How to paint the hallway and adjoining room different colours

Written by emily patterson
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How to paint the hallway and adjoining room different colours
Paint adjoining spaces in complementary colours. (paint image by Chad McDermott from

When painting the hallway and adjoining room different colours, you are making a transition from one space to the next. Choose colours that complement each other for a smooth transition between spaces. When there is an archway or opening without trim, follow the same threshold rule that's used for flooring: End the colour of the hallway on the far side of the threshold, so the inside of the archway or opening is the same colour as the hallway.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Colour wheel
  • Masking tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Roller
  • Roller cover
  • Complementary paint colours

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  1. 1

    Paint the hallway the chosen colour. Paint the hallway mouldings and trim the chosen colour, too, unless the hallway trim is finished wood. If the trim is finished wood, tape off the edges with masking tape to avoid getting paint on the trim.

  2. 2

    Paint the opening to the adjoining room the same colour chosen for the hallway. If painting a doorway casing, use the trim colour from the hallway. If you chose a different trim colour for the adjacent room, that colour should be used on the moulding inside the room only. If the opening has no trim, paint the opening with the colour chosen for the hallway walls.

  3. 3

    Paint the adjacent room its chosen colour that complements the hallway shade.

  4. 4

    Use masking tape to mask off the hallway colour at any openings without trim, such as an archway. Before applying masking tape to a painted surface, the surface must be dry according to manufacturer's directions, or the paint will peel off when you remove the tape. If the paint in the archway is dry but fresh, do not press the masking tape more than necessary to get it to stick to the archway.

  5. 5

    Paint any trim in the adjacent room the colour you chose for that room. Paint only the trim on the inside of the door the colour chosen for trim in the room.

Tips and warnings

  • Use paint samples to paint a small sections in the hallway and the adjacent room that can be seen from one space to the other. Depending on light and furnishings, the paint colour may appear different in your home than on the swatches.

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