What colors are suitable for painting wood?

What colors are suitable for painting wood?

What colors are suitable for painting wood?

Not all wood is made equal, which is why choosing paint colors that go with natural wood can be tricky. If you have hardwood floors or lots of wooden furniture, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right paint shade to match – after all, what works with oak might not necessarily make sense for a darker, richer wood like walnut.

So how do you choose the perfect paint color match for wood?

What colors are suitable for painting wood?

Dark wood

Deep, dark woods like walnut and mahogany make for the perfect pairing with one of today’s most popular colors – green. walnut furniture sits comfortably in a room painted in an on-trend pistachio – but it’s just as suited to brighter shades. ‘Dark woods such as walnut or mahogany work fantastically well with green.

Oak tones

Oak is a commonly used wood thanks to its strength and versatility – but because tones vary so dramatically, it can be difficult to find a suitable color pairing.

A soft yellow like Hay will work in a subtle, restful fashion and has an underlying green note, which will flatter the wood while delivering warmth – a great choice for a sunny living room idea or even a home office.

Warm woods

Warm woods like acacia, teak and cherry have a reddish tone that makes them perfectly suited to warmer shades – though it also means they can clash with cooler tones, so be careful. ‘Warmer tone woods can be on the red side, so you can pair this with more neutral tones, allowing the warmth from the wood to contrast with the cooler tones,’ says Mathew Freeman. ‘An alternative option is to enhance the warmer tones by choosing a warm neutral tone, to create a warm cossetting feel.

White and off-white colours

whites and off-whites work so well with wood trim. White is my favourite colour choice with light wood trim, as it’s natural, fresh and a beautiful light backdrop for life. White even works with dark wood trim; it will be high contrast, but that’s a modern look that can work if you dig that kind of thing. And you can soften the contrast with layers like curtains, rugs, pillows and artwork.

Yellow-tones wood stains

Yellow-toned woods are often pretty committed to yellow but can slide slightly into orange and, more rarely, pick up a wink of pink, green, or pink.

These colors will make your wood POP a bit (no pun intended…wink wink).

cream paint colors with similar undertone profiles, i.e. if your wood is yellow-orange, you’ll pick a cream that’s a blend of yellow-orange

Orange toned wood stains


While yellow-toned woods are usually pretty darned yellow, orange-toned woods easily lean into yellow or red, but the dominant undertone is still orange.

paint colors that are blue-green blends or blue-green-gray blends

gray with blue-green undertones

warm gray with a violet undertone can be particularly striking without being OVERLY contrasting

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