Benjamin Moore No Fail Paint Colors | Bedrooms | part II



Howdy. Sorry to leave you hanging, however, I’m back to give you the colors for your upstairs bedroom spaces. In case you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, this post is a continuation of the Benjamin Moore No Fail paint color post where I gave a tried-and-true-no-fail color scheme using all Benjamin Moore Colors for a stressed out pregnant homeowner that needs the paint colors yesterday.

Here is your upstairs floor plan


For the purposes of this exercise, I am going to assume that you  already have a boy and a girl and you’re having a baby and don’t want to know the sex. None of my business, and of course, up to you…but you’re going to find out sooner or later… Why not make life easier for yourself and find out now so you can plan ahead? Just my opinion, of course. :]

One thing I hate more than I can possibly say are nurseries that dumb down. Ya know…Cute little ducks and boats and other stuff. Hey, put up some antlers and a photo of Katy Perry. Just kidding. Let’s face it. Nurseries are for the adults, not the babies. Babies don’t give a rat’s ass where they are, what color their room is or if their linen is from Pratesi or Target. We all know that their raison d’etre is to sleep, eat and eliminate and if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll have a couple of adorable dumplings who will projectile vomit for 7 months straight. That sure was fun! Besides, they are only going to be babies for about 10 seconds. Really. Blink, and you’ll soon be humming Pomp and Circumstance!

I want your children to grow up happy and self-assured, as of course, I know that you do too, so let’s start by giving them sophisticated colors to help give them the best start in life and a taste for the finer things.

Before I get into our palette, please know that this is not in any way, my exhaustive list of colors. I’ve done dozens of bedrooms that have ranged from pink, purple, fire engine red, apple green, gold, khaki and many, many shades of blue and so forth. And quite frankly, they all looked great! However, for the purposes, of your needing to get this going, I’m going to give you a cohesive palette of neutrals that will be a natural extension of our first floor palette.

And once again, we are going with Benjamin Moore No Fail Paint Colors

So, let’s begin with our sexless baby. We are going to paint the new nursery, OYSTER SHELL 864. Today. Yes, this very day, I did a paint consult with new clients who are pregnant and just moved in— yesterday! We looked at several shades of gray. [far less than 50, however] ;] We looked at some fantastic choices like Stonington Gray HC-170 and Wickham Gray  HC-171 but Oyster shell gave us the truest pale gray; really, really pretty.

Benjamin Moore no fail paint colors


Next is your daughter’s room. She is eight. Have you started picking out prom dresses? If not, you better get cracking! I’m really only half-joking. Here’s the deal. IF you have a precocious daughter, she may insist on painting her room a certain color, like PINK, or PURPLE. Almost every little girl wants a purple bedroom. Right? IF she really wants a purple bedroom, please do not take her shopping for purple paints. OR fine. Let her pick out her “color.” And whatever she picks, ignore it and paint it AFRICAN VIOLET 2116-50. It is a really, really pretty soft purple with enough gray in it to keep your food down. She will love it too! I promise you that she will not know the difference. I have a client who just painted her daughter’s room this color and it’s very nice. Yes, yes, I know… I am telling you to LIE to your child. Well… it’s just a little lie and truly for the better good of all. If she insists on pink. Then paint it WARM BLUSH 892. This is a very soft pale pink that is as it says— warm. No bubble gum or pepto bismol please.

However, if she doesn’t have any real feeling one way or the other, then here is my recommendation. FEATHER GRAY 2127-60. This is a very sophisticated gray, a little darker than Oyster Shell with just the right amount of blue in it. It goes with absolutely everything.


original source unknown

Michael Penney; Photography by Angus Fergusson House & Home benjamin-moore-no-fail-paint-colorsMichael Penny

photo: Angus Fergusson

Your son is four. Okay. I know… you probably want to paint his room blue. Fine, if you must. Then, go with PHILIPSBURG BLUE -HC 159. I also like BUCKLAND BLUE HC-151. This is a bit warmer and brighter if you prefer that. However… A few years ago, I painted a son’s room. [actually, to be fair, he was a young adult son] this color. And I realize that you have a little boy. However, I am going to give you a color that is TOTALLY sick with wood colors and bits of black and you could add red, blue, white, beige, whatever you want and it’s going to look fantastic. The color is CROWNSVILLE GRAY HC-106.

boys room 011

Lauren Liess

This is probably my all-time fave boy’s room– very, very handsome!


Hickman Interiors

Next is your room.


