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Best shades of paint for dark hardwood floors

Which wall colors go best with dark hardwood flooring?

Dark floors are the most popular when it comes to hardwood flooring, so the next logical question my customers ask is, “What are the best paint colors to go with dark woods?”  So, I thought I would share some of my favorite shades of paint.

best shades of paint for dark hardwood floors

best shades of paint for dark hardwood floorsFirst, the good news is that it’s hard to go wrong with dark hardwood floors.  Why?  Because they’re so neutral (assuming you have dark brown floors…reds and red undertones are a bit dated and more challenging to decorate with…see:  Hardwood stain trends).  But, as you’ll see below, some colors and shades work better than others.


It always helps when you know the design objective or tone you want to set for the area (e.g. relaxing, dramatic, warm and inviting, etc.).  And, I’m pretty sure if you asked 10 different designers, that you would get 10 different recommendations.  It is subjective.  Remember that it’s your home, and you’re the one living in it, so choose what you like and what you feel comfortable with.


And, my general principle is “less is more.”  The more you can use the same colors throughout the house, the more upscale and cohesive your home will look.  Your home will also look larger if you carry the color scheme throughout the area.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.


✅ Are you painting yourself?  If so, here are some  helpful tools to make the job faster and easier.


✅  And, this Painting and Flooring Planner will organize your paint shades, finishes and flooring choices by room.



Related articles:


Light walls vs dark walls with dark floors

best shades of paint for chocolate brown hardwood floorsThe best piece of advice I can give you is to avoid going too dark on the walls.  You really want a contrast with floors and walls.  From a design perspective, this just looks better.  And, importantly, it creates balance for the room.  If you go too dark, the room will look too dark…and may in fact look depressing.  You want balance.


Importantly, this doesn’t mean you need to choose white paint for the walls.  In fact, often light grays and other light colors look much better than stark white walls as they add some style and flair to the room.  It helps turn a house into a home.


I’ll go in more depth on the exact shades and other options.  But, whatever you do, don’t go too dark.  Go at least 3 shades lighter on the walls than the floors.  If you love, love love dark walls, then my advice to you is to selective choose an accent wall or two and go darker on that wall and light on the other 3 walls.


Oh, and it’s important to remember that the room is a cube…so there are 6 sides.  The floor is the base (and it’s just 1 side)…the walls are the 4 main source of color for the room, and of course you have the ceiling as the 6th surface.  Some people worry about going too dark on the floors, but, as I mentioned, it’s just one surface, and an area where you often add an area rug and furniture.  I’d highly recommend that the ceiling be white, especially if you have dark floors.


But, it’s the 4 walls that exhibit the main color for the room, and going lighter will generally give look better.  As a general rule of thumb, when I’m looking at the paint fan decks, I generally recommend the lightest color on the page if you have dark floors.  You can then move to the darker shades on the page for accent walls.

super dark wood floors with white walls


best paint shades for north facaing bedrooms


Always use paint testers on the walls to validate your choices.  They are inexpensive and worth the tiny investment to make sure you love your selection. You can get sample boards made with real paint sent to your home with Samplize.


Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams           Benjamin Moore
Paint shade swatches from Sherwin Williams Benjamin Moor fan deck


Cool colors vs warm colors

best shades of paint for dark hardwoods - ebony and espresso stainsThese days cool colors are more stylish than warm colors, and around 80% of our customers choose cool color tones.  Cool shades include grays, blues, greens, taupes, purples or colors with those undertones.  Of course, when it comes to paint colors for your walls, grays, blues are by far the most popular colors.


Warm colors include beiges, yellows, oranges, reds…or colors with these undertones.  These are less popular now, but the good news is that if you love these colors or shades with these undertones, they generally do work with dark hardwood floors.


Of course, the possibility for paint colors is endless, and we’ve also been seeing blends of cool and warm tones.  We see this particularly with the greiges.  Greige is a mixture of gray (a cool color) and beige (a warm color) to create a pallet of greiges.


