Choosing Paint Color: Sabrina Soto’s Favorite Colors

Choosing Paint Color. Choosing the right paint color can often be the most difficult task of any design project. There are myriad colors to choose from. Most decorators and designers have a special list of “go-to” colors. Colors they love and can always count on to look fabulous. If you’re not sure what color to choose, this is a great place to start. I love checking out what colors other designers have on their lists! I often refer to them when I’m looking for the perfect color for a project.

Last summer, I attended the HGTV presentations at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival.  It’s something they do every year and I’ll be going again this year, too. (And blogging about it here!) What does this have to do with choosing paint color? Well…Sabrino Soto, host of The High/Low Project and one of my favorite HGTV designers, gave a fabulous presentation. One of the things she shared with everyone was a list of six of her favorite neutral paint colors.  She’s a big fan of Benjamin Moore Aura Paint. It’s eco-friendly and you’re only supposed to need one coat of paint. I put together a chart of Sabrina’s favorite colors last year; I see it pop up on Pinterest every now and again. She’s added more colors to her list since then, so I thought it was time for me to make an updated chart. The graphic is a bit on the long side, but I wanted to make sure I got all 13 colors in. Yup! A baker’s dozen!

Choosing Paint Color

Choosing Paint Color: A list of designer Sabrina Soto's favorite paint colors

NOTE: The code for Shaker Beige is incorrect.
The correct code is HC-45. So sorry for the typo.

These colors may render slightly different on different monitors, so I suggest stopping by a Benjamin Moore store to check out the color chips and buy some samples. Before making a final decision, it’s always a good idea to put some paint up in the room to see how it looks at different times of the day.

Do you have a favorite color on this list?


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  1. 1


    I can honestly say I like them all! When we added a master bath/bedroom back in 2002, I used a very pale yellow on the top half of the wall and a color that can best be described as a fairly deep khaki on the bottom. Up until the day we moved a few weeks ago, I can honestly say it not only looked as new as the day it was done, I was still not tired of it. A friend once told me that if you can’t really describe a color exactly, it’s probably a good choice. I know that sounds strange, but think about it. Colors that you hear yourself saying ‘it’s kinda a beigy greyish color’ as opposed to ‘cobalt blue’ or ‘fire engine red’ tend to be more neutral and we don’t tire of them as easily, not to mention they seem to be more versatile.

    I like Sabrina too, and I’m jealous you got to go to her presentation! lol

    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      I know what you mean, Doreen. It’s like the color you can’t name has so much personality, one word just can’t describe it.

    • 3


      I love that comment about “can’t really describe a color exactly”! I once was doing a project and needed a color wash over the base coat. (Yes that was a few years ago when that was more popular…haha!) I mixed up some left- over paints to get a custom color. Whenever anyone asked me “What color is that? I just love it!”, I’d say “some kind of yellow”. That’s the name I put on the container ;-)

    • 6

      Peggy Pardo says

      I know what you mean, Shannon! It’s such a commitment when the paint actually goes on the walls. It’s nice to have a fabulous pro narrow down the choices!

  2. 7


    This is funny.. but I really like the 13th color that say Sabrina Soto’s favorite paint colors on it.. lol Do you know if this is a paint color by BM.. or just a random color?

  3. 13

    Ginny says

    over the summer we painted all of the woodwork in our house white, and the walls in BM Shaker Beige. I could NOT be happier! The color goes with anything and everything looks clean and fresh!

    • 14

      Peggy Pardo says

      It’s such a fabulous color. I bet your house looked beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Ginny. :)

  4. 17

    C.J. says

    I really like the “Silver Fox” color a lot! However, I’m not sure if it can be used as an “exterior” paint color. Do you know if it can, Peggy? If so, I’m so thankful to have finally found the right color to paint the exterior of our home! It’s only taken me about 3 years to find it (or to “name it” rather!) Thank you Peggy!

    • 18

      Peggy Pardo says

      I called Benjamin Moore and they said that Silver Fox is available as an exterior color. So you’re good to go, C.J.! :)

  5. 19

    Misty says

    You have the same code for Shaker Beige and Shenandoah Taupe. AC-36 is the Taupe and Shaker Beige is HC-45. I love lists of paint colors and hoard chips! Another little collection to add. Thanks!

    • 20

      Peggy Pardo says

      Thank you so much for noticing the typo!!! Can’t believe I missed that. :( I’ll make a note of it on the post.

  6. 21

    Anita says

    I have been trying to decide on paint colors for a mudroom, powder room, and laundry room that adjoin one another. This list helped me quite bit! I’m going with dry sage for the mudroom and laundry room, and Spanish olive for the powder room. Since the mudroom gets no sunlight and the laundry room gets quite a bit, the same color looks different in each of those rooms. Thanks so much for posting this list!

    • 22

      Peggy Pardo says

      You’re very welcome, Anita! So glad this post helped you out. That’s what this blog is all about! :)

  7. 23

    Screendoorgirl 3 says

    Great post! I love to explore paint colors, even if I’m not painting at that moment. It’s good to do homework. I know painting is relatively inexpensive, but I never want to feel so-so about a new color in a room. I want to love it! I will pin this and refer back to it. Thanks..

    • 24

      Peggy Pardo says

      You’re very welcome. I’m with you on paint colors; I want to love it, too. Happy you like the post. Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment. :)

  8. 25

    Anita says

    Our powder room adjoins our mud room and laundry room. I just painted the powder room Spanish olive, which I love. I’m thinking of painting the mud room and laundry room dry sage or Shaker beige but can’t decide! Help!

    • 26

      Peggy Pardo says

      Either color would work great, Anita. Dry Sage will bring in more green and it’s a bit darker, while Shaker Beige is lighter and more neutral. It’s really up to you which way you want to go. :)

  9. 27

    Margaret Agnello says

    Question-I’m planning on putting a board and baten wainscot in my kitchen/dining area. Should the darker color go on top or bottom ? Can’t decide which combo to use.

    • 28

      Peggy Pardo says

      Hi Margaret! I love board and batten done in white with the color on top. Are you planning on going with white, staining it, or painting it out in another color?

  10. 29


    This is a very safe palette with basically all neutrals and one accent color. I like the grays and have used all of these colors one time or another. The only color that I know my clients wouldn’t care for is the Sage. For some reason now they are all standoffish when it comes to greens. I love the Navy and Grays but stay aways from beiges.

  11. 31

    JT says

    My kitchen has uba tuba granite and light alder cabinets, would the dry sage look good or would a different color be better.

    • 32

      Peggy Pardo says

      Almost missed your comment, JT. My apologies for taking so long to reply. I think Dry Sage would look lovely with your cabinets and granite. It’s neutral enough, yet adds a bit of color. :)

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