You Asked, We Answered

We scoured #SWColorLove to see what sorts of color questions you had, then submitted them to our color expert, Sue Wadden. Here’s what she had to say.

part of bedroom, light blue walls, bed with wooden board

Q: I’m turning one of my rooms into a guest bedroom. What color should I paint it? – Katie, MD

A: Since you never know who might be stopping by for a weekend, it’s good to keep the guest bedroom basic. A neutral color palette will make anyone feel at home. I’d recommend a light color, such as white or pastel blue, which will make the room feel airy and large, giving the guest plenty of space for his or her stay.

Living room with height diagonal ceiling, white walls, fireplace, some chair table and couch

Q: I just bought a new house with an ugly stone fireplace, and I’d like to paint it. What tools do you recommend for the job? – Lauren, CT

A: Painting brick can be a great way to invigorate an otherwise dull fixture – especially a fireplace. I recommend a roller for the stone faces, and a sash brush for the edges and mortar between. If you have highly-textured stones, use a roller with at least a ½-inch nap that can reach into each brick’s individual crevices. And if your stones have a shiny, glazed face, prime the surface first to help your paint stick.

Kitchen corner, sink, coutertops, white walls and cabinets

Q: I seem to have a lingering smoke smell in my kitchen. Is there anything you’d recommend helping with common house odors? – Bill, CA

A: As a matter of fact, Sherwin-Williams Harmony® interior acrylic latex paint helps reduce indoor odors such as pet, cooking and smoke to help rooms stay fresher, longer. In addition to giving your walls a washable, durable finish, Harmony contains formaldehyde reducing technology* that helps improve indoor air quality by reducing VOC (volatile organic compounds) from sources such as carpet, cabinets and fabrics.

*The length of time Harmony actively reduces odors and formaldehyde depends on the concentration, the frequency of exposure and the amount of painted surface area.


  1. I ‘think’ I want to have all molding (ceiling and floor) and door trims painted the same color as the walls – a specially mixed SW pale yellow/pale green hue. Their are five doorways in my great room and the alabaster trim seems to be the main focus rather than my lovely subtle wall color and cozy furnishings. Am I making a mistake?!

    Kristine Johnson
    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Kristine! We typically do not recommend painting molding/trim the same color as walls. You can always give it a try to see how it looks in space.

  2. Our home is 111 years old, built when houses were built very close together, maybe 6-8 feet apart at most. There is no view and also reduced daylight. We deal with light and privacy issues by keeping sheer drapes closed and using matchstick blinds.
    Decorators advise in this situation to choose dark colors for when the room will be lighted by interior light and not trying to capture daylight that does not exist.
    I don’t have a problem with this theory, but it is hard to find colors that work. I want to use green in my bedroom to play up an antique headboard that is an original factory painted olive green and capture a relaxing natural color palette.
    Years ago I did a faux silk striae painting on one wall using a corn broom. I used a bright lime tone green as a base, then a medium drab green and finally a darker green with a slight blue undertone. It turned out wonderfully, but I mixed these colors myself. That wall is not immediately adjacent to the others so it could stay that way.
    Since then we demolished three walls in the room and now I am ready to repaint these walls. I want to incorporate a grey with a green undertone to incorporate similarly toned bedding and drapes. There are natural maple colored wood closet doors in the room (which could be repainted) and the floors are a darker brazilian cherry.
    Though faux painting is now out of fashion I thought redoing a faux silk striae might be the best way to use a few different greens/ greys in order to try to capture a natural outdoor color palette. I would also be fine with painting one color or other faux painting ideas…if I could find the colors that work. Green is a tough color to work with.
    Can you point me in the right direction?

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hello Norma! Consider our free 30-minute virtual consultations with one of our color experts to get one-on-one guidance for your painting project via text, email, phone call or video chat. Complete the form to request a Virtual Color Consultation

  3. Hi my hallway is Kilim Beige and I want to paint my master bedroom, one other bedroom more of a gray. will either Dorian Gray or Ellie Gray blend with the hallway I also have 2 bathrooms off of the bedrooms to paint, both a little small….looking for a color to use there as well

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Jill! You are definitely on the right track with the two grays you mentioned. We think Dorian Gray SW 7017 is the better choice to complement Kilim Beige SW 6106. Ellie Gray SW 7650 is very pretty but you need a color just a hair lighter and that would be Dorian Gray. We need a little more info for the bathrooms in order to pick a color. What colors are the floor tiles and wall tiles in those bathrooms. We are assuming one bathroom is off the master and one is off the hallway, is that correct? Let us know when you get a minute. Thank you.

  4. Hi! I am wanting to do a slightly contrasting trim to white walls. Alabaster has been my fav so far (Greek villa was too creamy & pure white TOO white). Suggestions? Debating between useful gray, 75% shittake or another suggestion?

