Painting North-Facing Rooms

A space can be perfectly decorated and beautifully painted but if the  chosen wall colors do not complement the natural light, based on the exposure of the room, the entire atmosphere might feel off a bit.

Natural light affects the way paint colors appear based not only on the location of the room but also on the season.

So what are the things to consider when choosing the best paint color? As professional painters we always take the time to consult and explore these choices with our clients.

Below are some general factors to keep in mind when making your color  choices when your space is facing north:

North-facing rooms do not get sufficient light compared to east facing rooms for example. And even though the idea that painting these spaces in light color will brighten up the atmosphere, it’s not necessarily the best solution.

Farrow & Ball for example advises not to go against the properties of natural light in north home areas and choose a rich, darker tone for a dramatic and intimate look. Another factor to consider is that light in north facing rooms tends to have cooler tones which makes the choices below complementary to the natural “north light” quality.

Color recommendations for north-facing rooms by a few brands we like to work with:

Farrow & Ball “Railings


Farrow & Ball “ Down Pipe


Combining the dark tones above with contrasting white or bright color furniture and other interior decor elements creates an interesting and unique room atmosphere.

If you are not a fan of dark walls, there are great neutral-warm tones that work well in rooms with northern exposure:

Benjamin Moore “Gentle Cream OC-96”


Benjamin Moore
“Powell Bluff HC-35”

Sherwin Williams also has beautiful choices to help neutralize the colder north light qualities:

Sherwin Williams
“Naples Yellow SW9021”


Sherwin Williams
“Bee SW6683”


One thing to keep in mind is that warm colors might look great in a north-facing room; however, they will probably appear too intense in east and south-facing spaces. Paint impression can also be affected by the choice of room lighting and as professionals we offer our advice to help you choose what feels right and adequate considering all factors when creating your space’s atmosphere.



We are a locally owned company providing professional painting services for residential and commercial clients. We have been in business since 2005 and we are still growing. We proudly serve the Northern Virginia and Maryland region.

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