Fixer Upper Farmhouse “Look” Paint Colors – Decorate like the pros!

Fixer upper paint colors for farmhouse interiors from vintage american home blog
Best Paint colors for the Urban Farmhouse Look. Renovating a fixer upper and need to know what colors will look best? Designer paint colors. Prettiest choices.

The most important thing to consider if you want to paint your walls or trim and try to get the fixer upper Farmhouse decorating style is to think “Cool”!

"Cool colors" white, grey and blue, for the Farmhouse look

“Cool colors” white, grey and blue, for the Farmhouse Look.

For many years we have recommended warm paint colors for home colors.  There are two types of neutrals warm and cool. The Farmhouse Look definitely has the cool look.  Primarily this fabulous style consists of shades of white and grays.
So choose whites that are not on the yellow side and choose neutrals that are not on the gold side.

The main “color” that I love to use is a pale bluish grey that has hints of green.  Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay is the color and Sea Salt is one of the most popular fixer upper colors there is, along with Silver Strand.

Sea salt for the best Farmhouse color

Sea Salt

With all of these greyish bluish greens you can’t tell what color it exactly is, especially at night or on cloudy days versus sunny days.

My favorite color is Sherwin Williams Watery.

Best paint colors to get the Farmhouse Look.

Watery is my favorite color.

Best colors for the Farmhouse look.

Ceiling is Benjamin Moore Sea Horse and Cabinets are Antique Jade by Benjamin Moore.  I like the Benjamin Moore Aura Paint with a Satin finish for the walls and eggshell finish for the trim.  If you buy it online you can just send a message to the paint store and specify the color you want.  

Some of my favorite grey colors are Benjamin Moore colors.  I especially love “Revere Pewter”.

Thanksgiving centerpiece in dining room w\painted with revere pewter

Revere Pewter on the Walls from my dining room.  I have been really happy with Revere Pewter.  It is a warmer grey than most so it doesn’t feel cold with the traditional feel of the room.  We just used it in my daughter’s house too.


Gray Owl is one of the favorite grays for the Farmhouse look.

Gray Owl by Ben Moore, is one of the favorite grays for the fixer upper Farmhouse look.

Pale Oak

Try Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore  as a pretty grey that is a little lighter..

Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore is probably my favorite grey and great to use to get the look that Joanna Gaines gets on her wonderful Fixer Upper Show.

Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore is probably my favorite grey and great to use to get the look that the painters use for the fixer upper Farmhouse look.

Sherwin Williams “Alabaster White” is the  go to “white color”.
Alabaster white is said to be the preferred white for the Farmhouse Look.

Alabaster white is said to be the preferred white for the fixer upper Farmhouse Look.

Getting the Fixer Upper Farmhouse look is easy if you think grey, white and pale blue.  Add in some wood furnishings that have a natural stain or stripped wood look.  Here are some of the pictures of my newly redecorated showroom.

Upholstered Linen chair from Vintage American Home

Bleeker Beige by Sherwin Williams on the trim

Here is photos of my kitchen that I am finally getting up.  I wanted to update it but I could not paint the cabinets (my husband refused).  The wall color is “Wedgewood Grey”  the trim is “Gull”  (was from Home Depot).  The trim has a little bit of grey in it so it is a little cooler than the warmer white that I have used elsewhere called “Navajo White”  by Benjamin Moore.  Anyway I think it helped to update the look.  Blue goes with brown doesn’t it?

Best paint color when you have to keep your cabinets brown

Wedgewood Grey helped me update my kitchen.

Blue paint goes with brown cabinets.

Wedgewood grey with Gull trim.

Wedgewwod Grey goes well but so does Watery, Palladium blue and Silver Strand

I think the blue walls helped update the stained wood cabinets.

Silver Strand paint color

Pictures are from Christmas but you can see a little more of the Blue walls and the creamy white trim.

The color Watery by Sherwin Williams on the walls. Which paint colors are the best if you are fixing up a fixer upper or beach house.

Here is the color “watery” in this bedroom which is more coastal than farmhouse style but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.

So if you want to start to get this “feel” in your newly painted room, start with one of these recommended colors.

Best Beach Houses around - take a tour at Vintage American Home blog

 (Remember to test your paint on the wall – the color can look different than pictures on the internet).  But try Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue for these shutters.

Check out this article on easy and inexpensive ideas to get the fixer upper look in your home without breaking the bank.  Here. Decorating with fixer upper style in your own home - easy and inexpensive ideas


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  1. Kathy October 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I thought you had used silver strand from sherwin williams? Any pictures with that color?

