The Definitive  Color Guide for Commercial Painting

When it comes to business, it’s all about first impressions! And nothing gives out a positive impression like well-maintained building interiors and exteriors.

It’s something that people usually disregard unless it’s done wrong. But few realize the actual potential of a well planned out commercial space – from paint to walls and little details.

There are so many things to consider when choosing the right color scheme for a commercial facility. Depending on the nature of your business, you should be mindful of different rules when picking color combinations.

The easiest way to come up with the right palette is to consult a professional. However, using a reliable guide that covers as many different aspects of commercial painting as possible is a great idea too.

To help you save some time and effort, PPD painting experts put together this definitive color guide for commercial building painting. And if you still feel indecisive, just reach out! We’ll provide you with a free quote, as well as the right solutions and decorating suggestions for your commercial painting project.

How to Choose The Right Paint Color for Commercial Buildings?

Consider the Color Psychology

Colors in our surroundings can powerfully affect us, trigger various feelings, and set a tone for a place of business. This is why it is important to consider color psychology when choosing the right color palette for your business.

Different colors affect different people in various ways, yet studies have shown that there are some general rules that are widely applicable.

For example, it is known that neutral colors such as hues of blue and grey communicate neutrality and are a good choice for establishing brand loyalty.

Green tones encourage a sense of growth and success.

Bright tones of yellow and red create a lively and energetic atmosphere.

If your business is focused on good values or discounts, orange might be the right choice.

White colors can be tricky however, since white can communicate both a slick, minimalist look, but can also be perceived as bland.

Understanding color psychology and how it can help you achieve your business goals is the first step in creating a professional atmosphere.

Stay True to Your Brand

IKEA Store

If your company already has a specific color palette that is consistent across your logo, business cards, exterior signage, and website, consider using these paint colors or slightly adjusting them.

One of the advantages of a recognizable exterior color palette is that it will ensure that both clients and visitors are able to easily identify the building.

Just like brand values should be aligned to convey a unified message, paint color choices should consistently reinforce this message. The right scheme will help your headquarters stand out, but it can also contribute to building brand recognition and loyalty.

In fact, brand colors improve brand recognition by 80% believe it or not. It’s only logical – when you’re looking for items through supermarket aisles, you subconsciously focus on the color of the item most of the time.

Choose Complementary Colors Based on Color Theory

Another useful thing to consider is color theory. Based on how colors work with each other on a color wheel and based on color theory, companies often use one of four schemes: monochromatic, complementary, triadic and tertiary.

While each can help create a cohesive impression, a complementary color scheme seems to be the best choice for commercial painting projects.

The complementary color scheme is rooted in two colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel. The first color should be the main color, while its opposite should be used for accents and highlights. Examples of complementary colors include orange and blue, purple and yellow, or red and green.

Take the Local Environment into Consideration

Brand colors are not the only thing that should be used as a reference. Some commercial areas, especially the historic ones, have regulations that limit color choices. Make sure to be mindful of this and respect the district’s architectural or landscaping standards.

If there are no strict rules, the choice boils down to whether you want the building to stand out or to blend with its surroundings.

Think about neighborhoods, office complexes, industrial areas and parks that are surrounding your commercial building. If the building is situated on a small lot, it might be wise to go for a darker color because it will prevent the property from looking oversized.

Exterior Paint Color Combinations for Commercial Buildings

Warehouse Exterior Paint Colors


According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, neutral colors such as white, gray, or beige can increase depressive feelings among employees and should be avoided.

Instead, consider using hues that are an extension of your brand’s colors. It will improve the gloomy aesthetics of such intensely used facilities while making them easy to spot to visitors.

Scientists at the University of British Columbia recommend red for spaces that require high attention to detail, while earthy tones are a great ally if you aim to build reliability.

Find out when it’s the right time to repaint your warehouse here.

Hospitality Facilities Exterior Paint Colors

Unlike warehouse exteriors, hospitality facilities can benefit from using neutral colors, since many shades of freshly painted white immediately evoke feelings of cleanliness and care for your guests’ wellbeing.

However, the most important things to consider when painting a hospitality facility are your target group and the building’s surrounding. Take into account your market niche, the architectural style of neighboring buildings, colors of walkways and landscaping.

Office Buildings Exterior Painting Colors

When it comes to choosing paint colors for commercial office space exteriors, the first rule is to keep in mind the services that the business offers. Due to the nature of its services, a bank should aim to use a different palette than a tech company would.

