The Goods: Paint and Colour

From colour options to material formulations, paint companies are reacting to our feelings regarding the state of the planet.

Blue Nova | Benjamin Moore

An outer space-inspired blend of blue and violet shades has been named the company’s 2024 Colour of the Year. “An alluring mid-tone that balances depth and intrigue with classic appeal and reassurance,” said Andrea Magno, Colour Marketing & Development Director at Benjamin Moore. “The Colour Trends 2024 palette tells a story of duality, juxtaposing light against dark, warm and cool, showcasing complementary and contrasting colour pairings. These contrasts invite us to break away from the ordinary to explore new places and collect colour memories that shape the hues used in our homes.”  

Upward | Sherwin-Williams

Representing “the gentle forward momentum in all of our lives,” says Sue Wadden, director of colour marketing at Sherwin-Williams of the company’s 2024 Colour of the Year, “it brings to life that carefree, sunny day energy that elicits a notion of contentment and peace. With this colour, we invite our consumers to take a pause and infuse a new sense of ease and possibility into their spaces, one that doesn’t overwhelm, but rather establishes meditation and tranquility.”

Cracked Pepper | Behr Paint

“As we look into 2024, creating a sense of comfort and belonging will continue to drive design decisions. But now, as life returns to its more familiar rhythms, it’s time to allow our senses to come alive,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of Colour and Creative Services at Behr Paint Company. “From heightening the aromas of a dining room to feeling the softness of a living area, Cracked Pepper enhances the natural expression in any space.”

Hair of the Dog | Alkemis Paint

Now available to the trades in Canada, this new “wellness” paint formulation contains earth minerals such as a clear quartz base (believed to encourage balance, harmonization of the chakras, and facilitation of deep energy cleansings) and renewable potassium silicate, and are free from toxic pigments, hazardous organic pollutants (HAPs), plasticizers, preservatives, biocides, and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), and the manufacturing process is 100 per cent emission-free. Even the can considers the environment: made of steel, it can be recycled almost infinitely.

Mellow Mood | Clare

A little lighter than the startup company’s best-selling Current Mood, this cool gray-green complements neutrals or contrasts well with a colour pop. As with the rest of the catalogue, the new shade is formulated to be zero-VOC, GREENGUARD Gold certified, and free of toxic air contaminants.

Illumina | BeautiTone

The name is derived from the Latin word for “illuminate” and represents “a sense of careful optimism for the future,” said Kristen Gear, Lead Design & Colour Specialist, BeautiTone Paint and Home Products. “With ‘Illumina’, Canadians can create a space that feels both engaging and relaxing, a combination created in part by introducing a hint of red into the yellow.”

Satin | SICO

“As a society, we’re carrying the lessons of introspection and the importance of calm into the future. Coupled with a renewed sense of excitement for the endless possibilities of the future, consumers’ preferences are shifting away from stark, cool shades and looking to colours that invigorate a space,” said Martin Fuchs, PPG senior marketing manager, Sico paint brand. “Satin is the perfect representation of these sentiments with its cheerful yellow base grounded in a calming beige undertone.”

Renew Blue | Valspar

A balanced blue with a touch of greyed sea-green that focuses on wellness and comfort, “Renew Blue is inspired by fleeting elements like fog, mist, clouds, and glacier lakes,” said Sue Kim, Valspar director of colour marketing. “Blue is a classic shade that has become the new neutral for today’s home and can be mixed and matched to fit a variety of design styles and applications.”

Colour Cast

While paint companies plant their flags on a colour they believe will trend for the upcoming year, global forecasting companies make it their business to prognosticate much further down the timeline. For example, WGSN (focusing on consumer and design trends) and sister company Coloro (focusing on colour) have announced the colours they believe will be adopted by 2026.

“Our Key Colours for A/W 25/26 reflect urgency, repair and reassurance as we face new necessities in this new reality globally,” said Urangoo Samba, Head of Colour for WGSN. “Acceleration is the overarching theme of our A/W 25/26 Global Colour Forecast. As the climate crisis brings chaos and strange omens of decline, we will see an acceleration of change, both good and bad.”

 Five colours are highlighted in the Forecast with Future Dusk the most prominent, singled out as the 2025 Colour of the Year. “2025 will be the year of strategic imagination, when individual and collective creativity will be harnessed to generate new economic and ecological solutions,” says WGSN in a release. “Future Dusk aligns with this theme, sitting between blue and purple, and bringing a sense of mystery and escapism through its dark and moody qualities. This surreal and otherworldly shade also has a celestial and futuristic character, inspired by the emergence of the second space age. It aligns with themes of moving from darkness to light, dusk to dawn, preparing us for new horizons.”