What Are Classic Paint Colors? Classic paint colors are those traditional primary colors that are commonly used throughout the home when painting. They have a rich history in tradition and enduring style. It’s also one of the reason that thee paint colors never go out of style!
Once Fall is in full swing, paint companies are announcing their color projections for the coming year. PPG Industries, the Pittsburgh based paint company, announced a three color spectrum: a warm beige, a saturated ginger orange and a muted turquoise as anticipated trends in 2021.
Behr, whose products are sold exclusively at Home Depot, chose a palette of warm neutrals and gentle tones such as Smoky Shite, Maple Glaze and Saffron Strands. Sherwin Williams introduced a warm, dark brown called Urban Bronze as their color of the year.
Clare’s, the online-only paint retailer, though not specifically naming a ‘color of the year’ did release their go-to color for 2021, a mustard yellow. And, finally, Benjamin Moore chimed in with Aegean Teal which blends gray, blue and green for their 2021 color of the year.
It can always be fun to choose one of these trendy colors to make a statement with a powder room or maybe a vibrant accent wall. Maybe even jump in the deep end of the pool and use a color of the year in a bedroom or living room. But I’m here to tell you that over the years I have made many mistakes picking paint colors. You know it’s bad when the painters leave and you immediately hate the paint colors you picked….on your 25 ft high walls.
And then you have to live with your Tequila Sunrise walls with orange undertones for years until you move or rehire the painters. Sometimes I think I moved just to start fresh with my walls!
The most important thing in choosing a paint color is to know yourself. Ultimately, the best way to trend-proof your color scheme isn’t to change your colors, but to change how you feel about trends.
No matter what a designer may tell you, no single color can ever be 100% trend proof. Fads come and go (no matter what) and even the most inoffensive shades might feel passé some day.
However, if you choose colors you truly love (no matter if they make a subtle statement or an edgy bang….or not) you will never have to compromise to someone’s else’s idea of what is fashionable.
That being said, if I only knew what I know now I would have picked timeless, classic paint colors.
A color that will look good years from now, a color that is not a trend or a color of the year. I understand that sometimes you might just want to go for it but if you’re looking for timeless paint colors that never go out of style then this article is for you.
Timeless colors never grow old. They may be used in different ways (walls versus trim or accents) but they are always in style. Be wary, though, that even classic neutrals can be so overdone that they become trendy.
An all-gray room can point to the fashion of the early 2000s. Your safer bet is to choose your color based on the context of the room. Picking the paint colors for your walls should be one of the later things you do in designing a room. Find a large focal piece (rug, art, window treatments) and look for colors in those pieces that grab your attention.
What is the trick to getting a true sense of color?
Understanding the natural light in your space is also an important consideration. Light has the biggest impact on how color is perceived in your home. The amount of light your space gets, the direction of your light source, as well as the above mentioned colors in the space (rugs, furniture) can actually alter how your color appears. This is especially true with whites and neutrals which tend to reflect any other colors in and around your space.
Bright, clear, natural light will show color in its truest form while southern light, for example, tends to take on a warmer tone. You can always put up 24 by 24 inch samples on a few different walls to decide on color. But if you don’t want to paint a large square on your walls try Samplize (https://shop.samplize.com/) which will send you peel and stick sheets in your choice of companies like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball, and PPG.
Make sure you check your swatches during different times of the day to ensure that you love the way the color looks in the daylight, in the evening when the sun is setting, and after dark when the artificial lights are on in your home.
The utility of the peel and stick paint swatches is that they are repositionable so you can move them around easily and they don’t require the mess and effort of dealing with paint samples.
Now it’s time to share with you our favorite classic timeless paint colors
What can be more timeless than greige, a mix between gray and beige. Greige is a classic for a reason: it provides a comfortable backdrop for any room. You can be at ease living with it year after. There’s something special about a room that puts a classic neutral like greige to the test, but this paint color will not let you down and, in fact, when used strategically, it can have a transformative effect on a space.
There is really no right or wrong way to use greige in an interior space. It complements a range of architectural styles, hues and spaces from a nursery to a living room.
Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore – There’s no one paint color that is a “no fail” but Revere Pewter is as close as it gets, looking great in almost any space. Light- to mid-tone gray with warm undertones.
Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore – a beautiful, simple, light gray without being cold. The name is an excellent description; it is all that.
Mortar by Benjamin Moore – a warm, greige paint color. Uses a dark beige undertone resulting in an almost-tan, grayish shade.
Perfect Greige by Sherman Williams – a central meeting point between beige and gray. It doesn’t lean too much toward the gray nor does the beige show excessively. A perfect marriage.
London Stone No. 6 by Farrow & Ball – a deep rich beige moving towards a brown based gray-beige. Its gray base helps to blend into room scapes despite its rich nature allowing your furnishing to take center stage.
White is always a good paint choice. It feels elegant, clean and fresh. Whether cool and crisp or soft and warm, white is one color trend that never goes out of style. The ultimate neutral that won’t clash with your vibrantly patterned area rug or take away from your gallery of colorful artwork.
Yet choosing the perfect white paint can be formidable as there are multitudes of shades and hues….probably well over 900. Let’s help you cut to the chase.
