The Best Taupe Paint for Your Kitchen Cabinets

beautiful kitchen with lights off in new luxury home with island, pendant lights, and glass fronted cabinets, and view of dining room
hikesterson / Getty Images

Picking the right colors for your kitchen can affect the moods of the cook and the diners who eat there. Conventional kitchen color planning suggests that earthy colors, warm neutrals, and bright colors are more comforting. The color you select for your cabinetry can really set the tone for the overall vibe of your kitchen.

Taupe is one of those warm, earthy tones. Taupe cabinets can evoke a feeling of elegance and style without being too overpowering. 

So, how to describe the color taupe? Taupe is that glorious color that appears when a dab of cream is added to black coffee. Taupe is essentially a light brown color with white undertones. Another way to look at it is as a grayish brown or brownish gray.

Like all colors, the specific color of taupe you end up with has a lot to do with the spectrum of undertones. Taupe can have splashes of gray, pink/red, or yellow undertone, among others. A good way to predict the undertone your color will have is to look at the top color on the paint swatch. If the top color has a strong red or yellow undertone than the colors down the swatch will as well. 

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    Indian River 985 from Benjamin Moore

    Taupe Kitchen
    Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios

    Take a look at a kitchen designed with the Indian River 985 taupe color by Benjamin Moore. Every cabinet was painted the same color with no distinction between the island and perimeter cabinetry. The use of the color throughout gives the kitchen a cohesive look. The taupe paint is a soft hue, so having all the cabinetry painted the same color does not darken or overwhelm the kitchen. The color is present and adds personality to space while still creating a very tranquil and elegant atmosphere. The undertone of this hue is gray, which is one of the reasons this kitchen has a soft and elegant feel. 

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    Smokey Taupe 983 from Benjamin Moore

    Smokey Taupe Cabinets
    Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios

    This little wet bar wears Benjamin Moore's Smokey Taupe 983 well. This taupe color has a bit of a red undertone to it, not overly strong. It is this undertone that gives the feel of a light airy color with a nice amount of warmth.  

  • 03 of 04

    York Gray CW45 from Benjamin Moore

    York Gray
    Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios

    In this kitchen, Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios used Benjamin Moore's York Gray CW45 on the perimeter cabinetry. Despite having the word gray in the name, it definitely falls in the lighter realm of taupe. It has a slight gray and yellow undertone and is very much a whisper of color. If you are after a light and airy color and do not want to go with white, York Gray is the perfect solution. 

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    Top Taupe Contenders

    Bright white beige brown taupe tan grey pastel fiber linen texture swatch background, detailed horizontal macro closeup, rustic vintage textured fabric burlap canvas pattern copy space
    Brilt / Getty Images

    There are a number of other popular taupe colors to experiment with and consider. Top contenders from other paint makers that you should explore: