Paint a living room: 8 Things to Do Before You Paint a Living Room

8 Things to Do Before You Paint a Living Room


Lauren Flanagan

Lauren Flanagan

Lauren Flanagan is an interior design expert with over 15 years of experience writing, editing, and producing articles for renowned Canadian publications and shows for HGTV on home decor. She worked in high-end home decor retail before discovering her passion was to share what she knew in publications and on television.

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Updated on 01/09/21

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

One of the best ways to transform a living room is with a fresh coat of paint. In just one day you can make a room look completely different―without having to buy any new furniture or spend a lot of money. However, despite the fact that paint is considered an easy, inexpensive fix, it doesn’t come without some cost and some effort. Particularly in large rooms and awkward to paint areas (such as stairways).  So before you start painting your living room you need to make sure you’ve done your due diligence and taken the appropriate steps.

Here are eight things you need to do before you paint a living room. 

Choose a Paint Color

Choosing a paint color can be a difficult task. There are so many options that it can be tough to narrow it down to just one. Should you go light or dark? Bright or muted? What kind of finish do you want? Any painted details like stripes, stencils, or molding? A lot of people find these decisions overwhelming, but the key is to take your time and follow all the steps for choosing a paint color. The most important step is to take your time choosing. Quick decisions can lead to unhappy results and the fix can be time-consuming and tedious.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Test the Paint Color

Once you’ve chosen a paint color it’s a good idea to test it on the wall before you commit. Sometimes the way a color appears on a paint chip, or the way it looks in a photograph, is a little different than the way it will look in your home. The main reason is due to the room’s lighting. Lighting has a huge effect on how a paint color looks. Some rooms are flooded with natural light while others depend largely on artificial lighting. And sometimes the light can appear very different depending on what time of day it is. The best way to account for these issues is to try three different shades of the color you want―the one you think you want, a shade lighter and a shade darker. (Most paint stores sell small sample jars just for this purpose.) Test small patches in a couple of different places―near a window, in a dark corner, and right in the middle of the wall. Look to see how different they appear at different times of the day. This will help to determine the right one for the room.

Prep the Walls

Once you’ve settled on a paint color it’s time to prep the walls. This means cleaning, patching holes and cracks, and sanding down any bumps. Dirt on the walls can prevent paint from adhering, so the first thing to do is wash the walls. Get rid of any dirt or grime that may have accumulated over the years. Then use a filler to fill any holes, cracks or chips that may exist on the walls. At this time you should also remove any other loose paint from previous coats that may be chipping away (often found around the trim) and fill the area. Give the filler sufficient time to dry and then sand it down to create a smooth surface. After sanding give the walls another wipe down to remove the sanding dust.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Tape off Trim and Molding

A lot of people skip this step because it’s time-consuming, but it’s definitely worthwhile to spend the time taping around all the trim and molding. This means baseboards, crown molding, door, and window casings, and any other types you may have such as chair rail or wainscotting. Taping helps protect the trim so that you won’t have to do any additional touch-ups later. That said, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security around the taped off areas. You still need to be careful around the trim so that paint doesn’t seep under or go over the tape.

Remove Items From the Room

Any time you paint the walls of a room it’s important to remove as many items as possible. It can be tempting to simply pull items away from the walls and put everything in the center of the room, but you may find yourself tripping over things throughout the process. If taking large pieces of furniture out is not an option you should, at the very least, remove all the accessories, and as many small pieces as you can. Also, if you have area rugs, roll them up and take them out of the room.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Put Down Drop Cloths

Even the best painter in the world can make a mistake or have an accident so don’t skip the step of putting down drop cloths―especially if you have wall-to-wall carpet. While paint splatters can sometimes be picked off of hardwood, laminate or tile floors, it’s virtually impossible to get paint out of the carpet. And if something happens and you accidentally spill a can or a tray full of paint you’ll spend a lifetime trying to remove it from the floor―no matter what type of flooring you have.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Gather Materials in One Place

Painting requires brushes, rollers, paint trays, cloths, ladders, and any number of other items depending on what and where you’re painting. Save yourself time and frustration by making a list of all the items you’ll need to get the job done and make sure they’re all together in one place before you start. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a project only to discover you can’t find something you need.

Prime the Walls

Priming the walls is an important step in order to ensure a smooth, even finish. Walls tend to absorb paint and if you don’t prime first you may find you need multiple coats to get the look you want. Also, if there’s already another color of paint on the walls you may find it needs two, three or even four coats to cover it. Priming the walls first will eliminate some of these issues and ensure you get the finished product you want.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

How to Paint a Room: 10 Steps to Painting Walls Like a DIY Pro

AD It Yourself

Learn how to paint a room in your home or apartment with these easy DIY steps and brighten up any space in no time

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Learning how to paint a room properly is essential for beginning DIY’ers, new homeowners, and veteran home improvement experts alike. After all, it’s pretty painless, relatively inexpensive, and—should something go horribly wrong—easy to fix. But before you grab your roller and get started with your first coat, it’s essential to have a plan of attack. So we asked a handful of experts for their best painting tips and tricks to get you started. Read on to learn how to paint a room and see step-by-step what you’ll need to do to make sure your project is a success.

While San Francisco based designer Nicole Hollis may have turned heads for painting the exterior of her home jet black, we’re prone to the moody blue she chose from Farrow & Ball for the bar.Douglas Friedman

1. Plan your approach

Start by thinking about how you want the finished project to look and remember that you’re not limited to four walls or an entire room in the same color. Consider painting an accent wall in a bold hue or highlighting moldings in a contrasting shade or finish. And don’t forget to look up and see whether the ceiling could use a refresh as well.

Alexander Gorlin used Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball on an accent wall in a New York apartment.

2. Choose your color

Browsing through fan decks and paint chips can be overwhelming. Start by figuring out the general color characteristics: Do you want a warm or cool shade? Neutral or saturated? If you have existing furniture or art, you’ll also want to consider how the shade will complement them. Once you have a sense of what you’re looking for, pick a few shades and get samples—lots of direct-to-consumer brands, like Backdrop and Clare, will send you adhesive swatches you can slap on the wall for a better sense of shade (and it’ll save you a trip to the store). Test the colors to see how they look in the room at different times of day.

Many paint companies also have tools on their websites that will let you upload a photo of your space and preview different colors on the walls. But colors can look different in real-world conditions, so you’ll still need to try it out in the space.

Test samples of your color choices in the room to see how they look in different lighting conditions.

Photo: Richard Drury/Getty Images

3. Pick out your tools and materials

Every project is unique and you may need different tools depending on the paint you choose and the condition of your walls, but there are a few must-haves:

  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint tray
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife

Click here for a shopping list to order all the paint supplies you’ll need to get started—from sanding and priming to your very last touch-ups.

Gather all the essential tools before you start.

Photo: Anika Salsera/Getty Images

4. Determine how much paint you’ll need

Whether you’re painting a powder room or the exterior of your house, the general rule of thumb is one gallon per 400 square feet, says Carl Minchew, vice president of color innovation and design at Benjamin Moore. But that’s just a rough guideline: To get a more precise number, which you’ll definitely want for large projects, use a paint calculator like the ones provided by Benjamin Moore or Pratt & Lambert; they take into account window and door measurements. (And both assume two coats of paint per project.)

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Planning on whitewashing a charcoal gray wall? You’ll likely need additional paint when going from dark to light. On the other end of the spectrum, a deep color base tends to require more coats of paint than a lighter color, says Carolyn Noble, color marketing and design manager at Pratt & Lambert. She recommends applying a gray-tinted primer to the surface before you paint your walls a saturated color to help reduce the number of applications. When it comes to finish, you may have heard that the glossier it is, the higher the coverage rate, but it’s not enough of a difference to change the number of gallons you need to buy, Minchew says.

If you’re painting a highly textured surface rather than a smooth one, buy a little extra, says Julianne Simcox, Pratt & Lambert associate brand manager. Cabinets with complicated millwork require more paint, too; Minchew suggests purchasing about 10% more than calculated.

Calculate the correct amount of paint you’ll need to spare yourself trips back to the store and wasted paint.

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

5. Prep the walls and the room

You don’t want to damage your favorite sofa or that heirloom Grandma gave you, so empty the room of all the furniture. If you don’t have enough space to relocate everything you own, push it all to the center of the room. Cover the pieces with a drop cloth or lightweight plastic sheeting and do the same with the floor, as well as any cabinetry or countertops that might be in danger of excess splatter. “Don’t skip the drop cloth—paint will splatter, we promise,” say New Jersey contractors—and cousins—John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino, the stars of the HGTV series Cousins Undercover and Kitchen Cousins as well as The Build Up and Grand Design on Ellen DeGeneres’s Ellentube.

