What colour do I paint my skirting boards and architraves?

Skirting boards and architraves are often given the least thought – they are in fact an after-thought but the colour and tone that you use here can make or break your colour scheme.  I have some guidelines and tips to help you to decide the right colour for your look.

What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: White and Gold Design

Skirting Boards and Architraves are the link between rooms

Often people will just use one white or neutral to go through their house which works well – particularly if you are simply using a crisp white which won't really change much.

Sometimes though a house can benefit from different tones of a white or neutral if the aspects of the rooms are vastly different.  For example a darker, south facing room without much natural light may benefit from quite a different tone to a bright sun-drenched north west facing room.

A soft neutral or white will appear quite different depending on the room that you use it in.  This isn't necessarily wrong but you need to double-check that you like the effect.

I always recommend painting a large board with two coats of your chosen colour and then move it around the house, viewing in daylight and at night time with artificial light.  This may seem like an onerous task but nowhere near as much work as re-painting a room!

You may also choose to paint different colours in rooms thoughout your home.  I have used a dark grey in my living room, a mid grey in my kitchen and then an off-white in my dining room.  They all flow into one so I had to ensure the colours worked together.

What helps to make it work though is that I have one trim colour for my skirting boards and architraves that I take throughout the house.  This colour becomes my link for the scheme and helps to make the colour palette flow.

What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Bo Bedre

This image above is the perfect example of adjoining rooms with different colours/tones/wallpaper which works because you have a definite white connecting trim colour.

I have written an article about using white trim on exteriors which is relevant to interiors too.

Related: Why I love a crisp white trim

Usually you would also use the chosen colour for your skirting boards and architraves on the internal doors – unless you have beautiful timber doors which you want to keep – and you can also link it to other accent areas like shelving, bookcases and kitchen cabinets.

Alternatively, you can use your internal doors to make a colour statement.  Gone are the days when we choose an entire wall and paint it another colour, you need to think differently about how you introduce colour and this image below shows you how successful this idea can be.  Skirting boards and architraves are white to match the walls while all the doors, including the external one is a gorgeous blue.

What colour do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Sarah Richardson Design

If you have powdercoated windows then you can't change these but if you have timber ones you can choose to paint them the same or highlight them.  Generally they would be painted the same but you can make a real statement by painting the frames a different colour – just ensure you have nice windows as you will be drawing attention to them!

What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Domaine Home

This is the perfect example of a linking white trim with a soft neutral on the walls and black window and door frames – I think this combination, highlighting these beautiful windows, is terrific.

Which colour to use?

The colour that springs to mind for your trim is usually a white.  Contemporary decorating generally sees us painting our skirting boards and architraves a white as in the image below.  If you have white walls you can use an even brighter white or the same white in a different finish to your walls.

What colour do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Hinkley Lighting

This doesn't have to be the case though as you can create quite a different and I think, stunning, effect by painting the trim colours a darker tone.  This could be a soft grey and could also be used as the accent colour through your house for internal doors, cabinetry etc.

What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Tom House

In the image above the designer has used a soft grey for the skirting boards, architraves and the ceiling cornice.  I really like this effect as it means you can have a simple white wall without the rooms being too plain.  This of course works particularly well in a period style house.  As the designer has used dark shutters, they have painted the architrave around the window to match which prevents the look from becoming too busy.

Related: Manipulating a space with colour – colour lesson 5

If you are a wallpaper fan you can tie your skirting boards and architraves into the wallpaper colours.  This works best though if you keep this colour scheme throughout the house, even if the other rooms are a soft grey, neutral or white on the walls.  Alternatively you can decide on a convenient place to stop and switch to a more neutral trim – find an area where the whole scheme is not on show – perhaps a turning into a hallway.

