The Behr 2020 Color Trends Palettes are Here

Behr Paint released their 2020 Color Trends Palettes and they’re significant. According to the company, it’s a new decade, calling for fresh and exciting new paint hues.

The 3 collections of 15 colors offer enough variety to work with all design styles from modern to traditional. Unlike other paint color companies, the palettes were created for use in both home and work spaces.

According to Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, “2020 marks the start of a new decade, and with that comes a desire for balance—both at home and at work,” she said. “The new collection of 15 trending hues encompasses themes of wellness and wellbeing, connected experiences, inviting environments, and deliberate color stories.”

Here’s a look into what the next decade will look like, according to the Behr 2020 Color Trends palettes.

Behr 2020 Color Trends Worldhood Palette

The Worldhood palette features rich hues for a modern, warm space. The colors were designed for the hospitality industry: “Customers of restaurants, hotels and other businesses will feel drawn to the rustic tones inspired by exotic travels that reflect natural rugged landscapes,” said Woelfel.

Behr 2020 color trends Bubble Shell

Bubble Shell updates the popular Millennial pink by giving it a richer, earthier tone. All images courtesy of Behr.

behr 2020 color trends Rumba Orange

Rumba Orange is a great accent color for a neutral room.

Behr 2020 Color Trends Restore Palette

Cool and serene colors that provide restorative qualities to a home. “Blues and greens create a soothing sanctuary, which is why we recommend them for healthcare and hospitality environments,” said Woelfel.

behr 2020 color trends back to nature

Back to Nature takes the ever popular sage green and adds a bit of vibrancy to the hue.

behr 2020 color trends dragonfly

Dragonfly has a Mid-Century modern vibe, similar to a vintage aqua tone.

Behr 2020 Color Trends Atmospheric Palette

Urban and modern with layered soft pastels and neutrals. “The Atmospheric palette resounds with both modern and traditional environments, making it a great choice for multifamily housing or other commercial spaces,” said Woelfel.

behr 2020 color trends creamy mushroom

Creamy Mushroom is an elegant and sophisticated take on beige.

behr 2020 color trends battleship gray

For a contemporary and deeply saturated grey tone, Battleship Gray is a good choice.

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The Painting Experts Explain How to Fix Painting Mistakes and Problems

Painting is undoubtedly one of the quickest and least expensive ways to transform your home. It can update an area, hide flaws, highlight architectural details and so much more. If you follow the 10 commandments of painting, you’re on the road to success. However, mistakes and problems do happen. If you encounter a hiccup, the painting experts explain how to fix it.

Blistering can be caused by heat.

Blistering can be caused by heat. Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

The paint is blistering/bubbling  

Fortunately, this type of blister doesn’t hurt, but it can be painful to look at. “Paint blisters or bubbles occur when the paint film lifts from the underlying surface,” says Mike Mundwiller, Field Development Manager at Benjamin Moore.

So what causes a paint blister? “The loss of adhesion between the paint film and surface is usually caused by heat, moisture or a combination of both,” Mundwiller says. And it eventually leads to peeling. While it can be corrected, he says you need to figure out what’s causing the problem or it will occur again.

Moisture is another cause of blistering.

Moisture is another cause of blistering. Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

How to fix blistering/bubbling paint

You can scrape and sand the blisters to remove them (if they don’t go down to the substrate). Once the area is smooth, Mundwiller says you should apply a coat of primer and then apply the paint. “However, you’ll need to find and remove the source of moisture if the blisters go down to the substrate.”

To stop paint from blistering or bubbling, Mundwiller says you should always start with a clean, dry surface. “Apply primer-sealer over any stains and give it time to dry completely,” he says. “Always make sure that the paint is completely dry before you expose the surface to moisture,” Mundwiller adds. He also recommends using (or installing) exhaust fans or vents in high-humidity areas. 

Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one. Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

The paint is cracking or flaking

When you see a hairline crack, don’t ignore it. “Cracks in paint can start small, but will worsen over time if they are not fixed,” Mundwiller says. Cracks or flakes can be caused by a variety of issues, including not preparing the surface or applying oil-based paint over latex paint. “Also, if you use a cheap paint, it’s not going to adhere properly or be flexible,” Mundwiller says. Sometimes, the paint is old, or it’s being applied in the wrong environment and, therefore, is drying too quickly.

Extreme cracking, sometimes called ‘alligatoring,’ is caused when a second or third coat of paint is applied before the previous coat dries completely, or when the undercoat is incompatible with the finish coat,” he explains.

Always remove loose paint.

Always remove loose paint before repainting. Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

How to fix cracked or flaking paint

You can use a wire brush or scraper to remove loose paint (if the cracking isn’t down to the substrate). “Then, sand the area to feather the edges, prime any bare spots and repaint the surface,” Mundwiller explains. You may need to use a filler if flaking happens in multiple layers of paint.

