Paint Colors That Can Make Your Walls Look Dingy

Picking the right paint color is a tricky business. It’s difficult to know what the color will look like on a wall when all you have to go on is a tiny paint swatch. One thing you may not expect is that some colors can actually make your walls look dirty, especially in the low-light months. Here’s some colors to avoid in rooms which don’t get full sun.

Yellow Tones

Studies show that yellow helps to improve mood but be sure to pick the right shade. Warm whites have undertones of yellow that can make walls look dirty. Choose all white or decorator’s white instead. Yellows can also look dingy so be careful which color you choose. If your yellow is too bright, it will be overwhelming, but too pale and it looks like nicotine stains. Creamy whites are a good compromise here.

Builder’s beige is another culprit. It may be a neutral tone, but in areas of poor light it can fall flat. The same goes for yellow and greenish beige tones. If you are looking for neutral tones, try gray or taupe instead.


It’s the yellow undertones here that are the problem yet again. Hunters green that leans to the blue side or really bright greens can look fantastic in the right light.


Pinks can be tricky too. Shy away from dusty rose or dirty pinks in rooms that aren’t well lit. Studies show that pink can help to lower stress which makes it an excellent color for children’s room. A BBC study found that 20% of police stations and prisons in Switzerland have at least one pink cell. Also known as ‘drunk tank pink’, Baker Miller pink is said to reduce aggressive behavior. Originally made by mixing a gallon of pure white indoor latex paint with a pint of red trim semi-gloss outdoor paint, studies in the 1960s by Alexander Schauss claimed that this shade of pink helped to reduce aggressive behavior in inmates.

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