Printed from at 07:43 AM, Jan 23 2017
Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'Hallway paint colors'

Hallway paint colors


Any recommendations for paints and colors for common area hallway walls and doors in a condo/co-op?

Pick a good brand and pick a regular stock color. That way no need for matching special custom paints later on when doing touch-ups and such. I'd pick Benjamin Moore paints. The color will depend on what your building exterior color looks like, what the floor looks like, and such. I'd go with something light colored - either flat or semi-gloss whites or beige. Boring, neutral, and will age well.

If it looks like it's too light on a paint chip, it's probably perfect.

If it looks just right on a tiny paint chip, it's probably too dark.

Once you get a large area, then it seems to multiply the color, so lighter is definitely better. Also, when you get it in a hallway without windows it will darken up a lot, the floor will reflect in it and shift the color.

I've had luck with paints that are specially formulated for ceilings, they seem to have some reflective qualities that make them lighten up a room. Go with a semi-gloss and also ask for something that won't hold fingerprints and smudges. Some paints just seem to suck up fingerprints and look spotty.

I agree with proper service, I'm sure they have something that's always available in a big bucket, pick the beige one, so it doesn't look stark and too much like an operating room.

What color is your trim? What color is your floor?

Floor tiles are not in good repair and might be replaced after the walls and doors are completed. What about eggshell? Too white? Would you use a couple of colors on the doors(e.g. trim a different color from the rest of the door)?

Generally colors with names like Linen White or China White do pretty well--they're off-whites with a yellow/beige base that feel warm. I also like Moore's Atrium White.

I agree re: the merit of going with semi-gloss, or even gloss (though that can be a bit extreme looking). Whatever you do, DON'T use a matte finish. It will get smudged easily and is hard to clean.

Dove white is great too.

The norm is usually flat/semi gloss for walls and a gloss/hi gloss? shade for trims and doors. Makes a nicer contrast.

Re: the doors, I don't think you need to go nuts on doing trim in a different color. Remember, you want something that is easy to touch up when necessary. I tend to like a nice solid dark blue or dark green for hallway doors/trim. It's very classic.

Eggshell colors are good, IMO. You could go even warmer, though, like with BM's 'Jute'. I would stay away from out-and-out beige, which can look blah. Another way to go would be a cooler, light gray-based color which would mask standard air-borne grime pretty well.

Oh, I'd also pick a VOC free paint if it can be helped. Does not stink up your hallway during the drying process (smells like nothing) and doesn't give off VOC for rest of the time.

Charcoal gray is also nice for doors/trim.

So, it sounds like semi-gloss/gloss off white for walls and gloss for doors with door trim being a dark color. How about a brass plate at the bottom of the doors?


Door trim is gloss white, doors are gloss white. They are supposed to match.

If you decide to go with the grey that bramstar is suggesting, the doors and trim are supposed to be all the same color.

Walls are semi-gloss, beige if you're doing white trim/doors, white if you're doing grey trim/doors.

Brass plate is nice with WHITE doors, but be sure it's coated for tarnish resistance. Pure brass will look like crap in 2 years, it tarnishes to a tacky brownish/greenish color and sometimes is develops little pits. But if the door hardware is not brass it will just look silly and the shiny brass will make the dull old door handles/locks look old and gnarly.

You really should do the floors before any doors and painting. If you choose to do the floors at a later date the chances are great that you will to do many touchups

You also (depends on the budget) go with Scuffmaster paint. It does cost $200.00 a gallon.

flat enamel

>>Door trim is gloss white, doors are gloss white. They are supposed to match. <<

Wait! Don't do white doors! They'll get unbelievably grungy. But yeah, door/frame should match and be done in gloss.

And I agree with needs--I'd skip the brass plates. Keep it simple and easy-care.

Was thinking that since most people use their feet to push open their doors some kind of plate at the bottom would help with care.

"Oh, I'd also pick a VOC free paint if it can be helped. Does not stink up your hallway during the drying process (smells like nothing) and doesn't give off VOC for rest of the time."

Enough with the hysteria over VOCs.

It smells for about three days tops. And the amount of VOCs that are given off "for the rest of the time" are so infinitesimal that it's absurd to even consider them, living in a city like New York.

It pains me to agree with always-wrong Matthew, but yes: volatilely-compounded paint is time-tested, long-wearing and totally friendly. Aromatherapy, cleaning products that are scented with "rain" or "guilt" or whatever, not so much; hate 'em.

P.S.: the flatter the sheen, the more it hides imperfections ... the glossier, the more pronounced they are. Yes, even on trim.

P.P.S.: your building is never going to wash its interior painted surfaces, and latex paint is washable in all sheens, unlike the alkyd-based paint that fell out of use in the early 1970s, I think it was.