“If the cracking goes down to the substrate, remove all of the paint by scraping or using a heat gun, sand the surface until smooth and even, prime, and then repaint with a quality latex paint,” Mundwiller says.

For a perfect finish, use the right amount of paint.

For a perfect finish, use the right amount of paint. Image courtesy of PPG Paints.

The paint is spread too thin

Colors are powerful and that’s why your color choices are important. But it’s also important to use the proper techniques when painting. A common mistake is spreading paint too thin, according to Jenny Burroughs, PPG Paint Brand Senior Product Manager. “Always ensure that your brush is evenly covered but not soaking wet, and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for application,” she says.

Touch up paint should be seamless.

Touch up paint should be seamless. Image courtesy of Sherwin-Williams.

Touch up mistakes

Sometimes, you don’t need to paint a whole room, you just want to touch up a small area. “It’s not uncommon to see a noticeable difference in appearance between the original finish and the touched-up areas,” according to Mark Eichelberger, Senior Product Manager of Architectural Paint at Sherwin-Williams.

Always clean the surface before applying touch-up paint.

Always clean the surface before applying touch-up paint. Image courtesy of Sherwin-Williams.

“To avoid this, I recommend trying to clean marks with a soft sponge and liquid detergent before touching up,” he says. If it’s possible, he also recommends using the original batch of paint and a similar applicator to the one used in the original job.


New boards must be properly cured.

New boards must be properly cured. Image: BondRocketImage/Shutterstock

Deck staining issues

Interior paint isn’t the only place you can run into issues, either. Staining a newly replaced deck can produce undesirable results. “People do not allow for proper curing time. Once cured, they also don’t know that they have to remove the mill glaze prior to staining,” says Michael Nungesser, Owner of Five Star Painting of Central Georgia and Fayette/Coweta.

“Allow 30 to 60 days for new boards to cure,” Nungesser advises. He says that most homeowners aren’t aware that the new decking has a mill glaze (a glossy film that forms on the deck). The glaze can be removed with a wood deck cleaner, but Nungesser says this is another area prone to mistakes. “People often wash a deck with bleach and don’t neutralize the bleach with a wash prior to staining.” He also warns against using a pressure washer since it will impregnate the wood with water. For the best finish, he says to “allow the deck to dry to 20% moisture, and then apply two new coats of stain.”

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Update Your Patio This Year With This One Outdoor Decorating Trend

Desert-inspired earth tones and bohemian chic vibes are the biggest trends this year for the home. And the trend goes outdoors this summer, too. You don’t have to break the bank to update your patio every year. Designers are focusing on one main zone of your outdoor space this year: your outdoor flooring.

Depending on your budget, the best way to update your patio can be as easy as painting your patio floor or adding an outdoor area rug. Or you can get more involved by staining the existing concrete or adding patio tile or stone.

Here is some inspiration on how you can breathe new life into your existing patio furniture setting. All you need is to focus on your patio flooring. Then, you can consider adding some simple accents like throw pillows, candles and some new plants and pots.

Outdoor Rugs

One of the easiest ways to update your patio is by adding an outdoor rug to cover your boring deck or concrete patio floor. Look for a rug that says it’s for the outdoors. Made with synthetic materials like nylon, acrylic or heavy-duty natural fibers like seagrass, they’ll be less prone to mildew and fading.

how to update a patio

Warm tones and a tribal pattern add an exotic feel to any outdoor space. Image: Pottery Barn

how to update your patio

The pattern on the outdoor rug matches the iron scrollwork of the dining chair backs. Image: TimAbramowitz/Getty

how to update your patio

Layers of rugs are added to an ordinary patio for a boho-chic vibe. Image: West Elm

how to update your patio for a modern look with Chilewich rugs

Believe it or not, you’re seeing a woven vinyl rug that looks like stone. Image: All About Space/Shutterstock  

Tiled Patio Ideas

A tiled patio adds value to your home. Tile is low maintenance, easy to clean and very resistant to the outdoor elements. Make sure to choose a tile that’s not slippery when wet.

how to update your patio floor with tile

Mix and match different shades of the same type of tile for a unique look. Image: karchana p/Shutterstock

outdoor tile ideas for updating your patio

For an elegant look, create a diamond checkerboard pattern in your yard by using square black and white stones or tiles. Image:

saltillo tiles outdoors

Earthy and hand-hewn saltillo tiles are a beautiful and classic choice for your outdoor flooring. Image: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

Outdoor Painted Flooring and Stained Concrete Floors

If you like DIY projects, painting or staining your outdoor flooring may be a satisfying project to take on. It’s all about the correct materials. If you’re working with porous stone, concrete or brick outdoor flooring, visit your local home improvement store and ask for help. There are plenty of products available for every type of surface and use.

