Your shopping cart is empty.

Need help determining paint color in dining room

Laura Walker
December 6, 2018
last modified: December 6, 2018

Trying to determine a good paint color for our dining room.

Sorry for the glare in the first picture from the light.

The previous homeowners had it a very, very dark greenish color which looks not as dark in photos only because I have the light on super bright.

There is a chair rail along the walls. Ideally I would like to do a dark blue but I'm not crazy about the idea of having a white chair rail with brown furniture. I also don't like the idea of 2 different colors on top and bottom of rail.

I'm stuck on what to do and out of ideas.

I prefer Sherwin Williams paints. If dark is too drastic, I would love to be able to pull in the bluish-teal from the rug.

Any ideas? And please don't comment if it's only to be critical.

Thanks for the help :)

Some possible ideas of colors I've liked if I can pull them off:



As you enter our house, the dining room is immediately on your left. The entire space is open from the foyer. There is a matching mirror to buffet cabinet that I plan on hanging above it

Wall facing East side of house. Mirror is evenly centered on wall

View from foyer with the room right across

This pix is standing in the foyer looking directly into the room

Comments (13)

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    Red! There are all sorts of theories about red for a dining room…improves appetite, etc. I would love it because of the rug. Leave wainscoting white.

    Just wondering, and not criticizing, as I can’t get the full dimension of the room, would turning the table perpindicular to the side board look better? As in, depth of table is more like the width of the sideboard.

    Laura Walker thanked JudyG Designs
  • Laura Walker

    We had thought about changing direction of the table but the only full wall we have is where the buffett is.

    Would you keep the chair rail and below it white or just the the chail rail white?

  • mimimomy

    Hi. Are you going for a very traditional look? Any ideas on where you're going with the rest of your house? Just thought it might help as a frame of reference on the chair rail.. is there actual wainscoting below the chair rail, or just paint? Is the paint below a glossy or flat?

    What is the color of the wall behind the dining room, visible in the picture?

    Laura Walker thanked mimimomy
  • hollybar

    Red is certainly a lovely choice. I'd likely choose some variant of that blue/teal in your rug above and below the chair rail and on the chair rail itself! ( just in a much higher sheen) If going much darker like your chosen paint shades, You could consider adding some trim to the area below the rail and keeping it all white. There really are no rules....might be easier to decide if there were.

    Pawtucket Ranch · More Info

    2011 HHL Dining Room · More Info

    Eclectic Modern Tudor Dining Room · More Info

    Laura Walker thanked hollybar
  • jabbott2012

    What are the colors in the living room? (I'm assuming that's the room right off the dining room). What about removing the chair rail? There shouldn't be a lot of patching to do, and then you can paint the walls without breaking up the color.

    Laura Walker thanked jabbott2012
  • sloyder

    SW Naval, BM Blue Echo, Pomegranate

    Laura Walker thanked sloyder
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    I would keep the wainscoting and chair rail white because I think white a better back drop for the chairs. The hallway color needs to be in the mix when deciding a color.

    Understand now about the position of table controlled by sideboard.

    I would hang the mirror horizontally to sideboard and lower the chandelier to 32/34 inches of tall top.

    Are you saying natural light is coming from one window and it is facing east?

    If so, you can use blues, but with yellow undertones (vs teal which is too green), but I don’t care for either with the rug.

    Another thought:

    If you can match the color of the chairs, paint that above the white (as is). Simple look, but rich:

    One last push for red:

    Laura Walker thanked JudyG Designs
  • Laura Walker

    There is not any wainscoting below the chair rail and to be honest, I'm not sure what the color on the walls is currently. It's quite dark and dreary and was painted by previous homeowners. I actually matched the the trim paint and painted below the chair rail a few months ago in an effort just to brighten the space up until we decided what we wanted to do with the room.

    We do have a formal living room on the other side of the foyer but there is not another room that is off of the dining room. There is the hallway and kitchen on other side and that opens to the breakfast nook and family room.

    The wall color throughout our entire house is beige. Again, I don't know the exact color as it's how it was when we bought the house.

    This room does get a lot of natural daylight in the morning but the afternoon sun hits the back of our house and the dining room doesn't receive any of the sun then. However, we do live in the South and get a lot of sunny, clear days.

    We did look at quite a few reds last night and trying to determine one that would look good. I love blue and was really trying to lean that way but I couldn't find one that I liked with the rug. Every one I looked at was either too bright or too subdued and couldn't seem to find a middle ground.

    Someone had mentioned BM Pomegranate which seems like it may be a good fit for the room.

    We looked at Rustic Red and Sun-dried tomato by SW and they seemed to blend in well.

  • PRO

    Use the paint color that is in the foyer

    Laura Walker thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • mimimomy

    Though I like the very dramatic shades you picked out, I don't think they are quite right for your room, given that it does not get a lot of natural light throughout the day.

    JudyG's photo with the beigey color above the white looks the best to me personally. Otherwise bright white wainscoting looks way too formal (in my opinion) when mixed with any dark color.

    I'd choose one of the creamy colors (not necessarily the lightest) from your rug.

    I might actually take the chair rail off and just paint the same color on the entire wall.

    Laura Walker thanked mimimomy
  • cat_ky

    I too, would remove the chair rail, and paint the entire room the same color. No muddy or dreary colors. Look for a light and bright color. I would look in the blues, greens, and turquoises.

    Laura Walker thanked cat_ky
  • hollybar

    When testing reds, maybe check out SW Red Bay and SW Luxurious Red since you like BM Pomegranate. Another great option would be an orange/red grasscloth as pictured above in JudyG's photo. Also, https://samplize.com/

    Laura Walker thanked hollybar
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    Southeast/northwest is the orientation…dining rooms get the most use in the evening when the room is lighted. You need a rich, deeper color that won’t fade out or leave shadows in corners/

    Based on your info, I am still sticking with red and now, knowing what kind of lighting impacts the room, one red in particular works. B.M. Million Dollar Red, paired here with the dominate colors in the your rug.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).