Incredibly versatile and surprisingly complex, neutral paint colors are a homeowner favorite.
Relaxing and soothing, neutral colors—including white and gray—exude calm. Turn to our online inspiration or in-store advice as you consider the vast array of neutrals. And don’t forget to paint samples on your wall before buying: Seeing color on the wall, no matter how subtle your choice, is the only way to ensure it’s perfect for your space.
Warm + Cool + Most Popular Neutral Paint Colors
Here are some of our most popular shades of neutral paint colors.
Focus on Lighting and Neutral Colors
Lighting always plays a critical role in color perception, and neutrals are particularly sensitive. To select the best neutral paint color for your home, test each hue in different lighting conditions.
Here, the near wall in Revere Pewter HC-172 is a classic ‘greige’ that can appear as beige, gray or off-white based on changing light at different times of the day.
The Best Neutral Paint Colors: Bedroom
Many homeowners want to know what hues are the most flattering in the bedroom to set a relaxing mood and create a “neutral territory” for those who share this intimate space. “Everyone looks and feels different based on the colors they’re surrounded by,” says Hannah Yeo, Color & Design expert, “Look for a color that flatters your personality.”
Want a shade as stylish as your wardrobe? Neutral colors in a bedroom can help you assess your clothing more easily. Favorites include luxurious Clay Beige OC-11 and Pashmina AF-100, as well as Wish AF-680, shown here.
The Best Neutral Paint Colors: Living Room
When realtors stage a home, they commonly choose neutral paint colors because of their adaptability, inviting nature, and overall balance. If you frequently swap out accent pieces or have bright, colorful furniture, like the coffee table here in Marlboro Blue HC-153, neutral paint colors are a great option.
We love the barely-there hues of Ashen Tan 996, pictured, and silvery Halo OC-46. Want to go deeper? Earthy Saddle Soap 2110-30 offers color saturation while remaining a sturdy, goes-with-anything neutral.
A Warm Welcome
A neutral color palette for your home’s exterior offers a beautiful backdrop for flora and fauna, from evergreens to cacti. Here, Baby’s Breath OC-62 beckons a soft welcome. Other beigey neutrals that provide timeless curb appeal include Bleeker Beige HC-80 and Smokey Taupe 983.
Add some spark to neutral exteriors with a deep accent color, as seen here with rich Baby Seal Black 2119-30 on trim. Be sure to take color inspiration from stone, slate, wood and other materials from your home’s façade as well.
“NEUTRALS SET THE STAGE FOR OTHER COLORS.”
COLOR & DESIGN EXPERT
How to Choose Neutral Paint Colors
When considering neutral paint color, look at the undertone that aligns with your desired design outcome:
For a cozy feel in your room, consider a warm neutral paint color with undertones of yellow, red or orange.
If you want a more open, airy vibe, consider neutrals such as white and gray that have cooler undertones like green, blue or purple.
Survey your room for predominant color direction. The room pictured here is rich with wood tones, so Jute AF-80, a warm beige, makes for a cohesive match.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When touching up a hole repair, why do I notice a difference, why is the color different?
Paint ages and loses sheen over time, so even within 3 months of painting, the wall is now less shiny than the touch up, meaning it will stand out more. In time the touch up will dull down and blend in a little, but the touchup must be applied lightly in order to keep the wall looking as close to uniform as possible.
Should I do two coats?
You should always do two coats for the following reasons:
-Uniform color - if you only do one coat there is no guarantee that the color will be uniform if the previous color is showing through due to improper film build.
-When doing a color change you should definitely not rely on one coat, depending on what you’re changing to, 2 coats is usually enough.
Do I need to prime?
Priming is necessary when you have new drywall/drywall mud to seal it so that it doesn’t absorb more paint than is needed. Also if doing a color change from dark to light 1 coat of primer might be recommended in order to achieve the desired color.
Why do I need to wait for the paint to dry?
The re-coat window is necessary to ensure that your 2nd coat doesn’t re-wet the first coat. Applying paint too early can just re-activate the previously applied coat of paint, meaning that you don’t get a proper two coat film build, and so it doesn’t cover as two proper coats.
How long do I wait to be able to wash my walls
Most paints require 28 days to full harden and cure, giving you maximum durability for the product. only ever wash your walls with warm soapy water, avoiding bleach or ammonia based cleaning products.