What colour should I paint my skirting boards and architraves
Image: Little Greene Paint and Paper

My tips for painting skirting boards and architraves

  1. If you are using a white or pale neutral on your walls then use a half strength or for more contrast, a quarter strength of the wall colour for the trim.  My general rule is full on wall, half on trim and quarter on ceiling and cornice.
  2. If you are using a crisp white on your walls you can simply use the same white on your trim.  As trim paint should be a little more durable – or a lot more durable depending on children/dogs/tricycles used inside! – the finish will be different and therefore you will get a slight variation as the light will reflect differently.
  3. If you are using a darker neutral on your walls you will need to look at the undertone to find the correct white to go with it.  Remember that there are cool whites and warm whites as there are warm and cool neutrals – greige, beige, stone and grey colours.
  4. If you have a white kitchen or are planning one, then use the same white as your trim white.  This keeps things really simple and ensures that the kitchen cabinets and the skirting boards and architraves will both work with the wall colour.
  5. If you would like to introduce a neutral into your colour scheme but like the idea of keeping the walls a very light colour or a white then consider using this for your trim colour.  This can be a dominant choice though so ensure you like it through all your rooms.
  6. You can either paint your internal doors the same as your trim colour or have something different.  If you have beautiful timber doors and window frames that you don't want to paint then you can leave these and just paint the architraves.
  7. Although wherever possible you should use your trim colour to link the colour palette throughout the house you can make exceptions, for example if you have dark shutters on a window and you want the architraves to blend in.
  8. Always consider the effect that you will achieve if you have a strong contrast – white trims on a dark wall or as below dark trim on a white wall.  The effect can be stunning but you need to ensure that you will like it!

What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves

I hope that this has helped you to make the right decision for your next painting scheme.  If you are confused, I can help you.  Firstly, with my FREE Resource Library.  I have e-books and checklists to help with your renovation.  You can sign up for FREE here.

Secondly, I offer an online e-consultation service.  From one key question that you are struggling with to an entire colour scheme.  You can send me photos and ask me questions to ensure you get your scheme right. I have a range of packages starting at $110 or I can tailor one to suit you.  Find out more here.

What colour do I paint my skirting boards and architraves

Don't forget as always, I would love to hear your comments below:

88 thoughts on “What colour do I paint my skirting boards and architraves?

  1. Caren says:

    Thanks for the trim advice. I am now taking on my long neglected 80’s dark kitchen. Will be repainting 80’s oak cabinets. I will now use the same white throughout with a glossier one on the trim than the walls.
    In the US we don’t use the terms half or quarter strength paint. What does it mean?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caren – sorry I missed this one in the mix! It will work to use one white in different strengths. Many whites and neutrals in Australia are marketed as quarter and half strength of an original and it basically means that you get a white and knock it back by half and then half again so you keep the same undertone – creamy yellow, neutral green, cool blue etc but by doing a half strength of it, the white has less yellow, green, blue etc. A good paint mixer in the US would be able to achieve that with a white or neutral that you choose – you just have to find someone who knows their stuff! Hope you love your new look kitchen – I am sure it will be a great lift to your interior scheme Good luck Samantha

    • Brett says:

      We are having three walls one shade of paint and the fourth wall a different colour. We want the walls and skirting and architrave to be the same colour. Will the skirting on the fourth wall look ok a different colour to the other three skirting boards?

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Brett it’s OK to do this – you can certainly tie in your skirting boards with the relevant wall colour but just be aware if it leads into a door architrave – you will either need to match these to the wall or have a join in trim colour.

  2. Karina says:

    Thank you, Samantha, for wonderful ideas. We are planning on buying our first home and since we hardly ever like the existing interiors we would probably end up doing the whole house up.
    I became a big fan of your blog as it beautifully incorporates so many styles. Now I feel more knowledgeable and confident about creating a unique interior for the home of our own.

  3. Carol Duckworth says:

    Hi Samantha, virgin renovators here and we are turning a double garage into a outdoor living area Hampton style. We have put oak coloured laminate flooring down (throws slight grey tones). One wall is all windows/door (easy part!), opposite wall has 2 very large windows with red brick surround (about 30 – 40cm wide). One wall is all red brick but will be covered by a floor to ceiling entertainment unit that i am painting in white Chalk paint. The opposite brick wall we have plastered and painted in Dulux Milton Moon. My dilemma is what colour do i paint on the standard height ceiling and cornice? The painted wall will also have skirting board, do i paint that in a white or perhaps 1/4 strength Milton Moon? OMG the more i read the more confuzzled i get and doubt my decisions .. so I’m just looking at the room and doing nothing! I just want to get it right 🙂 The two main windows I’m thinking of white wooden verticals. Would appreciate any advice, how lucky we are you chose to come Down Under, thanks so much, Carol 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Carol This sounds much nicer than a garage! Basically with a Hamptons Style you need to use lots of white trim. If you look at the white that you are painting the entertainment unit in, then match your other whites to this. The whites available in Chalk paint will be different depending on which company you are using. But I would use the same white for the ceiling, cornice, skirting boards and architraves. If you have a choice for your chalk paint, use a nice crisp white as the Milton Moon is a cool grey. Hope this gets you started and that you love your new room! Samantha

