Painting to Brighten a Space

September 9, 2022

We all have that one room that doesn’t get as much natural daylight or sun as our southern-facing rooms tend together in our region of the globe. These spaces often look less bright throughout the day and can sometimes take on a dingy appearance due to the lack of natural light. 

To solve this problem many homeowners resort to adding extra lamps for artificial lighting, mirrors on the walls to increase light reflection, or even sometimes using sheer curtains to increase the amount of natural light to fill the space. 

Paint is the most cost-effective way to transform a darker space into a light and airy one. Here are a few paint hues and things to consider that may help brighten your darker spaces in an easy and eye-pleasing way. 

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What Is Causing the Darkness? 

As we mentioned above, there are reasons why some spaces may be darker than other rooms in your house. 

It could be that a room has a northern exposure rather than a brighter southern exposure. It could be that the room has fewer windows or is shaded by trees or bushes from the exterior. 

Understanding why your room appears darker is the first step in brightening the space. 

Techniques To Increase Brightness 

Choose Colors that Embrace Brightness 

Delux, an internationally available brand of architectural paint, suggests using cooler color tones to brighten a space almost immediately. “Cooler paint colors help walls to recede, making the room feel more spacious and light. Go for pale shades of grey and blue for maximum lightening effect.”

Lighten the Ceiling 

Ceilings in darker rooms can make a huge impact on brightness. When trying to increase the light in a room, consider light shades for the ceiling, or try a technique that designers embrace – a monochromatic room/ceiling color. For instance, if you are painting a room light blue or gray, bring that same color up to the ceiling to make the room appear larger and airier. 

Use Higher Reflective Finishes 

We have discussed the importance of choosing a finish or sheen in past blogs. Now is when it can come in handy. 

Remember that the higher the gloss the finish has (AKA satin, semi-gloss, or even high gloss) the more reflective the paint is. That being said, the lower the gloss (AKA flat, matte, or eggshell) the more the natural light gets absorbed. 

Along with using higher gloss finishes or sheen, try using designer tricks such as adding mirrors to reflect light, adding accent lamps, or increasing general illumination lighting. 

All of these methods can help bring your muted rooms out of the darkness and into a brighter spot! 


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