    Meredith Stokes
  5. Have an old building that we have just had to dry wall 2 walls that were damaged. What do we put in the paint to try to match the texture of the other walls that maybe have sand or something in the paint?

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Pat! Consider repainting the entire wall. The texture being different will be less noticeable this way. You may want to consult a local professional if the texture is still too noticeable.

  6. Hi
    Im painted on having my basement painted. we have very little light only 1 small look out window. Our carpet is beige and furniture is brown . We just put some up wainscoating near the ceiling about 17 inches high along the ceiling to cover pipes. That is pine wood and we finished it with clear varnish. What color would you suggest to paint the walls ?? would you have an accent wall under the wainscoating ??

    Janet Vlasak
    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Janet! We would not do an accent wall – you would visually chop up the space. Look at some warm, golden neutrals like Casa Blanca SW 7571 or Aged White SW 9180 to bring some extra light and warmth to your space.

      • Hi
        I am painting my upper kitchen cabinets pure white and walls accessible beige in open kitchen, dining and sunroom. My table is provincial wood and floors are brown gray taupe slate tiles. Counter river white granite. Looking at balanced beige for lower cabinets for tying all together in large area. What would you suggest for lower cabinets?

        • Sherwin-Williams logo

          Hello Mary, Accessible Beige SW 7036 and Balanced Beige SW 7037 may be to close to see a noticeable difference. We would suggest that you look at Tony Taupe SW 7038 on the lower cabinets. Another option would be to paint your upper cabinets the same color as your walls (Accessible Beige) and paint the darker color on lower cabinets. When you paint your upper cabinets the same color as your walls, your kitchen will look bigger and brighter with a more cohesive palette.

  7. Any recommendations on what paint to use when painting furniture?

  8. Hello, Love the color Krypton and I am looking to paint my bedroom in that color. My question is regarding the headboard that is pictured in the bedroom with the krypton wall paint. I would like to know where it was purchased and any information your can provide. Thank you.

  9. I love your color palette Urban Bronze, Shoji White, Evergreen Fog and Woven Wicker. I want to know what other colors I can switch out Woven Wicker? I’m looking for something one or two tones darker and/or with more of a copper/rust tint. Thank you!

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Lori! Take a look at these warm coppers:
      Fired Brick SW 6335
      Wheat Penny SW 7705
      Roycroft Copper Red SW 2803

  10. I want to repaint my kitchen —
    I have black counter tops, black / silver appliances
    white cuborts
    i have a multicolored backsplash of all the above colors and shades thereof —
    what color should i paint my walls???

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Helen! I think a warm neutral would be a great backdrop and bridge all of your colors together. Take a look at:
      SW 7527 Nantucket Dune
      SW 7569 Stucco
      SW 7534 Outerbanks
      It is always best to look at color in your lighting. Order some free sample chips from our website to determine which color will work best for you

  11. My husband and I are building a new home. I chose Gossamer Veil for the kitchen cabinets and the cabinets on either side of the fireplace. The walls have not been painted yet. Unfortunately, the Gossamer Veil cabinets look too gray for my taste and I am hoping someone here can suggest a wall color that would tone down, or neutralize, the gray. At this point, I am considering Aesthetic White on the walls and Pure White for the trim. I am on a short deadline to give the builder the name of the wall paint color. Please help! Thanks in advance.

    Mary Ellen Price
    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi there, For a job of this scope and detail, you would benefit best from a one-on-one virtual consult with one of our designers. You can schedule a “real-time” appointment with a designer when you sign up. This virtual consult will allow the designer to see your space and lighting which would be the best option for your project. Click the following link to get started.

  12. I’m painting a ‘Mancave” 10’X14’ what color has other men painted such as this?
    This is sheetrock walls how much do i need and do i need to paint primer first?

    Owen Tanner
    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hello Owen, for something like this, you may want to try an earthy brown or dark gray. Here are a few options: Iron Ore, Peppercorn, or Naval.

  13. Hi! I am gathering by these posts that if someone wanted a gray, exterior paint with virtually no overtones of anything, a “true gray”, you would recommend Repose Gray or perhaps Zircon or March Wind for a LIGHT gray exterior. What would you recommend for a medium gray exterior, straight up gray paint? In the end, there will be white trim and perhaps Web Gray shutters. Thank you!

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Carolyn, well you have nailed 2 of our 3 “true” grays which are listed below from lightest to darkest:
      Zircon SW 7667
      Knitting Needle SW 7672
      March Wind SW 7678

  14. Hi!
    We’re planning on painting an ocean front condo with our favorite color SeaSalt. Since it’s a small condo I’m thinking of painting the walls, trim and doors all the same color . Will it will make the small space feel larger ?

    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Hi Kim, painting the walls, trim and doors does help make a small space feel larger. It feels larger because there is no break in the color when its on the trim and doors.


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