Hallway paint ideas: 42 simple ways to add color to your space

These hallway paint ideas will inspire you to makeover one of the smallest (but mightiest) rooms in your home.

Red hallway paint ideas by Farrow & Ball using shade Rectory Red
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Our hallway paint ideas are the perfect place to start if you are looking for ways to give your entrance a quick and easy makeover. After all, your hallway might be the smallest space in your home but it is the first thing you and guests see, so you want it to be the most stylish entrance possible. So whatever size you are dealing with, give it the attention it deserves!

Typically painting is one of the most affordable decor options as far as hallway ideas go. So before you start spending on high-ticket items like tables, lighting, a new staircase and more, choose a lick of paint instead! You'll be surprised how much a little emulsion and TLC can do to your entryway.

Whether you're into classic neutrals, dark, moody jewel-like tones to create atmosphere, or if happy and bright hallway colors that reflect your extrovert personality are more your thing – there's something for everyone. With a little careful planning and a little color psychology theory thrown into the mix, you'll be blown away with the end result.

Hallway paint ideas to pique your interest

'Nothing brings a room together quite like a lovely shade of paint,' says Nora Mitchell, editor-in-chief of Household Advice.

'Hallways are no exception! A hallway is a transitioning room that brings you from one room to another. I find many people tend to forget about this space and either do not paint or decorate and it inevitably becomes a wasted space.'

While Joa Studholme, color consultant, Farrow & Ball, adds: 'We’ve always been taught that first impressions are important, and the same goes for your home, '

'As the space that welcomes you at the end of a long day, and the first glimpse your guests are given of your personal style, your hallway is the perfect opportunity to make a statement. What that looks like – a secret pop of pink, all-over color, or a floral feature wall – is up to you.'

1. Use a wallpaper in conjunction with paint

Pink and green hallway design with green paint and pink printed wallpaper by Lick Home

(Image credit: @built.on.love.and.shenanigans)

'Another way to make your hallway pop is to add a design with the paint or adding an accent wall with wallpaper. This can also help to decorate this space with minimal effort or clutter.' says Mitchell.

Here, first time buyer Annabelle, and one half of Instagram renovation account, @built.on.love.and.shenanigans explains: 'We still have a long way to go but I couldn't resist showing the hallway so far. It’s looking pretty bare right now and there’s still a lot I want to fill up the space (more is more) ... but this has been such a tedious job from cutting in the pink and green to wallpapering the ceiling down the stairs. I’m so in love with it and so glad we did it but just can’t wait to add extras now!'

'My idea has always always been to panel the stairs in dark green but absolutely have to give credit to @miss_mustard_design who’s pink stairs I saw first with dark green paneling and just knew that was what I wanted ! So big thanks to her for helping me source the correct pink paint and giving me the inspo in the first place!'

Want to copy her style and invest in your own labor of love? Source a similar patterned wall covering from Lick.

2. Don't forget about your fifth wall

Hallway with black paint on ceiling and Moroccan rug

(Image credit: Cecilia Casagrande Interiors)

'Don't ever forget the 5th wall!' says interior designer, Cecilia Casagrande

'Yes a black ceiling raised the roof and how cool are the gloss white lights to add a little glamour? While I love a black and white design it can come off a little cold, so here I used a Moroccan rug I found in Marrakesh to warm up this entry and make it inviting.'

3. Create a good first impression with a bold red hue

Red hallway design by Farrow & Ball using shades Rectory Red and Wimborne White

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'Deep, strong color doesn’t just make for a memorable introduction to your home, it also creates contrast with the rooms coming off it, making them appear lighter and larger.' says Studholme.

The equivalent of a good firm handshake, assert your confidence using Farrow & Ball's estate emulsion in shades Rectory Red No. 217 and Wimborne White No. 239.

4. Create a care-free hallway with pink alcove decor

Farrow & Ball hallway paint ideas using Rangwali No.296 pink paint and Modern Emulsion & Wimborne White No.239

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'The most welcoming spaces don’t take themselves too seriously – let your artwork do the talking with a colorful gallery wall, paper a feature wall in oversized florals, or paint an alcove in a shade that makes you smile.' says Studholme.

