Tips for Choosing Paint Colors to go with Honey Oak Trim, Honey Oak Cabinets and other Oak Wood
Crisp and cool white walls contrast nicely with the original warm honey oak flooring in this home, giving the space new life.
Have you followed along on our ongoing 90s-era series? Then you know that of all the hallmarks of a 90s-style home, honey oak trim is one of the most common. While oak, in general, can feel outdated, honey oak in particular tends to feel rooted in the 90s. So, how do you deal with it? You can certainly remove or any traces of oak and start fresh. But sometimes it’s better to work with what you have. We recommend looking for ways to enhance the beauty of oak, first. Updating your paint color is one of the first things, and easiest things to tackle. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make! Read on for my tips on the best paint colors for Honey Oak (and other wood tones).
What paint colors that go with oak wood trim and cabinets?
Wall paint can have a massive impact on a space and the cost is quite affordable. So, we’re dishing today on the best paint colors with oak trim, oak cabinets, oak flooring, (and how to use them). After all, you want a home that feels like a contemporary haven. And as long as you’re striking the right balance with your color selections, we guarantee you can live with that overwhelming oak. In fact, you may just come to love it.
Tip #1: Keep the Wall Color Cool
Oak is warm through and through (think yellow undertones and orange undertones). So when selecting your perfect shade, you want to avoid using pink or purple undertones whenever possible. Cool colors are found on the opposite side of the color wheel from the warm color tones in oak. They are a great choice for a contrasting color scheme.
Of course, if you’re drawn to warmer hues in general, it isn’t a no-go. You can still go cooler while staying a little on the warm side. Think of grey, for instance. One of the most asked questions we get is “can I use grey paint with oak trim?” Well, there are endless shades of gray paint on the market. But no matter which one you choose, many are inherently cool gray. This is because gray colors can have undertones of green, violet, or blue. BUT, there are some grey shades with warm tones.
So, to evoke the warmth you crave, simply go for a beige or gray paint color with brown undertones or “greige” paint color. Steer clear of beiges or grays with cool pink or blue undertones, these will fight with yellow-toned woods and orange-toned woods. This way, it will be the perfect balance for an oak-filled home.
To get you started, grab our free guide on How to Choose Paint Colors with Confidence. It’ll give you all the steps you need to select a harmonious color palette for your oak-filled space.
A medium charcoal grey paint color with honey oak trim and floor is the perfect contrasting palette as it sets the stage to bring out the warmth of the oak in a vibrant and purposeful way. / Source
Traditional fireplace in sage greens with oak wood flooring give this space a modern upgrade. Source
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A soft and muted blue paint color with gray undertones paired with a charcoal grey paint color adds visual interest and cools off the orange-toned wood floor.
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Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Think you can’t go for ultra-contemporary paint colors just because you need to “brighten up” your oak-filled home? Think again! Dark colors work like a charm with oak, giving your home a dramatic splash of modern design. Just remember to avoid traditionally 90s-era paint colors that feel too earthy like burgundy, sage, and beige. Opt instead for warm grays like charcoal, dark blues, and greens. They’ll give each room a dose of personality and pizzazz.
This warm gray charcoal paint color with warm undertones paired with a honey oak floor feels ultra-contemporary. / Source
A deep navy (Farrow and Ball, Inchyra Blue) feels fresh and anchors this breakfast nook with plenty of orange tones in the oak wood./ Source
Benjamin Moore Backwoods is the perfect saturated green to use with oak. As long as it’s balanced out with white/bright walls and a few key oak elements peeking through, it will feel modern, yet classic and earthy. / Source
A fresh and saturated navy blue paint color with oak floors and an oak desk in this bedroom works wonders. The blue adds a much-needed visual depth to the space. / Source
Tip #3: Contrast with Complimentary Colors
When choosing the best paint colors for honey oak or other wood tones, contrast is essential. You can opt to go dark with a navy or black or to brighten up your oak with a crisp or creamy white or grey. Just make sure you choose a paint color that stands apart from that warmer wood. Light colors work beautifully. This will help to enhance its best features. Contrasting color schemes make a room feel balanced and visually interesting.
Creamy white kitchen walls with honey oak kitchen cabinets gives this space an instant upgrade with a coat of contrasting paint. / Source
Oak cabinets with a light grey wall color, charcoal grey tile, and updated hardware and fixtures feels fresh and contemporary. / Source
Keeping the original oak trim, this living room still feels contemporary thanks to a coat of creamy white paint on the walls and cabinetry. / Source
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Bright white walls and honey oak floors in this breakfast nook creates a welcome contrast. / Source
Amazing Paint Colors that go with Oak Wood Trim and Cabinetry
Got the inspiration you need to choose the perfect color for your 1990s home? Ready to tackle it yourself, but not quite sure where to start? Go ahead and pin the image below. It’s our simple no-fuss roundup of our favorite paint colors to complement warm wood tones for a modern look.
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Get your peel & stick (real) paint samples – HERE!
Now that you have my tips on the best colors to go with honey oak or other wood tones in your home, it’s time for you to choose a paint color and get started! I can’t wait to see pictures of your beautiful homes transformed by these perfect paint colors. Don’t forget to let me know which color you chose in the comments below – I would love to hear from you.
Be sure to check out our other paint color reviews for more inspiration.