HomeThe Best Paint ColoursColoursThe 9 Best Purple (Violet) Paint Colors

The 9 Best Purple (Violet) Paint Colors

Posted on February 6, 2020 by KylieMawdsley

The Most Popular Purple Paint Colors (Benjamin Moore)

I’m not going to lie and say purple (also known as violet or lavender) is the most popular paint color – it’s not. In fact, when I’m doing my E-Design, it’s one of the colors I’m asked about the least. Why? Well, purple has a bad rap as being either too feminine, too punchy, too royal or too Barney – and if you look at the history of purple, those keywords make sense!

However, TODAY’S purples are much different from the Barney-inspired hues of yesteryear, and in fact, are some of the most BEAUTIFUL paint colors on the market!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Ready Betty? (I was going to say Barney but it didn’t rhyme)

The best purple paint colours or neutral with purple undertones. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting and virtual edesign specialist

And BTW, I rely 100% on my E-design client’s photos and BM’s images for my blog posts, so there aren’t many in here – however, the info is SPOT on! 

1. Benjamin Moore Dreamy Cloud 2117-70

Soft and subtle, Dreamy Cloud is close to being an off-white, while still having enough body to hold the perfect hint of violet. Whereas a lot of today’s most popular purple paint colors have quite a bit of gray or brown in them, Dreamy Cloud has only been moderately neutralized, so while it will look purple, it’s held back by neutral undertones. It’s on the cooler end of things and winks a bit towards dusky lavender without being overly colorful.Benjamin moore dreamy cloud

Dreamy Cloud will hold itself well in a south-facing room. It can work in a north-facing room as well, but keep in mind it will appear quite cold.

The LRV of Dreamy Cloud is 76, meaning it will reflect quite a bit of light back into a room. In an intensely lit room with direct sunlight, it will fade out quite a bit but will regain its color once the sun shifts.

Never heard of LRV? Don’t pick a paint color before reading about it HERE!

2. Benjamin Moore French Lilac 1403

Not for the faint of heart! Unlike Dreamy Cloud which is more subtle, French Lilac commits to purple, without being obnoxious or ‘day-glo’.

Benjamin Moore French Lilac, best purple paint colour.

French Lilac is slightly warmer and a bit more colorful than Dreamy Cloud. It sits in the light end of things but is close to the light-medium depths.

The LRV of French Lilac is 56, which surprises me as it comes across looking a bit lighter than that. With this LRV, it won’t add much light reflectance to a room, however, it won’t absorb much either.

3. Benjamin Moore Abalone 2108-60

Abalone is my favorite of the light purples because it’s SO subtle. Compared to the above colors, it will look like gray and it IS gray – a gray with a purplish-brown undertone. It’s a great way to nod toward purple without committing 100% (or even 50% – it’s just a wee nod).

Benjamin Moore Abalone, best gray purple paint colour. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert, diy ideas

open layout kitchen and dining room with island, quartz countertops and benjamin moore abalone and sandlot gray with purple travertine backsplash

With an LRV of 62, Abalone sits in between the two previous purple colors, and that LRV ALSO happens to be my magic number – read more about that here.

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Abalone and Barren Plain

4. Benjamin Moore Wet Concrete 2114-40

I love Wet Concrete (it’s great to put your footprints in too). Wet Concrete sits slightly towards the warm-pink end of things compared to cooler purples which lean towards the cool-blue end. It’s also a definite ‘earth-toned’ purple with its neutral base and isn’t as colorful as a typical purple paint color. No Barney found here!

The best purple paint colour by Benjamin Moore, Wet Concrete. Shown in living room wtih brick corner fireplace, chair rail and sectional. Room has been through Home Staging by Kylie M Interiors

The LRV of Wet Concrete is 27.0, meaning it’s going to absorb light, rather than reflect it back into the room. This can help a room feel warm, cozy and inviting or awfully heavy if you don’t have enough natural or artificial lighting.

Read more: Learn How LRV Can Help You Pick a Paint Color

5. Benjamin Moore Sandlot Gray 2107-50

Sandlot Gray isn’t a color you’d normally go to when thinking about purple as it has a good dollop of brownish/gray in it – giving it a more neutral look. However, it certainly falls into the purple spectrum with its warm purple base. Warm purples can pick up an almost pinkish-taupe look. This color will not look pink, however, you’ll see that it appears MUCH softer and warmer than a cooler toned purple that has less brown in it. Overall, Sandlot Gray is a GREAT way to get purple – without the punch!

BEnjamin Moore Sandlot Gray, best purple paint colour shown in living room.

Via Benjamin Moore

The LRV of Sandlot Gray is 44, a nice depth for a reasonably well-lit room.

6. Benjamin Moore Mauve Desert 2113-50

Mauve Desert is a lovely saturated purple that has just enough purple to commit, without feeling like you’re 100% in. Compare Mauve Desert with Sandlot Gray to see how much more purple this color is and how NEUTRAL Sandlot Gray looks in comparison!