It pains me to disagree with always-right Alan, but latex paint is NOT washable in all sheens, despite the claims by the manufacturers.

Light pressure ... not even scrubbing ... is enough to wash flat and eggshell paint right off the surface.

... if you make stupendously stupid choices in your cleaning solutions. Otherwise, no.

I guess mild soap and water would be considered "stupendously stupid" according to the paint manufacturers.

I don't think anyone really can answer that question without knowing what type of building is it? What kind of lighting? How long are the hallways? Etc.

You need to know how long the hallways are to recommend paint for the walls? They aren't very long. What do you need to know about the type of building that will help you give advice? Not sure how to answer such that you can factor in. Lighting is fluorescent. Take a crack at an answer with that info.

Ugh, fluorescent.

Maybe it's time to reconsider the white.

With harsh fluorescent lights and tile floors, it will look like an alien autopsy room.

Beige wall, white trim.

i think hallways look nice split across the middle with glossy trim that matches door/floor trim and a lighter color on top, and darker on bottom. try a very light grey on top and a darker grey on bottom. that way you get both, the openness of a light color and the untility of a dark on the bottom, where most wear and tear accurs. i don't know if there is a special name for that center trim. like wainscotting, but without the wainscotting. just split the wall in 2. make sense?

Do they even make incandescent bulbs anymore? i think we are stuck with fluorescent lighting. I think semi gloss off shite for the walls. Gloss off white for the ceiling and grey trim on the doors might work.

a lot a good opinions here, *mine* is white halls look very institutional. even hospitals put some stuff on walls to make them look homey. if the trim is grey, make the walls a lighter grey. that might look nice, a light grey for walls, dark grey trim and white everything else.

"With harsh fluorescent lights and tile floors, it will look like an alien autopsy room. "

i'm imagining the hallway to the kill room in a horror movie. you know the lights will flicker and buzz, too.

it's a "chair rail"

they make incandescent as well as halogen--use low wattage to save--and turn em off when not using--no mercury risk

Wallpaper on bottom of wall then chair rail then paint on top of wall

Buy lots of extra wallpaper and replace as needed

Wallpaper slightly darker shade / rail very light / paint color in the middle of those

I think wallpaper and chair rails may put us a bit over the budget.

then don't do white walls, do light grey/beige/sage with a crisp glossy white trim around the floor and doors. there are even some light muddled turqs that look surprisingly neutral, maybe a light robin's egg.
don't do white though, it will look ugly.

Semi-gloss for the walls and gloss for the ceiling and doors?

Anyone know if a DOB Permit is required for common areas painting and tile work? I don't believe you need a permit to paint but what about replacing all the floor tiles?

I suggest you go to a Benjamin Moore paint dealer and look at the color cards that show recommended combinations. Your paint supplier can match the color if budget is an issue. You dont want to end up with a 'cool' based white and a 'warm' based off white/beige/tan.
The satin gloss is right for the walls and a semi-gloss for door and trim. (hi-gloss will show every imperfection in the old doors.
Also..paint all service doors (trash room, staircase etc) to match the wall color and paint the apartment entry doors the accent color to make them have a sense of importance.

You do not need a permit to paint.

Why not hire a designer who knows color. It really would not cost very much

Sma10022 is right about the cool white and warm off white. I have that in my living room and I hate it!

Any recommendations on colors for doors and trim of doors?


I gave designers that for a very small cost (it's only paint colors) would come out and ake a look. I think it would be worth your while

Seems like white walls and black doors is the best bet

Black doors? Are you freaking kidding me?

Seriously, what planet are you from?

Have you ever been inside another building with black doors? Ever?

Tell the truth, this is a joke, right?

Black glossy paint for hallway doors is classic, it's everywhere. Or are you just joking, saying that's a boring choice, needsadvice?

I've seen black doors in many apartment buildings. I am not kidding you, needsadvice.

875gator, in order to look good the black doors have to be done with the best GLOSS and lacquer, otherwise the look is very depressing and freaky.
I suggest neutral beiges, the doors a shade or two darker that the walls.

"the look is very depressing and freaky" ... how so? Basically, I disagree. It looks good, flat panel, raised panel, everything.

What doesn't look good is when doors/frames are painted a brown that tries to emulate wood, drawing attention to the fact that it's not wood, or hides wood anyway.

Probably a semi gloss on the black doors with the frame being the same color. I think with off white walls it will look striking. Now to tackle the overhead lighting...

Consider expected phase-in of LED, and phase-out of incandescent (maybe CFL, too, if consumer affection or mercury disposal become issues).

Pricey, longish lasting, pricey:


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