How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Office Building

March 21, 2018


In blind product preference tests, visual design affects purchase choices by 93 percent over other sensory influences.

Colors and images are psychologically connected to our perceived value of a given product or service. The right paint colors in your office could have a similar effect on productivity or customer transactions.

We all associate red and yellow with a certain fast food chain or red and white with a specific soft drink. You've built your brand around certain logos or typefaces because of the associations they can bring for customers.

The people working in your office can be similarly affected by the colors you choose to paint the office.

If you're in the middle of a big paint job at your office, one of the most important things to consider is how the painting will influence your workforce. Here are are the top concepts to consider before choosing paint colors for your office building.

Consider the Type of Business

If you think about the types of colors you see at the most serious businesses like high-end law firms or banks, you would expect neutral color schemes. However, different departments might have a unique personality or something special that they bring to the company.

Whether you need to inspire or already receive high energy from certain departments, you might want to bring bright and warm colors. Orange and yellow can be used in subtle ways that push creativity in those spaces.

If things get tense in a certain department, think about adding cooler colors.

For high-stakes and high-intensity areas like sales, accents of slightly darker blues and greens can have a calming impact.

If you've noticed that people seem ready to leap at each others' throats in one department or another, use colder colors.

For teams of designers, writers, or creatives, bright colors can inspire new ideas and fresh approaches to problems. Don't overwhelm them with stimuli, however. You want their minds to be clear of images when inspiration strikes.

If you have teams of engineers on staff, choose tans, grays, or muted browns.

These colors can help your teams concentrate and focus. If you find your software engineers seem all over the place, the right colors could get them back on track.

Think about Space

The actual space available in your office can influence the color that you choose. Much like a clever placement of mirrors can widen a space, colors can do something similar.

Whites, light colors, or beige on your ceiling can make the room look larger than it actually is.

If you have a low budget for space, color choices can make your employees feel better about being in a tight space.

While whites can make a room seem empty or clinical, they're also helpful in making space seem larger. If you're inviting a lot of new clients to your office and you don't feel that it's big enough, consider going with white or bright colors.

On the other hand, if you have a big open space or a gigantic loft, darker colors can make it seem cozier and more inviting.

In this case, pick warm colors like medium grays, colors that look like red wine, or earthier browns. You'll be able to take sprawling spaces and make them seem more compact and intimate than they are.

Pay Attention to Saturation

While color itself is important, saturation has its own psychological effects. Color intensity can affect your staff's performance more than the actual hue that you choose.

When you choose your color, pick something that is strong and bright if you want to stimulate your staff to action.

For those high-stress departments, go with something that is more soothing. A lighter color with lower saturation will calm things down.

Ask the opinion of a professional painter before you hire them. They should be able to give you a free or inexpensive consultation.

Lighting Changes Everything

Consider the kinds of lighting you'll have in each space before you paint them. Whether you have lots of window space or rely on overhead lighting, these aspects will influence the paint colors you choose.

If your office is still using incandescent lights, you'll see a warmer glow on the walls than what you get from fluorescent lighting.

Bring paint samples into each room and take a look at them at different times of the day. This should help influence which colors you use in the space.

Most paint companies will give you small samples of each paint. You'll be able to bring in some painted panels or even paint a small section of wall before you commit.

This way you'll be able to see what you're going to be getting in the end. Swatches can be deceiving.

Be Economical

Even if you choose great pain colors that everyone is excited about, think of ways that you can use those colors without overwhelming your staff.

Incorporate the colors of your logo into your paint scheme to make everything seem "on brand". Use molding as a dividing line between two colors, or just one color and your neutral base tone - like a white.

This will allow you to have a fresh look in your office without overwhelming anyone with the sudden change.

Think about the ways that your furniture accent your space.

Perhaps instead of loud colors, a couple of chairs in the right hue could make the space pop in a way that's better than painting your whole office yellow or purple.

The Right Paint Colors Can Increase Productivity

The right paint colors can stimulate productivity and growth in your company.

Take feedback from staff and think about how they'll feel in the new space. If they go from feeling disconnected to feeling connected to the space where they work, their output could surprise you.

Ready to try some new paint colors in your office? Contact us to find out how to pick the right brands and tools for the job!

The Author | Ryan Spalding
Ryan has been in the commercial painting industry for over 20 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he loves to share. View More Post from Ryan Spalding