What’s interesting about these is that they often envelop and unify the colors in your room, especially if you have a combo of warms and cools in your decor elements (e.g. area rugs, pillows, paintings, window treatments, etc.).  Probably the most popular and well known greige is Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.

pick the perfect paint shade

What is the Sherwin William’s equivalent of Revere Pewter?

Truthfully, there is no exact match…and, each manufacturer has their own unique blend.  The closest match is Worldly Gray (SW7043), but it is not exact at all.  If you absolutely love Revere Pewter, then my suggestion is to have Sherwin William match this color (yes, they have the blend in their computer for the top Benjamin Moore colors, and this is probably the most requested color match), or if you an absolute purist, buy Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.


I’m sure there are minor differences between the paint match across the brands (as the pigments are a tad different), but most people won’t be able to detect the super fine difference.  And, remember, it’s easy to see the subtle differences in paint shades when the chips are next to each other, but in real life you just choose one color for the wall, and if the chips aren’t side by side, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.


Grays and Greiges for dark hardwood floors

Grays and greiges are by far the most popular paint colors, especially for dark hardwood floors.  Here are some of my favorites:


Benjamin Moore Grays and Greiges for dark hardwood

  • best gray shades of paint for dark hardwood flooringBenjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Benjamin Moore Abalone
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist


Sherwin Williams Grays for dark hardwood

  • Sherwin Williams Silverpointe
  • Sherwin Williams Gray Screen
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray


On the one hand, you really can’t go wrong with gray when you have dark hardwood floors.  On the other hand, some people find it tricky to find the right or ideal gray as there are so many options.  Really, these grays have subtle undertones – some have blue undertones, or green or taupe or beige.


Hint: If you’re unsure about the undertone, it sometimes helps to look at the color swatch next to white (and remember your base molding will be white, so this is a good base).  And, don’t stress too hard over this…you only need to choose one color, and once it’s up on the walls, it will be challenging to discern the subtle differences.  Test with samples and then go with your gut.  Don’t over think it.


Paint Samples

Now, let’s talk about samples for a second…

It’s always best to test the paint colors in you own home and own lighting.  The colors do look different pending your lighting and can even look different room to room.


You can definitely go to your local painting store to buy some samples (and a brush…be sure to paint with 2 coats), but I have a MUCH EASIER way for you.  Check out SAMPLIZE.


paint sample from samplize

Samplize offers 12” x 12” peel and stick paint samples that are EASIER, AFFORDABLE and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.


Here are a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients:

  • Samples come right to YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, pending on location
  • At $5.95, they’re more affordable than the samples/brushes/foam boards than traditional samples…and of course easier and way less messy
  • If you keep the samples on the white paper, you can move them from wall to wall and room to room


They are amazingly accurate as they are made with 2 coats of real paint, so they are color correct.


Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE.



Lighter blues for dark hardwood floors

best paints for dark hardwood flooring - light bluesBlues are cool and soothing. They provide a nice contrast with dark hardwood floors.  For common areas (such as living rooms, family rooms, etc.) generally lighter is better when it comes to blue.


Blues also go well with grays, so if you choose gray for your main living areas, you may want blues for the bedrooms.  In the bedrooms, you can go a bit darker, if that’s what you (or your kids) prefer.  This also tends to lead towards better sleeping habits.


Sherwin Williams light blues for dark flooring

  • best shades of blue paint for dark hardwood flooringSherwin Williams Mild Blue
  • Sherwin Williams Icelandic
  • Sherwin Williams Windy Blue
  • Sherwin Williams Celestial (often better for bedrooms as it’s a mid blue)
  • Sherwin Williams Wondrous Blue


Benjamin Moore light blues for dark hardwood

  • Benjamin Moore Misty Blue
  • Benjamin Moore Solitude
  • Benjamin Moore Irises
  • Benjamin Moore Oriental Iris


Cool whites for dark hardwood floors

Whites can also work well with dark floors, especially very dark floors.  They can give a room a modern look, when they are done right.  But, it’s critical that you get the right white…you want as white as possible.  I know that sounds obvious, but if you look at the white paints, you’ll see there are 80 bazillion shades of white.


neutral whites for dark hardwoodsAvoid whites with yellow or pink undertones (e.g. linen white) as they are dated.  And, they are more challenging to decorate with.  White white is much better…or if you need a light undertone, go for gray.


