Light wood floors are common in condos and apartments as well as older homes. They’re predominantly an older design trend that has hung around a little while. That said, newer light wood floors have become trendier in some cities. A complementary or contrasting wall paint color’s an excellent way to feature it.
Before we really dig into the best paint colors for light wood floors, it’s important to know what we’re working with. A sleek light hardwood can be a range of light greys, whites, or natural. They can be ash, birch, bamboo, or white oak. A light wood floor can be anything. When you choose a paint color, it’s got to work with everything else in your room.
Here are the eight best wall paint colors for light wood floors:
1. Light wall paint colors
The reason why a lot of us like light wood floors is because of how large and bright they make a room feel. The best way to accentuate this without creating conflict in design is by using light colors on your walls as well.
Light-colored floors and walls make a space feel open, working exceptionally well with natural light and large windows.
2. White wall paint colors
White is a classic choice. It’s sure to brighten. It won’t distract. Unfortunately, white comes in hundreds of shades. This in and of itself is going to be confusing for homeowners. That said, the different shades of white are there to match to your space. When you have a light wood floor, certain whites may work better than others. Snap a picture on your smartphone in natural light and compare it to various shades of white.
An off-white is best for a lot of light wood flooring because they’re considered the softest whites available. A stark white, in comparison, doesn’t have that same feel. That said, there are cool whites and warm whites, each with the potential to perfectly match the undertones in your light wood flooring.
3. Cream wall paint colors
A cream white is your plain white with a hue of yellow slightly present in the mix. Next to an off-white or standard white, cream has more warmth and richness to it. If your floor has warm undertones, cream is perfect. If it does not, avoid it.
Also, should you paint your walls in cream, whichever shade you choose shouldn’t appear too dark or too yellow. It’s admittedly a delicate balance.
4. Light gray wall paint colors
Light gray – like white – also comes in several varieties. Once again, choose a gray with the undertones your floor already has. If you haven’t worked with undertones before, it can be a challenge. Common undertones on a light wood floor include pinks, blues, greens, and other colors.
They’re either going to be warm or cool. A color-by-color comparison should make it obvious whether a wall paint color is going to work. Also, never pair a gray wood with a gray wall.
5. Neutral wall paint colors
Some less popular neutrals that are up-and-coming in interior design circles include beige and taupe. They bring more color to the table without being overpowering on a light wood.
These neutrals are darker than cream and have more character. They’re meant to be a go-to for homeowners looking for a rich paint color but who still wants to keep it in the neutral zone.
6. Tan wall paint colors
Before exiting the neutral class of colors, there are certain tan paints that work extremely well alongside a light wood floor. Tan can be light or dark, always warm in design. For a warm hardwood, they’re perfect. Choosing a darker tan color rarely works. A design risk, we recommend avoiding darker tan shades. If you do find one you like, tag it with a similar lighter shade. Go light with tan and a light hardwood floor – don’t go dark.
7. Bold wall paint colors
The guiding rule is to match the undertones in the wood. This means you don’t have to go with white, gray, or neutral tones if you don’t want to. You can go bolder with your color choice. The drawback is that it could conflict with the bright, clean look the wood has established.
It’s important to remember your floor doesn’t have to establish the room aesthetic, either. You’ve got furnishings, the ceiling, walls, windows, rugs, shapes, and more to toy with.
8. Wood undertone wall paint colors
Undertones fall into two categories – cool and warm. Cool undertones work well with blues and greens. Warm undertones work well with a yellow, orange, red clay, or cream. Mismatching undertones can work on some occasions, though it is rare.
Each set of undertones comes with a range of ‘safe’ and ‘bold’ colors. Depending on what you intend to use the room for and furnishings involved, any of the aforementioned colors work as long as they correspond correctly with the undertones.