  4. Sue says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am looking to repaint our whole house but I’m finding it extremely difficult to find a nice window trim for the Aluminum window color which is Stone Beige. All of my furniture is timber colored and I wanted to do a light trim with a darker wall but I want to shy away from browns.. Any tips you could give me please?? Would love white but its does my head in seeing white trim and beige window frames…

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sue Ideally you would find a wall colour you like and then have the trim a couple of tones lighter but all the colours that tie in with Stone Beige will end up a brown once they are a bit darker. Perhaps look at something like Dulux White Beach or White Beach half which are whites with some depth that could work with Stone Beige and just have a subtle change for the wall. You could also consider introducing some simple sheers to hide the frames or drapes pushed back that at least hide the edges of the window frame so that you don’t notice them as mush. Hope this helps! Samantha

  5. Ruby says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are planning to do our lounge in Dulux Fine Cream, just to take the edge of a stark white And help it flow with decor. We currently love the crisp white of the door frames and skirts, but I’m worried that the cream is too pale to create a palatable contrast between it and a white gloss. Unsure whether to then use the same cream in the gloss, but this won’t match the white upvc window frames, so just really stuck… the doors are a beautiful which look lovely against the crisp white, but just not sure it all ties together. What do you think? I am in the UK and haven’t come across half strengths either.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ruby I think I would match the window architraves to the white of your doors and skirting boards so that it doesn’t make a feature of the upvc windows. If you visit a good paint store and ask them about Dulux Fine Cream they would be able to mix a colour which would be slightly darker for your walls. The store should have the recipe for the paint and a good technician should be able to help you to make it just a touch darker if you feel you need more contrast. It is always tricky though as you would have to order a minimum of a paint tin and then you may not like the colour! Alternatively ask their opinion for a colour that is just a touch darker. It will depend on the amount of light that you receive in the room too as to how much contrast you will see. I’m sorry that I don’t know more about this colour – I don’t have the English Dulux paint charts but hopefully this has helped you. Good luck Samantha

  6. Janice Merriman says:

    Hi I’m wanting to paint the hallway of our Edwardian house it has a mahogany dado rail and up the wall of stairs also a beige skirting board could you advice me what couloir to paint upper and lower walls many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Janice If you want a traditional look then you can paint the lower part of the wall in a darker colour and the upper lighter. Or a slightly more contemporary look would be to paint it all one colour and whichever way you go you will need to take your lead from the beige skirting board. See if you can see the underlying colour – is it more yellow or green or brown etc. as any wall colour you select must relate to that. Good luck Samantha

  7. Raj says:

    Hi , i have a question about to go for Varnish or white for my architraves and skirting. i have a yellow colour painted wall, white coving and white ceiling. my doors would be oak wood colour. should i paint my architraves and skirting white white or varnish to give more wood colour. i have a walnult colour laminated flooring. please advise. thanks.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Raj If you match your architraves to your door then you introduce more of this timber colour into the scheme and you need to ensure that you like it next to the yellow wall. If you feel it is blending in too much then a white architrave may be a good break between the two yellow colours – the wall and the oak doors. A white trim will also help to make a feature of your doors. Hope this helps – perhaps just get some white paper and wrap it around the architrave to get an idea of the effect between the door and wall before committing as it is hard to come back from! Good luck Samantha

  8. Debbie says:

    Hi really enjoyed reading your tips I’m doing up my house was planning on painting walls crisp white with black skirting and door frames as well as picture rails but after reading I’m rethinking of leaving picture rails the white and just doing windows and door frames and skirting

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Debbie I think this is a good idea to leave the picture rails. You get a more contemporary look this way – good luck Samantha

  9. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for this post, I really enjoyed reading it. We have just bought a 1930s house with lots of jarrah: floors, windows, doors, cabinetary, skirting and architraves. I wanted to paint them all white (it’s quite a dark house), but the windows and doors are really beautiful. After reading this, I think I will leave the doors and windows jarrah to start with, and see whether painting the architraves and skirting is enough to lighten the house. Thanks!

