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Create Your Own Custom Brown Paint Color For The Bedroom

I have the formula for the custom brown paint color I created for our master bedroom makeover. You guys have been very patient. Several of you have asked for the color formula, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get it to you. It took a while to get all the photos together, edit them, and gather my thoughts before writing the post. The more detailed the post the longer it takes me.

I don’t mind at all if you use my custom paint color formula. If you like the color and want to try it on a project I do recommend that you have a small sample mixed up to be sure it’s the color for you. Computer monitors and phone screens often don’t represent colors well. I’m sure you are aware of that but just a heads up.

howt to select the perfect brown bedroom paint color

The starting point for the brown bedroom color hunt was the paint chip in the photo above. I stuck the paint chip in a file folder and saved it back in 2008. We bought a house in Florida when the JTS was working in Pensacola after retiring from the army. The house needed updating, and I enjoyed picking out the carpet, paint colors, and decor. After a long search through tons of paint chips, we selected the Young Gazelle color for our living room.

I picked out a few colors and we painted them on the wall and some of them were definite no’s. Hubby thought Young Gazelle was too dark but I convinced him it would be okay. Once the walls were all painted hubby liked the color. The rich brown added warmth and coziness to the room and didn’t make it look small at all. I decided to save the paint chip. Who knew when we might want to use the same color again?

Creating A Custom Brown Paint Color

Behr paint samples from Home Depot for brown bedroom walls

Look At Paint Chips

As it turns out we didn’t use the same color but it was the starting point and the new custom paint color is very close to the inspiration color. When I pulled the paint chip from the file I realized the brown had a slight yellow hue to it. Not sure I wanted that. I went to a couple of home improvement stores and gathered paint chips.

brown and griege paint colors for the bedroom

Have  Paint Colors Mixed In Sample Sizes

I ended up with 5 color choices and I had samples mixed in Behr Ultra Paint and Primer eggshell sheen (latex, water-based paint). The colors ranged from greige to brown. Greige is a hue you get when mixing a brown color and a gray color…..warm tone and a cool tone.

The colors were Domaine and Coastline Tan, HGTV Home Sherwin Williams paint colors……Tempered Allspice and Scented Candle, Valspar paint colors, and the Young Gazelle, which is an old Valspar paint color. I couldn’t find the paint chip but the formula was in the computer so I was able to get it mixed.

paint color chips for bedroom wall color

This is what the colors on the paint chips look like. As you can see there is some difference in color between the chips and my paint sticks and the samples on the wall, you will see in the next photo.

Paint Sample Boards

That’s the reason I say to get a sample mixed up and see if you like the color. My photography, along with the difference in lighting makes the colors look different on the wallboard samples, the paint sticks and the color chips.

make paint sample boards and tape them to the wall when selecting paint colors

How To Use The Sample Boards

In order to get a feel for how the paint would look on the bedroom walls I painted a sample of each color on a heavy piece of white paper. Next, I taped the color samples to the bedroom wall. The JTS and I looked at the samples at various times of day and in different lighting.I also moved the samples around to different walls in the bedroom and we studied the colors some more. I know I drove the JTS crazy.

how to choose paint colors for any room of your house

Paint Favorite Colors On The Wall

We picked out two paint colors and I painted a sample of each color on either side of the tall bedroom window. Guys, I admit I’m a stickler and hard to please sometimes. The greige color on the left was too gray for me and the one on the right which was the Young Gazelle had too much yellow.

mixing custom paint colors (2)

Start Mixing Colors Together

My motto is, if all else fails, start mixing colors. I mixed two of the sample colors with the Young Gazelle color and had those mixed in Behr paint samples. You can see the colors above. I was still leaning towards a gray hue and not the richer brown color. I never listen to the paint experts. I have mixed different sheen’s together like a flat paint with a satin or even primer with a semi-gloss paint. It always works for me.

I’m not telling you to go against the rules. That’s totally up to you. I never use oil-based paint so I don’t worry about that but I do mix all kinds of colors, paint brands, and sheens together. Give it a try. Back to my paint colors. The bit of Tempered Allspice I mixed with the Young Gazelle cut the yellowness. Okay, it probably didn’t have that much yellow but I noticed it.

brush paint colors on the wall in small areas when selecting paint colors for your home

Paint Mixed Together Paints on the Wall

I painted both of those samples on the wall and in the end we went with the combination of Young Gazelle and Tempered Allspice as our custom paint color. The browns with the gray undertones were just too much on the cool side for us.

Have Custom Brown Paint Color Mixed And Paint The Walls

We do love the rich custom brown paint color. It’s not too dark, just right, maybe like a rich latte color or a very light milk chocolate. We had the paint mixed in gallon-size Behr Ultra Paint at Home Depot.

how to prep for painting

Once the color choice was finally made, we started prepping the room for painting. I wrote a post on the 10 steps to prepping a room for painting when we painted the first bedroom and you can find it here.

how to get a room ready for painting

We painted the ceiling, closet, doors, and trim….everything.

how to paint the ceiling

The ceiling paint had a gray tint to it when hubby rolled it on. I noticed this in the first bedroom we painted and I was a little scared until I realized the ceiling paint had dried to white. I guess the gray tint is so you can see what you’ve painted and what you haven’t.



brown bedroom walls 3

The JTS always does the rolling of the walls and ceiling and I do the trim and cutting in. I don’t want anyone to look too closely at the line where the walls meet the ceiling. It’s a mess in some spots. My paint line is not nice and straight and when I tried to make the paint lines cleaner and straighter, they usually ended up more of a mess. So I gave up.

I guess the line where the wall and ceiling meet is not nice and straight and of course, there have been many coats of paint over the years and there are small imperfections in this area.

The ceiling/wall line isn’t something we naturally look at anyway when entering a room. In this case, that’s a good thing.

Harbor Breeze Centreville 52-in White Indoor Flush Mount Ceiling Fan with Light Kit

We put up a new ceiling fan because the old one was probably 40 years old….or older. I love this fan. We brought ours at Lowes. The blades are reversible and are white on the other side.

paint the master bedroom brown and decorate with shades of white (2)

That’s the story of the brown custom paint color and the bedroom makeover. The post about decorating the brown master bedroom is here.

custom color mix for master bedroom brown

The photo above shows the custom brown paint color formula in the Behr sample.

bedroom paint color is custom mix brown

This is the formula for the gallon of Behr Ultra Paint and Primer, eggshell sheen. Don’t know why the ratios are different from the sample but it’s the same paint color. I like to name my custom paint colors and I’m calling this one Luxe Brown.

Above the bed wall decor idea

In case you missed the architectural piece I painted to go above the bed you can find it here.

how to paint bedroom furniture white and distress the paint (2)

You can find the makeover for the dresser and the custom white paint formula I used here.

paint bedroom walls brown
Paint bedroom walls brown

Any thoughts on our brown custom paint color and creating your own custom color, whether for furniture, walls, decor, or whatever? I have a custom red color I mixed up for my furniture projects. It’s the pretty red color below. That wood trunk never looked better.

antiqued red cedar chest is a latex paint furniture project

I also applied dark wax to the trunk to age or antique the paint. You can find the tutorial here.

How to create your own custom paint color

Be sure and leave me a note and as always thanks for being here, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Loved the schooling on mixing colors. I noticed that you taped the samples directly on the wall. To me (and this may only be me!) I find that having the wall immediately adjacent to the potential color can skew my comprehension of the new color. I always leave about a 4″ white border around each sample, so I can see the new color for what it is and then, of course, how it looks at various times of the day.