Best Paint Colours for North-Facing Rooms

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Best Paint Colours for North-Facing Rooms

All light, especially natural light, impacts how paint colour appears on a wall—and ultimately, how paint colour looks in a room. Here, we share the best paint colours for rooms that get natural light from the north, known as ‘northern exposure.’

The amount of light that comes in from each direction—be it north, south, east or west—has a powerful effect on a paint colour's intensity and cast. Here are some common characteristics of northern light:
  • A north-facing room tends to get consistent light throughout the day.
  • The natural light in a room with northern exposure can be muted and toned down.
  • Cool, blue-gray tones are common for a room with northern exposure.
How can you balance some of the qualities of northern light? Choose a paint colour with the right amount of warm and cool undertones, and consider the brightness of the paint colour.

Let's look at solutions from our most popular colour families when it comes to north-facing rooms: White, gray and neutral paint colours. Given that these paint colours are so subtle, natural light has the greatest impact on how each one appears in a space.
A variety of paints colours samples in different colours.

North-Facing Rooms: Increase Colour Confidence

If you have a north-facing space, and the paint colours on this page caught your eye, you still have some testing to do.

First, buy a paint colour sample from your local Benjamin Moore retailer. You can opt for oversized colour swatches or brush-on paint colour samples. If using a brush-on paint sample, we recommend painting a foam poster board so you can easily move it around and observe colours in different lighting.

Next, see how your selected paint colours look under your home's unique lighting conditions, both in artificial and natural light, throughout the day and evening.