paint colour wheel

The strange science of why choosing paint colours affects our mood

The colours of our house, inside and outside, can make or break the house, especially if you are trying to sell it.

Choosing the wrong colour can also cause headaches (seriously) and according to the ancient art of Feng Shui, a poor colour choice can also make the house “feel” wrong.

When choosing paint for your home, it is important to get the colour right first time because there is nothing worse than finishing painting a room, for example, and once the paint dries it looks terrible and you wish you had never done it!

With modern paint technology and the development of new pigments, dyes and additives, the colours available to the home decorator are almost limitless.

The psychology of paint colours.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to put my lab coat on and start analysing you (!), but there is an exact science to choosing the right colour for your home and each colour can trigger certain reactions, conscious or subconscious, in the brain, and can affect how we feel, and how others feel when they look at our paint work.

The paint colours you choose to decorate your home, both internally and externally, can actually do more than just cover the walls and make them look nice!

Each particular colour of paint can have a distinct effect of the state of mind and emotions of people looking at the colour, even if we don’t actually realise it is having an effect on us!

Colour psychology

Choosing the right paint colour…and feeling good about it.

Here is a selection of colours, how do they make you feel as you view them?


  • Red indicates Celebration “Let’s paint the town red”
  • Red also suggests Love – a dozen red roses or red heart on a card saying “I love you”
  • Red suggests warmth – We gather around the fire when we are cold and watch the red hot coal.
  • Red can be associated with glamour-The stars walk the red carpet!

If RED is your favourite colour it means that you have an exciting and happy outlook on life and may be a dynamic or impulsive person, whilst maybe showing signs of aggression and courage too.

Many people who like red paint around the home have a life of ups and downs, but rarely a boring one! Red should ideally be used sparingly around the house, unless you are a rock star, or a part-time vampire.


Green is one of the “earth” colours and is often used internally, not so much for the exterior of houses, although a muted mid green or a very light green can look good, but again, it depends on the type of house.

  • Green represents fertility and the earth
  • Relaxing and Resting, such as a green room in a theatre, somewhere to chill.
  • Green can be lucky! Think about the four leaf clover.
  • Green can also represent jealousy! Does your neighbours house look better than yours?

If Green is a colour you like, you are loyal and affectionate, a good person and a good friend! Green reminds us of nature around us, but with house paint it is best to use sparingly or a second colour for window sills etc.


The colour white is a very common colour for us to use when painting houses, a point which can be proved by looking through some previous house painting projects we have recorded in our archive

  • Purity and cleanliness.
  • Truce, waving the white flag.
  • Spiritual. Thinking of white can take you on a spiritual journey, if you want.!

Painting your home white is a good representation of a pure and clean spirit and someone who expects happiness throughout their life, and that of their friends and family. You may also be a perfectionist if white paint is what you love best.


From our research so far, the colour Blue came up very often as a favourite colour for people, for a variety of reasons (see below), but what does the colour blue represent?

  • Tranquillity and calming
  • Mystery! The depths of the ocean.
  • A certain uniqueness, and highlighted by the phrase “once in a blue moon”.
  • Infinity! The sea came up time and time again, as did beaches and the sky.

If YOUR fave colour is blue, it could be suggested that you are generally a calm and peaceful person who is quite content with their life. Friendship is important to you and you make a good mate but maybe sometimes you could let your emotions go a little.


Yellow is a colour often used by decorators, but usually internally, rather than outside, and can give a good “Mediterranean” feel to a room if used correctly.

Yellow reminds us of……..

  • The sun! The warmth and light it brings us.
  • Travel! People who like yellow also often like travel and new horizons.
  • You’re happy! A yellow lover often has a sunny nature about them.
  • Lucky? Yellow often is symbolised as a lucky colour.

If Yellow is your favourite colour, chances are that you may be artistic and creative with a wild imagination, always looking forward and forever looking for a new challenge. People who like Yellow, often find it hard to settle.


Black is a colour that came up time and time again in our research, however being “scientific” for a minute, it’s worth noting that black is the ABSENCE of colour. What does black represent?

  • An opulent life, black limousines or being taxied around somewhere.
  • The night. Mystery, ghosts and ghouls!
  • Negativity. Yes sorry folks, but black also represents doom and gloom and negativity. Cheer up!

If black is the colour that makes you think about things the most, chances are that, even deep down, you may have a deep dissatisfaction with your life, or maybe a strong yearning for something unobtainable. People who like black often portray a false image, however well meaning, to hide their true feelings of frustration and guilt.


Our research found a few people who also liked the colour purple, so what does this colour represent? Would you use purple paint around the home?

  • Contemplation. Purple can be a very religious or spiritual colour and should be used sparingly.
  • One of a kind! Purple can be a colour liked by very individualistic and unique people.
  • Calm. Sparing use of purples in certain lighter shades can exude a sense of calmness and summer meadows.
  • Royalty! Purple is a traditional royal colour and people who paint in purples often have ideas above their station!

So if you like to use purple paint when decorating, you could be a temperamental so and so but at the same time a very observant and sensitive person.

Purple paint lovers are often very arty but misunderstood people who enjoy creating fantasy worlds or scenarios, even if its just in their own head, no harm in that!


Orange is a warm and vibrant colour and many shades of orange are available in paint form, including the ever popular terracotta, which is essentially a dark orange, heading towards brown.

But not brown of course, that would be horrible and very “70’s”. Certain shades of orange go very well with yellow, and can bring the sunshine into your home on a very low budget!

 What does orange signify?

  •  Richness: A mixture of dramatic elements like sun and fire.
  • Exoticism and adventure! Sitting on a beach watching the sunset over the horizon.
  • Spiritual and deep. Buddhist monks wear orange robes for a reason!
  • Refreshing and sweet! Biting into a soft, ripe, delicious orange!

 If Orange is the colour you like the most, chances are that you are quite a warm and sociable person and like to be the centre of attention wherever you go, although being alone is not something that suits you.

So stepping out of the Psychology mode and sitting up from the analysts couch………

…………… the end of the day, I’m just “some fella who sells paint on the internet” (apparently!), so what do REAL people think of the idea that colours can affect your moods, and also reflect on who we actually are as people?

I asked some of my Facebook friends what their favourite colour was and why.

Here’s what they said.

  • Blue, reminds me of sea and sky on a cloudless sunny day feeling relaxed and carefree. Cheers Adrian Sanders, LibDem MP for Torbay (UPDATED: EX MP!)
  • Yellow, probably because it reminds me of summer time, the beach, the sand…JUAN-JOSÉ, Valencia, Spain.
  • greetings from Dubai!!!!! my fav colour is white….dunno why but i luvvvv white… NITTU, Dubai
  • Mine is pink, makes me feel happy! KAY
  • Red.Pleasing to the eye if it is the right shade. ROY
  • It’s black Guy – but that makes me sound a bit dark – I don’t know why, I’m just drawn to it. I can’t have that though so let’s say red. It reminds me of Liverpool FC, the team I’ve always supported since I was a little girl, and hearts and strawberries !. Natalie Cornah, BBC1 (south west)  TV presenter.
  • Guy, my fav has got 2 be red!. . Cause its fiery like me!! X. LYNNE, Plymouth.
  • red for passion & confidence! LISA.
  • I love purple! Always makes me feel more spiritual. ROS, North Devon.
  • Blue, ‘cos it reminds me of the ocean! LUCY.
  • Cream. Because its neutral, relaxing and I don;t have to think about it! AMANDA
  • Black for clothes as it makes me feel invisible, but I do like looking out of my windows at the fields and sea (blues and greens), sunshine makes me feel happy (yellow), and I do like reds and purples too. So I suppose, to sum up, …..I don’t really have a favourite colour, …………..I love them all depending on what mood I’m in. ………….I choose to have soft warm colours in the home though, peachy apricots, soft buttermilk, pale terracotta etc, in a cold house they really seem to lift the temperature. GAIL, Cornwall.
  • green, cos its natures colour, I guess. LUIS, Spain.
  • Black! But since that’s a shade then I’ll say Green or blue! ANDREW, Somerset
  • My Favourite colour depends on what hat I’m wearing (!) but I like the purple blues/reds. MARCELA.
  • “Has to be blue , being a Scorpio water sign it reminds me of the open sea and sky, very open and can be shallow and very deep, ……a bit like me !!!” NIGEL.
  • Pink as anyone who knows me will verify! NICKY, UK
  • I love pink as like Kay it makes me feel happy also i love blue as it matches my eyes ( they go pink sometimes too! ) : )  SONIA.
  • I am colour blind, so blue….because its the strongest colour I can see! I will always remember a teacher at primary school asking why I had just coloured a picture of some sky purple!!!  Then came the test and the rest is history. The future is orange and so are daffodils! DAVID FITZGERALD, ex Sky news anchorman and currently  BBC RADIO DEVON
  •  Blue because it is the colour of the Royal Navy and the Conservative Party!  Oliver Colvile MP  for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport. (updated 2019: Ex MP!)
  • Hi Guy, I like the ivory colour because it is deeply elegant, never the same, always different tones within the same range. It gives me feeling of calm and adventure as well. Eva.
  • Green,very soothing.reminds me of summer,makes me feel relaxed. Pete Risley, Rivera FM, Torbay’s best music station.
  • I like summer colours Guy! Like wearing pinks and whites. Equally though I love the colour blue that you see in the sea on a sunny summers’ day!”. Sarah.
  • Depends in the day, either black (no colour) or white (all colours). Max.
  • My favourite colour has to be Black and don’t ask ;-)……….But blue and grey granite façades always get interest. Graham Hunt, Valencia property guru
  • The azure-aqua blue of the ocean around Bermuda. Exotic, relaxing yet energising at the same time. In all, a feel-good, all’s-right-with-the world colour. LORNA

