How to Use Cool and Warm Paint Colors to Create Your Ideal Vibe

Consider this your color temperature 101.

How to Use Cool and Warm Paint Colors to Create Your Ideal Vibe
When it comes to establishing the mood of a room, nothing makes more of an impact than color. And the key to understanding the feeling a specific color evokes in a space lies in the concept of color temperature, which categorizes colors as warm or cool, depending on where they fall on the spectrum.

One is not better than the other—and in fact, most spaces have a combination of both warm and cool elements to create beautiful nuance and balance. We’re breaking down what it all means and how to use cool and warm paint colors to establish the right vibe for your space.

Add Energy with Warm Paint Colors


What’s a warm color, you ask? Warm paint colors include pink, yellow and beige and all the variations in between. In general, adding a warm color to your space will bring about feelings of energy, positivity and coziness. We love warm colors for the inviting vibe they create, which makes them perfect for more public or busier spaces like the dining room, kitchen and entryway (although they’re also a great option for anywhere that needs a pick-me-up).

If you’re looking to add warmth to your home, our designer-curated palette has all the options you need. Roll on a fresh coat of Like Buttah for a creamy touch of buttery flavor, Rosé Season for a sweet pop of pink, Lemonade for a cheery update or Wing It for a sophisticated yet warm touch.


Create Calm with Cool Paint Colors


Cool paint colors are all about creating a sense of calm in a space and help establish a fresh and relaxing mood. Blue, green, purple and all the shades in between are considered cool colors, and they’re a popular choice for more private areas like the bedroom and bathroom where you might want to create a soothing atmosphere. They’re also great for making small spaces feel larger and more atmospheric.

If you’re loving the cool vibes, we have a few suggestions for where to start. Check out Flow State for the lightest touch of green-blue, Summer Friday for a breezy medium blue, best-selling Current Mood for deep green drama or Cosmic Vibes for a purple-y dose of mystery.



A Note on Neutral Paint Colors

So, where do neutrals fall into the mix when it comes to cool and warm colors? As it turns out, neutrals can be warm or cool, too—just in a much more subtle way. Whites, off-whites, grays, browns, blacks and beiges all fall somewhere on the color temperature spectrum, based on the undertones present in the shade.




A few of our favorite warm neutrals include classic off-white Timeless, versatile greige Flatiron, sandy beige Neutral Territory and toasty brown Dirty Chai.



When it comes to cool neutrals, we love bright white Snow Day, muted periwinkle Wink, medium gray Motor City and light gray-green Chill.

Pairing Cool and Warm Paint Colors

Pairing cool and warm colors together creates visually rich interiors and is key in designing a space full of layers and character. Too many cool colors will make a space feel too (you guessed it!) cold. While too many warm colors might make a space feel dated (think 70s vibes).

So, be sure to have fun with your colors and mix it up! If you love neutrals, try to incorporate varying shades of beige, gray and cream in warm and cool tones for added nuance and depth. And if you love lots of color, take a look at the color wheel and choose complementary colors, or two across the wheel from each other that make natural pairings.

No matter what vibe you’re going for, be sure to do lots of swatching before taking the plunge and painting. Hold up our handy peel-and-stick swatches next to other colors in the space, and stick the swatches on the wall to see how the color reacts to changing light throughout the day.

And when you’re done with your project, be sure to tag us @clarepaint on Instagram—we’d love to see how you use cool and warm paint colors to create your dream space!


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