Choosing a paint color should be a fun activity but can sometimes turn into a daunting task with the endless options that our paint department and Benjamin Moore paint offer. So today we hope we can help you in your decisions with a little bit of color theory. Let’s have a look at the color wheel to identify simple, harmonious paint color pairings.

Color wheel

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors sit across from each other on the color wheel. The saying “opposites attract” sure holds true for these colors! These high-contrast pairings are green and red, yellow and purple, orange and blue. Complementary colors create a vibrant feel and are great when you’re looking to add a pop of color!

In this example, teal accents and the cabinet inset painted in Benjamin Moore’s Dark Teal pop wonderfully against the wall painted in Peach Pie and the wainscotting in Tangerine Zing.

Though the color wheel may seem too bright for you, the same principle applies when you tone down the hues. Here is another example of how the complementary colors blue and orange form a stunning match of interior paint color choices. Benjamin Moore’s New York State of Mind nicely complements the ceiling painted in Kurkuma.

New York State of Mind and Kurkuma dining room.

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Visually very pleasing, analogous schemes are easy choices in painting and decorating. Examples are green, green-yellow, and yellow or yellow-orange, orange, and orange-red like in this beautiful dining room. The two walls in the dining room are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Salsa Dancing and Citrine while the hallway features Buttered Yam.

Dining room in Benjamin Moore's Citrine and Salsa Dancing. Hallway painted in Buttered Yam.

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are three colors on the color wheel that are evenly spaced apart. When you form that triangle you’ll see red, blue and yellow as well as green, orange and purple. As you apply this principle to interior design, stick with one main color and add accents of its tertiary colors. This children’s room applies the principles of tertiary colors in a classy yet vibrant look. The main wall is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Breath. An accent wall in Stunning, a ceiling in Falling Star and additional design accents in blue, red, and yellow make this room a dream for any nautical family!

Nautical kid's room in Benjamin Moore's Fresh Breath, Stunning, and Falling Star