5 Paint Colors to Avoid

Paint is one of the best starts to any budget decorating project, and when it comes to choosing color – the world is yours.  With paint companies offering hundreds of color choices, how do you even start to choose a color?

First, eliminate the bad choices.  Some colors are best left to the experts and can be difficult to pull off for even the experienced professional.


Deep, dark greens are a nightmare!  They are difficult to work with as they never seem to come out just how you want them to.  The slightest speck of extra color in the mixture will throw off the whole tone and clash with fabrics and accessories.  There are also so many undertones to greens that they tend to take on characteristics you wouldn’t expect.  The slightest change in lighting can turn a forest green into a muddy looking mess.

Try lighter shades of greens for wall color, or even a complementary color, and save the darker greens for fabrics and accessories – you’ll save time, money and frustration.


I don’t care how cool you think it will look, don’t do it.  If your teenager insists on it, take him or her to a therapist.  On the other hand, one great professional design tip – a splash of black in every room to ground the design, but don’t use paint, try it with an accessory, a frame for artwork or a small piece of furniture.  If you’re looking for a dark wall color, go with a rich chocolate brown for an elegant look.


Neon anything is out for wall color.  While bright colors are uplifting and motivating, make sure they’re not so bright they take on a neon quality.  This is particularly a problem for greens when they have too much of a yellow undertone and oranges.   Hot pinks and blues are great colors, but they can also take on neon qualities, so consider going down one step on the paint card to keep this from happening.


While metallics are hot this year, save them for the accessories, gold is not a good color choice for walls.  The slightest mis-tint or lighting change can throw off the whole look.   Opt for a mellow, golden yellow instead.  If you’re heck bent on a gold wall, you need to consider wallpaper, as finding just the right gold paint shade is going to take one heck of a lot of trial and error.


While red is a hot wall color, particularly for dining rooms, brick red is not a good color choice for walls.  Again, you have the lighting issue, one change of a light bulb could take that brick red to a brownish red that can leave you feeling confused on the wall color – is it brown, or is it red?  Think how your furniture will feel!  Consider toning the brick red down a few notches or over to a more brown or more red choice.

Remember, there are always sample sizes and small quart sizes available to help you avoid costly color mistakes.