how to paint patio floor and patio flooring ideas

Selectively paint your floor in alternating colors to create a patterned tile look. Image: vidguten/Shutterstock

outdoor paints to update your garden

A matte outdoor masonry paint should make it easy to transform boring concrete outdoor flooring into something fresh and new. Image: Michael Wels/Shutterstock

outdoor flooring ideas

If you layer your paints by starting with a neutral color and painting over it (when dry) with a bright color, you’ll achieve a lovely patina when the paint starts to wear down. Image: Michael Wels/Shutterstock

outdoor decorating ideas

Stain the concrete in a designated area to create an outdoor room effect. Image: Tunde Gaspar/Shutterstock

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Exclusive! The Most Popular Benjamin Moore Colors Across the US

No two individuals are alike. Similarly, each region in the U.S. has distinct styles in fashion, food and music. “These traditions and trademarks permeate all elements of the region’s culture, including into the homes of its residents,” Hannah Yeo, Color & Design Expert at Benjamin Moore, tells Freshome.

In fact, Yeo says Benjamin Moore has been able to spot a geographic design trend in how colors are being used. These are the most popular paint hues in eight cities across the U.S.

white entrance

Benjamin Moore: Simply White. All images courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Los Angeles

“Lighter colors are favored in the interior of the home across the nation and Los Angeles leads this trend,” Yeo says. As a hub for great design, she says white becomes an essential color in this area. “From warm pinkish white to the palest blue — or even the combination of whites — the soft nuances of whites enhance LA homes.”

On the home’s exterior, Yeo says homeowners often use richer colors to add curb appeal. In the photo above, you’ll see a top pick: Simply White. It’s a clean, crisp, multi-purpose white. Simply White is a favorite for ceilings, trim and walls. Iceberg, Swiss Coffee, and Revere Pewter are some of the other popular colors in the area.

Black kitchen

Benjamin Moore: Black HC-190

San Diego

With over 39 million residents, California is the most populous state in the U.S. Although San Diego is only 120 miles away from Los Angeles, the state is so large that it could be considered a separate region. And San Diego also has a different color palette. While Los Angeles embraces shades of white, San Diego leans toward the most stylish color of every year: black.

“San Diego isn’t afraid of color,” Yeo says. “Dark, neutral colors, like black, are balanced with light yellows, blues and pinks.” Black HC-190 is part of the Historical Collection inspired by America’s historic landmarks and works well in traditional and contemporary spaces. Other popular colors in this area include Eagle Rock, Sidewalk Gray, Butterfly Kisses and Love & Happiness.

Blue attic

Benjamin Moore: Van Cortland Blue


“In Denver, nature-inspired hues such as blues, greens and cool neutrals complement the surrounding landscape,” Yeo says. Van Courtland Blue is a decorative old-world blue that also works well in contemporary spaces. Plus, it mimics the city’s mountainous views. Other popular colors in this part of the country include Kendall Charcoal, Pale Oak, Decorator’s White and Silver Marlin.

Balboa Mist office

Benjamin Moore: Balboa Mist


“From off whites to light grays, soft neutrals dominate Chicago,” Yeo says. “Blues with gray undertones are fresh additions to the soft, neutral palette.” Balboa Mist, a part of the Classic Color Collection, is a timeless, elegant color that is always a favorite among consumers and professionals in the Windy City. Other popular colors include Edgecomb Gray, Sea Haze, Gray Owl and Beach Glass.

If you’re selling your home, take a note from Chicago. Soft, neutral colors are recommended by many realtors when your home is on the market.

Blue door

Benjamin Moore: Toronto Blue door


“Florida also has a distinct color palette,” Yeo says. “Due to the warm temperature, cool whites are often used on the exterior of the home to keep the heat away. Bright blue accents are used to bring a nice breeze indoors.” Toronto Blue is a bold, saturated hue that excites and inspires, adding pops of color. Mountain Peak White, Collingwood, Evening Blue and Pale Oak are other popular colors in this area of the U.S.

beige room

Benjamin Moore: Shaker Beige


“Philadelphia’s palette is comforting yet sophisticated,” Yeo says. “From cool grays to warm neutrals, these versatile hues provide a soothing backdrop to any space.” Shaker Beige is an inviting mid-toned tan with a beachy vibe. Other popular colors in Philadelphia include Stonington Gray, Pleasant Pink, Buckland Blue and Woodlawn Blue.

Caliente door

Benjamin Moore: Caliente door


“Red, white and blue colors best represent Dallas,” Yeo says. “Off-whites and pale neutrals provide a soft backdrop for bold reds and blues to pop.” Caliente is a vibrant, charismatic shade of red — radiant, strong and full of energy. Other popular colors in this part of the country include Bermuda Turquoise, Icicle, Chantilly Lace and Iron Mountain.

gray walls

Benjamin Moore: Raccoon Fur


“Nashville also embraces colors from the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection, which was inspired by 18th– and 19th-century architecture,” Yeo says. “Neutrals and blues feel calm and composed for an updated traditional look.” Raccoon Fur is a pure gray color that can be used in a variety of color combinations. Other popular colors in Nashville include Manchester Tan, Palladian Blue, Wickham Gray and Shaker Beige.

pink desk area

Benjamin Moore: Touch of Pink and Sunlit Coral

Tips for homeowners trying to choose paint colors

Selecting colors for your home can be overwhelming, but Yeo provides a few tricks to make the process easier.