Grab a roll of painter’s tape—the cousins recommend FrogTape—and firmly apply it to the edges of the room’s corners, base and crown moldings, and door and window casings, using a putty knife to seal if needed. “Getting a good seal so paint doesn’t get under the tape is everything, plus it will pull away clean after everything is dry,” Colaneri and Carrino say. If you dare (or have an artist’s steady hand), you can skip taping entirely. Remove light switch and outlet covers and apply painter’s tape to protect outlets and switches from paint drips. Before you get started, make sure you know how to repair drywall so you can clean up any nicks in the walls.

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Protect floors and furniture with drop cloths.

Photo: Patti McConville/Getty Images

6. Mix your paint

Use a wooden paint stick to stir the paint, and re-stir often throughout the project. Paint that isn’t stirred consistently can lead to the ingredients separating and you’ll risk compromising the true color you’re going for. If you’re using more than one gallon of paint, combine the cans in a large bucket in case there is a slight variation in color.

Mix your paint early and often.

Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images

7. Pick your painting techniques

Your paint is mixed and your roller is at the ready, but make sure to plan a strategy before you get started. Work from the top of the room down, starting with the ceilings. Planning a bold focal wall? Paint the adjoining light-colored walls first. “Don’t worry if you get paint on what will be your accent wall—the dark paint will cover up whatever lighter paint found its way there. After the lighter wall dries, tape off that edge so the dark color doesn’t bleed onto your new paint,” Colaneri and Carrino advise. If you’re covering up dark walls with a brighter hue, plan on three coats: your primer, plus two coats of the new color to ensure nothing shows through.

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Tackle one wall at a time. Take a brush and “cut in”—paint along the molding and the corners from top to bottom—while your painting companion uses a roller to cover the main expanse of the wall, staying away from those more precise spots. When applying paint with the roller, use long strokes in a W pattern for ample coverage (and to avoid those pesky roller marks). Once the wall is dry to the touch, it’s ready for a second coat.

If you are painting the trim, remove the painter’s tape and wait for the walls to dry before applying tape to the walls. Start with the trim closest to the ceiling, move on to door and window frames, and, finally, the baseboards.

Start by cutting in near moldings and corners with a brush.

Photo: Banks Photos/Getty Images

8. Don’t forget ventilation

Watching paint dry is no fun. Make sure your space is well ventilated throughout the project by opening windows and using fans. “Keeping the room warm and a fan blowing definitely helps speed up the drying process,” the cousins say. “If it’s a damp day, it will take much longer for the paint to dry.”

Open a window or use a fan for ventilation.

Photo: Stephen Simpson/Getty Images

9. Clean up

You’ve done multiple coats, but it’s not time to relax just yet. Remove all the painter’s tape and gather drop cloths, making sure any spills or splatters are dry before you move them. For latex- and water-based paints, clean brushes with soapy water, though oil-based paints will require mineral spirits. You can use a painter’s brush to clean and reshape bristles. If you want to reuse roller covers, use the curved edge of a 5-in-1 tool to remove the excess paint under running water (they’re also useful for opening a paint can, removing nails, and scraping).

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Clean brushes with soap and water if you used latex- or water-based paints.

Photo: Ableimages/David Harrigan/Getty Images


Give yourself enough time

The amount of time your project will take depends on the size of your room, how you’re painting, and your skill level. For instance, using a dark shade on the walls and painting the ceiling and trim will take longer than just doing the walls in a neutral color. While some spaces can be done in a few hours, others may take several days. Be sure to budget more time than you think the job will need and don’t forget to take prep and cleanup into account.

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These clever living room paint ideas will give you home a unique look to love. You can transform your space using nothing but a tin of paint – from bold brights to barely-there neutrals, accent walls to stripes, these painting tips show there’s something for every style.

Adding a splash of colour is the quickest and easiest way to add style and personality to any room. Whether on all four walls or with clever paint touches, a lick of paint can instantly give your living room space a fresh-faced new look.

With video tutorials and step-by-step DIY and decorating guides widely available, we’ve never been braver to try new paint ideas to create bespoke spaces we adore.

Painting is one of the least expensive ways to update a room, compared with hanging wallpaper or taking on total refurbishments and these brilliant living room ideas will help inspire you to give your space a new lease of life.

Living room paint ideas to inspire

1. Use colour blocking to break up walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Create a colour-block wall of uplifting colour by using a tonal palette separated with a white border. Think vertically to add height to the room, using blocks of pastel blue and green and dividing  the area with an off-centre stipe of white.

The use of the white for the dividing line mirrors the skirting boards and ceilings to create a frame of colour to make the coloured blocks feel all the more impactful.

Coordinate the look with matching soft furnishings and accessories. Choose a living room colour scheme to suit your own personal tastes to make the look totally unique for your home.

2. Paint bespoke storage to uniform a feature wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

A savvy living room storage ideas and great way to save space is by having bespoke cabinetry built to fit, meaning you can use the whole wall for storage – from floor to ceiling.

A creative way to make this a feature wall which, despite serving all your needs, look like one uniformed wall is painting it all one statement shade, as shown in this grey living room. Including skirting boards and fireplace surrounds, paint the whole wall in the same shade to make the look feel seamless.

3. Transform an empty fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your living room features a fireplace that is purely ornamental, i.e it’s not a working fire, why not really show it off with a splash of vibrant colour.

The injection of colour creates the ideal backdrop to display an array of home accessories, from candles to photo frames. In this smart living room the yellow accent colour is used on the walls either side of the chimney breast to coordinate with the painted fireplace.

4. Stack tonal shades

(Image credit: Dulux)

Add interest by using two different colours to create a divide without having to put up a picture rail. In this pink living room the already decorative living room wall panelling ideas is giving a sense of division thanks to the banding colours painted one on top of the other. Use shades that work well together but allow enough of a difference to make a statement.

5. Make it matching

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There are no rules that say just because bold or bright colours are trending, that you have to use them to create a fashionable feel for your living room.

As this stunning cosy living room demonstrates sometimes simple can be more powerful. A subtle mink shade of paint on the walls coordinates perfectly with the textiles and furniture pieces within this room to create a cohesive colour scheme that feels sophisticated and serene.

6. Define the fire surround in an accent colour

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)


Paint your fire surround in a bright, happy shade and top it with colourful accessories to make it the focal point of your living room. To take the colour inject up a level try painting logs in an assortment of complimentary shades, as shown in this bespoke living room fireplace ideas.

7. Add a dramatic painted stripe to a living room

(Image credit: Little Greene)

A new twist on the living room feature wall ideas right here: a band of colour running around the centre of the room like a belt between jeans and a tee! Take the stripe through anything that it touches too, as interrupting the bold strip of contrasting colour would lessen its impact.

Little Greene’s impressive example contrasts a striking blue with a bold white band.

8. Frame a knock-through with a painted stripe

(Image credit: Joanna Henderson Styling credit: Charlotte Boyd)

With open-plan living rooms growing in popularity there are often two spaces merged into one that you might like to give a slightly different purpose to.

While it makes sense to paint the two spaces in the same colour, to provide a sense of continuity you could clearly define the two rooms by adding accents on architectural points of interest, such as archways. This simple act subtly zones distinct living ares within the same open-plan space.

Given it’s not a huge area of paint coverage you can change the colour seasonally, or when you switch up accent accessories within the room without huge expense.

Using a spot colour to define two connected-but-separate spaces is a fun way to inject some colour too. Signal the divide with an accent colour and tie the colour in through accessories like cushions and ceramics. A graphic piece of art is often a great place to look for a fail-safe palette, picking out shades that will add an extra dimension to your room.

9. Use accent colours to highlight features

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson)

Celebrate features rather than try to hide them under a uniformed wall colour. An accent colour border will draw attention to lovely period door frames, skirting boards and picture rails. Picking out key architectural details can help to add depth to your living room and create interest.

Even if the space is devoid of features, you could fake a feature with clever paint ideas. No skirting board? Simply paint a two-tone feature on the wall to create the illusion of its presence.