Here, Rangwali No. 296 is the star of the show that creates a gorgeous backdrop for this simple yet eclectic shelving idea.

5. Invigorate your space with a minty green hue

Mint green hallway with mirror, jute rug, pendant light and bicycle

(Image credit: Dulux)

'Fresh minty green invites you to move forward from one room to another, just like a hallway or an architectural breezeway, ' says Erika Woelfel, vice president, color and creative services, BEHR

'It’s a perfect hue to use in small spaces like a stairwell to expand the perception of space. The versatility of the sea glass green pairs perfectly with other colors like creamy white, mid tone gray and brown hues.'

6. Or, go dark and daring with a forest green hue

ROYAL ORCHARD small behr logo PPU11-01

(Image credit: BEHR)

'Create a quiet haven in your home by selecting darker, evocative colors that are a fit for traditional and maximalist decor, ' says Woelfel.

'Naturally lead guests through your space by featuring these types of hues in hallways and stairwells to draw their eyes ahead and create a sense of forward momentum.'

'Royal Orchard is an example of a rich green that creates boldness and balance in a high-traffic area of your home.'

7. Add a glossy blue for timeless sophistication

Farrow & Ball hallway with blue door and red / green corridor paint decor

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'School House White is pared back, timeless and familiar but has a subtle sophistication that makes it the perfect foil for stronger hues like the lively tones of Stone Blue,used here in Full Gloss, ' explains Studholme.

'The traditional values of Full Gloss are perfect for use in the home in 2022 and can be introduced sparingly and in surprising ways (perhaps on a door) to add a modern feel with a suitably vintage flavor.'

'The strong classic tones of Incarnadine below the dado rail also introduce some excitement while retaining an element of modesty.'

8. Consider nude hues for a welcoming entryway

Nightingale Gray N200-2 a warm taupe in hallway

(Image credit: BEHR)

'Homeowners often use neutral tones to make hallways feel breezy and open.' says Woelfel. 

'This hallway features Nightingale Gray , a warm taupe paired with a fresh green accent that adds just enough vitality to liven up a hallway, '

'It’s the perfect pop of color that helps transition from one area of the home to another and will surprise guests as they move within your home.'

9. Give guests a bright and warm welcome with yellow

All yellow hallway by Lindsay Isla using Lick Home paint in shade yellow 01

(Image credit: @lindsay_isla (Instagram))

'We switched up the lilac for yellow 01 from Lick and I love it so much, ' says Lindsey Isla, colorful style and interiors creator.

'I do think yellow is a tricky color to get right but this Lick shade is so beautiful and I love using their paint. I didn't initially plan to paint the stairs yellow but once I started I couldn't stop.'

Be sure to peruse the rest of Lindsey's pastel painted home on Instagram.

10. Paint banisters in a contrasting color to your walls

Izzy Leonard upper hallway design using Lick Paints green 04, black 01 and white 01

(Image credit: @nest_number_9)

'So here it is! The upstairs hallway is complete and I couldn't be happier with this shade of green (04). We've living with the color for a few weeks now and it just feels so lovely and clam, ' says Izzy Leonard, Instagram home renovator and Lick Paint enthusiast, who documents her projects on her account, @nest_number_9.

'Can we also take moment for the banisters please? What a difference! It's only now I realize how tired and yellow they look before. Don't get me wrong, sanding and painting them was one of my least favorite decorating jobs ever, but it was 100% worth it!'

11. Use your hallway paint on your accessories too!

Hallway design using Lick Home's paint shades in Beige 01 and White 01 by Emma Louise

(Image credit: @emmas_hygge_home (Instagram))

'I thought I would step out of my white comfort zone and add some color in my life!' says Instagram home renovator, Emma Louise, of emmas_hygge_home.

