What is the best color to paint a hallway? In this wall paint color ideas guide, we highlight the 9 best colors to paint your hallways.
From entryways to staircase hallways our expert interior painting team highlights this year’s most popular shades for your home.
According to top interior designers, the best hallway wall colors are neutral off-whites, natural tones of blue or green, and light gray or beige.
Likewise, we’ll cover what color schemes work best for hallways that open up into living rooms for the perfect transition.
Next, you’ll learn which colors to avoid in hallways from top manufacturers like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Behr paints.
Lastly, we’ll show you which modern paint colors can brighten up narrow hallways without natural light. Let’s start with our most popular hallway color of the year!
1. Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams
No question, we love Alabaster as a neutral backdrop that works for most hallways, entryways, and staircase walls.
This popular paint color from Sherwin Williams is a warm off-white with enough of an undertone to hide the occasional scuff or ding.
For that reason, you should avoid bright white or stark light colors in hallways. Moreover, any hallway color that you pick has to coordinate with other rooms it connects.
Indeed, these reasons make Alabaster the perfect neutral hallway color. It coordinates easily with most living room paint colors while having enough warmth to be inviting.
Lastly, this soft white works beautifully with most black front door colors, which are incredibly popular among homeowners today.
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2. Oxford White by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White is another popular hallway color that is both neutral and versatile. Indeed, this versatility makes this classic white paint color a hallway staple.
Now, Oxford White leans a bit cooler than Alabaster. With this in mind, you’ll want to pair it with warmer flooring tones and in hallways with plenty of natural light. Both of which will warm up this crisp white with hints of gray undertones.
Modern and clean, this off-white can open up narrow hallways or entryways. Luckily, it has just enough color depth to contrast nicely against white ceilings or trim. And because it’s neutral, it can act as a sleek backdrop for a gallery wall or even a contrasting accent wall.
The only drawback of painting Oxford White in a high-traffic hallway area is that it may be too white to hide imperfections. That means you may need to touch up this tone from time to time if you bump into the walls.
How much does it cost to paint a hallway or foyer?
The average cost to paint a hallway or foyer is $732-$1,264. The price to paint hallways is based on the total sqft and ceiling height of the walls. Adding ceilings and trim may cost more but is often an affordable upgrade.
Looking for more professional painting price advice? Find out how much a painter charges per hour in the United States.
3. Origami White
If you’ve read our top living room paint color article, you know we adore Origami White by Sherwin Williams. This highly popular off-white neutral is perfect for hallways.
Not only does it complement most color palettes but this warm-ish neutral can make your space feel bigger. Indeed, this makes it perfect for narrow hallways or staircase landings without a ton of light.
Another reason we dig Origami White is that it has greige (gray and beige) undertones. Likewise, there’s a slight violet undertone in this off-white but it shows as more creamy than cold. As a result, it avoids showing any yellow undertones in most lighting conditions which speak to its versatility.
The fact that Origami white looks good in most light is important for long rooms like hallways and staircases where lighting changes from one end of the home to another.
4. Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore)
We already know that keeping things neutral in hallways is key. In like fashion, that’s why Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is next on our list of top hallway color ideas. It’s a warm-white neutral with less beige than say Edgecomb Gray. Therefore it’s more like a soft white-gray without being too cold.
When painting hallways with lots of natural light, Pale Oak looks more off-white. However with less light, the color looks more creamy, similar to a light warm gray.
Pair this versatile neutral with a Hale Navy or Chelsea Gray accent wall at the end of your hallways for a beautiful contrasting color combination. As mentioned earlier, Pale Oak is a neutral paint tone that pairs with most warm color shades.
Moreover, it looks wonderful as a focal point against crisp white Chantilly Lace trim or ceilings. Overall, this color is a great choice for any classic home decor.
Painting Pro Tip
When painting hallway trim, opt for a color that is at least two shades lighter than the walls. This creates just enough contrast to make the trim pop and expand the look of the space.
5. Riverdale By Behr
To mix things up, we’re introducing a modern grayish-green from Behr named Riverdale. Certainly, this contemporary greenish-gray shade brings an aura of comfort to any hectic hallway configuration.
A rule of thumb when picking entire house color combinations is to go neutral in hallways if using distinct shades in other rooms. This includes painting a navy blue in a dining room. Conversely, you can get more creative in hallways if most other rooms in your home are neutral tones.
As a hallway color, Riverdale is best used in the latter case. Indeed, this serene contemporary gray is ideal when connecting rooms with striking wall colors.
Riverdale’s balance is what sets it apart from other hallway colors. It is warm and tranquil with just enough gray to be neutral and versatile.
No doubt, this is a top hallway color if you are looking for a bit more character than stark white walls.
6. Balboa Mist
Next, we have the classic Benjamin Moore paint color, Balboa Mist.
Not only is it one of the paint company’s go-to neutrals in hallways but some call it the perfect pale greige.
We appreciate this hallway color’s warm undertone. Similarly, this popular paint shade can open up narrow spaces with minimal light.