My suggestions for true neutral whites would be:

  • Benjamin Moore: White Dove or Simply White
  • Sherwin Williams:  Alabaster (SW7008) or Pure White (SW7005).


Buy me a coffeeDid you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog.


Subtle greens for dark hardwood floors

Subtle greens, especially ones that have gray and/or blue undertones also work well with dark hardwood.  Stay away from saturated greens as those can be too dark and many look very dated.  While blues are more widely preferred over greens, when you pick the right subtle green, it can be quite magical.


Finding the right green seems to be a bit trickier than blues or grays…as it’s challenging to find the RIGHT green.  Many just don’t look right – too minty, too childish, too much like celery, etc.  If you’re looking at Sherwin Williams color fan deck, avoid the green section, and instead head over to the gray section and look at the green grays here.


Sherwin Williams subtle greens for dark wood floors

  • best shades of green paint for dark hardwood flooringSherwin Williams Sea Salt (my favorite of this bunch)
  • Sherwin Williams Rainwashed
  • Sherwin Williams Filmy Green


Benjamin Moore subtle greens for dark hardwood flooring

  • Benjamin Moore Dew drop
  • Benjamin Moore Iceberg
  • Benjamin Moore Beach Glass
  • Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments
  • Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray



painting and flooring trackerWAIT! Need help keeping track of your stain and paint colors? This tracker makes it easy! GET YOUR PRINTABLE PAINT AND FLOOR TRACKER HERE! 



Darker grays, blues and navy for accent walls

chocolate brown hardwood floors with dark accent wallsI caution customers about going too dark on their walls if they have dark floors, but sometimes, darker colors can create drama when they are selectively used, especially for an accent wall.  These colors can be striking if they are used on one wall in a living room or a Master Bedroom.  Sometimes, they can look great in a dining room, especially if you have white wainscoting or a chair rail where white paint would go on the bottom and then the dramatic pop color on the upper two thirds of the room.


And, sometimes it really works if you choose a darker color or darker accent wall in the bedroom(s) as these colors tend to help people relax and fall asleep better (and yes, there have been some studies that show that people who have blues, grays and darker walls in their bedroom get more sleep.  In general, be sure to choose a color for your bedroom that you love…and that makes your bedroom feel like a sanctuary…somewhere you love coming home to after a hard day at work…and that you want to retire into at the end of the day.


Here are some great darker accent colors.

Dark gray accent shades to go with dark hardwoods

  • dark accent paint shades for dark hardwood floorsBenjamin Moore Kendall
  • Benjamin Moore Fieldstone
  • Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron
  • Benjamin Moore Black
  • Sherwin Williams Chelsea Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn
  • Sherwin Williams African Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Stamped Concrete

Dark blue and navy accent shades to go with dark flooring

  • Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue
  • Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue
  • Benjamin Moore Blue Note
  • Benjamin Moore Hale Navy


Note:  It is super important that these accent colors go with your base color selection.  You can see some examples of coordinating grays and their corresponding accent colors in this article:  Most popular shades of gray paint.


Paint Samples

Now, let’s talk about samples…

It’s always best to test the paint colors in you own home and own lighting.  The colors do look different pending your lighting and can even look different room to room.


You can definitely go to your local painting store to buy some samples (and a brush…be sure to paint with 2 coats), but I have a MUCH EASIER way for you.  Check out SAMPLIZE.


paint sample from samplize

Samplize offers 12” x 12” peel and stick paint samples that are EASIER, AFFORDABLE and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.


