These Are the Paint Colors Experts Say to Never Use in Your Home

Cut these colors from your list before painting any room in your house.

There are definitely some dos and don'ts when it comes to designing and decorating your home—especially in regards to paint color. After all, a fresh coat of paint can instantly change the feel of any room in your house—as well as the aesthetic of its exterior. And when it comes to choosing a paint color, not all hues are created equal, with certain shades better left to reside in the "don't" category. So, before you get your brush and roller ready to go, here are the paint colors experts say you should never use in certain rooms of your home.

Don't use red in the bedroom.

Male hand painting wall with paint roller. Painting apartment, renovating with red color paint.

Red may be your favorite color, but it has no place in your bedroom, says Jeneva Aaron, founder of The House Wire. After all, the color evokes an intense physical and emotional reaction—and usually, not in a good way.

"The human brain has a visceral response to the color red because it's the color of blood," Aaron says. "We associate it with danger, so it gets the blood running and the heart beating faster. That's not the type of feeling you want to have as you're trying to fall asleep at night."

Keep away from white in the bathroom.

white walls in a bathroom

White walls have become increasingly more popular in bathrooms, making things look new and sparkling. But that brand new look only lasts for so long, says Aaron. She points out that "stains are very visible on white walls," and when the bathroom is typically "one of the grossest rooms in the house," it's just not the smartest choice.

"This is the one room that we would recommend going bold—maybe painting the walls a coral pink or orange," says Ashley Baskin, real estate agent and board member of Home Life Digest. "This type of statement can lighten up the home and allow you to show your true colors."

And avoid it in the home office, too.

white minimalist home office with laptop of table

With so many remote jobs out there, the need for a comfortable home office is more important than ever. That means avoiding one with white walls, says Courtney Keene, director of operations at MyRoofingPal. The color white, she says, can "lead to eye strain and fatigue," which is already a worry for people who work on a computer all day.

"Bright white surrounding you on every wall can contribute to feelings of anxiety, alongside causing eye fatigue over time," adds Marty Basher, a design expert with Modular Closets. "White may also seem to be a good option for making a room seem bigger; however, it can actually make a room feel lifeless and boxy by exaggerating shadows."

Don't use brown on exterior walls.

close up of a can of brown paint and a brush dipping into it

Sam Whittaker, home design expert and editor at The Golden, says you should never paint your home's exterior brown, which he says is a color that gives off an "extremely boring and dull vibe." Not only that, but Whittaker says that in the future, this will also lower your home's value and make it harder to sell the property.

Or in the living room.

living room with brown walls

John Monte, an interior designer based in Seattle, notes that there are some hues of brown that can work fine in a living room, but for the most part, he urges homeowners to stay away from the color.

"Especially when it comes to smaller spaces, we recommend you stay away from darks hues or browns," Monte says. "Simply put, they can make a space feel overly drab, and in the case of smaller living spaces, make your room feel even smaller."

Avoid dark shades of gray in the kitchen.

young woman choosing between paint swatches of gray for her wall

Gray is certainly having a moment, but despite the trend, you should keep dark shades of the color out of your kitchen. Gintaras Steponkus, a marketing manager at Solid Guides, says that they are known to "stimulate depression, loss, or inhospitality." This makes them especially harsh and hard for smaller kitchens without windows, he says.

Keep yellow off the exterior.

yellow home exterior which part of the roof shown

Home improvement expert and founder of Renovation Boot Camp Krishnan Archana says that "no matter how beautiful the interior, a yellow exterior fades away the whole look of your home." Not only that, but an analysis of paint colors conducted by Zillow in 2018, found that using yellow on an a house's exterior actually decreased its value by more than $3,000.

Don't put purple in the bedroom.

bedroom wall with purple paint all around

If you want to ensure you sleep well at night, then definitely don't paint your bedroom purple. A 2013 Travelodge survey found that the color was one of the least conducive for a good night's rest—and it has the ability to "provoke nightmares." Those who slept in rooms with purple walls only got an average of 5hours and 56 minutes of sleep every night, the survey found.

Avoid mixing green and brown in any room.

dark brown green paint color in a paint brush

According to Whittaker, the color blend, also known as opaque couché, should be avoided at all costs. The unpleasant shade, he says, is "reminiscent of bile," and may just be the "worst color you can paint your home."

It's such a universally disliked color that in 2012, an advisory team in Australia used it for the design of plain cigarette packets, after months of researching what design color would have the opposite effect of luring consumers.

And only use pink sparingly.

Close-up view of female craftperson taking pink paint from the can using paintbrush.

Accent walls in pink are fine, but Tonya Bruin, CEO of T0 Do-Done, says to avoid painting any rooms in your home entirely pink because the color tends to take over.

"Whether it be your kitchen, living room, or washroom, you won't be noticing what's in the room, but simply that it's a 'pink room,'" she says. "For the most part, that isn't its purpose; it's meant to be in the background and to blend with the rest of the room's aesthetic."

Filed Under