Neutral Paint Shades for Interiors

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Neutral paint shades for interiors are timeless and a way to let your decorating style shine. Having a beautiful home is a goal for most of us and one of the great pleasures of life. We spend a great many hours of our life tweaking, arranging, and decorating our living spaces. When you really love where you live you’ll find yourself enjoying the time you invest in it satisfying.

If you’re looking for some of the best interior paint colors, neutral wall and trim colors are a good place to start. These allow people to decorate more freely than if there were bright and wild colors on the wall. I do love using neutrals not only on walls of every room in my home but on the trim. A great neutral will add warmth and depth to the space and compliment it. You won’t draw too much attention to the paint itself. Just a hint or undertone of color, as no white is purely white. The hint of color can be greige or taupe, or something with a blue or pink undertone. As we know, pink and blue are often associated with a baby’s nursery and the softness can have a calming effect.

neutral paint shades beach house dining room

Picking a paint color for your room is one of the biggest decisions you’ll be making for your space when you are ready to renew it. A fresh coat of paint on the wall can bring new life and energy into a room. Colors allow for so many different moods. Advertisers spend a great deal of money to use the psychology of color in order to sell us a product. You don’t have to delve that deeply into yours, certainly, but you want to make certain when you are investing in your colors that the room looks refined and refreshed.

How do I choose a neutral paint color?

When it comes to choosing a neutral paint color, keep in mind that you still have plenty of options. A neutral color means that it’s going to go well with a wide variety of decor and needs. Remember that. Neutral paint does not mean just white. I can be lighter shades of blues, grays, yellows, and even browns.

Figuring out what your vision is for the interior of your home and then finding a good strong wall paint color is the easiest way to start. My friend Yvonne at Stone Gable has the perfect neutral interior color scheme used in her home.

neutral farmhouse style room Stone Gable blog

What neutral paint color is most popular?

Because I know that you will ask, almost all of our home is painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove. This neutral paint color is among the most popular and versatile. If you decide to bring home a sample, paint a small swatch in all rooms that you plan on painting. Check the sample at different times of the day to see how the sun and shadows play with the undertones. It is all about how the color reflects and absorbs the light in a room.

best neutral paint colors Benjamin Moore White Dove

What colors make a room look bigger and brighter?

You know the answer to this question, right? Neutral paint colors are some of the best paint colors to help make a room feel more bright, airy, and open. This is because these types of paint colors are lighter and give the room a larger feel because of its brightness.

Another helpful tip to remember is that when you paint your room a lighter color, keep it open without cluttering it up with other “things” as well. Why take away all your hard work of painting your interior only to have the walls lined so that it’s just as crowded feeling as before?

What colors make a room more relaxing?

When choosing paint colors, pick ones that are going to make your home feel comfy and open. After all, it’s the place that should be your safe spot to kick up your feet and relax. Many people prefer light yellows or light blues as great living room colors or bedroom colors that can help give an overall relaxing vibe and feel.

What are the five neutral colors?

If you’re considering changing up your interior paint colors, it’s good to know what are the five main neutral colors that you should research. (again, some lighter colors of gray, blue, brown, and even yellow could be considered neutral so keep your options open for exploring those as well)

For the five main neutral colors, you are going to be looking at gray, white, beige, black, and brown. Even though some of those might sound as if they’re darker in color, just remember that there are always a ton of options for different shades.

Now that you know some of the basic questions that people ask in regards to popular paint colors for making their walls neutral, let’s dive into some tips on choosing the right paint color as well.

best neutral paint colors Benjamin Moore White Dove

How Do I Choose A Neutral Paint Color?

best neutral benjamin moore paint colors

In the paint store

You’ve been in a paint store before, so you’re well aware of the limitless options that can be produced. It can be overwhelming for some. People who are hoping to add some personality to their home often go for bold colors they feel will define them, and many of those people end up disappointed with their results. Going with neutral paint shades may seem like taking the safe way out, but there are many good reasons why you should consider picking a neutral shade for those walls. I have worked as a design and color consultant (more here) with Benjamin Moore paints and neutrals were on my radar for all.

paint consultant shabbyfufu

It allows your furnishings and accents to take center stage – neutral paint shades are subtle, and because of that, all the colors of the items you lovingly selected for your furniture, draperies, and accent pieces can shine without the walls overpowering them.

