This one thing could be making your house look dirtier than it is
When it comes to having a clean house, I need all the help I can get. Like a better vacuum, an organizer to tackle the mess that is my closet, and someone to teach me the right way to wash my dishes.
Basically, I don’t need help making my home look any dirtier than it already is.
Yet, certain paint colors could be doing just that. In an interview with Real Simple, interior designers and decor experts revealed the colors that will make your home look worse for the wear, and what to use instead.
How certain paint colors can make your house look dirty
It’s all about the undertones. Some colors—specifically beiges and earth tones—have a dingy or “muddy” tint that instantly makes a room feel less clean than it actually is. That’s especially true for brown, tan, and yellow, which can appear grimy or faded even if they’re brand new.
And white walls, despite being crisp and bright, can also end up looking drab if you choose a white with yellow or brown tones. One expert warns that whites can look completely different (a.k.a worn or tired) when they aren’t in direct light and that they are the most susceptible to showing any mud or marks.
How to pick the right paint colors for your walls
The key is to avoid any colors that are either extremely warm or extremely cool. Balance is key, says Tammy Price of Fragments Identity, who told Real Simple that the worst undertones to stay away from are “brown, greenish, or dusty pink.”
Another trick is to use darker colors in high-traffic areas (like the laundry room) that are more prone to muddy messes. Shades like a deep navy or dark gray will hide inevitable scuffs and streaks much better than a pale color. If you’re hesitant about covering an entire room in such a bold color, lifestyle blogger Camille Styles suggests color-blocking, where you paint the bottom half of the wall in your dark shade and the top half in a lighter neutral or white.
Other ways to make your walls look cleaner
It isn’t just the color itself that can affect how your walls look—other factors, like the quality of your paint, can make a major difference. Opt for higher-quality paint that provides full, streak-free coverage and touch up any dents or scratches immediately when they happen.
And besides washing your walls as needed, you can take preventative measures to keep your walls looking sparkling clean by dusting often the walls and the baseboards to get rid of dust or scuff marks. You can also use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum and run them over the walls as part of your weekly (or bi-weekly) cleaning routine.