What Color Should You Paint Closets?

Closets are a small but important addition to any room, and they can still make a serious impact on the overall style. It is important to select an ideal color for the closet, both inside and out. While it is ideal for any color to fit your personal preferences, some colors will coordinate better with the room and your clothes. So, we have thoroughly researched what color you should paint your closets.

The ideal color for your closets should either match the walls to create a seamless look or be a brighter color that will be reflective enough to highlight the clothes or stored items. Some great colors include the following:

  • White
  • Beige or tan
  • Red, orange, or yellow

There are many options for your closet, but when restyling the area yourself, it’s best to make informed decisions. Keep reading to learn what colors are best for your closet, how they should coordinate with your walls, and the proper steps to effectively paint the closet on your own.

A spacious walk in closet with an abstract looking chandelier, What Color Should You Paint Closets?

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What color should bedroom closets be painted?

The most ideal color for bedroom closets, or any other kind of closet, is white. White is a pure neutral, which means that it has no true color and will therefore agree with any color. That is an invaluable feature for bedroom closets, which are generally used for fashion instead of simple storage.

Because white reflects all colors, it will be easy to distinguish your different clothes. And no matter how your fashion or bedroom styles change, white will never need to be repainted. The reflective nature will also make the room appear larger than it actually is, which is useful for small areas like closets.

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A gorgeous walk in closet with folded shirts and shoes underneath

White also has a naturally hot temperature that will brighten the area. That can make it much easier to see your clothes, which is crucial when you need to navigate a small closet.

You can read the post “Does A Bedroom Have To Have A Closet?” to learn why they are essential additions to the room.

Beige or Tan

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These are both warm extensions of the near neutral brown. Although brown is only a near neutral, it is just as flexible as pure neutrals. This means that a beige or tan closet won’t distract from its contents, either. But brown also has a naturally warm temperature, and can often be considered a loose variation of the color orange. 

As such, beige or tan will ensure it is still easy to see your clothes or storage without leaning into the blinding brightness of white walls. These can also feel less boring than white walls, which are commonplace and will not resemble any color.

Red, Orange, or Yellow

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These options are always bolder because they are each considered definitive warm colors on a traditional color wheel. Unlike the traditional neutrals, these are actual colors that will add personality but can feel more distracting. They will also need to be repainted every time you restyle your bedroom or change the kind of clothes you wear. 

Still, if the colorful walls fit your style, they are loud but bright. As such, this will still make it easy enough to see the closet interior. If the colors seem too potent, there are also many shades in between that can soften their impact. For example, you can use rose, which is a less sharp variation of pink.

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Do you paint closets the same color as the walls?

It is possible for closets to create a uniform look with the walls by sharing a similar color or shade. This consistency can look elegant and balanced. That’s because the closet will feel like an extension of the room rather than a cramped addition. 

Matching closet to walls is particularly common for closets with wooden doors instead of sliding mirrored doors. A matching closet won’t be as distracting in the room, allowing the surrounding décor to remain highlighted instead. 

This can be useful for larger closets with wooden doors that take up too much room. It can also ensure that the flow of a hallway isn’t disrupted by a pair of oddly colored doors.

You can read the post “Do Bedroom Closets Need Doors?” for tips on how to avoid using closet doors at all.

How do you paint the inside of a closet?

The inside of a closet is likely going to include drywall, wood trim, and wood shelves. The drywall and wood features will both need to be painted by following the same four basic steps. They need to be cleaned, sanded, primed, and then painted. 


Wood trim refers to the baseboards that are sometimes found in the closet. A baseboard is the trim that runs along the foot of your walls, protecting them from foot damage. 

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To clean the wood, you can use commercially sold wood cleaners such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. This will ensure that you do not damage the wood, which can be sensitive to certain products. The drywall can simply be scrubbed down with a dust mop.


Then, you will need to sand down the imperfections on your wood features and drywall. This will create a smooth, level surface for the new paint and sealer to bond with. 

If you want to cover more surface area quickly, use a sanding sponge with a lower grit. The grit refers to how coarse the sandpaper is, with lower grits being rougher and higher grits being finer.

Click here to find these sanding sponges on Amazon.

Prime, Paint, and Seal

Click here to find this drywall-friendly interior primer on Amazon.

Next, apply primer to the wood trim and shelves. This is a substance that will help the paint adhere to the wood. It can be brushed on with a natural bristle brush. For larger areas, you can use a paint roller. The primer may require more than one coat. 

Click here to find this white interior paint on Amazon.

Similarly, you can now apply paint in just the same way. It may also need a second or third coating. If the paint isn’t durable enough, you might need to finish by adding a sealer on top of the wood trim or shelves. This can protect the wood from wear and tear.

Click here to find this trim-friendly interior wood sealer on Amazon.

You can review the complete process of painting interior drywall by watching this YouTube video: 

How long does it take to paint a closet?

Naturally, this estimate will be highly subject to change based on your personal level of experience. But specialists such as All American Painting Plus suggest that average painters will likely take around 45 minutes or even an hour for just the initial coating of paint. 

This does not account for cleaning, sanding, primer, or any additional coats of paint. However, subsequent layers of paint will take less time, since they will mainly just saturate the existing color. 

Overall, the total may be around two and a half hours or three hours for the complete process. But a hired professional will likely take significantly less time.

How long does it take paint to dry in a closet?

A narrow wooden fabricated walk in closet with hardwood flooring and a round white lamps

The drying and curing time of paint will greatly change based on the type of paint you are using, the thickness of the coating, and the ventilation of the room. Even the humidity of your home can lengthen the drying time. Most closets do not have adequate ventilation, so the drying time will take much longer than usual.

Oil-based paints take longer to dry than latex-based paints. Normally, oil-based paint will take six to eight hours to dry. The latex-based paints would usually take around one to four hours. So, the only certainty is that freshly painted closets will at least take longer than those durations.


A closet can greatly contribute to the style of a room instead of being reserved for storage. It also houses clothing, which is typically a personalized expression. So, the closet deserves to reinforce and highlight those selections. It is important to understand the effects different colors will have, and how to properly apply the paint to make sure the job lasts.

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