How Do I Choose a Wall Color?

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Making design decisions for your home doesn’t have to be a hand-wringing experience. But there’s something about choosing paint colors for your walls that can seem impossible. With so many options out there, it can make you want to turn to someone else to make the final choice. Today’s Frequently Asked Home question: Which color should I paint my walls?

Consider neutrals: One easy way to go with is a with a neutral color like white, beige or gray to give your room a clean canvas.

If you want color, narrow to cool or warm colors; you’ll cut your color choices in half. If you’re going to go with a bold color, I suggest going all the way. (In other words, if you want bold, go for that bold shade that’s dark and dramatic; don’t wimp out and pick a paint chip a few shades lighter.)

Remember that the sheen of a wall can have a huge effect on how a color is perceived in a room, so know the finishes available and how they might transform your room.

Finally, don’t paint an entire room before stepping back to see if you like a color: Use paint swatches to test small areas of the color in all different types of light. And be sure to seek out color suggestions by finding out the colors used in your favorite house tours.

Some great paint color choices to start with:

→ Have your own FAHQ (Frequently Asked Home Question)?

Unlike our Good Questions (which are about very specific design dilemmas in your home, FAHQs are more general design questions that anyone might be wondering about home design. Ask your FAHQ in the comments below and we might answer it in a future post!