What Color Hardware Goes With Oak Cabinets?

You want to give a new look to your long-standing oak kitchen cabinets. And the easiest and most inexpensive way to update your oak cabinets is to change their hardware. So the next thing to enter your mind is, what color of hardware will look good? You have come to the right page! We will help you get the best answer based on our research.

These colors will perfectly match your oak cabinets for a modern look:

  • Black
  • Silver and Nickel
  • Oil-Rubbed Bronze
  • Gold or Brass
  • Tan

Oak cabinetry has become a classic choice in many homes. More often, it may look outdated with its sold plastic or shiny hardware. Changing the hardware can bring a huge impact on your aged oak cabinets. Keep reading as we discuss how to choose the right hardware that will bring your old oak kitchen into a sleek and modern look.

Oak cabinets and cupboard in a rustic kitchen with black marble countertop matched with other oak kitchen utensils, What Color Hardware Goes With Oak Cabinets?

What Hardware Colors Match with Oak Cabinets?

Your oak cabinets have color tones that add warmth and character to your space. They are characterized by deep honey color, with gold or yellow undertones that make the natural grain of oak wood stand out. So what colors of cabinet hardware would look good with oak?

Oak cupboards and cabinets with black countertop inside a rustic kitchen


Black hardware looks sleek and modern. It makes a bold statement since it stands out against an oak background. It complements the shade of red oak wood, giving a distinct appeal A startling contrast against the honey tone, it can easily draw attention and distract the viewer from your rather outdated cabinets.

Modern minimalist oak cabinets and cupboards inside a white small kitchen

Black projects sophistication when paired with the dark brown tone of oak wood. This pairing reflects the distinctive taste of the homeowner. Black hardware easily blends with many colors of countertops, backsplashes, and kitchen appliances.

Additionally, you can opt for a matte finish for a modern and contemporary style or a glossy finish for a lavish feel.

Here are examples that blend a black finish:

  • stainless steel handles
  • curved wire cabinet pulls

Shop for this matte black cabinet handles in Amazon.

Silver or Nickel

Modern minimalist inspired inspired kitchen with oak cabinets and white backsplash

Silver, and other similar shades, such as nickel, look chic and are clean hardware colors. It is a subtle highlight to the oak background. It seamlessly blends with other decors in color and style. Its hue isn't loud and overpowering as black, yet it still stands out on its own.

Due to its mirror and reflective properties, silver hardware adds warmth to the space. The polished finish blends well with red oak and white oak, while the weathered finish handles can be paired with golden oak cabinets.

Silver hardware looks best in thin, long bar handles and flat cabinet pulls that balance the tone of oak wood. Small round knobs are discouraged since they aren't highly visible and look subdued.

Silver hardware reflects the modish and chic character of the homeowner.

Here are examples of silver materials with a modern style:

  • brushed nickel knobs and handles
  • zinc alloy handles with chrome finish

Shop for this brushed nickel cabinet handles on Amazon.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Gray painted kitchen cabinets with stainless steel handles

At a glance, this color could be thought of as a subtle version of black. Or, you could think of it as a cross of black and brown. And much more, due to its oil-infused surface, it has reflective qualities that make it shimmer when exposed to light.

Surprisingly, it may look either black or brown, depending on the light and time of the day. When light is cast on the hardware, you would notice a golden look yet warm hue that is incomparable to black hardware. This color accent further highlights the warmth of the honey-toned oak.

This color hardware offers a traditional ambiance that works perfectly well with rustic-themed decors. Also, the fixture looks dense, hefty, and laden, making your oak kitchen look more lavish and upscale.

Here are examples of materials that look as rustic as brown hardware:

  • leather pulls
  • painted ceramic knobs

Shop for this oil-rubbed bronze cabinet pulls on Amazon.

Gold or Brass

White oak cabinets with brass stainless steel cabinet handles

Gold is a timeless and age-old choice. It connotes brightness and luxury. It can be a soft accent and blends well with many oak wood stains. You could achieve a modern and chic style by choosing matte or brushed finishes rather than the usual strikingly shiny gold or brass. It looks best in flat cabinet pulls and handles.

With gold hardware, you can complete your kitchen with a dark granite countertop and gold hardware faucets. A pairing of brown oak cabinets and flat gold hardware, for example, can match a modern look. The subdued tones of matte finish and brass handles can emphasize and help the brown color of oak stand out.

