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What is The Best Paint Color for a Theater Room?

If you’re ready to start putting your home theater room together, one element that has to be right is the paint color you choose for the walls and or ceiling.

To make the picture in your theater room really pop, you’ll want a dark color for both the walls and the ceiling. Colors such as grey, dark brown, burgundy, or black are good choices. Anything that is dark will cut down on light from the TV or projector bouncing around. White, along with other light color choices, should be avoided for the best experience.

When picking a color, there are a few things to consider, such as the style of theater room you want, and what your options are considering your space. After all, very few people will be building a room specifically for a home theater–you will most likely have windows and other structures that may affect the experience.

What Style Of Theater Room Are You Going For?

Home Theater Paint Color - Smaller

First, ask yourself what the purpose of this room will be. What is the style you’re going for? Are you planning on kicking back and watching the big game? Or are you going to be binge-watching Netflix?

What I’m getting at: is this a casual space you come to kick back in, or are you a movie aficionado that wants the best quality viewing experience?

There are other options, sure. Maybe you want a theater room to screen movies now and then for family and friends, or maybe you want to play videogames here.

Maybe you’re thinking: “I want to do it all.” Well, you’re going to need a lot of paint for that…

If you’re going for something casual, I’d suggest a darker shade of brown, maybe even grey. These shades are ideal for excluding distractions and focusing on the screen.

If you want the real-deal theater effect, go with black and block the world out. If you just want to kick back in style, a lighter color is going to be less heavy on the senses.

What Else Will The Room be Used For?

home theater

If you’re a connoisseur of movies, and the primary purpose of your room is to be used for consuming content, then your decision on a paint color is pretty straight forward. For full immersion, go with black.

For anything else, I’d recommend dark brown or dark grey–these colors allow you to enjoy the space with the lights on. Navy and burgundy are good options here as well, but you’ll have to keep something in mind here: it’s important to keep some aspects of your room versatile if you plan on using your home theater room for more than one purpose. After all, the dark paint is light-absorbing and inhibits the use of smaller light sources.

One last note here: if you plan for this room to be an entertaining space and having friends and family over, I really recommend considering burgundy as your color. Think of it this way: darker colors are best for full immersion, and the burgundy warms up the space and makes it more versatile.

If you’re going to have guests over regularly, it’s really good to have some kind of color on the walls. If you’re screening Game of Thrones black is probably spot on, but if you’re having the neighbors over for a Lego Movie night, the black can just be too much.

Think of your local silver-screened multiplex: the walls are usually lined with fabric, and what color are they? Usually a deep burgundy red. So, my view is– if your goal is to entertain people and keep your room versatile, then you should splash a little color on the walls and perhaps paint the ceiling black. Painting the walls a lighter tone opens up the space, while a black ceiling absorbs a majority of the light.

What Are The Current Limitations of The Room?

The size and shape of your theater room have implications for how the sound needs to be laid out, and what type of screen you’re going to install (Television or Projector). It also plays into the paint decision.

You can’t change the size of the room, and you don’t want to be fiddling with permanent fixtures unless you absolutely have to. If you’re all in, and you want a near-perfect home theater, a window is one of the quickest ways to ruin that.

Just imagine– You’re in your theater and watching a massive screen in front of you and natural light blasting in through the side. No thank you.

So what are your options here? You can cover the window, maybe with a retractable black-out blinde. You can install a blackout curtain that you slide into place when using the room. If you don’t think the light will bother you, or you plan to use the room mostly at night, you may not need to do anything.

However, you should have a plan here before you choose your paint color, because both decisions play into the full effect. If you want full immersion, you can paint the room black and cover the window, or use it at night.

If you want to leave the window uncovered and use the room during the day, black is going to give the space a very small, claustrophobic feel. So, depending on the purpose and versatility of your theater room, you might want something that compliments the space a little more, like a light grey or even a darker tan color.

Fit and Finish

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely got a good color choice in mind. But before you get started there are a few final thoughts.

First, the finish of the paint–this might go without saying, but we should say it just in case: do not go with a glossy finish on your paint. The purpose of darker walls is too absorb light and a glossy finish will reflect it.

What you want is a matte finish. It’s probably what the paint you’re buying comes as by default, but make sure you double-check and ask the employee at the store to make sure!

The Home Depot has great choices for different paint colors. You can choose the shade, color, and finish when buying almost any type of paint!

Finally, if you’ve got the color picked out, a personalization that some home theater DIYers decide to do is add decorations to the walls, such as a horizontal stripe. Once you know where the TV or projector screen is going to be, you can get out the measuring tape and painters’ blue and mark off any designs you want to add.

If your room is black, a complementary dark color is ideal for this band, otherwise, just use color to compliment your main background color. It can be skinny or thick, maybe as much as two or three feet high, but it needs to lead to the center of your screen. That’s the purpose of this final touch: bringing the eye in toward the focal point, the screen, because after all– that’s what all of this is for!