From creamy whites and sandy beiges to sky blues and impeccable greys, neutral wall colors are always a safe choice, especially if the office building houses multiple companies.

A bold color palette will make the building stand out but make sure to be respectful of brand colors and local environment as well as whether you operate the building or lease space to others. A potential issue with bright paint colors is the fact that it may distract people from noticing your logo or other signage.

Once the color palette is set, consider selecting a commercial painting contractor that offers office building exterior painting services with flexible scheduling and open lines of communication.

Retail Store Exterior Paint Colors

Just like the appealing products you are selling, the commercial building exterior paint colors need to be inviting and stimulating.

Vibrant and energetic colors such as red, orange and yellow are more likely than other colors to grab shoppers’ attention, initiate an emotional response, and accelerate their decision-making processes by pushing them to walk in. Blue is a good choice for department stores, while hues of pink and purple can bring a pop to beauty, perfume or clothing shops.

Black, especially in combination with gold, is commonly used for high-end retail stores. It is a bold choice, so think twice before the painting starts.

Find out how your retail store can benefit from murals, faux finishes and expert wall covering installations here.

Places of Worship Exterior Paint Colors

Painting places of worship can either be the most or the least tricky task to do. Usually, renovating exteriors of religious facilities doesn’t leave a lot of space for creativity due to stylistic restrictions, which makes the color picking process easier. Similarly, the color or set of colors may even be prescribed in advance.

Otherwise, it is advised to mimic the style of other similar buildings, preserve brick and other comparable materials or go for neutral or earthy tones.

Interior Paint Color Combinations for Commercial Buildings

Warehouse Interior Paint Colors

Before you start thinking about the aesthetics of your warehouse interiors, think of safety. This will help you choose color combinations that ensure proper visibility and organization.

Contrasting colors, and especially combinations that include yellow, black, or red, are commonly associated with safety and caution and are great for drawing attention.

Hospitality Facilities Interior Paint Colors

The choice of interior color depends on the nature of your hospitality facility. Interior designers suggest that spas and other similar places of relaxation and tranquility benefit from earthy tones, soft shades of green and natural materials.

Purple has a sophisticated allure that is associated with fantasy and opulence, which makes it an exceptional choice for night clubs and bars. Using glossy or matte finishes for accent walls can add dimension and interest for hotels, restaurants and other hospitality venues.

Office Building Interior Paint Colors

Office Space

By using commercial building paint color combinations that increase creativity and inspire collaboration, you can create a welcoming and productive environment for your employees.

While they are a safe choice, neutral colors may end up creating a dull atmosphere. Instead, consider playing with office paint colors and adding bright and energizing accents that will break a potentially somber atmosphere.

Find out how simple painting tricks can alter the sense of any room here.

Conference Hall

Consider using complementary colors for conference halls. A combination of colors can convey different sentiments or reinforce your company culture. For example, light blue not only communicates neutrality and respectability but works great with various shades of brown, which in turn conveys reliability and assurance.


Choosing the right color for office building halls can completely change the perception of commercial properties. Instead of using bland colors, turn unremarkable passageways into pleasant spaces with the right palette.

Halls are another great place where you can play with different finishes and accents. Go for impact, but make sure that the hall doesn’t end up feeling too stuffy if it’s scarce in natural light.

Resting Area

Use soothing colors or those that evoke feelings of safety and calmness such as blue, green or lilac for resting areas. Moss or sage green can create a relaxing atmosphere too. Consider painting an accent wall a few shades darker to create a peaceful and welcoming ambiance.

Retail Stores Interior Paint Colors

Similarly to retail store exterior paint colors, consider using inviting colors that create a sense of urgency and accelerate decision making processes.

Think of your target audience and functionality too.

For example, pastels are suitable for children’s stores but combined with an accent matte black ceiling they work miracles for home décor shops.

Places of Worship Interior Painting Colors

Beige often comes to our minds as the only paint color for places of worship. However, there are many neutral colors that can contribute to a sense of serenity.

Eggshell, seafoam and the lightest shades of taupe or deep mauve can create a comfortable and serene space.

Make sure to hire professional painters with previous experience of painting places of worship and who will be mindful of these rules and other specific regulations.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in finding out more about commercial building painting or would like to get an estimate for a paint job, give us a call at (630) 688-9423, or email us at One of our knowledgeable painting specialists will be happy to assist you.


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