“First, start by finding a point of inspiration. This can be anything from a favorite fabric to the colors in your kitchen countertops,” Yeo says. “Even a color drawn from a piece of wall art, a page torn out of a magazine or a picture found online can be a great source of inspiration.” This can be a helpful first step in narrowing down the color choices you consider.

Navy wall

Benjamin Moore: Hale Navy

“Once you’ve figured out which general color families appeal to you, set your focus on that portion of the display at the store or that section of the fan deck,” she explains. “Within each color family, you will see a wide range of colors, so go with your instincts. Chances are you will be drawn to a few colors that will help you narrow down the choices.”

Yeo also recommends thinking about the existing dominant color in your space. “This can help you to further narrow down your selection,” she says. “For example, if you have cherry wood kitchen cabinets, you should consider that in making your color choice.”

beach glass walls

Benjamin Moore: Beach Glass

Before making a final selection, Yeo recommends buying a pint sample to fully understand how the color will look in your home. “Remember that the light in the store will be different from the light in your home,” she says. “So the best way to make an informed decision is by painting a sample in the room where you’ll be using the color.”

Be sure to view the sample during the day to determine if you like it. Also, consider the different types of paint sheen — flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss — to ensure you pick the right finish for your project.

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When Selling Your Home, Are Neutral Colors like Builder Beige Too Boring?

Although black is the most stylish color of every year, it’s conventional wisdom to use neutral colors like builder beige, gray and taupe when putting your home on the market. However, some people (myself included) actually like these colors apart from resale factors. We believe that these neutral color palettes have gotten a bad rap. Is builder beige really boring? And is gray really too gloomy? What do realtors really think about these color choices when putting your home on the market?

Below are examples of these color palettes that might change your mind regarding neutral colors – along with advice from a handful of experts.

Today’s beige isn’t boring

Builder Beige - background

A neutral background allows the crisp white hues to stand out. Image: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

Perhaps the issue with builder beige is related to the color choices of the past. “Today’s more taupe-based beiges have a wonderful quality of warmth but don’t have a yellowish cast,” according to Carol Marcotte, lead designer at Form & Function in Raleigh, NC. “For example, WhiteTail by Sherwin Williams provides a warm backdrop for just about anything, and it’s definitely not boring,” she says.

Builder Beige: Color does not compete

These light colors don’t compete with the view. Image: Erik Isakson/Getty Images

She also likes Benjamin Moore’s Maritime White, especially in the foyer.  “It is beige-esque, but has a lovely reflective quality and allows the artwork and other elements to standout.”

As another alternative to the usual builder beige, Marcotte says she also likes Creamy by Sherwin Williams. It is a more flesh-based white. “Again, it has the warmth of a beige but with a decidedly different cast, and in strong light, it pairs down the flesh or potential peachiness.”

When your home is on the market

Builder beige - sophisticated color

This sophisticated color scheme is sure to appeal to buyers. Image: Esin tellioglu/Shutterstock

So, is the builder beige adage still true when selling your home? “Beige is certainly a good color choice for the majority of a home’s rooms when it’s on the market – although I personally prefer white,” says Sandra Miller, principal broker and licensed partner at Engel & Völkers in Santa Monica, CA.

“Regardless of the neutral shade you choose, I have also found that having subtle walls of color can be effective in driving a faster sale,” she says. But Miller says it’s important to know which color palettes are in style at any given moment.  “Right now, these trendy colors include any shade of gray, and mossy light green or blue,” Miller explains. “Subtle color can help potential home buyers connect to a home on an emotional level, resulting in a faster sale.”

Beige or gray can serve a purpose

Builder beige warm and inviting

This elegant room is warm and inviting. Image: phototropic/Getty Images

According to John Manning, manager broker at  RE/MAX On Market in Seattle, WA, whether you love or hate builder beige and similar colors, they’re used for a reason. “These colors create a neutral backdrop that allows prospective buyers to envision their own furniture, design and color scheme,” Manning says.

Gray and white

The neutral colors add to the formality of this dining room. Image: dit26978/Getty Image

“Color preferences are highly individualistic — one buyer may feel strongly about monochromatic grey, while another plans on using every jewel tone of the rainbow.” Manning says he wouldn’t advise a homeowner to paint their home beige to get an advantage – and if you do, learn how to paint over bold colors using fewer coats. “However, if you have the choice, keep the beige and dress up the home’s best features with bright and interesting staging,” he advises.