'Well a neutral color, I haven't gone completely extravagant! I'm in low with this color I chose, it's Beige 01 and the top color is White 01, both by Lick, as there still had to be white in this room, '

'I used the beige on the lower walls, paneling, radiator, plant bracket and my basket. I'm happy with how it's all turned out. Then the final touch is my new Putney clock from Newgate Clocks. It finished off the space perfectly!'

12. Use hallway paint colors to change proportions

Hallway colour idea with grey and purple paint and wooden staircase

(Image credit: Dulux)

Putting a dark color on a wall makes it advance visually; lighter ones make it recede. So, the trick in this hallway, with the darker wall at the far end and lighter walls around it, has been to make it feel squarer. Other clever hallway colour ideas? The use of the same paler color on the ceilings and woodwork, including the door, makes the hallway feel less busy, and therefore more spacious, too. 

As for the color, mauves and purples are distinctive, yet welcoming. Perfect for a hallway, in other words.

Not sure what hallway colors to pick? Use our guide to choosing the right colors for every room in your home for expert advice.

13. Experiment with bold paint contrasts 

Midnight Navy and Scottish Pine

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

A pairing of intense shades is guaranteed to elevate your hallway from the most forgettable space in the house to statement interior. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your hallway colors – it’s all about making sure that they harmonize, which you can ensure by picking tones that can compete equally. Use the darker color on the lower half of the wall to keep the hallway feeling as spacious as possible.

Take inspiration from this example, in Midnight Navy and Scottish Pine by Crown Paints. Check out our guide to using a color wheel for interior design and color scheming if you want more advice on how to use bolder paint colors in your hallway. 

14. Create a warm welcome with peachy pastels 

Neutral hallway colours with shoe storage

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

If going for a bold clash isn’t going to work for your hallway colors, you can still experiment with contrasting shades and color blocking, all the while keeping things safely neutral with an off-white scheme and nearly matching tones. Want a contemporary feel? Introduce warm, peachy pinks into your hallway; they look fab matched with white paintwork and richly-grained mid-tone wood. 

In this hallway, delicate blush shades Step Inside and Warm Welcome, both Crown, break up the walls nicely without screaming for attention. We have loads more color blocking wall ideas if you want to recreate this look in your hallway.

15. Get maximum effect from your favorite hallway colors

Monday Blues used as a hallway paint idea

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Since hallways tend to be, for the most part, pretty much unfurnished spaces, there is little to worry about in terms of hallway colors clashing with furniture. So, this is the place to really indulge in a color you love, by putting it on walls, woodwork and even radiators. Perfect for making a small space feel larger, this trick will work in both contemporary and traditional homes. 

Top tip: When buying paint for your hallway, look out for brands offer the same range of colors for wood and walls so you know you can easily find a perfect match. 

16. Create an accent with a line

Paint & Paper Library Temple, Monument, New Black

(Image credit: Paint and Paper Library)

You can add even more interest to a two-tone hallway by painting a sleek black line just over the dado rail. Combined with the grey-pink paint pairing, the black creates an effortlessly smart finish here, and picks out the black of the floor tiles and lamp base, neatly tying the color scheme together. 

17. Add character to a hallway with a deep grey shade

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe as a hallway paint idea

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

You should avoid dark hallways colors, right? Well, no, it all depends on the shade. While painting your hallway black will only really work in homes with lofty ceilings, a strong, deep shade of grey can lend hallways in even modern, more compact homes a classy, manor house-style look. Accent with colorful paintings and decorative pieces for an eclectic feel, and keep the ceiling white to bounce light around. 

This hallway (and the one at the top of the page) is in Farrow & Ball’s bestselling lead grey shade Down Pipe

'Grey is a timeless shade and you could barely go wrong with this color for your hallway, ' says Phillip Ash, founder of Pro Paint Corner.

'It also has that calming and restful feel. Pair it with a darker tone for contrast and luxe metallics for accent to give a sophisticated look. Grey means balance and neutrality based on color psychology, but it can also feel boring and dull without other colors.'

