Hallways – long, narrow, and often without windows – can pose a particular creative problem: what color do you paint them to keep them from being gloomy? These hallway paint ideas might spark some solutions for your space.

Wide-Open Blue

blue hallway paint color
Shop PPG Arabella for a Similar Paint Color

Bedrooms with an en suite off a short hallway can be tricky. You might have closet or laundry-space doors that also open off the hall, cluttering the view. And if the room is an open plan like this one, with no door closing off the hall, every corner is visible. So choose a color that unifies the space. In this case, a pale, watery blue makes the most of the light, while white trim and doors keep things crisp and open.

Sophisticated Space

modern entryway hallway paint color
Shop PPG Silver Band for a Similar Paint Color

Nothing says welcome home like a well-designed entry hall. But how do you manage a space that, by nature, is broken up by a multitude of doors, stairways, and second-floor hallways? Go for a single, neutral tone throughout. Choose one that’s just a few shades darker than the trim. In tall spaces, you can also go one-click darker on the ceiling. This designer trick makes the space look longer.

Architectural Details

ornate hallway decor with white walls
Shop PPG Delicate White for a Similar Paint Color

Traditional homes often have beautiful architectural details, adding a lot of texture to a space. That’s the good news. The bad? This can become visually overwhelming with the wrong paint color. A simple white on walls, trim, and ceiling allows the beautiful woodworking to shine without turning it into optical chaos.

Maximal Contrast

blue hallway paint colors
Shop PPG Blue Fjord for a Similar Paint Color

We often paint foyers a dramatic color to create a memorable entry. But we don’t necessarily want to carry that color over into the rest of the house. If that’s the case in your space, start bringing in the second color in the foyer. Try the stairwell or trim — natural breaks that make sense for a new color. Then as you work the second color into the stairwell and hallway above, it will all flow.

Furniture Makes the Space

beige yellow hallway paint ideas
Shop PPG Ostrich Feather for a Similar Paint Color

Is your hallway dark because it has no windows? Here are a couple of hallway paint ideas to make the most of the light. Paint the walls and ceiling the same light, neutral color, then brighten the space with white trim and doors. Adding artwork and furniture also helps make a hallway feel more like a room than just a passthrough.

Wainscoting Wonderland

beige white entryway and hallway
Shop PPG Shadowy for a Similar Paint Color

If you live in a traditional home with beautiful wainscoting, make the most of it. Paint the wainscoting, trim, and doors one color (white or cream), then pull in soothing beige, greige, or light gray walls to set off the wooden border.

Dark Accents

modern beige hallway paint idea with art work
Shop PPG Cuppa Coffee for a Similar Paint Color

What’s the best color to paint a hallway with no windows? Does it always have to be light? As this hallway shows, a darker color adds drama and elegance. Pair it with light trim and dark accents to create a space you want to linger in.

Midcentury Modern

small hallway paint idea
Shop PPG Coronation for a Similar Paint Color

Some homes, especially midcentury homes, have stained trim and doors. Keep the mod style going by leaving them their original color. Then paint the walls museum white and add stylish accents. A mirror can bounce the light out of a bedroom with a window and into a hallway, giving the effect of sunlight where there is none.

Leafy Green

olive green paint color for entry way
Shop PPG Only Oregano for a Similar Paint Color

Leafy olive green is a great color for homes of any style, from modern to traditional. It’s especially appealing in spaces that bring in other natural elements, like wood and metal. Set off the darker hues with white trim, doors, and ceiling, but carry the green up the stairs and into the hallway above for a stunning effect.

Hallway as Art Gallery

industrial white hallway paint idea
Shop PPG Elusion for a Similar Paint Color

In a super-sleek space, concrete floors reflect light from every part of the house into a narrow hallway. Between that, white-white paint, and high ceilings, you can make a hallway feel like an art gallery.

Cool Gray

grand hallway paint idea
Shop PPG Gray Stone for a Similar Paint Color

Even if your home is partially open plan, using the same color in all the rooms creates a pleasing sightline. Light gray sets off wood tones in floors and railings, making a space feel fresh and modern.

For more hallway paint ideas, check out our 2021 paint palette of the year. And learn more about our interior painting services — we’d be happy to tackle that hallway for you.

Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.