How to Match Wall Paint Colors with Wood Floor Colors

Updated: April 12th, 2024

Hardwood floors can completely transform a room, providing an air of sophistication along with the typical visual upgrade. But if you find that a room is still lacking a particular je ne sais quoi even with new wood or wood-look floors installed, a good way to kick things up a notch is to paint one or more of the walls an exciting new color. With an infinite number of tones to choose from, a new paint job can sometimes make a room look worse. But by being deliberate with your hue choice and applying a little color science, you can give a plain room a designer look while sticking to a DIY budget. Here’s how to match wall colors with wood floors like a pro. 

Light-Toned Wood Look Flooring

Choosing paint colors for light wood floors is simple—keep it light! If you originally chose light floors in an effort to brighten up your space, you should stay on that track when picking a paint color to match the floors. Pairing light floors and walls can help amplify that clean look that gives the illusion of extra space. Try these wall paint colors to help you achieve your open, airy aesthetic. 

White Walls can Add Visual Space

When you think of light colors, white probably stands out as the obvious choice. Not only is it great for ash or white oak floors, but it will also help simplify coordination with all of your other décor. And white doesn’t have to be as simple as you think. Like other paint colors, there can be an entire universe of subtle tone variations that still fall in the white color family while adding a little extra character—so have fun finding the perfect shade for your space. 

white color swatches

Add Flavor with White Alternatives

If white is too vanilla for your taste, try colors that are close but not as bright. Cream and off-white colors can have the same effect while offering yellow undertones for a bit of color. 

off white color swatches

Neutrals are Simple Yet Stylish

Between gray, beige, taupe, or greige, neutrals are a great way to match your light wood floors while still giving your walls character. Avoid darker variations of brown and yellow as they can be too much of a contrast from your floors, causing a clash. 

neutral color swatches

Gray Wood Look Flooring

Gray wood floors have been a popular choice for homeowners for years. And with the growing prevalence of alternative wood-look materials that be crafted in just about any imaginable shade, we expect that trend to continue. But what paint colors look good with gray wood flooring? Well, rule number one is to not choose a shade of gray for your walls. While certain monochromatic palettes can look sophisticated, when a room is done in all grays it often ends up being devoid of any character, giving your room a sterile appearance that doesn’t feel very welcoming. Instead, walls with some color are a great match to gray wood floors. 

Go Cool with Blues

Cool and relaxing, blue easily complements gray flooring. But you want to stick with cool tones to keep the contrast to a minimum.  Think ice and navy blues. This is also where you can experiment with a quasi-monochromatic look, with many paler blues or blue-grays offering a similar coolness as your gray wood-look floors but still adding character to your room. We suggest avoiding aqua or turquoise for your walls, as they have too much green in their hues 

cool blue color swatches

Pure White Paint Colors for a Refreshing Appeal

Similar to how they match light-toned flooring, white wall paint colors also harmonize well with gray hardwood floors. This combination will create that clean, open look, but still have enough contrast to add a touch of style. As before, when choosing a white paint to match your wood floors it’s important to know which shades to avoid. White walls with yellow undertones—including paint colors like cream or off-white—should be avoided. Instead, stick with cool and pure whites. 

Dusty Greens for a Calm Touch of Color

While aqua and turquoise should be avoided because of their rich green undertones, choosing a less verdant shade of green isn’t a bad idea. Aim for sage or pale greens with gray undertones to create a cool-toned dynamic in your space. The gray takes away the warmth, while the green adds a touch of color to the room. 

dusty green color swatches

Dark-Toned Wood Look Flooring

Dark floors can add a chic, sophisticated feel to a room, and are commonly chosen by modern homeowners. However, those rich tones can quickly turn from elegant to overwhelming when paired with the wrong wall color. Combining dark walls with dark wood floors can make a room feel stuffy and unwelcoming.  

Instead, go with light walls to liven up the space. This contrast will actually help highlight the beauty of your dark flooring, while keeping rooms from feeling too dark and claustrophobic. So unless you’re shooting for haunted house aesthetics, go for light wall paint colors. What color you should choose varies depending on the stain and undertone of your floors, but try to keep your walls at least 3 shades lighter than your flooring. 

light color swatches

Things to Remember When Picking Wall Paint Colors

Don’t Overlook Undertones

Focusing on your flooring’s undertone is a quick and easy way to create a cohesive design that doesn’t clash. There are two ways to coordinate your walls with your floors’ undertones: make them match or make them complementary. With warm undertone wood floor colors, you can choose wall paints that match their warmth. This gives an alluring design with a smooth transition. However, wood floor colors with yellow undertones look amazing with blue walls or yellow undertone floors go perfect with purple or purple-gray walls.  The contrast gives the room flair without the colors clashing. Remember, complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. 

Accent Walls Give the Perfect Balance

Apprehensive about committing to any one color or feel like an entire room with green or blue walls just isn’t your thing? Choosing just one wall to paint as an accent wall is a nice way to explore your design dreams without going too far over the edge. Just a pop of color on one wall will give your space most of the same benefits of a full-scale repaint, letting you make a statement without making a huge commitment.  

wood look flooring and cool-blue accent wall

Furniture and More: Consider All Décor

Of course, interior design is about much more than determining the paint colors that go with wood floors.  You’ll also have to consider your furniture and accent décor. If you have furniture you’re really attached to and expect to keep for the foreseeable future, it’s a good idea to make sure it doesn’t clash with your flooring, particularly in the case of wooden legs on tables or sofas.  

This is where you want some contrast. It can look awkward if there is only a slight difference in the wood colors of your furniture and your floors—like wearing a suit jacket and pants that are the same color but don’t quite match. And having furniture that is exactly the same color as your floors can look equally as strange, creating too much monotony in a room. 

If you’re dead set on floors and furniture that don’t look great next to each other, one way to avoid clashing or too much uniformity is to use rugs to add a visual break between the two elements.  

laminate flooring with matching accent decor

In the end, figuring out how to match wall color with your wood floor doesn’t have to be a complicated undertaking! Just remember a few key basics about color science: and make sure to consider the undertones and avoid combining wall and wood floor colors that will either clash or depress your space. You can start by letting Empire Today®  help you choose wood floors that match not only your design goals, but also your budget and lifestyle. 

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