Updating your home with a Light Paint Color on Walls has been on trend for a while now. We probably have JoAnna Gaines to thank for that. She makes light walls look beautiful.
I admit though, that I was kind of afraid to go whole house with it. But now that I’m updating our 7th room with this look, I have to say it absolutely improves the look and feel of every single room so far!
AND, the most amazing thing is that this light colored paint scheme is also making our millwork, crown molding, and the architecture, in general, just pop!
Light Paint Color on Walls
Using this Light Paint Color on Walls in our house makes our rooms seem bigger, more inviting, less cluttered, and a bit more elegant. Which is a miracle in itself. I’m not a designer, guys. 😉
I was a Software Developer in my former life. But I try pretty hard to put a pretty space together. So, seeing how lightening up the paint color on the walls has refreshed our home, has been a great learning experience.
I used to think you had to pick a different paint color for each room and design around that color. Now I know that is the hard way to do it. Finding multiple colors I actually liked was tough. Then finding furniture to match that color was just impossible fore me.
Like I said, I am not an interior designer. I am great at remodeling and home improvement.
Luckily for me, just picking a light paint color makes decorating SO MUCH EASIER. Everything goes with white, off white, and light neutral colors, guys. EVERYTHING!
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I have some great before and after examples of how a light paint color on walls can completely improve a room. But first, lets talk about why light paint colors in a home are so great.
What Paint Colors Make a Room Feel Brighter?
White or light paint colors will reflect the most light in a room.
Stick with shades of white, off white, light beige, and light grey if you want a light paint that will reflect the most light. Helping the light bounce around the room instantly brightens it.
It’s easier to see everything in brighter rooms with light walls too. It feels like your eyes can focus on the individual items in a room with light walls more easily too.
That’s why art galleries mostly have white walls. White walls brighten a gallery while letting the art stand out more.
Darker colors absorb light preventing it from bouncing around the room. So, a room is actually darker the darker the paint on the walls is.
Most of my walls are painted in Behr’s Sandstone Cove. It is a color somewhere between off white and a light beige. That color is still light enough to brighten the room, letting a lot of light bounce around.
I have a lot of trim, millwork, and molding in my home. Using a white trim color and an off white wall color helps the trim, millwork, and molding really stand out.
How to Pick a Light Paint Color
To pick the right light paint color for walls in your home, head to the paint store to grab some sample paint cards or chips.
Take those home and hold them up against the trim, the furniture, the flooring, anything in the room you’re painting. You want a neutral light color that has the same tone as the rest of the room.
Some whites and off whites look white in the store, but when you hold them up to other colors, you see they actually have a pink, purple, yellow, blue, green, or grey look next to certain colors.
Same thing goes for light beiges and light greys.
Once you have 1 or 2 light colors that match the room, tape them to a wall to see how they look in your house throughout the day.
You might even want to tape them to a couple of the walls in a room. Since the light can hit walls differently.
Which Paint Sheen Should you Use?
Picking the right paint sheen is another way to brighten a room. A shiny paint can reflect the natural light in a room too. You can see just how big a difference paint sheen can make in this video.
In the video above I compare flat paint to eggshell paint on ceilings in 3 rooms in my house. I always love how much eggshell sheen on the walls and ceilings lightens and brightens a room.
You can go for a shinier sheen, like semi-gloss or gloss. They reflect more light than eggshell. But, they also show more dents and imperfections. Textured walls and ceiling generally don’t look great with a high sheen paint.
Flat paint sheen seems to absorb light and it’s harder to wipe clean. Eggshell sheen is great in a house with kids and pets. I can easily walk around wiping food and dirt off of eggshell sheen paint with a washcloth. I can never wipe stains off of flat paint. It’s rougher texture holds onto stains.
Examples of Light Paint Color Room Makeovers
Check out these pics to see how just lightening the walls in my home has completely improved each room. Using that light paint color on walls always brightens the room and it makes it so much easier to decorate. Everything matched neutral, light paints! 🙂
Light Paint Colors Used in these Photos
- Behr’s Sandstone Cove in Eggshell, on the walls and ceilings (where mentioned)
- Behr’s Polished Pearl in Eggshell, on the crown molding and millwork
Light Paint Makeover in a Foyer
Just check out this before photo on our stairs. I loved that blue paint color when I picked it years ago. It looks pretty in pictures too. But it made this room feel dark. And that strong blue color was hard to match with rugs and decor.
And, here’s how that foyer looked after I just switched the walls to Behr’s Sandstone Cove. That new light paint color on walls in this room seems to make the banister and all of that beautiful millwork stand out. Such a huge improvement already.
2021 Update: Here’s what the foyer looks like today. I decided to close off the opening behind the stairs. So, I added a wall and tons of trim to make our foyer the grand entry I’ve always wanted. AND, I kept the light paint colors that make this room feel light and bright.
Light Wall Color in a Living Room
Our Living Room connects to our foyer. So, it had that blue wall color too. I painted it that light paint color at the same time that I did the foyer makeover. Here’s a look at the Living Room with the blue walls.
Here’s how amazing that Living Room looks now with it’s light colored paint on the walls and a little shift of furniture. You can see more pictures from my Living Room Makeover here.
I also have a post about that Shiplap Fireplace Makeover in our Living Room. It was almost a huge fail!
Using A Light Paint Color in Hallway
The second floor hallway between the Living Room and Foyer got the new paint color too. That hallway connects the first 2 rooms. They all 3 share a ceiling and 2 walls. So, they always need to have the same paint colors.
Using a light paint color in a hallway seems like an obvious win to me now. It seems to much lighter, brighter, cleaner, more inviting. I get all the good feels from this paint makeover.
Here’s another look at the ceiling over those 3 rooms. I used a light paint color on the ceiling in this room. It’s the same color I used on the walls, Behr’s Sandstone Cove in Eggshell Sheen. That subtle sheen looks great on this huge expanse of ceiling.
Light Paint Color on Walls in a Master Bedroom
Our Master Bathroom looks so much better after switching to a light paint color on walls and ceiling. Here’s the before picture of our Master Bedroom.
Light Paint Color on Master Bathroom Walls
Last year, I did a full remodel on our Master Bathroom. I went for light walls again, since it has helped every other room in this house. Here’s a quick look at the before picture.
And, here’s how fantastic it looks now. I lightened the walls and flooring in this room to really brighten the whole room.
Light Paint Color on Laundry Room Walls
Our Laundry Room is one of the first rooms where I used a light paint color on walls and floors. It turned that smallish, dark feeling room airy and bright in no time. Here’s the before picture.
I went with Behr’s Sandstone Cove in Eggshell on the walls and upper cabinets in this room. Keeping that light color the same all across the upper part of the room made the room feel bigger.
Light Paint Color in a Kids Bedroom
One last room makeover to share with you guys today. It’s the bedroom my boys share. Here’s a look at the before on this room. Can you tell I’ve learned a lot about decorating over the last 5 years? 😉
Here’s the boys bedroom now. That all white feature wall behind the beds certainly lightened the room. I wish I would have went with the same light color on walls without the DIY Board and Batten Feature Wall. But the blue is probably more fun for my boys.
In a few years, once the boys are old enough to move into separate rooms, I’m sure I’ll switch those 3 blue walls to my new favorite light paint color on walls. This will eventually be a light, bright, airy, and inviting guest room.
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Feeling inspired? Now you know how this light color paint on walls changed our home. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.