Shop for this brushed brass cabinet handles in Amazon.


Cupboard handles of an oak cabinet

Tan is a cross of black and brown paint that give warmth to your space. It creates a tinge of excitement since it changes in look depending on the lighting. A black and modern tone goes with low ambient lighting, then it transforms into a glossy bronze under bright light.

Tan hardware is best suited with golden oak cabinets, but not for red oak. Also, it is appropriate in traditional kitchen design with intricate handles and pulls.

Shop for this ceramic tan cabinet pulls on Amazon

Ways to Update Your Oak Cabinet

Even if your oak cabinet is many decades old, it would still be in top shape if you gave it a nice facelift. Aside from changing the hardware, there are still many factors to consider. We list them down below:

Contrasting Colors

One of the essential elements in designing your oak kitchen is to choose the hardware color that highlights your oak cabinets.

But if you intend to emphasize the hardware rather than the oak cabinet, choose a hardware color that is in contrast to the color of the cabinet. Brown cabinets blend well with silver hardware. Warm honey-toned cabinets look best when paired with black hardware that makes a perfect stand-out.

Additionally, you could also consider upgrading to ornate solid black knobs and handles. These modern picks project a subtle elegance to your oak cabinetry.

Coordinated Style

Black modern cabinets and cupboards inside a rustic kitchen with white flooring

Hardware style should blend with the kitchen's overall decor to achieve coherence. In choosing the cabinet handles' style, shape, and color, you need to consider the other kitchen fixtures, such as the faucet, fittings, lighting, and appliances.

For a modern-style kitchen, sleek and simple styles of hardware are appropriate. Tubular and slim cabinet handles give a minimalistic look. On the other hand, the classic ornate and carved handles are perfect for traditional-style kitchens. Also, the simple bar pulls have become increasingly popular, replacing the round knobs of yesteryears.

The hardware color should match the other kitchen elements. As such, a black ceiling fan and black refrigerator call for black cabinet hardware.

The nicest thing about oak cabinets is that they can be the centerpiece of your kitchen. This means that the style and color of the hardware, backsplash, and even kitchen walls are adjusted and coordinated to the dominance of the oak cabinets.

Matching Hinges

Hinges form part of the design of the kitchen cabinets. If they are designed to be visible when the cabinets are closed, then the color should match the handles for a cohesive look. It looks awkward if the hardware are in two different colors.


Man applying varnish to the oak wooden door

Your oak cabinet is made of real solid wood with its natural grain as its distinctive feature. Staining enables you to alter the wood color without losing the appearance of the grain pattern.

The staining process could be laborious, yet the results pay off. You can choose your cabinet to look darker, with brown undertones, for a sleek look. Or you can opt for a gray-tinted stain for a rustic appearance.


Man painting the oak kitchen cabinets with white and kitchen utensils on the countertop

This is a budget-friendly option since you are making use of your old hardware. You can simply do repainting to update your wood and metal handles. Choose the color and shade that fits your design preferences while giving your cabinet a refurbished look or even revamping your kitchen as a whole.

Bear in mind that cabinet handles get the heavy burden of wear and tear. Aside from the aesthetic value it offers, they are regularly used. Hence, thorough refinishing must be done in terms of the quality of the paint used and the workmanship.

Refinishing can also be a full-color change to your oak cabinet. You have endless options in repainting. You can also consider painting the bottom cabinets only while leaving the top cabinets natural.

The Takeaway

Oak cabinets and cupboard in a rustic kitchen with black marble countertop matched with other oak kitchen utensils

Your oak kitchen cabinets are time-tested for durability and aesthetic appeal. However, updating it may take a big chunk of your budget. So the best and most inexpensive way to upgrade is by changing the hardware. And yes, changing the hardware alone creates a huge impact!

Choose the correct hardware in terms of color and style according to your planned design theme. Additionally, the color and style of the cabinet hinges should also match the handles. Your choice of hardware should perfectly blend with your oak cabinet as well as the other elements of the kitchen for a cohesive look.

Aside from changing the hardware, you could update your oak cabinet through staining and repainting. These processes can completely change the look of your cabinetry.

Want to learn more about kitchen designs? We have these articles for you:

How Much Space Between Countertop And Upper Cabinets? 

Should You Put a Ceiling Fan In Your Kitchen?

How to Get Oil and Grease Marks Off Oak Doors

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