The Best Whole House Paint Colors (2022)

Learn why choosing a whole house paint color can have a dramatic effect on the flow of your home, as well as what are the most popular whole house paint colors in 2022.

Choosing just one or two colors for your whole house can seem like a daunting decision. After all, whether you’re DIYing or hiring out, a lot of time and effort will have to be put into the task of painting.

Having gone the whole house paint color route when we moved into our current house, I’ve learned what types of colors work well with a variety of finishes, decorating styles and over all taste.

Conversely, I’ve learned from past mistakes, too. In our first house, I painted every room a different color… and it wasn’t a good look!

Setting the scene in your home with the right whole house color palette will mean that the paint color can serve as the perfect backdrop for the other elements in your home to really shine.

Before getting into the nitty gritty of selecting your perfect paint color for your home, take a minute to decide if you want to pick one color for every single space, or if your idea of a whole house paint color is one color for all the open spaces, such as kitchen, dining room and living room, and then a coordinating color palette for the bedroom, bathrooms and other spaces.

While the former is the easier route to go, the latter will still give you that same sense of flow but will add more contrast as you walk room to room.

Before Choosing a Paint Color

If you are painting your home before moving in, you may not quite yet understand how the light affects each individual room in your home. This can become a huge issue down the road if you pick the wrong color.

For instance, if you choose what you think is the perfect warm gray paint color for all the open plan spaces in your home, but only see the paint swatch first thing in the afternoon, you may be not so pleasantly surprised to see that same color looks baby blue first thing in the morning.

Room exposure (whether the room is north, south, east or west facing) can have a dramatic impact on bringing a paint color’s undertones to the fore.

If you can’t be in the house to see how the color changes and reacts throughout the day, it’s important to choose a paint color with as minimal undertones as possible (and that’s where I come in to help you!).

Undertones To Avoid

As a general rule, I usually recommend avoiding strong blue and yellow undertones when choosing a whole house paint color.

Blue can make spaces feel cold and drab, and while a drop of yellow can be a great way to warm up sterile whites, too much is usually not what most people want to see in their perfect paint color.

Don’t get me wrong – some of my favorite paint colors of all time have a strong blue undertone. They just aren’t colors I would rely on to work as a whole house color.

Blue undertoned paints are however perfect for bedrooms, bathrooms and any other space that’s closed behind a door – or where you know exactly how the lighting will affect the color.

Popular Colors For a Whole House

By far the safest colors to choose for a whole house are neutral paint colors or shades of white.

Both neutrals and whites come with their own set of challenges, of course. Figuring out the dominant undertone is always the main concern.

For this reason, I like to stick with warmer neutrals and warmer whites.

This way, any cool light will be offset by the warmer tones, and warmer lighting won’t completely wash out the color.

Neutral Colors That Are Great Choices

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

This is my all-time favorite paint color because it just works everywhere! My entire main floor was originally painted Repose Gray, and I’ve since repainted and had the color lightened by 50%.

dining room with art on the walls, white wainscoting and walls painted Repose Gray lightened by 50%
Repose Gray lightened by 50% with SW Pure White wainscoting.

I am beyond obsessed with how light and bright it makes every room feel. It’s the perfect neutral backdrop with just enough warmth that no room ever feels cold.

While Repose Gray technically has a green/taupe undertone, I’ve found it to be barely visible. At full strength, you may see the green pull out of the shadows a bit, but nothing concerning at all.

console table with a tall mirror and lamp with the walls behind it painted Repose Gray
Repose Gray lightened by 50%

At half strength (lightened by 50%) those same undertones are what keeps just enough warmth in the color, but no longer become apparent under any lighting conditions (that I’ve at least seen!).

The great thing about Repose Gray works well with a lot of different accent colors and furniture colors. I’ve seen it with light wood and dark wood. Accent colors of beige, blue, green and white look beautiful against it.

Kitchen with blue island and white cabinets and walls painted Repose Gray
Repose Gray lightened by 50%. This kitchen gets both east and west facing light. The photo was taken at midday with the sun overhead so that you can see the darkest shadows of the color in the top right hand corner. Island color is BM Boothbay Gray and wainscoting/trim is SW Pure White.

Other shades that work well with Repose Gray: Both SW Mindful Gray, SW Chelsea Gray would both make for good contrasting colors on an accent wall next to Repose Gray.

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray is another incredibly popular greige paint color. It’s similar in tone to Repose Gray, but significantly warmer. I like this color because it can read warmer or cooler depending on the light. Sometimes it looks more gray, other times it’s definitely a greige.

Benjamin Moore Paper White

Similar in terms of depth of color to Repose Gray at half strength, Benjamin Moore’s Paper White is my go-to for east and west facing rooms, where you have warm light half the day and cooler light the other half.

