Two toned kitchen cabinets for your home | Design Cafe

Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets For Your Home

Two tone kitchen cabinets

Get Inspired For Your Next Kitchen Makeover With These Amazing Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

As a hot design trend right now, two-tone kitchen cabinet doors ooze a sense of style and uniqueness into your kitchen. They’re also well within your budget and create a remarkable visual interest in the space

Kitchen cabinets have traditionally donned the single-colour look. However, the changing times have led to the adoption of two-tone kitchen cabinets and island in many Indian homes. As the name implies, two-tone kitchen cabinets creatively combine two different colours on their exterior surface. 

This combination can be achieved either by painting half the cabinets in one colour and the other half in a contrasting/complementary colour or staining them with a mix of both hues. Some homeowners even pair painted cabinets with finished wood cabinets to complete the two-tone beautiful look on a comparatively cheaper budget. 

Now, let’s see what makes them so popular and also address a few FAQs to spare you the hassle.

Benefits Of Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

  • They are versatile as they can easily adapt to any style/theme of your house, be it traditional or modern, and give it more personality and character.
  • They make a small kitchen look visually larger and brighter. The lighter colour on the top cabinets and a darker colour on the bottom cabinets will draw your eye to the more radiant shade owing to natural sunlight falling on them. 
  • They help solve the design dilemma of homeowners wanting to install two different finishes (light and dark) on their kitchen cabinets. Light colours can be used to make the kitchen look spacious and pleasant while dark colours can be used to make it look more bold, grounded and sophisticated. 
  • They increase the resale value of the apartment/house, thereby attracting potential savvy buyers.

Tips You Can Use To Seamlessly Incorporate Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets In Your Home

  • Use the colour-blocking technique to make your kitchen cabinets look unique and appealing. You can go in for a symmetrical design by colour-blocking an entire set of cabinets in one colour (and the rest with the other colour) or go for an asymmetrical design by painting random cabinets in one colour. 
  • Always paint the bottom cabinets in a darker colour and the upper cabinets in a lighter shade so that it reduces the visual heaviness of the space. Make sure that the colours you use complement/contrast well with each other but don’t look overwhelming. In other words, strive for a perfect balance between the two. 
  • Create a striking focal point in your kitchen area first (can be a backsplash, island or hardware) and then move onto choosing the perfect colours for your two-tone kitchen cabinets doors. This helps you create a common design element that links them together. 
  • Who says you can create contrast only with kitchen cabinet colours? Kitchen flooring can also play an important part. Darker flooring provides a wonderful contrast to lighter cabinetry and vice versa. Use the colour wheel as a reference if you’re in doubt. 
  • You can also visually balance out the two-tone look of your kitchen cabinets by introducing white as the third accent colour (10% of the overall colour combination). It is a neutral shade that allows you a resting place for your eyes in between differently coloured kitchen cabinets.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets In A Two-Tone Finish?

  • Step 1: Remove all the kitchen cabinets and drawers by unscrewing the hinges from the cabinet doors. 
  • Step 2: Label each kitchen cabinet and drawer with a number/symbol so that you know what goes where when the paint job is over and you have to put everything back in its place.
  • Step 3: Sand down both the cabinets and drawers lightly so that the surface becomes a little rough and it is easier for the paint to stick to it. Wipe off the extra dust after the sanding process. 
  • Step 4: Repair any existing dents in the kitchen cabinets and drawers (if any) with a bonding primer and let it dry. 
  • Step 5: Ensure the basic protection to your work area by taping off walls, covering the floor and ceiling and so on.
  • Step 6: Apply a base coat of paint with a high-quality paintbrush on all the exterior surfaces except the front centre panel of the cabinets. Tape around the centre panels so that the two kitchen cabinet colours are prevented from running together. 
  • Step 7: Give it sufficient time to dry and then go ahead and apply a second coat of paint if required. After the second coat of paint, carefully remove the painter’s tape. 
  • Step 8: Glaze the cabinets with the required finish (semi-gloss/high-gloss/matte) after it has been painted. Glazing gives your kitchen cabinets a somewhat protective layer and also adds some depth. 
  • Step 9: Install all the hardware (handles and knobs) back in the drawers and cabinets after all the glazing is over, and put everything back in its original place.

How To Stain Wooden Kitchen Cabinets In A Two-Tone Finish?

You can apply the staining technique if you want to give your wooden kitchen cabinets a fresher look without breaking the bank. For this, you’ll need a base colour and another colour from the same family (that’s one shade lighter or darker than the base colour). 