10. Opt for a nature-inspired palette

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Not all hero colours are bold attention-seekers. This soft tone that hovers between brown and grey is a quiet game-changer that’ll make a room look warmer and more sophisticated at a brushstroke. Plus, it plays well with other colours, so you can indulge pretty much any whim when it comes to accents.

Sandstone blends with other browns, as well as greys for a smooth mix. Brown neutrals can be sludgy and dull unless you cut through them with the right accents. We recommend blue and mimosa yellow.

11. Work a whitewash

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Brilliant white paint has a transformative effect on interiors. Use it on walls and ceilings and it will make a star of every non-white piece of furniture and accessory in your living room.

White is a wholly selfless paint shade, providing all the light and energy while reflecting the attention elsewhere. In this coastal living room, as the white sofa recedes, pictorial and striped upholstery and fabrics are brought into sharp relief along with myriad accessories on shelving and walls.

Painted tongue-and-groove walls and cupboards give this scheme additional coastal kudos. Opt for the best white paint to choose the right shade for your walls.

12. Use white to brighten

(Image credit: FuturePLC/Robert Sanderson)

Period properties are favoured for their characterful details, such as original wooden beams and low ceilings. While these elements can ooze charm they can sometimes make the room feel quite dark, and therefore feel smaller.

A great way to combat traditional design features from encroaching on the space is to brighten with a splash of white paint. Painting with precision allows the beams to remain untouched, retaining their original aesthetic. A bright white paint on the ceiling helps to keep the space feeling as airy as possible.

13. Anchor an alcove with grey

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith)

Grey is the new neutral. Use it in a living room where its rather understated nature allows it to introduce warmth without shouting at your visitors.

Start with your chimney breast and take the paint into alcoves too where it will make a feature of stripped wood shelves and your book collection.

This scheme has bravely taken grey down to the skirting and up to the ceiling too, leaving just the floor – in stripped pine – to provide a contrast. Bring in wood furniture and leather and cow-hide style upholstery to complement the shelving.

14. Create a barely there backdrop

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Consider transforming a section of a white living room with country cream. Floor-to-ceiling shelving and storage is the perfect vehicle for this classic shade – smart fitted bookshelves painted in the same shade occupy two walls.

Paint the architrave and panelling too, as well as the back of shelves for a truly cohesive feel. Tones of teal and burnt orange are the perfect accompaniment to cream, so bring them in aplenty on cushions, lighting and upholstery.

15. Paint a feature wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Nick Keane)

If you’re not too keen on the bold-is-beautiful school of decorating, pick out a single feature in your living room and treat it to your favourite shade.

This warm pink doesn’t overwhelm because it’s restricted to one area only – the chimney breast. Pick a shade that will work with your fireplace and integrate it into your room by using the same shade on a single piece of furniture and for a small selection of accessories.

16. Be bold with abstract black and white

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Bevan)

Plan carefully and an all-over white decorating scheme doesn’t have to be plain. A white backdrop provides the opportunity to be more adventurous with bold patterns and signature furniture, allowing you to create a living room that is chic, modern and adventurous.

The whitewashed walls and white furniture featured in this living room work together because of the touches of black. Look for fabrics with a subtle modern black-and-white design that will break up a run of pure white.

17. Balance dark colours

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

be scary; it can bring a real sense of character and sophistication to your living area. In this blue living room, the heady mix of textures and tones makes for a luxuriously atmospheric space.

18. Unite shades from the same colour palette

(Image credit: Future PLC/ K atya de Grunwald)

Give your space a thoroughly modern update using a palette of gentle pastels in unexpected places. Paint a door frame and door in a sundae shade and keep the rest of the wall space white to stop the scheme from looking too sickly sweet. If you have two interlinking rooms, create harmony by repeating key colours across both, but on different surfaces.

19. Paint the whole wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /Lisa Cohen)

Choose versatile teal for a living space that’s both sophisticated and on-trend. Paint the walls, skirting boards and fireplace in one shade to give your space a truly cohesive feel. Team this classic shade with mid-century modern pieces and interesting artwork to offset the green-blue colour.

Teal living rooms pop with bright white and its colour wheel match is coral. It’s a classic that works with nearly any style, from contemporary to traditional.

20. Create an artistic watercolour finish

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Embrace your inner artist, or better still pay a skilled decorator to take the pressure off. Use brushstroke patterns to add an artistic flourish to any scheme.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with innovative paint techniques. Choose your favourite colour and work with shades from the same palette to create a graduated effect along one feature wall. Think about including inky dyed textiles with soft blurry edges and ombre, watercolour washes for a painterly effect.

What colours are on trend for living rooms?

There’s no denying that grey living rooms are still the most popular mainstream colour choice. It has become the neutral of choice, replacing cream and beige for the modern home.

However the most popular colours are darker, brooding hues of blue. Thanks to the presence of Instagram we can see inside others homes to gain a better feel for what is trending – giving homeowners a sense of braveness with bolder colour choices. As a result the most fashionably on-trend colour for 2021 decorating living rooms is most visibly a rich navy blue.

Which colour will you be using in your next decorating scheme?

35 paint colors for the living room to refresh your space

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(Image credit: Farrow & Ball )

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Looking to change up your paint colors for the living room? We all know the power of paint – we know what it can do to a room, how it can take a tired looking magnolia blah space and turn it into a gloriously stylish, fresh feeling room.  

And what we love so much about painting walls is that you can grab a paintbrush this weekend and create that fresh space yourself. Okay, maybe it’s not as easy as picking up a paintbrush and totally revamping your living room – but that’s where we come in.

Whether you are a neutral living room ideas lover looking to adding a bit of color to your setup, or an avid trend follower who wants to know what color they should be painting their space this year, you’ll walk away knowing exactly what to do. 

Obviously, there is a practical element to whatever living room paint color ideas you choose – things like size and how much natural light your room gets may affect what living room paint you can go for – but we’ve covered all of that too. With our guide, you’ll find a paint color to match your best sofa and the rest of your much-loved furniture, no problem…

Paint colors for the living room to be proud of

‘The living room is the place we all look forward to retreating to after a long day, or lounging about in on a lazy weekend – add a well-chosen scheme, and you’re assured of a space you can’t wait to come home to,’ says Joa Studholme, color curator, Farrow & Ball .

‘Whether you’re drawn to strong, grounding tones that invite and envelop, or powdery hues that soothe and soften, there’s a scheme to suit your style.’

But before you pick up a brush, knowing how to paint a room properly will deliver professional-looking results.

1. Go floor-to-ceiling with pink decor

(Image credit: Soho House)

Fantastically feminine, pink room ideas will forever be popular, and as a living room paint color idea – it can put on all sorts of different hats. While pastel hues evoke a sense of playfulness, punchy magenta shades connote confidence.

But if you’re looking for a grown-up emulsion that shows who’s boss, choose a dusky pink with a black pigment. And go floor-to-ceiling with it.

The warm, earthy tones in this room above have been strongly influenced by the hues in traditional terracotta floor tiles. Get the exact leather brown plain tiles from Bert & May to add softness to your living room.

2. Bring the outside in with a sage green

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Need to take five from a stressful work or home life? Go for a green living room. October Mist is a fresh sage green that is a perfect option if you need paint colors for the living room. It’s calming, relaxing and the perfect color to welcome guests into your home. It’s also one of the best bedroom paint colors.

‘October Mist adapts to different environments and styles incredibly well.’ says Andrea Magno, director of color marketing and development, Benjamin Moore .

‘In choosing a green, it really echoes what we’re seeing in the world. We want to capture the spirit of what’s in the air. Having a soft, gently-shaded sage felt really right. It’s approachable, organic and grounded – yet there’s still a dreamy, misty quality to it.’

3. Warm up wall paneling with a spicy palette 

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

As decorative as it is, we don’t often see wall paneling being used as a feature. But we are here to change that. In this living room paint idea by Annie Sloan, hot punchy oranges and reds are used in a bevelled-like execution with tempered mustard.

These paint colors for the living room are really a celebration of color. Magenta cushions are mixed with more muted shades of pink on the floorboards, walls and radiators to make this space feel liveable, and pare down the liveliness.

Get the look with Sloan’s shades in: Antoinette , Barcelona Orange and Emperor’s Silk .

4. Experiment with pale paint and decoupage

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Can’t decide between a living room paint color idea and a living room wallpaper idea? In a world of excess and maximalism – you can have both. In this grannycore scheme, pale blue-grey Svenska paint is combined with floral wallcovering cut-outs to create a feminine aesthetic.

