The Best Red Paint Colors, According to Experts

Go bold and energetic or warm and cozy with the perfect shade of red.

Given its intensity and high saturation, red can be a tricky color to work with. When used right, however, it has the power to make a stunning design statement and completely transform a space. The key is to choose the perfect shade, pair it well with other colors, and to use just the right amount. Red is an incredibly versatile color that leans ultra-modern just as easily as it fits a traditional setting. From a deep cherry hue that'll give your front door a classic and welcoming touch, to a warm terracotta shade that instantly infuses a room with warmth and character, we're sharing the best red paint colors to make a bold statement.

Red accent wall in a room with wood floors and ceiling


For the ultimate room makeover, go all-in and paint the walls, trim, and ceiling in a cozy shade of red. If you don't want to go quite as dramatic, use the color more sparingly by creating an accent wall, painting the fireplace surround, or giving a door a quick refresh. We asked paint industry experts for their go-to red paint color picks, and we're here to share the scoop.

01 of 06

Caliente by Benjamin Moore

Front door painted red

Benjamin Moore

Add a small dose of saturated color with the ultimate classic—a red front door. Hannah Yeo, color marketing and development manager at Benjamin Moore recommends using one of the brand's most popular reds, Caliente. "It has a unique blend of modern and classic qualities. Whether you pair it with a crisp white and dramatic black for a modern look, or layer in textures, patterns or other rich colors in traditional settings, there’s a room for Caliente in every house", she states. Yeo suggests balancing the bold hue with light neutrals such as Gardenia, Classic Gray, or Stonington Gray.

Paint color: Caliente by Benjamin Moore

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Red Earth by Farrow & Ball

Living Room walls, trim, and ceiling painted red

Farrow & Ball

For a warm and cozy red, you can't go wrong with Red Earth by Farrow & Ball. "It packs so much warmth as it doesn’t contain the blue notes that some truer reds can have", says Patrick O’Donnell, international brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball. Use this luxurious yet earthy shade of red in a gathering space such as a living room or dining room and for a beautiful saturated look, O'Donnell suggests covering the walls, trim, and ceiling with it. He adds, "This is a deeply rich but soft terracotta that will deliver enough drama if required, or bring a cocooning quality to a poorly lit north-facing room".

Paint color: Red Earth by Farrow & Ball

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Positive Red by Sherwin-Williams

Red accent wall in a room with wood floors and ceiling


To make a bold statement without it overpowering the whole room, Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, suggests creating a red accent wall. She says, "Using red can be tricky, but choosing a cherry-hued color like Positive Red sparingly can introduce the right amount of color without making a space feel overwhelming". Bring in a pop of red to infuse a space such as a game room with energy and a playful vibe.

Paint color: Positive Red by Sherwin-Williams

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Flirt Alert by Behr

White furniture and artwork in front of a red wall


Make an energetic splash with Behr's Flirt Alert, a color that Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, calls one of her favorite shades of red. It's a fiery red that ushers in bold personality and a youthful vibrancy. Woelfel says, "This color is bold and fearless and allows designers to incorporate color into their everyday lives in a daring way."

Paint color: Flirt Alert by Behr

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Sriracha by Clare

Console in front of a red wall


If you're looking for a warm red tone with hints of orange, Sriracha by Clare fits the bill. The deep, brick-red shade creates a classic aesthetic when used on traditional-style millwork or in a formal living room, but takes on a modern feel once applied on an accent wall. It serves as a beautiful backdrop for an eclectic gallery wall, but it's eye-catching enough to stand alone without any decorative accents.

Paint color: Sriracha by Clare

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Rojo Dust by Sherwin-Williams

Black and white furniture in front of a red wall


If you're looking for a shade of red that's warm, versatile, and pairs well with other colors, this is it. "Not all red paint colors need to be intense. For a more subtle look, try Rojo Dust, a mid-tone red that delivers a quiet, pleasant energy", Wadden says. As for where this earthy, rust tone looks best, she suggests a large space such as a living room or primary bedroom to give the color plenty of breathing room.

Paint color: Rojo Dust by Sherwin-Williams

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