  10. C Davey says:

    I have dark brown powder coated windows and dark stained wood architraves, with a cream colored walls. I would like to paint the architraves a lighter color as the house looks very dark, but I am unsure how that would go with the brown windows. Any suggestions?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      You already have the contrast of the cream walls next to the dark stained architraves so by lightening these you will just have a smaller dark brown trim which won’t be so dominant in the room. If you use the same colour as the walls you will keep a streamlined effect. Try painting some soft card with the cream and bend it around the architrave to see if you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  11. Mr. Ian Vickers says:

    Hello Samantha, this is such a wounderfully informative website, thank you! Do you recommend Gloss or Semi Gloss for skirting boards and architraves and doors?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ian Thanks for your kind words. I am just writing a post on paint finishes so this is very timely. To quickly answer your question, I usually prefer a semi-gloss just because I like more matt finishes. However you need to consider the other finishes in your house too. The higher the gloss level of a paint, the more light it will bounce around so if you are using a very dark colour, this will become lighter as you increase the gloss level. A gloss paint also shows more imperfections so your timber must be flawless if you increase the gloss. Increased durability comes with a higher gloss level. Hope this has helped and look out this week for my new post. Good luck Samantha

  12. Ian Vickers says:

    Thank you Samantha, I will be using lighter coloured walls and white for the trims with darker flooring and doors. Semi-gloss it is. I eagerly await your next post.

  13. Kerri says:

    Hi Samantha. We are painting a house prob built in the 80’s that is reasonably lit in kitchen dining but isn’t overly well lit in lounge areas. I am thinking a warm colour – maybe Antique White or Hog Bristle 1/4 for walls but am not sure about trims and skirts. Floors are a warm honey oak. Husband is all for darker trims for practicality (2 boys on a farm) but I wonder if lighter shade for trims would accentuate the walls? Currently they are wood (not a nice wood) and there are a lot of sliding wood doors throughout – heaps of cupboard space but how to paint? Very confused!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kerri I think that the finish you choose rather than the colour will have a lot more to do with the durability of the trim. A light shade will certainly give a lift to the creamy walls and work better with the oak flooring and will help to maintain a lighter airier look in rooms that are challenged with natural light. If you like some of your timber doors you can keep them as timber for a feature and just paint your skirting boards and architraves. Therefore consider the finish. I have a new post just put up last week about which paint finish to use. The glossier you go, the easier it is to clean and will be more durable. Often people opt for a semi-gloss finish so that they get some good durability but with not too high a sheen level. Hope this has brought some clarity! Samantha

  14. Agnes says:

    Love this article. We are painting our walls inside white ? still have to decide which one. The front of our house is a federation style 1920 cottage with high skirting boards , nice archway and a fireplace I want to paint white, do I use a different white to set these off? Thank you for your timr

  15. Noman Mall says:

    Hi Samantha, Thanks for your wonderful tips. We are currently painting the inside of our house. We are going with flat white color for the ceiling and the Resene Quarter Tea on the Walls. We have decorative cornice around the ceiling edges. I was wondering if the cornice is usually the same ‘flat color’ as the ceiling or can that be the same color as ceiling but maybe semi gloss as appose to flat? Also I was thinking ‘gloss finish’ for the door architraves, your thought?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Norman glad you’re enjoying the tips on my blog. The cornice is always treated the same as the ceiling so should be in the same colour and matt finish. The reason for matt finishes on ceilings is because they reflect the least light and therefore don’t show minor imperfections so my recommendation is to keep it the same. In terms of your internal doors this is absolutely a personal choice and no right or wrong here. Gloss will reflect the most imperfections but will also be the hardest wearing finish. Good luck with the repainting! Samantha

  16. Rupiedupie says:

    Hi Samantha, this is a really helpful site. Hoping you can help me… we plan on painting the hallway skirting Architrave a dark grey with light grey on the walls. Would it look good to have white doors with the dark grey door frame? As if we paint the door and the frame dark grey in the hallway I’m stuck on how to paint the door that leads from hallway to living room (as the living room wall is stone and hence door frame and skirting will be stone, stone frame with dark grey door doesn’t work)

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      If you have a white door next to the dark frame you will really make a feature of it, much more so than if you match the door to the trim. It is really important if you have different wall colours in different rooms to find a connecting trim colour so it might be better to rethink your dark hallway trim? Samantha

