HOW TO | Select a Neutral Wall Colour

Time: as long as it takes | Need: Advice | Paint Samples | Large Piece of Jib or Board | Masking Tape | Mini Roller or Paint Brush, all available from Guthrie Bowron

Selecting a neutral wall colour is a process that most find frustrating, confusing or simply overwhelming! It is no wonder – how do you make a decision that will your most promenitent colour throughout your house from a small colour swatch that you view in-store?


White: There is nothing like a strong white wall that becomes a backdrop for your interior design. White is for renovators who want a safe, simple colour scheme and white is also for those renovators who love being bold and brave. White can contrast or compliment depending on the other colours and textures you bring into your design.

My top 5 whites from Guthrie Bowron

  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Okarito
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand St Clair
  • Bergers Ice Fountain
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Te Apiti
  • Bergers White Dawn

Beige: Beige has been a go to for traditional interior styles for a very long time - it’s warm and complements other colours and textures. I have found that beige is a very complementary colour, and the tones within beige are straightforward to match.  When I am creating a colour scheme with limited time, I lean towards beige because it is a colour that suits most spaces. If you are conservative when it comes to colour, my advice would be – go for beige.

  • My top 5 beiges from Guthrie Bowron
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Sandrock Bluff Quarter
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Mason Bay Quarter
  • Berger Raw Diamond
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Cardrona Double
  • Berger White Dawn

Grey: Grey has become a really popular choice for wall colour. It creates an instant modern look within a home as it’s sharp and strong. Using grey well on your walls is all about how you work with the colour to draw out its warmth, without the warmth, grey can make a room feel smaller, dark and too moody. Rooms with plenty of light look stunning with grey walls. Spaces with a view I would recommend grey, as it won’t compete with the attention you want to draw outside.

My top 5 light greys from Guthrie Bowron

  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Lyttelton Quarter
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Narrow Neck Quarter
  • Berger Silver Slipper
  • Dulux Colours of New Zealand Manorburn Half
  • Berger White Spirit

Testing your selections at home

Once you have selected your colour, then choose around 3-5 test pots of different hues you like. I would recommend doing a paint sample of a large piece of jib at least A2 in size. Paint an undercoat of primer, then tape around the edges so there is a white border of undercoat – this stops the sample colour from being affected by the existing colour on your wall. Then paint two coats of the sample paint, making sure it is labelled with the paint brand and name of colour.

Use that large paint swatch to test the colour in every room in your house, considering how it looks in both the sunlight and shade, with artificial light compared to natural light – all of these lighting elements can significantly change your colour. Within this process you will see how a paint sample looks in-store is completely different once you create a large paint swatch yourself and take it round your home. Don’t rush this process – and invite over friends (with good taste) to get a second opinion.

After all of this, if you still can’t make a decision, it’s best to go back to Guthrie Bowron and get further expert advice from their team. They will ensure you find a neutral wall colour that is perfect for your house and your personal style.

Posted on December 6, 2017 .