Did you know that Benjamin Moore has this nifty Color Capture app and it’s free to download on the app store for your smart phone?  You simply snap a picture from any source and instantly get it’s match from Benjamin Moore’s over 3,300 colors. This is NOT a sponsored post, I just believe in their paints and want to share that with you!

best neutral paint shades

Color schemes and decor styles

Changing the color scheme of the room is much easier – Are you tired of your current decor? If you’ve selected a pretty neutral for your walls, you likely won’t have the task of changing your walls to account for on top of replacing the decorations.

neutral paint shades

Neutral is fitting for any style you’re into – With a neutral, you are not locked into a specific style set. You can take your room from romantic, to modern, to shabby chic without encountering a conflict in style. Neutrals smooth the path for color changes and as a result allow you to redirect with ease. Neutral paint colors should be chosen to be crisp and fresh in the daylight, while keeping their clarity at night.

neutral paint shades

If you want to go with a neutral color for your walls, you’re in fantastic company. While selecting the right neutral paint shades may seem easy ( especially if you’re going with white), you’re going to still need to be careful in your choosing. Neutrals, unlike more bold colors, tend to take on the color tones and lighting of the area. That means you could use the same color in every room and wind up with a different result. The furnishings, the amount of natural sunlight the room gets, and even the furnishings you choose can make the colors on your wall look completely different. Be mindful of this when you are choosing your color.

Favorite brand

When I’m searching for new colors for my wall, I always opt for Benjamin Moore. Having a husband who is a general contractor makes this an easy selection. It’s the brand that he believes in, and because he knows what he’s talking about I listen, lol.  I love the flexibility and functionality that a great white wall gives me. White dove is what I currently have on my walls in our homes. White is a great neutral to go with because there are so many different moods and tones. There are brown toned whites, grey toned whites, pure whites, and even pink whites to choose from. I’ve included a selection of some of my favorite whites from Benjamin Moore at the end of this post.

Test it first

Be sure to test your colors as always before painting. Just because your color looks great in the store, that doesn’t mean it is the right color for your room. Get your paint chips, get a test swatch on your wall, and find just the right color to suit your style. Neutral is the way to go. It’s going to look gorgeous, I promise.

most popular neutral paint colors

More Favorite Neutral Shades Of Benjamin Moore Paint

Grey Whites:

White Dove
Spanish White
Sea Pearl

Blue Whites

Lily White
Patriotic White

Pink Whites

Cream Puff
Gentle Butterfly

If you do prefer Sherwin Williams neutral paints, they make a quality product as well. Here is a sample board that you can print and take with you to your paint store!

best neutral paint colors from Sherwin Williams


This post was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2022

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  1. BM’s White Dove has been my “go to” neutral for years. I love it and have recommended it to several people. Hope you are doing well, Janet. xo Diana

  2. Hi Janet, I just painted my kitchen, laundry room, dining room more of a lighter neutral. It has a very warm undertone which I like actually. This post came at a great time because I was going to pain our hallway the same color, but I might want something even lighter. I don’t know if I will go with whites but I’m going to test some and see. Thanks for posting! Continuing to keep you in my prayers. xoxo

  3. Doreen Lane says:

    Hi Janet, this information is very timely for me as I am about to have the walls of my new home painted white. I am looking for a cool white ~ is White Dove a cool white…it seems to be. Thank you for all your decorating tips ! Hope you are doing well…Doreen

    1. Hi Doreen….looks like you’ve had some life changes since I photographed your house for Romantic Homes magazine! Yes, it is a cool white and I think would work well for you.

      1. Hi Janet, I love a neutral white wall, it’s everywhere in my home, but my bedroom and bathroom are painted pretty blue. Do you think I could use the Benjamin Moore app to find the color of my blue walls? We need to touch up, but it was done by someone else and we don’t have a clue as to what color it is!
        Thanks for any suggestions.

        1. Hi Dee! Absolutely you could use that and the other paint manufacturers have apps for color matching as well.

  4. I’ve been slowly painting the house white and Janet it is so calming and relaxing after all those yellows.

    1. Getting caught up Mary…can’t wait to see some of what you’ve done!

  5. We always use Benjamin Moore too. Would love to repaint kitchen into great room a Greige color. Living in the new house for only 3 years not in the budget right now. We bought new sofas and chairs so the color it is now isn’t my favorite with the new pieces. Patience.