Here are a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients:

  • Samples come right to YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, pending on location
  • At $5.95, they’re more affordable than the samples/brushes/foam boards than traditional samples…and of course easier and way less messy
  • If you keep the samples on the white paper, you can move them from wall to wall and room to room


They are amazingly accurate as they are made with 2 coats of real paint, so they are color correct.


Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE.

pick the perfect paint shade

Helpful tools if you are going to paint yourself

painter's tape and DIY painting toolsHere are some painting tools that may come in handy if you’re going to do the painting yourself.  Also, be sure to check out my article on the Top 10 DIY Painting mistakes and how to avoid themThe products below can be found on Amazon and delivered straight to your door.

  • Painting brush – this one costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it.  It will help you paint faster and more accurately.  If you’re going to paint yourself, don’t skimp here.  Incidentally, this is Amazon’s Choice as well.
  • Painter’s tape – a must have.  Use for all the trim as well as ceiling area
  • Paint roller kit – this includes a tray.  Use the brush for the edges and the roller for main areas of the wall (and ceiling).
  • Drop cloths – Yes, you’ll need them for sure.  Some people have some on hand, but often not enough if you are doing many rooms.

Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams           Benjamin Moore
paint shades that complment dark hardwood floors favorite paint colors to coordinate with dark hardwoods


Color for trim

If your trim is painted, go for white – it’s most popular and looks more modern and up to date.  If your trim is wood (and you want to keep it that way), then stain it to match the floor.  If your trim is wood and you want to paint it, you’ll need to prime it first.


Trim includes:

  • Base molding
  • Doors/door jambs
  • Windows/window sills
  • Chair rails, wainscoting, crown molding
  • Stair risers, stringer and spindles (banisters and balustrades should either match stain color on wood floor or paint (hint: black lacquer looks super stylish and contemporary for the banister if you have dark hardwood floors and tends to hold up well)
  • Fireplace trim


Be as consistent as you can throughout the house, painting (or staining) all trim the same color.  Check out this article on the best white shades for trim (yes, there are tons whites and the differences are subtle but can make a big difference.


Debbie GartnerWAIT! Need help keeping track of your paint colors and sheens This tracker makes it easy! GET YOUR PAINT TRACKER HERE!


Other design tips:

  • Base molding tends to look best when it’s white.  It looks more premium and professional.  Most people use a semi gloss finish for this (and flat finish for the walls).  The white base molding also creates a striking contrast with the dark floors.


  • Ebony/black furniture and accent pieces tend to work well with this color scheme


  • Brushed nickel or chrome hardware works best (and is most popular) with the cool color palettes and is especially popular for kitchens, bathrooms, but can also be used around fireplaces, window treatment hardware and door knobs.



DIY painting tips from Sherwin Williams (video):

I wanted to share a VERY helpful video from Sherwin Williams, with some quick and super useful DIY painting tips. It’s just 2 minutes and covers types of brushes and painting techniques.

Sherwin Williams and Pottery Barn Painting tips for DIY homeowners


Related painting and home decor articles:


Buy me a coffeeDid you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog


Best shades of paint for dark hardwood floors


54 thoughts on “Best shades of paint for dark hardwood floors”

  1. We renovated the basement and have open concept . I painted walls in a golden color but Iwant to change color i have dark floors throughout and only 3 windows what color would u suggest

    1. I would do some sort of light gray. That will go best with the dark floors and modernize the room. Be sure to test the color and do 2 coats of paint. If wall are in fact a deep golden color/bright, you may need to do primer first (regardless of color used).

      Be sure to go on the lighter side of gray as you have dark floors and probably less lighting in basement (i.e. less natural light from windows). Separately, you may want to look into getting additional lighting if the area is too dark.

      My favorite go to colors are Sherwin Williams Silverpointe and Gray Screen. Do a flat finish.

