Choosing Room Paint Colors
For Dark Rooms

Do you know what is the biggest mistake most people make when choosing room paint colors for dark rooms? Read on to find out...

Selecting paint colors for dark rooms may seem counter-intuitive at first as you will see below. Chances are, when thinking about painting a dark room, you (like most other people) reach for very light, pale colors, trying to combat the lack of natural light. That is not the best option, but let's start from the beginning.

Dark Paint Colors Are Out

dark room paint colors

When painting rooms with Northern exposure, rooms with no windows (like a powder room or hallway) or rooms where not enough daylight comes in because of the trees in front of the window, dark paint colors are the worst choice.

Room paint colors like burgundy, chocolate or navy blue may look great on a color chip or in a big house with large windows and plenty of sunlight. But use the same colors in an already dark room, and you are guaranteed to get a depression pretty soon - the room will look gloomy 24/7 and you will avoid spending time there.

That seems like a no-brainer, but you will be surprised at how many homeowners make this paint color mistake and turn their rooms into a cellar.

What's Wrong With Light Paint Colors?

But here's the kicker, are you ready? Very light, pale colors are also a bad choice for dark rooms. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, pale colors do not make dark rooms seem lighter. What they do, however, is make the walls look... dirty.

light room paint colors

You see, with pale/pastel room paint colors (including shades of white), you need a lot of natural light to actually see the color undertone.

That's why whites and pastels look best in sunny rooms, where you can see the nuances of shades.

Just think about it: you turn on the lights every time you walk into a dark room anyway, even if it's painted a very light color. Have you noticed that a pale color doesn't help add light by itself and you still need to use artificial lighting?

pale room paint colors

White and other pale colors in a dark room simply don't make sense - they don't get the job done.

Besides, the light color you pick for a dark room will look nothing like the shade you saw on a color chip. You won't be able to see the undertones that make the color interesting. All you will see will be gray shadows, even with the lights on.

What Room Paint Colors Do You Choose Then?

mid-tone room paint colors

So what wall paint colors are we left with when painting dark rooms? If you said mid-tones, you guessed it!

bright room paint colors

Mid-tones are the colors you see right in the middle of a color strip. They are deep enough to let you see the actual color both in daytime and in the evening.

In other words, they fulfill the purpose of using color in a home, which is to add something to a room - warmth, style, character and atmosphere. But they are not as deep as to make your room look gloomy. Paraphrasing Goldilocks, mid-tone room paint colors are not too dark, not too light, but just right!

"A light color will never come to life in a dark room but a rich, deep color can make a dim, somber space feel warm and luminous - even though it receives no natural light."

David Kaufman

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets

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