bright interior paints for dark rooms

What Interior Paints Make a Dark Room Look Brighter?

Almost every house has at least one dark room lacking much needed natural light. To combat this, many homeowners opt to paint these darker rooms in order to brighten them up a bit.

However, when it comes time to choose a color, they usually make a classic mistake.

Does Bright White Paint Make a Dark Room Look Brighter?

No. While it might seem smart to opt for the brightest shade of white available, doing so might honestly be a terrible decision.

Bright white reflects the natural light, which is what makes it so bright in the first place. Consequently, white paint rarely will be able to lighten or brighten a dark room that is already lacking natural light.

You are probably thinking: “If white is out, what paint should I use to brighten up my dark rooms?”

Warm-toned neutrals and mediums almost always help a dark room appear brighter. It is also vital to select a shade that has less black for the base.

Top 12 Interior Paint Colors That Help Any Dark Room Seem Brighter

Now that you know what kind of interior paint to go with, here are 12 interior paint colors that do the job really well.

1 – Lavender

Since lavender has warmer tones, using it to brighten up your dark room would be a really smart move.

Lavender consists of a wide array of shades ideal for everyone including purple-based taupes as well as gentle dusky tones. Contrary to popular belief, when used in the right way, lavender is not excessively feminine and it yields a great result for virtually any room out there.

You might also want to combine lavender with pastels to get a more lively appearance, or you can even use it in tandem with neutrals like white or gray to generate a more refined look.

2 – Sunny Yellow

Yellow is a fantastic way to get the feeling of natural light within a room. Sunny yellow is ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms that have very little sunshine coming in.

Just make sure to have plenty of artificial lighting in the room in order to get the full effect of the paint. Sunny yellow can combine with light wood details as well as white accents to generate even more warmth within a cold space.

3 – Lemon Yellow

While similar to sunny yellow, lemon yellow gives off an undeniably cheerful quality, especially when paired with white details and a classic black-and-white tile pattern on a bathroom floor.

Although lemon yellow is probably best suited for lightening a bathroom, it can be be just as effective for a hallway or bedroom.

4 – Powder Blue

Powder blue is a shade that can make you feel like you are floating in a blue firmament on a sunny morning. This shade will aid in providing some brightness to a room particularly if it is used in combination with regular white accents. Powder blue works incredibly well in any room, but especially bathrooms.

5 – Bright Orange

I know what you might be thinking: “Seriously? Bright orange!?” Even though the shade might appear to be somewhat wild, I am talking about an orange that is more like tangerine, apricot, or pumpkin than what you had in mind when first reading the headline.

These types of warm shades are better matched for any dark dining space or kitchen where folks assemble together. Make it a point to combine the bright orange shade with darker wood details along with white and brown accents for generating a sleeker appearance. Not only does this look beautiful, but it also makes the space look much brighter.

6 – Soft Gray

When it comes to dark spaces in your house, it might seem to strange add any amount of gray into the mix, but the truth is soft gray actually works.

However, steer clear of darker grays and only go for a light or medium shade. It can really help transform a dark space into a bright and airy place in the long run.

Consider softer shades like “greige” (gray beige) or dove gray for keeping things warm. Depending on your taste and style, you might want to go with a gray that has a touch of pink or lavender for extra warmth.

7 – Pink

Pink is endowed with the ability to make any space look bright very easily, and it will also add a lot of personality. Rose tones can be ideal for adding a touch of pink without getting overwhelmingly girly.

If you go with pink but are looking for something a bit bolder, make sure to use shades like fuchsia on an accent wall. Why? Ultra-bright shades have the ability to make any space appear smaller when you apply them on all four walls, and having an accent color helps to prevent that.

8 – Lime Green

Lime green generates energy within any type of interior, both large and small. This is ideal for those poorly lit rooms that never seem to see the light of day.

Ironically, many homeowners do use lime green paint, but they use it on their accent wall. In reality, it would far smarter to apply it on all four walls (assuming the look made sense for the room and did not make it look gaudy).

This type of bright shade will often help enliven bedrooms, bathrooms, and even your laundry room too.

9 – Ocher

This pale brownish-yellow shade will not disappoint. If you are looking to brighten up a dimly lit room, ocher is a great choice for your dining room and living room as long as it is accentuated by white mantel, white trim, or other white molding.

10 – Chocolate Brown

In spite of the fact that the majority of darker shades tend to make a low-lit area appear rather small and even more confining, chocolate happens to be an exception.

In fact, it tends to be a warm and inviting shade that will make a room more comfortable and brighter in the long run. You will definitely want to strike a careful balance though by using a lighter accent in the room by having pale carpeting or using white woodwork, for example.

11 – Peach

Assuming you like the look and feel, peach should be your go-to color to liven up a low-lit bedroom or living room. Although you might think peach might not be your first choice for any dark space, if you combine it properly with light colored furnishings and glass doors, you will find that it has a lot more potential than you think. Just remember to use a lighter shade of peach since that will help the space appear bigger.

12 – Livid

In spite of not being the conventional choice for spaces that do not get much sunlight, livid (blueish-gray) will be able to give a much-needed persona to your space.

A shade of livid can make any windowless room look more illuminated. Combine livid with light brown or white furniture along with plenty of yellow lights. Doing this can yield amazing results.

Consider the Room Before You Pick Up Your Paint Bucket

It is absolutely vital to consider the type of room you want to look brighter.

A dark bedroom should be treated very differently than a dark hallway. Similarly, how you go about painting your bathroom might end up being very different from how you would choose to lighten a dark bedroom.

Similarly, if you want to refinish your basement and are looking for a warm and bright feel, a whole different set of considerations should be taken before picking up your paintbrush.

Make it Happen

At the end of the day, the choice is up to you and these are just several suggestions to point you in the right direction. Every home is a bit different and every person will have his or her own preferences and styles.

Hopefully, after reading this, one or two shades spring to mind and called out to you. Maybe you liked powder blue or peach or finally have the inspiration needed to paint your living room sunshine yellow. Whatever you decide, and however you go about, good luck and have a blast!

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