This space is blooming full of flowery furniture and accessories including a heavily-printed carpet, wall art and cushions, so go full-on with the flower power when you shop for these pieces. 

5. Look to natural materials colors to cocoon

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Our homes are our sanctuaries that we like to feel safe in and hibernate in, especially in the colder months. So, it only feels right to use a living room wall painting idea to feel cozy in.

Khaki-grey French linen works gorgeously with natural materials such as jute, cotton and linen for an organic-feeling scheme. Just as you dunk them in your hot tea, cookie-like shades compliment this lounge space too. And, when it comes to soft furnishings, pile ’em high. Think throws, cushions and beanbags galore.

And, while we’re on the topic… the best living room rugs can transform any floor to make it a space you love being in.

6. Create a delicious feature wall

(Image credit: Dulux)

Many of us have exciting childhood memories of being treated to an ice cream or gelato (if you’re European) at a dessert parlor or ice cream truck. And these paint colors for the living room definitely reminds us of all the different flavors presented side by side – or the infamous Neopolitan dessert where kid-friendly strawberry, vanilla and chocolate tastes are combined.

Fast forward a fair few years into adulthood, and color blocking is a palatable living room paint color idea that we’re seeing in the world of interiors. Edible-sounding sweet shades such as Soda Pink and Caramel Fudge can be introduced into living areas to create an appetizing feature wall design.

7. ‘Lengthen’ your ceilings with paint

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball )

Aside from room lengthening mirrors and extending vertically via a remodel, you can also fake the look of a larger space with a living room paint color idea.

‘Powdery pinks and dusky neutrals can create a calming and restorative living space. To add the illusion of height, or to keep things feeling soft, try carrying your wall color over chair rails and base boards, too.’ says Studholme.

Copy this look by using a combination of Lichen No.19 , Setting Plaster No.231 and Blue Gray No.91 , from Farrow & Ball.

8. Think about the adjacent rooms

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

In open-plan living spaces, especially where you may be able to see your dining room from your living room, it’s important that you choose paint colors for the living room that transition well into your eating space.

‘Darker tones can give living rooms a magical quality, especially in the evening light. For interest no matter the time of day, try contrasting tones of equal intensity on walls and ceilings, or where one room flows into another.’ says Patrick O’Donnell , brand ambassador, Farrow & Ball.

9. Don’t forget about your walls and woodwork

(Image credit: Dulux)

So you’ve mastered how to paint a wall, but if your surrounding skirtings and woodwork is looking a bit naff, then giving it a lick of paint too can resurrect the entire room.

‘The choice of color for the woodwork and the ceiling is just as important as that of the walls,’ says Studholme.

‘You must think of the room as a whole. One of the best white paints on either ceiling or trim will make the walls look darker, as well as making you more aware of where the walls end and the ceiling begins; this causes the ceiling height to drop.’

‘Either use a complementary white or if you are braver, use the same color on the walls, woodwork and ceiling – not nearly as frightening as it sounds!’


Add color at the windows

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Painted window frames are a trend we have been seeing all over Pinterest for a while now. It’s a cute way of adding some color to a living room without fully committing to a full wall – a new version of the feature wall if you will.

As a moody paint color for the living room, black works really well if your room is big enough to handle a dark color around the window, but experiment with brighter shades too and bring them into the rest of the space, with your soft furnishings and decor. 

11. Bring in light with a soft grey

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If you are looking for a living room paint color that works in all sized spaces, all levels of natural light, a pale warm toned gray is the way to go. This is our go to shade in fact. Gray living rooms are just so versatile and work with any style too – from elegant, traditional living rooms to more relaxed, rustic style.  


Go for bold color clashes (that totally work)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Now this is a look, and we know it won’t be for everyone – but we are obsessed. The colors are bold yes, but actually, because the space is kept so minimalist it doesn’t feel overwhelming. 

Even though orange and blue are technically contrasting colors, the orange here actually softens the blue living room, making it feel less radical, and that touch of blush pink only adds to that.

And the rug! The rug brings the whole color scheme together perfectly. BRB while we go and order a pot of bright blue paint to experiment with this weekend. 

13. Create a serene feel with green

(Image credit: Richard Parsons)

Green living rooms evoke calm, and who doesn’t want to feel serene while watching Netflix? 

Forest greens look gorgeous if your living room gets a lot of light. And don’t be afraid to layer up the green too; a green wall looks fab with a green sofa and of course a few of the lush green leaves of the best indoor plants to add some welcome texture.  

14. Paint exposed brick to add texture

(Image credit: Future)

Everyone loves an exposed brick wall, but sometimes the orange hues just don’t work with the vibe you are going for. But it would be a waste to cover up all that lovely rustic texture, no? So, why not paint it in a color that suits your scheme better – such as white, as in this living room?

15. Be bold and go multicolored

(Image credit: Crown)

Okay, this look won’t be for everyone, but we are loving this fun, whimsical but also chic and contemporary vibe. The color combos are just gorgeous and actually because they are quite muted and the space is big enough to handle all the color, it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. 

If you want to recreate this living room wall idea use a paler tone as an easy-to-live-with backdrop and paint different shapes in similar tones and a single, contrasting bolder color on one wall. 

16. Create an accent wall

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

Accent wall paint ideas have gotten a bit of a bad rap as being a bit of a ’90s trend that involved some kind of single purple wall in a sea of cream.  

But alas, they have made a much cooler comeback in recent years and we think they are one of the best ways to bring some color into your living room if you aren’t full on ready to commit, or if you want to add a focus to an otherwise neutral space.

17. Create depth with one bold shade

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Painting a living room a deep color might look a tad too traditional for your taste, but this kind of color scheme can be given a contemporary twist if the paint shade is carried through to the woodwork – doors, skirting and picture rails – too. 

Balance it with furnishings in paler colors, and add texture to the scheme with wooden flooring, for example.

18. Tackle the ceiling

(Image credit: Clive Nicholls)

The hottest living room paint trend for the year ahead is to paint a color on your ceiling. Yes! So, swear off the white emulsion, and pick up a bold shade such as yellow, if you’re looking for paint colors for the living room

Carry the shade down to picture rail level to create a cohesive feel, and pick a light but warmer tone for the walls. Team with accessories and soft furnishings that have touches of your chosen ceiling color, to complete the look. 

We should probably mention too, you can easily learn how to paint a ceiling yourself, just check out our step-by-step guide. 

19. Pick tonal pairings to enhance space

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Painting a living room with two tones of the same color is an easy way to add interest while maintaining a feeling of space.

However, always use the darker shade on the lower part of the walls and the lighter one above if you want to make your ceiling feel higher than it is and your room seem larger.

(Image credit: Sofology)

20. Go monochrome

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Black isn’t often a color we consider as a living room color, but take a tip from the Scandinavians: it works.

Here, a black living room looks fabulous contrasted with crisp off-white paint, but bear in mind that the key to getting the finish right is balance. In other words, break up the black with plenty of white: on ceilings, flooring, and other walls.

Introduce texture and warmer tones, too, with accessories. In this living room, pendant lights, the artwork on the sideboard, and the white and wood tones of the sideboard itself all provide relief.

21. Experiment with darker shades

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Dark and atmospheric decorating ideas are increasingly popular in living rooms, especially in spaces that are mainly used during the evening. 

But, if you want your living room to feel warm, bright and welcoming during the daytime, too, use furnishings and flooring in lighter colors to contrast with the paint color on your walls.

22. Invoke a calming space with blue and white

(Image credit: Rachel Manns)

How fresh and crisp do these paint colors for the living room feel? And it’s all thanks to that contrasting white woodwork. It really lifts the blue walls and balances out the darker colors.

It also means you could introduce black accents to the room. We know traditionally navy and black should never mix, but with plenty of white thrown in there, it totally works. It feels so contemporary and fresh, and gives even this traditional living room a modern twist. Definitely a color combination we will be testing out. 

23. Choose on-trend grey

(Image credit: Neptune)

There’s something very classic about gray and white living rooms and it’s a color scheme that works brilliantly for both modern and traditional living room ideas.

There are many different shades of gray to choose from; some have blue tones, others are pinker. Not sure which living room paint to choose? Err on the side of caution with pinker tones, which will make your room feel warmer.

24. Add a splash of deep green 

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer © Future)

Green is a soothing color – the perfect living room paint shade – and one that’s ideal for merging indoor and outdoor spaces, so a great choice if your living space overlooks the garden.

