How to Match Wood Tones to Wall Colors

Updated February 21, 2017

Incorporating wood to any style of decoration brings in warm tones and a solid feel to the room. Wood can be added by means of doors, plantation shutters, furniture pieces or flooring. The colours and shades may range from light-coloured pine and elm to red cherry and dark walnut and oak. It is also possible to stain light wood a red or dark tone using wood stain to match the colours of the walls.

Consider the purpose of the room and evaluate the colour of the walls. A room that is intended to be calming does well with light and warm colours such as yellow or green. A more active room tends to work well with bright colours such as red and certain shades of off-white. Once you are sure your wall colours are what you want, you can begin to look at wood tones to match the walls.

Decide how you will incorporate the wood into the room. Wood can be added to a room with furniture, window treatments, doors and flooring. If you will be installing wood flooring, take into account that dark-coloured wood shows dust much more than light-coloured wood, requiring a bit more maintenance.

Look at the colour wheel for colours that either contrast or complement your wall colours and decide on the type of wood that will work with your walls. For example, a terra cotta wall colour will draw out the orange tone in wood.

Decide whether you are going to leave the wood in its natural state or if you are going to use stain or paint to match a specific colour chosen from the colour wheel. Stains are usually used to darken or redden light-coloured woods. With paint, the original colour does not matter since it will be covered completely.

Place the wood in the room. If the colour does not match the look you had planned, consider adding different elements, such as pillows or fabric, in order to attempt to make the colours come together. Otherwise, consider changing either the colour of the walls or the colour of the wood to achieve your desired combination.


If you are considering painting your wood, make sure it is a final decision. Stripping paint off wood requires the use of harsh chemicals and is a labour-intensive process that never leaves the wood looking the same as it did before the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Colour wheel
  • Wood stain (optional)
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About the Author

Ana Cassis began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in the magazines "Cancunissimo," "Mesa Visions" and in online heath publications. Cassis is a nutrition counselor and herbalist with experience in fitness, nutrition and yoga. She holds an Associate of Arts in architecture from San Diego Mesa College.