Kitchen Countertop Colors That Pair Perfectly With Oak Cabinets (& Which To Avoid)

In previous years, painted kitchen cabinets were the go-to style, with many homeowners opting for shades of white, blue, and green, as well as plenty of other colors. But now the cycle has turned to more natural finishes for kitchen cabinets, and some folks are opting for wood. In particular, oak kitchen cabinets can be upgraded to the current fashion, which leaves some people looking for countertop colors that pair well with the wood finish. Most neutral-colored stones for countertops, like white, beige, and black, complement oak well, while brighter primary colors, like yellow and blue, aren't the best option.

Oak naturally comes in a variety of shades. You'll find more beige and brown tones in white oak and pink- or red-tinted wood with red oak. Both red and white oak varieties are popular choices for kitchen cabinets, and both are good options to add a natural aesthetic into your home. Of course, staining natural oak can also affect the color — usually by darkening it. The key is taking note of the undertones and trying to match them to the colors in the countertops to create a cohesive look. However, in most cases, you can't go wrong with neutral and natural shades.

Neutral shades work well with oak

When shopping around for countertops, many homeowners are drawn to neutral-colored stones. Luckily, these pair well with both white and red oak varieties for kitchen cabinets. Because oak tends to have warm undertones, opting for a warm white will look more cohesive than a stark white shade, while Taj Mahal quartzite also features a soft white with brown and gold veining in the slab. Both will add a clean aesthetic without feeling too austere.

Soft beiges and warm grays will also pair well with oak varieties. But if you're looking for a moodier and trendier look, consider a black stone. Black kitchen countertops are making a comeback, creating a bold and modern look. Black quartzite counters with white veining, or even brown and tan quartzite, will surely add a unique look to the room. Black is timeless, so it's a stone color that won't go out of style, but it's also unique and trend-forward, creating an unexpected look that will certainly catch attention. Outside of neutrals, earthy shades of green also pair well with oak countertops to bring a soothing aesthetic to your kitchen.

For a budget renovation, instead of replacing stone countertops, consider using contact paper to match your oak cabinets. The James & Colors #12 contact paper gives the look of white marble with warm brownish-gold veining that will complement oak cabinets. The DAICH countertop painting kit can mimic the look of granite for just $196.28, allowing you to match oak cabinets without breaking the bank. 

Think twice about using bright shades

While matching tones in the cabinets and countertops will lead to a cohesive design, leaning too far into the warm tone can wash out the room. Oak naturally has a warm yellow undertone, so choosing yellow cabinets can create a look that's too matchy. Yellow River granite and Cloudy Yellow granite are two common varieties of yellow-tinted stone. And though both have veining that features browns, blacks, and whites, the overall yellow tone blends with the oak cabinets, creating little distinction between the two elements. Yellow is also a countertop color that makes your home nearly impossible to sell. Orange countertops, though uncommon, face similar issues to yellow in that they will match oak cabinets too closely.

Because blue is complementary to yellow, blue countertops can bring out the yellow tones in oak cabinetry. In particular, bold and bright shades of blue can bring these shades out of oak, making the cabinets feel a little dated and dingy instead of bringing out their natural warmth and beauty. Blue, overall, tends to work better with crisp colors like white and gray, so if you're set on oak cabinets, blue stone countertops won't be the best match. Blue can also be a major statement that can overwhelm oak's usually understated appearance. Skip the bolder options like Blue Night granite that can wash out oak and opt for more muted neutral and nature-inspired stone colors for kitchen countertops.