Yellow-greens will add warmth to east- or north-facing rooms, and greens with a hint of blue are great for rooms that get lots of sunlight as they will cool the room down. 

25. Monochrome and pink? A dreamy combination

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Pink living room paint color ideas don’t always have to be super-girly. It needn’t look like the inside of a Polly Pocket house. Pair these sugary hues with a simple monochrome scheme for a grown up take on the trend. 

The bold print of the rug and the dark fireplace ideas really work to ground the room, stopping it becoming too… pink. 

26. Or go for a dusky pink

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If pastel pink is a bit too saccharine for you, choose a more muted, plaster-toned pink for your living room color. If you are after a shade that’s more… mature, pick a living room paint color idea that has a warmer, duskier undertone.

Try something like Farrow and Ball’s Sulking Room Pink , which has been used in this living room. Keep the look fresh by pairing it with bright, crisp whites.  

27. Go bold with coral

(Image credit: California Shutters)

Since Living Coral was named at Pantone’s Color of the Year back in 2019, there has been a surge in orangey-hued interiors. We admit that at first we were dubious, but now we can’t get enough of this bright and versatile color.

You could be brave and paint all four walls or, for you commitment-phobes, try out just painting one feature wall. If you just want a pop of peach, pinch this living room paint idea and just paint your shutters or pick out a coral window treatment idea instead for a more subtle nod to the trend.  

28. Don’t be afraid of beige 

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Beige room ideas might not seem like the most exciting of schemes but, take it from us, this once shunned color is making a comeback. 

Beige is a comforting, inviting color to use in your home, making it the perfect hue if you’re after paint colors for the living room. Give it more of a contemporary edge by pairing it with cool grays and crisp whites.

29. Paint the floorboards 

(Image credit: Future/Malcolm Menzies)

Much like the neglected ceiling, we often forget to look to the floor when it comes to paint colors for the living room. 

Knowing how to paint floorboards is a great way to update a room on a budget – especially if you have the time to tackle the job as a DIY project. Ideally, you should use floor paints for a long-lasting finish, but most good quality paints suitable for woodwork will give you a surprisingly tough floor.

30. Add a pop of color to an alcove

(Image credit: Future/Alun Callunder)

Go for a twist on the feature wall and add some interest to your living room by painting an alcove. 

In this living room paint color idea, even just the small pop of yellow adds some sunny vibes to the space and gives the otherwise all white living room a lift. Also because you are only painting such a small section, you can afford to be pretty bold and brave with your color choice.  

31. Go for an all white color scheme

(Image credit: Debenhams)

Can you believe we have got all the way to number 31 and not mentioned white paint?

White living rooms, while perhaps not the most practical, are really dreamy spaces, so if you’ve got a lifestyle that can hack it – go for it.

Paint the walls white, paint the floors white. Just give it a bit of a lift with some house plants, wooden accents and a few pieces of darker furniture.

32. Layer up neutral shades

(Image credit: Design: Bobby Berk; Photography: @marisavitalephotography)

There’s something so grounding about earthy tones, and this stunning living room paint color idea is no exception. The textures anchor this look – the coir rug, the slubby linen cushions and the rattan blinds.

Then, some contrast is added with the black-framed furniture and the monochrome print. All the colors are neutral yet each one has its place to provide this room with depth and a sense of peace.  

33. Be brave and combine pink and yellow

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

You just can’t look at this room without feeling happier, right? 

Pink and yellow are a bold combo yes, but styled right together they can look really chic, in a fun and creative way. This living room actually feels really classic and elegant, despite the bold colors.

The wooden accents and quirky gallery wall idea complete the look perfectly – they are eccentric but also liveable, and we love it.

35. Go full on Gothic with black paint

(Image credit: Dan Duchars/The Contented Nest)

We really have saved up some of the best looks till last. Check out this fabulous black living room. The dark wall really make all the golds pop and creates such a statement space that still feels really cozy and inviting. 

Note the wallpapered ceiling here too! A white ceiling would have looked too stark, and a black one potentially too gloomy, so this light grey wallpaper works perfectly.

The best peel-and-stick wallpapers are genius for switching out different ceilings seasonally.

Where can I find inspiration for living room paint colors?

Turning to Mother Nature can help you to find paint colors for the living room that’ll feel tranquil, and will never go out of style.

‘The really beautiful thing about botanicals is that they come in the earthy, to the muted, to the bright and almost other-worldly. And so they make for really good tools to explore color.’ says Xayko.

Should I consider lighting when picking living room paint?

Lighting makes a huge difference when it comes to choosing paint colors for the living room. The location of your living room should be taken into account when picking up a pot of emulsion.

‘North facing rooms tend to bring out the green in all colors while south facing rooms are often the easiest to decorate, as they are filled with warm light for most of the day,

‘Choosing color for an east or west facing room is totally dependent on what time of day you use the space. Light in east facing rooms tends to be cooler in the evening and brighter in the morning – and in west facing rooms it is the other way round,’ explains Studholme.

‘So, if you are lucky enough to have a room that benefits from both east and west light, the color will change throughout the day – making the walls feel alive! East facing rooms tend to benefit from soft calming colors.’

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70’s style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn’t writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.

Living Room Paint Ideas Guaranteed to Transform Your Space

Trade out the old for something new and modern. These living room paint ideas are guaranteed to transform your space.



Try Cream for Neutral

Cream shades are good paint ideas for living room because they are both warm and flexible. And creams allow you to coordinate with other colors of furniture, including bright reds and blues.



A Little Pink Will Warm the Room up

Pink isn’t just for nurseries anymore! If pink is your color of choice, choose a tone that isn’t too bright, but instead warms up the room with a soft blush tone. Pink paint ideas for living room are outside of the box.

Next, check out the living room lighting ideas we love.


Courtesy of Hesen-Sherif

Try Stripes for a Modern Look

Vertical stripes have been a trendy paint idea for living room accent walls for a few years. But horizontal stripes for paint ideas for living room can give the room a modern twist. And try a bold color with some more muted tones, such as light and dark gray.

Check out more trending living room ideas we love.

These are our favorite living room curtain ideas.


Courtesy of Homedit

A Bold Accent

Not willing to go all in on a bold color? Try using it as an accent. Living room paint ideas that feature white walls, with a built-in shelf painted a bright yellow-green for a punch of color are a rising home trend.



Black is Striking and Bold

Black is a hot color and are paint ideas for living room accents that adds a lot of drama. And black can be treated as a neutral and is striking with crisp white furniture.


poligonchik/Getty Images

Yellow is Vibrant

Sunny yellows will brighten up even the darkest living room. So try pairing a vibrant yellow with light wood accents for a modern look.



Use Metallics

Metallics don’t have to be flashy; these days metallics are treated as neutrals in living rooms. And try painting the ceiling in your living room gold for a fresh look.


Blue is Timeless and Pairs Well

Blues are paint ideas for living room walls that never really goes out of style. Try painting your living room with a crisp, light blue for a calming feel, or a deeper shade of blue for a more dramatic and energized look. Bonus: Blues pair well with not only wood accents, but bold colors and crisp whites.


Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Pastels Work Well With Accents

It’s time to branch away from classic white walls. For a look that’s different but not vibrant, try a soft pastel such as mint green or a sandy pink, or try pairing a few pastels together in a geometric pattern. And soft pastels work well with black and white accents.


Andrea Rugg/Getty Images

Orange is Vibrant and Punchy

Orange doesn’t have to be vibrant and punchy. Here, walls are painted a muted orange and paired with wood accents and beige for a warm, modern look.


Courtesy of Douwzer

Tech Green is the Go-To Shade

Dark greens were the popular paint ideas for living room wall colors in the ’90s, but now tech green is the go-to shade. Pair bright green walls with muted wood and neutral white accents.


via Sherwin-Williams

Taupe Walls and White Trim are a Timeless Look

A neutral shade, taupe works well with warmer colors such as oranges and deep browns. Pair taupe walls with white trim for a classic, timeless look.


via Benjamin Moore

Gray is Definitely Not Bland

There’s nothing bland about this paint idea for your living room. And crisp gray on living room walls pairs well with both wood accents and bold tones, such as orange, yellow and green.

