Looking to paint your home in 2020? Oh, good. This is the post for you. Here are my favorite paint colors for 2020 along with suggestions for picking paint colors and the best sheens for each surface in your home.

This weekend in between hosting a caroling party and wrapping gifts and organizing my children’s lives and driving across the state line to Oklahoma…

…I worked on a paint color consultation for a client.

I couldn’t help myself.

There’s nothing that I love more than a really good conversation about paint.

Especially in between Christmas parties.

I went to her beautiful historic home in McKinney and walked through the rooms in her house and layered in an amazing set of paint color choices for her home remodel.

We walked the halls of every room and discussed moldings and paint sheens and ceiling paint and windows and doors and everything and anything about paint.

I know you are in the middle of Christmas right now.

But guess what comes after Christmas?


A new decade.

The perfect time to refresh our homes.

So here is everything and anything you wanted to know about paint and colors and sheens and how to pick a paint color and what I am painting on walls across America.

Here are my favorite paint colors for 2020.

Before we get started, I wanted to mention a couple of VERY IMPORTANT pieces of information when it comes to paint.

If you are trying to choose a paint color for your house, you will want to start here.

This is a post I wrote FIVE years ago that has been pinned 50 zillion times and it never gets old.

Before you pick a paint color. Before you start the process. Before you even spell P A I N T.

You have to read this.

If you are trying to pick paint colors for an entire house?

This is the post for you.

If you wonder which paint finish to paint where?

This is the post for you.

And now.

Here are some amazing paint colors to get you started on your painting journey in 2020.

My favorite paint colors for 2020

I fell in love with this color when it was Sherwin-Williams color of the year back in 2016.

It always represents.

Alabaster SW 7008.

It’s the prettiest neutral with just a hint of gray.

I’ve used it in dozens of rooms and it can change slightly depending on the amount of light in the space.

Make sure to paint it on a piece of posterboard before you pick the paint color.

This is a new friend to the group of favorite paint colors.

Oyster White SW 7637.

It’s a little warmer than SW Alabaster but rings in as a true neutral.

It pairs perfectly with gray or khaki and it is a lot lighter on the walls than this picture.

favorite paint colors

This is my go-to khaki.

Sandbar SW 7547.

The room I’m typing this post in is painted SW Sandbar.

It’s so much lighter and airy on the walls than in this picture.

favorite paint colors

Another relatively new friend.

Intellectual Gray SW 7045.

I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing this looks next to white trim.

It’s a little more khaki than gray.

When the trim is white it can run slightly darker than in this picture.

favorite paint colors

If you have been reading this blog for more than a hot minute, you know that I’m all about this color.

It was my first gray and I’ve never changed in my adoration for it.

Mindful Gray SW 7016.

It’s the perfect bridge between khaki and gray—with a little more gray than khaki.

favorite paint colors

Looking for a contrasting darker gray that still is neutral?

AnonymousSW 7046

It’s perfect for a dining room or a study or a room that’s set apart from other rooms in the house.

It can run a little green in certain lights, so make sure to test the color on a poster board before you paint.

And for all your trim?

This is my go-to.

Extra White SW 7006.

It never fails. It’s the perfect true white and works so well with moldings and ceilings.

Looking for a few more white paint options?

Here’s a post I wrote about my favorite white paint colors.

You can see it here.

Here are also a few more of my favorite neutral paint colors.

SW Gris is so pretty and looks a lot bluer on the walls.

You can see the post here.


That was a LOT of talk about favorite paint colors in the middle of Christmas decorating. And now? In 2020? You can use these paint colors for tons of creative paint ideas around your home.

Pin this for later and I’ll be back tomorrow with a story.

PS You know that paint consultation I went on? The one where I was all fancy and picked out the paint like a BOSS.

About halfway through I realized I had my sweater on backward.


There was the tag sticking out of the front.

Always, always, ALWAYS #soclose. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Oh girl, thank you for pulling me, however briefly, out of my sugar/alcohol laden/Christmas buzz that I'll probably be in until Jan. 2, I suck at choosing paint colors! But I love colors!

  2. Image for CherylB CherylB

    LOOOVVEEEE that your sweater was on backwards 😂 A reminder that we ALL are human with imperfectly perfect imperfections Merry Christmas from central KY

  3. Image for Kristina Kristina

    Very nice choices. I like them. But they sure wouldn't here in rainy Winter Oregon. Happy Christmas Karianne. You never fail to inspire me.

  4. Image for Pam Falls Pam Falls

    Thank you for this post on color. No painting for ten years or more. Finally retiring after 45 years in Ultrasound looking forward to freedom to update our home. I appreciate all your Blog posts and especially your humor! Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family ❤️

  5. Image for Shelley Shelley

    I painted a living room SW Alabaster,, and felt like it had a green tint. Since it was a large room with only two small windows with shutters, I decided the problem was the light and repainted the room another color. But I still always read about the Alabaster, so when I was doing an attic bedroom with lots of angles but good light, I decided to paint the whole thing Alabaster, both walls and ceiling, to unify it. Same thing, there was a little bit of a greenish cast. I repainted the whole thing Dover white and I’m very pleased! So I’m going to recommend SW Dover White to people if you are trying to get a classic white. It took me twice to learn my lesson :-)

  6. Image for Sandra Vigil Sandra Vigil

    I’m so glad you shared the paint colors, but I’m even more thankful you shared the sweater story. I have worn my sweater AND shirt backwards in public on more than on occasion...completely by accident of course 🙂.

  7. Image for Dee Dee

    Hi. Enjoyed seeing old favorites. Have you considered using SW white base, just right out of the can? My SW consultant suggests it and I used it for molding/trims and ceiling in my new build and love it.

