Neutral Paint Colors

While some homeowners prefer bright, bold paint colors throughout the house, others stick to neutrals and allow furniture and décor to take center stage. Learn more about neutral colors, both cool and warm, to make the right choices for your home.

Dining Room w/ Enduring Style by Benjamin Moore

Where Neutral Paints Work Best
Larger areas that blend into each other benefit from neutral colors, as you don't have to worry about a hue overpowering a room or clashing with another paint color in sight. These larger areas, such as living rooms and hallways, also tend to be rich with upholstery furniture and décor. If you have a neutral color on the walls and ceiling, you can rely on the items in the room to provide pops of color. Bold colors on the walls and in the décor can result in room looking busy, hardly the most relaxing atmosphere.

Finding Neutral Paint Colors
Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and Behr all have an abundance of neutral colors in their collections.

The color gallery at Benjamin Moore allows you to search by neutrals only. There you will find more than 600 neutral shades, ranging from warm browns and tans to cool greys and blues.

On the Sherwin-Williams website, you will find paint colors by family, including warm neutrals and cool neutrals; this categorization proves especially handy if you are unsure about colors that straddle the line between warm and cool. More than 150 colors make up the warm neutral collection, while the cool neutrals family has slightly less but enough variety for you to get the just-right color.

Behr categorizes its neutral offerings in yet another different way online, listing the base color for the shades. If your furniture and décor would fit well with a red-toned neutral, you can go directly to the palette with those hues.

If you do plan to stick with neutral colors on the way for existing home items, show your professional painter the items you want to complement for best results.

Other Reasons for Sticking to Neutral Paints
When deciding on paint colors for your home, whether a new or lived-in house, think about how long you plan to be in the home. If you know it will only be a few years, a fraction of the paint's recommended lifetime, neutrals might be your best bet. Homebuyers can easily be turned off by bright, bold choices that you love but they may not. And even if they plan to repaint whichever house they choose before moving in, it can be hard for them to imagine living in your home if the paint colors vary drastically from their own tastes. Bottom line: Neutral colors rarely offend.

When you meet with your professional painter to discuss your options, let him or her know that you only plan to be in the home for a few years if that proves to be the plan. Your painter will have insight into colors commonly used because of their resale benefits, and he or she can make recommendations based not only on your house and style, but also on your neighborhood and area of the country. A professional knows what works and what doesn't in terms of both aesthetics and resale.

Sample Your Favorite Neutrals
Once your professional painter helps you narrow your many color options to a few, have him or her apply them in small blocks throughout the home. This allows you to live with the colors for a few weeks before making a final decision, seeing them at different times of day and under a variety of light conditions. An interior painting project is an investment in your home, one you want to make only after thoughtfully considering your options.

This post is a part of our series on Interior Painting Tips.

When you're ready to paint your home-interior painting and/or exterior painting-be sure to contact your local ProTect Painters and click here for a free estimate.

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