It's Okay to Be Beige - Beige Paint Color Tips

DIY Blogger Stefanie Schiada of Brooklyn Limestone gives Glidden® some tips on how to tackle selecting your next neutral.

There is no question that a room painted with the right risky, vibrant shade can be just stunning. Many a homeowner has mastered the art of blending the most unlikely color combinations into magic. So does that mean that you should shy away from a boring beige or general grey? No way! Sometimes taking a cue from the classics is just the right way to create a beautiful canvas that lets you mix in trendy shades seamlessly without the commitment. If you find your blood pressure rising as you stare at a seemingly endless wall of color chips at your local hardware store, never fear—here are my tips on mastering neutrals. 



Forget ‘the One’ 
Sometimes shopping for paint can seem like an impossible task. When faced with an infinite number of options, how do you find ‘the one?’ The answer is, you don’t have to. No matter what the room, there are likely hundreds, even thousands of colors that would look just right. Forget about finding the perfect color and try to find one that works for your space. Don’t you feel less stressed already? 

Beige or Gray? 
Shades of beige and gray are the natural color families that come to mind when thinking of neutrals, but think again. Black—yes black!—is a perfect neutral and works wonders in many a space. Slight variations into inky blues, rich aubergines or night greens can also work well. While you don’t necessarily have to go out on a limb with an unusual color, you can bring out your brave side by thinking outside the box with rich shades of safer hues. 

Stark White 
This may sound counterintuitive, but stark whites can be one of the most difficult wall colors to pull off successfully. It’s the color most affected by quality of light, furniture and other factors in a room. So while white may seem like the safest choice of all, resist the urge. When in doubt, try a slightly off-white shade to soften the edges. It will still read as white but can make your space feel softer and more inviting. 

Tone It Down 
Selecting a whole room color based on a small sample has its dangers, including the discovery that it looks completely different when it’s on all four walls. A beautiful warm beige on the chip can easily look flesh-colored and garish once it’s up. What looked like the perfect balanced gray can look violet on the wall. While it may seem like the safer option to select is a light pastel shade, think again. When selecting from color swatches, test a few variations from the same color family on the wall—particularly the darker, more muted versions of the same shade. Even one shade down on the color card can make the difference! 

Trim It Out 
If you are like most homeowners you’ll need a trim color each time you paint a room a different shade. Do yourself a favor, pick one color and finish for all of the moldings in your home. Not only will it create a cohesive flow from one room to the next, you’ll also have a lot easier time touching up the inevitable dings and scratches that come with life’s little surprises. 

Stefanie Schiada

Stefanie Schiada is author of the lifestyle and design blog Brooklyn Limestone. Started to record the renovation of a 100-year-old home, her blog also includes DIY projects, travel and entertaining.