When you live in a house with dark paint on the walls, the room can feel smaller when the sun starts to set.
We moved into our home during April, when the sun was already shining in Texas. We didn’t have any input on any of the finishing touches with LGI and our walls were tan with an off-white trim. The tan didn’t seem so dark and our space seemed huge compared to our apartment.
The floors are a grey, wood-like style laminate and all of our cabinets are dark grey. Everything is dark!
Even with twelve foot ceilings in our living room, kitchen and dining, we felt closed in. My husband said that this house felt like a dungeon. Especially during winter on dreary, dark days when the sun never shines. The only saving grace in the kitchen is our recessed lighting, but it doesn’t help any other room.
How to Increase Natural Light in Your House
Our bathrooms do not have any windows. If we wanted to spend money then we could’ve knocked out some bricks to add windows for natural light. But we haven’t even lived here one year yet and we didn’t want to spend that type of money.
What’s the cheapest way to increase natural light in your house? PAINT! If you’re serious about bringing in more natural light, I can guarantee that the dark paint has to go.
When you introduce light paint colors to the inside of your home, they tend to reflect more of the natural light entering your house and make the space feel brighter.
What Paint Did We Use to Increase Natural Light?
I picked out six types of white. Since I already primed the master bathroom walls, I painted each sample on a wall that is opposite of our bedroom window. This trick helped me see which white was the most reflective with the tiniest amount of natural light that does enter the bathroom.
You can see just how different each “white” paint looks in that photo. One even looks pink!
We chose the Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65 (UltraSpec 500 Eggshell) as the favorite choice to increase natural light inside our home.
The UltraSpec 500 Eggshell provides our walls a uniform gloss finish. It’s sheen is between matte and satin. Eggshell tends to reflect more light and is a great choice for high traffic areas such as the living room and kitchen. Plus, eggshell paint has just enough gloss in it to prevent stains. It’s the durable choice for our house!
We paired the white walls with the color Storm AF-700 from Benjamin Moore for the trim and doors.
Check out how different each room of our house looks when we changed from the tan color walls to white:
I began priming the master bathroom in March and I didn’t finish until Labor Day weekend. I spent over six months slowly painting my house. I painted all the walls, ceilings, trim and doors. I swapped out all the interior door handles, hinges and door stoppers. I have yet to find exterior door handles that I like.
If you don’t want to be thrifty like me, then feel free to hire someone to paint your interiors for you! I threw out my shoulder on multiple occasions, the muscles in my back would burn for days because of how awkwardly I stretched to reach a wall. I always ended up with paint in my hair and splatters all over the floor (I only used drop cloths some of the time, oops).
Painting my walls to increase natural light in my home is one way we’re designing a home we love!
Don’t miss my other Before and After posts: