These Are the Yellow Paint Colors Interior Designers Love to Use

daffodil flower yellow bright
Photo: Blaine Moats

Whether you choose maple gold, cheery sunflower, or buttercream, there's a soft yellow paint color for every design style. Color experts and interior designers share their all-time favorite yellow paint colors, plus how to incorporate the primary color into your decorating scheme.

01 of 16

How to Use Yellow Paint Colors

yellow paint lids pencils chalk
Adam Albright

Yellow is a chameleon color. How it looks on your walls is particularly dependent on the amount of natural light in your home and the colors of other surface finishes, like floors. Testing your top picks is essential. Pale floors reflect light, brightening the color, while rich wood finishes can have a darkening effect. Have a lot of brown furniture? Go for a warm yellow. "The umber that is evident in a warmer yellow is very friendly to antiques," says designer Ann Lowengart.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Buzz-In P300-6, Behr
  • Lemon Twist 3006-2B, Valspar
  • Citrus Punch PPG1212-5, PPG
  • Cheerful SW 6903, Sherwin-Williams
02 of 16

Buttercream Yellow Paint Colors

buttercream yellow paint color palette lids
Adam Albright

With colors so delicious you could eat them, the lighter end of the pale yellow paint color spectrum tends to be for anyone looking for a color that won't overpower. "Stay really pale on the walls so the yellow gives the room more of an overall feeling than a statement," says designer Sara Gilbane.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Lemonade Slush BHG605, Glidden
  • Homey Cream 3007-6B, Valspar
  • Honey Moth 350E-2, Behr
  • Straw A22-3, Ace Hardware
  • Cornmeal B12-2, Olympic
03 of 16

Sunny Yellow Paint Colors

sunflower yellow paint color palette lids
Kim Cornelison

Cozy up with these shades of yellow paint drenched in a summer color palette with hints of nature. If you are planning to paint a room unfamiliar with daylight, these tones might make all the difference, according to designer Sara Tuttle. "Not all colors can warm up a room that doesn't get a ton of natural light like these yellows can," she says. But don't let its summery inspiration fool you. "Yellow is beautiful because it's seasonless," Tuttle says. "It sets the tone for a warm, cozy room."

Paint colors pictured:

  • Sawdust A15-3, Olympic
  • Morning Sunlight 360A-2, Behr
  • Goldenrod GLY04, Glidden
  • Fulfilled 15b2, True Value
  • Hello Yellow! BHG611, Glidden
04 of 16

Gold Yellow Paint Colors

maple gold yellow paint color palette lids
Adam Albright

Go to the richer side of yellow with these maple gold hues. Golden yellows are classic, fresh, and cozy. But they're also one of the trickiest colors to get right, says New York City designer Marlaina Teich. She says to use a pillow, area rug—anything that will be in the finished room—to home in on your paint choice. If a hue doesn't coordinate with the item, move on.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Sunbeam 328, Benjamin Moore
  • Honey Tone 360C-3, Behr
  • Maple Taffy 3004-3C, Valspar
  • Egg Yolk A14-5, Olympic
  • Dandy Lion BHG614, Glidden
05 of 16

Bright Yellow Shades

daffodil flower yellow bright
Blaine Moats

These lively yellows look just like a spring day. From concentrated yellows to delicate ones, vibrant yellow paint colors are a visual pick-me-up, leaving you feeling happier and more creative. "Bright yellow in a tiny space feels unexpected. It surprises and delights," says Lowengart.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Optimistic Yellow SW6900, Sherwin-Williams
  • Sunbeam A12-3, Olympic
  • Dazzling Daffodil GLY03, Glidden
  • Buttery 14-5, Pratt and Lambert
  • Gold Path A23-7, Ace Hardware
06 of 16

Cool Yellow Paint Shades

blossom branch yellow paint
Adam Albright

Consider color temperature when choosing a yellow. A shade with cool undertones feels crisp and fresh, especially when paired with whites, greens, or grays. When opting for a more saturated yellow, pair it with lighter shades to avoid overwhelming the space.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Sawdust A15-3, Olympic
  • Lemon Butter 3008-4B, Valspar
  • Pineapple Sorbet GLY22, Glidden
  • Hibiscus 2027-50, Benjamin Moore
  • Casava 15-10, Pratt and Lambert
07 of 16

Warm Yellow Paint Colors

yellow coffee thread twine fruit
Adam Albright

While this color scheme might not be one you typically conjure when picturing the color yellow, the yellow undertones in each of these paint colors bring a different approach to a typical yellow. Warm yellow paint colors feel cozy and comforting.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Apple Cider B18-4, Olympic
  • Arctic Tern NT593, Nautica at Home
  • Amber 168, Benjamin Moore
  • Deckled Edge RL 1044, Ralph Lauren Paint
  • London Stone No. 6, Farrow & Ball
08 of 16

