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!
Ready Betty? (I was going to say Barney but it didn’t rhyme)
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.
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’.
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).
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
Click HERE or on the above images to see available packages!
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
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.
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!
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…
Don’t know which PURPLE to PICK?
Check out my affordable Online Color Consulting Services!
Originally written in 2017, updated in 2020