You could go with lots and lots of colors– I guess it depends on how much sex you want. ;]

Alright. There are two schools of thought on this. One is using lovely pale peachy pinky tones which will make a woman look her very, very best. OR, deep dark rooms, rich, handsome rooms. I’m fine, either way. However… there is nothing sexier than a dark bedroom. I’m not saying painting your room dark will mean that you’ll have more sex. You probably won’t. But you might feel sexier in it. But by all means, please let me know if it works!

Here are two absolutely drop dead gorgeous bedrooms that are actually painted BLACK!

mary-mcdonald-sexy-dark-bedroom-Mary McDonald

kips bay show house 2012-alexa-hampton-dark-sexy-bedroomAlexa Hampton

Of course, there’s a lot of other fabulousness going on as well. And don’t worry, I’m not going to make you paint your room black. [I won’t ever make you do anything unless I can plainly see that it’s a BIG mistake]

However, I know that this color is still going to make a lot of you extremely nervous. It is verrry dark, but very, very rich. And that is NARRANGANSETT GREEN HC 157.  Actually, it also has a lot of blue in it.


Barbara Westbrook

I absolutely adore her work! Fabulous designer! My favorite part of this bedroom is that exquisite painting in the back. LOVE!



Or, You could also just paint it white. COTTON BALLS 2145-70 I’m totally fine with that.

Marcus MohonMarcus Mohon

I know, I still owe you two  bathrooms and the color palette. I’ll put together the palette later on. That part takes quite a while, but I wanted to get this out sooner rather than later.



  • Barbara Loyd - April 20, 2017 - 6:06 PM

    I love the mural wallpaper from Anthropologie. Could you move the screen into another room?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 20, 2017 - 10:29 PM

      Sorry, it’s a one-bedroom 800 sq foot apartment and a very large screen. There is no other place for it that works.

      And I don’t know what the problem is… I LOVE IT THERE!!!

      It has lived behind my desk or dining table for 17 years!ReplyCancel

  • David - April 15, 2017 - 8:50 PM

    Hi, thanks for your suggestions. You mentioned blue for a boy’s room, and I’ve also read if you don’t do it properly, blue paint will not look good in a master bedroom. What is your opinion about a Hale Navy or Newburyport blue for the master. I’m a single male in his 30’s and wanted some contrast from the beige colors in the rest of my house.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 15, 2017 - 9:09 PM

      Can’t say from where I’m sitting David. I would hire a designer or color specialist if you are struggling with your colors. Or you could consider purchasing my paint color and palette collections.ReplyCancel

  • Betzie - March 28, 2017 - 9:52 PM

    Hi Laurel, I’m looking for a gray that doesn’t read green. I have a very soft pink quilt and I want gray walls and a crisp white trim for the backdrop…blush faux silk curtains. Would oyster shell work? It looks quite pretty here but of course I need to test it. Just love gray with pink!ReplyCancel

  • Christina Tietz - March 16, 2017 - 1:04 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    I am selecting paint colors right now and am having a terrible time with my master bedroom. There are a lot of windows and most of the paint colors I have tried in there look pink and purple (where they look fine anywhere else in the house) and at sunset NOTHING looks good. The painter starts on Friday with the ceilings and I am still at a loss as to what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 16, 2017 - 2:02 AM

      Hi Christina,

      I wish I could beam myself over to help you but alas… I can’t. In the menu, you will see a link for my paint guide, (or in the sidebar and at the end of every post). It’s for sale but it features 144 of the best of the best Benjamin Moore paint colors. I wrote it for people who are struggling with their colors. It’s in two parts, the paint collection and then palettes made from the colors.ReplyCancel

  • Sldill - December 27, 2016 - 11:55 PM

    Is there a link to 3rd of this series to include 2 addl bathrooms and palette that is mentioned at end of this post?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 28, 2016 - 12:17 AM

      Hi Sidill,

      I don’t believe I ever wrote that post. However, there are tons of palettes on the blog.ReplyCancel

      • Sldill - December 28, 2016 - 12:56 AM

        Oh okay. I do so like the palette provided in these two posts that I was anxious to see what was selected for the master bath and children’s bath of this fictitious home. I’ll search around the site as well as the other shades on the selected paints for coordinating colors….unless you might have colors for those addl rooms in mind? 😉ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 28, 2016 - 1:15 AM

          I don’t have any suggestions off-hand. It depends what else is going in the rooms. There is a post about some lovely soft gray colors for bathrooms. And a lot of posts about palettes. There’s a search box at the top of the sidebar which is good for finding stuff. I use it all the time!ReplyCancel

