Every week, I receive emails and comments from people who need help picking paint colors to work with their honey oak trim and cabinetry. A few years ago, I wrote a post on how to go about choosing paint colors for honey oak trim, but I didn’t provide any specific paint colors.
Last week, I wrote about five light neutrals from Benjamin Moore that look beautiful with honey oak trim. Today I am sharing five more light beige neutrals from Sherwin-Williams that work well with medium to light honey oak trim, cabinetry, and flooring.
Here in Des Moines, there are thousands of homes built anywhere from the 80s through the early 2000s that still have honey oak trim, built-ins, paneling, and cabinetry. Sometimes, we will paint them white, but often it can be cost prohibitive. And sometimes, my clients like the natural wood oak, because it can be very beautiful, so we keep it.
As in the Benjamin Moore post from last week, I chose the same two spots in our home that still have honey oak trim or cabinetry and photographed large swatches of the five colors next to the wood. These photos might not be very exciting, but they demonstrate these five colors in different exposures with varying shades of honey oak.
The set of photos taken by our kitchen cabinetry get northern light, and the set taken by our stair railing get more southern light. I took these photos around 9:00 in the morning here in Iowa. In the set of photos by the cabinetry, I also included a small piece of oak trim with a light stain for another variation on honey oak.
All of my walls and trim are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17, so that is the background you see behind the paint swatches. White Dove has a touch of cream and a touch of gray. I think it looks beautiful with honey oak if you have the right home for white walls.
CanVas Tan SW 7531
Sherwin-Williams Canvas Tan is a very light beige that looks beautiful with the honey oak. To me, it reads as one shade deeper than my White Dove walls. The color is very neutral but warm.
Canvas Tan is located in the Whites section of the Sherwin-Williams deck right below Neutral Ground, which is another favorite of mine for cabinetry.
Wool Skein SW 6148
Wool Skein is a light beige with warm bronzey undertones. It is less green than the other colors I’ve chosen below. I like Wool Skein because it does not go pink, nor should it read as a green. It’s slightly more neutral than a true beige but not as cool as a true gray.
Grecian Ivory SW 7541
Last Fall, I specified Grecian Ivory for the majority of a first floor in a traditional West Des Moines home with way too much honey oak to consider painting it all out.
When I first saw the home, it was faux painted in many of the rooms and terribly outdated. I spent a lot of time looking at paint swatches in different rooms and different light and ultimately settled on Grecian Ivory.
The slight yellow-green undertone in this light pretty neutral looked stunning with the rick oak trim and floors but also with all of the greenery visible through the home’s large windows.
When I saw the house painted for the first time, it was like a breath of fresh air. It will never be a modern or even really a transitional home due to its architecture and detailing. But, the new color transformed the interior and brought it into the current decade while providing a lovely backdrop for the owners’ collection of antiques and artwork.
NaturEl SW 7542
Naturel is a light-medium beige with a yellow-green undertone. While it’s number indicates it’s one shade deeper than Grecian Ivory, it isn’t found on the same paint strip, so it might be easily overlooked. Naturel is located in the timeless section of the Sherwin-Williams paint deck.
Naturel and Grecian Ivory do look lovely together and would be a good pairing for an adjacent bedroom and bathroom or hallway and living area.
Rice Grain SW 6155
Rice Grain has been on my radar since I very first started in interior design in 2007. We used it in a client’s bathroom, and I loved the way it looked with the travertine tile we used and the creamy white trim.
Rice Grain is a very light beige (first color on the Sherwin-Williams paint strip) with yellow-green undertones. It looks beautiful when paired with cream, ivory, and brighter yellow greens. It is versatile enough to work well in more traditional or transition spaces as well as modern homes, depending on the materials you use. It would look stunning with a natural Calacatta marble that has gold and gray veining.
Ramie SW 6156
Ramie is one shade deeper than Rice Grain, so it’s the second lightest shade on the Sherwin-Williams strip. A good trick for making a room feel more unified and cohesive is to paint your walls the second shade from the top on the strip and paint your ceiling the lightest shade on the strip. Then you will avoid the feeling of having a white lid on your room, and your ceiling will feel higher.
Similar to Naturel, I like how Ramie has less contrast with the oak trim than the lighter colors. If your oak trim is darker light my cabinetry, the second shade on the strip might be a better option than the first.
For these six colors, I put together a comparison chart with both the northern and southern exposures so you could easily see how they compare. I think it’s also more noticeable how different conditions affect the light when you see them together.
This is the second post in my series on paint colors for honey oak trim. In my next post, I will share several more colors from Sherwin-Williams – three light grays as well as four other light colors in with yellow green undertones.
Remember, this post only addressed how these colors work with the wood tone. You still need to consider any other fixed elements in the room such as tile, countertops, stone, or any upholstery, drapery, or rugs that you don’t plan to replace.
If you want to learn more about how to pick the perfect paint color every time, I wrote an e-book with my best tips for getting right on the first try.