  17. Emma says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks for sharing these tips, Hoping you may know what to do with my situation! Our house has light cream walls, doors and trim the same colour. The kitchen cabinets are also the same colour. We have mid-dark brown floor boards and dark bench tops. I’m unsure whether to change the trim colour or wall colour and what colour(s) would be best. Any advice would be really appreciated! Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Emma I’m guessing that the kitchen cabinets will be difficult to paint and if you don’t paint them they will stand out more on the wall if you change the wall colour. Possibly just freshen up the trims and internal doors with a lighter tone of the cream so more of a warm off white to give the house a lift? Good luck Samantha

  18. Sue Warner says:

    Hi Samantha, I have teak coloured architraves, windows and sills which were fitted when the house was built and which suit the style of my house (there are planning restrictions on the outside woodwork, so it seems more coherent to follow the same style inside and it works for me). However, I need to replace my doors and am keen to know what I should do about architraves, if I choose the modern, light oak Seville 5 panel doors which would lighten the house a little. I can arrange for the architraves to be painted (white?) but wonder if this will create too much dissonance (oak doors, white architraves and teak skirtings, windows and sills?). I definitely don’t want to replace all the architraves and skirtings, nor do I want the skirtings and sills to be painted. So the issue is really about what to do with the architraves (if anything?) if I choose an oak style of door. The alternative would be to go for a similar style, in a darker finish which might match a little better, but I am concerned that it might make the house seem too dark. (At the moment, I have basic sapelle doors in a teak/mahogany colour which were fitted when the house was built and match the architraves and sills etc. My style is pretty eclectic, not ultra modern. Any help would be greatly appreciated as it is really hard to find advice or materials to help me to visualise the relevant combinations and the effect of each one. Thank you in anticipation

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sue I would be hesitant about having oak doors with teak trim and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that you introduce white architraves with oak door and teak skirting boards as there will be no flow to the scheme. Have you considered painting your doors? This way the trim will all be highlighted and you will see the beauty of that more and the house will be lightened too. Samantha

  19. Jodie Braham says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are painting the architraves, skirts and doors in the whole house in very dark blue/black. Our walls are all almost white (slight grey) and we have medium oak floorboards. Would you recommend doing the window sills and frames in the dark colour too?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jodie The treatment of the windows depends very much on the style of your house and the effect that you want. You certainly don’t have to have window frames the same as the architraves. It also depends on the style of the window and the window sill and how it relates to the architrave. You may find that you can paint the sills to match the architrave and then have the frames a separate colour – perhaps a white. Consider the style of the window, the house and also whether you want to see a contrast to help you make a decision. Hope this is helpful Samantha

  20. Sue Crawford says:

    Hi Samantha I have an old thatched cottage with a cream hall and stairway but I’ve found a bright fresh green colour that I love but feel it may be too much for the complete job without toning it down a bit. There’s a staircase but no other skirting. The ceiling and slanted roof is white and it will be too difficult to change that as it is really high from bottom of stairs to the apex. Do you have any ideas.
    Many thanks.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sue If you tone the green down you may not like the colour anymore so you need to find a way to introduce it as it is. I am imagining that if you paint it on the wall too the strong contrast will exaggerate the slant of your white ceiling and really draw attention to that. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but you have to consider whether you like that effect. Do you just have one wall you could use the colour on? It’s difficult to say for sure as I can’t picture it that well but perhaps if you love the freshness of the green maybe just a console table with some gorgeous greenery may suffice? Hope this helps Samantha

  21. Sue crawford says:

    Hi Samantha. Thank you for your reply. I have been looking at buying some leafy green plants which now the colour is on the wall I agree will look lovely. I’ll see what it looks like upstairs once I’ve painted the walls and go from there.
    I have noticed that whatever colour object I put up against the green it seems to set it off beautifully. Thanks again. Sue

  22. Sandy says:

    Hi Samantha, I have 60s house with Tas Oak wooden floors throughout, internal walls are freshly painted dulux duck white. All of the skirting boards, architraves and internal doors are natural wood grain with no paint. They either needed to be sanded back and refreshed or painted a colour. Are natural wood grain architraves and skirting boards still ‘in’ or should I be painting them? I’m conscious of mission creep but don’t want to seem outdated. Sandy