Acadia White by Benjamin Moore – a big favorite. It’s warm without feeling yellow or pink, it’s deep enough not to be glare-y, yet neutral enough to work with a lot of color schemes. It’s a calming shade for those who don’t want something starkly bright and, as a more traditional white wall color, it’s a sublime backdrop for wall art and décor.
White Dove by Benjamin Moore – a crisp and balanced white. Nice, clean backdrop for traditional settings, yet can add warmth to a modern space. Adds depth to any room and is incredibly versatile. Also a popular choice for moulding and trim.
Pure White by Sherman Williams – a foolproof white paint color. A timeless white that isn’t too cool or too creamy. Acts as a perfect backdrop for any interior space. Love this color to brighten up a kitchen or living room, especially when paired with different paint colors, textures, furnishings and artwork.
Fresh Kicks by Clare’s – a true neutral white wall paint that creates a crisp, gallery-like feel that helps bold color accessories and bright accents stand out. You can never go wrong with a clean, true white.
Off White by PPG Paints – a lightened up shade of taupe with caramel and bronze undertools. This yellow-based white is modern, earthy and welcoming. Pairs well with darker neutrals such as beige, brown and reds.
When it comes to paint colors, nothing is as ageless as a complex cream. Basically, we’re talking about creamy beiges but with a yellow, green, orange, or pink undertone. They are called ‘complex’ because there are more pigments in them than a regular cream color.
Make sure you assess your room’s overall color scheme and ask yourself what will best pull the room together. You won’t go wrong with the following choices.
Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. A warm shade with taupe undertones that brings a velvety depth to walls and millwork. It works wonderfully with crisp white trim and is home to traditional spaces yet bright enough not to be out of place in a modern setting.
Natural Linen by Sherwin Williams – sometimes creams can have too much of a yellow undertone or be too closely aligned with white and come off as cold. This paint color hits all the right spots and creates a calm, understated elegance allowing your furnishings to be the real statement.
Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore – tasty, creamy white with a touch of beige and gray. Warm and inviting yet still modern with clean and earthy tones.
Cream in My Coffee by Valspar – the name is descriptive of the color: a wonderful cream/off-white shade. Classic and chic at the same time. If Carly Simon was aware of this paint she might have changed her “clouds in my coffee” lyrics.
Tallow by Farrow & Ball – very subtle, peachy undertones that instantly warm a room. Carries a clean tone that works well in any setting.
One of the most popular colors in the U.S. is blue. A preppy classic and never out of style, blue is a perfect color for a timeless look. Blues are soothing and navy blue is especially complementary to most hard and soft furnishings.
Blue is versatile and comes in a wide range of shades and hues and can work as a neutral or a vibrant additional color. It’s a color you can leave on your walls while things around it change.
Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore – a paint color that looks good in any light. It’s a happy color but still a neutral, so it’s a great choice if you aren’t ready to go with a bright blue. Complementary colors, like beige or gray, can serve as an excellent accent for the shade. Living rooms and dining rooms are served well by this sophisticated, muted tone.
Inverness Gray by PPG – an icy shade of blue/turquoise that looks amazing in bathrooms when combined with crisp white features. Also a great choice for creating a calm and soothing atmosphere in a nursery or bedroom.
Dark Night by Sherwin Williams – the perfect moody blue (“Nights in White Satin” anyone?) for a variety of spaces from bedrooms to bathrooms. Striking blue shade with a green undertone evoking a sense of drama but still maintaining a soothing environment. Both warm and cool shades work with this color.
Rhine River by Benjamin Moore – a soft and relaxing, yet sophisticated, color. Bring the sky and water into your living spaces. Maybe the most versatile shade of blue paints.
Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball – a perfect navy with a splash of peacock blue and a slight green undertone that adds depth to any room. Makes a striking background for fabrics, furnishings and accessories. Intense, modern feel, yet a completely classic shade.
Green reminds us of nature and has soothed us through centuries. Greens have been used for decorating homes in every architectural era since colonial times. A light green softened by undertones of gray or brown is not only beautiful but creates a perfect natural backdrop for decor and furnishings.
Soft Fern by Benjamin Moore – soft, elegant, light green hue. Great for bedrooms because it’s tranquil and exudes a sense of nature yet brings some flair.
Hazel by Sherwin Williams – a bluish green that is peaceful and relaxing. A soothing color to help you unwind with its calming presence. It can make smaller spaces seem larger because of its lightening effects and muted vibrancy.
Enchanting Ivy by Dunn-Edwards – a rich, forestry green yet with enough blue and neutral tones to give it an upscale and sophisticated look. Works well with darker spaces that don’t get a ton of light and need a color with more pigment.
Mizzle by Farrow & Ball – a wondrous mix of mist and drizzle with the green color diminishing the blue undertones in a captivating way. Almost an indeterminate color yet one of deep mystery that makes a room feel soft and contented.
Dirty Martini by Clare – Shaken or Stirred? A cloudy, green, olive classic. Sophisticated shade that works well in traditional settings and, like a martini, never gets old.
Remember that interior design is about expressing yourself through your surroundings and creating a space that nurtures your spirit. To pick your colors, ask yourself how you want to feel in a certain room day after day. Pick the color that expresses that. Hope you enjoyed our suggestions and have a wonderful, colorful day!