18. Paint a door frame in a contrasting shade

Hallway Strong White and Down Pipe by Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Who says door frames, woodwork and doors (for that matter) have to be white? You can give a contemporary hallway a modern feel and a traditional home a period feel by using the same neat paint trick: painting woodwork in a darker, contrasting shade. A quick hallway paint idea, to freshen up an already neutral space, it's a practical move, too, especially if you have kids or pets who leave their grimy marks as they pass. 

This hallway is painted in Strong White, while the door frame is accented with Down Pipe, both from Farrow & Ball. 

Use our guide to how to paint a door to ensure your paintwork is up to scratch.

19. Pick pastels for a busy hallway

Little Greene Bone China Blue Mid used as hallway colours

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If your hallway feels a little cramped at times then pick a pale pastel shade to make it look light, bright and restful. For a country-style finish, match it with delicate whitewashed furniture and delicate accessories; to give it contemporary appeal, match it with blonde wood. 

This hallway is decorated in Bone China Blue from Little Greene. Love pastels? We've got plenty more pastel decorating ideas.

20. Go easy with rich cream

Clay Mid and Clay Pale, Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

There is nothing quite like a creamy paint color for an instantly inviting effect. But, more than that, it's so easy to update – simply swap out accessories, such as table lamps or rugs to update your color scheme, without picking up a paintbrush.  

Our pick of the bunch is the smooth Clay Mid and Clay Pale, both from Little Greene.

21. Discover the optical effects of green

Hallway colours, Crown Almost Sage and Blank Canvas

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Green is the most relaxing of colors, making it perfect for a busy family hallway. Lighter shades also work wonders at visually expanding small spaces, especially when paired with a bright white shade. In this hallway, a gentle sage color opposite white walls creates depth and an impression of space, plus it links neatly to the color scheme of the room beyond.

22. Explore multiple shades of the same color

Woad, Grey Stone, Sunlight by iIttle Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Using darker and lighter tones of the same color creates focus in a space. So, just as you might highlight a fireplace wall in a living room by painting it a different color to those of the rest of the room, you can achieve a similar effect in a hallway.

Why not start by painting the wall behind a console table to draw attention to that, or the one at the far end of the hallway? The contrasting accent in this hallway makes the space feel contemporary and lifts the pale scheme into a sunnier one.

23. A bright and eclectic combination

Cape Red and Mid Azure Green

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you are feeling really adventurous, and your home's (generous) proportions can accommodate a bold, contrasting scheme, why not use the hallway to really explore the potential of unusual color combinations? If you are confident in your understanding of color, go for it, but perhaps keep the bold clashes to upstairs, and ground the scheme with a deep, neutral shade for woodwork and doors. 

The shades used here are Cape Red and Mid Azure Green, with the far door in Trumpet, all from Little Greene.

24. Red is not off-limits as a hallway color

Farrow & Ball Radicchio

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Red is a bold choice for a hallway color, but it can work really well if you choose a sophisticated, mid-tone shade, and match it with more muted colors for doors, floors and woodwork. 

25. Don’t underestimate versatile off-whites

Hallway with red carpet painted in Farrow & Ball Ammonite

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

An off-white shade is a failsafe hallway paint idea, guaranteed to make the space look fresh, light and spacious. Off-whites come in an almost endless variety of subtle undertones, so there is still plenty of room for creating individual style and variation if you use more than one tone. 

We like Farrow & Ball’s Ammonite, a sophisticated off-white with a slight green undertone.

26. Choose a contrasting tone for the woodwork

hallway with grey scheme by carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If your hallway has attractive woodwork, you might like to make a feature of it rather than concentrating on the walls. Pick your hallway colors carefully – woodwork tends to look good in natural shades rather than anything too bright. Bear in mind, too, that a dark shade on woodwork only will still make a big impact on the natural light in the space.

27. Paint the staircase to create a cohesive look 

Hallway with painted floor and staircse and gallery wall in Vanessa Arbuthnott's converted cow barn

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

A great hallway paint idea, and one that adds a ton of character is to paint the staircase. It's a look that can suit both contemporary and period properties, particularly country-style spaces, plus it's a good budget alternative to carpet. For a cohesive look like the one above, pick a color for your stairs and mimic it in both the hallway and the landing above. 

