Choosing a Whole Home Paint Color

Whole Home Paint Colors that Look Amazing! Tips for choosing a whole home paint color, plus lots more paint color tips on

Hi Remodelaholics! It’s Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange back with another paint color palette.  If you happened to miss my post last month, I highlighted a fantastic color called Aegean Teal from Benjamin Moore that you can find here.

Today, I wanted to share with you guys some tips in choosing a whole home paint color or a open concept color. 


Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Cool Breeze by Benjamin Moore. | More paint colors and tips at

Cool Breeze Benjamin Moore via Four Chairs Furniture and Design

Tips for Choosing a Whole Home Paint Color

When it comes to whole home colors, this would be a color that you would predominantly carry through a home.  You may have a couple rooms in the home that may have a different color (like the whole home color palette here or the palette here), but one main color is predominately used throughout.  I recommend doing this a lot with my clients because as lighting changes room-to-room, the main color will slightly change and give subtle contrast, while still being cohesive.  This is the safest way to ensure smooth color transition room-to-room.


Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Passive from Sherwin Williams. | More paint colors and tips at

Passive Sherwin Williams via Titan Construction


Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Passive Sherwin Williams. | More paint colors and tips at

Passive Sherwin Williams via Titan Construction

When it comes to choosing a whole home color, I look for light neutral colors that have that 50/50 balanced mix of warm and cool undertones. The reason I choose these colors is because; 1) it’s pleasing on the eye to have that balance and, 2) everything will work with these colors from the flooring to accessories to fabrics.  You don’t have to worry with transitional neutrals as you bring in new colors or switch out accessories. (Read more about transitional paint colors here.)

In addition to the transitional neutrals, I always recommend choosing a whole home color that wouldn’t necessarily stand out but would be more a great background color.  That way, the architectural details, furnishings and colors throughout a home will really be the star of the show and be emphasized. 

As you can see below, Pure White by Sherwin Williams on this beautiful entry way wall is the perfect background color in the space because it allows for the architectural details and furnishings to really stand out.

Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Sherwin Williams Pure White. | More paint colors and tips at

Pure White Sherwin Williams via Vintage South LLC


I also like to recommend whites that have neutral undertones for whole home colors in homes where there are a lot of unique architectural details and beautiful mill work.  The lighter the whole home color is, the more these elements will stand out. (Read more about choosing the perfect white paint color here.)

Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Sheep's Wool by Benjamin Moore. | More paint colors and tips at

Sheep’s Wool Benjamin Moore via Marie Flanigan Interiors

If you’re looking for a whole home color that is not white or light warm gray, colors like Sea Salt from Sherwin Williams (a reader favorite!) and Dewdrop from Benjamin Moore are light neutrals with subtle green/blue/gray undertones. These two colors are amazing as whole home colors and are very versatile.

Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. | More paint colors and tips at

Sea Salt Sherwin Williams via Amy Tyndall Design


Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Dewdrop from Benjamin Moore. | More paint colors and tips at

Dewdrop Benjamin Moore via Sarah Gallop

Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams is the whole home color I recommend the most.  I use it throughout my own home as well because it is just a rock star of a versatile color. It does everything! It’s light and stunning on the wall during the day and it also looks just as beautiful at night under artificial lighting. 

Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Wall color is Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams | More paint colors and tips at

Repose Gray Sherwin Williams via The Creativity Exchange

Tips for choosing a whole home paint color | Repose Gray from Sherwin Williams. One of the best paint colors out there. | More paint colors and tips at

Repose Gray Sherwin Williams via The Creativity Exchange

If you are considering and choosing a whole home color, remember to think about going light with a neutral base that has both warm and cool tones. That will keep it safe and you don’t have to worry as much about matching flooring undertones or furnishing colors. (Read more here about colors that work well with wood flooring and trim.) Everything should blend beautifully with these types of colors.

I hope there is a color here today that inspires you!  If you want to see more paint colors and room inspirations, you can find all my color palettes on my blog here.

Thanks for stopping by today!


See more tips and paint palettes from Cyndy:

paint colors to complement wood flooring and trim

Paint colors that work well with wood trim and floors. Remodelaholic

choosing the perfect white paint color

Quick Tricks for Choosing the Perfect White Paint Color. Remodelaholic

best cabinet paint colors

Trends in cabinet paint colors. Remodelaholic

classic popular neutral paint colors

2015 favorite paint color trends. The new neutrals. The Creativity Exchange for Remodelaholic

Website | + posts

Cyndy is a color expert who has transitioned from the fashion world to the design world by helping others choose just the right paint colors for their homes. Cyndy takes the guesswork out of choosing paint colors and has been sharing her tips and paint color palettes with her readers for more than four years on her blog The Creativity Exchange.

