Bossington House, Adisham Kent:  Corridor & hallway by Lee Evans Partnership

What colour should I paint my hallway?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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As the connection zones between all the spaces in the home, hallways are much more important than we usually give them credit for. That is why picking out a paint colour is a choice that should not be taken lightly. 

When choosing paint, consider not only the wall colour, but also the colour for the trim. To ensure that a narrow hallway does not feel claustrophobic, choose colours for the door trim that recede, rather than stand out against the wall colours. The idea is to visually create a more spacious walkway.

And when it comes to a darker hallway with no windows, consider using lighter hues to reflect light and keep the area from looking dimly lit.

Let’s delve into hallway painting!

1. The best colours if you have windows

Bossington House, Adisham Kent:  Corridor & hallway by Lee Evans Partnership
Lee Evans Partnership

Bossington House, Adisham Kent

Lee Evans Partnership

If you’re fortunate enough to have a window or two in your hallway, use the light to create width. With the natural light, your choice of colours can expand to lighter tans or yellows. 

Consider placing mirrors on the opposite wall to increase the feeling of spaciousness. Hang mirrors across from the windows, but half a window width to the right or left. 

Avoid using curtains. If you need to cover the windows, use small sash rods inside the window frames, and choose a fabric that allows for plenty of light.

2. Which colours create space?

Any light shade of colour will increase the feeling of spaciousness. White is standard, but not the best choice, as it shows all scuffs and handprints. 

Light greens and blues have proven to have the most calming effect on people. From a natural green to a sky blue, these colours are associated with outdoors and, in addition to tricking the eye, will ease people down the narrow hallway. 

homify hint: When choosing the trim colour, go two shades lighter than the wall. This will also add a perspective of width.

3. What if there are no doors or windows?

Penthouse, Zurich:  Corridor & hallway by Dyer-Smith Frey
Dyer-Smith Frey

Penthouse, Zurich

Dyer-Smith Frey

Light blues or greens are, again, the best choices for hallways with no doors or windows. Instead of using just one colour for the walls, choose a deeper shade for the base of the wall and a lighter shade for the top. 

To do this, simply paint the bottom of the wall to about 3 feet up from the floor. After the paint has dried, tape a straight line along the walls, then paint the top the lighter colour.

4. What about something other than green or blue?

Full renovation Project:  Corridor & hallway by J.J.Mullane Ltd
J.J.Mullane Ltd

Full renovation Project

J.J.Mullane Ltd

The best colour choices are light beige, creams and light greys. Choose colours that are more on the cool side of the colour wheel.  

Avoid the deeper shades of these colours to keep the hallway feeling open.

For the finish, we recommend that you go with a satin, eggshell or gloss finish. These reflect light well and are easier to clean.

5. For the ceiling

If your hallway is rather narrow, your best colour bet would be a white base with a slight tone from the wall colour.

Architects, gardeners, and many more – we have them all here on homify. See our professionals page for more info.

6. Picking the right paint supplies for your project

Treasure House :  Corridor & hallway by Perfect Stays
Perfect Stays

Treasure House

Perfect Stays

Ensure you go with the right paint supplies to achieve a professional look (and finish your painting project quickly with less hassle). 

The basics:  

• Paint brushes 

• Paint roller 

• Paint roller tray

You may also need: 

• Caulking and caulking gun 

• Sanding paper 

• Drop cloths 

• Poles 

• Putty knife 

• Masking tape 

• Wiping rags 

• Step ladders

7. Taking the right steps

Prepare the room—Remove pictures and cover all switch- and outlet plates. Arrange drop cloths to protect flooring and any areas not to be painted.

Fix and clean the surface—Fill holes, imperfections and cracks with caulk or spackle. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust on walls and baseboards. For high-use hallways, you may need to use a mild detergent to remove any stains.

Tape off areas—Tape off woodwork and other areas not to be included in your painting project. 

Prime the surface—Be sure to prime any new or bare surfaces and problem areas. If you have chosen a colour that is substantially lighter, you should definitely prime.

8. Start painting your hallway

The mass of this restored country home is broken up by a series of linked volumes minimising its impact:  Corridor & hallway by Des Ewing Residential Architects
Des Ewing Residential Architects

The mass of this restored country home is broken up by a series of linked volumes minimising its impact

Des Ewing Residential Architects

Start painting from the top down, working from unpainted areas into wet, painted areas. 

Oil paints take longer to dry and allow you to brush across the surface several times for a smooth, even finish. Latex paints dry faster, requiring only one or two strokes.

9. Paint the ceiling first

Tackle the ceiling first. Using a brush, paint a 5 cm wide strip on the ceiling where it meets the wall. Then, start in a corner and begin rolling across the short length of the ceiling, continuing to where it ends.

10. Painting your hallway walls

The Cooke's:  Corridor & hallway by Vogue Kitchens
Vogue Kitchens

The Cooke's

Vogue Kitchens

Tape off any woodwork, window frames, and door trim first. Paint a 5 cm wide strip along the areas near the trim with a brush. 

Then, using a roller, create the letter M on your wall. Fill in the area, rolling from left to right until the surface is completely painted. Remember to roll on the paint with even strokes to ensure a uniform coverage.

For more painting tips, take a look at these: 14 mistakes we know you make when painting walls.

What tips can you add to our hallway-painting piece?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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