The Best Purple Paint Colours (including undertones)
Purple. I’m not going to lie and say that purple is the most popular paint colour – it’s not. In fact, when I’m doing my Consulting it is one of the colours I’m asked about the least. Why? Well, I think purple has gotten a bad rap as being either too feminine, too punchy, too royal or too Barney – and I guess if you look at the history of purple, that isn’t far from the truth!
However, TODAY’S purples are much different from the Barney-inspired hues of yesteryear and in fact, are some of the most BEAUTIFUL paint colours on the market!
The Best Light Purple Paint Colours
Click on colour names to view samples on the Benjamin Moore website
Benjamin Moore Dreamy Cloud 2117-70
Courtesy of Mandarina Studio
Soft and subtle, Dreamy Cloud is closer to being an off-white than anything else, while still holding the perfect hint of purple. Whereas a lot today’s most popular purple paint colours have quite a bit of gray or brown in them, this one has only been moderately neutralized, so while it will look purple, it’s held back a bit by some neutral undertones. It is on the cooler end of things and winks just a bit towards a dusky lavender without being overly colourful.
Dreamy Cloud well hold itself well in a South facing room. It can go in a North facing room as well, but keep in mind it will appear quite cold.
The LRV of Dreamy Cloud is 76, so it will reflect quite a bit of light back into a room, making it feel lighter and brighter. In an intensely lit room with direct sunlight, it will fade out quite a bit, but will regain its colour once the sun shifts.
Ever heard of LRV? Don’t pick a paint colour before reading about it here!
Benjamin Moore French Lilac 1403 (US only)
Via Emily Henderson (lotsa love for this gal!)
Not for the faint of heart! Unlike Dreamy Cloud, which is a bit more subtle about things, French Lilac commits to purple, without being obnoxious or ‘day-glo’.
French Lilac is slightly warmer feeling and bit more colourful than Dreamy Cloud along with being in the light zone, rather than the off-white end of things.
The LRV of French Lilac is 56, which actually surprised me as it comes across looking a bit lighter. With this LRV it really won’t add much light to a room, however it won’t absorb any light either.
Benjamin Moore Abalone 2108-60
Abalone is my favourite of the light purples because it is SO subtle. Compared to the above colours, it will feel like a gray and it IS a gray, but it has a purpleish/brown undertone. It’s a great way to nod toward purple without committing to it 100% (or even 25% – it’s just a wee nod).
The LRV of Abalone is 62, so really it sits right in between the above 2 colours – adding a BIT of light to a room, but not an overwhelming amount by any stretch.
The Best Medium Depth Purple Paint Colours
Benjamin Moore Wet Concrete 2114-40
I loooove Wet Concrete (it’s great to put your footprints in too – wink wink). Wet Concrete sits slightly towards the warm/pink end of the scale (compared to other purples which might lean towards the cool/blue end of things) and is the perfect purple for almost any room. It is also a definite ‘earth-toned’ purple and is not as ‘genuine’ as one thinks of when they think of a ‘typical Purple’ as it has a lovely grounded neutral feeling to calm it down (no Barney here…).
The LRV of Wet Concrete is 27.0. So, it is going to absorb light, rather than reflect it back into the room. This can help a room feel warm, cozy and inviting!
Benjamin Moore Sandlot Gray 2107-50
Sandlot Gray isn’t a colour that you’d normally think about when you’re thinking of Purple as it has a good dollop of brownish/gray in it – giving it a bit more of a neutral feeling. However, it certainly falls into the purple spectrum with its warm purple base. Warm purples can almost pick up a pinkish/taupe feeling. This colour will not look pink…at all. However, you’ll see that it appears MUCH more soft and than a more cool toned purple that has less brown in it. Overall, Sandlot Gray is a GREAT way to get purple – without the punch!
The LRV of Sandlot Gray is 44.
Benjamin Moore Mauve Desert 2113-50
Via the UBER awesome Brian Gluckstein
Mauve Desert is a lovely saturated purple that has just enough purple to commit, without feeling like you’re 100% committed. Compare Mauve Desert with Sandlot Gray to see how much more purple this colour is and how NEUTRAL Sandlot Gray feels in comparison!
The LRV of Mauve Desert is 38.0.
The Best Dark Purple Paint Colours
Benjamin Moore Kalamata AF 630
Via This Old House
Via Benjamin Moore
Kalamata is a stunning purple and definitely one of the most committed of the bunch! And while it is ‘obviously’ purple, it’s not too punchy or Barney-inspired. It sits snuggly in between warm and cold (leaning slightly more to the warm side), meaning it would work well in a North or South Facing room.
The LRV of Kalamata is 11 – BOOM – she’s a skookum one!
Benjamin Moore Passion Plum 2073-30
Via Terri White
Oh I looove Passion Plum and I love it even more after seeing it in this bedroom by Terri White. With an LRV of 12, it will add some serious drama to any room in your home, but is particularly lovely for a bedroom! This luscious purple sneaks slightly towards the warm end of things and is perfect if you’re passionate about purple!
Well there you go my purple pals, hope you enjoyed!
Not sure which colour is best for you and your home? Check out my affordable Online Color Consulting Services!
Kylie M Interiors Interior Decorating, Design, Online Color Consultations and Budget Friendly Ideas Based in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island
Here's some other ideas for you!