Brighten Up Your Work Space: Office Paint Selection in the Modern World 1

Beige. Taupe. Ivory. Pearl. Khaki. Canvas. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to describe paint that isn’t white, but which isn’t quite committed enough to a specific color to be described as anything other than “neutral.” If you work in an office, you probably know exactly what we’re talking about. These paint colors are used in offices around the world and represent the nondescript middle ground between actual decoration and a disregard for appearance. However, if you’re a business owner, you no doubt care a great deal about your business and the space in which you work, so why would you succumb to the cliche of boring paint on the walls? What does that say about you? Your business? Your office?

Choosing paint for your office isn’t just about color. Depending on the work being done in the office, a paint selection can drastically affect productivity and morale. Furthermore, different work spaces demand different levels of durability when it comes to paint. Is your office a high traffic area where employees, carts, and deliveries may graze or brush walls on a regular bases? Or is it a large, open space with fewer surfaces needing to be painted? Is your office space energetic and busy or quiet and subdued on a daily basis? Here are some suggestions for choosing not just paint color, but gloss and quality as well, for your office space.

Blue meeting room

Bright and vibrant colors can say a lot about your office and your business.
Image courtesy of Bruce Damonte via

Choosing the right colors

While the temptation is often great to choose a neutral color for office walls, our suggestion is to pause and think about the purpose of the space and how color might contribute to that aim. As we’ve discussed before, the colors you choose go a long way in setting the mood of the entire area. Neutral colors avoid noticeable scuffing and dirt better than bright or unusual colors, but that alone isn’t reason enough to have a workspace that is dull and drab. If you do choose a neutral earth-tone for the office, don’t be afraid to mix slightly different shades to give rooms depth and character. If your office space is wide open or has fewer surfaces to paint, consider bold choices that accent the rest of the office decor instead of colors that simply blend into the background.

Choosing the right gloss

Choosing a gloss for your paint is a balance between the aesthetic and the practical. On the one hand, a high gloss paint works well for trim work or smaller paint surfaces like columns or counters. On the other hand, flat or more muted gloss choices don’t reveal imperfections or dirt as badly. When choosing a gloss you should consider how much natural light the office receives; the more natural light, the lower gloss you can use and still achieve an attractive result. Offices with fewer windows or skylights often benefit from glossier paint in terms of appearance. However, it is important to keep in mind that high traffic areas should be painted with a low-gloss or flat paint unless you want to spend much of your time cleaning dirty walls or structures.

multi tone office walls

Mixing colors, glosses, and textures can make an office look great.
Image courtesy of Office Design Picture

Choosing the paint quality

Many individuals don’t realize that the quality of a paint directly impacts the coating’s protective qualities. Inexpensive consumer-grade paint is much less likely to hold up well over time than a more expensive industrial-grade choice. The savings afforded now may appeal to you (and your budget), but the feeling won’t last for long. It won’t be long before you will have to repaint the walls since your original, less-expensive paint choice wasn’t durable enough to hold up to the everyday hustle and bustle of your office. Peeling, cracking, and flaking will appear in cheap paint much faster in an office setting than at home. Any office with multiple employees moving about will invariably lead to painted surfaces being nicked, dirtied, and scuffed as a result of simple everyday use. Choose a higher quality paint now for better protection and superior appearance for your office. Alternately, if you are leasing or renting the space and expect to only occupy the office for a year or two before moving to a different space, using a lower quality paint is a good way to save a few dollars in the short term.

Well lit vibrant office

Offices with great lighting don’t need high gloss paint.
Image courtesy of via

Selecting paint for an office may not sound like the most exciting exercise and it’s often far down on the priority list for the occupier. Many landlords in rented or leased offices opt for the same inexpensive neutral color for every wall and call it a day, but this doesn’t have to be the case at all! A well-painted office says a a lot about its occupants. Ugly, dirty, and damaged walls aren’t likely to convey the optimism and success you have in mind for your business. Take the time to carefully consider what your work space should convey to employees, clients, and guests. From color choices to the gloss you choose, a near-infinite array of choices exists to help you convey the mood, tone, and feel you want for your office. Click here to learn about the tips and tools used by professionals that can make your work space stand out from the norm!

One comment

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Interior Paint Color Trends for 2014 - BYK-Gardner Laboratories Blog - Commercial Painting Palettes

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