Asked on Jul 24, 2014

Choosing tan wall color, w/ whitewashed fireplace

by SouthernBelle
I am trying to decide on a tan wall color for my living room. I love the look of my whitewashed brick fireplace, and I want a tan wall color that will compliment that, as well as my dark hardwood floor, and chocolate brown sectional sofa. I love the look of dark chocolate brown, and tan. My kitchen cabinets are a dark espresso, and my kitchen wall color is SW latte. I love the latte, but want a lighter, cooler tan for my living room. SW Kilim beige is another color I have in my home, but possibly a touch darker tan for living room? I have attached a pic showing a sample of fireplace brick, as well as current (way too dark) wall color. I am considering BM Lenox tan, Manchester tan, shaker beige, bleaker beige... But Bennington gray and revere pewter also appear tan in the photos I am looking at. I have not even gotten samples yet, and suggestions for any paint brand welcomed, as long as it's tan. Thanks for any help!
Current color way too dark! Looking for the perfect tan wall color, to compliment this brick, as well as dark hardwood floor, & dark brown sectional sofa
  22 answers
  • Jim L Jim L on Jul 25, 2014
    The wall looks really nice. You have so much brown, beige and such going on, why not add "gray" into the mix. The color of the wall now looks great. From what I have read, you are about to "drown in brown". Lets go for some contrast and complimentary colors. Beige is going to "wash out" the white-washed wall...
  • Diane Ditzler Diane Ditzler on Jul 25, 2014
    You must bring the paint chips home & just live with them for a day or so. Tan (to me) is tricky! Hard to believe that some tans may 'clash', but they may(bad experience!!) I just painted my wall & ceiling 'tan' to compliment our stone wall.I found the correct tan for me & did the very lightest on the ceiling. I considered gray, because there is gray in the stones, but -not to my liking: ( Good luck!
    I am preparing to have our whole house painted and I am looking at many of the same colors you hare. My painter said the best money spent is to go to SW or BM and get the small samples and bring them home. Either paint them on the wall or on copy paper and tape them up. She also said to paint on adjoining walls, because the colors often change with the light. Let us know what you decide!
    • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 25, 2014
      @CHERYL ELLIS Cheryl, yes, I agree. I go to the $ store and get one of those foam core boards. Leave it up for a few days and look at it now and then before deciding. I learned the hard way
  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Jul 25, 2014
    How about going completely away from beige to a sage green? You could paint three walls one shade and an accent wall a darker shade. Or, there's my always go to - Navajo White. You could add color with wall hangings, paintings, accent pillows, etc. I love it because it gives you a clean 'canvas' to work with. I've had Navajo white somewhere in every house we've lived in:-)
  • Donna M Donna M on Jul 25, 2014
    I have used Behr paint in "Classic Taupe" and "Baked Scone" on my walls. I think either would look great next to brick.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jul 25, 2014
    I too like the idea of a sage green! Look at Benjamin Moore's "Healing Aloe"! I am looking at that color for my Living and Dining Rooms! I will probably get the sample jars and to do some testing. One of my favorite colors is Ralph Lauren's "Cottonwood" and was perfect for my kitchen area, but when I put up a swatch in my adjoining den, it turned out to be too dark! So I went with Bher's "Baked Scone" which I LOVE!
  • Janet Sweeney Janet Sweeney on Jul 25, 2014
    Try Benjamin Moore's Baja Dunes. It is that exact shade of tan you're looking for because it has red undertone. I drove myself crazy trying to choose a shade. I finally hired someone to recommend a color. Well worth the $175. And she recommended the Baja Dunes at 50%.
  • Laura Laskey Laura Laskey on Jul 25, 2014
    After testing SEVERAL tan's - we settled on Benjamin Moore's Coastal Path. It is absolutely gorgeous and I would highly recommend it!
    • Kathleen Bell Kathleen Bell on Jul 25, 2014
      @Laura Laskey That sounds awesome. Do you have a pic of the room you painted? Would love to see it.
  • There are a thousand tans out there. Some grey, some brown, some pink, some green, some red. You absolutely must bring the chips home and live with them a couple of days to see if you are going to be good roommates. Tape them to the wall. Many times I will paint one wall a bold color and the remaining walls a light neutral complimentary beige. If you find a bold color you love, get a complimentary beige.
