What Are the Best Appliance Colors and Finishes for Your Home?

Dina Cheney
Written by Dina Cheney
Updated August 21, 2021
Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances
Karamysh - stock.adobe.com

Whether you go classic or bold, find the best appliance color and finish for your home

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Choosing an appliance color and finish used to be so simple, back when black, white, and stainless steel were the only options. Today, you can choose from multiple hues and finishes, whether you want to make your appliances pop or blend them in with your cabinets. Read on for a round-up of the best appliance colors and finishes, and their various pros and cons.

How to Choose Appliance Colors and Finishes

When choosing a finish or color for your appliances, make sure the look will mesh with the design style of your home. Also consider whether it will match the other appliances in the room. Of course, how the finish will hold up in your household is also key.

Classic Appliance Finishes and Colors

Woman putting laundry in the washing machine
Sondem - stock.adobe.com

White, black, stainless steel, and paneled are the most common appliance colors and finishes. They’re safe choices and should work well in most kitchens.

White

Pros

  • White is classic and will work well in any style home, especially farmhouse-style kitchens.

  • White is a smart option when you want your appliances to blend in with white cabinets and don’t have the budget for paneled appliances.

  • It’s a strategic choice for dark kitchens since the neutral brightens up spaces.

  • Along with black, the color tends to be the most affordable (although you can find more upscale takes, as in the Matte White finish from GE’s Café series). 

Cons

  • Unfortunately, as with white clothing and shoes, white shows dirt and stains.

  • Expect to wipe white appliances down frequently.

  • You’ll want to opt for a finish with a fingerprint-resistant coating. This is especially important with dishwashers and ovens. 

Black

Pros

  • Black adds drama and contrast to homes.

  • Black is versatile design-wise, but works especially well in modern or mid-century homes. 

  • Along with white, black is inexpensive. 

  • Black hides dirt and stains, so it’s ideal for people who cook a lot or have young kids.

Cons

  • Black is not ideal in rooms that aren’t spacious since it can make them look even smaller.

  • Because it doesn’t reflect light, black appliances can make dark rooms appear darker.

Traditional Stainless Steel

Pros

  • A stainless steel finish makes appliances, like fridges and dishwashers, look higher-end. 

  • A mid-tone between light and dark, the finish pairs well with all colors and design styles, especially contemporary. 

  • The default finish in professional kitchens, it’s extremely easy to clean and maintain.

  • Virtually every appliance company offers the finish.

Cons

  • Stainless steel is on average $100-$250 pricier than black and white.

  • Traditional stainless steel does show fingerprints and smudges. Fortunately, since many manufacturers now offer the finish with a fingerprint-resistant coating, you should be able to overcome this issue. 

Paneled

Pros

  • If you don’t want your appliances to stand out, opt to panel them. This involves having them covered or faced in paneling that matches your cabinets.

  • An especially savvy trick for small kitchens, it’s ideal for fridges. 

  • For variety and to keep kitchen appliance costs down, you can panel just one appliance and opt for a different finish for your dishwasher and oven.

Cons

  • Since it’s a custom option, paneling is pricier than white, black, or stainless steel. 

  • For this reason, not all appliance manufacturers offer panel-ready appliances.

Alternative Appliance Finishes and Colors

Over the past few years, appliance companies have introduced many colors and finishes. While some hide fingerprints and smudges, others make a dramatic design statement. By choosing certain colors, you can opt for an accent appliance to serve as the focal point of your kitchen.

Black Stainless Steel

Pros

  • As with all stainless steel, black stainless steel is durable.

  • Since it’s coated with a protective material, it’s easy to clean and resistant to smudges, streaks, water spots, and fingerprints.

  • Although black stainless steel varies in terms of its exact hue and finish among appliance manufacturers, it’s versatile design-wise and can mesh with various color schemes and design styles, especially modern. 

  • It’s available from many manufacturers, including Samsung, Frigidaire, GE, LG, Bosch, Whirlpool, and more.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, the metal’s black coating can scratch quite easily, so beware if your kitchen takes a lot of abuse.

  • Since it’s a premium, trendy finish, expect to pay $200-$300 more for black stainless steel than traditional stainless steel. 

Slate and Black Slate

Pros

  • Slate and black slate are versatile design-wise, but are especially ideal for modern homes.

  • Both are neutrals with matte, warm gray finishes. Slate is lighter than black slate.

  • Both finishes are fingerprint-, smudge-, and dirt-resistant. For this reason, they’re ideal for dishwashers and ovens.

Cons

  • The finishes are only offered by GE.

  • Slate and black slate are pricier than black or white.

A Rainbow of Colors

Pros

  • Colors can make your range or fridge the centerpiece of your kitchen.

  • A far cry from the avocado of 1970’s kitchens, these stylish hues include blue, red, green, orange, eggplant, and more.

  • Many premium and retro-inspired brands, including La Cornue, BlueStar, SMEG, Viking, and even KitchenAid, offer colors.

Cons

  • Specific colors can easily become discontinued, so you might want to avoid purchasing multiple appliances in a colored finish.

  • Colors are only offered by brands that tend to be higher-end.

Ultimately, the best kitchen appliance colors and finishes are the ones that work with your personal style and the look you’re going for with your home. Thankfully, there are many colors to choose from that let you express your personality while coming in smudge-proof finishes to keep fingerprints at bay.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.