7 Paint Colors That Will Brighten Up Dark Rooms in Your Home, According to Interior Designers

Consider one of these hues to illuminate rooms that don't get much natural sunlight.

Some rooms experience more natural light than others, simply because they have more windows. Though you might not be able to add more of them to the darker parts of your home without a major renovation, there's an easy solution: Applying a few coats of the right paint can help brighten up any dimly-lit spaces.

First things first: Avoid using some paint colors that could actually make rooms feel even darker, says Nadia Watts of Nadia Watts Interior Design in Denver, Colo. "Paint colors with muddy undertones do not work well in dark rooms, as they add to the darkness," she says.

wood desk in home office area

When it comes time to give your walls a paint makeover, also consider coating the ceiling, which will make the darker room look bigger and brighter, says Grey Joyner of Grey Joyner Interiors, Wilson, N.C. "And definitely stick with one color for all walls—no accent walls, [which] will break up the space," she says.

Ready to give your dark rooms a brand-new glow? Consider these paint color ideas, courtesy of interior designers.

front home entrance painted white


While a white paint color may seem mundane, it can actually brighten a room that gets little access to sunlight. "Simply White or Pure White by Benjamin Moore are perfect choices for a dark room, as they are the contrast that is needed to the darkness," says Joyner.

Benjamin Moore's Alabaster White is another option, but note that this iteration has a hint of a pink undertone. "When light reflects off the walls, it creates a soft and inviting color," says Watts. "It is currently my living room wall color, which tends to be a darker room in my home."

pale blue dining room


Borrowed Light from Farrow & Ball is a grayish-blue hue that can help transform a dark room, thanks to its bright undertones. Since it's still a neutral, this paint color will be able to coat your walls without clashing with any other design elements.

bold orange nook in home
Andrea Rugg / GETTY IMAGES


Both an inviting and bright hue, Benjamin Moore's Orange Nectar 2013-20 will add a glow to your home, says Taniya Nayak, a celebrity interior designer. The paint brand describes this color as lush and sweet—it's a shade of orange that feels full and robust. Nayak notes that his shade can provide a warm, cozy feel to an otherwise cold, dark room.

pale green bedroom


Consider coating your walls with Benjamin Moore's versatile Palest Pistachio, says Watts. "This color has just the right amount of a blue undertone that I would classify as a 'crisp color,'" she says. It's a fitting choice for a bedroom or bathroom that doesn't get much natural light.

Berry purple living space
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Try a light purple paint color to soften dark rooms in your home. "I would also recommend a soft lavender like WC-76 from Fine Paints of Europe, as it is a great balance of warm and cool for a dark room," says Joyner. In need of another option? Try Valspar's Cosmic Berry; it has cool undertones and is one of Nayak's favorites.

pale yellow painted hallway in home
Andreas von Einsiedel / GETTY IMAGES


If some of your rooms don't experience much natural sunlight, consider a paint color that can help boost the brightness. "Since dark rooms tend to feel cold, try Benjamin Moore's Cotton Tail, as it's a soft yellow that easily brightens your dark room," says Watts. "It has just the right amount of a warm yellow!"

dark brown bathroom


Don't shy away from paint colors that may appear too dark for a dimly-lit room. Take Sherwin-Williams' Turkish Coffee SW 6076, for example. This hue actually has hints of yellow undertones that brighten up the brown—and in turn, can brighten your room, too. "This option has vibrancy to it that will help bring designs in the room to life, says Nayak.

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