How to Choose the Perfect Neutral Beige Paint

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Beige paint. Somehow that sounds blah and boring, doesn't it? But neutral beige is far from boring. It can be a backdrop for your artwork and furnishings, complement more adventurous colors or make a statement all its own.


Picking a perfect neutral beige color paint is not at all hard when you know what to look for, and picking the wrong beige can indeed look a bit blah.


All you need to start are paint swatches and decent lighting.

Things You'll Need

  • Lots of paint swatches
  • Tester or two of beige paint
  • Go to your local home store where they have a larger color and brand selection of free paint swatches to choose from. Even if you don't plan on getting the paint there, any store will match a competitor's color. Load up on every possible variation of beige, tan, camel and light brown you see.

  • Sit in the space you plan to paint and fan out the colors. You will notice a huge variation in shades. Some beiges will have green tones, others pinker, gray or brown. If there is such a thing as a truly "neutral" beige I'm not sure I have seen it.

  • Look around your room. Is there a predominant color or tone? Very often without intending to, we pick up colors in certain shades while rejecting others. You may see many shades of green and sage around you, or peachy warm tones. Pay attention to this because these are the colors that make you feel good.

  • You will probably be saying "yuck" and setting aside some of the paint swatches for being too yellow, too gray, too greenish or whatever. Follow your instinct and only keep the swatches that make you feel good when you consider them.

  • You have two choices. You can choose a neutral that matches your overall theme. A warm tan beige for warm spicy furnishings, or a sunny beige for lighter, yellow toned decor. Or you may want to complement your decor by choosing a beige with cool gray undertones to set off the warmer colors already in the room.

    Both of these choices are great; it just depends on what resonates with you.

  • Now you have narrowed down your choices. Tip: colors look darker on the little chips and will look lighter on the wall. If you are not sure, choose the darker one. Now go to the paint store and get test quarts or 2 oz. testers of the colors you picked. Paint them directly on the wall so you can see them in different lights, both artificial at nightime and in natural daylight.

  • Don't be tempted to skip the extra step of trying the paint color right on the wall. It will be insurance against getting nonreturnable paint in a color that doesn't look the same as the swatch. More than anything else this will help you pick the perfect beige paint!

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