Make it Monochromatic: Painting Project Tips for DIYers

You don’t need to be an interior designer to give your home some serious, high-end style. Master the magic of monochromatic color schemes thanks to expert tips for DIY painters from our Director of Color Marketing, Sue Wadden.

Monochromatic, midcentury modern dining room with walls, trim, and ceiling painted in an earth tone terracotta color from Sherwin-Williams called Cavern Clay SW 7701.
Photo Courtesy of @thechrisandclaudeco
Featured Color: Cavern Clay SW 7701

Tip 1: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

Ready to embrace your love for bold color? According to Sue, using bright hues in a monochromatic color scheme room can unify interior elements like doors, trim, walls and ceilings. “A color like Rachel Pink can add a joyful energy, especially to older homes in need of a refresh,” she says. “The effect can make an old space look super modern.”

Monochromatic bedroom with walls, trim, door, and fireplace mantel painted in a bright, joyful salmon color from Sherwin-Williams called Rachel Pink SW 0026.
Photo Courtesy of @casa_de_car
Featured Color: Rachel Pink SW 0026

Tip 2: Switch Up Sheens

Choosing different paint sheens helps create visual interest in a space that’s all one color. Sue recommends using a flat or matte finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on all trim. But what about the so-called fourth wall? “Paint ceilings in a higher-gloss sheen to reflect light and give your monochromatic space extra textural depth,” she says.

Monochromatic home office with walls, window trim, cabinets, and ceiling painted in a deep, dramatic blue-green color from Sherwin-Williams called Mount Etna SW 7625.
Photo Courtesy of @our_edith_house
Featured Color: Mount Etna SW 7625

Tip 3: One Color = Less Stress

Aside from looking super stylish, going with a monochromatic color palette makes it easier to come up with a final color scheme (which simplifies the design process, making it more fun). “A deep salmon pink color like Pressed Flower looks glam and bohemian,” Sue says. “Plus, it makes rooms with different trim profiles look luxe.”

Monochromatic home office with walls, molding, trim, and ceiling painted in a bohemian coral pink color from Sherwin-Williams called Pressed Flower SW 6304.
Photo Courtesy of @lutzgohome
Featured Color: Pressed Flower SW 6304

Tip 4: Go Big in Small Spaces

A monochromatic color palette can make secondary spaces, like mudrooms, hallways, and bathrooms, seem like a focal point versus an afterthought. But Sue says there’s another big benefit to giving these nooks and crannies some #SWColorLove. “Painting the walls and trim the same color will make small rooms feel larger. Your eye won’t have a marked ‘ending’ spot like it does when your walls are one color and your trim is another.”

Small, monochromatic room with a door, walls, and trim painted in a deep green from Sherwin-Williams called Succulent SW 9650.
Photo Courtesy of @ivycottagedesign
Featured Color: Succulent SW 9650

Tip 5: Emphasize Adjacent Rooms

The biggest fear for most DIYers is that a monochromatic color palette will make their newly painted room feel too enclosed. But Sue says not to worry. “Adjacent rooms, like a dining room, take on a jewel box vibe when dressed up in a single paint color. If the color is light enough or the accents in the room are bright enough, it won’t feel like you’re in a cave at all.”

Monochromatic, midcentury modern dining room with walls, trim, and ceiling painted in an earth tone terracotta color from Sherwin-Williams called Cavern Clay SW 7701.
Photo Courtesy of @thechrisandclaudeco
Featured Color: Cavern Clay SW 7701

Ready to go monochromatic but not sure which hue to choose? Start with these helpful tips and tools:

  1. Check out our Single-Hue Haven post for more color inspiration.
  2. Place an order for peel & stick samples and free color chips, and we’ll mail them to your door.
  3. Request a virtual color consultation (also free!) to get personalized color guidance from one of our color experts.

2 Comments

  1. I really liked the idea to keep it one color! As a painter myself, (owner of https://605primetimepainting.com/ in Sioux Falls, SD), I will definitely take advantage of the color psychology as we do jobs for businesses and houses!

    Bonnie Carlson
  2. My little girl Emery would love to see you and your beautiful house.

    Anthony Lopez

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Stories Like This