    • Janice October 2, 2015 at 7:55 am - Reply

      HI Kathy,
      I am thinking of painting my dinging room that color. I will post pictures when I get it done. Thanks!

  2. DELAINE ristau October 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I have a living room full of old wood paneling with a wood open beam ceiling and I want to paint the paneling but I’m scared too. What would u do. I need some ideas. Help please

    • Janice October 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Thanks for asking. If the wood paneling is pine with knots in the wood it could bleed through the paint if you don’t use a primer. But that Kilz primer from Home Depot or Lowes is very good. I also then use Behr ultra paint and primer (in one can). Do not be afraid! It will look so bright plus you will have the texture of the wood and the detail of the joints. If the paneling is not real wood, you may be able to just use the Behr paint. I have done this several times and it makes such a difference! Let me know what happens!

  3. Laura flores October 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    What colors did you use in your new showroom? I love how the walls are lighter than the trim.

    • Janice October 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Laura, thanks for the message. That room had an off white color for the walls. Sherwin Williams alabaster white and Bleeker Beige for the trim. That Bleeker beige is a great color.

  4. Mandy Mokler October 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Janice, I am loving your site! I’m hoping you can help me with a painting delima. My house has an open floor plan but I don’t want to paint every room the same color. I’ve painted the entry and living room Sea Salt (SW) and LOVE it! Now I’m stuck trying to find a paint to go on the dining room/kitchen walls to compliment this wonderful color. Any suggestions?

    • Janice October 11, 2015 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Hi Mandy!! I am having the same dilemma at my house! I have wedgewood gray in the kitchen, rainwashed in the family room and I want to paint the dining room. I love the kitchen and family room but don’t wan’t to keep it all the same bluish color. So right now I have a sample of revere pewter on the walls. I think I am going to go for this. I also have another sitting room that is on the other side which is Philadelphia cream which is a very pale yellow. This is really pretty but and does go with the blue but it is a warm color so it wouldn’t necessarily qualify for the “farmhouse” look. If you look on my Pinterest site look for the board which says “new Dining Room Paint colors”. These are ones the colors that I was using for inspiration!

      I will try to make a post with pictures about this. The problem is- Do I work in the yard? Paint the dining room? Work on the website? Clean? And then there is taking my son to play practice etc etc etc. Plus there isn’t a lot of food in the house! LOL!

      Good luck!

    • Debra November 3, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

      I am painting my entire house right now and the samples you can get are the way to go. I shop at Home Depot and I get them for $3. If I don’t like it on the wall I can use it on something else.Janice is so right when she says the colors never match a picture or even the color blotches at a store. The lighting in your home is different from any other home.
      Good luck!

      • Janice November 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

        Thanks Debra, you are right. I sometimes take the paint chip to the front of the store to see it in daylight if I have to make a decision quickly!

  5. Debi October 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Hi there! So I’m going to follow your suggestions of the Behr paint and primer or our new wood walls in the cabin – will they be able to match the SW Alabaster White for the color, or should I go with SW paint?

    Also, what sheen do you get for walls, flat or eggshell? Being white, they obviously need to be washable Thanks for your help and inspiration!

    • Janice October 11, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Hi Debi, This is great! Yes Home Depot will be able to match any color. Tell them the brand and color. I just know they have a good one which has primer in it. Sherwin Williams probably has one too but I have using the Behr lately. I would use satin which is one under semi gloss. You can use a roller and then a brush to get in the cracks. Good luck! It will brighten the room so much! Janice

  6. Ginny October 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I’m doing an overhaul in my master bedroom. The current color is a light steel blue gray. I’ve forgotten the actual name. I wanted to go in a completely different route and have been leaning towards a taupe or “graeige”. I’ve already put two samples on the walls and hate them both. Now I’m stuck in my paint color mode and can’t seem to move forward. In all my decorating ideas it seems that paint color is the one place I’m most insecure. Do you have some ideas for me?

    • Janice October 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Ginny, right now I have four colors on my dining room wall and still not decided!! They are versions of grey and a bluish grey. But I do know the taupe colors. Bleeker beige (Benjamin Moore) on the walls with a white or off white trim is great. I love that one. I might switch the whole dining room to that. You just have to push yourself to keep painting, you can always paint over!!! LOL!

  7. Pam October 18, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Janice
    I am doing my family room in rustic farmhouse…selected BM Stone Hearth matte finish for the walls and will do some chalk painted bookcases on either side of the fireplace. What color do you suggest for the baseboard and chair rail, there is B-Board on the lower half of the walls, which gives the room more of the look I am going for.
    Do you have any suggestions as to the color and style of baseboard and chair rail?

    • Janice October 19, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

      HI Pam,
      This sounds beautiful. I love that ” color. I tend to use a creamy white as the trim but it also looks good with a whiter white likte “alabaster white” by Sherwin Williams. The white I usually use is Benjamin Moore “Navajo White” which is creamier. I would just get the widest baseboard you can afford and a simple top piece to go at the chair rail height. Good luck!

  8. Tena October 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Hi I have old gray barn wood on my living room wall what is a good blue or gray color to use? Thank You !!!!

    • Janice October 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Tena,
      I like Wedgewood grey or Palladium Blue from Benjamin Moore. Would it need to be a stain though? Not sure which product would be best for old barn wood. Better ask at the paint store and test it first. Good luck!

  9. Cheryl October 24, 2015 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Hi, Janice. I am struggling with a color choice for my kitchen. We have the traditional walnut cabinets that I would love to replace with white someday but that is not going to happen as soon as I would like. My family room is edge comb grey which I love. Can you recommend a color for my kitchen that would go with the cabinet color as well as compliment the family room?

    • Janice October 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      HI Cheryl,
      I had the same issue with my kitchen. Stained cabinets that are too nice to paint even though I love the white cabinet look. But I painted the walls Wedgewood Grey – by Ben Moore, (it has grey in it), and I painted the woodwork, “Gull” which is a Martha Stewart color from Home Depot. It is an off white with a bit of grey to it. Anyway blue does go with brown and it will definitely go with the Edgecomb Gray. Will try to get more photos up on the post about paint colors this weekend! good luck, Janice

      • Janice October 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm - Reply

        I just put some pictures of my blue walls with the stained kitchen cabinets on the post. Just finished updating my dining room to Revere Pewter. Will put that up asap. janice

  10. Nikki November 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Janice,
    I love the farmhouse fixer upper look but was wondering why cool colors were mandatory and not warm colors. Right now, I have most of my house painted classic gray and admittedly not much decor on the walls or even drapes yet because it’s a fairly new build. Already I can tell as soon as I walk into my home, it feels “cold”. I really want to warm it up and am literally craving warm colors, yet I love the distressed, worn, lived in character of farmhouses. Can I still get that farmhouse look with some warm neutrals on my walls and, for that matter, pops of warm color scattered about? If so, any suggestions on the warmer wall color? Thanks for your help!

    • Janice November 29, 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

      HI Nikki,
      Thanks for the comment. I think the post was meant to help someone who wanted to change from a traditional room to a room that’s closer to the fixer upper look. It’s more about easy changes like paint and gathering similar pieces from around the house so that the one room has mostly painted pieces in cool colors like white and grey.

      That being said, you can definitely have the “traditional farmhouse style” or what used to be called “new country” which can include warmer colors. The “navajo white” trim that I usually use is a warmer creamier white than stark white. The other wall color that is nice is a creamy pale yellow. It is neutral but warm.

      The other thing is to use stained wood pieces with your already grey walls. I think that will help warm things up. Check out my dining room with the grey walls. It is still warm.

      I also think when you get more on the walls etc., you will “warm” up. Good luck with all of this! Send pictures! -Janice

  11. Debi December 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I currently have golden oak wood floors and Id’ like to get them refinished in a darker stain. I love all the dark floors I see on Fixer Upper. Any suggestion for what color stain would work best on an oak floor?

    • Janice December 2, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Debi, Thanks for the comment. I really like the new look of the dark floors. However I just had my kitchen floor refinished. I had to keep with the more honey brown stain because it had to match the other floors. I ended up having the men put multiple stains on the floor because I couldn’t make my mind up. Either way you can have the sample stains put down and then they just sand them off again. I’ll try to get a post about this with photos soon.

  12. Mary-ellen December 7, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Love all these paint suggestions and your site! Thanks!

    • Janice December 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much Mary Ellen!!

  13. Linda December 8, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I’m just finding your site and love it already. I’ve just started a makeover in our master bedroom. Wanting to lighten up the room I’ve started painting the trim white. I choose Sherwin Williams Greek Villa for the trim. I’m not sure if this is a cool color. Off hand do you know? I love the farm house look. Also, what color of gray do you suggest for the walls? I’m trying to go light and neutral to brighten the room. Thanks for any help you can give.