      I hope this helps.

  2. We just bought a gray couch. Have a dark wood entertainment center with brushed nickel knobs. We have a greigh carpet. What do you suggest would be a good color for the walls?

    1. I would test Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter as that’s a greige and will probably tie colors together. My gut tells me that will work best. Also, Sherwin Williams silverpointe may work. You can test other grays to see what goes…depends on your area rug exact color. Or, try one of the light blues I mentioned in the article.

  3. We are installing really dark flooring in our southern facing family room which is next to our kitchen that we painted silver sage. Any suggestions for wall color?

    1. Jane – Do you mean that you painted the kitchen walls silver sage? (or the cabinets). If the rooms flow into each other, you may want to consider same color for family room. If you want a different color, I’d probably try Stonington Gray.

  4. Hello,
    Very informative article-thank you! We have coffe brown floors, and our kitchen cabinets are painted SW Modern Gray (they came that way….they looked more cream colored in store)….kitchen opens to family room and both rooms are south facing. Couch is very pale blue slip covered couch. WhAt Gray or Greige color would you recommend? Looking at gray Owl, Stonington Gray, Collonade grey, mindful Gray….too many to list:). So overwhelming!

    1. Sue – You really have a greige color, so you will have better luck picking a griege. For sure, Colonnade Gray works with that.

      Stonington doesn’t work and I don’t think Gray owl will either (but I can’t find that swatch now).

      Mindful gray will probably work, but I think colonnade goes better and is a tad lighter.

      It’s a really challenging cabinet color to coordinate w/ as it has some pink undertones. I’m looking through the color wheels for both brands, and colonnade seems to work best.

  5. Im struggling to pick the right pair for the master bedroom. We just installed hardwood floors and the bedroom furniture is same color as the floors (my husbands had it since before we met and won’t get rid of it) But from the master balcony we have the blue pool water reflecting into the room. It makes everything blue. To top it off the slider is the only (main) source of light! What would you recommend to counteract the blue tones coming from the Pool? Im ok with blue serene spa like tones but it get sooo blue Most of the time.

    1. Selene – I love blue. My instinct would be to go for a blue. If you do a gray, it will look bluish anyway. Alternatively, if you like dark, you could do a dark color…of virtually any sort…and then it won’t reflect the blue. Or, do dark accent wall on just 1 wall and it will cut down the blue reflection. Of course, you could also do some white sheers in the window (not sure if I spelled that correctly) and install more lighting in ceiling. I hope that helps.

  6. I have a lot of natural light comimg in with tinted windows throughout my home. What color of gray would offset the blue tinted windows. A warm or a cool gray? I have a lot of white and
    Open concept.

    1. I would guess that a warmer gray or griege would help compensate for that. I might try Sherwin Williams Silverpointe and Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter as a starting point. look at the swatches…then definitely buy the testers and test on your wall.

  7. Hi
    Im decorating my living room, which is a long rectangular shape with dark wood floors and a deal leather sofa , also it’s open plan with a beige wooden kitchen so need the colour to work throughout! I would also like an accent wall but have no clue what colour to choose ! I’m liking the green tinge paint !
    Advice would be much appreciated

    1. Dan – Greens are really challenging to work with and to find the right green. I’d be more inclined to so some sort of blue, as blue is complementary to the beige in the kitchen. Also, I don’t know what deal leather is or what color that is. Alternatively some sort of taupe may work. I hope that helps. You really need to look at this in person.

  8. We have dark redish hardwood floors, dark brown leather couch, recliner, & ottoman, a cream color leather love seat and fieldstone hearth with black woodburning stove surrounded by drab beige walls with wainscoting (darker beige with white trim). I’m ready to go lighter. I’m thinking of painting everything white under the chair rail. We have a large rug with muted blues and greens. Any color suggestions? I’m tired of beige and brown! Thanks!