Originally Published: January 22, 2021

Rachel Brougham

Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

40 Inspiring Living Room Paint Color Ideas To Brighten Up Your Home


By Melissa Maynard/Nov. 5, 2021 1:28 pm EDT

One of the best parts about owning or renting a home is the transformation that can take place when you decide to paint. It’s genuinely one of the things you can do to that can completely change the mood or feeling of a room — that and lighting, of course. “Paint has a tremendous amount of impact in any room and really sets the tone for your mood and overall design,” confirms Nicole Gibbons, founder of Clare to Domino Magazine. 

Whether you are inspired by an influencer’s home on Instagram or by what you see on Pinterest, finding a hue that you can connect with can make your home stand out, no matter the color you choose. As Melanie Millner of The Design Atelier explains, “The amount of sunlight, or the lack thereof, can affect the outcome of a paint color. Something that works in one space can look totally different in another.”

Something else to consider is how you want the room to make you feel. Better Homes & Gardens caught up with several designers to get their take. For instance, a calming light blue can make you feel productive, or a taupe can make your room feel cozy, which we love. Scroll down and get inspired by these paint color ideas for 40 living rooms to brighten up your home — and you just may get motivated to pick up a paintbrush for your next weekend project.

1. A bright yellow abode


If you’re feeling down, brighten up any room with punchy yellow paint that is sure to make the dullest room a little brighter. Now there’s a way to make your neutral sofa really stand out!

2. Bring on the purple

If purple was one of your favorite childhood colors, then you must bring the hue into your living room to infuse a little fun into your elegant living space. We love how they brought in a geometric yellow painting to add interest.

3. Add drama with burgundy walls

Seduce guests with this inviting burgundy paint color that is sure to add drama to a space. Pair it with a velvet chair or couch, and adding plenty of leafy plants is just the vibe our living space needs.

4. Neutrals that pop


This monochromatic look is seen in the walls and the furniture, which gives off serious celebrity vibes. Toned-down neutral can pack a punch when you incorporate it into every piece in your living room. To liven up your living room, though, we suggest adding some eye-popping, colorful artwork to the space.

5. Two-toned green walls


Add some pizazz with two-toned green walls. Finish off the look with plenty of gold accessories, from a chic side table to planters.

6. Marigold yellow and white


Give the bottom half of your room some extra spice by painting the walls in a marigold color while leaving the rest of the upper portion plain white. We love how they centered the artwork between the two colors and added a beautiful, green velvet couch for high style.

7. Royal blue living room

Infuse your living room with royal blue-painted walls that will make your neutral gray couch and accessories stand out.

8. Coral living room


According to The Spruce, coral painted on walls isn’t used often enough. Just looking at this room brings us joy — and so does the tufted coral couch.

9. Mint green walls

united photo studio/Shutterstock

Wouldn’t you agree that mint green is a soothing paint color? It just so happens to pair well with other colors, such as white, beige, violet, and royal blue, per House Beautiful. However, neutrals look just as great, too.

10. Navy walls

Photographee. eu/Shutterstock

Add a touch of drama to your living room space with navy, a deep hue that can really add that je nais se quois to a space. We love the idea of painting a console the same color so that it makes a smaller room feel larger.

11. Peach walls


There’s something about peach walls that would make any day start happier. It makes the rather basic-looking living room with simple gray furniture anything but ordinary.

12. Powder blue walls


According to HGTV, walls painted a powder blue color can bring a calmness to the air — and who doesn’t need that? We loved how they paired the relaxing hue with moodier hued furniture in darker grey, accented with pillows in deeper colors.

13. The red accent wall

Photographee. eu/Shutterstock

If you don’t want to go all out with a spicy color like red, we suggest an accent wall. It can bring out a piece of artwork and be the perfect entrance to a living room with white walls and different red tones seen in the furniture, all while making a bold statement.

14. Black Walls


Black walls definitely don’t have to be melancholy. Paired with gray and black furniture with a sprinkle of gold, and you have yourself an incredibly chic space.

15. Punchy pink walls

New Africa/Shutterstock

Bring in an ultra-feminine feel with a punchy, bright pink paint color, and pair that with a blue sofa with a comfy sweater-like throw blanket to balance it all out.

16. Pale pink wall


Pale pink can be incredibly romantic, but it can also be given a fresh spin by mixing it with red. Even Apartment Therapy agrees that adding red furniture can be elegant, but not too serious for the space.

17. Dark gray room

Dark gray can be an exquisite paint color option for your living room walls. When you pair it with furniture in light wood tones, it really makes the room stand out.

18. Dark green


There’s something about dark green walls that transform a room. In fact, Family Handyman calls the emerald color “sophisticated,” and we couldn’t agree more, especially when paired with gold accents.

19. Tan walls


Don’t want to go too bold with a bright jewel-toned paint color for your walls? No problem! We love how these tan walls make this Picasso-style art really pop. Plus, if you want to take baby steps to add color to your space, opt for some throw pillows to get you started.

20. Emerald green and light gray walls

With a mix of gray and emerald-painted walls, you can really give your room separate spaces — say, for a corner office — and tie it all together with your green accessories found in the pillows, throw blanket, and plants.

21. Light brown/decorative yellow wall combo

united photo studio/Shutterstock

If you have a decorative hallway wall that leads to your light brown living room, consider painting it a bright yellow color for extra excitement.

22. A splash of lime green

Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

If you have a nook with shelving in the living room, add a splash of lime green paint to the walls and really create some extra excitement for your corner office. It just might give you that extra zest to meet all of your deadlines.

23. Eucalyptus walls


Add a wicker chair that’s making a design comeback, and set it against gorgeous Eucalyptus walls for a thoroughly calming space.

24. Orange walls

united photo studio/Shutterstock

If you haven’t considered orange walls, we suggest doing so! It may be a bright color, but totally cool in our opinion.

25. Medium gray walls

If black or dark gray walls are out of the question, go for a medium gray color that looks excellent with light pink furniture and curtains.

26. Soothing yellow


We can’t imagine a happier paint color than soft yellow as we read the morning news with a frothy cup of coffee. This color pairs well with a black and white rug and a neutral gray sofa.

27. Blue Ombre walls

Design a creative environment with Ombre blue walls that are sure to get your guests talking when they come over for drinks.

28. Beige and white aren’t boring


White walls that pop without any paint color can still be really exciting! A light sofa, and a tan chair and curtains really make this bright space look chic.

29. Teal living room

We have to say, a teal living room is tempting and makes a stylish statement with black furniture, artwork and accessories, and a simple red chair.

30. Brown living room walls

New Africa/Shutterstock

There’s one word that The Spruce uses to talk about brown walls: versatile. There are so many different shades, and dark brown is a rarity, making your living room extremely unique.

31. Light orange walls


Scared to go too bright with orange paint? This light orange color is rather calming since it’s paired with neutral tans.

32. Burgundy Ombre wall

We love how the emerald green furniture and accessories pair so well with this beautiful Ombre burgundy wall. It’s definitely a statement-making option for your living room!

33. All black interior


This room filled with dark, soft black walls and floors is so elegant with an elaborate fireplace, chandelier, and mirror.

34. Taupe walls


This room is the epitome of comfort with taupe-colored walls, a large green sectional sofa, and light pink lampshades — everything a home should be!


Warm brick-colored walls

This warm brick paint color on these walls gives the room a comforting vibe, especially since the sun hits it just right.

36. Multi-pastel colors

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Bring the entire family together to create this cool, multi-pastel color pattern of teal, white, light pink, and gray that is sure to show guests your creative side.

37. Light gray walls


Light furniture and interesting black-and-white artwork are brought together with calming light gray walls in this chic living room space bathed in bright light.

38. Soothing cream walls

Apinya Kurakhan/Shutterstock

A light tan couch and wood furniture go perfectly with these soothing cream-colored walls, proving that light colors can be really beautiful in a space. Add greenery, either real or faux (but real-looking) to give the room a natural feeling.

39. Living in Lilac

New Africa/Shutterstock

HGTV says you can make your living room feel like spring all year round by painting it lilac. We must admit, we love the idea, especially during the dead of winter.

40. Textured concrete gray wall

Add a bit of texture to your wall with this textured concrete gray wall, paired perfectly with a gray sofa and a light pink throw blanket.

How to paint the walls in the living room correctly?

As an alternative to wallpaper, people often began to use paint for wall decoration. However, this approach has both advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to paint the walls in the living room, then know that in this case they should be perfectly even and smooth, unlike wallpaper, you will not be able to hide any defects, but on the contrary, painting can only emphasize their presence.