  • Mary duffy - December 5, 2016 - 7:03 AM

    Dear laurel,
    Thank you for putting together this list of no-fail paint colors. I already have a lot of the colors in my home, white dove, revere pewter, horizon, Kendall charcoal, etc but it was nice to have them pulled together and endorsed as a collection. So, since thanksgiving I repainted the living room revere pewter and yesterday painted the family room crownsville gray. What a fantastic color. Actually both colors are great, but crownsville gray is outstanding. Really rich olive green without any of the drabness. I had never even heard of it but the fact that you recommended it and Lauren lies put it in her son’s room I figured the two of you knew what you were talking about so I went with it. So glad I did. I always google a paint color before I try it to see who used it where, what colors go with it, etc and the weird thing about crownsville gray is the only interior picture is the the one of Lauren’s son’s bedroom and the link back to your blog–all the rest are for using the color on the exterior. Guess it’s our little secret, eh!?
    . PS if I have time before Christmas I’m painting the laundry room Kendall charcoal. I have to say it was a total surprise that you suggested it for a laundry room, but it makes total sense with the white machines and cabinets. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 5, 2016 - 12:12 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for such a lovely message. Glad it all worked out for you!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - October 29, 2016 - 11:21 PM

    What color do you recommend painting the interior of closets and pantries?ReplyCancel

  • Lina - August 11, 2016 - 12:59 AM

    Need some help. I am so not gifted in the area of decorating and def not choosing paint. We are signing on our we home tomorrow. Our last home we painted all rooms different colors and we hated keeping all the paint cans bc of course each room took just a little over a gallon. So bc budget is tight my hubby and I decided we could only afford to paint the bedrooms and for ease of keeping track/storage we are painting all bedrooms the same color. So the seller painted the general living area a buttery yellow. The bedrooms are both north and south facing. The master and my 4 year old daughters room faces south west with decent window light. My sons and guest rooms face north west. The guest room has some shade ftom a tree. Any suggestions on a light neutral that will “flow” with the yellow and work well with the varied directions?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 11, 2016 - 1:05 AM

      Hi Lina,

      I’m sorry but can’t give paint advice in comments. One reason is that I can’t choose a color based on a description. You might consider purchasing my curated paint collection. The information is located in the sidebar of any blog post. ReplyCancel

    • Lina - August 11, 2016 - 1:02 AM

      Disregard I see you don’t give adviceReplyCancel

  • Laurie - May 6, 2016 - 3:54 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I’m obsessed with your blog – so enjoyable, entertaining and informative. As the mother of a stereotype, I am taking your advice to lie about the purple paint. I purchased a sample of BM African Violet 2116-50 and asked the paint mixer to leave off the label. Furthermore, when my precocious daughter asked me about the shade of purple I picked up, I LIED TO HER FACE and said it was her top choice from an array of strips. The lies continued when I mislabeled the poster board she will paint tonight in the name of the color she thinks she chose. Surely I’ll go to hell or she’ll go to therapy for this. As an aider and abetter, could you please tell me which of the following ceiling colors could further neutralize the shock of purple in this room with windows facing North and East? Kendall Charcoal HC-166, Gray Owl 2137-60, Abalone 2108-60 or another gray? Or would African Violet be calm enough that a white such as White Dove OC-17 or Cotton Balls OC-122 suit the ceiling? Thanks, LaurieReplyCancel

  • christina whitton - March 18, 2016 - 2:23 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    Ran into your space as I was researching on pinterest. I have a 4yr old son and a 7yr old daughter that share a room. Their room is currently yellow but I’m soooo sick of it. Of course he wants blue, she wants pink. I totally turned that down so he changed his mind to bright green and she to grey. What would you recommend as a neutral color that would work for them both? Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 18, 2016 - 5:29 PM

      Per the note above, I cannot give out recommendations for colors in the comments. ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 18, 2016 - 2:57 PM

      Thank you Christina,

      Please see above (the social media links) and below that I cannot give individual advice.ReplyCancel

  • LiaR - March 1, 2016 - 1:10 AM

    Hi Ms. Bern. I love the photo of the bedroom painted NARRANGANSETT GREEN HC 157. Do you know what sheen may have been used? Also, would you recommend a color for an adjoining bathroom? These rooms are East facing and get a fair amount of natural light. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 1, 2016 - 1:32 AM

      Hi Lia,

      I hope you will understand…

      I’m not doing paint consultations at this time. The blog is meant as general advice and not to help readers with their individual problems. For that, one has to pay a hefty hourly fee. :]

      In addition, it’s impossible for me to recommend colors without having a ton of other information. It would be like you asking what earrings to wear with your black shoes, but I don’t know what the dress is.