Door open to an office with white board and batten and upper half of walls painted Benjamin Moore Paper White
Benjamin Moore Paper White

Despite the name, Paper White is a very light dove gray with just a hint of green that ensures it never looks cold. Paired with bright white trim, it makes for an excellent whole house color.

office desk with plants on it showcasing the paint color on the wall behind it

As close in color as it is to the lightened version of Repose Gray, I find that it maintains its light and bright color more in poorly lit rooms. If you remember back to the shadows in my kitchen (pictured above), Paper White will never look that warm or saturated.

walk in pantry with blue base cabinets and walls painted paper white
BM Paper White pantry walls (Repose Gray lightened by 50% on the wall with the 3 light switches).

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

If gray is less your style and you want a warmer neutral, Classic Gray is an excellent choice. It’s considerably warmer than the other colors mentioned above, but still has just enough gray to stop it being too warm.

dining room with white slip covered chair, rust red rug and walls painted classic gray
BM Classic Gray dining room via Home Bunch

Like Agreeable Gray, Classic Gray can be a bit of a chameleon and look warmer or cooler depending on the available light. In the above picture, you can see how light and bright it is the dining with tons of natural light.

In a lower light room, there will be more saturation to the color.

I personally love this aspect of the color, since it feels like you have different shades when in fact it’s the same paint color the entire time!

Read In Depth Reviews Of These Paint Colors

White Colors That Are Great Choices

Sherwin Williams Pure White

SW Pure White is one of the safest white paint colors out there. It’s a lovely bright white color, with just the tiniest bit of warmth to stop it ever feeling stark.

White dresser with books and decorative objects on top
SW Pure White walls and baseboard

It works just as well on walls as it does on trim and will give you the appearance of a clean white without having to worry about any funky undertones rearing their ugly heads!

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

This is Benjamin Moore’s brightest white, so if you want a really bright crisp white, then Chantilly Lace is the right color for you.

all white kitchen with marble countertops
BM Chantilly Lace walls, cabinets and ceiling via Home Bunch

There’s no apparent undertones in this bright white, but it will take on colors from the environment surrounding it. So keep that in mind!

Benjamin Moore White Dove

I absolutely adore White Dove as a whole house white. It has a lovely creamy softness to it, and works really well in north facing rooms where white paint can look dull and flat.

hallway with a black bench and door. The walls are painted with White Dove
BM White Dove Walls and Trim with SW Tricorn Black door via @asturiaofmylife

If you have other bright whites, White Dove will look considerably creamier next to them, but not in a yellow way, just in a really soft warm way.

Sherwin Williams Shoji White

Shoji White has become really popular in the past year, and for good reason. If you can’t decide between a greige or a creamier shade, then Shoji White may be perfect for you.

bedroom with a blue fabric bed with white linens and walls painted Shoji White.
Shoji White bedroom via @brightsmilinglife

Read In Depth Reviews of These White Colors

What’s The Right Paint Color For Trim Work?

If you’re sticking with classic white trim, then you’ll want one shade of white for all the trim work, doors, moldings and casings in your home.

If you chose a bright white paint color for your wall (like Pure White or Chantilly Lace) you’re going to want to use that same color for the trim, but in a different sheen. Usually, we do a washable matte sheen or eggshell on walls, and then satin or semi-gloss for all the trim.

Dining space with wooden table, white chairs and rattan basket pendant. The wainscoting is painted pure white.

Both SW Pure White and BM Chantilly Lace are great white trim colors if you chose a greige or other neutral for your walls, too. Pure White is always a safe bet, as it has a slight warm undertone so it works well with these warmer colors

Chantilly Lace is a brighter white that really adds serious contrast. Other bright whites that are great for trim would be SW Extra White, SW High Reflective White.

If you want a creamier white for your trim then BM White Dove is a beautiful choice.

BM Simply White is also another popular choice, though it has a sneaky yellow undertone so I would only use it in a semi-gloss finish to offset that.

shiplap wall with single closet door all painted simply white
Simply White Trim and Walls. Notice how the walls (painted in a matte finish) are very creamy compared to the trim. Artificial light further heightens the yellow undertone.

I personally would not use it as a whole-house white because it can look very yellow in certain lighting conditions, most notably artificial light.

large bright hallway with wainscoting and a black front door.
BM Simply White Walls in semi-gloss sheen

But when it works, it really works and is a beautiful warmer white!

If you’re looking for another way to inject some personality into your home, doing contrasting trim is also another idea. Especially when paired with white walls, a warm gray trim can really elevate the look of a home.

Tip: If you're planning on tackling all the trim yourself, be sure to read my best tips for Painting Walls and Trim Like a Pro.

When To Deviate From The Whole House Color Scheme

Don’t be afraid to add an accent wall in another color, or go crazy in a powder room.

The idea of choosing one color for your whole house is to simplify the process of bringing in other colors, and to make your home feel cohesive and not at all disjointed.

As long as you have an overall cohesive color scheme, adding a pop of color will be a welcome addition and stop your home from feeling like a sea of boring neutral.

To learn more about choosing colors that will work in your home, read my posts about How To Pick The Right Colors For Your Home, How To Choose a Whole House Color Palette and 5 Reasons Why Your Color Scheme Does Not Look Cohesive.

Final Thoughts

Don’t Forget…

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

Try Samplize For Yourself Here

Looking for more? Follow me on social media for lots more home decor, DIY & recipe content!

Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | 

Similar Posts