    1. I would definitely go white on the wainscoting, without a doubt.

      On the higher upper part, it’s a bit more challenging given all the colors you have in the room, and the reddish in floor in particular makes it more challenging. But, also, I can’t see your color…so that’s what makes it extra hard for me. I’m not a huge fan of beige either.

      I might potentially try some sort of griege or light taupe (both of which have some subtle green undertones and gray). Green is complementary to the red, so that’s why it might work. I.e. don’t do green…but a griege or taupy that has some green undertones mixed in with gray. I have a hunch the a gray may be too gray, but potentially Sherwin william’s Silverpointe (which is gray with green undertones) or Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (which is a griege…combo of gray and beige) might work. It’s also possible that a light blue may work, but it may be a bit challenging to find the right blue given the blue in area rug and red undertones in the floor.

      I hope this help. It’s much easier to do in person.

  9. Cathy Callaghan

    this is a great discussion here. We just renovated kitchen and the flooring on the whole main floor is now spice brown, fairly dark but no red or orange in it. I love it. I’m struggling with the wall colours for the living room and family room (which used to be a pale yellow living room and hawthorne yellow family room). I thought I would go with a yellow again as our furniture may need some warmth and colour (sage green couch in family room and the living room is blues, greens and yellows in the lighter and a bit brighter pallet). 8 sample shades we’ve tried but all these yellows and creams seem to look dated. Any suggestions?

    1. Cathy – Yes, this is the challenge with yellows. I would instead try a griege, such as Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore) or some similar color in Sherwin Williams (maybe silverpointe, gossamer veil, agreeable gray, repose gray. Griege is a combo of gray and beige. That way you’ll have a more up to date color, but a bit of a warmer feel vs a gray gray. You just have to find the right shade in there. Griege is both warm and cool, so it tends to bring colors together in a room.

  10. Very helpful article, thank you!!
    I think I’ve chosen to use Ben Moore Dove White for walls in entire house (floors are a medium dark brown). What color should the trim be painted (already white)?


    1. The trim should be white and semi gloss…so if you use white dove for the walls in flat and white dove for trim in semi, it will probably look fine…or else go with simply white or something similar so a bit more contrast with the wall. But, the finish should give you enough contrast.

  11. I need major help!!!
    i’m sooo happy i found this artical it has made my job of remodeling whole house seem possible!
    After my mother passed this past year we moved into her home, it needs a major redo even though it’s only 20 years old! big nail holes in walls, not been pained inside in 20 years… doors never pained.. and the list goes on.. My biggiest issue is the trim and cabinets (kitchen and bathrooms). the stain i found here (yes she still had the cans lol) say high gloss dark oak ( trust me they are very high gloss hah) and red mahogany. I think…. the trim is the mahogany and the cabinets are the high gloss dark oak, as they have a yellow/orange tent with maybe some red. I originally wanted to redo the cabinets, so I posted on Houzz message board asking how to… they were not happy with me wanting to change them…. saying they were real wood hand made cabinets. so for now I guess I will leave them be.. I am going to retain the real wood flooring ebony/Jacobean (because of this artificial…. thank you so much) but the trim is so glossy I would have to replace it all! I do plan to do this as I think it would look so much better white.
    So now with high gloss orange looking “dark oak” cabinets and the darker floors you suggest, what colors would go good? I know I want to do the grey ( gold ceiling fan now….. will all be nickle) would you suggest a greenish blue or grayish blue accent color, and what color walls? I know I want light, the more off white color matches the cabinets but I really wanted a grey tone. (also main room has vaulted ceilings, living room/dinning room/kitchen combo) also, as I’m painting the whole house, what colors would you suggest adjutant hall way and bed rooms? and what accents color in those rooms?
    I wish I could post pics on here… thanks so much for your advice!

    1. Etta – First, I’m so sorry about your mom. I’m sure this makes even harder to go through renovations. Second, for your safety, I deleted your email address (because there are scraper sites that look for emails and then you can get even more spam).

