Want a bright sunny day in your house, but don’t have many windows? A really great way to bring that sunshine indoors and make your rooms appear larger and more cheerful is to put some yellow paint on the walls. Yellow will immediately brighten a small room with no natural light.
Yellow is the first color they eye sees and next to white, it is the color that most strongly reflects light. Too much yellow can make your eyeballs scream though, so you need to find the right yellow to create a sunny balance. Just as we’ve done with a few other colors (white, gray, beige, red and blue), we’ve put together a few of our favorite yellows to help you decide which one would bring on the sun the best around your house. I’ll explain each of our choices that will hopefully help you decide which yellow you need for your home.
Not to be a Negative Nancy, but before I jump into talking about each color individually, I want to give you a few things to think about prior to making your final yellow color selection:
- A room with lots of natural light could possibly appear green from as it will reflect the green from outdoors.
- You will need to ask a friendly worker at your local paint store if your yellow is designed for interior or exterior use. Some swatches have this information listed on the back along with the LRV (Light Reflective Value). Harsh UV light can wreck a yellow exterior paint job if the proper paint is not applied.
- Using the best grade of paint available, and a white or gray based primer is extremely important.
- Just as red is a hard color to paint (especially on a front door), yellow can be just as difficult. You may have to apply several coats to achieve the color you see on your swatch.
Ok, now that we have all the warnings out of the way, let’s talk about color, shall we?
Icy Lemonade SW1667
Does this color name paint a picture in your mind, or what? Who doesn’t see a front porch swing and a sweaty glass pitcher filled with lemonade, ice, and lemon slices afloat? Well, that’s exactly what this radiant yellow delivers. Icy Lemonade has just a touch of green make it marvelous.
Antiquity is such a grown-up color, modern, sophisticated, chic. I would like to see Antiquity used with one of my favorites, Naval SW6244 and with gold fixtures and hardware.
Decisive Yellow SW6902
This saturated sister-of-a-school-bus is my go-to for yellow front doors. It looks so fantastic with grays and navy blues, but it would also look great on a white farmhouse.
Lantern Yellow SW6687
I have fond memories of good ol’ Lantern Light. This glowing beauty was my pick on the exterior of my home way back in 2003, which was 3 houses ago. I liked it so much that I used it as my main interior color on our next home. See, Lantern Light and I go way back. It definitely adds some sunshine to every wall it touches.
This chartreusey green is perfect for a front door or an accent wall and I swear on my work van that it would look outrageously stunning on some shaker style kitchen cabinets (the lowers only), or a kitchen island.
Vital Yellow SW6392
Vital Yellow has more of a cream feel. It is still a vital member of the yellow family but is not as loud as its relatives. This color would look terrific with both honey colored oak and white trim. It could be used as a main color, but I think it would look spectacular on the walls in a kitchen with white cabinets.
There you have it, our top 6 yellows. These are our favorites, however, there are so many yellows out there, all with different undertones. Choosing the right yellow for the interior of your home depends on your furnishings and items you do not plan to change (flooring, tile, interior trim color, countertops, etc.) and finding the undertone of those items, how the sunlight works in the room being painted, and how you want the room to feel (warm, cool, dark, bright).
For exterior, choosing the right yellow is also about making sure the color you choose jives with your roof, landscaping, windows, any stone or brick you may have on your house, and even paying attention to the color of your neighbor’s homes.
Whether you’re choosing interior or exterior yellows, taking the time to grab a sample is not a terrible idea, I would recommend it if you’re struggling and even if you’re not. Actually seeing the color in its element will give you some peace of mind.
And if you’re still having a hard time choosing the right yellow, I’m just a phone call away (816-442-9699).