Cyndy lives in East Texas and is an artist working with designers to create commissioned paintings that enhance the color and design of a space.

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  1. Anything for someone with orangy red oak trim everywhere? Sigh. I’d love all the trim to be white but I don’t want to paint it all plus the graininess of red oak means it will always look like painted over wood 🙁

  2. My comment is similar to Amanda’s… home as all Old Wood Mission finish on all of the trim work…..not a piece of white in sight! So what paint colors work best for this situation? I looked at the link but the pictures still show the white trim. I guess I’m too visual…..

    1. Hi Kathy! The reason I did not share a lot of images with wood trim is I could not find great examples of wall colors used with the trim. People tend to want to go yellow and warmer to match the wood but it’s not enough of warm/cool balance to harmonize with undertones. If you get the chance, go back and read the section about why I recommend using white (or really light balanced colors) when you have wood floors, wood trim, etc.. I think that should really help you zone in on balancing all the wood tones throughout. 🙂

  3. I love this post – it’s very timely for me! We’re in the process of building a new home My plan is to use SW Repose Gray as my “whole home” interior paint color. The exterior is a combination lap siding and shake shingles and I had planned on an all-white exterior (SW Pure White) with gray double entry doors (SW Dovetail). But I’m in a dilemma – our new HOA requires all four sides of the home have a contrasting paint color for window and roof-line trim. So the all-white exterior is a “no go”. The paint must be contrasting, but it can be subtle… so in order to have an exterior that’s the “next best thing” to all-white, I’m considering three options 1. SW Repose Gray, 2. SW Repose Gray at 50%, or 3. SW Crushed Ice. (The contrasting trim for all three choices would be SW Pure White) I’d truly appreciate opinions since I’m stumped!

  4. I love this advice and these pictures. I’m very familiar with undertones, but I’ve never really considered the balance of warm/cool in one particular color before. I’ll have to give this some thought. Any tips on how to figure this out?

    1. Thank you Beth! The easiest way to determine the general balance of a color is if (for instance) you’re looking for a balanced yellow, choose a yellow that is near the grays at the paint store. When you look at all the color cards together at the paint store, you can see where the colors transition into warmer and cooler tones. So if you’re looking at a warm color, look for where the color transitions into cooler gray and if you’re looking in general at a cool color, look for where those colors that transition into warm. These balanced warm/cool colors are transitional colors that work so much better with surrounding tones because of that balance. I hope that helps! Thanks for your note!

  5. Oh my, Cindy, i think this post is going to save my life. I have tested in my home about 10 different colors and I could not find the ones I am looking for. I have one more day to find the colors that will work in this home. They ended up been either too dark or showing unexpected undertones in different rooms. The undertones are driving me crazy! The house faces East. Here in Calgary, Canada, it is autumn right now and I am getting only a few hours of sun only…the light fixtures are disconnected because of remodeling… And lately days are so grey it is so hard for me to see the differences between tones. So I’m most likely going for one of the colors you recommend. I should send you the before and after pics!

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your note Maria and I sure hope my post can help you! Just be sure and get samples and test on poster board. If you do that, you can get a better idea of how to tweak your final choice. Yes, keep me posted and let me know what colors you decide on! 🙂

  6. Hi Cindy, thanks for the info! I was curious as to the differences between Repose Gray and Passive. Passive seems to be a little lighter maybe? Would love your insight. Thanks!

  7. Have tinted wi dows all throughout. Looking for a gray for an open comcept, all my colors change so much. Even my carpet tjat i have turned a warmer color in my joise nut i take a sample to otjer homes amd it is gray, please help. Thanks!!

  8. Hi Cindy, Love your blog! i am leaning towards repose gray less 25% . Do you happen to know the brand and name of the floor in the foyer picture you posted featuring SW Pure white ? i just love the rustic farmhouse quality I am looking for.

  9. It’s great how you showed different kinds of versatile home paint colors that you can use to color the entire house with. Having different colors for each room never worked for me, so I wanted to find ways to have one cohesive color for the entire house without making it look dull as a result. If I can find an interior home painting service that can assist me, I’ll make sure that I ask for a color like this from them.