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

      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

      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

      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

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