  • C C on Jul 25, 2014
    All the recommendations in the world are not going to give you the 'right' color for YOUR space. The time of day & the way natural light comes through your room.... the positioning of your own light fixtures.... the way the wall picks up undertones of other objects in the room.... these are all going to be unique to YOUR space. You will also find that the color looks different from one wall to the next {for all the same reasons} I suggest that you succumb to the longer process of getting several sample sizes & do large test pieces. You can ask your local home depot if they have the removable/paintable swatches {it's like a large transparent vinyl stick-up that you can paint in your sample color & stick to the wall} or get yourself some thick posterboard to paint. Put the patches up on the wall for a few days so you can 'live' with it for a few days and move the patch around the room. You will be surprised that a color you liked doesn't look very good when it's on a different wall.
  • N. Susan Hart N. Susan Hart on Jul 25, 2014
    Tan, like Taupe, and any other color really, has tones of other colors. It is difficult. I agree, you have to bring home samples, paint samples if possible and paint on walls. See what they look like at different times of the day and different light. Someone suggested grey, there are tans with grey undertones. I like your neutral palette.
  • Evey's Creations Evey's Creations on Jul 25, 2014
    I agree with Mikki Girl...go green! I like Behr's Promenade or Behr's Mountain haze!
  • Dana K Dana K on Jul 25, 2014
    try BM Revere Pewter- is an amazing neutral.
  • Mickey Pesola Mickey Pesola on Jul 25, 2014
    Dana, I also had the same issue. So I asked my friendly Home depote girl Julie what one she likes best. Went with the Mushroom Bisque from Behr. I still love the color!! Glad I listened to her. All those stupid other little sample bottles I got all went to waste.
  • Janet J Janet J on Jul 25, 2014
    First of all, let me say that I love, love, love your white washed brick! I don't know if this (link) would be helpful when choosing your colors. If your floors and cabinets are dark, I would definitely stick with a lighter color for your walls.
    • SouthernBelle SouthernBelle on Jul 25, 2014
      Thank you, Janet! I love the fireplace too! I'm hoping a lighter, more neutral color will really allow her to "shine" :) thanks for the link!
  • Kathleen Bell Kathleen Bell on Jul 25, 2014
    I just spent the month with tan or taupe paint samples all over my walls. I wanted a true taupe that didn't have blue, green, red or yellow undertones. Just brown undertones. I picked a SW color and it's really nice, maybe just a shade too light. Good luck with your decision.
  • Barbara Winters Barbara Winters on Jul 25, 2014
    Everyone's going for grey = I hate grey, so dull.
    • Carrie Krumrie Carrie Krumrie on Jan 22, 2015
      I used to use Desert amazing neutral.......very light not quite a creamy may be perfect for you!!!!
  • Debbie Heuer Debbie Heuer on Jul 25, 2014
    That's is a great color, have them make it 50% lighter
  • Bethany W. Bethany W. on Jul 25, 2014
    My brick fireplace is just like yours, just without the whitewash...and you're right, finding a good "tan" to go with it is hard. I also have a dark brown sofa, but my floors are a mid-range bamboo, and my kitchen cabinets are a maple spice - just a bit darker than the floors. So I'm really having a tough time. I get no sunlight coming thru the windows because of a front and back porch, and several large oak trees all around, so I need something to lighten the place up! Right now I have a light/medium putty, guess you'd call it. Beautiful color, and looks great with the fireplace, but after 10 years I'm just really tired of it. Let me know what you decide on. :-)
    • SouthernBelle SouthernBelle on Jul 26, 2014
      @Bethany W. I ended up going with Valspar Lyndhurst Gallery Beige. It is a lot lighter, and it's coming across more "putty" than tan, so far. It does change the look of the whole room, so now I have to do something different with curtains and a lot of the decor
  • Loretta Loretta on Jul 25, 2014
    I always bring paint swatches home and leave hanging on my wall for weeks before I decide. Too many shades to pick from.
  • Meghan Meghan on Mar 19, 2017

    Pick a tan that has blue under tones vs yellow you will get a cooler look

  • Stephanie Stephanie on Mar 20, 2017

    Pick a benjamin moore classic go with a light salmon . its stunning with the brick