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What color should a laundry room be painted?

What color should a laundry room be painted?

When selecting a paint color for a laundry room, there are a few key factors to consider such as lighting, size of the space, creating a soothing environment, and coordinating with existing colors. The right laundry room paint color can make doing laundry feel more enjoyable and make the space more functional.

Consider the Lighting

The lighting in the laundry room is an important factor when selecting a paint color. Laundry rooms tend to have fluorescent lighting which can cast a cool, blue tone on walls. To counteract the effects of fluorescent lighting, warm paint colors are often a good choice. Neutral shades like beige, light yellow, and soft white can help brighten up a laundry room. The warmth of the paint brings visual interest and coziness.

If the laundry room has natural lighting from windows, there is more flexibility with paint choices. With natural light, both warm and cool paint colors can work. Light blues and greens can feel tranquil and relaxing in a space with abundant natural light. Just be sure the colors complement each other.

Choose a Color for a Small Space

The size of the laundry room is another consideration for selecting a paint color. Smaller laundry rooms can benefit from light colors such as off-whites, light grays, or subtle pastels. Light colors reflect more light which can make a small laundry room feel more open and spacious. Dark or bright colors tend to make small rooms feel smaller and closed in. Neutral, muted tones are a safe bet for tiny laundry rooms.

Medium to large laundry rooms can handle bolder paint colors if desired. Deeper grays, greens, blues, and violets can add visual interest without overwhelming a larger space. But neutrals are still a smart choice for making a laundry room feel open and inviting.

Create a Soothing Environment

Choosing paint colors that evoke a sense of calm and relaxation is ideal for a laundry room. Soft hues of blue and green are recommended as they bring about feelings of tranquility and remind people of nature. Light tans, peaches, and buttercream colors also provide a soothing vibe. Painting the walls an airy, muted tone will make time spent folding and sorting laundry more peaceful.

Conversely, too bright or bold paint colors can feel energizing but also chaotic. Laundry rooms are generally used for short amounts of time for brief chores so stimulating colors are not really needed in this space. Stick to subtle, laid-back colors instead.

Coordinate with Existing Decor

When selecting a paint color for the laundry room, consider how it will coordinate with existing colors and finishes in the home. For example, if you have oak cabinetry and bronze hardware, earth tones like browns or taupes would complement these features nicely. If your style is more modern and sleek, grayish hues could accent the decor well.

Take a look at the current color palette in the kitchen, bedroom or other nearby rooms. Choosing a paint color that is cohesive with the rest of your home provides visual flow. You want the laundry room to feel connected to the overall aesthetic.

Popular Laundry Room Paint Colors

Here are some of the most popular paint colors for laundry rooms:

  • White – Bright and clean, white is a laundry room classic. Use an eggshell or satin finish for wipeable walls.
  • Light gray – An alternative to white, light grays like Revere Pewter are modern and sophisticated.
  • Beige – Warm, inviting beige tones like Khaki Brown provide a subtle neutral backdrop.
  • Pale yellow – Soft and sunny shades like Primrose Yellow infuse brightness.
  • Light blue – Airy, peaceful hues like Sky Blue make laundry duties feel tranquil.
  • Sage green – Calming green tones like Tradewind evoke nature and relaxation.

Factors for Choosing Paint Finish

In addition to selecting a color, the paint finish matters in a laundry room for functionality.

Flat or matte paint has no shine and conceals imperfections well. But the downside is it scuffs and stains easily. Laundry rooms need a more durable finish.

Eggshell paint has a soft glow with decent stain resistance. Satin paint has a bit more luster and is even more stain and moisture resistant. These offer better durability and wipeability for high traffic laundry rooms.

Semi-gloss paint is very shiny, highlights imperfections, but offers excellent stain protection and is easy to clean. This finish is ideal if the walls will come into frequent contact with water, detergent or other liquids. The higher gloss allows it to be easily wiped down.

Darker Colors Hide Stains Better

Although lighter colors make a small laundry room feel more spacious, there is a caveat. Lighter walls also show every smudge, scuff, and stain. The laundry room will inevitably have high contact and can get dirty with splatters or transfer from dirty clothes.

While dark colors can feel closed in, they do conceal stains and marks better. Deep grays, navy blues, forest greens and chocolate browns disguise messes well. If you prefer darker hues, use them strategically only on certain accent walls or use in a larger laundry room.

Use Washable Paint

No matter what color is chosen, it’s wise to use paint with stain-blocking technology that allows it to be cleaned without damaging the finish. Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior, Benjamin Moore Aura, and Sherwin Williams Emerald are examples of washable paints suitable and warranted for laundry room use.

Washable paints have additives that create a durable, flexible finish that can withstand frequent cleaning and scrubbing. This is the ideal paint for spaces prone to moisture, spills, and grime.

Accent Colors Add Interest

While neutrals should dominate most laundry rooms, adding a pop of color via accents can liven it up. Painting an accent wall in a bold hue or using bright color appliances or artwork creates visual appeal.

For example, bright red, orange or teal on one wall can contrast nicely against light tan main walls. Or colorful art, baskets, and organizers will energize a neutral palette. Just be sure accent colors are not overwhelming.

Creative Paint Techniques

Beyond just painting walls a solid color, there are some creative paint techniques to make laundry rooms more interesting.

  • Multicolor stripes – Vertical stripes in contrasting hues add flair. Primary colors like red, yellow and teal work well.
  • Scalloped trim – Scallop detailing along the tops of walls and trim in a secondary color provides visual pop.
  • Painted tiles – Use stencils and paint to create faux tile patterns on one wall.
  • Geometric shapes – Use painter’s tape to create geometric forms like triangles, squares or diamonds.
  • Mural – Paint a fun mural along one wall depicting oceans, forests or other calming scenes.
  • Chalkboard wall – One chalkboard wall allows writing notes and lists.

Factors that Affect Paint Color Perception

The way a color appears is influenced by more than just the paint chip. Here are factors that impact color perception:

  • Lighting – warm, cool, or natural light affects how colors are seen
  • Room size – colors appear lighter and brighter in smaller spaces
  • Texture of the paint – flat, eggshell, satin etc
  • Sheen level – higher sheen exaggerates the depth of colors
  • Adjacent colors – interaction with other nearby colors impacts perception

Colors look different at all times of day and artificial versus natural light. Test swatches on walls to get the truest sense of how a color will look before committing to the final paint job.

Paint Sheens Comparison Table

Here is an overview of the characteristics of different paint sheens:

Paint Sheen Shine Level Durability Ease of Cleaning
Flat None Poor Difficult
Eggshell Soft glow Good Fairly Easy
Satin Low luster Great Easy
Semi-Gloss Shiny Excellent Very Easy


Choosing the ideal laundry room color requires balancing aesthetics and practicality. Factors like lighting, room size, creating a soothing mood, coordinating with existing decor, and hiding stains should be considered. Neutrals or light, airy colors are best for small rooms while larger laundry rooms can handle deep, bold colors if desired. The paint finish must have good stain resistance and wipeability too. Carefully selecting laundry room paint leads to a space that is eye-pleasing and highly functional.