From muted yellows to moody blues, these expert-approved shades make a big impact.

By Caroline Biggs
July 30, 2020
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Getty / KatarzynaBialasiewicz

You don't need to be an interior designer to experiment with paint color in your home—you just need to follow along with Fresh Coat. We'll help you tackle all of your home's painting projects, from choosing the ultimate color palette to perfecting your method. You'll be prepped, primed, and ready to roll (literally) in no time.

No matter how awkwardly shaped or sized it may be, your accent wall is brimming with design potential—you just need the right paint color. "A well painted accent wall can add dimension and personality to your space, and keep your room from feeling too uniform or boxy," explains Erika Woelfel, the Vice President of Color and Creative Services at Behr. "They have the ability to add beautiful contrast and unique character to your room, complementing your individual style."

Unfortunately, picking the perfect paint color for an accent wall can be tricky. "Typically, we think of accent walls as bold pops of color, but accent walls don't always need to starkly contrast with your other walls," Woelfel explains. "Consider choosing a shade that's just one to two shades lighter or darker than the others for a modern and monochromatic look." Curious about which hues will work best within your space? We asked a few paint color experts to share their favorites, and here's what they had to say.

Mellow Yellow

If you're searching for a paint color that makes a subtle statement on an accent wall, Woelfel says to look no further than a sunny, neutral shade of yellow. "A warm yellow, like Charismatic PPU6-14 by Behr, instantly energizes a space without being too bright," she explains. "It works especially well in areas of your home that receive plenty of natural light."

Moody Blues

When it comes to accent wall paint colors, our experts say dark blue is a foolproof way to elevate the ambience of a space. "Our 2020 Color of the Year, Naval SW 6244, is a deep, moody navy that's a great option if you want to try painting your ceiling or another accent wall," explains Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "From creating a cozy retreat in your bedroom to adding a bit of visual interest in a spare bedroom, there's no way to go wrong with this timeless shade."

Jewel Tones

According to Annie Sloan, creator of Chalk Paint, an eye-catching jewel tone can make a big impact on an accent wall. "A beautiful, rich shade, such as Napoleonic Blue or Amsterdam Green, is bold but neither clamorous nor demanding," she explains. "These shades have all the calming, recessive, contemplative qualities of cool hues—but with a pop of energy and boldness."

Gray Green

Dreaming of an accent wall color that looks both modern and classic at the same time? Wadden suggests a sleek shade of silvery green, such as Pewter Green SW 6208 by Sherwin-Williams. "Use it on built-ins or other architectural features like wainscoting or paneling to highlight their unique features," she says. To help set a calming tone for a space, Woelfel recommends painting an accent wall a rich, but earthy shade of gray-green, like North Woods by Behr, to make the room feel more relaxing.

Pale Purple

If you thought pastels only looked good in powder rooms, then Wadden says to think again. "A playful pastel purple, like Elation SW 6827 by Sherwin-Williams, adds a subtle hint of color but isn't overwhelming—it's perfect for a living space with long or tall walls to add a wink of personality," she explains.

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