    1. Ah yes….patience! I’ve been waiting to have our pool refinished (needs it) for months and it still hasn’t happened.

  6. Diane Busson says:

    I am looking for a gray white and I keep my woodwork trim a high gloss white, what is your suggestion? I am going to paint all of the house this color.

    1. My favorite is Benjamin Moore White Dove. It is white, but with a slight grey tone. Also check out Grey Owl.

    2. I updated the post with a photo of the app that you can download and match your favorite color (if you have one). I like Benjamin Moore Gray Owl.

  7. Janet, I love Benjamin Moore too. Our entire home is painted in Benjamin Moore colors. White Dove is our trim color throughout. we have sea Salt, Harbor Haze, Grassland, Palladium Blue ad Ice Cube is our cabinet color. Great quality.

    1. All great colors Carol…their paint has the best coverage and is the longest lasting.

  8. Stacey Duncan says:

    Hi Janet!

    Thanks for the painting tips! I think i’m going to go with the BM Decorators White you posted! We just sold our home and are
    moving to a condo on the bay. I’m going with a completely coastal aesthetic. I am in love with the table and chairs that you’ve shown on your “painting with neutrals” page! Can you please tell me where I can find it? Thanks so much!

  9. I’m looking to repaint the interior of my house in a warm-toned white due to having Brazilian cherry floors and iron details throughout the house. What color would you suggest and what color white would I paint the trim and doors?

    1. You might want to look at Linen White or perhaps Navajo White from Benjamin Moore. I would head over to a store that carries their brand (the best) and buy some samples to try out before making that big decision. Hope that helps Raquel!

  10. i Have an open floor plan with transitional with a lot of green and yellow silk upholstered furniture. Would you suggest “white dove”. Currently we have faux painting that is in the beige family. So this is a big change .

    1. I think that I’d look at China White and maybe Linen White from Benjamin Moore. Try some samples on your walls before making a decision!

  11. Gail Wolfe says:

    Can you use Distant grey as a trim color?
    The house is mostly north and west facing.
    Color palette includes: Calm ( hallway and living areas) , White Dove ( kitchen- little wall space and would use white dove as trim here) Balboa Mist. Pale oak, and Classic grey In bedrooms.
    The distant gray looks the best on my boards but I don’t think it is usually used (?)

    1. Hi Gail. I’ve never used DG myself, but it is almost white…so I would not hesitate to at least try out a sample size.

  12. This is a wonderful article, thank you for the recommendations! We are planning to use Chantilly Lace on the ceiling and window trim/doors, and I’m wondering if you could recommend any wall colors that would go with that, or would you do walls also in Chantilly Lace? I’m thinking of a light greige-ish color for walls as we have some nice medium/light oak open shelving and beams, along with medium oak hardwood floors. Thanks for any tips you may be able to provide 🙂

  13. In my living room I went from BM Dunmore Cream to Cotton Balls my favorite white, It’s a yummy white. So refreshing after the Dunmore Cream.

  14. Donna Whitley says:

    What would you suggest for a room with mostly white sofas, black and white buffalo check with some red and yellow accents. It has a very French vibe. The walls are currently stark white. I need to soften them a bit, but am not sure about yellow undertones or grey ones.

    1. Without seeing a photo it would be hard for me to make a recommendation Donna. My own favorite in both of our homes is Benjamin Moore White Dove and I decorate with a lot of white too. It has a slight grey undertone to it, but is white.

  15. michelle F Burgmeier says:

    I am redoing my basement and looking for a white wall color to brighten and make look bigger. i have only one window thats a double hung in the family room area. going to paint woodwork white and floors will be a light wood laminate ( color is Traverse City LLFlooring) Any suggestions?

    1. I would recommend that you get some samples of Benjamin Moore Simply White and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace and see if those neutral whites work for your lovely new space!

  16. Thanks for all the information on Benjamin Moore paint. I’m using simply white on my kitchen cabinets.

    1. That’s a great shade DaleAnn and I’ve used it many times over the years

  17. Thanks for this very informative post. I only use BM paints and especially love their self-leveling paint. I have Elmira White in my home. I have a paint related question. I plan to put picture frame molding on my dining room walls and want to paint it the same color as the walls. Should I use semi-gloss or eggshell? The baseboards are white. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. Sally, I would suggest a semi-gloss to make the molding pop. BM paints are truly the best and all that we use!