Wood paneling tends to offer a vintage look that can turn the home into a place that is more welcoming and inviting, which has made it popular in recent years.
However, after installing wood paneling in your home, you may feel stuck when deciding what colors go best with it.
Fortunately, you can choose from many unique options and work to make your home look exactly as you hoped.
A general rule for those dipping their toes into wood paneling is to use neutral and earthy colors above all else.
The best colors are thought to be white, turquoise, off-white/ivory, yellow, greens, grey, blues, and beige.
But there is much more to know when it comes to painting paneling and the best color ideas.
By learning which colors go best with wood and wood trim, you can create a gorgeous room that comes together perfectly.
Wood Paneling Colors And Ideas
When choosing the paint colors for wood paneling, keep an eye on the type of wood, grain structure, and shade it has.
The colors that go well with dark wood paneling may not be the same as those that go well with light wood paneling.
For example, if you have a room with dark cherry wood paneling, you may want to paint the walls a creamy white or light gray.
But if you have maple wood paneling in a room with lots of natural light, you may want to consider painting the walls a bolder color, like deep green or navy blue.
Some colors that work well with wood paneling may surprise you, so read on to learn more if you are feeling excited with me…
1. Mustard Yellow
Yellow is one of the most versatile colors when it comes to pairing with wood.
It looks great with both light and dark wood paneling since it reflects the same undertones in most shades of wood.
You can use a muted mustard yellow to work with the wood and it will give it a modern, light look.
You are also free to use a sunny, bright shade of wood as well for a similar effect.
2. Wonderful White
White is a color that looks good with anything you pair it with. It is known as a universal color due to its versatility and ability to make it work in any design.
For instance, having a room with white walls and white or light-colored wood panels gives you a modern and contemporary look.
If you pair it with neutral colors, it takes on a coastal appearance. White is also often used to make a room look larger.
3. Beachy Turquoise
If you’ve ever explored Southwestern decor, you’re likely to have noticed that turquoise and wood paneling is something of a staple in this area.
Though it is popular in the Southwestern United States, it is not exclusive to that area.
It is good for anyone who prefers a more exotic look or those who want something vibrant but coastal; the turquoise offers a beachy ambiance when paired correctly with the wood trim.
4. Classic Grays
Gray easily complements a white kitchen counter decorated with white-paneled wood or a glass-doored cabinet filled with wooden utensils.
It may be surprising to know that grays are one of the most common choices for interior design since it is such a subtle color, but it is.
This is because it is also quite versatile and works well in both traditional and modern spaces alike. It even looks nice with rustic and country styles.
If you’re trying to decide which colors to use with your wood panels, you can’t go wrong with gray. It truly does complement everything.
5. Crisp Blue
If you want a royal look in your home to pair with your wood paneling, blue is a timeless choice.
It is common to see older homes that have a royal blue hue working in harmony with cherry wood or mahogany for this reason.
It brings with it brilliant contrast that offers a sophisticated appearance.
To make it stand out even more, you can include gold accents here and there to create a truly regal look.
6. Shades of Green
When you are using wood trim, green tends to be one of the more conventional colors you will notice it paired with.
This is especially true if there are wood finishes that are darker in color, like mahogany.
This type of palette is common in Ivy League schools, so it brings with it an air of sophistication.
That said, you aren’t limited to dark shades of green to make it look good with wood paneling.
For instance, you are free to use playful mint green as it will contrast just as well.
If you want to add some tropical or beachy feelings to the space, a turquoise green color will be the shade you want for this.
If you’d like to make that more elegant, you can add some gold or brass to offer that royal appearance.
7. Mild Beige
Beige is a versatile color that is great for just about any wood paneling or trim.
This is because it is so neutral and, therefore, can be included in any number of color palettes.
This shade can be used with traditional color schemes or quirky, vibrant ones alike due to its sheer versatility.
Beige can also be paired with mild golden hues and can help enhance the overall appearance of wood paneling in any space.
8. Off-white and Ivory
Finally, you can go for something entirely modern by choosing white or ivory.
For example, you can create a modern kitchen with wood panels by painting a lower cabinet white.
But in some cases, white contrasts too vividly if there is too much color already present in the room.
This is especially important to note if you are hoping to create an inviting kitchen with a cozy and comfortable look instead of something commercial or industrial.
Choosing a mild off-white hue like cream or eggshell will pair beautifully with a delicate color scheme.
Furthermore, if you like Tudor-style homes, you can embody some of that aesthetic by matching dark wood panels with off-white instead of going for pure white.
Tips on Picking Paint Colors for Wood Panels
Before diving into planning the perfect colors for your wood paneling, there are a few things you need to keep in mind…
The first is that fabrics and furnishings are excellent at bringing out the beauty of wood paneling all on their own.
You can enhance their tones using such accessories.
When choosing the wall colors, you want to use, be sure to think about the furnishings and fabrics and how they can also impact your wood panels.
Neutral and Warmer Colors
You will also want to take into consideration the dominant colors that create a more dramatic feel to your palette.
For instance, choosing neutral and warm colors such as tan-green or dark gray will elevate the appearance of the space.
This is because the wood’s rich, dark brown hue will be highlighted among the colors should you match the walls using an even-toned brown hue.
It creates a space that is warmer, more comfortable, and more inviting.
The main goal is to ensure the colors you work with are simple and won’t create a chaotic look.
With this goal in mind, try to stay with these neutral hues.
Playing Contrast with Some Dark
You can add a bit here and there without overwhelming the space if you want to play with contrast.
If your room has darker wood like walnut, mahogany, or oak in a richer shade, it will contrast well against white, ivory, and blue.
If you are working with lighter wood such as birch, ash, or maple, you are sure to prefer the look of bold hues like dark green or navy.
Much like any other interior design, the look you are sure to like sits somewhere at the intersection between color theory and personal preference.
As you start to plan out the colors for your wood paneling, consider first the lightness or darkness of the wood and decide on the colors from there.
There are many ways for you to achieve a gorgeous room using neutral color combinations.
Should Wood Panelling be Darker or Lighter?
It depends! Darker paneling can create a stunning, dramatic effect, while lighter colors can create a calm ambiance, perfect for rooms with lots of light.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the overall atmosphere you’re trying to create in your home.
As a general rule, opt for darker wood paneling if you’re looking to brighten up a small, dark room.
The deep hue will make the space feel larger and brighter. And if you want to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere, go for lighter wood paneling.
The lighter color will help reflect light and make the room more serene.
The bottom line
Planning to redo your 70’s wood paneling to make them look nicer?
Well, there are endless options you can try to get the old wood paneling makeover done beautifully.
In this article, we touched on a few of the most popular options for you to get familiar with. We also gave you key points to remember when planning and painting your house paneling.
Keep both in mind as you shop and plan your new interior decorating project, and you’re sure to fall in love with the end result.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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