The best purple paint colours, Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams. Shown in dining room

The LRV of Mauve Desert is 38.0.The best purple paint colours for your room. Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant. Diy home decorating and ideas blogger.market

Click HERE or on the above images to see available packages!

Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…

Paint colour review of tool Samplize, peel and stick samples. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Farrow and Ball, Home Depot. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

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 1-3 business days, depending on location
  • at $6.99, 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

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

7. Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster 2109-40

Smoked Oyster is a solid, medium-toned earthy purple with a gorgeous gray base. It says purple without being punchy.

benjamin moore smoked oyster and stone house with tiled fireplace and green accents

The LRV of Smoked Oyster is 21.

8. Benjamin Moore Kalamata AF 630

Kalamata is a stunning purple and definitely one of the most committed of the bunch! And while it’s obviously purple, it’s not too punchy or overwhelming. It sits snug in between warm and cold (leaning slightly more to the warm side), meaning it would work well in a north or south-facing room AS LONG AS there’s enough exterior or interior light.

The LRV of Kalamata is 11 – BOOM – she’s a skookum one!

9. Benjamin Moore Passion Plum 2073-30

Oh, I do love Passion Plum! With an LRV of 12, Passion Plum 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!

And one more for fun, this time, from Sherwin Williams…

10. Sherwin Williams Black Swan SW 6279

Black Swan is a WICKED dark violet that adds drama and glamour to ANY room. Just check out this eclectic living room below!

Sherwin Williams best violet purple paint colour DARK Black Swan with pink accents and bright art and home decor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy update ideas

Black Swan has an LRV of 4, so there’s no messing around with this one – it’s bordering on black!

Finding these colors a bit STRONGER than you had in mind, but still have a passion for PURPLE? Check out these color reviews instead…


Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Portland Gray & Cement Gray

Paint Color Review: Benjamin Moore Collingwood

Paint Color Review: Sherwin Williams Popular Gray

Don’t know which PURPLE to PICK?

Check out my affordable Online Color Consulting Services!

The best paint colors for room or cabinets. Benjamin or Sherwin Williams paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Virtual, Edesign, online paint colour consultant and blogger market

Chat soon

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

Originally written in 2017, updated in 2020


  1. Best color that ticks every box is driftscape tan. BM Words can’t describe how warm and sexy this colour is. Love it. Should post this color up.

  2. Kylie – what are your thoughts about BM Slip? Thinking about using that in my daughter’s room. We have medium walnut floors.

  3. Loved this article! My newest fave purple is BM Cinnamon Slate; it’s a real chameleon!
    I noticed you used the word “skookum”; I live in the Yukon and have never heard it in use anywhere south. Is it a common word where you’re from?
    Lise May

    1. Post

      Well, isn’t that funny – my Mom is from the Yukon, Whitehorse to be exact. That must be where I got it from! And I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said it and people are like ‘what the heck is skookum?’ and I’m like ‘who doesn’t know what skoookum is?’.

      That made me smile 🙂

      And yes, isn’t Cinnamon Slate GORGEOUS, it is one that I refer to often when I have clients who love purple!

      Hope you’re enjoying your snow 🙂


  4. Hi! Thanks so much for this article! I’m wanting to makeover my toddlers 10x12ft south-facing room with a lilac/lavender accent wall that will complement the adjacent walls and rest of the house in SW-Agreeable Grey. She loves purple but it cant be washed out/dingy or too punchy (RIP Barney)????.
    Thank you!

  5. Thank you! I wanted a touch of purple in my bedroom and decided to paint it Sandlot Gray. It looks lovely! I have oak colored woodwork (a bit on the orange side). Could you suggest an accent color for Sandlot Gray? I enjoy reading your site.

    1. Post

      Hi Jen, i LOVE Sandlot Gray, great choice! I love the idea of a nice dark charcoal like BM Overcoat or the warmer, more taupe Asphalt. 🙂

  6. I am trying to repaint my dining room which has a basic white wainscoting, a dark teal rug and gray furniture. Hoping a nice subtle purple with a gray undertone will do the trick. I’m really liking the Smoked Oyster and Abalone colors. The room is open concept with my living room which is Manchester Tan. I hope I choose well. Wish I could pay you to figure it out for me but it’s only paint right? 😉 Thanks for always giving great information and photos of great design.

  7. I just love purple. Thank you. I’m wondering how these color compare to SW Minute Mauve or SW Grayish. I’m looking for a SW gray paint color for my bedroom with subtle purple undertones.

    1. Post

      Hi Susan! Well, it depends on how subtle you WANT. Most people find Minute Mauve to be too strong and Grayish to be toooooo violet when they’re wanting a gray with a SUBTLE violet undertone. The more common approach would be along the lines of SW Alpaca or Light French Gray as they definitely have subtle violet undertones :).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Posts

Meet Kylie

Thank you for visiting!  I'm so glad you're here!  Come on in to learn a little more about me!