7 Easy Ways to Paint a Small Room to Look Bigger 
Interior House Painting

7 Easy Ways to Paint a Small Room to Look Bigger 

Posted on August 23, 2022

Decorating small spaces can be challenging. Luckily, there are many tricks professional painters use to transform the look and feel of your rooms to take them from feeling cramped to comfortable.

Want a More Spacious Feel? Put Down the Sledgehammer and Pick Up a Paintbrush

Low square footage areas may be physically tight, but this doesn’t mean you have to feel claustrophobic. There are many ways professional painters can help make your small space look and feel bigger within your budget and without having to knock down any walls.

Here are some paint tricks you can use to make your rooms look more spacious and inviting – just like the experts.

1. Use a Shade of White or Light Neutral Color

When painting smaller rooms, it’s not uncommon to choose a shade of white as it can easily open up the space and make it seem much bigger. For a warmer shade of white, try Navajo White (Benjamin Moore), White Dove (Benjamin Moore), Chantilly Lace (Sherwin-Williams), Dover White (Sherwin-Williams), or Alabaster (Sherwin-Williams). Want something a little less yellow? Simply White (Benjamin Moore) is a nearly perfect neutral white with a balance of cool and warm, making it a designer favorite in kitchens.

For a more modern look, use the shade Extra White (Sherwin-Williams). This paint color is about as white as you can get and can quickly brighten up any dark space. 

“White is a great option to help the viewer’s eye travel throughout the whole room. This color is one of my favorites because it can really open up space and create an illusion of height in the smallest of spaces,” says Jerry Prosise of CertaPro Painters® of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Other classic color selections for smaller areas include neutrals and lighter colors such as grey and blush. Try Ashmead Gray (Benjamin Moore), Original White (Sherwin-Williams), White Blush (Benjamin Moore), or Dreamy White (Sherwin-Williams).

2. Go Bold and Balance with Accessories

While using white and lighter neutrals is a classic painting trick to open up a room, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the same effect from strong colors. Using a monotone scheme in a bold color like Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore) can open up a room as well. Add balance to the room by incorporating furniture and accessories in softer tones, particularly in cases where the bold colors may feel overwhelming.

Black can even be a favorite to open up space if used the right way. Colors like Bohemian Black (Sherwin-Williams) or Black Panther (Benjamin Moore) can blend walls and soften corners. But be careful with the color black; you’ll need to use the correct undertone or sheen for better match ability and durability. Consulting a home painting expert can help you avoid amateur mistakes for a result you’ll be proud to show off in your home.

3. Small Changes Can Make a Significant Impact

If a bold tone is outside of your comfort zone, you can make a significant impact on your space without painting an entire room by utilizing an accent wall.

This works well for two reasons:

  1. A different colored accent wall gives an optical illusion. It also helps to make the room seem like there is extra space inside.
  2. Accent walls direct the eye to a focal point. This helps when decorating and when deciding the best way to place existing furniture.

If you’re looking to create emphasis, soft tones like Sherwin-Williams’ gray Evening Shadow are ideal. 

4. Feature an Eye-Catching Pattern

Instead of relying on flat colors alone to make a room look bigger, think about strategically placed patterns. Vertical stripes can make your room look taller, add to the openness of the space, and create drama.

For some, vertical stripes can make a room feel constrictive. To counter this, avoid painting stripes on all of your walls in smaller areas and stick to wide stripes focused in one area, such as a single-striped accent wall. If stripes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other patterns to try. Just remember: smaller patterns tend to look nice in areas with low square footage and add to the interest of your walls.

5. Repaint Your Ceilings

Painting light colors on ceilings can create the illusion that a room is taller than it really is. If your walls are dark, any shade of off-white or even light pastels or greys could work on ceilings. Darker ceilings can be an interesting design choice but are not usually helpful when painting a room to look bigger. 

“Using lighter color tones will make a space absorb the surrounding light, while the brighter colors can help give the impression of a larger space,” says Jerry Prosise of CertaPro Painters® of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

If you’re wanting to get a bit more creative, ceilings don’t always need to be kept in a monotone shade. For example, a common scheme for nurseries is to paint light blue and white clouds on the ceiling and then have a deeper (yet still calm) blue on the walls.

“Using lighter color tones will make a space absorb the surrounding light, while the brighter colors can help give the impression of a larger space,” says Jerry Prosise of CertaPro Painters® of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

6. Use Different Hues of the Same Color in Adjoining Rooms

If you have a particular paint color in mind but are struggling with knowing how to make several adjoining small spaces appear bigger, think about sticking with the color you like and using different hues or shades of it. 

Different shades of the same color can maximize your square footage and also help to capture interest, gently guiding the eye through the rooms of your home to create continuity throughout your entire house.

7. Use Technology to Test Your Chosen Color

If you don’t know what you want, but don’t have a lot of time to experiment, use an online visualizer tool to save time and stress.

You can test any color by virtually painting it on your walls, helping you visualize the final result while also making the decision much more manageable.

Make Any Room Feel Larger with Help From CertaPro Painters®

Paint can work wonders in a small room. Smart color selection alone can transform how big a space feels, from a half-bath to a small guest room. For help transforming your space, CertaPro Painters® can help you explore the many color and design options available, and a color consultant can help you design any areas you’re unsure about. 

To schedule a free painting estimate, give a trusted service advisor at CertaPro Painters® a call today.