You can’t answer the question of how to paint walls in a nutshell, since it includes the choice of tools, the choice of the necessary paint, and the technological process itself, which is why we decided to devote this article to such an important issue.

Choosing paint

Choosing a wall paint for your living room is easy. Among all the variety, it is worth giving preference to water-based paint of the color that you like. We will explain why this particular paint is best suited.

  • Firstly, it contains no toxic substances that cause poisoning or allergies. This paint is environmentally friendly.
  • Secondly, this type of paint is fireproof.
  • Thirdly, this paint can be used to paint a wooden surface, as well as drywall, plaster, brick, but it is not recommended to apply it to metal, since this paint is based on water, which can lead to its corrosion.

Choosing a water-based paint for wall decoration, you have a great opportunity to create an individual design of the room. The fact is that you can independently choose the intensity and brightness of the color with the help of a special coloring agent added to the paint, color scheme. The more you add it, the richer the color will be. But you need to work with it carefully, here are some tips on how to paint the walls using color:

  1. Add color gradually, thoroughly mixing all the color. Only in this way will you achieve a uniform color.
  2. Accurately calculate the required amount of paint for the design of the entire room, taking into account its application in several layers. Let the paint remain, it will come in handy later on for touching up the fading sections of the wall. If there is not enough paint, then it is almost impossible to mix the paint with the color in the right proportion until the desired shade is obtained.
  3. When applying the first layer of paint, you can add a little water to it, about 10% of the volume, this will save it a little, but this will not affect the texture of the painted surface.

What is the best paint?

Some will say that it is better to paint with a brush, others with a roller. But we believe that not everything is so simple, let’s figure out why. To decide on the choice of coloring tool, you need to know what area you have to paint. A large wall can be painted both with a wide brush 75-100 mm and with a roller. Undoubtedly, working with a roller, you will spend much less time, but it may not turn out as neatly and evenly as with a brush.

Roller is best used when you need to apply a thick layer of paint. Correctly select its size, the larger the wall to be painted, the larger the working surface of the roller should be.

In addition, thanks to the long handle of the roller, you can paint the top of the wall without using a ladder. The basis of the roller can be made of nylon, velor, polyester fabric, the choice of material will depend on the paint that you are going to apply. It is best to buy a roller along with paint, you will be offered the most suitable option.

The brush is indispensable in hard-to-reach places, such as in the corners of a room or under a radiator. When choosing a brush, pay attention to its pile. Brushes with natural fiber are suitable for enamel, and with artificial – for latex paints. Before starting work, be sure to shake off the brush, make sure that the hairs are firmly held, otherwise they will remain on the wall.

Preparing walls for painting

One of the crucial and important stages of work on how to properly paint walls is the stage of surface preparation, since the result will depend on it. If you are doing repairs in a new room, where the walls have not yet been subjected to any finishing, then you need to do one job, and for old walls – a completely different one. From new, never painted walls, it may be sufficient to sweep away dust and dirt; if there are irregularities, a layer of putty can be applied.

Finished walls require more careful preparation. Remove old wallpaper or paint. When removing the wallpaper, the glue is also removed, it is mechanically cleaned with a spatula or washed off with special compounds. Similarly, oil stains, fungus and mold are removed. In addition, it is necessary to check the wall for pieces of old plaster falling off, in general, there should be no defects left, the wall should be clean and even.

All cracks can be covered with a mixture of alabaster and PVA glue. After that, the walls are primed for greater adhesion of the paint to the wall. The primer passes twice. After the first layer, it is necessary to sand the wall with sandpaper, then go through the primer again and let it dry.

Painting the wall correctly

Having carried out all the necessary preparatory work, we proceed directly to the technology of how to paint the walls correctly, namely, how to apply paint to the surface. This is a rather laborious process, especially for those who start such work for the first time. We offer the following recommendations to help you achieve the best result.

  • A large wall must be divided into several sections, which are gradually applied with paint.
  • Tape the top and bottom of the wall with masking tape to prevent paint from getting onto the ceiling and floor.
  • The technology of how to properly paint walls is that the whole process of painting starts from the top corner of the wall. For greater convenience, you can paint 5 cm around the perimeter of the living room at the junction of the wall and ceiling with a small brush, and only then move on to the main surface, taking a roller or a large brush.
  • For uniform application of paint, it is necessary to apply one layer in one direction, and the next layer in the opposite direction.
  • It is not recommended to apply several thick layers of paint or too thin paint on the wall, as it will sag during application.
  • When working with a roller, use a special rectangular container to dip it into the paint, on the sides of which the roller can be squeezed, thereby removing excess paint.
  • Water-based paint is applied in two coats using a roller. The first layer is applied horizontally and the second layer vertically. Moreover, it is unnecessary to wait for the first layer to dry, the work is done immediately. If you decide to paint the wall in three layers, then the first and last are applied with vertical movements, and the intermediate layer with horizontal ones. This technology will give a uniform and uniform wall design.
  • If you decide to work with a brush, then you need to dip it halfway into the paint, wring it out a little, and then apply it to the wall with horizontal zigzag movements. In this case, there should be small uncolored gaps between the zigzag stripes. Next, with movements in all directions, smear the paint with a semi-dry brush on the wall. The second layer is applied with vertical movements.

Summing up the above, we note that the question of how to properly paint the walls in the living room requires not only theoretical study, but also practical skill. Decorating the walls in the reception room with your own hands, without experience in such work, will be quite difficult. But if you have the desire to work, you have patience, then the result will surely please you. We hope that our recommendations will help you cope with this difficult and creative work, good luck with your undertakings and experiments!


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cool, warm and neutral colors, different styles

In this article I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of painting the walls in the living room. I will reveal the features of painting various materials, consider the types of paints. I’ll tell you about how to choose the right colors and how to combine them correctly, what colors to paint the walls in the living room.

Pros and cons of wall painting

Paint has its pros and cons, so you should be familiar with them before you start repairing.

Wall painting benefits include:

  1. Easy to update. In order to update such a coating or change the design, large financial and time costs are not required.
  2. Water resistant. The painted surface is easy to wash in case of contamination and not be afraid to damage the coating.
  3. Diverse assortment. A rich selection of colors allows you to realize any ideas and dreams of your ideal interior.

Following the available recommendations will allow you to get an attractive and harmonious living room


  1. Complicated surface preparation. The paint will not cope with masking even small bumps and cracks. With insufficient preparation of the walls, all defects will be clearly visible. You can level the surface with gypsum and putty. In case of uncertainty in their abilities, it is better to contact a professional.
  2. Permanent care. Painted walls get dirty easily, so they need to be washed frequently.

When choosing a material, it is necessary to rely not only on personal preferences and desires, but also on the rationality of its use and the condition of the surface.

Features of painting different materials

The existing range of paints is huge. This allows you to transform a wall from any material. But each of them has its own characteristics.


Wash the wall with soapy water before applying paint. After that, all cracks and crevices are sealed with putty.

To do this, a polyethylene sheet is glued to the wall with adhesive tape. If after 24 hours moisture appears on the sheet, the wall is treated with a sealant.

Painting of concrete walls is very popular and is done in different techniques.

Finally, a paint sealant is applied to the painted surface. It provides a tighter adhesion of materials and an extension of the service life of the coating.

The concrete wall must be checked for leaks.


Glossy paints give the interior an original look, matte colors emphasize the relief of the material.

In order to allow the wood to breathe and thus prolong its aesthetic appearance, it is better to choose acrylic paints. After some time, oil paints lose their original shade and become matte.

Competent coloring of wooden walls can emphasize their aesthetics


It will be problematic to remove the coating from such material in the future. In addition, the paint on the brick lasts about 4 years.

Silicone coating is the best choice in this case. The disadvantage is the high cost, but this paint allows air to circulate and helps hide minor defects.

Brick, as a building material, is not quite suitable for painting


When choosing paint, you need to start from the type of wallpaper. For example, latex paint is better for glass wallpapers, water-based paint for non-woven fabrics.

Wallpaper of any kind can be painted no more than 10 times.

Paintable wallpaper


Gypsum or cement plaster is used to level the walls. Acrylic or water-dispersed paint is suitable for the first, water-based paint for the second.

Types of paints for room design


A special kind of paints and varnishes. Characterized by versatility of use. Alkyd paints are matte, glossy, semi-gloss.

Among the main advantages of this coating are durability, fast drying and compatibility with any material.