      For information about the sheen of the paint, perhaps try the office of Barbara Westbrook. It’s her room. ReplyCancel

  • Foued - February 10, 2016 - 9:29 PM

    I want your help. I like your side. Your words are interesting. I got here by miskate and I started reading. I became interested in the topic and I am thinking it I could use your texts on my paper, only with the quotation. Please answer, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • sharon kaitz - January 22, 2016 - 9:27 AM

    Laurel, I have been up 2 nights looking at colors I feel like crazy person. I am a painter of painting so I can’t pick out my own house colors. you have saved me. Thank you very much!

    If you want to see some blues, I just finished a collaberation ? with Comme de Garcoin Tokyo. You can look up my name on their website.
    my wesite is http://www.sharonkaitz,com
    Again Thank you so very much. you have great taste and the Farrow and Ball matches are terrific.
    PAINT ON!!!!

  • brendarai - December 15, 2015 - 9:58 AM

    Narrangansett green HC-157: an at home artist remarks, so much to say on the dark dark color choices. i totally agree with the total rich dark color throughout the entire apartment. as long as the apartment is embellished with architectural details. so that the dark color can complement the room and that the architectural details are colored with dark browns. ” What i’d love to read about and what i am deciding as a dark color choice or a benjamin moore color competition winner.” under the sea green, regent green an invisible green, evening dove vs hale navy, as it is reminiscent of the sea and earth, salamander, an almost perfect black which offers an invisible green. more of these important darks! which should be commented on… please reply, brenda rai 4207 @ g mail . comReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 15, 2015 - 10:39 PM

      Hi Brenda,

      Well, BM makes 3,800 colors. Of course, I am not familiar with all of them. But here’s what I suggest.

      Do a google search on the colors you are interested in to read if anyone has discussed them on any forums. Short of that, create your own sample boards.ReplyCancel

  • Lesley - October 6, 2015 - 2:47 PM

    Can you reconfirm the number of crownsville gray? I found it as HC-106?
    106 is coming up as a peach color. Thanks & love your blog!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 6, 2015 - 3:47 PM

      Oh Wow! Good catch Lesley! Thank you for pointing it out. Yes, you are right, it is HC-106. I just fixed it. This is one very good reason why I always specify paints with both the number AND the name!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - September 27, 2015 - 8:16 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    That boys room is Lauren Liess. I read her blog and recognized her fern star fabric! Check it out…

    By the way I just found your blog and I am learning a lot! Thanks!


    • Laurel Bern - September 28, 2015 - 12:50 AM

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you so much for that! I love Lauren’s work! And glad that you’re enjoying the blog!ReplyCancel

  • Evan - August 5, 2014 - 8:03 PM

    Hi Laurel
    I have just read all of your BM paint color articles and I think I must do something in cotton balls, stat. In the meantime I have been convinced by something I saw online that BM Early Morning Mist would be a great complement (walls) to the silvery gray cabinets in my kitchen. Do you have any experience with Early Morning Mist?
    Many thanks,

    • Laurel Bern - August 6, 2014 - 12:05 AM

      Hi Evan,

      Yes, cotton balls is a great white. I’ve used it for trim many times and also once in a bedroom for both walls and trim. There was a lot of moulding and it looked wonderful! It’s especially good in north facing rooms because it is such a clean-nongray white. I have not use Early Morning Mist. I was just looking at it. It has a lot of green in it and of course, gray, but that is a good thing. What I recommend is getting a quart of it made up. [assuming it comes in quarts] and make a large sample on poster board. Then hold it up vertically next to the cabinets or if you don’t have them yet, a sample of the cabinet color. best, LaurelReplyCancel

  • veronika - July 12, 2014 - 9:46 PM

    Nevermind—I see you did link to my blog—just want to make sure you know it’s reverw pewter by BM!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel - July 12, 2014 - 10:02 PM

      Hi, I love that color! The post is all hypothetical. I chose a pale gray nursery close to the color I was describing. But thanks for letting me know. GORGEOUS nursery! And yes, I spend apt of time searching for the ORIGINAL source. Drives me nuts when someone puts Pinterest. Haha!ReplyCancel

      • Laurel - July 12, 2014 - 10:05 PM

        Sorry cell phone typos. Am at americasmart in Atlanta and I think my legs have melted into my bed. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Veronika - July 12, 2014 - 9:45 PM

    Hi there! I see you used a photo of my daughter’s nursery (the light gray room with the white iron crib.) can you please link to my blog? Thanks 🙂 Also, the color is not oyster shell, it’s BM revere pewter.ReplyCancel

  • Tone on Tone Loi Thai - June 21, 2014 - 10:23 AM

    Great post, Laurel! Thanks for sharing these colors – jotting them down on my notebook. Yes, I still use a notebook 🙂 I’m going to try Oyster Shell for a bathroom in Maine. Ciao, LReplyCancel