Find out how to paint a staircase and get inspiration in our dedicated feature.

28. Create a family noticeboard with blackboard paint

Hallway with blackboard paint, by Kreis Design

(Image credit: Kreis Design)

If you're a parent to young kids who like to doodle on the walls anyway (we've all been there), or if you've got teens who need a little help with organization, a wall painted with blackboard paint is a clever idea. Use our guide to how to create a chalkboard wall.

29. Paint wall paneling for bags of character

Hallway with natural flooring

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

Wall paneling is a practical choice for a hallway because it'll take all the knocks and scuffs that a plain painted wall or wallpaper won't. If you like a dramatic look why not copy this hallway ideas and choose a deeper shade of paint for a low-maintenance look, and be sure to pick a paint with a wipeable finish.

30. Paint hallway storage to blend away

bespoke painted bootroom with fitted cupboards, storage bench and coat hooks by artichoke

(Image credit: Artichoke)

If you're building in hallway storage ideas, however large or small, painting it the same color as the wall it sits on will help it visually recede, giving you a smarter finish. Pick a light, neutral shade for a space-enhancing finish.

31. Paint the inside of the front door

Sage painted door in a hallway with bold geometric tiles

(Image credit: Modern Harlequin)

We are all very focused on the color of our front doors, but don't neglect what it looks like on the inside! Painting the inside of your front door could be all you need to add a subtle splash of color to your hallway – and you are really easily DIY it on the cheap. 

We love how this sage green (for something similar try Farrow & Ball Breakfast Room Green) looks with the bold floor tiles from Ca'Pietra.

32. Choose a classic monochrome hallway color scheme

Black and white hallway with red floor tiles

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

You can't go wrong with black and white hallway colors – it's simple and elegant. With a monochrome scheme in a hallway, we say, the more white the better and just add touches of black here and there, as hallways tend to be darker spaces anyway and you don't want to enhance that by getting too happy with the black paint. Unless you like dark and atmospheric interiors, then, by all means, go ahead.  

Try painting the banisters and using accessories to add in the darker hues but keep walls and floors light.

33. Contrast your hallway colors with other rooms

When choosing your hallway colors consider the colors of the rooms that lead off the space, especially if you want to go bold. In this hallway, below the dado rail has been painted in a dark navy blue, to contrast with the pink room beyond. Love it.

34. Or go for a cohesive look by matching your hallway

Blue hallways with geometric tiles and yellow statement chair

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

You could of course always paint your hallway in the same color as the rest of your downstairs rooms if you want a more cohesive look. In this hallway, going for the same all over color, draws you to the end room, making the space seem longer. Painting the door in a darker color adds just enough contrast and breaks up the lighter blue.

35. Go for classic grey hallway paint ideas

Grey hallway by Neptune (light fitting)

(Image credit: Neptune)

You knew it was coming. We can't get through a painting article without telling you to paint something in a lovely shade of mid-grey. Clearly, we love grey so much we dedicated a whole article to grey hallway ideas, so make sure you go and check that out annnnd we have a feature dedicated to the best grey paint if you need help picking the right shade.

For this lovely cool-toned look, we would recommend something like Dulux Deep Fossil. Pair it will some striking dark lines – here they've gone with lighting to create the contrast but you could paint your banisters for a similar effect.  

36. Brighten up hallway floorboards

Hallway floor boards painted in Farrow & Ball Lulworth Blue

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Don't just focus on painting the walls of your hallway, painting the floor can have just as much of an impact. If you keep the rest of the room white you can actually go for something pretty brave on your floorboards and it still won't overwhelm the space. For a gorgeous vibrant blue similar to this one try Farrow and Ball's Lulworth Blue and pair it with a really bright white.

If you fancy giving it a go yourself, it's a pretty simple DIY job – just check out our guide to painting floorboards.

37. Use chalk paint for (pretty) practicality

Hallway door painted with chalk board paint by Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

It's hard to ignore a to do list when you are faced with it every time you come in or out of the house. So pinch this hallway paint idea and paint the back of your front door in chalkboard paint. Of course, if you are more artistic you could draw a funky design instead of just writing 'Jack, walk the dog'. 

