SHADES OF GREEN & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
When it comes to choosing the best green paint color for your home, you’re often one small step away from a room that looks like it’s designed by Kermit or Shrek. This is why it’s SUPER important you do your research (btw, you’ve come to the right place).
As with EVERY paint color, it’s never just as simple as ‘choosing the color that tickles your fancy.’ When picking the best green for your space, it’s about tuning into your surroundings to see which TYPE of green your home is asking for. And while you’ll find everything from olive and chartreuse to pickle and sage, there are generally TWO TYPES of green to choose from…
- WARM GREEN
- COOL GREEN
Choose the RIGHT green, and you’ll be giving yourself personal high-fives. Choose the WRONG green, and you’ll be twitching in the corner, cursing your wall’s pea soup, baby poop, or mint-inspired color.
This SUPER dark green-gray is striking with the wood cabinets
WARM GREEN PAINT COLORS
Green that has a YELLOW undertone is a warm green. When my clients want a warm green shade, they usually crave a green on the more subtle end of the warm range. This means that while there’s yellow in it, it’s a very SMALL amount. This passive approach avoids the pea soup and chartreuse end of things (colors that I personally love…in the right spot).
See the entire farmhouse country paint palette.
- Warm green paint colors have a yellow undertone that can be virtually unnoticeable depending on HOW MUCH yellow is mixed in.
- Warm green paint colors with a STRONG neutral base will lean into either GREIGE or TAN. Add enough of a neutral base, and your warm green will become the UNDERTONE rather than the dominant color.
- Warm green paint colors can help balance out cool northern light or flat eastern light.
In this next photo, we step OUT of green and into GREIGE, which means it’s a warm neutral with a green-yellow undertone…
Sherwin Williams Anonymous
And I absolutely fell in love with the subtle green warmth of Benjamin Moore’s Antique Pewter, shown on the lower cabinets in this kitchen remodel…
See the before and afters HERE
COOL GREEN PAINT COLORS
Green paint colors that lean into BLUE are cool greens. And as it relates to ‘colors’, green-blue or blue-green (where blue is more dominant than green) are the most POPULAR shades these days.
You might look at that photo above and think, ‘ermmm, that ain’t green; that’s BLUE.‘ Truth be told, it can be both! This is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, which is a well-known green/gray. However, because of Sea Salt’s particular make-up, it just LOOOOVES leaning into blue (because the black that it’s made with is a blue/black, but that’s getting a WEE bit technical). I have clients who find it TOO green (when they want a green/blue) and others who find it too blue – it’s a bit of a ninja!
Benjamin Moore Prescott Green
- In the lighter range, green-blue can come across as minty if it doesn’t have enough gray in it.
- Lean CONSIDERABLY into blue, and you’ll hit the teal/aquamarine end of things.
- If you add ENOUGH gray to your cool green, you’ll get a shade of GRAY with a green-blue undertone.
- Cool green paint colors balance rooms with warm southern or afternoon western sunshine.
Benjamin Moore Dark Pewter – a GORGEOUS green-blue blend.
As shown in this next kitchen, a slightly cool green like Sherwin Williams Cascade Green can offer a slightly vintage vibe…
SAMPLING PAINT COLORS WITH PEEL & STICK
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER, and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1 DAY, depending on the location
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
- if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
NEUTRAL GREEN PAINT COLORS
Short of hitting the primary end of things, it can be hard to land on a green-green, you know, one that doesn’t lean obviously warm or cool. And really, I can’t say that many people are looking for THAT green. In fact, most of my E-design clients clearly know which green they love, and it’s often a definitive preference for WARM green or COOL green. Taking this a bit further, they also love green as an UNDERTONE in cool or slightly warm neutrals.
Let’s take a look at Sherwin Williams Liveable Green, a green that’s about as close as we get to a TRUE green with a neutral base…
Notice that it looks just a TOUCH cool in the above light (natural light).
Now take a look at the same paint color with the light fixture on…
While this isn’t a shift in NATURAL light, the warmth of the bulbs (likely around 3000K) changes how Liveable Green looks, making it look WARMER than it does in the room’s natural light!
PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR HOME’S INTERIOR FINISHES
It’s not just your exposure and personal tastes that count when choosing a color; you must also pay CLOSE attention to your surrounding finishes.
A countertop like this demands a COOL green paint color
- If your countertop or tile has green in it, find out if it’s a warm green or a cool green. If you’re unsure, bring home a WIDE RANGE of green paint colors and see which ones clash and which ones connect.