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sandy It’s a difficult decision to make as once the trim is painted, it is hard to restore back to its original look. In these instances to avoid mission creep and not be outdated, I often recommend that you restore the doors and leave these as timber and just paint the skirtings and architraves to match the wall colour. Sometimes too, depending on your layout, you can paint the skirtings and door architraves but leave the windows in timber as a frame. It depends so much on a house to house basis but I often think that less is more and you could make a beautiful feature of your doors while bringing the house up to date. Hope this helps – but remember it is difficult to go back! Samantha

  23. Shaylee Packer says:

    I never thought to paint the board with the color you want, then take it throughout the house to see if you like the color in each room. We have recently completed a remodel in our home, and are just doing the finishing touches, like skirting. I will have to do this, and see if the color I have in my mind will actually go with the colors that have been chosen for the walls.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Yes – absolutely! The door colour doesn’t have to match the architraves and skirting boards. You keep the link through the house with the white trim and then your internal door becomes a focal point. Samantha

  24. Erin says:

    Hi Samantha, loved this article! I’ve been living with Dulux Beige Royal Quater now for 10 years when we built our home. I really just want white walls now. I like Dulux Natural White. My Question is: it’s a 2 story house… what are your thoughts on leaving the trim and doors etc beige royal quater and just painting the walls in dulux natural white? The thought of painting all those architraves, trims and doors is give me nightmares… LOL. Ps our home is pretty contemporary – no fancy trims like the the character homes.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Erin I think that you may notice the underlying beige colour in the doors and trim more if you paint the walls white than if you just leave it be. Also this does tend to give the house a more traditional look and as your home and style is pretty contemporary you may not like the end result. Perhaps try one room to see how it looks and then decide – I do understand your reluctance to paint everything – it is a huge job! Good luck! Samantha

  25. Serah says:

    I had my contractor put the same tile we have on the floor as skirting around the house. Can I paint the small tile white to break the monotony? The tie is ceramic?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Serah You can paint the skirting tile. White Knight has a product to paint tiles which will come in a white. You should be able to pick this up at Bunnings. I haven’t used it but I know people who have and it is very successful. Samantha

  26. Lauren says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I have recently purchased a late 60s conventional home. The home has pine floorboards with matching wood architraves, skirting and doors. I am uncertain about what to do with all the wood colour as I want to make it look fresh, but still consistent with the style of the house. The house has had an extension and new living/dining area where the skirting was left timber but the door frame and door were painted the same as the creamy walls. I don’t mind the look and wondered if it would be ok to paint the rest of the doors/architraves the same, but leave the skirting in all the rooms timber? Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lauren yes – I think that is exactly what you should do with the timber in the original part of the house. When you minimise the amount of timber, you actually appreciate it more without completely taking away the character of the house. Good luck Samantha

  27. Natalie Miller says:

    Hi Samantha, so happy I stumbled upon your site. You really know your colours. I was in the industry for 30 years but have now got myself stumped. I have a 20 year old federation style house with big verandah out front with lots of timber work. The house is tumbled red brick, charcoal roof which is quite visible, primrose garage doors & window frames & lots of them & big bay windows. Also black stamped concrete driveway. My dilemma is the burgundy guttering & timber work & front door. I want to change the burgundy to a new colour, I will replace guttering for new as I don’t like repainted. It also has smooth cream on eaves & boards & also a lot of timber work. I was thinking blueish but not much choice in guttering colours. I’m really stuck on this & inside is very Hampton’s in warm tones, no greys. I would appreciate a bit of guidance. Thanks Natalie

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Natalie Have you considered Wallaby as your Colorbond colour? As it is a brown based grey, this could work well with the red and yellow tones on the house. Basalt is a nice blue grey – certainly more grey and I think may be a bit drab on your house. Ironstone is a nice warm blue grey and certainly a stronger colour than Basalt. Difficult to say without seeing it but I think you should explore Wallaby. Good luck! Samantha

  28. Annie says:

    Hello Samantha, thank you so much for your lovely advice.
    We are considering painting our interior walls natural white. The Kitchen cupboards are this colour but benchtops a pure white. If we paint the trims and doors a Haymes vivid white semi gloss will there be enough contrast. I’m not sure if this will look ok next to the Natural White.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Annie do you mean Dulux Vivid White? Haymes doesn’t have a Vivid (it does but it’s a very bright blue/green!!). You will see some contrast between Vivid White and Natural White and I think it will tie in the brightness of the benchtop and the kitchen cabinetry well. Glad you’re enjoying the advice! Samantha

  29. Joinery Painting East Auckland says:

    I am so happy I found your blog and I absolutely love your information about what color do I paint my skirting boards and architraves! I liked and it is wonderful to know about so many things that are useful for all of us! Thanks a lot for this amazing blog!! I have seen similar information at one place, you can also see on clearandcolour.com/our-services.

