Our 32 Favorite Paint Colors This Year

Alternate punny post title: Gimme Some Moore. Yes, that was a Busta Rhymes reference. Dude, that song was my junior year jam. And speaking of jams, our new nail gun is our latest. John’s totally ready to get his crown molding install on this weekend, assuming he can wrestle it out of my hands. Just gotta let these guys acclimate a little bit longer…

So while the crown molding gets to know our house a little better (and I dreamily gaze at it while whispering sweet nothings) we’re excited to share our 2013 Benjamin Moore paint picks! We’re a little tardy for the party with this – and a big thanks to everyone who has been asking about it! – but we just didn’t want to pull them out of a hat. So we took our sweet time finding the colors we wanted to marry. All 32 of them. It’s going to be the wedding of the century, guys.

We thought it would be fun to toss out some more specific ideas for using a few of our picks right in this post, so here’s one now:

And here’s another one (you’ll find four more peppered throughout the post).

Some of the colors in the collection are tried and true tones that we’ve already used, some are colors that we’ve eyed forever, and some are colors that we used for our book (so we’ve seen those in action as well). You can check out all of our colors here (if you told us five years ago that we’d end up on the Benjamin Moore website, we’d have laughed at you for five minutes, gained our composure, and laughed at you for five more). And you can pop over to view our collection whenever you’d like by following this little sidebar button of ours…

We’ve been using Benjamin Moore colors for around half a decade, and we’ve been buying their actual paint since 2011 (we first tried it out on our office built-ins), so when they invited us to curate a collection of our favorite colors last year, it was pretty much a dream of ours. And jumping back in to choose 32 new colors for 2013 was just as much fun. This partnership is just like any other side gig that helps pay the bills – like writing a magazine column or our book – except we get to play with paint chips for this one, so… yeah buddy.

Our process was pretty simple. If by simple you mean splaying out 561 paint swatches (you think I’m kidding) in order to choose our favorite 32 colors. It was beautiful chaos, I tell ya. And I loved every undertone-investigating minute of it.

The goal is simple too. We just hope anyone out there who’s overwhelmed by a giant wall full of swatches will find comfort in a smaller collection of favorites to peruse and potentially use in their home. And we hope that some of the suggestions spattered throughout this post get your motors running. You know, in that exciting I-want-to-paint-something-right-this-second way. Or in that I-want-to-paint-something-but-first-I-need-a-marshmallow way. Either one.

And since we’re on the subject of color, have you guys used any paint colors that you’ve loved lately? Do you keep a little folder of your favorite swatches? Or a pinterest board full of ’em? How do you keep track of them all?

When we were choosing this collection we discovered that cutting out swatches individually and laying them all out on a neutral background (dark charcoal colored Karl, haha!) was a great way to see how they all worked together. And it helped us “balance” things by being sure we had enough dark choices, bold ones, neutrals, and soft and serene colors that weren’t too bright or too neutral. In short: if you have a few spare weekends and a neutral colored sofa, I highly recommend playing around with paint swatches instead of watching TV. Seriously, it’s right up there with a marathon of The Walking Dead (albeit a lot less bloody).

Psst- We picked a winner for this week’s giveaway, so you can find out if it’s you right here.


  1. says

    I saw the button on your sidebar last night and wondered when we’d get the scoop! Love your suggestions. We just painted our bathroom a color very similar to Calypso Blue with white board and batten. That Geranium color is fantastic…need to brainstorm a place to use it! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      Your bathroom sounds so pretty! And definitely send us photos with Geranium in action if you use it. In person it’s so pretty and rich looking!


  2. Abby says

    Love the color choices! Hubby and I bought our first house in June and we have been painting rooms right and left. It has definitely made the house feel like “ours.” Out of all the colors we’ve used, I’m most in love with our living room, which is painted Cedar Green by Benjamin Moore. To me, the name kind of sounds like a forest green sort of color, but it’s really more of a vibrant spring-like green. It’s just gorgeous and makes me feel happy and peaceful whenever I walk in that room. We haven’t done much accessorizing yet, but I’m feeling some goldenrod yellow and magenta!

  3. Janet says

    Great choices!! I painted my dining room Balsam about 3 years ago and I still get tons of compliments on it whenever I have guests over! It’s a great bold color without being too obtrusive. Now I’ll just have to find 31 other surfaces to try all the other colors :-P

  4. Jill says

    Ooh Sherry and John,

    How did you know I am picking nursery colors this weekend! Do you have any gender neutral baby’s room color suggestions?



    • says

      Congrats for the bean on the way! Wahoo! I love Stanhope Yellow and Cool Breeze for a soft gender neutral nursery. And if you’re going for bold, Balsam would look amazing for a girl or a boy’s room!


  5. says

    I always in theory *love* a bold color on the walls and then when I actually try it I immediately reel since I feel too boxed in haha. I do love the idea of having pops of colors in accessories throughout. I like to take all the brighter paint colors I like and use them to help decide what accent colors in accessories I want in my room. Right now I’m leaning towards creme/navy and bright pops of green for our living room!

  6. Meredith says

    Great choices! I’m in the process of picking the right shade of deep emerald to paint my kitchen cabinets so I know how serious paint selection can be!

  7. rachael says

    I debated between Lucerne and Bellbottom Blues for the back of my book case and went with the the latter! But Lucerne is a beautiful color, too!
    I am wondering if we are going to see pinch of spice on your kitchen walls soon??? You did mention going a little darker and moodier, did you not?

  8. Kristen Swift says

    I’m itching for a kitchen re-do after your latest posts! First, the board and batten (because I loathe the chair-railing in our small kitchen), and now the Pinch of Spice?! Then of course, I’ll have to paint the cabinets white. If I paint the cabinets white, I’ll need all new stainless steel appliances to match. Then we’ll need to replace the linoleum floor…

    My husband is going to hate me :)

  9. says

    Benjamin Moore doesn’t pay me anything, but I will still talk all day about how completely in love with them and their fabulous paint colors I am :). I’ve been looking for a great purple for a little hallway and maybe my half bath….I’ve got my eye on Super Nova now–thanks!

  10. Katie says

    You all know I love Clara’s Alaskan Skies…err…Edgecomb Gray…Baby Fawn :) Question–is Decorator’s White a white white white? We are inspired by your Board and Batten and we are going to attempt soon but we want a true white, I think. This whole comment makes little sense in rereading it, ha.

  11. says

    We totally used your 2012 picks TO DEATH. Richmond Green became the wall color in our bathroom (which has almost no wall to actually paint). And I think the white we chose for the kitchen cabinets was one of your picks too, but I don’t have the color handy and I can’t find the 2012 picks online any more so I can’t check. Oh well. Anyway, thanks for narrowing it down for us again. I have a whole huge swatchbook, but it’s totally overwhelming sometimes!

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