. It has a low-sheen level of 15% and is available in the full Little Greene colour palette.

Intelligent Gloss

For a high shine gloss finish, Intelligent Gloss is a quick drying alternative to Oil Gloss. It is ideal for use on interior woodwork in rooms that require frequent cleaning.

Choose this paint finish, instead of Intelligent Eggshell, if you prefer the extra contrast of a glossier finish. This 85% high gloss paint is available in all Little Greene shades.

Intelligent Matt Emulsion

A totally matt, yet completely washable, alternative to a traditional emulsion paint. Intelligent Matt Emulsion is perfect for busy kitchens or high traffic areas, particularly on walls and ceilings.

The finish has an extremely low gloss level of 5%, providing a beautifully flat finish for a sophisticated kitchen scheme.


Oil-Based Paints

Oil Based Kitchen

With a nine hundred year pedigree, oil-based paints have long been recognised as the classic finish for woodwork. By forming a deeper bond with the surface than a quick-drying paint, traditional oil-based recipes are renowned for their increased longevity, excellent flow and smooth finish.

All our oil-based paints have been reformulated using naturally occurring vegetable oils to replace solvent ingredients.

Flat Oil Eggshell

Flat Oil Eggshell is a low-odour, modern oil-based paint which resists staining and general wear and tear. As such, it is perfect for painting woodwork and primed metals. It has a sheen level of 15-20%, between matt and eggshell, and is surface dry in just 4 hours.

Designed specifically for interior use, the formula has been developed to give superior, glide-on application characteristics. With extended workability and open time, making brushing out a real pleasure, even for the least confident of painters.

The formulation provides a smooth, low-sheen finish, suitable for woodwork including kitchen cabinets. The finish is extremely durable, making it the perfect choice for a busy kitchen space.

Floor Paint

For wooden or concrete floors, our Floor Paint (also oil-based) is one of the hardest wearing paints available for domestic use. Like all our finishes, Floor Paint is available in the full spectrum of Little Greene colours.



How should I prepare my kitchen cabinets for painting?


Previously Painted Cabinets

  1. When painting kitchen cabinets that are already painted, you should remove all loose and flaking paintwork. Then degrease the surface with a suitable detergent solution, like sugar soap, followed by rinsing with clean water.
  2. Rub the existing surface down thoroughly, using a medium grade sandpaper to provide a key for the new finish. Make good any repairs or surface imperfections, sand and apply a primer to the exposed surface.
  3. If you are using a water-based paint, such as Intelligent Eggshell, we would recommend using Intelligent Primer Undercoat. This should precede two coats of your chosen finish. This will ensure a clean surface that is ready to be painted.
  4. If your chosen finish is an oil-based paint, use Traditional Oil Primer Undercoat. This will prime the surface before applying Flat Oil Eggshell or Traditional Oil Gloss. The primer will not only ensure a fully prepared substrate, but will also mean you achieve full depth of colour.


Bare Wood Cabinets

  1. For cabinets made of soft wood, any knots should be sealed with knotting compound to prevent staining. The surfaces then need to be primed. Use Traditional Oil Primer Undercoat or Intelligent Primer Undercoat, depending on whether you are using an oil or water-based top coat.
  2. If the doors are made of resinous hardwood, you should treat the substrate with Aluminium Wood Primer. Use this primer before applying an undercoat and two coats of your chosen finish.

You can find out more information on all of our finishes, including surface preparation and technical data, on our detailed Product Data Sheets



4 Inspiring Kitchens

OTea with Florence Kitchen

1. Combine complementary green shades for a vibrant, contemporary finish.

Pair Harley Green and Tea with Florence for a subtle contrast that is perfect alongside light wooden furniture and gold finishings.

Aquamarine Kitchen

2. Use one of the Colour Scales families to create a balanced, harmonious scheme.

Four different shades are produced using varying strengths of the same pigment which can be used in combination for a fully coordinated finish.

The Aquamarine family are a classic blend of blue green which bring a gentle coolness and tranquillity to a room.

Here, the use of Livid on the door frame adds balance and grounds the scheme.

Brook House Cinder Kitchen

3. Add colour and texture to a neutral kitchen scheme by combining paint and wallpaper.

Brook House – Cinder is accompanied by Ceviche, an almost white and Grey Moss, a sophisticated grey without too much umber undertone. 

Little Greene wallpapers are spongeable, to maintain a clean kitchen without damaging the print.

Light Peachblossom Kitchen

4. Light Peachblossom is a rather exclusive dusky pink, once used in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

Here, it is complemented with handmade patchwork tiles and Grey Teal units which is a confident base for light pink and peach hues.

For more inspiration, browse our image gallery. If you’re struggling with selecting shades or concerned about colour combinations, Little Greene Colour Consultancy will help you decorate your home with confidence. Our professionally trained consultants will guide you through choosing the best colours, finishes and wallpapers to bring beauty and personality to your home décor.