  30. Kelly says:

    Hi Samantha
    So glad to find an Aussie for advice. My house is 23yrs old in federation style with burg. diamond tiles in kitchen, we have light cream/beige walls and stained timber architraves. My teenage kids complain the house is old. Is keeping stained edges dating the house, as these says everything has white edges? The house is fairly dark & doesn’t get much sunlight. Should we change to white edges? Are we living In the past & do we need to update?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kelly you will find that if you paint the timber architraves white that it will really freshen up the house – opt for a warm off white to go with your current colour scheme. Good luck! Samantha

  31. Trish Pattison says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Love all your clever advice.
    We have painted inside our house during the pandemic going for a chalk colour (chalk USA it is called)
    Our house is around 40 yrs old and has the wood stained architraves and skirtings.
    We decided to go with a white gloss for these. We have painted some (not many) but I am thinking now that before we go ahead and finish the rest that we should have gone for a half strength of the wall colour.
    Is white trim with the cream walls also a little outdated?
    What are your thoughts Samantha.
    If we need to redo what we have done, we are happy to do that.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Trish glad you’re making the most of the pandemic! Whenever you put a lighter white next to a darker one you will start to see the undertones more of the wall colour. Therefore for a more cohesive look you could just continue with the one white in a different finish. Perhaps just buy one litre of the half strength and test it out on a small section to see which effect you prefer. Hope this helps Samantha

  32. Trish Pattison says:

    Thank you so much Samantha.
    Very much appreciate your experience and thoughts.
    I did test the 1/2 strength and there was an immediate noticeable improvement. So will redo the architraves etc in 1/2 strength and then continue rest of house.
    Thank you once again. Extremely helpful.

  33. Lauren says:

    We have recently decided to paint our home and this is one of the most informative and relative sites I’ve come across, so thank you! I’d like to highlight the warm greys flecked in our new flooring (vinyl plank), so am leaning towards something like 1/2 strength Smoke Pearl (wattyl) or , but am stumped on the architrave as I really want a crisp trim. Do you think 1/4 strength would offer that? Hubby believes that ceiling and architraves should be the same white (obviously different finishes), but I can’t find anything that offers a ‘rule of thumb’ for my crisp white architrave request. I’d love to hear what you think.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lauren I’m glad you have found the site useful! Wattyl Smoke Pearl is a lovely warm neutral so you will need a warm white to go with it. I think you need to look at something like Wattyl Classic White if you want a crisp white with a touch of warmth. Hubby is right, a good rule of thumb is for the ceiling to be the same white as the trim. Try out a sample first to check you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  34. Nicole says:

    Hey Samantha, Thanks for the superb tips. I have grey walls throughout the house (only one wall darker – more like a smokey grey). Tiles are grey/white wood feel tiles. We have hard wood doors installed already – painted an almost black color but are now stuck with which color to go for on the skirting. We have even considered repainting the doors if necessary! Let us know what you think.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicole Glad you’re enjoying the blog! When you paint a door a feature colour, I recommend that you just paint the door and not the architrave around it. I have another post https://www.makingyourhomebeautiful.com/what-colour-do-i-paint-my-internal-doors/ which you might find useful. Then, once you just paint the door you can select either a white for the architrave and skirting board or just use the same grey that you have used on the walls throughout the house. Hope that makes sense – you may just need to repaint the architraves. Samantha

  35. Nicole says:

    Hi Samantha, thank you for taking the time to share your helpful tips. I would love your insight if possible on architrave for sliding doors – our bathroom has grey concrete style tiles with black trims and taps, shower head etc, and our door is panelled oak. We are trying to decide if we colour the full architrave in the white/grey shade that matches the hallway architrave and skirting, or paint the trim inside the bathroom up to the middle section (where the door jam is) black, and keep the external hallway side in the grey/white tone? Any insight would be appreciated, Nicole