  14. C Liles December 14, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I love watching the show! And, I love the ship lap boards that they keep and or repourpose. In most instances, the ship lap gets painted an off white color. Can you tell me what brand of paint and color name, that is used?

    • Janice December 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      I know- I love the show too. I think they have colors set up with Sherwin Williams. I know HGTV has their own color line there and the colors are all really nice.

  15. Mandy January 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Janice, We are in the process of buying a Lake house. Pine walls and ceilings. I need to decide on a paint color(s) for the walls and kitchen cabinets. Home is 1400 sq ft. Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Janice January 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Mandy, Are you thinking of a white? Will you be painting the pine wood? I know it is best to either use a good primer and paint combo or maybe the Kilz primer first if it is knotty pine. I love Navajo White from Ben Moore for a creamier white. I also like “Gull” Martha Stewart for a white with a greyish slightly cooler feel. Alabaster White by Sherwin Williams is a nice bright white. Or do you want a color?

      • Mandy January 10, 2016 at 11:25 am - Reply

        My idea is to leave the pinewood as is and paint the kitchen cabinets, which will meet the pinewood at the kitchen ceiling. Also, need to choose a paint color for the walls.

        • Janice January 11, 2016 at 7:25 am - Reply

          Hi Mandy,
          So do you think you should use a nice white to contrast against the pine /brown color? That will make them pop, but if you do a dark color they will recede.

  16. Jen B January 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am trying to pick a gray for my kitchen. The cabinets are new – they are White Dove. The countertops are a marble like pattern although the white in the stone compliments the cabinets and has a gray veining in it…similar to marble. I have an island that is finished in Benjamin Moore Hemlock. On top of that will be a teak countertop. I love the farmhouse look…Looking for a color gray that will help me get that look and compliment all of the other things I have going on in the kitchen. Thank you.

  17. Sherry January 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    When you paint walls in a house, do you use flat, satin, semi-gloss, egg shell or what type of paint?

    • Janice January 17, 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

      HI Sherry, I used to always use flat paint on walls and semi gloss on trim. But now, I use satin on walls. I have been recently using egg shell or one step down from semi gloss on trim but I think it still may be a little to flat. I think I will go back to semi gloss next time. The last room we painted was with Behr Marquis on the walls and it really was worth the extra money. It went on very well in one coat and there were no streaks. Good luck with your painting project!

  18. Kerri Taylor January 24, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    We are painting the brick on our red 1960’s ranch. We like the blue-green- greys like Watery and have samples of Raindrop and Vast Sky( Sherwood Williams). I also like Sea Salt. We don’t want too pastel so which would you recommend?

    • Janice January 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Kerri, Are you painting the brick on the outside or inside?

  19. Lori January 25, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I am updating a 30 year old kitchen.? I am adding bead board ceiling, enclosing the old oak cabinets to the ceiling and replacing the hardware with brushed nickel. The counter tops are white with grey veining and the back splash is white tile with grey accents. I want to paint the cabinets grey but there are so many options out there!! Any suggestions? Also for the walls in the dining nook. I have a chair rail dividing that area so can use 2 colors. Thanks.

  20. Joyce Breeding January 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I am getting ready to paint my family room. I have decided on SW ALABASTER White. On one wall we have a dark brick fireplace surrounded by dry wall. I would like to use color on the fireplace wall. I am thinking of using BEE by SW. This area is dark. What do you think?

    • Janice January 31, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Hi Joyce, If I can tell correctly that “Bee color” is really bright gold isn’t it? Yellow is a very hard color to use. I think you should go with something much lighter – creamy yellow. Did you ever consider painting the brick on your fireplace – this would lighten up that wall.

  21. Judy January 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Hey there, I’m in the midst of redoing my bathroom. We painted the walls bright white but am stuck trying to decide if my trim should be the same white or another color. I have a white shiplap ceiling, light rustic wood like tiling and my fixtures include a whitish clawfoot tub and porcelin pedestal sink. I’m trying to stay in the farmhouse style, any ideas for trim color? Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Janice January 31, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Hi Judy, I like the idea of a pale taupe or pale grey on the trim but I also think the white would look nice too. Try Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. You should probably get a few little samples and try them. This bathroom sounds wonderful.

