How to Choose the Paint Color for a Retail Store

by Melinda Gaines; Updated September 26, 2017
Clothing store

The design of a retail store can mean the difference between success and a company not reaching its intended market. An important element of retail store design that is often overlooked is paint color. Choosing paint for a retail store is fairly easy, as long as you stay organized and always keep your store's niche in mind.

Clothing store interior

Choose the fixtures for your store, or evaluate what fixtures you already have. While paint can easily be re-done, fixtures are often permanent or hard to alter, so it is best to work around them from the beginning, rather than realize later that the lime green paint you put on your store walls doesn't match your shelving units.

Shelves of merchandise in store

Decide what type of atmosphere you want your store to have. For example, you may want your store to look very feminine, sophisticated, masculine, kid friendly, gothic or unisex.

Assorted colors of paint in cans with brush

Narrow down what colors are appropriate for your store's niche and target market. For example, if you own a lingerie store, you will want to go for a sultry, sensual feel. That would mean sticking to colors such as black, cream, gold, deep pink and red, as opposed to airy colors such as blues, greens and yellows.

Man in hardware store with paint samples

Visit a home improvement or paint store and take paint chip samples. These are free pieces of paper that display the name of a paint color, as well as a swatch of the color. While you're there, you can also ask a sales representative what the best type of paint for the material of your store walls. For instance, you may have brick walls instead of drywall.

Paint swatches and paint cans

Lay the paint chips on a flat surface that is covered with a plain white cloth or paper. This will allow you to arrange and sort the colors without taking into account the background they're laying on. Group the colors in a way that is appealing to you--if you like the color scheme, it is very likely it will be attractive to your customers as well.

Choose three paint colors for your store, based on the paint chip group you like the most. You will need a color for the wall (the more neutral of the three colors), a darker accent color, and a lighter accent color. The accent colors are what you will either use to paint fixtures, paint an accent wall, or accessorize the store with. For example, if you have a kid's toy store and want to use a color scheme of turquoise, light yellow, and primary green, you should paint the walls light yellow (since it's the most neutral of the three), and use the turquoise and green as accent colors.

About the Author

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article