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicole If you don’t have anything else in the bathroom that has the white/grey tones then I think I would do the trim in black to suit the rest of the trim in the bathroom. It’s difficult to say without seeing an image of it all but my feeling is that this would work the best here. Good luck Samantha

  36. Anita says:

    Hi there, I’ve painted my hall way teal. I’m wondering what colour to paint skirting boards, architrave and doors. Doors are varnished pine with stained glass in top 1/2.
    Also wondering will I take the teal all the way to upstairs and landing or go a lighter hue?
    Stairs is painted, light cream with teak treads.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anita you may want to look at the cream colour on your stairs as a guide for the trim colour and whether you take the teal all the way up will depend on how much light you have upstairs and the mood that you want to create. Good luck Samantha

  37. Dana says:

    Hi Samantha,
    This has been a very helpful resource. I was wondering, we are currently repainting our interior walls in dulux antique white USA with existing skirting and architraves being a dark biscuit/beige colour and I like the idea of going 1/2 strength white like you suggested but we have beige tiles and I am worried it will look too sterile? Is that a reasonable concern?

    Also the frames on our sliding doors in the wardrobe have an architrave surrounding which is a complementary beige – will they then look funny with white architraves?

    Thanks very much.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dana This option may feel sterile after you have been used to a rich tone however another way you can look at it is that it will look lovely and fresh. Half Strength of Dulux Antique White USA is perfect for trim with full strength Antique White. Hope this helps Samantha

  38. Juliet Arthur says:

    Hello Samantha, we are redecorating our stairs and upstairs hallway. Our house was built in 1830. The stairs are not open (there is a wall on each side). We’d like to put up a dado rail but don’t know how to attach a banister without it looking silly. Do you have any ideas? Thank you, Juliet

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Juliet your handrail should form part of the wainscoting/dado and just be placed at the top so that it is like a round capping and all painted the same colour. Hope this makes sense Samantha

  39. keith Craig says:

    Hello Samantha very helpful information. What would you suggest for architraves and doors when the walls are Dulux Lexicon quarter for a larger room looking out onto a back open verandah through large windows/glass doors in a NW direction – we were thinking continue with Dulux Lexicon quarter or vivid white. Thank you Keith.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Keith My thoughts would be to continue with Lexicon Quarter. This has a cool blue undertone while Vivid White albeit not having much pigment, is a softer, warmer white and there is no point putting these two colours together. Hope this helps Samantha

  40. Bernie says:

    Hi Samantha, your blogs are so interesting and some great ideas. We are renovating an en suite/bedroom. We have white oak doors, frames and architraves in the rooms and pine skirting, walls are white. We have painted the skirting a light green/grey shade and will continue the same with the architraves. We are leaving the natural wood oak doors as they are currently and we would appreciate your advice on what we should do about the inside door frame, leave oak or paint?

  41. Aaron - in need of help says:

    Hi Samantha, great advice and website!

    I am about to embark on a bit of a renovation of my 20 year old townhouse, a part of the renovation will be to replace the floor boards that are currently down as they are damaged and also dark. Looking at different colours of hybrid flooring, I am wondering if I could possibly look at having the skirting and architraves match the colour of the floors I lay? My walls are currently not white, but cornice and ceiling is.

    Thanks, any thoughts would be appreciated

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Aaron Hybrid flooring will be difficult to match for your skirting and architraves. Timber stains come up differently depending on the base timber so you would have to go through a process of trial and error to find a match for your Hybrid flooring – this is difficult with real timber floors and I think will be very challenging with a Hybrid floor. You really need to consider the internal door colour too as this makes a big impact. I think it might be better to paint the trims rather than stain but I can’t say for sure without seeing it all. Hope this helps Samantha

  42. Laura says:

    We have painted our walls in ‘De Nimes’ by Farrow and ball and our architraves, skirting boards, picture rail and coving in bright white but we are not sure about it as it’s not very warm! We are thinking of repainting the architraves/ skirting boards in ‘Strong White’ by Farrow and ball. Would you recommend painting the coving and ceiling the same or can we leave this as a bright white. Would this tie in? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Laura You don’t need to have the ceiling in the same white as the architraves and skirting boards so this should be fine Samantha

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