Color soothing

Another elegant color palette. Image: dit26978/Getty Images

This sentiment is echoed by Rick Gehrke, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Executives in Boise, ID.  “I think that for the most part builder beige is the way to go because it appeals to a broader range of buyers.”

However, he’s noticing that trends can vary. “Baby boomers are still very much attracted to muted colors and beige really is the safe way to go.” However, Gehrke says millennials tend to like statement walls with bright colors. Location can also make a difference. “In a suburban area, I recommend beige, but if you are in an upcoming and urban environment, a pop of color can be a selling point.”

Adding color accents can help your home sell

Builder Beige dark wood

Dark wood elements complement these light paint colors. Image: David Henderson85/Shutterstock

Some realtors are noticing a trend away from builder beige and other neutral colors throughout the home. “Last spring, I had a listing in which every room was a different color: the living-room was crimson, the kitchen was black and white, and the four bed-rooms were all different colors — gold, green, brown and yellow,” explains Angela Williams, a Birmingham, AL, based realtor at Extreme Agent Realty. She says she wanted to suggest that the homeowner paint over these colors, but refrained from making that suggestion. Williams was surprised that this home ended up being the hottest listing that she has marketed in a long time.

Builder Beige - or vivid colors

Some buyers prefer more vivid colors. Image: Alexey Kashin/Shutterstock

“We set at least ten appointments a week — and I thought we would have to replace the door hinges,” she jokes. The eventual buyer loved the color scheme and said she had no plans to change it.  “We  learn something new every day,” Williams says. “Trends are so much more fluid and diverse these days, and I believe that it is OK to let your personality shine through because there’s probably a buyer out there who shares the same taste.”

Matt Van Winkle, founder and CEO of RE/MAX Northwest, shares her theory. He flatly declares that building beige is boring. “Consumers don’t want things that are boring,” he says. “Now that doesn’t mean to go too bold, but some well curated, professionally selected colors will go a long way to make the home more appealing.”

What are your thoughts on builder beige and other neutral colors? Let us know in the comments!

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Were the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2020 Accidentally Announced?

Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, just let us in on a little secret well in advance of Pantone’s official annual announcement. A Footwear News article reveals she spoke to an audience at the fashion trade show Sourcing at Magic in Las Vegas, and said that the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2020 are inspired by the sea.

Blue will take center stage, while “Browns are important across the gamut and are inspired by dried seaweed and driftwood,” she said in the seminar. Besides the coastal-inspired colors mentioned, she expects sand-like whites and cool green hues to play an important role.

pantone colors of the year 2020

Look for ocean-inspired colors like blues, cool greens, sand-inspired neutrals and browns in 2020. Image: ExperienceInteriors/Getty Images

Due to such a diversity of colors in the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2020, mixing and matching will be key. She suggests that layering ocean-inspired colors will create texture and interest. In her words, “It’s anything but flat.”

Look for blues and greens

We also looked at Pantone’s NY Fashion Week color forecasts for Spring/Summer 2019 to see if blues and greens similar to the announcement are on-trend this year and next. The Pantone Fashion Week forecasts tend to work ahead of the other color trends out there. And sure enough, it looks like the corals and pinks that have been big in the last year are definitely transitioning into sea-inspired blues and cool greens.

Pantone Color Trends For 2020

Pantone’s NYC Fashion Week mood board for Spring/Summer 2019. Image: Pantone

So now we know it’s highly likely that coastal-inspired colors will be hot for the next few years. Get in on the trend ahead of the curve and add some sea-spiration to your space.

You can introduce these soothing yet vibrant Pantone Colors of the Year for 2020 in your home. Here are some interiors to inspire you.

Coastal-inspired colors

pantone colors of the year 2020

A vibrant kitchen island adds life and personality to a contemporary white kitchen. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

Layers of blues and greens add an oceanic vibe to this modern living space. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

Sea-inspired green-blues create a relaxing, zen effect in any space. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

For a fun and casual beach-house look, mix and match chairs or barstools in coastal colors. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

A beachy-zen bedroom layered in shades of indigo and pale blue. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

Small touches of blue or green are all you need to update a room with the latest color trends. Image: 

pantone colors of the year 2020

Cool sage mixed with blue-greens like seafoam are a great complement to a neutral room. Images: 

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How to Paint Over Bold Colors Using Fewer Coats

Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your home. However, depending on the color you’re trying to cover, painting might not be quick or easy. Keeping up with the latest color trends can lead to pastels, jewel tones and everything in between. But when you’re ready to make a change, some colors are notoriously difficult to conceal under fresh paint. How can you paint over bold colors to make sure that new colors take and don’t bleed through?

Prep work

 Ben Akiba/Getty Images

Black is a sleek, stylish and stubborn color. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

It’s less a matter of what colors are hardest to paint over but more about the transition, according to Jimmy Slattery, senior product manager at Valspar. “The more drastic the transition (light to dark, dark to light) the more difficult it can be to get the job done in less coats.”