  8. Image for Carrie Carrie

    I have used your colors in my home (totally amazing) and once, wore a dress backwards to church....halfway through the sermon I figured out why the neck seemed higher than normal...again...ohh soooo close!!! Thanks for your stories and keeping things real! Merry Christmas 🎄

    1. Image for Ann Ann

      I bought a navy dress with white polka dots and put it in the closet until such time as i needed a conservative dressy outfit. I put the dress on backward but didn't realize it until my husband commented, "It's so neat that you have a pocket on your shoulder blade." At least he mentioned it in the driveway and not in the middle of my father-in-law's funeral.

  9. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Love those colors!! Thank you for the welcome distraction of the holiday hustle and bustle!! Now....back to it 🤪🎄

  10. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Hahaha.on sweater. Even being a paint rock star you finish with a flourish giggle. TY again for reminding us about color. I looooove my kelly green laundry but I am thinking of making the space look bigger with a neutral greige - you've helped so much. I have made so many white errors I could barf. I end up living with it and liking it - but when it isn't just perfect this OCD gal kinda dies a bit inside. But it is time to freshen up the laundry room with new wall color and new flooring. Love SW - only paint we buy - and love your colors. Oh - and love your sweater. (wink wink)

  11. Image for Young Young

    So thankful other folks do these crazy tag things besides me. I love all those paint colors. Thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts and creative ideas all through 2019. Loved it all!!!!

  12. Image for Jenn Jenn

    My husband used to work with a man that often wore his shirt backwards. If anyone asked him why, he would reply " So I can always see where I've been"... Backwards shirts always make me think of that. No need for embarrassment, you just need some witty comeback!

  13. Image for Pat Pat

    KariAnne, Gorgeous paint color choices! I adore Sherwin~Williams Paint! In the main living areas and the two hallways, I chose SW 7547 Sandbar. I love how the lighting can change this hue from a khaki to a soft gray! Thank you for always inspiring! Merry Christmas! Pat


    Love all the paint colors- have my house in California painted using one of them. Sorry about the sweater backwards-to me you are always right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Image for Jan Jan

    Oh, KariAnne, you never fail to bring a smile to my face! Your moment with the sweater makes you so...so... so NORMAL - just like us!! You feel like a precious friend that I love to spend time with!

  16. Image for Jill Jill

    Am I the only person who isn’t a fan of neutral colors? They actually are non-colors. I’ve seen you embrace more color in your new old house. Give us color lovers some love, too, please. :)

  17. Image for Brenda Brenda

    Love the story Karianne! Did the backwards shirt this week, too. Fortunately I realized before I left the bedroom. I'm like Jill, I love color too. I have picked some doozies! I had a light green go from being the perfect shade in the foyer to neon green in my living room which has strong southern exposure. What a shocker for walking into that first thing in the morning! Merry Christmas everyone!

  18. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    THIS is why we are friends!! Sweater on backwards! So close!! Oh, how many moments I have had like this! And painting needs to happen in January here, friend. Too. Many. Rooms. Merry Christmas!!

  19. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    All beautiful colors you’ve selected. . I find choosing paint colors difficult in that so much depends on lighting in the room. And lighting is so different at different times of the day and evening. Even putting up big swatches can be mind boggling as one side of the room will look different than the other side. I used a warm gray in the living room that I love in our bedroom but it looks totally different and don’t like it at all in the living room. Accckkk. I will be repainting the living room for the third time. Hubby thinks I’m nutso. And, we just bought a home in Tucson to escape shoveling snow. It was newly repainted in a cool gray and I’m a warm color lover so, of course, I’m eyeing repainting. Again, hubby thinks I need therapy. I think I do, too. Retail therapy! (snort, snort) Living in the desert draws me to warm terra cottas and soft Pueblo colors. Can’t wait to get started. I will check out your blog on painting, for sure. Wishing you and your lovely family the merriest of Christmases and much success in the coming year.

  20. Image for Sharon Sharon

    We saved our money to replace our 20 year old carpet and pick a paint for our walls. We found the carpet and then for the paint. Went to SW and picked Sandbar (I am not a grey fan). I really wasn't sure about it, but oh my, this 78 year old lady is happy, happy, happy. And it only took 1 coat because I got the best stuff and it paid off. So bright and pretty. Now on to the kitchen (that will take a while to save money) but am still going to use Sandbar on the walls. Thanks for all your good thoughts and ideas. Happy 2020!!

  21. Image for Sharon Sharon

    We painted our home exterior last year with Benjamin Moore China White; the closest shade to SW Dover White. I like more color in my upholstery fabrics and other home decor, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that doesn’t coordinate with Benjamin Moore China White. I used to think every room had to be painted a different, the brighter the better, and that’s great for anyone who wants to do that. When we were choosing our color, we saw so many shades of gray, and I couldn’t get close to liking any of them. It seemed, at the time anyway, that gray was the ‘in’ color. In a few years, it will be something else. I do like gray exterior colors. I feel good about our choice. My preference in decor has evolved into more simplified, maybe even minimalist, but not stark choices. Thanks for the article.

  22. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

    Hey, in the 80's it was the thing to wear your button down cardi backwards, so you are just bringing back the trend ;). No one really mentions SW soft chamois, but it is a soft white that seems to blend with a lot. Happy New Year, friend!

    1. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

      Oooops, it is Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois that is the soft white color! My mistake! Sherwin Williams does have the same color name, but it is far from a soft white neutral. Sorry about that😊.

  23. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    We have a teal living room and dining room and we love it. Go bold or stay home I say! We can always repaint! We love color and have a navy leather sectional and a brown leather recliner with oak dining room furniture so we wanted color on our walls!!!

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