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Colour explained: everything you need to know about green paint

Living room scene decorated with Lick Green 07 paint

Everyone’s always saying that they need more greenery in their life. So we listened. And made nine sorts of the stuff.

Here’s how to get the most out of our nine shades of green, to get clued up on your undertones, to learn what green best suits a north-facing room (and south for that matter), and to find meant-to-be-together, ready-made room palettes from Green 01 all the way down to Green 08. Because, let’s be honest, choosing green is no walk in the park, but when you get it right, boy it’s like having the freshness of the park bang on your doorstep.

(Tip: don’t paint your doorstep green).

Let's talk undertones

Colours are more complicated recipes than we give them credit for. There’s a whole load bubbling away beneath the surface that deserves proper attention, because that end shade you’re looking at on the tin is anything but one-dimensional.

Cue the undertones.

If you’re going to get this colour thing right, you’ve got to bear in mind the undertones. Think of them as the base notes in the wine, that, once you’ve got them all figured out will help you appreciate the taste ten times more and give you a banging palate (or palette in this case). 

Undertones are what will change up the temperature of a colour. At Lick, we use six for our greens, and you can expect them to do a little something like this to your room: 

  • Grey: in the paint industry adding grey is actually called adding a tone, so you can imagine the impact that it has on every colour. It’s going to make your room feel a bit more contemporary and a bit more crisp (depending on how much you add).
  • Blue: crisp? Go on then.
  • Blue-grey: that’s right, we merged and the result is a cool tone, but a soft one. There’s nothing stark about this undertone;
  • Yellow: get ready, things are about to get cosy and country.
  • Blue-yellow: another case of the merge. This one’s for when you want a middle-ground. Not too cool, not too warm, but (you guessed it) just right.
  • Brown: 100% warm but this is where you’ll get mega depth too.

Drop a tint. Throw some shade

Next up in this quick-fire colour theory class are tints and shades. 

Once you’ve got your head around the undertones, remember that there’s also the intensity of colour to wrestle with. In other words, do you want the lighter shade of pale or to head over to the dark side?

Add white, and colour buffs call that a tint. Add black, and they’ll say – now that’s a shade. As we said, this green business is no walk in the park, but your green scene is just a few tints, undertones and shades away…

Colour compatibility and room direction

Okay, so my room is north-facing and gets buckets of natural light. So that obviously means I need a god-knows-what sort of green.

Sound familiar?

People throw around room direction statements rarely with a clear conclusion as to what compass point suits what sort of colour. 

Until now that is.

Here's what green paint we recommend for rooms with different directions...

North-facing rooms: muted and warm green paint

North-facing rooms: northern light is the coolest of the lot. It casts a blue hue. So avoid cool greens like Green 03, Green 04, Green 06 and Green 08 (you could just about get away with Green 02) and look more to Green 01 (your most muted option), Green 05 (for mega richness) and Green 07 (for your biggest colour pop).

Wall showing Green 01 in varied natural light

Lick Green 01

Dining room scene decorated with Lick Green 07 paint

Lick Green 07

East-facing rooms: blue and grey green paint

East-facing rooms: you’ll see a lot of change in them. Whatever green you choose will look very different whether it’s sunset or sunrise. But easterly spaces have a tendency to look a bit bluer, so undertones of blue are a good shout on the whole. Green 02, Green 03 and Green 04 – we’re looking at you.

Kitchen scene decorated with Lick Green 02 paint

Lick Green 02

Wall showing Green 04 in varied natural light

Lick Green 04

South-facing rooms: cool and dark green paint

South-facing rooms: they have a golden glow going on and the good news is, they pretty much suit all greens. Use a cool green like Green 03, Green 06 or Green 09 and they’ll still feel modern, but if you want to keep the Scandi nature of Green 08, it’s best to leave that to a north or east-facing room.

Living room scene decorated with Lick Green 09 paint

Lick Green 09

Dining room scene decorated with Lick Green 06 paint

Lick Green 06

West-facing rooms: warm green paint

West-facing rooms: just like rooms that look to the east, westerly rooms are the most changeable. On the whole, they look all the better with a warmer green for company. So, swerve the grey or blueish greens and follow similar advice to north-facing rooms – warm greens like Green 01, Green 05 or Green 07.

Textured wall painted in Lick Green 05 paint

Lick Green 05

Wall showing Green 07 in varied natural light

Lick Green 07

In love with green but can’t decide which one would look better in your home? Worry no more. We offer 1-on-1 virtual colour consultations from the comfort of your armchair. Whether you’re looking to just get a second opinion on a palette you have in mind, or simply don’t know where to start - our colour specialists - such as Tash - are here to help you.

Book your video colourist session now, or learn more about our video colour consultancy here

Feeling inspired to go green? Our specialists answer all your green bedroom or living room questions here.

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