The Right Paint Colours for Light, Medium and Dark Wood Tones

The Right Paint Colours for Light, Medium and Dark Wood Tones

Photography, @archdigest, Instagram


The Right Paint Colours for Light, Medium and Dark Wood Tones

Choosing the right paint colour to complement the wood in your home is essential to create a seamless design with matching undertones.

Whether you have light, medium or dark wood tones, the right paint colour can enhance their beauty and show off your space. 

Here’s a guide to help you select the best paint colours for different wood tones.

Light Wood Tones


Light wood tones, such as pine, oak and maple, have a soft and airy feel, making spaces look larger and more open. When selecting paint colours to pair with light wood, consider the following options:

Soft Whites and Creams:

  • Why It Works: Soft whites and creams create a clean, fresh backdrop that allows the light wood to stand out while maintaining a light feel.
  • Best Shades: Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove” or Sherwin-Williams’ “Alabaster.


  • Why It Works: Pastel shades like mint green, pale blue or blush pink add a subtle touch of colour without overpowering light wood.
  • Best Shades: Behr’s “Seafoam Pearl” or Farrow & Ball’s “Middleton Pink.”

Soft Greys:

  • Why It Works: Light greys provide a neutral, sophisticated look that is complementary while adding depth to the space.
  • Best Shades: Valspar’s “Silver Leaf” or Benjamin Moore’s “Classic Gray.”

Medium Wood Tones


Medium wood tones like cherry, teak and walnut bring warmth and richness to a space. To highlight these tones, try one of these paint colours:

Warm Neutrals:

  • Why It Works: Warm neutrals like taupe and beige enhance the natural warmth without clashing.
  • Best Shades: Sherwin-Williams’ “Accessible Beige” or Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter.”

Earthy Greens and Blues:

  • Why It Works: Earthy greens and blues provide a balanced contrast while adding a touch of nature-inspired colour to the room.
  • Best Shades: Behr’s “Olive Sprig” or Benjamin Moore’s “Hale Navy.”

Deep Reds and Terracottas:

  • Why It Works: Deep reds and terracotta hues complement the richness of medium wood tones, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Best Shades: Sherwin-Williams’ “Cavern Clay” or Benjamin Moore’s “Caliente.”

Dark Wood Tones


Dark wood tones, such as mahogany, ebony and dark walnut, add elegance and drama to a space. To enhance its sophistication, consider these paint colours:

Crisp Whites:

  • Why It Works: Crisp whites provide contrast to dark wood tones, making them pop and brighten up the space.
  • Best Shades: Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace” or Sherwin-Williams’ “Pure White.”

Rich Jewel Tones:

  • Why It Works: Jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue and deep purple add luxury and depth to a room.
  • Best Shades: Behr’s “Royal Orchard” or Benjamin Moore’s “Newburg Green.”

Charcoal and Black:

  • Why It Works: For a bold and dramatic look, charcoal and black can create a moody, sophisticated ambiance.
  • Best Shades: Sherwin-Williams’ “Iron Ore” or Benjamin Moore’s “Black Beauty.”

Tips for Choosing Paint Colours

  • Test Samples: Always test paint samples in your space before committing. Colours can look different depending on lighting and the surrounding elements.
  • Consider Undertones: Pay attention to the undertones in both your wood and paint choices to ensure they complement each other.
  • Balance with Decor: Your paint colour should work well with your overall decor, including furniture, textiles and accessories.
  • Lighting Matters: Natural and artificial lighting can significantly impact how paint colours appear, so consider the lighting in your space when making your choice.





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The Right Paint Colours for Light, Medium and Dark Wood Tones