When you first move into your home the walls are like a blank canvas where you get to choose the colors that best represent your family. While running rollers over big swaths of the living room and bedroom walls can be invigorating, a lot of people pass right by their closets.

Though the truth is, just about any closet deserves a good coat of paint. Especially larger closets like walk-in closets where you are going to spend a fair amount of time coming up with the right outfit, or trying a lot of different outfits on under the same ambiance.

If you are moving into a new home, or you’ve just gotten to the point where your closets deserve a fresh coat of paint, you can use the following guide to help you pick the pallet that not only represents your own unique tastes but also makes the most out of the available light.

Deciding Between Dark & Light Colors

For some people, the natural inclination is to simply blast the walls of their closet with stark white paint and call it good. This might be fine for a small hall closet or a linen closet when the ambiance is a veritable non-factor, though it can certainly rub things the wrong way for wardrobe closets, reach-in closets, and of course, walk-in closets.

Before embarking toward one end of the spectrum light or dark, you first need to consider the available lighting. If you are dealing with a closet that only has one modest light fixture and you don’t have the will or the funds to upgrade for more light, then you should prioritize lighter colors.

Light Colors To Consider In Your Closet

Though you don’t have to simply resolve yourself to bland white paint. Other light tone colors to consider include:

  • Tan
  • Beige
  • Yellow
  • Soft Pink
  • When Darker Colors Are Best

There are some situations were painting the inside of your closet with white or neutral tones is not the best option. Especially if it’s a larger walk-in closet or a reach-in wardrobe closet. In a scenario like this, your personal tastes and the available level of light are also major factors. Adding light can also open up options on the darker end of the spectrum.

Neutral Closet Colors

Most closets that need a fresh coat of paint benefit from neutral colors. These are your tan, beige, seafoam, olive mocha, and other organic color terms. They evoke a connection to nature that many people find soothing for the interior of a walk-in closet or to accent the back of a wardrobe closet. They also tend to play very well in closets where natural light is available.

Pastel Closet Colors

Pastels are more popular in children’s closets as they open up a wide spectrum of playful colors that kids connect with. Though they can also have a colorful place in adult closets as a trim or accent color. Especially if you are working with a theme like “Pretty in Pink.”

Types Of Lighting To Accent Your Closet’s Paint Colors

Let’s say you’ve decided to be bold, and upgrade the lighting in your closet. Though you maybe aren’t sure what the best way is. Some of the top lighting enhancements to consider have their pros and cons.

Track Lighting

This is a metal track that you suspend from the ceiling. You can then install and move multiple light fixtures as you see fit. It lets you adjust the lighting angles to minimize shadows. It also lets you play on the darker end of the color spectrum. However, you either need to have the track professionally installed by an electrician or you have to deal with ugly exposed wires running from the ceiling to the nearest outlet.

LED Accent Lights

LED technology is very energy efficient, which makes it possible to power the lights with small batteries, rather than power cords and electric outlets. You can also choose directional lights to accent or highlight certain areas. LED lights are also available in just about every color in the rainbow.

Choosing The Right Paint Finish

It’s worth bearing in mind that the finish of a particular paint can be just as important of a factor as the color itself. This too will also factor into the type of lighting you choose. Different finishes have a sheen that can absorb or reflect light.

Flat or Matte Finish

This is a finish that has little to no sheen. It tends to absorb light rather than reflect it, which is handy if you are dealing with a very light color, like white or light beige and you don’t want glare. This is a common finish for a lot of ceilings.

Eggshell Finish

This is a common finish for apartment walls. It is one step up from flat or matt. As the name implies this is painted with a finish similar to that of an eggshell, which has minimal glare.

Satin Finish

This is the middle of the road and probably the highest sheen you want to go for a walk-in closet or hall closet with soft lighting and medium neutral paint colors.

Semi-Gloss & Gloss Finish

These paint finishes have a high sheen and aren’t typically ideal for closets as they create glare. Especially if you have high wattage lights instead of natural lighting. Though semi-gloss paint might be used for accent in a reach-in or wardrobe closet with natural dark woods that have a high finish on the woodwork itself.

Can I Wallpaper My Closet Instead Of Painting It?

Wallpaper is also a viable option to consider when it comes to giving your closets a touch of color. Especially when you consider all the decorative patterns of wallpaper that can add true artistry to an otherwise bland closet.

Just bear in mind that wallpaper tends to be a lot more work to install than painting a single wall. It can also be a bit messy. Once it is installed wallpaper is much harder to remove and typically requires you to meticulously clean, prime, and repaint the walls again. So, if you are going to choose wallpaper over painting for your closets, be sure to pick a style and pattern that you are prepared to live with for many years to come.

Wallpaper Borders

One place where you see wallpaper showing up is in walk-in closets. You can use a small strip as a mid-wall border to break up a large expanse of wall, or near the ceiling to create a visual border. This is especially handy if you want the wall and the ceiling to be the same color, or you need to cover up overspray from painting the ceiling.