So as you can see, from quite a wide range of people, colour is very important to them, especially when thinking about decorating and using paint.

Get the colours right first time!

If you get it right, your home can be truly a reflection of who YOU are, and it need not cost the earth either, with various environmentally friendly paints available on the market today.

If you get it wrong, that orange ceiling could clash with the lime green wall you just did! Bad use of colours can make a whole house feel “wrong” and can make for a very uncomfortable life.

Choosing the correct paint colour for your home really can say something about yourself, who you really are, and what you like!

 ….and what’s MY favourite colour?


Which apparently, as above, means that I’m a very social person (which i am) and someone who leads a “blessed” life, which I do! I hope the article above has given you some food for thought when choosing colours.

Colours can make us feel very different, sometimes when we least expect it, and colour psychology is often used when painting hospitals (relaxing colours), offices (colours that motivate) and pubs and clubs (exciting colours).

If colour choice can be related to science, what about the notion of Feng shui?

Feng Shui?

No it isn’t a noodle-based soup, it is the ancient and respected Chinese science (art?) of creating harmony in and out of the house by arranging items in a certain way, and having décor in a certain fashion or manner.

So what is Feng Shui and, unless we live next door to the Chinese embassy, or you are reading this in down town Beijing, how can we get advice to use feng shui to arrange our homes?

Feng Shui isn’t just about having a de-clutter, or slapping a bit of paint onto a wall, its a careful science, and can bring many benefits to the whole of your life if taken seriously.

So, what is Feng Shui?

Feng means wind and shui means water.

The practice has developed from over 3,000 years of wisdom and is taken very seriously by many planners and architects of buildings in the far east, but how does it apply to the everyday home found in the UK?

It is based on “Chi” or the unseen energy that flows around the land, and the art of applying this to our homes. This can give a harmonious balance in the house, and they say, will benefit health and wealth, but it is all hocus-pocus or is there some truth in the matter?

There are ways of measuring the energy in your own home, and many bookshops offer books on how to get started using feng shui principles in your own home or workplace.

Feng Shui for the inside of our house.

Starting internally, a good feng shui house should mirror internally, what is outside, so both elements work in harmony. If your house is in a modern street with new-ish houses, don;t, for example, make the inside look like something from one of Dicken’s novels. It just wont work.

If your home is overlooked or doesn’t get much light, balance that, with light colours inside the house. If your home is surrounded by woods or trees, use wood inside the house to complement it and again, balance the energy.

Using feng shui

The location of your home is also important and the feng shui that you adopt, should be in correlation with the location of the house, for example a house next to a busy main road, needs a different type of energy healing than one located in a “cul de sac”. Once again, if this subject interests you, it’s best to get a book and start trying it out for yourself, it really works!

Mirrors and crystal are also good for fen shui, as is de-clutter; put stuff away you don’t need, let the energy move in the house.

Feng shui for the outside of your house.

The outside is just as important as the inside, suggest practitioners of the ancient art, and a scruffy looking house with faded and peeling paintwork, cracks and damp, will NOT do you any favours, and will negate any effort to make the inside look good and for the feng shui to work.

(To get your home exterior painted, call NPA on (0800) 970 4928)

The front door is also a very important part of attaining the right energy balance and always make sure it is clean, freshly painted and uncluttered.

Choosing the right paint colour.

The effective and sympathetic use of paint colours is one of the cornerstones of Feng Shui and a very powerful force, bringing emotion and harmony, if chosen correctly.

You should not choose a paint colour for the exterior of the house that clashes with surrounding or adjoining homes. A row of white houses with a red house in the middle, totally ruins the streetscape and knocks away the energy flow.

Go with what is around you, be harmonious, but individual at the same time.

As we saw above, clean and tidy walls, with nice fresh paint are a good way to start balancing out the energy and you should certainly look to do this and reap the benefits it brings.

How many turbines dya want maaan?

If your home exterior needs some ZEN, call one of the jedi masters at NPA

telephone-us on 0800 970 4928

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