Hallway paint ideas: 32 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

Hallway paint ideas
(Image credit: Katie Lee)

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!

Whether your tastes are classic neutrals, dark and atmospheric or happy and bright opt for hallway colors that reflect your personality – as well as the style of the rest of your home. With a little careful planning and the help of our hallway color ideas below, you'll be blown away with the end result...

For more hallway ideas and inspo be sure to check out our decor feature. We'd recommend you also read our comprehensive guide on hallway design, if you're starting from scratch.

1. 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.

2. Use warm sunny hallway colors

Hallway paint idea using Dulux Golden Sands and Heart Wood

(Image credit: Dulux)

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.

The glorious Golden Sands shown here is the perfect hallway colors as it has a warm tone that will remind you of summery days, even in the depth of winter. Shown here paired with Heart Wood. Both Dulux.

For more tips on how to make a dark room brighter have a read of our feature. 

3. Experiment with bold contrasts with this colorful hallway paint idea

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. 

4. 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.

5. 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. 

6. 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. 

7. 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

Find the best Farrow and Ball paints in our guide. 

8. 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.

9. Pick pastels for a busy hallway

Little Greene Bone China Blue Mid used as hallway colours

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If your hallway is a higgledy-piggledy warren of doors, stairs and corners, then a great hallway paint idea is to pick a pale pastel shade to make it look light, bright – and restful. For a country-style look, match it with delicate whitewashed furniture and delicate accessories; for a 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

10. Go easy with a rich cream hallway color scheme

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. 

11. Discover the optical effects of green as a hallway color 

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. 

12. Explore multiple shades of the same colour

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 on which you've hung a gallery of pictures? The contrasting accent in this hallway makes the space feel contemporary and lifts the pale scheme into a sunnier one.

For gallery wall ideas check out our piece.

13. Looking for bright hallway paint ideas? Go for an eclectic mix

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. 

14. 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. 

15. 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. 

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

For more ideas on wall paneling, see our guide.

20. 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, 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.

For more hallway storage ideas head over to our feature. 

21. 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

22. 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. 

23. 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.

24. 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. 

25. 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.  

26. 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

27. 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. 

28. 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.

29. 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.

Make sure your walls are up to the job and find the best washable paint

30. 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. 

31. 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. 

32. 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. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

In 2018 Anna moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space and joined Realhomes.com as Staff Writer. She has a longterm interest in space-making and the evolution of interior style. She can also be found looking for the latest innovations in sustainable homewares or buying yet more bedding.