2023 Was the Year of Neutral Paint for Americans

By Hope Walborn | Dec. 27, 2023 | 3 min. read

The most popular paint colors this year were in shades of gray, white and beige, according to a study completed by All Star Home.

The study analyzed Google search trends and asked over 1,000 homeowners about their personal paint preferences, their favorite colors and their choices between completing DIY projects versus hiring professionals.

The top 10 most popular paint colors came from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors were as follows:

Most popular paint color by state via All Star Home
  1. SW Grizzle Gray
  2. BM Palladian Blue
  3. SW Alabaster
  4. BM Distant Gray
  5. BM Capitol White
  6. SW Web Gray
  7. SW Agreeable Gray
  8. BM American White
  9. SW Snowbound
  10. BM Balboa Mist

The most popular color nationwide, Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray, is described as “dark, rugged and brooding” and as a “deep charcoal.” It’s one of four grays in the top 10 paint colors, alongside five shades of white and one lone shade of blue.

In a sea of neutrals, Pennsylvanians may favor a little more color in their homes. Pennsylvania’s most popular color of the year was Sherwin Williams Rainwashed. Sherwin Williams says, “This light and airy bluish green brings a serene and natural feel to your interior spaces. Try this cool green in a bedroom or a bathroom.”

When it comes to the process of painting, the study found that 93% of Americans have painted an interior room, with 35% hiring a professional to do so. On interior paint projects, Americans spent an average of $439 this year. For those who’ve taken on painting projects themselves, 52% described it as “moderate” and 25% described it as “easy” on a scale of difficulty. Forty-nine percent said they wished that a room in their home was a different color.

On the other hand, painting the exterior of a home was less common this year, as only 27% reported painting a home exterior. Of those who have, 31% hired a professional. Exterior paint jobs cost Americans an average of $1,001 this year, and the difficulty of exterior painting received mixed reviews. Thirty-six percent found the process challenging, 24% said it was an advanced skill and 20% said it was moderately difficult. With it being a more costly and difficult process than painting an interior room, only 22% of those surveyed said they wanted to paint the exterior of their home.

The top reasons for not completing interior and exterior paint projects were lack of time, not wanting to rearrange a room, not having the budget and not wanting to DIY it.

For most painting projects, the first step is choosing a color. Twenty-six percent said picking a paint color is easy, and the top ways to make the decision included looking at paint chips in the store, considering the function of a room, considering the room’s lighting, buying samples and testing them and picking a favorite color.

Paint finish is another decision to be made during the process. Top paint finishes were satin/eggshell (33%), matte (28%), semi-gloss (23%), flat (13%) and gloss (3%).

However, there are endless colors out there to choose from, and sometimes it takes more than one try to pick one that works. Forty percent of people have regretted a paint color choice and 32% have repainted a room because they didn’t like the color they initially painted it.

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