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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

These Are The Worst Paint Colors

There are tons of articles out there on the interwebs concerning the best paint colors, so why should I go into that?  Besides I've done that before.  But I'm going to tell you the ones that I would never use.  They are the worst paint colors.
Let me preface this discussion by telling you that there are a kajillion paint colors to chose from among many companies.  Obviously there are uses for all of them or the paint companies wouldn't continue to include them all in their lines.  There isn't a wrong.  It's all in the tints, shades, amounts, and locations.  For instance, I've told you before that Benjamin Moore's Red is one of my faves.  But would I use it in a bedroom?  Never.  Red is a color that makes your heart race and can even be an angry color.  We want bedrooms to be relaxing, so I use red in kitchens and dining rooms and on front doors, the places where you want to stir up people.  The warmth of red is welcoming and exciting, but not relaxing. 
Disclaimer noted, what follows is, from my experience, paint colors that do not work and the better alternatives.  

Bright Yellow Is One of The Worst Paint Colors

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Yellow is a difficult color.  You have to be careful painting a room yellow, as it can feel as though you've just stepped onto the surface of the sun when you walk into the room.  Avoid going to pure and lemon with yellow.  That's not to say that you should never paint a room yellow.  Yellow has its redeeming qualities.  It is a warm color that is flattering to skin tones.  The correct shade can be perfect in a bathroom or a good overall color for a smaller home. 

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This color looks close to Benjamin Moore's Chestertown Buff which would make a striking traditional powder room or master bath.

Instead of Benjamin Moore's Banana Yellow 2022-40, Navajo White 947 has the palest yellow tint and can really give a room a super soft warmth.  I once painted a small efficiency apartment for a lady in Navajo White and we used bright yellow in the drapery and upholstery fabrics.  It made for a lovely warm space for her and did not overpower.  I recently used Provence Creme 2021-60 in a children's bath that made a flattering transition between the boy's green room and the girl's lavender one.

True Blue Is One of The Worst Paint Colors

Here I go again.  Blue is also a difficult color.  It can be done, but Benjamin Moore 2066-30 Big Country Blue isn't it; especially for an entire room.  Maybe one wall, maybe on a piece of furniture, but use it with caution and discernment.  I fondly remember a dear client who had a beautiful blue and white lavatory sink in the master bath and we had a challenge finding the perfect blue shade to carry into the bedroom. 

The cool tone of blue is relaxing in a bedroom and lowers the temperature of rooms that are normally hot, such as laundry rooms.  Ice Blue 2052-70 is a pleasing and cooling blue.  Benjamin Moore has a lot of fabulous blues from icy pale to dramatic dark.  One of my favorites for stunning drama is Polo Blue 2062-10 for a dark gray-blue.

Polo Blue with bright pink accents.  A great way to use both colors.

Pepto-Bismol Pink Is One of The Worst Paint Colors

Well, no one needs to be reminded of Pepto-Bismol, do we?  Just the color, makes me nauseous.  It's one of the absolute worst paint colors.  But don't completely discard pink as a great paint color in the correct shade and quantity, even an entire room.  With Rose Quartz being named Pantone's color of the year in 2016, rose gold metals and Millennial Pink was everywhere and is still around. 

The correct shade of pink can be stunning with navy and dark woods for sophisticated rooms are with lavenders and yellows and whites for a girls bedroom.  Benjamin Moore's Pensive AF-140 is a nice beige neutral pink that pairs well with deep blues and browns and brighter pinks.

Dreamsicle Orange Is One of The Worst Paint Colors

Ok, I've got to admit, orange is one I've never done...that I remember.  True orange is just too bright and too 60's and too much for a room.  But in fabrics and accessories paired with purple or turquoise or just about any color, it can be a great neutral.  And a softer muted tone of orange, a pale yellow-orange can be a great bathroom color...the best for skin tones.  The trend forecasters call for terra-cotta to be popular this year, so if you're up for Sherwin-Williams 6635 Determined Orange, I'm with you.  Let's do it!

The Ugliest Paint Color

After surveying 1,000 people in seven studies, some Australian researchers came up with the ugliest color and it is Pantone 448 C.  Bless its heart.  It is a greenish brown and was used in anti-smoking campaigns.  One thousand people said it, so don't use it.  It is science, the worst of the worst paint colors.  
Of course, you know I have to offer an alternative and I happen to love unusual (but not ugly) dark neutrals.  Such as Sherwin-Williams 6160, Best Bronze.  That color would be great for an exterior or a trim color or a front door.  A pretty green brown...they do exist.

So there you go!  Five of the worst paint colors and even more great alternatives.  To see my no-fail paint colors, be sure and visit my Pinterest board.

Jill OrnelasAmbiance