The Best and Worst Paint Colors for Classrooms

Color plays an influential role in our minds, bodies, and overall mood. Some colors help us focus or make us happy, while others inspire serenity. Given this information, it’s no surprise that the color of a classroom can play a significant role in the workings of that classroom and its students.

But what colors best suit a classroom? Let’s find out.


The Best Classroom Colors

Some colors perform better in classrooms than others, inspiring everything from focused attention and creativity to calmness and reflection. The color you choose can significantly impact your classroom and students, so selecting a well-suited color is essential.

Here are a few of the best classroom paint colors:


This natural tone can inspire feelings of relaxation and reflection. Green paint works well in reading corners of classrooms, but it can also be an excellent fit for accent walls and other areas of quiet or calm.

However, it’s best to steer clear of those bland greens often used in institutional settings. Instead, opt for a pastel green or a rich jade to promote relaxation.


Cool shades of blue offer a similar effect to green paint, providing calming hues that create a sense of well-being. Like green, it works great in napping or reading corners. You can spice it up with brighter pops of color from furniture accents or decorations to balance the calming, focusing effects.


Often associated with happiness, yellow is an excellent choice for classrooms. It can promote happiness, comfort, relaxation, and even calmness. In addition, it can help keep students focused on a particular task and encourage creativity, so it’s an excellent choice for learning spaces, particularly elementary classrooms.

Of course, large fields of color can be overstimulating, so, like the rest of the color options, ensure you balance it with other shades.


Shades of red may help enhance creativity and improve alertness, making them a great choice for classroom applications. However, it’s important not to go overboard with an all-red classroom, as red can also spur anxiety and excessive excitement. So, to manage these while enjoying the benefits of this hue, combine it with another shade, like white.

The Worst Classroom Colors

Nearly any color has its place in a classroom, but almost every color can become too much, especially when classroom walls and decor are completely submerged in that particular color.

For example, consider plain white walls, a commonality in school classrooms. While bright white walls can make a classroom feel clean, a feeling of boredom and sterility can accompany it.

One study evaluating classroom wall colors found that white-walled classrooms had the lowest subjective evaluation and the worst learning performance of the tested colors.

Other colors can have a similar not-so-ideal effect. For example, too much red can inspire excessive excitement or anxiety, while too much blue can make students feel sleepy. It’s all about balancing the classroom paint colors you choose to maximize the benefits of each hue.


Add a Splash of Color to Your Classroom with McLean Company

Adding varying colors to your classroom can be a great way to spice up the space and inspire learning. If you’re ready to revamp your classroom with a fresh coat of paint, our experienced team at McLean Company can help.

Call us at (978) 774-4430 or complete our online contact form to start with a free quote.