How to pick the best paint colour for a dark room

Here is our advice for DIYers who will paint a dark room
How to Pick the Best Paint Colour for a Dark Room

The colour of the walls holds the key to how a room feels. It is important to get this right in the dark rooms of your home. But, choosing the best paint colour for your walls isn’t as easy as counting one to three. We baffle ourselves with the countless of options offered to us. Worse, we only know we chose the wrong colour once the paint job is done.  


If you want to master the art of painting your walls, you need to know how to choose the perfect colour (and shade) to use.


Here is our advice for DIYers who will paint a dark room:

Refrain from using a vivid white paint.

A south-facing room doesn’t receive much daylight, even if it has numerous windows. Yes, white paint is the go-to paint to make this room brighter, but using cool white all over will make the room feel stark and cold.


We recommend using a softer shade of white on the walls to make it cozy. Warm whites improve the natural light that comes in through your window. It results in a room that’s perfect for relaxing.

Work with two shades of white

If your white paint feels clinical, consider pairing it with a creamy white paint. It’s what we did in this granny flat, where we coated the walls with an off-white paint and the ceiling with a cooler white paint. The wall slightly contradicts the ceiling, which makes this simple white room easy on the eye.Read: 8 Shades of White Paint for 8 Different Effects

Go for neutrals with a hint of green

When picking up a light grey or off-white paint, choose the shade that has a hint of green in it. A green wall like the one below possess a neutralising effect. Most colours will work well with it. It also looks classy when natural light hits it. Note: Neutral paints that appear peachy and pinkish are warmer and often clash with other colours. These paint colours work best in rooms that receive abundant daylight.

Use a darker shade to establish a focal point

Painting a wall with a darker colour is an effective way to create a focal point in a room. It helps define areas in an open-plan room too. As you can see, the dark grey we used in this living room contrasts nicely with the lighter shades. It also served as the backdrop of the stairs.


When choosing dark shades for a windowless room or apartment, opt for an earthy colour. We find sandy browns and warm greys super attractive and sophisticated.

Stick to a simple colour palette

Rooms that receive plenty of sunlight can handle strong colours. A dark room can’t. So if you’re planning to paint the walls your south-facing rooms with a bold colour, keep the rest of the interiors simple. You don’t want too many competing colours.   


Paint the window wall with dark paint

South-facing rooms with large windows will look better when you paint the walls in a dark colour. We used a beautiful kobicha brown paint to make this room more dramatic. The wall with a window is the darkest part of the room because it doesn’t receive direct light, thus it’s okay to paint it dark.

Choose light colours for the woodwork and ceiling

Consider painting the woodwork and ceiling of a room in the same colour. It works best when it contrasts the colour of the wall. This trick gives the room a more unified look.

Switch colours and go dark on the woodwork

The previous tip works the other way around. Rooms with dark woodwork and light walls look as sophisticated as the first one. For the walls, we recommend using paint with sand or beige undertones. These warm colours complement the trims and joinery you have in the room.


Consider doing this too when the woodwork in a room is old or an antique. The darker colour makes the small damages look forgiving.   

Use dark walls as backdrop

Dark walls are great when you plan to display art, sculpture, and a few mementoes. Use any lovely shade of brown like taupe. The neutral walls bring the metal and other nature-inspired art in this room too life.Liked this article? Share them with your friends online! Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram too.Work with the finest Melbourne architectural designers.Superdraft can help you design rooms that receive little natural light.

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