The black with the yellow walls and tiled flooring works perfectly here, but you can get chalkboard paints in loads of on-trend colors so you can pick something to suit your space.

38. Pick terracotta shades for a Mediterranean feel 

hallway paint colours: B&Q paint inspiration

(Image credit: B&Q)

Terracotta shades are super popular throughout Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean countries, and with their warm, earthy tones it's easy to see why. But just because we're back in dreary old Britain, rather than sunning ourselves on the coast, it doesn't mean we should miss out on the feel good factor that terracotta has to offer.

For best effect, pair this rich tone with something lighter and brighter to ensure your space isn't left feeling overwhelmed. Then just add plenty of house plants and woven baskets for a touch of texture and plenty of boho vibes.

39. Keep it classic with grey and white hallway colors

hallway paint colours: grey and white scheme by garden trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Classics are classic for a reason and this gorgeous white and grey scheme demonstrates as much. If you're looking for a simple, yet stylish scheme guaranteed to last more than one season, you've come to the right place.

Pair a light grey with crisp, white woodwork for a look that's slightly more interesting that just an all-white space, but just as timeless. It'll see you through all the seasons and makes for a welcoming color in your home's entryway. For ease, make sure your walls are up to the job and find the best washable paint.

'White woodwork is a classic choice for hallways, no matter what you pair it with. Try a glossy black banister or deep wall color for striking contrast, or break up a large-scale pattern with a white dado.' advises Studholme.

40. Introduce pops of color in your furnishings

an elegant hallway with tree wallpaper, bright blue storage and chandeliers

(Image credit: Matt Cant)

It doesn't have to be all about the walls in a colorful hall. Here an old chest of drawers has been painted in a lovely bright blue which contrasts so well against the rest of the monochrome hallway. Before you buy a new piece for your hallway, shop your own home, you might find there is some furniture going unloved in another room that would make for a great bit of hallway storage, all it needs is a lick of paint.

If you do want to give it a go, just head to our guide to how to paint furniture, it's actually a really easy DIY.

41. Add a touch of luxe with gold and blue

Marianne Cottrell house

(Image credit: Axminster)

Ah, gold and pale blue, is there a dreamier combination? This hallway is stunning, but as most hallways tend to be it's actually quite dark. However, the gold reflective wallpaper, the mirror and even the sideboard all help to bounce more light around and the lovely light blue keeps it all look fresh and not too dramatic.

42. Make your stair runner pop by adding a border

To celebrate the original features of their Victorian terrace, Karla and Andy have created a modern family home with plenty of period character

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

We love the look of a stair runner on white painted stairs, but if you go for a light carpet color it can get a bit lost. You can add  an edge to it really easily with paint –  just mark off an area that's slightly larger than your runner, paint that in a dark hue and then secure your runner back on top.

What is the best color to paint a hallway?

One thing is certain about hallways, and it is that they almost always get very little natural daylight. Neutral shades are a tried and tested way to combat this problem, but why not go a step further and cheer up your hallway with a sunny shade? Keep it contemporary with no fuss accessories and neutral color accents.

And, in this post-pandemic world of interior design, why shouldn't we look to optimistic hues, like yellow. Today's more considered shades are much more relaxing as the experts explain.

'We will relish brighter colors that herald a return to normality, ' says Studholme.

'The cheerful and uncomplicated Babouche is the perfect tone for this task. While bold, it never feels garish or overpowering. Rooms that feature Babouche appear to be full of sunshine, especially when combined with understated School House White. The palette itself has a simple, folksy feel, but its use across the walls and floors creates an overall look that is incredibly striking.'

'To really make your hallway pop, try painting it with brighter colors as they tend to be narrow and dark, ' reinforces Mitchell.

'Using neutral colors such as a cream or butter yellow can bring calmness and happiness. A light grey or blue grey are also a nice option, and can also bring up emotions of peacefulness or neutrality too.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.