      Now, I have to tell you that I’m a bit confused by some of what you said/your questions, so I will do my best to help guide you, but you will likely need to ask me more questions.

      Regarding the cabinets, I do not know what orange “dark oak” is. Do you mean you have red oak cabinets with an orangish stain? If so, these need to go…they are super dated and not high quality. They make space look darker, smaller and out of date, and they are hard to coordinate with rest of decor. So, if this is what you have, I’d strongly recommend that you paint them white. This article may help you.

      If you paint cabinets white, it will make it much easier to choose paint colors (as well as stain colors).

      Stain the floors first, then paint cabinets, then pick paint colors. (or if you pick paint earlier, still wait until these are done to test/validate paint samples.

      If you do dark floors (brown, no red undertones), you can choose whichever paint colors you prefer. If you want grays, it depends which tones you like. If you go with grays that have blue undertones, it will give you a cooler look; if you go with ones that have green (or beige) undertones, it will be a bit warmer. It depends what you like – there isn’t a right or wrong answer. One of my favorite grays is Sherwin Williams Silverpointe as it’s gray with some minor green undertones, so it looks a bit warmer vs a gray with blue understones such as gray screen. (See: to see these colors.

      Pick your base color first, then coordinate the accent color. If you choose Silverpointe, use either Ellie Gray or Stamped concrete for accent walls. Again, you can see all of these colors and matching accent walls in above article.

      I hope that helps.

  12. I literally have that misty blue color in my nursery we decided to hardwood floor but all of your furniture are darkwood should we still go with darkwood flooring

    1. Dark floors with dark hardwood is fine. Hardwood is neutral and it is common to mix woods for furniture and floors and it works since the woods are (usually) neutral. If you like it, go for it.

  13. Looking for paint colour suggestions for walls and trim. Oak floor colour is gunstock (red and orange understones) for living room and entranceway. Lots of natural light.

    1. Mary – I would probably do some sort of gray with green undertones or light taupe (mix of green and gray). green is opposite on the color wheel from reds/oranges, so that’s why that works. Stay away from colors that are too cool. Try Silverpointe, Sedate gray, agreeable gray, useful gray – all from sherwin williams. Also, accessible beige might work. Or Revere Pewter from Benjamin Moore.

  14. Hi,
    We have Passive SW7064 on house walls, dark chocolate hardwood floor and similar color kitchen cabinets, butler pantry etc. Also, whole house is pure white trim from SW. What should be the color of family room sofa. We are thinking about huge sectional and little darker gray…please share your opinion.

    1. Jshop – I think a darker gray is a super choice. Black will also work and so will some deep browns. Potentially white could work too, but I would prefer a dark gray that has enough contrast/is darker than the walls.

  15. HI! We have dark wood floors (Hydroshield Laminate) that have a little bit of grayish /blue tones in it. It is called Evening Shadow. I am trying to decide what color to paint the walls. I am so afraid I am going to make it too dark. Our house is a little bit small, but has an open floor plan with a lot of natural light. I was thinking Repose Gray or Agreeable Gray. Do you think Repose Gray would be too dark? Do I need to go lighter?

  16. Great article. Quick question, I have really dark brown floors with espresso kitchen cabinets, and the walls are off-white. It looks nice as is, but we would like to have grey walls. which Sherwin Williams grey do you recommend? I’m trying to avoid darkening the room. Thank you in advance!

    1. Lulu – Yes, if you do gray, you want a light one. My fave Sherwin Williams light gray is Silverpointe. If you want a cooler gray, try gray screen. Gray screen is a bit bluer/cooler and a tad darker. See which goes better with your cabinets and your style.

  17. Doing my bathroom using shiplap on one wall should I white wash it or paint the whole room the same ?Dark floors no window would like to do a dark bottom and light top.

