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Tips on Paint Options

paint selection

Paint is an easy way to switch up a room if you’re in an existing home and it’s important to decide when you are building a new home. Paint can stump a lot of people when they come into our design center. Should they upgrade to three tone paint? Should they just keep their house “white” and worry about it later?

All of these questions can be answered with a little knowledge. The first big misconception is what one, two or three tone paint means.

One Tone Paint means that the walls, ceilings, trim and doors will all be the same color. When selecting one tone paint you want to keep in the white category and think about accent walls later.

Two Tone Paint means that the walls and ceiling are one color and the trim and doors are another. This means you can select two colors, typically with the trim and doors being a shade of white and the ceilings and walls a light gray or beige.

gray paint
This is a good example of Two Tone Paint with accent walls


Three Tone Paint means that the walls are one color, the ceiling is another & the trim and doors are a third! This of course is the ideal, but a common misconception is that you can paint every room a different color just because the walls are separate.  Painter’s categorized those options as “accent walls.” So if you are looking for every room to be different you don’t necessarily need three tone paint to do so. A lot of our buyers stick with two tone paint and get some accent walls in a different color from the main gray or beige.

One of our Move in Ready Homes with Two Tone Paint
One of our Move in Ready Homes with Two Tone Paint. Notice the Trim and Doors are different then the ceiling and walls.

Choosing the paint in your house is a big decision but with a little bit of knowledge of the tones you can make the best choice for you!

Happy Hump Day Everyone!

Holmes Homes

16 responses to “Tips on Paint Options

  1. I had no idea that painting was split up into three different tones. It seems like painting is a lot more complicated than a lot of people think. It would be really interesting to learn all of the secrets of being a good painter. I have always thought that painting my home would be a lot of fun. However, I have always been afraid of not doing it properly.

  2. Thanks for the information! I wasn’t quite sure what the young man who was helping me meant when he asked me what kind of paint I wanted when I was at the home improvement store yesterday. He talked about how they have one tone paint in all colors, and two and three tone paint in some colors. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, so it’s a good thing that you went into further detail about the different types of paint that are available for me to choose from. I’m painting my house to have the trim a different color from the walls, so now I can see that I’ll need two tone paint to get the job done.

  3. My living room could use a new paint job. It’s currently one tone, but I think a two or three tone paint job would make my home look great. I’ll keep researching my options so that I can make the best choice.

  4. My wife has been thinking that we need to paint a few rooms in our house. I had no idea that there were so many things to consider when looking at painting! It sounds like three tone paint is the way to go! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. I love it when homes are more than just one standard color (usually white). But as a home gets more and more colors in it, it becomes harder to match the colors and keep it from looking like you live in a kaleidoscope. Thanks for the tips! I agree with what you said; I don’t think that we need three tones in every room. A little plainer style can look just fine.

  6. Thanks for sharing these tips! I love the the three tone look. My wife and I are wanting to re-paint and have been trying to decide between two and three tone. The three tone just seems to bring in a little added interest. I think it would be worth it.

  7. To be honest, I’ve never tried repainting our house. The three tone painting sounds like it would make things stand out better, though. Then again, it would be fun to have some accent walls of a completely different color. That means I should stick with two tone paint, right?

    1. You can do one-tone, two-tone or three-tone paint to your home and still do accent walls. If you start with a light base like a white or light gray that you don’t mind on your ceilings you can get away with two-tone paint and choose certain walls to get an accent color. Remember the biggest difference is do you want your ceiling to be the same color as the trim (three-tone) or walls (two-tone). Good Luck!

  8. I had never heard of using three tone paint before reading this article! Choosing coordinating colors for the walls, ceiling, trim, and doors is a great way to give your house a new look! My house has green walls and everything else is white, but I would love to change that. Sticking to a gray color pallet will be a safe choice, in case I decide to sell one day.

  9. I really love the look of two and three tone paint, but didn’t know the terms. Thanks for explaining those! My sister just moved into a town home that has one tone paint and it looks very awkward! I’m hoping her landlord allows her to paint because a little contrast will make a huge difference to that place.

  10. I’m researching my options for painting my house and found this helpful article. I didn’t know the difference between one tone and two tone although I’d heard the terms before. I’ll be sharing this post with my wife as we make a decision on what house painters to use, but so far I’m liking three tone the best. Thanks for your post.

  11. Checking references when looking for a commercial painter is a great idea. I usually like to check online and see what other people have said about the company I’m looking at using. If other people say they are awesome, I think it’s a good idea to go ahead and hire them for you painting needs. Thanks for the awesome information!

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