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

    Love your new collection. We need to repaint a few rooms, and seeing your picks and ideas has me thinking… it’s painting time, y’all!!

  2. Aimee says

    Awesome! The line starting with Lucerne is the color scheme for our nursery. We painted the walls Rockport Grey, and the dresser is a bright yellow. (not that one though, we picked BM’s abstracta, very similiar) And the fabric I picked for the bedding I’m making is blue/beige combo with yellow accents. Although the blue is closer to water’s edge then Lucerne. I’m feeling all validated about my colors working well together all of a sudden. <3

  3. Michelle (aka mybelle101) says

    Woohoo! Lucerne is the color I’ve been planning for an accent wall behind our bed in our master bedroom…something deep and mysterious and moody, with a mid-tone gray (hmmm, maybe Hearthstone?) on the other walls. I love seeing it on your list! And I’m also loving Geranium…need to find a place for that.

  4. Erin says

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! We are in the process of buying a house and I’ve been looking at colors to paint the master bedroom and an accent wall in the kitchen. I had bookmarked Gunmetal for the bedroom two nights ago when searching online. Now I’m considering Pinch of Spice for the kitchen. (Seems fitting, right?!)

    Great choices! Love this partnership because sometimes looking at the WHOLE WALL OF COLOR CHOICES seems so overwhelming you may need to put it in all caps…

  5. Melanie says

    We’ve been peeping a lot of paint chips lately. Nothing for home improvement but trying to nail down (ha, pun!) what sort of color pallet we want for our wedding!

    A couple that we’ve been favoring lately are ones like that Bright Yellow above, and a rich grassy green. Nothing too lady-like or overly masculine :)

  6. Kristen says

    We had to totally redo our downstairs after Sandy hit and we painted all of our rooms with YHL colors! They look so nice and clean and fresh! We love your choices!!!

  7. Naomi says

    I wish we had white cabinets, pinch of spice looks great! Instead we have barely 5 year old dark burgundy fake cherry stained cabinets that I really dine want to repaint and a very open main level. Ugh what I wouldn’t give for a trimmed doorway to separate room colors…
    On another note in love your picks so nice to have a smaller group to peruse.

  8. Melissa says

    Can I ask you guys for HUGE favor? We bought our first house 10 months ago and haven’t painted a thing. Why? Because we’re scared we’ll use the wrong type of paint.

    We want to paint our cabinets, we want to paint a few walls and we need to touch up some of the moldings and threshold boards– the problem is that it’s an older house and 1)We don’t know what type of paint to use and/or how to match the color 2)We don’t know all the ins and outs and benefits of one type of paint over another. Do you have a resource or blog about the different types of paints and what to use for which projects and which ones to avoid?

    Thank you so SO much :)

    • says

      Oh yes, here’s a post all about finishes and here’s one full of tips for how we choose colors. And here’s one about how we actually paint a room. As for matching the color, I’d just bring home a ton of swatches that look similar and hold them up to see which one’s a match (you can also cut a piece of drywall and bring it to the store to color match it, but it’s a lot more involved). Good luck with everything!


  9. Stephanie H says

    Oh, Benjamin Moore! We really wanted to use their paint in our bedroom makeover, but just couldn’t find a grey that didn’t read blue in there (it seemed to be a trick of the light, since our tests turned out blue in every other room, go figure!). We ended up going with Para Paints Rocketman with a feature wall stencil in Shapeshifter overtop. Aaand, I couldn’t make that up if I tried! The wall looks amazing, but I think I get a little extra pleasure from the Star Trek/True Blood vibes I get from the names, haha.

  10. Sarah says

    We just spend most of our staycation painting the last three rooms in our house (only the hallway to go!) and it was completely awesome. Our bedroom is now a dark, moody, aloe-ish green with lots of blue undertones. Our office and bathroom are one of my favorite colors I’ve ever used. It’s called Cumulus Cloud by Martha Stewart and it’s a light, airy sometimes blue, sometimes gray, sometimes green that looks EXACTLY what clouds look like. Even my husband is mesmerized by its range. Lastly, our guest room was painted Tahini, which is a yellow with a little gray and a lot of buttery warmth. This is the first time I’ve lived in a house with a color I love on every wall and I can’t get enough of it!

  11. Sarah says

    Mmmmm paint…

    Now I’m wavering on my choice to paint my front door bright yellow. Those teals are just so gorgeous. Yellow or teal door on my reddish brick house. Such a major decision!

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