If your paint job entails a drastic transition, Slattery recommends that you use a high hiding primer. If you can, get the primer in a tone close to the new color. “Also, vibrant reds, yellows and oranges can struggle to hide no matter what color they’re going over,” he explains. Slattery recommends applying a light or medium gray tinted primer tinted as this will reduce the number of coats that you’ll need.

 Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

Red and orange hues are notoriously hard to cover. Image: Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

The importance of primers

Brian Osterried, PPG Paints product marketing manager, agrees that priming is the key to success. This is true when you’re trying to cover dark colors with light colors – and he says when trying to cover light colors with dark colors. “When going from black to a light or medium color, a grey or deep base primer is recommended, such as PPG Paints SEALGRIP® tinted to grey,” he says. “Darker primers allow the lighter hue to cover in less coats and reduce the chance that the dark color will bleed through.”

Like the sun, this color wants to shine through. Image: Gladiathor/Getty Images

Tina Nokes, co-owner of Five Star Painting in Loudoun County, VA, adds that “Many people try to skip the primer step thinking that 2 topcoats will do the job.” However, she says you can prime now or prime later.  “A primer will ensure that you don’t have to go back and prime after two top coats, or you may end up applying a third and fourth coat of paint for adequate coverage when the finished result is not what you hoped.”

Nokes recommends using a high-quality stain-blocking primer. “This will keep dark paint colors from seeping through the fresh topcoat,” she explains. “Applying paint primer will also allow for no more than two coats of coverage, enhance the paint’s adhesion, and minimize the chance of the finish appearing streaky and uneven.” However, even with a primer, Nokes says that one coat of paint is rarely enough – especially to cover the most stylish color of the year. “Two coats are almost always required after using primer to assure even coverage and no flashing of the old color.”

She agrees that the primer should be tinted a grey color – or similar to the topcoat that you plan to use.

Quality products matter

Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

This vibrant color won’t be easy to tame with a paint brush. Image: Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

While it’s important to use a high-quality primer, this doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the other materials. “Aside from the surface you’re painting and the previous coating underneath it, the biggest factor when it comes to repainting over a colored surface is the product you choose to use when repainting, “ says Osterried.

That might sound like just a sales pitch, but Nokes agrees. She says that a higher quality paint does a better job of covering dark walls because it contains greater levels of binders and pigments. “And these binders and pigments are necessary for hiding difficult colors and boosting coverage.” If you use lower cost paints, Nokes warns that they may not provide the coverage you need. This could result in your walls needing more than two coats after the primer has been applied.

Using top-tier tools is also important. “Use high-quality rollers and paint bushes to make your painting project easier and more efficient,” Nokes says. “These tools deliver the paint in a smoother, thicker coat, which works to conceal the dark color.”

Finals Tips

Paint Over Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Purple is a royal color, but it can also be a royal pain to paint over. Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Before you apply the primer, be sure to prep your walls. “Fill in nail holes and sand through rough spots to make sure the surface is smooth and free of structural problems,” Nokes advises.  “To ensure a perfect surface, wash the walls with a solution comprised of mild dish detergent and warm water to remove dirt.” She also recommends using a drywall pole sander. “This will break down the paint color, and increase adhesion,” Nokes explains.

In addition, she recommends that you cut and roll while keeping a wet edge. “This keeps the new color coverage consistent and assures that the cut lines won’t show up on the wall.”

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4 Colored Interior Trim and Molding Trends

Designers are always trying to find creative ways to work with color in a space. And one of those creative trends is going for colored interior trim and molding. We don’t normally give too much notice to trim. It’s usually a purely utilitarian element in the room used to hide gaps around doors, windows and flooring. Most of the time, trim and molding match the door or flooring they surround.

But many designers are using molding as a way to bring color, contrast and style into the space. So take a look below for some creative ways to use colored interior trim and molding.

Colored Interior Trim and Molding Red Color

If you want your molding to stand out, try a bold red-stained wood style. Image: alabn/Shutterstock

Go for Bold Color

One of the most fun changes this trend has delivered is brightly colored interior trim and molding. You can see an example in the photo above, where the wood molding is so red it stands out as its own accent color. In order to add balance to the space, that red color is used in the area carpet in the hallway.

Bold molding and trim are great ways to work with an accent color in a space. This idea is also a good style for fun, artsy spaces that are going for a taste of the unconventional. You can find a colored wood or paint the trim itself.

As shown in the photo above, bold molding works very well in a space where there’s an overall neutral color tone. That way, the eye goes right to the molding.

Colored Interior Trim and Molding Green Shades

You can keep a more muted style by working with matching colors. Image: YKvision/Shutterstock

Try a Monochrome Style in Colored Interior Trim and Molding

If you’re not quite ready for boldly colored interior trim and molding, then you can still get this style by working with color shading. The photo above shows how the darker green molding creates some subtle contrast against the lighter green walls.

