How to Use Bright Paint Without Going Overboard

There’s something about the warm weather that brings out our adventurous side. If you’re looking to add a little vibrancy to your home, paint is an easy and affordable way to go. We sought out four paint experts for their tips on how you can use bright paint for an extra punch.
  1. In Small Spaces

    Photo by Farrow & Ball

    Highlight a small space for intimacy. “Using bold colors in your living space can serve as an accent to any room in your house or apartment,” says decorative painter Robin Sacks. “A powder room is always a fun place to start because it can be easier for people to commit to. Bold color can also act as the backdrop for highlighting a favorite piece of art or accessories in a small intimate place.”

    Try: Farrow & Ball’s St Giles Blue

  2. Rejuvenating Accents

    Photo by Farrow & Ball

    Your entire home doesn’t need to be one giant crayon box of color. Farrow & Ball creative director Sarah Cole says, “Accenting with a bright color is a great way to add interest. Try painting the underside of a bathtub to add a luxurious touch to an otherwise traditional bathroom.” Or, paint that vintage oak chair a sunny shade of yellow in a full gloss to give it a breath of new life. 

    Try: Farrow & Ball’s Yellowcake, Arsenic, or Rectory Red

  3. One Side Only

    Photo by Farrow & Ball

    “Stand-out colors can also be added to a space where you want to accent one side of a room while keeping the other side airy,” Sacks says. There will be no limit to where bold colors can go if you balance the space with furniture and accessories. The new hue will draw you in, whether it’s a large space or an intimate one.”

    Try: Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light

  4. On the Front Door

    Photo by Farrow & Ball
    Looking to up your curb appeal? “Create a striking front door with bright tones that will command attention from passerby,” Cole says.

    Try: Farrow & Ball’s Yellowcake or Incarnadine

  5. In the Garden

    Photo by Farrow & Ball
    Whether indoor or outdoor, you can change the scape of your garden by adding a little paint. Paint terra-cotta pots an out-of-the-ordinary hue or liven up a plant stand with a shade of orange. “Bold colors are great for use outside to add to gardens, balconies and other outdoor spaces for a lively pick-me-up, even on a rainy day,” Cole says.

  6. Contrast and Proportion

    Photo by Ace
    Ace design expert Katie Reynolds says, “Consider proportion. Bright colors can be overwhelming if they’re not balanced with softer tones. Your new bright hue will stand out best against white, gray, black or navy, which allow it to shine.”

    Try: Clark + Kensington x OPI’s Suzi Says Feng Shui

  7. Unexpected Is Best

    Photo by Ace

    Your home may be traditional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add something surprising. Keep your guests guessing, says Reynolds. “Paint an unexpected item in your home a fun bright color.  Try an interior door, powder room vanity or breakfast room chairs for a bold accent.”

    Try: Clark + Kensington x OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster

  8. Mix in Texture

    Photo by Benjamin Moore
    You can do an entire room in a wow-worthy color, but Benjamin Moore paint expert Sharon Grech says decorating “a brightly colored room with natural textures of heavy linen, sisal, sea grass and driftwood bring the outdoors in and add dimension.”

    Try: Benjamin Moore’s Lavender Mist 2070-60 Natura Flat

  9. Go for Gray

    Photo by Benjamin Moore
    While you may think bright walls can only be toned down with black or white, if you’re seeking a more cohesive look, Grech says to “balance livelier colors with complex grey and soft white as opposed to the strong contrast of black and white.”

    Try: Benjamin Moore’s Peach Parfait 2175-70 Regal Select Flat