Because of its saturation, we wouldn’t officially call this an off-white neutral hallway color. In hallways that get north-facing light, it leans grayer than taupe. On the other hand, it looks more beige or taupe in entranceways or halls with south-facing lighting.
No question, this is a go-to hallway paint color that works well with many different decorating ideas. Accordingly, you can pair it with off-whites on trim woodwork or paneling like Extra White by Sherwin Williams to really make it pop.
Overall, Balboa Mist is a warmer version of Pale Oak that looks lovely in most hallway spaces. Plus you’ll love using it if you are DIY painting a hallway because it covers better than stark whites like Highly Reflective White.
7. Pure White (Sherwin Williams)
Among all neutral hallway colors on our list, Pure White by Sherwin-Williams is the brightest by far. It’s another versatile shade that has slight hints of warmth and a tinge of black to prevent it from being too stark. It’s a bit of a chameleon-like color that works best when paired with a splash of colorful decor in a hallway like a textured rug or a vibrant gallery wall.
Likewise, Pure White can really open up small spaces or nooks if you love the look of a clean, white hallway. Correspondingly, using this popular paint shade will open up a dark hallway without natural light.
Keep in mind, this is a lighter-toned shade that will likely need to be touched up more than dark colors. Accordingly, you may want to use an eggshell or satin finish with this color for hallways. Indeed, eggshell or satin finishes are more scuff-resistant than flat or matte sheens.
However, not all is lost if you prefer the modern look of a matte finish. Indeed, matte finishes are much easier to touch up than satin or eggshell. In this case, our advice to is keep an airtight touchup cup of leftover hallway paint on a shelf closet nearby.
Just make sure the touchup paint is out of the reach of children and sealed in a temperate controlled space. Learn how to store leftover paint properly.
How do you make a small hallway look bigger?
To make a small or narrow hallway look bigger, paint the hallways a lighter paint color like white or off-white. Indeed, brighter paint colors reflect light better, often making a small hallway look larger.
In addition, you can paint the ceiling and trim white to offer contrast while making a narrow space look more expansive. Likewise, painting electrical panels in a hallway the same color as the walls will hide them and make the area look bigger.
Lastly, you can use mirrors strategically to bring in natural light coming in from a room to extend the look of a hallway.
8. Edgecomb Gray (Benjamin Moore)
Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore is an airy and soft neutral wall color with just enough hints of gray and beige to work well in hallways.
Not only is this tone refreshing, but it also creates a warm and welcoming feeling. This makes it perfect for entryway spaces that open up to a grand staircase. Find out which paint is best for your home in our Sherwin versus Benjamin Moore guide.
Moreover, Edgecomb Gray works well if you choose to paint your hallways the same color as the living room. It offers enough depth to connect the spaces without being too stark white or cold gray. Compared to Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams, Balboa mist is noticeably warmer and has more beige undertones.
As one of Benjamin Moore’s historical color pallets, this warm greige is a timeless tone that homeowners love using in both hallways and throughout the entire house. To liven up your space, pair it with an accent or feature wall to your living room or dining room. This will break up the monotony of any neutral tone like Balboa Mist without going overboard.
9. Sea Pearl By Benjamin Moore
Finally, we have an up-and-coming hallway paint color that homeowners are raving about, Sea Pearl by Benjamin Moore. This off-white has just enough cool gray undertones without being too cold in hallways.
Like others on this list, Sea Pearl has both beige and gray undertones but with slight hints of green. Pair it with crisp white wainscoting or staircase risers in a hall area for an awesome contrast.
Generally speaking, this trending hallway paint color is a bit cooler neutral than say Swiss Coffee or Calm by Benjamin Moore. However, we would not call this a cool white as it definitely leans a bit warmer depending on the surrounding hallway decor.
With an LRV (light reflective value) of 77, it certainly is not a stark white. Accordingly, Sea Pearl has enough saturation to it without being too creamy or yellow. All in all, this is a modern off-white hallway that can unify different spaces in your home seamlessly.
Hallway Paint Colors FAQs
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get from homeowners about hallway paint colors.
What are the best paint colors for a narrow hallway?
The best paint colors for narrow hallways are bright whites, light grays, or warm off-white neutrals. Avoid darker hallway shades that absorb light and make the hallway look narrower.
Another great way to open up narrow hallways is to use a mirror at the end of the hall to open up the space and reflect more light.
Do you paint the hallway the same color as the living room?
Painting the hallway the same color as your living room is becoming more popular each year as more homeowners embrace an open-concept living space.
If there is no natural break between a hallway and a living room, you should definitely paint them the same color. In this case, paint both rooms a neutral wall color like off-white or lighter gray.
You can add an accent wall color in your hallway or living area to add a pop of color.
What is a welcoming color for an entryway?
A welcoming color for an entryway is a warm white like White Dove by Benjamin Moore or Alabaster by Benjamin Moore. Stick with warmer neutrals with enough gray to avoid looking yellow or dingy in your entryway.
Why do some home improvement articles spell paint colors as “paint colours”?
These home improvement blogs are likely based in the UK. Great Britain spells paint colors with an extra “u”. For example, you might hear a UK interior designer say something like “these hallways paint colours look bloody awful, bruv”.