Alkyd paint for wood, metal, and plastered surfaces


There are several varieties of this type of paint:

  • Silicone. Versatile, suitable for any surface.
  • Latex. Versatile and damage resistant.
  • Polyvinyl acetate. They are low cost, but not waterproof enough.
  • Acrylic. Strong, resistant, durable.
  • Water-based. Protect the surface from damage.
  • Water dispersible. Perfectly lay down on brick, concrete, wooden surfaces.

Emulsion paints

Textured paints

The main features of these paints, which give them an advantage over others, are the lack of ability to absorb odors, ease of use (rarely get dirty), and environmental friendliness.

Textured wall paint

Interior color range

Cold shades

The living room is decorated in purple, blue, blue, turquoise, gray tones.

Such shades soothe and improve mood, increase concentration and perseverance. Visually expand the space and increase the area of ​​​​the room.

Living room in violet tones Living room in blue tones Blue living room Living room in gray tones

Warm shades

These include orange, red, yellow, green, beige, peach, coffee colors.

Warm colors create a feeling of coziness and comfort in the room, improve mood. Visually reduce the space.

Living room interior in orange Living room in red Living room in yellow Living room in green Beige living room Peach living room Living room in coffee tones

Neutral colors

Unchanging classics of interior design of the living room – white and black colors.

Design in these shades will not be boring. Thanks to them, all surrounding objects will look brighter and clearer. They allow you to effortlessly complement the interior with new elements, giving it freshness and originality.

All colors require a competent combination. So that cold and warm shades look good together, you need to choose one leading color and add a few details of another shade to it.

To maintain color balance, you can neutralize one color with another.

For example, deep blue can be diluted with white, bright red with bluish green.

White living room Black living room Black and white living room

Living room style colors


Feature – muted colors. Among the leading shades are brown, beige, ocher, cobalt, terracotta.

To prevent the interior from appearing flat, columns and moldings are used in the design.

Living room interior in antique style


Bright colors and combinations prevail. Basic beiges, whites and yellows are complemented by details in purples, reds, greens and blues.


Empire style

This style exudes its richness and majesty, so it is suitable only for large apartments.

The main colors are white, red, burgundy, gold.

Empire style living room interior

Art Deco

Living room in this style implies a predominance of dark tones, brightness and variegation are recommended to be avoided.

Art Deco living room interior

Art Nouveau

Subdued, natural colors – chocolate, terracotta, gray, sand – dominate.

Art Nouveau living room interior


Because of its grandeur and splendor, this style requires the use of terracotta, dark green, brown-green, red-burgundy, purple-gold, blue-green shades.

Small baroque living room


Finishing materials used are traditional – wallpaper, paint, plaster.

Style is characterized by comfort and simplicity. The presence of pink, creamy, brown, milky, blue colors is necessary.

Biedermeier living room


The dominance of wallpaper with various ornaments. The predominant colors are pale pink, lilac, almond, gold.

Victorian interior design for room


Uniformity prevails. The main colors are white, light and dark gray, black, red, light green.

Bright living room in the style of constructivism


The walls should be matte and rough. Wallpaper should be chosen with a classic pattern.

The dominant position is occupied by light pastel colors, which are complemented by elements of white, dark brown, blue-green, blue, pink shades.



It is allowed to choose any colors, but it is important to combine them correctly and monitor the absence of bright contrast and transitions. Standard shades are red, burgundy, black, brown.

Cozy renaissance interior style in the living room


Involves the use of classic shades – white, black, gray, beige. It is appropriate to introduce elements of orange, red and green colors.



The walls are made in silver. It is not uncommon to use stones of cold shades and “metal-like” tiles.



The walls are decorated with paper wallpaper, wood panels, decorative plaster.

Soft colors predominate – light green, beige, lilac, milky.

Country style living room


Soft and light style, requiring the use of white, cream, sand, light yellow, light blue, pale green and lavender shades.


Recommendations of specialists

The living room is considered to be a room where a person spends a lot of time. Therefore, its design must be taken responsibly.

Before proceeding with the repair, you need to decide on the concept and style of design.

Professionals recommend taking one neutral shade as a basis (white, beige, gray) and supplementing it with details of other colors. It is important to maintain a balance in this. Even such a bright style as avant-garde requires a reasonable combination of rich colors and details.

An important element of the interior, which plays a big role among specialists, is lighting. It is this that will allow you to choose the right shades.

The variety of decorative materials today is huge, so every person will feel like a designer and decorate the house the way he dreams. But the choice of materials must be approached carefully and follow the advice of experts. Then the result will please the eye for a long time.

custom design ideas 2018 and universal paint options in classic style



The desire to decorate every corner in your home with comfort is natural, and therefore the stylistic direction should be chosen carefully and consistently. Painting the walls in the living room is a concise solution for a variety of interior solutions, the main thing is to decide on the color, texture and bright accents. Further in the article we will consider the features of painting the walls in the living room.

Wall painting in the living room: mood color

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The direction of the interior and the comfort of guests depend on the choice of color composition in the living room. Therefore, before deciding on a stylistic and color solution, you should pay attention to the types of paints, texture, functional features and performance.


Coloring compositions for indoor surfaces are divided into two types:

  1. alkyd;
  2. emulsion.

Alkyd paints are chemically based on artificial alkyd resins. Previously, they were used for internal and external work. However, today the usual oil or enamel paints with a persistent chemical odor are being replaced with practical and safe ones – emulsion compositions.

In turn, emulsions are distinguished by composition into:

  • latex;
  • water-based;
  • acrylic;
  • silicone;
  • silicate.

The best solution for the hallway, due to the resistance to abrasion, are acrylic and latex compositions. Surfaces treated with such paints serve – 7-10 years.

What color to paint the living room

Regardless of the chosen stylistic decision, color decides a lot: with the help of blue, comfort and freshness are created, green has a calming effect, yellow gives warm homeliness, and white awakens creativity.

New designs 2018

Fashion designs for the hallway 2018 is a combination of home comfort and light playfulness, coquetry and flirting. So, designers offer to saturate the room with flirty shades of rose quartz and pearl color. Light shades will visually play with space, and a calm pearly sheen will give the room a slight pathos.

You can also surprise your guests with a Hazelnut style combination. This is a deep shade of coffee with milk, with a rich, but not flashy brownish color. Combined with dark wood, white ottomans or ultra-black chests of drawers. If you want to dilute pathos with playful notes, you can use bright contrasting interior elements decorated in milky blue or orange tones.

For extraordinary personalities with creative views, a combination of colors in the living room in the style of “Flame” is suitable. This is a colorful, but not flashy combination of orange, sand and fiery shades. It is also worth paying attention to the peach shades of “Peach Echo”.

Ideas for Small Living Rooms: How to Make a Room Look Bigger

Most hallways, living rooms in apartments are narrow and compact rooms that require professionalism when choosing a stylistic direction. So, the rule for small rooms is the minimum amount of functional furniture and the right color scheme, which visually expands the space of the room.

Visually make a small room bigger by applying the following rules:

  • for painting, choose shades of beige, pale blue or light green, sand or mother-of-pearl;
  • when painting, it is worth distributing the wall into separate zones, highlighting them with decorative baguettes or stucco without patterns, which will be several shades lighter from the main color;
  • do not use overall chandeliers, lamps, the best solution is multiple spotlights with a uniform distribution of light;
  • from furniture choose wardrobes with mirrors without drawings;
  • separate the ceiling area from the walls with baguettes of medium width;
  • do not choose furniture to the floor, it is better to find a pouffe, a soft corner or a chiffonier with high legs;
  • do not use more than three color combinations;
  • natural natural shades look better than heavy and bright colors.

What color to paint in the hall: a selection of the best designs

Following the hallway, as a rule, there is a hall, which is important to maintain in one stylistic decision, suitable colors. If the rooms differ in colors, strongly contrasting with each other, this will cause some dissonance. Therefore, the main rule for choosing colors in the hall is a combination and continuation of the interior set in the hallway, living room.

Designers recommend in 2018, when choosing a color for the hall, look at these colors:

  • textured pearl shades;
  • delicate pearls;
  • pink or peach sunset;
  • cold coffee;
  • blue-lilac shade;
  • cold shades of green.

Depending on the color, you can complement the selected shade with gold and silver accents, delimiting the space into functional areas.

Crossing the threshold of the house, every person wants to feel the protection and comfort of home. Therefore, the choice of colors in the room should be approached responsibly, taking into account the characteristics of each family member.

Useful video

how to paint the living room? tips and photos

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