How To Choose Paint Colours

Uncover the secrets to picking the right paint colour with our guide, which walks you through everything you need to know.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
How To Choose Paint Colours
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

The colour of a room can make or break its overall look and feel, and it’s important that you get it right. Although you may have a colour in mind, there are many factors that you need to consider that may change the paint colours you choose.

To help you choose a paint colour, we discuss the main factors and rooms to paint below.

North, West, East or South-Facing

How the room faces makes a big difference to the light that enters at certain times of the day and its intensity. Therefore, choosing a paint colour that reflects how the room faces can make a big difference and below are our recommendations.

  • North-facing rooms receive cooler light, and it’s advised that you avoid “cool” colours such as green, blue or purple.
  • East and west-facing rooms are bright early on but become cooler throughout the day. This means you could mix between a cool and neutral colour to best suit your preference.
  • South-facing rooms receive the sun and light for the longest, which often makes certain paints look yellower than they actually are. Therefore, neutral or cool colours are highly recommended for south-facing rooms.

Lighter or Darker Colours

Deciding between a lighter or darker colour scheme is a matter of personal preference.

Many people prefer a dark colour in their living room or bedroom as it can give a room that desirable cosy look and feel. However, the lighter paint colours can make a room feel more spacious and brighten up a room that lacks natural light.

Type of Lighting

Depending upon whether you are in the room mostly at night or during the day is also a major factor to consider. This is because the type of lighting used in the room at night may change how the paint looks. Halogen bulbs tend to make certain paints look and feel warmer, whereas LEDs can make paints look cooler (particularly when spotlights have been installed).

what colour should i paint my room

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Paint Colours By Room

Living Room

Your living room may be the room you spend the most time in, and it’s important that you choose the right paint colour. A recent trend is to use strong dark colours such as deep blue, which can achieve a cosy look and feel. A strong colour mixed with a white finish on the skirting, coving and ceiling looks great in living rooms. We would recommend a mid-sheen finish on the skirting boards, which can be achieved with satinwood paint.

Alternatively, if you have furniture, chairs, rugs or other accessories that are bold in colour, opting for a white, cream or grey paint colour is a great option.


Most people go to their bedroom to either sleep or relax. Therefore, you will want to create a cosy ambience. Colours such as grey, blue, green or off-white that provide a contemporary look are recommended.

Kitchen Area

The kitchen can be a difficult paint colour to choose because it’s dependent upon the existing kitchen setup. For example, the colour of the worktop, oven, cupboards and other accessories can all dictate the right paint colour to choose.

Personally, we tend to choose white or off-white as they tend to compliment the kitchen cupboards and accessories. However, you could paint your kitchen cupboards too, which can completely transform the room.

Bathroom & Toilets

White walls and ceilings within a bathroom or toilet are highly advised. Not only does it make the room feel more spacious, but it also makes it look cleaner, which is what you’ll want in a bathroom.

It’s important to note that in bathrooms where condensation will be present, you’ll want to use a dedicated bathroom paint. Unlike standard paints, the bathroom alternative is designed to deal with moisture.


Unlike other areas of your home, the hallway may receive the least light, so you’ll want to avoid dark colours. Your hallway is also one of the most used rooms in the house and can receive a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, you will want to use a paint that allows you to perform easy touch-ups, such as an emulsion paint.

Test, Test & Test

Once you have chosen the paint colours that you wish to use, it’s strongly recommended that you purchase tester pots or rollers. This allows you to see how the colour looks in a room before deciding to purchase multiple litres of the paint and spending hours painting the room. We are guilty of changing our minds regularly, so we often purchase multiple samples that we can paint on the wall to give us an idea of what it will look like in the room.

how to choose the right paint colour

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Exterior of Your Home

You may even want to paint the exterior of your home too. If this is the case, you want to be looking at the many masonry paints available on the market.

The most popular colour to choose is, of course, white, which can make your front door, windows, and other components stand out. However, you may also want to be bold and go for something completely different and pick a shade that takes your fancy.


When it comes to choosing a paint colour, we always recommend choosing colours you love.

There are no set rules or paint colour you must choose for certain rooms in your house. The above recommendations for paint colours to choose from are based on my own experience and current trends in the UK. If you need any advice on the type of paint you need to use, how to apply it or any recommendations, feel free to contact our team.

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