- If your surrounding finishes have violet or pink undertones and crave a green hue, I suggest a cool green over a warm one. Just keep in mind that opposites attract and can make each other STRONGER!
Because the green in this tile is a VERY slightly cool, stormy (and subtle) green, it prefers green paint colors with similar traits.
On the other hand, if your room has reasonably flexible finishes, you can pick almost any darn green you want…
Farrow & Ball’s Green Smoke (the tile floor has MINOR violet-pink undertones)
GREEN PAINT COLORS IN NORTH OR EAST-FACING ROOMS
If you’re hoping to paint your north-facing room a green paint color, I highly suggest reading up on the best paint colors for north-facing light. The quick n’ dirty is that northern light is gray with a subtle cool (blue) undertone.
What does this mean?
If you paint a north-facing room green with a cool blue undertone, you might find that things look a titbit nipply as your northern light ENCOURAGES this combination even cooler. If you want to BALANCE the temperature of your natural light, and if it suits your room’s interior finishes, consider the following…
- Warm green paint colors.
- Warm grays with a green undertone, as even these have a touch of yellow hiding in them.
- Greige with a slightly more noticeable green undertone – especially if your room doesn’t have a lot of natural light.
East-facing rooms are similar to north-facing rooms. While they have a bright light in the morning, they can feel quite flat and drab in the afternoon. So, just like north-facing rooms, they often benefit from a warmer, cozier green or a more noticeable green undertone.
In this next photo, this paint color is similar to Sherwin Williams Acanthus. While it’s a warm green, it’s not OVERWHELMINGLY warm and can be a great happy medium if you and your north-facing room disagree on which way to go…
However, give this same room some strong afternoon western sunshine, and a warm green paint color like this could end up looking more like Benjamin Moore Fernwood Green! Why? The afternoon western sunshine will ADD more warmth to the walls, making the paint color look toastier than expected! EXPOSURE MATTERS (especially if it’s indecent).
GREEN PAINT COLORS IN SOUTH OR WEST-FACING ROOMS
When it comes to south or west-facing rooms, you’re dealing with the OTHER side of the thermometer – the warm one. And if you want to paint your south or west-facing room your favorite shade of green, you MAY want to do your research first (read THIS!). To give you a quick summary, the south-facing light is a warm light with a yellow hue. As for west-facing rooms, they’re flat in the morning light but pick up warmth in the afternoon, dipping into orange and pink as the day wears on.
What does this mean?
South-facing rooms or rooms with western afternoon sunshine will ADD WARMTH to your walls. So, if your walls are already a warm hue, you risk tipping the scales a bit too far for visual comfort.
This next room looks gorgeous with Benjamin Moore Caldwell Green on the cabinets…
However, PLEASE keep in mind that how a paint color looks online can be much different from how it looks in your home. Why does this matter?
Well, look at the cabinet in the bottom right corner – see that snippet of green? THAT’S how Caldwell Green looks in more muted light. The upper cabinets are getting hit with…
a) awesome exterior light
b) interior lighting
c) a great photographer who knows how to show a room at its best
This means that if you don’t have this SAME environment, your paint color will look different!
This ALSO means that if you’re considering a WARM green, you may want to tweak things a bit. South and west-facing rooms often suit…
- Green paint colors that lean into blue as the COOL temperature can help to balance the warm sun visually.
- Cool neutrals such as gray with a green-blue undertone.
- Greige paint colors with a green undertone but lean closer to gray than beige.
WHAT’S THE BEST GREEN PAINT COLOR?
While it depends on many variables (i.e., depth, degree of color, etc…), Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog is a popular shade of green, as well as Benjamin Moore’s October Mist. In fact, both of these colors happened to be ‘Colors of the Year’ at one point in time, adding to their popularity.
A few more popular shades of green…
- Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue (beautiful on kitchen islands)
- Benjamin Moore Camouflage (the best for open layouts and bedrooms)
- Sherwin Williams Ripe Olive (awesome for a front door)
- Sherwin Williams Softened Green (a beautiful, calming bedroom color)
- Sherwin Williams Dried Thyme (fun for a feature wall!)
And heck, this isn’t written in stone – you do you, boo! If you love a certain green even though it goes against your exposure, FILL YER LITTLE GREEN BOOTS! However, if it goes against your finishes, you MAY want to find a happy medium instead.
CHECK OUT MY ONLINE PAINT COLOR CONSULTING PACKAGES!