How to Create a Monochromatic Color Scheme

The hardest part of painting a room starts before any brushes, rollers, or anything ever comes out. Finding the right color of paint for a room can be especially challenging. Selecting a single shade can be tricky enough, but what if you want to use more than one color? Multiple colors add great depth and interest to a room, but there’s a fine line between cohesive and catastrophic. What’s the solution? A monochromatic color scheme. The team at paintCLE can help you choose the perfect palette for every room in your home!

Monochromatic 101

Terms like “shade” and “tint” are often used interchangeably when discussing color. This is usually harmless, but these words are much more important when creating a monochromatic color scheme, so understanding their meanings is essential.

  • Value: This is how light or dark a color is
  • Tint: A color with white added to lighten it
  • Shade: A color that has been darkened by adding black
  • Tone: Using gray to create a muted version of a color

Making Monochromatic Your Own

Monochromatic palettes use one base color, like blue or green, and various tints and tones to make a fun but not overwhelming space. It’s an effortless technique to master if you follow a few simple tips:

  • Get Paint Swatches! Stop by paintCLE to grab some swatches of color families you like. The swatches are color-coordinated, which makes it super simple to create masterpieces in your rooms. Select a pale shade and two medium ones to use in most of a space, and reserve the darkest or brightest hues for painting trim, window treatments, and other accents to create contrast.

  • If the room doesn’t have crown molding, you can paint a border along the top edge of the walls to give the illusion that there is one.
  • Allow natural light to be your guide. Rooms that get a lot of sunlight look their best with a paler shade as the primary color on walls. If the room doesn’t get much natural light, use the deeper of the two medium hues on the walls.
  • Don’t forget about the ceiling! If you have a high ceiling, paint it one shade darker than the color on the walls. You should paint regular-height ceilings in a shade that is barely lighter than the wall color. We can mix a custom tint for you if necessary, so you won’t have to worry about finding the right color!

  • Use painter’s tape to get crisp, clean lines between color zones. Removing the tape at the right time is critical. The tape should be taken off when the paint is dry to the touch. If the paint is not dry enough, peeling the tape off can mar the lines. Waiting too long to remove the tape creates the risk of the adhesive bonding too tightly to the wall or pulling at the fresh paint.

Contact Us

PaintCLE is your premier Benjamin Moore retailer. We carry a broad selection of paint, including specialty varieties and all the tools you need for a professional finish. Three convenient locations mean we are always close to you. Visit or call us today to start your DIY painting project. We have several locations and we proudly serve Willoughby Hills, Shaker Heights, Medina, Ohio, and the surrounding areas.