May 04, 2023

What is the Best Paint Colour for a Dark Hallway?

What is the Best Paint Colour for a Dark Hallway?

Whether it’s the entrance to your home or a corridor between rooms, the hallway is somewhere you, your family and your guests will be passing through regularly. So, you’ll want to make it a space you love.

In many cases, however, hallways don’t have an abundance of natural light. As a gateway to other parts of the home, they often lack windows and rely on the small amount of daylight coming in from other rooms.

Wondering how to make this work in your home? Read on as we discuss some of the best colours for a dark hallway – and how to make pretty much any colour choice work.

Is white the answer?

We’ll start with a word of warning when it comes to the allure of whites and off-whites. As the colours that reflect the most light, it’s tempting to plump for a shade of white in your dark hallway.

In theory, it should open up the space and give it an airy feel. However, it can actually have the opposite effect. With little to no natural light, it can feel flat and stark. If it’s the entranceway to your home, bright white can also lack the homely or welcoming feel most people want.

But that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of light colours altogether. You could consider painting the walls an off-white as a subtle alternative to a straightforward bright white, or perhaps a pale neutral to balance light with character. Hopefully, our blog post on whites vs off whites can give you a little inspiration.

Another great option with whites in a dark hallway is to try half and half walls. Using a white or off white at the top will keep things light. You can then add a stronger colour on the lower section. Or go white on the walls with contrast from other features…



Incorporating cold colours

A similar touch of caution should be applied to cold colours like blues and greens. A lack of natural light gives you a cool starting point to begin with. Doubling up on that could make your room feel super chilly!

Of course, don’t rule them out entirely. Believe it or not, naturally cool colours can have warm undertones – like a lime green, which features a hint of warm yellow. Or shades of purple, which tread the line between warm (red) and cold (blue).

If you are enamoured with a cold colour, consider using it sparingly. You don’t have to use the same colour on all four walls – it’s entirely possible to have a feature wall in your hallway. If one section of your hallway has more light, for example, a feature wall could draw attention to it, or simply using a strong or contrasting colour on the end wall to create a focal point. Read our blog post on accent walls for more tips.

Opting for warm and light colours

As you may have guessed by now, the safest colour choices for dark hallways are generally warm tones like reds, pinks and yellows. They counteract the darkness to create a cosy atmosphere. Of course, not everyone wants to dive in head first with these colours.

Fortunately, for a toned down look, there’s a plethora of neutral colours with warm undertones. Think taupes, greiges and even certain greys. Reading through product descriptions online can give you a feel for the kind of undertones and nuances – as it’s often hard to tell from pictures alone. You can also order paint colour samples so you can try a few colours out in situ because it can be surprising how colours present in different spaces (and don't forget to check in artificial light at night too!).

Want to go strong?

Going all in with strong colours on the walls can make dark rooms a little daunting. However, there are a number of ways to make them work… If you’re feeling daring, you could introduce a stronger colour on woodwork like doors, frames, skirting boards and coving. Want to take it a little further? Continue the theme on a sideboard, table, chair or other accessories in your hallway.

As above, accent walls and half-and-half colour schemes are also great ways to mix in colours that you might feel worried about for an entire room.

However, don't immediately dismiss the idea of strong colours. Colour drenching in a small space can make for a fabulously seamless look. This refers to painting everything (walls, doors, woodwork and skirting boards) the same colour – check out our blog post to find out more. Often there are numerous doors in a hallway, for example. Using this technique will visually blend them in rather than making them stand out.

Other considerations for hallway colours

Colour is just one of a number of factors to consider when deciding how to decorate your hallway. This space is often the first thing your guests see when you open your door, so you want the area makes a positive impression.

To improve the light and feeling of space, consider:

  • Improving lighting – such as adding a table lamp.
  • Hanging a mirror to create the illusion of more space and reflect what light is there.
  • De-cluttering – use shelves rather than tables if you’re working with a small space, for example.



Finally, whatever colour you choose, make sure the paint is both durable and scrubbable. Hallways are high-traffic areas and tend to show knocks and spills quickly. You wouldn’t want the paint to be ruined after putting so much thought into the colour!

Scrubbable hallway paint in 150 colours

With an ISO11998 Class 1 Wet Scrub rating, Frenchic’s Chalk Wall Paint provides a practical option for your hallway in a vast array of beautiful colours. Whether you’re going for light shades with warm undertones or pops of something stronger, our ultra-matte paint collection has the perfect fit for your hallway.

Be sure to check out our full range of paint products for other parts of the room, including the Trim Paint for woodwork with a soft, satin sheen and Lazy Range for hallway furniture.


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