If you’re a newbie at DIY painting and you don’t know what paint color palette to pick for your walls, you’ve come to the right place.

The video will show the basic color schemes:

  • Monochromatic
  • Analogous
  • Complementary

Basic Color Schemes

There are many types of color schemes but for beginners, let’s stick to the three mentioned above.

Monochromatic Color Scheme

The monochromatic (or tonal) color scheme is the easiest to pull off. Each segment (spine) in the image below is a monochromatic palette, which shows the tints (color+white), tones (color+grey), and shades (color+black) of one color.

Basic Color Schemes To Help You Create a Paint Palette | MyBoysen
Monochromatic colors on each spine

Colors with white are also known as pastels.

To understand more about tints, tones and shades, click this link.

This is the easiest color scheme to use if you are a newbie at DIY painting. Just choose two or three colors in a segment of the color that appeals to you. Using the tint, tone or shade of a particular color makes a room’s color story more interesting. Your room will look relaxing but not bland.

Analogous Color Scheme

An analogous color scheme is composed of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.Basic Color Schemes To Help You Create a Paint Palette | MyBoysen

This color scheme creates a natural harmony and can be very pleasing to the eye. This scheme is similar to the monochromatic color scheme, but it is richer and more complex because this combines colors from different hues. You can add more impact if you use different values (lightness or darkness) of the colors, or change the saturation (brilliance) of the colors.

Basic Color Schemes To Help You Create a Paint Palette | MyBoysen
Blue Palette

All the colors above belong to the blue color family. The topmost rectangle on the right is the most desaturated, and the lowest rectangle on the left has the darkest “value”.

Complementary Color Scheme

The complementary color scheme are opposite colors in the color wheel.

Basic Color Schemes To Help You Create a Paint Palette | MyBoysen

The complementary colors based on the image above are red-green, orange-blue, and yellow-violet. This is a high contrast, high impact, and vibrant color combination. Any room painted with this color scheme is going to have an energetic vibe. This color scheme would work well in home offices and playrooms.

Tip: Use this color combo sparingly as accents in a space. This is best paired with neutrals to calm it down.

Photo Inspirations for the 3 Color Schemes

Dreamy Pinks


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A post shared by Art & Removable Wallpaper (@bohoartandstyling) on

This monochromatic color scheme of different tones of blush makes this child’s bedroom warm and inviting. Traditionally, girls’ bedrooms have the darker Barbie pink or fuchsia shades. But the softness of blush emits a more restful and subtle vibe.


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This analogous color scheme on the wall shows three colors that sit next to each other in the color wheel, although these have different values and saturations.


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No one can overlook these stairs with the orange and blue tiles. This complementary color scheme makes this space a statement in itself. Take note how the white wall makes the colors stand out.

Ask yourself what kind of effect you want in a room. Subtle and restful? Choose monochromatic. Do you want to increase the energy a bit and give the space more flair but still keeping it chill? Choose analogous. Is vibrant and energetic the vibe you want? Complementary is the way to go.

For more tips about colors, watch the other Color Me Boysen videos:

The Color Wheel Using Boysen Colorants
How to Mix Colors for Tints and Tones



Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions (https://talkinglions.com). She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special. Annie learned interior styling while managing her own wholesale business in the Netherlands, importing high-end, handmade home furnishings to stock four outlets and a showroom in the country.

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