The 5 common colour undertones used in house paint


You have finally made a decision to paint your house and you know you want to use a neutral colour maybe beige, white or a light grey. Sound easy?

Unfortunately, it can be a little more problematic than most people think. Learning a little about the undertones that make up the neutral spectrum will help you identify and choose the right shade for your house.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to become an expert. You just need to know enough to avoid any unexpected surprises when you start your painting project.

Here are five of the most common undertones used in the neutral range


Red undertones give out a warm feel and in very bright light can show a faint pink tinge to the walls. White and beige paint often have these undertones.


A cream or ivory ‘theme’ will be the result when yellow/ochre is added. Soft and warm, this delicate shade will welcome you into a room.


Blue/grey undertones radiate a cool and an elegant feel; they are often used in grey and white paint. Depending on the actual undertone colour used in grey, don’t just add white paint to ‘water it down’ is it is a darker shade than you want. If blue has been used as an undertone your paint will end up more blue than grey.


These are such interesting colours to add to white. These shades are best kept for the contemporary style houses with lots of glass and natural light.  If your room does not get a lot of sun it can actually make a room feel cold if you are not careful.


Just to confuse everyone a bit further, a neutral colour with green undertone can be either warm or cool – it just depends on the mix that is used.

Swatches really do help, if possible look at them outside in the natural light. If it is all a bit too hard, do talk to an expert. They are experienced professionals and will ask you a range of questions that will get you onto the path of the ‘perfect shade of neutral’.

Happy Spring Painting!

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