  22. susan lester February 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Janice, My husband and I have bought his parents home, built 1978. There is dark real wood paneling in the main room, dark kitchen cabinets and dark wood on some built ins with glass. All this will become one big kitchen area. We are putting an addition on and want it all to flow. I call my look rustic charm. I love all the earthy tones. I am thinking to paint the walls of the kitchen area a sea salt or a Navajo white, and do the wood ceiling the same color and add a contrasting trim. I then have the issue of the dark kitchen cabinets and the other built ins and all are in this same kitchen area room. I do not want to be overwhelmed with one color. Any suggestions? Paint on paneling? Trim color? and should I then maybe do the cupboards and built ins that color? Then into the addition, which will flow through a doorway. I want to do wood ship lap walls and just vanish them and then bring some of the sea salt or another color into that room. Is this too much or could you suggest another color that would be soothing, warm and rustic charming?

    • Janice February 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Wow Susan, this sounds beautiful. Ilike all of your colors and ideas. I would start out by keeping it consistent. Either white walls and darker cabinets or the opposite. Then perhaps you can uses a darker version of the Sea Salt on the backs of the open shelves to give contrast and add another color in. I love paint on paneling. I love your style name. “rustic charm” Perfect!

  23. Tonya April 28, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I’ve been wanting to paint my living room I recently replaced my carpet with flooring which is a dark color and my walls are dark I like the country farm feel so I can’t decide on a color that would look great in that area because I have red furniture what would be your suggestion for a light colored paint That has the farm look I’m going for

    • Janice May 10, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

      HI Tonya, Since the furniture is red I would stick with the warm feel and go for white walls or a warm pale yellow like Philadelphia Cream by Sherwin Williams. Good Luck!

  24. Bonnie McDaniel July 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Hi, I collect railroad memorabilia and want to do my bedroom in Revere Pewter walls with Alabaster White trim, and I have looked at gray paint for months, because I want the steel gray look of a railroad and not blue, green, beige,or gray with beige undertones. My furniture will be painted chalk white with silver trim. Do you think that is the best paint for the look I want. My other decor is farmhouse. Sure would appreciate any advice, I am growing weary of looking at gray paint;

    • Janice November 8, 2016 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Hi Bonnie, You can’t go wrong with Revere Pewter!

  25. Amy July 12, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Could you tell me if edgecomb grey would go with slightly cream colored cabinets in a kitchen? I know white would look good but have been leaning towards off white cabinetry.

    • Janice November 8, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

      HI Amy, Yes I think it would be beautiful. see the pictures of my dining room. Woodwork is cream.

  26. Charlotte Thomas July 24, 2016 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    I am in the process of having my kitchen redone. Cabinets will be white. I am unsure of a good wall color. I will be painting the chair rail and 4 foot paneling white. I was leaning toward a sage green but need your advice.

    • Janice November 8, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Hi Charlotte, I like the bluer greens personally. Also Revere Pewter or Manchester Tan by Ben Moore are pretty.

  27. Christy Stephenson September 4, 2016 at 9:31 am - Reply

    We just built a Farmhouse & I would love to paint our 1/2 bath a light shade of Robins Egg or Light Blue type you have one to reccommend?

    • Janice November 8, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Hi Christy,
      I love Palladium Blue by Ben Moore. My daughter Emily, just used a similar color called Lady’s Slipper by Sherwin Williams.

  28. Rosetta September 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    We have an old Farmhouse, with brick on the outside, and inside there is stained window trim, baseboard, and crown molding along the ceiling. I cannot bear to think about painting all the lovely trim, but I’m having a hard time with color ideas to be complementary.
    The Kitchen is the only room with white trim and cabinets; the top cabinets are white, and the bottom half is light brown. (Lowe’s special :/) and the walls I had painted Merlot by BM. After 9 yrs, I’m ready for something different!
    The dining room, is only divided from the kitchen by an open doorway; and still painted the original off white since we’ve bought it since I’m the type who wants it to be right the first time! Then there is an open arch-type between dining and living room. I love the Farm house look, but I also like warm colors. Living in WY I need that, ha! I’ve stalked all the previous comments, and I think also all your links that you’ve posted.I would love your suggestions!

    • Janice November 8, 2016 at 6:31 am - Reply

      HI Rosetta, My vote is to paint the trim. Ahhh! I don’t know where to get the courage to do it but if it was me I would paint it!!

  29. Helen November 12, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    my living room, kitchen and dining room are all one open room. we have white cabinets and white subway tile with grayish counter tops and my floor tile is white with a little touch of gray in it. what color would look best on my walls? Is gray my only option? I don’t really want white walls. Looking for a nice farmhouse color. thanks!!

    • Janice December 7, 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

      Sounds beautiful. We just painted my daughter’s open room with Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore.

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