There’s a reason why marketers don’t see paint colors as just an aesthetic choice, but a tool in their toolkit. Color psychology has proven that the right palette can channel emotions, create very specific responses, and encourage certain types of behaviors. Choosing the right colors can create a welcoming and memorable experience for your customers, while the wrong colors can turn them off and discourage them from coming back.

As a professional commercial painting company in the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore areas, we understand just how important it is to get your retail painting project right.

Today, let’s unpack some practical tips for picking your paint colors, sharing some pretty interesting insights and information along the way.

The Psychology of Colors in Retail Stores

Before we get into tips for choosing the right paint colors, it’s important to understand the psychology of color in retail stores. We touched on this above, but it bears repeating.

Color has a profound effect on people’s emotions, behaviors, and decision-making. For instance, warm colors like red, yellow, and orange are known to create a sense of urgency and excitement, while cool colors like blue, green, and purple are calming and relaxing.

Here are a few more examples:

  • Red: Creates a sense of urgency and energy, encourages appetite and impulse buying.
  • Yellow: Ramps up energy and cheerfulness. Perfect for attracting window shoppers!
  • Orange: Creates a feeling of warmth, enthusiasm, and even stimulates creativity.
  • Green: Associated with health, nature, and freshness – perfect for stores that sell organic products.
  • Blue: Calming and relaxing, promotes a sense of trust, and can be ideal for high-end stores.
  • Purple: Symbolizes luxury, creativity, and imagination, and is a great choice for fashion and beauty stores. It’s interesting to note that purple has symbolized wealth and prestige for millenia, dating back to when purple dyes for fabrics were the hardest to come by. Some things never change!


Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint Colors for Retail Store

Start by considering not only the products you sell, but also the mood and vibe you want to curate. Your paint colors need to support and accentuate your brand, not create conflicting messages. Here are a few key considerations:

  1. Brand Identity: Again, your store’s paint colors should reflect your brand identity and values. For instance, if you sell eco-friendly products, you might want to choose green as your primary color. Luxury items? Go with deep purple or even black to create a feeling of exclusivity, opulence, and sophistication. 
  2. Target Audience: Consider the demographics of your target audience. Younger consumers might be more drawn to bright and bold colors, while older customers may prefer more muted and sophisticated hues. 
  3. Lighting: The type and amount of lighting in your store can greatly affect how colors appear. Natural light makes colors appear brighter, while artificial light can create a warmer or cooler effect. This is another reason why it can be extremely helpful to get a professional color consultation as you build your palette-there are a LOT of variables to consider.
  4. Size of the Space: The size of your retail space can also impact the paint color choice. Dark colors make a space feel smaller, while light colors can make it feel larger. Again, depending on your lighting.
  5. Surrounding Environment: Look at the colors of nearby buildings and businesses to ensure that your color choices complement the surrounding environment. It’s fine to stand out, but you don’t want to be out of place. There’s a difference!

Ideas For Unique & Eye-Catching Color Schemes

That covers the broad strokes: color psychology and key color considerations. Now we need to go deeper into ways that you can put your own spin on your color scheme and really make it work for your business. 

  1. Monochromatic: Choose different shades of the same color to create a cohesive and sophisticated look. 
  2. Analogous: Not to be confused with monochromatic, analogous means that the colors you choose are next to each other on the color wheel. It creates a nice sense of harmony and balance, with more personality than a monochromatic palette. 
  3. Complementary: Hop directly ACROSS the color wheel for a complementary palette. Think red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple, etc. Bold and striking!
  4. Accent Wall: Like the idea of a contrast but don’t want to go too wild? How about an accent wall? Choose a bold color for one wall and paint the rest with something more muted for a pop of color and interest. 
  5. Texture: Just in case you didn’t have enough paint options, you can play with textures too. Try different finishes, like matte, glossy, or metallic, to create a really striking look.
  6. Theme-Based: Create a color scheme based on the theme of your store. For instance, a beach-themed store could incorporate shades of blue and sandy beige.
  7. High Contrast: Choose two contrasting colors like black and white to go bold, modern, and chic.

Pro tip!

It’s easy to focus just on interior paint colors, and particularly those in your highest-traffic areas where people will be spending the most time shopping. We would encourage you to invest in total consistency, from main areas right through to even your bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc. The experience needs to follow the customer to really complete the effect. In other words, no surface is unimportant. 

We understand that there are sometimes limitations to what you can do for your exterior paint (depending on the type of property your retail space is located within). To the extent that you can, even if it’s a front door color, focus on the curb appeal. That may be a residential term, but it rings true for commercial properties too. It doesn’t matter how beautifully your interior palette is put together if it doesn’t reel people in off the street.

What’s Your Takeaway?

Retail painting shouldn’t be an afterthought, and you definitely shouldn’t just settle for an “easy” neutral. That might be the right fit in some cases, but you need to choose it intentionally. 

This is your chance to reinforce your brand, create an experience for your customers, and foster a real emotional response in everyone who walks through your door. So have fun with it, but take it seriously, and also partner with the right retail painting company

If you have more questions, contact us at New Look Painting! We’d love to chat with you and answer any additional questions.



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