You could work with any shade for this idea. You might have different shades of red, blue or even yellow for a bold space. If you wanted something more subtle, you could go for a light brown trim next to a darker brown wall. The beauty with this monochrome look is that it tends to work in any space.

Colored Interior Trim and Molding White Fireplace

A general sense of contrast defines this style that centers around the Harlan Grand Electric Fireplace. Image: Wayfair

Use Contrast

You might want to consider going for bold contrast in your colored interior trim and molding. In the photo above, the bright white edge on the mantel sticks out against the muted blue-gray of the walls. The fireplace above is actually an electric fireplace from Wayfair with a white design. It’s easy to place and makes it look like you put in some difficult-to-install molding around the fireplace. You can also notice how the trim on the bottom of the wall matches the fireplace well.

You can use the idea of high color contrast in many different ways. For example, you could try an electric green molding with blue walls. This idea would be good for funky, artistic spaces. Feel free to get creative.

Colored Interior Trim and Molding Wood Contrast

Don’t forget, certain wood shades can impart their own sense of contrast. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Work with High-Contrast Wood Shades

Another idea is to find molding in darker wood shades and work with its natural wood coloring. An example is the trim in the photo above. The rich brown shade is highlighted against the white walls. It creates a wonderful contrast, which is usually what this look is all about.

Wood comes in so many different shades and textures that you can find a shade that works with virtually any style you want. For instance, you could have darker walls with bright tan shades of wood molding if you wanted a more high-contrast and stately look. Or you could go for a more natural look by installing a medium-brown shade of wood molding next to a light tan wall.

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How to Make Black Walls Work in Your Home

Are you looking for the next big statement trend for your home? Then you might want to take a look at black walls. At first glance, it might seem like black walls would be too depressing, would close in a space or outright clash with other elements in the room. On top of that, they have a reputation of being the chosen wall color of rebellious teenagers.

However, if you know how to work with black walls, they can be a classy, stately addition to almost any room design. Read on to learn how to work with this bold and creative trend. And even if you’re not ready to take the plunge with a style statement, it can be inspiring to see how certain home designers have made a bold style like black walls work.

Black Walls Bright Bed Color

Bold colors can break up the black a bit. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Use colorful elements in the room

When the rest of the room’s design isn’t properly taken into account, black walls could close in the space and give a bleak, dreary vibe. However, the photo above shows how black walls can easily be offset by more colorful pieces in the room, like the bedding.

You can work color into the space in a variety of ways. You can use bright, neon painted furniture to breathe some bold statement color back into the room. That creates a funky and artsy style. Or you can use lighter, white pieces, like an oversized calendar on the wall or art pieces. The photo above also shows how pairing a black wall with a large window can balance out light and shadow in the space.

Black Walls Accent Wall

Paint only one wall, or even part of a wall, for a more subtle take on the trend. Image: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Go for accent walls

If you want to try black walls, you don’t have to make the plunge into painting all four walls in a room black. The photo above shows how a simple accent wall can get you the sleek, stately look of the black wall trend without overpowering the space. As the photo shows, the accent wall goes well with other black accents in the space, like the rug and door frame.

Meanwhile, the rest of the space can be made up of light neutral shades so that the room isn’t too dark. Neutrals like the gray sofa and white floor do a good job of offsetting the black elements.

Black Walls White Accents

White can help balance out the black on the wall. Image: Pablo Scapinachis / Shutterstock

Use a black and white color scheme

So that the black isn’t too overpowering, another idea is to work with a black and white color scheme. You can see the principle in action in the photo above. The tall and wide white elements in front of the wall do a good job of breaking up the black. All of these elements lead to a well-balanced geometry in the space.

By using this idea, you could even have a black wall and black floor, as long as it is balanced out by white molding and white furniture. And you could go modern, like in the photo. Or you could add classical elements like a black and white drawing for a refined and stately style.

Black Walls Wallpaper Style

Painted designs are a good way to add texture and style next to a black wall. Image:

Pair black walls with a bold adjacent wall

Still another idea is to pair the black wall with some bold wallpaper or paint on an adjacent wall. This style works well when you pair a black wall with a silver abstract wallpaper, which you can see in the photo above. The abstract paintbrush design keeps the space looking fun and modern.

Another idea is to pair a black wall with an adjacent geometric black and white wallpaper design. This will both match the black wall and balance the space out with some added light shading. And by choosing a classic geometric design, you can keep the area looking stately and refined, which is the feel any black wall can give to a space. Added black and white photography can also match the color scheme in the space.

Black Walls Tile Style

Break up a black wall by going for a tile design with light grout. Image: HamsterMan/Shutterstock

Think texture

If you want black walls, don’t think you’re limited to simply painting the walls. The photo above shows that you can also get black walls by going for a dark tile design. And by using a subtle white grout between the tiles, you break up the all-black look with some lighter texture to the style. The white grout also goes well with a light sink and tub, like in the photo. The light coloring helps the grout and the rest of the space work as one visual unit.

