Paint Ideas for Closets & How to Choose Your Perfect Color

Discover the best paint color for your closet and learn how to make it feel like a designer space.

Updated June 12, 2023
bedroom with black-painted closet

Want to have a little fun with your closet color? Who says you can't? Designers add fun, unexpected, or complementing colors in closets to create more interest and highlight architectural details in a home. Whether you have a standard closet or a large walk-in wardrobe, these closet paint ideas will help you have fun with the space.

Designer Closet Paint Ideas

Before you decide on a paint color for your closet, think about how you want to use the space to convey your style and personality. There are a few ideas that designers often turn to in order to give these secondary home spaces a bit more life and style.

Paint the Ceiling

This is the trick for making your closet look bigger, taller, and more luxurious. Paint the ceiling of your closet the same color as the walls. This interior style hack is especially effective in closets with bold or dark paint colors.

Use a Different Color on Built-Ins

If you have a walk-in closet with built in units, you have the perfect canvas for a stunning and colorful closet. Paint your unit a fun color that acts as an accent against neutral walls, use bold black against white walls, or try a darker shade of the color you've chosen for the space to bring the units into the foreground with a monochromatic color scheme.

Paint the Door a Fun Color

Looking to amp up the eclectic vibes in your space? Painting your closet doors a fun accent color is an easy way to do just that. It doesn't have to be bold or bright, just something that stands out among the other colors in your palette.

Add Wallpaper

Wallpaper gets a bad rap, but it's truly a transformative home style tool, and designers continue to reach for it when looking to add fun to a scheme. Wallpaper in your closet can make the space feel more curated and thoughtful as well as showcase your personal style and offer inspiration every day as you look through your wardrobe. If you're looking for a renter-friendly option or you just want to test the wallpaper waters, try a peel and stick wallpaper instead of the traditional pasted paper. Paint shelves and built-ins a color that matches or contrasts with the paper.

Best Closet Paint Colors

blue painted closet

If you truly love making your space beautiful, you'll want to give as much thought to the color of the spaces guests won't see as you do to those they will. You may not have considered the color to paint your closet's interior before, but the hue you decide on can have a powerful impact on the space. Here are the best colors to use inside your closet and why they work so well.

Warm White

Most closets are white, whether it's a new building or an older home. It's a safe color choice and complements a neutral interior well. If you go the white route, choose a soft and warm white for your closet color. Alabaster from Sherwin Williams is a soft white with just a touch of warmth, and it will keep your closet bright without looking harsh or overwhelming.

Charcoal & Black

A charcoal gray or even a matte black fit right in if your interior is full of moody, dark, and dramatic colors. A white closet would look a little odd in a mostly muted color palette. Benjamin's Moore's Black Ink is perfect for a muted interior, and Black Horizon is an elegant shade of charcoal.


If you love mixing neutrals in your home and have a combination of warm and cool tones, greige is the perfect fit for your closet interior. It's still soft and reflective and similar to a warm white in that way. Versatile Gray from Sherwin Williams balances the warm and cool qualities of the hue and would look sophisticated and timeless in your closet.

Something Bold

Closets are a fun place to play with colors that you might otherwise shy away from in your home. Fill your closet with your favorite Kelly Green or vibrant teal. Been dying to jump on the coral trend? This is your chance to introduce the color in a way that's easily concealed and reserved just for your enjoyment.

A Custom Color

Here's a designer hack for all of your closet color selections in the future: make it a custom color. If you want to stay in the same color family as your bedroom, request a slightly darker or lighter shade than that exact color. For a light shade, ask the paint store to add some additional white titanium to the mix while maintaining the same color formula. For a slightly darker shade, ask for 25-50% more for the formula mixed into the paint base.

Exceptions to Color Rules for Closet Paint

closet with no doors

There are a few exceptions to the standard of painting the interior of closets white or a neutral color.

Open Closet

A closet without door becomes part of the room décor. This type of closet treatment is found in rooms where the items contained within the closet are used regularly, leading the resident to choose to do away with the doors. In this situation, the closet interior looks best when the color matches the rest of the room. That helps avoid making the open closet a focal point in the space. If you're concerned that the room color will make the closet too dark, try a shade or two lighter on the paint color chart.

Accent Wall

Creating an accent wall is an interesting paint trend. This whimsical choice can be a fun way to transform an otherwise mundane closet into a fun space with a splash of color that greets you each time you open the closet door.

Closet Nook

A double closet is often relegated to become an office, craft, or reading nook. Closets used in this way can be highlighted with a colorful accent wall that coordinates with the room's décor.

Wallpapered Room

If the room's walls are wallpapered, you may want to carry the main color of the wallpaper into your closet. This could be a good reason to veer away from using white or neutral paint in the closet.

Choosing the Right Paint Finish for a Closet

While flat paint is the type most commonly used on walls, it's not always the best option for closets. There are a few times when you may need to trade in the flat paint for a different type.

Flat Paint

Most closets painted white or neutral colors are a flat finish paint since the light colors will reflect a sufficient amount of light.

Satin Finish Paint

The satin finish is a highly durable paint that resists things like scuff marks. It's a grade between flat and semi-gloss paints. It can be a good choice for closets that get heavy traffic and hold sizeable items, such as sporting goods and home decor.

Semi-Gloss Paints

Some designers use a semi-gloss for closet interiors to provide greater reflective light. This can help brighten up a dimly lit closet or make a darker color pop.

High-Gloss Paints

A high-gloss paint is the most reflective and durable paint finish, so you may prefer it for frequently used closets that need maximum brightness.

Special Considerations

closet with dressing table

Some colors and closets warrant a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. Examples include:

  • Dark colors: A dark flat paint color won't help to reflect light inside your closet. If you use a semi-gloss, though, it will be a bit more reflective.
  • Kitchen pantry: This closet is used often, so you need to use a durable paint in this space. While you can use a white or neutral color, the most common choice is the room color. No matter what color you choose, use a semi-gloss paint for easy cleanups and durability.
  • Mud room: The mud room closet is going to suffer from all types of abuse, such as cleaning equipment, boots, tools and other items being moved in and out. Most designers recommend using a lighter color in this often-crowded room to help make the most of the available light. Use a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint to stand up to this kind of wear.

Open the Door to Color in Your Closet

Every space in your home is an opportunity to showcase your personal style and creativity. Closets are no exception. From mini to massive, your closet will look like a designer detail in your home when you find the perfect color.

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Paint Ideas for Closets & How to Choose Your Perfect Color