    1. Rita – I would probably paint it white since that’s the most popular and bathrooms are smaller, so it will make look larger. You could whitewash, but that would look a bit darker and is more challenging to do. You would typically paint the walls a different color. But, it’s up to you. If you want to flip it and you like that look go for it. But, usually, especially in bathrooms, I prefer to go ligher, and especially if you already have a dark floor.

  18. We have cherry floors and similar moldings. Tan couch, red chair, braided rug with tan, muted blues, greens , rusts & golds (all very muted). What is a good relaxing color for walls. I favor historic colors or country colors…just not modern.

  19. Hi, thank you for your article! We just recently painted our open hall, foyer and family room Antique Pearl (BM) which shows a soft, pale pinkish colour. We would like to take out our carpet and replace with dark hardwood flooring. Would the antique pearl look alright with the dark hardwood flooring?

    1. Melanie – Dark is the most neutral, so it should work, especially if you go very dark (e.g. 50/50 ebony/dark walnut) and don’t have red tones. I would use white oak rather than red oak.

  20. My house is new construction- open floor plan. Dark floors, a dark huge island and antique white kitchen cabinets, countertop is granite which has gray in it and white and black, backsplash beige tile. I have gray throughout house in curtains, accents- not overkill but this is the first house that has gray in it. I love the gray and beige feel. Picking a wall color is what I am obsessed about. What color would compliment these colors? I like light and bright but I also want warmth.

  21. Hi, I wish I had seen this article earlier. We have dark floors and painted walls with SW Lacewing and Accent wall with SW Parisian patina . The combination made room very dark and small. I am planning to change the wall color . Will BM Ivory white be a better choice? I love the accent wall color, so planning to keep it. It is west facing room with lots of natural light afternoon and later . Thanks

  22. hi…oh my gosh…can you please help me figure out what wall colors to chose for my large 11 x 13 master bathroom (not including the shower and toilet room). I ended up with a darker floor than expected. As for the example I saw at the store. My floor color is by NuCore….ombre tan hand scraped plank with cork black…ended up being way darker and had more black than the sample showed at the store which just messed everything up. I was hoping for rich, cozy, inviting colors I thought I had in mind. Now I”m really lost in what to do.
    With that being said…I stopped the flooring at the entry way to my master bathroom from the bedroom…I wanted so bad to continue to the bedroom…but I just had to stop at the entry way.
    I ended up adding bead board to the bottom part of the walls (which went up
    3/4 up of the bathroom walls) from the floor up.
    The walls are 10 ft tall…so the bead board is 60ish inches from the bottom up and the rest of the wall above the bead board is knockdown texture…really nice. Anyhow…I chose Buckweat Flour by Behr…for the ceiling and bead board …but it looks way too peachy for me (not happy at all…didn”t look at all like the chip card color). Can I somehow send you some pics for you to see my bathroom ? We have built/created all the furniture by our selves…which I think look awesome. Just quite frustrated and tired of trying to re-think the colors all over again.
    Would so much love your input / ideas…appreciate your time and help 🙂

    Thanks so much,

    1. Hi Maria – I offer phone consultations (paid, of course), so if you have an interest, fill out my contact form. be sure to leave your phone # so I can contact you. I can then tell you how the process works and then you can choose if you’d like to move forward, and then I’ll give you my cell and you can text me the picts and we can discuss.

    1. Yes, those can often work. It’s a bit more challenging to find the right one as it depends how yellow your floors are. I hope to write an article on this in the next few months. In general, the less less you have on the floor, the more up to date it look and grays/greiges will look much better. Check out this article on how to avoid the yellow on your floors.

      Here’s an article on warm grays – these will generally work better if you yellow/warm tones on your floor. And, here’s an article on cool grays.

  23. I have white trimming, dark wood floors with gray couches. Unable to decide which color to paint the walls. Grays or Blues?

    1. Teresa – both can work. Virtually any blue shade will work, but cooler blues and/or dusty blues are probably better than blues with green or aqua undertones. For gray, you’ll need to pick the “right” gray that goes with your couches.

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