The photo above shows how well this style works in a bathroom, too. But you could also use the tile design in a kitchen, especially as a backsplash.

What do you think about the black wall trend? Let us know in the comments.

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Get Inspired By This 1970s Color Flashback

1970s Color Inspiration Room

Get 1970s color inspiration from this stunning living room. Image: MindfulDaze

Retro paint colors have us falling in love right now. Neutral colors have ruled the interior design world for years, but now we’re seeing exciting new colors everywhere. Though the colors we’re seeing may seem new, many are flashbacks to more colorful palettes of the past.

The paint and decor colors of the 1970s are making their way back into today’s color palettes. The 70s design trends moved away from the bright and psychedelic colors of the 1960s into more natural colors. These 1970s natural colors were far from neutral; they came from the more colorful elements of nature. Everything from paint color and carpets to stoves and refrigerators could be found in colors like Avocado Green, Harvest Gold and Burnt Orange. Though the industry may have gone overboard with these iconic colors in the 1970s, many have been reformulated for today’s homes.

1970s paint colors

Here are the prettiest ways to use 1970s-inspired colors today:

  • Mid-Century Modern – This decorating style is associated with the 1950s and 1960s, but the earth-inspired colors of the 1970s made their way into mid-century homes as homeowners redecorated over the years.
  • Lodge Style – The rich greens and warm reds of 1970s palettes are a great fit for rustic rooms with lots of natural stone and wood.
  • Exterior Color Schemes – The typical beige and gray exterior color palettes are now being joined by richer colors like deep gold and dark blue for dramatic curb appeal.
  • Family Room Color Palette – Earthy colors inspire socializing and relaxing together in a warm and unpretentious way.

You probably won’t want to recreate a totally 1970s color palette for your home unless you’re looking for a completely retro look, but you can find inspiration from these gorgeous shades in today’s most popular paint colors.

1970s Color: Harvest Gold

1970s color Harvest Gold

Sherwin-Williams’s Ceremonial Gold is an updated color that warms up any room. Image: Sherwin-Williams

Harvest Gold is the most recognizable color from the 1970s era. This warm and inviting gold was the focal point of kitchens, popping up on appliances, linoleum floors and even wallpaper. Decorators in the 1970s used Harvest Gold as a neutral, the way we use beige and gray today. When the color schemes of the 1980s were developed, Harvest Gold was the last of the 70s colors to get phased out because it was so popular. Gold can be a dynamic color in any decorating color scheme, but finding the perfect one can be elusive. This is definitely a color that needs to be tested on your wall before committing. 

1970s Color: Avocado Green

Avocado Green color ideas

Avocado Green is still popular now. Behr’s Bermuda Grass brings a fresh update to this decades-old color. Image: Behr

As proof that Avocado Green is still popular, many paint brands still include it in their color palettes. Of all the iconic 1970s paint colors, avocado green was the most versatile. It has evolved slightly as a paint color. The new shades are less muted and more dynamic.

1970s Color: Burnt Orange

Orange Paint Colors

Though today’s orange paint colors are not as vivid as a 1970s color palette, colors like Behr’s Japanese Koi can bring energy to any space. Image: Behr

Burnt Orange was a big part of the 1970s decorating scene. Decorators and homeowners weren’t shy about including it in most designs, even for carpeting and countertops. While we don’t recommend carpeting your house in orange, this vibrant color can still have a place in your palette. Today’s orange paint colors are softer and could be the warm accent color your kitchen or dining room needs.

1970s Color: Autumn Brown

Dark brown bedroom colors

Benjamin Moore’s Clinton Brown continues in the tradition of rich, earthy browns from 1970s color palettes. Image: Ballard Designs

Autumn Brown was a rich and rustic brown that was popular in 1970s decorating. Even though this brown was dark, it had a soft and muted look. Today’s popular brown paint colors are crisper and more neutral. The right brown can anchor a rustic neutral color palette or complement pastels in a contemporary space, but watch for unexpected undertones. Dark brown can also be used in place of black or navy blue in almost any color scheme.

1970s Color: Barn Red

Red paint color ideas

Red will always be a popular paint color, especially for accents and front doors. Behr’s Red My Mind is a beautiful and warm red that brings energy to an eclectic dining room. Image: Behr

Barn Red was just one of the popular red shades in the 1970s. Today, it’s still easy to add red to most interior decorating styles, especially as an accent color. The most popular 1970s red was warm and earthy, rounding out a palette that could be easily considered autumnal. There will always be a place for red, both cool and warm, in home decorating. If you love the color but can’t find a way to incorporate it into your home’s interior color palette, it can also be the perfect color for your front door and exterior accents.

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