  • Step 1: Remove all the kitchen cabinets and drawers by unscrewing the hinges from the cabinet doors. 
  • Step 2: Label each kitchen cabinet and drawer with a number/symbol so that you know what goes where when the paint job is over and you have to put everything back in its place.
  • Step 3: Sand down both the cabinets and drawers lightly and scrape off the old cabinet finish with manufacturer-recommended chemical strippers so that the surface becomes a little rough and  is easier for the stain to stick to it. Use gloves and protective eyewear for safety purposes. Wipe off the extra dust after the sanding process using the TSP and warm water solution. 
  • Step 4: Repair any existing dents in the kitchen cabinets and drawers (if any) with a bonding primer and let it dry. 
  • Step 5: Ensure the basic protection to your work area by taping off the walls, covering the floor and ceiling, etc.
  • Step 6: Choose a stain finish that complements the type of wood your kitchen cabinets are made up of, as some stains work better with a particular kind of wood than others. Use a lighter stain if you want an airier look for your modular kitchen or use a darker stain if you want to bring more warmth to the space. 
  • Step 7: If you’re in a dilemma, check with your local paint store as there are different types of stains you can choose from — gel-based, oil-based, water-based and stain-sealer combo. Avoid using deck stains on kitchen cabinets. Moreover, different types of wood also have different levels of porousness that can lead to more or less staining of the wood surface. 
  • Step 8: Prime the wood with a pre-stain wood conditioner or a sanding sealer so that the stains are evenly absorbed by the wood’s surface. Apply two thin coats of it using a good-quality paintbrush, wipe off the excess with a clean cloth and let it dry completely. 
  • Step 9: Stain the wooden cabinet’s surface using a cloth or paintbrush and allow it to penetrate the wood. Apply one coat for a lighter stain and keep adding additional coats if you want a darker shade. Wipe off the excess stain and let it dry thoroughly. 
  • Step 10: Apply a clear varnish or light polyurethane sealer over the wooden cabinets to give them a shine and extra protection that lasts for many years.  
  • Step 11: Install all the hardware (handles and knobs) back in the drawers and cabinets after all the staining and sealing is over, and put everything back in its original place. 
Looking for Modular Kitchen Interiors

How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

Well, it is pretty easy. You just need to mix some warm water and 1/4th cup of trisodium phosphate solution (TSP) into a container or spray bottle. Wear gloves and thoroughly apply/mist the solution to the front of the cabinets and drawers. Wipe off the extra TSP residue after some time with a soft cloth or sponge. 

As an alternative, you can also use a 50:50 mixture of vinegar and warm water or a few drops of mild liquid dishwashing detergent with warm water to clean extremely dirty kitchen cabinets.

Let’s now dive into the latest two-tone kitchen cabinet ideas that are trending in the interior design space.

Black And Yellow Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

These black and yellow two-tone kitchen cabinets break the monotony of the small kitchen successfully and bring a dynamic and fun vibe into the space. They also blend well with the grey flooring, white walls and the wooden kitchen door, and put the person in the kitchen in a good mood.

Two tone kitchen cabinets which break the monotony of the small kitchen
These two-tone kitchen cabinets tie the whole look of the kitchen together

Brown Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re a lover of the rustic theme, then these brown two-tone kitchen cabinets will be the perfect choice for you. The lighter brown colour wood on the upper cabinets and the darker brown colour wood on the lower cabinets strike a perfect balance and gracefully envelop the white kitchen countertop. 

Brown two tone kitchen cabinets doors which perfect choice for you
These brown-toned kitchen cabinets pair well with the kitchen roller blinds and lend cosiness to the area

Greyish Brown And Royal Blue Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Don’t these greyish brown and royal blue two-tone kitchen cabinets with a waterfall marble kitchen island help you achieve the ideal combination of traditional and modern vibes in the open-plan kitchen space? The marble kitchen countertop unites the two-tone cabinets in your kitchen and makes the area look brighter and airier. 

Greyish brown two tone kitchen cabinets and island with a waterfall marble kitchen island
These brown-toned kitchen cabinets pair well with the kitchen roller blinds and lend cosiness to the area

Hot Pink And Off-White Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Make an unconventional and bold statement in your kitchen with these hot pink and off-white two-tone kitchen cabinets. They stand out gorgeously in stark contrast to the wooden kitchen backsplash and help you achieve a look that’s not for the faint-hearted. 

Hot pink and off white two tone stained kitchen cabinets which stand out gorgeously in stark contrast
The overall boldness of this kitchen is softened by the white walls and kitchen cabinets

Light Yellow And White Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

These light yellow and white two-tone kitchen cabinets make a natural and pleasant pair in this kitchen. The same colour theme is even replicated on the kitchen backsplash which looks lively and visually attractive. It also offers some contrast without overloading the colour. 

Light yellow two tone kitchen cabinets make a natural and pleasant pair in this kitchen
These two-tone kitchen cabinets complement the black and grey flooring and rug and bring sunny vibes to the kitchen

Two-Tone Stained Kitchen Cabinets

These wooden two-tone stained kitchen cabinets look luxurious and stylish in this rustic-themed kitchen. The intricate woodwork on the kitchen cabinets looks absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking, and the perfect blend of brown tones lend a definitive border to the kitchen ceiling.

Two tone kitchen cabinets brown and white which look luxurious and stylish in this rustic-themed kitchen
The beige kitchen island countertop and walls add some contrast to this brown-themed kitchen

All in all, two-tone kitchen cabinets doors have the potential to visually take your kitchen to the next level. They’re gorgeous and versatile so you don’t need to worry even if your mind changes after a few years and you wish for an upgrade in your kitchen’s look. Also, if you want any further handholding on your kitchen cabinet makeover project, then reach out to us at Design Cafe and we’d gladly help you out.

If you liked reading about two-toned kitchen cabinets, also read more about kitchen cabinet colour schemes

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Pooja Dara is a content writer at Design Cafe home interiors blog.

Pooja Dara

Pooja Dara holds an MBA in Marketing & HR, and has worked for leading FMCG brands with over six years of experience. Now an independent consultant she believes in creating value for her clients with user-centric and engaging content. She is also a photography enthusiast who loves shooting nature.