When the topic of color selection comes up, some of our most frequently asked questions surround the topic of warm colors versus cool colors. What are warm colors? What are cool colors? How do I know which type to use in specific settings? Can I use some of each type without upsetting the flow of my home’s design?

Don’t worry – your favorite expert Asheville house painters at D.A.B. Painting have got you covered! Today we’re going to walk you through the basics of warm and cool colors as it applies to your home’s paint selection process.


What Do We Mean by “Warm” or “Cool” Colors?

When we talk about the temperature of colors (i.e.: warm or cool) what we are actually referring to is the undertone of a color.

  • Cool Colors: Blue, green or purple undertones
  • Warm Colors: Red, orange or yellow undertones

A simple way to remember this is that the warm colors have undertones that match the shades found in fire. Or you can think of the color your lips turn if you were to take a dip in the ocean sometime in mid-February – probably purple and blue, right? Brrrrrr!

Another helpful fact to know about colors – even the color commonly referred to as “neutral” have warm or cool undertones to them. That means there is still some strategy recommended even when choosing a grey or a white for each room. That’s where our expertise comes in as one of the top painting services in Asheville NC! We can help with all your paint strategy needs when you book us for your next painting project.


Examples of Cool Colors (and Where to Use Them)

Cool colors have a reputation for offering fresh sophistication infused with a touch of tranquility. While they can certainly be used in a variety of places, we highly recommend considering them for bedrooms and bathrooms. Their ability to create a calm, reflective space is ideal for both those spaces.

Some of our favorite cool paint colors (by Benjamin Moore) include:


Examples of Warm Colors (and Where to Use Them)

Warm colors give a room that cozy, intimate vibe coupled with a zing of energy. The brightness of the shade you are considering will either add to or subtract from the energy level so that may be something to keep in mind. Regardless, we find that the best spaces for warm colors are the family room, living room and kitchen.

Some of our favorite warm paint colors (by Sherwin Williams) include:

  • Curry SW 6671: A vibrant, engaging shade of orange that will brighten up any space.
  • Quiver Tan SW 6151: A creamy dark neutral perfect for big spaces.
  • Fireweed SW 6328: We’re in love with this rich and inviting red-marries-brown tone.


Creating Balance with Color

We’re sure you’ve heard the saying about “too much of a good thing”. It’s true with regard to paint undertones, too. Too much of a cool paint color scheme and your home will take on somewhat of an impersonal, detached tone. Too much of a warm paint color scheme and every room may start to feel confined and clingy.

First, identify the primary color for the room and whether it has a cool or warm undertone. Then you can be intentional about choosing the opposite undertone when incorporating accent colors in the room’s design. Remember that accent colors can be anywhere – pillows, window treatments, sconces, hardware, frames, trim, etc. For more ideas, read our blog on the rule of 60-30-10 to learn more about balance in color choices!


Asheville House Painters

D.A.B. Painting is a full-service painting company offering painting services in Buncombe County NC and beyond. Our experience allows us to provide a superior finish, with a focus on prep work and professional applications using quality products. The attention to detail is evident in all our projects—small or large. Get in touch today and allow us to help with all your residential or commercial painting needs.

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