These Were the 7 Most Popular Paint Colors of 2022
Paint experts share the most-purchased shades of the past year.
Each year we look forward to the colors of the year announcements to give us some decorating inspiration. And while we had several favorite shades in the 2022 roundup, we wanted to know what colors were actually the most popular. Now that the year has wrapped, we spoke to the leading paint and color experts to find out which were the most purchased paint colors in 2022.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, versatility, familiarity, and comfort influenced buyers' color choices last year. Gentle neutrals, muted greens, and moody grays had a clean sweep of the charts, encapsulating the post-pandemic context. Consumers prioritized restful and timeless shades that connected them with nature and created a sense of security and serenity.
But do these shades have staying power for 2023? The experts explain which which colors topped the paint charts last year, and whether we’ll be seeing more of them this year.
Tranquil Gray and Even Better Beige by Behr
"Light neutrals, like Tranquil Gray and Even Better Beige, remain at the forefront of popularity in paint sales," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. "They bring versatility and a relaxed sense of comfort to our homes and combine effortlessly with mood-enhancing colors like Half Sea Fog, Sophisticated Teal, or Conifer Green."
"Nature-based colors continue to trend in home decor because they soothe, restore, and invite a feeling of tranquility," Woelfel adds. She predicts we’ll continue to see more of these neutral shades in 2023. "People are looking for versatility and comfort, and these colors offer limitless possibilities when designing a space."
Paint color: Tranquil Gray by Behr
Alabaster by HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams
"Alabaster is one of the most popular whites because of its warm undertones, adding a delicate touch and coziness to a room," says Ashley Banbury, color marketing manager for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams. "It’s a no-fail white that works well with most supporting accent colors and can be used throughout the home to create a cohesive look."
Gentle neutral shades, like Alabaster, look beautiful on the ceiling or on the walls, "particularly when you want the accent color to be the hero of the space," Banbury explains. "In today’s design trends, colorful accents are being brought into the home on built-in cabinetry, doors, and trim. Alabaster is a beautiful white that compliments the accent shade while adding sophisticated warmth."
Paint color: Alabaster by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams
Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball
"Down Pipe is one of our perennially popular colors that just keeps on giving," says Patrick O’Donnell, color consultant and international brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. "Whilst gray has certainly diminished from the decorating arsenal, there is something about this gray that has endless appeal," he says. According to O'Donnell, the lead-gray shade lends endless versatility as a wall color for cabinetry, trim, and exteriors. The color’s soft green undertones "stop it from feeling too chilly, which gives it a broad spectrum of aesthetic purpose from contemporary to positively old school," he says.
As the color has stood the test of time for the last 30 years, O’Donnell feels confident in Down Pipe's staying power for 2023.
Paint color: Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball
Cozy White by Valspar
Cozy White is a soothing and comfortable shade that creates the cozy familiar feeling we desire from our home. "This versatile color sets a backdrop for your evolving style choices," says Sue Kim, director of color marketing at Valspar. "The warm and familiar shade can be paired with a similar color family, or try adding textures with dark wood or high textured decors to set an elegant space with a tone-on-tone style," she suggests.
The timeless quality of this neutral shade means we’re likely to see more of it this year and beyond. "Comfort, acceptance, and joy are the key themes of 2023. People aren’t just looking for a temporary solution, but a lasting change," Kim says. "Shades like Cozy White that are versatile and offer a soothing environment with nature’s touch inside the home will continue to be popular."
Paint color: Cozy White by Valspar
Green 02 by Lick
"Green 02 is a mid-tone sage green with black pigment added to it, giving it a timeless and elegant feel and a sort of earthy mutedness that works in any room," says Tash Bradley, director of interior design and color specialist for Lick. "Its popularity was very much coming from a post-pandemic context of wanting to feel stable, nurtured, comforted, and all of those things that you need from your home."
And while it may have become popular as a result of societal influences over the last few years, Bradley says the shade isn't going anywhere. "Green is always going to be popular because it is timeless. I call it nature’s neutral because it can go anywhere and pairs with everything," she says. "Your eye doesn’t have to adjust to the color green, so it’s incredibly restful and a really good color to bring into a home."
Paint color: Green 02 by Lick
Pure White by Sherwin Williams
"Year over year, season over season, white remains one of our top five most popular paint colors," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. "In 2022, homeowners loved the versatility and crisp, bright aesthetic of Pure White, which is why it surpassed gray as our number one tint," she says. "I think Pure White is important for its timeless appeal and simplicity; our lives are hectic and complicated, and whites can be an uncomplicated and soothing alternative to other neutrals."
White maximizes natural light and amplifies the room, making it feel bright and spacious. "White will continue to be an important hue for 2023, but I expect we will see a wider range of neutrals, like mushroom, bone, creamy linen, and antique hues," Wadden predicts.
Paint color: Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
Onyx by Benjamin Moore
"Aside from our beloved whites, black paint colors had a significant increase in sales in 2022—most notably, Black 2132-10, Wrought Iron 2124-10, and Onyx 2133-10," says Hannah Yeo, manager of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore. "Similar to white, black paint has enduring versatility," she explains. "From small powder rooms to exterior siding, colors like Onyx instantly modernize the space."
"Black pairs well with natural wood tones, stone, and metallic surfaces, and it brings a sense of luxe. It’s a great color choice if you’re looking to use a classic neutral with a dramatic edge," she says. "Black is an essential part of design, whether it’s in small doses or taking up the entire space, black paint colors will always be part of our home."
Paint color: Onyx 2133-10 by Benjamin Moore