Yellows with Orange Undertones

burlap yellow squash blossoms
Blaine Moats

These shades of yellow have traces of warm orange within them. Pair them with vibrant teals or calm navy colors for a colorful primary or tertiary color palette. Adding one of these yellow-orange shades into a living room or office space can liven it up and boost creativity.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Palomino Gold GL031, Glidden
  • Daisy Dew C2-4, Dutch Boy
  • Yuma B21-6, Ace Hardware
  • Evening Glow A17-3, Olympic
  • Sunflower SW6678, Sherwin-Williams
09 of 16

Cheery Yellows

yellow paint yellow tart fabric
Andy Lyons

Yellows that look as delicious as a lemon tart easily refresh any kitchen. These soft yellow paint colors are a great addition to any room to bring in subtle color. Choose from lighter shades of yellow for a sweet nursery or powder room, or opt for something more saturated for a breakfast nook.

Paint colors pictured:

  • Lemon Souffle 350B-4, Behr
  • Mayapple 40YY65/427, Glidden
  • Warm Summer 3008-2B, Valspar
  • Lemon Twist, SW6909, Sherwin-Williams
  • Collegiate Yellow IB70, Ralph Lauren
10 of 16

Yellow and Blue Color Scheme

traditional global study navy blue trim
Robert Brantley

Take a risk and go to the extremes with the tried-and-true yellow-and-blue color palette. Start with pale yellow paint and run to the opposite end of the saturation spectrum with indigo blue. For an extra dose of drama, sprinkle in glossy black accents.

Paint color pictured: Monterey White HC-27, Benjamin Moore

11 of 16

Yellow Cabinet Paint Colors

kitchen with white subway tile and yellow cabinetry
James Yochum

Painting cupboards and cabinets can take a kitchen from blah to wow in a few coats of paint. Choose a fun yellow paint color and commit it to a kitchen island or piece of furniture waiting to make a statement in your home. This idea works especially well if using a neutral shade with just enough attitude.

Paint color pictured: Bee SW-6683, Sherwin-Williams

12 of 16

Yellow Bathroom Paint Colors

light yellow bathroom with white trim
Greg Scheidemann

Wake up an all-white bathroom with a warm yellow hue. If you're matching a paint color to an existing feature, such as tile or an upholstered piece, resist matching colors perfectly. "It makes your room feel flat and one-dimensional," says Gilbane. "Go two shades lighter or darker."

Suggested paint color: Philadelphia Cream HC-30, Benjamin Moore

13 of 16

Yellow Ceiling Paint

bedroom yellow walls ceiling blue accent traditional
Mark Lohman

Another tip to getting the most out of your yellow paint color is moving beyond your walls and onto the ceiling. "Whenever I can, I try to put a hint of the wall color on the ceiling," Marlaina says. "It makes the room feel more complete. The color will look darker on the ceiling, so cut it by 50 percent."

Paint color pictured: Weston Flax HC-5, Benjamin Moore

14 of 16

Yellow Bedroom Paint Colors

golden yellow monochromatic bedroom
Michael Partenio

Yellow on yellow on yellow! If that's your dream, mix up the strength of the hue in the pieces and textures around the room to avoid the monochromatic doldrums. Plus, if your room comes equipped with any sort of view of the outside world, your wall color choice will shine. Yellow painted walls work best in a room with a lot of natural light, Gilbane says. Dark rooms can make yellow look dingy.

Paint color pictured: Tea Light CI-163, Valspar

15 of 16

Primary Color Palette

kitchen banquette red chairs yellow walls
Werner Straube

Yellow and blue paint colors almost always hit a decorating homerun, especially in rooms where you start or end your day, such as a breakfast nook. Maximize this color opportunity and add in a few orange or red accents and fabrics. It'll be a primary palette you can live with for years.

Paint color pictured: Woodmont Cream 204, Benjamin Moore

16 of 16

Light Yellow Paint Colors

blue and yellow color story
Greg Scheidemann

Even the palest of yellows can brighten up a room. In this living room, yellow takes a step back and lets bright pastel hues shine. A crisp white on the walls might have caused the peppy hues to read as electric rather than sweet, but the slightly yellow tinge ensures the room is sunny, not stark. When looking for the right yellow, it's important to pick the right base first. Stay away from white-based yellows—they can turn out chalky and cold, Tuttle says. Her rule of thumb: Stick with ocher and brown undertones.

Suggested paint color: Reed Yellow, Pratt and Lambert

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