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How Do I Pick the Right Neutral Paint Colour?

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Are you having trouble picking the right neutral paint colour for your home? Some seem a bit blue? Others too peachy? Every neutral and white has an undertone (a subtle, secondary colour that ‘peeks’ through the base colour) which often makes it tricky to pick the paint colour that is just right for your room.

Luckily there is a limit to how many undertones each neutral and white can have.

Beiges can have: Red/pink; yellow/gold/orange; warm green undertones – generally the warmer colours from nature.

Greys can have: Blue; green; blue/green; violet undertones – generally the cooler colours from nature.

Taupes can have: Red/pink; violet undertones – subtle and can be difficult to detect, landing between grey and beige (greige).

Whites can have: A range from blue, green, violet (cool) to pink, orange, yellow (warm) undertones.

Identifying Undertones

  • Looking at the deepest colour of a neutral or white on the paint chip is a good place to start in determining the undertone. Head up paint chip to the darkest tone and that will help you determine the base colour of a neutral - red, yellow, violet etc. – and its undertone.
  • Compare one neutral paint chip to another neutral paint chip for help in determining its undertone.
  • Compare a neutral you’ve identified the undertone of to one you’re not sure of to help identify the undertone of the second neutral.
  • View the paint chip in the room you’re painting - choose a neutral paint colour that has the same undertones of other elements already in the room (other painted surfaces, flooring, furniture, fabrics etc.).
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