What are the best olive green paint colors? Designers and color experts share their top 7 shades

Olive green is a well-loved color, and for good reason. But what are the best shades on the market? Here, designers and color experts tell all

Three rooms painted with olive green colors
(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams; Behr; Adam Kane Macchia / BHDM Design)

If you've sorted through swatches and decided that olive green is the best color for your kitchen or living room, you're on the right track – the gorgeous shade brings depth and sophistication to any space. 

But the fact that you're set on olive green doesn't mean your job is entirely done. With such a wide selection of olive green shades available, the design world is truly your oyster.

To help you narrow down the best green paints, we spoke with interior designers and color experts – and they shared a wide array of their favorite olive green hues. This is a rundown of designers' most-used olive green shades, from light and subtle to dark and moody.

7 of the best olive green paint colors on the market

If you're in need of an expert recommendation, these interior designers and color pros have shared their favorite, tried-and-true olive green hues. You'll be successfully decorating with green walls in no time.

1. Dark Olive, Benjamin Moore

A dark olive green wall with a white chair and potted plant in front

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

'Dark Olive, a subdued green exuding richness and sophistication, brings the beauty of the outdoors indoors, evoking a tranquil sanctuary within your home,' says Hannah Yeo, senior manager of color marketing at Benjamin Moore.

The olive paint trend is ever-growing due to its depth and versatility, taking on different tones depending on lighting and placement. And Benjamin Moore's Dark Olive also achieves a subtle moodiness and earthy, organic atmosphere. Hannah says that the shade's 'natural allure' pairs beautifully with warm colors like creams, beiges and 'leathery browns.'

'To maintain balance in the space, bring in ample lighting or pair it with lighter hues throughout the room. Consider this versatile shade for your upcoming built-in projects, including cabinets, bookshelves and wainscoting, to infuse your space with timeless elegance,' she says.

Trish Knight, interior designer and co-founder of Vancouver-based Knight Varga Interiors, adds that Dark Olive is one of her go-to olive greens for its elevated, eye-catching look. She describes the shade as a 'sophisticated, dark gray-green that pairs with creams and light greys.'

'This color is suited to a moody dining room, primary bedroom or kitchen millwork,' says Trish.

2. Bancha, Farrow & Ball

Green painted walls by Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Bancha No.298 Modern Emulsion School House White No.291 Estate Emulsion by Farrow & Ball)

If you're on the hunt for a lighter, brighter shade of olive green, Bancha from Farrow & Ball comes highly recommended. Emma Beryl, founder of her design firm based in Brooklyn, says searching for an olive green shade can quickly lead to 'decision fatique,' with so many options available. But Bancha makes her list of top three shades along with Olive from Farrow & Ball and Oregano Spice from Behr.

'Washing an entire room in an olive green paint or using it for cabinetry feels so luxe and adds depth to your home,' says Emma.

Julia Baum, principal designer and founder of Julia Baum Interiors says Bancha is her favorite olive green for the atmosphere it brings to any comfort-forward area of the home.

'It has a deep feel that creates a sense of calm in any space. I love using it on millwork in a library or study, or a China cabinet – it acts as a neutral when paired with furnishings in earthy colors and creates a cozy feeling,' she says.

Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight, adds that this shade of olive green also pairs perfectly with natural wood and 'creamy whites,' creating a classic, timeless color palette suited for any home: 'The color Bancha by Farrow & Ball is a peaceful color that suits spaces intended for relaxation or concentration,' he adds.

3. Dusty Olive, Behr

An olive green room with large windows, a curved gray couch and a console table decorated with a lamp and artwork

(Image credit: Madigan Studios / Behr)

Earthy neutral paints are all the rage at the moment, and Dusty Olive from Behr is light and versatile enough to serve as a neutral base for any warm and welcoming space. Erika Woelfel, VP of color and creative services at Behr, calls the shade 'a muted yet complex earthy, green hue with gray undertones.'

'The softness of the color can warm up a space and create an inviting atmosphere. The color is the perfect choice for shiplap walls or in a sunroom where the natural light can optimize its dynamic nature,' she adds. 

In this living room, the shade pairs wonderfully with natural light, neutral-toned furniture, and plenty of fresh greenery present in artwork and house plants.

4. Messenger Bag, Sherwin-Williams

A dresser with a record player and vase in front of an olive green wall

(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

'This cool, dark green has a comforting, can-do vibe. Its gray undertone lets it pair wonderfully with soft white creamy hues,' says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, about the brand's Messenger Bag SW 7440.

Messenger Bag is a darker olive green that brings a sophisticated, moody tone to functional (yet still aesthetically pleasing) spaces. In this room, it covers both a wall and millwork, providing the perfect backdrop for a styled console table with all the living area essentials.

5. Pewter Green, Sherwin-Williams

Traditional green kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

Pewter Green from Sherwin-Williams – also recommended by designers as one of the best dark green paints and one of the best earthy neutrals – is an all-time favorite for good reason. It proves the perfect blend of light freshness and earthy depth, and works wonderfully in this kitchen, pictured above. When paired with lighter green tile and black accents, the shade truly shines.

'We love Sherwin Williams Pewter Green!  I used this color on the ceiling of a client’s dining room, says Jessica Cinnamon, principal and founder of Jessica Cinnamon Design.

6. Truly Olive, Behr

A room with brown armchairs, an olive green fireplace and a dog sitting on the floor

(Image credit: Behr)

'Truly Olive is a timeless green shade that evokes memories in the rolling hills of the French countryside,' says Erika, naming another tried-and-true stunning green from Behr with warm, neutral undertones. In this space, pictured above, the shade takes over a living room with a fireplace, picking up on the natural lighting and bright, white base shade.

'Use this olive green in a room with large windows to bridge the gap between the indoors and outdoors. Truly Olive complements lighter colors such as Chanoyu to create a bold contrast,' Erika adds.

7. Mediterranean Olive, Benjamin Moore

A bedroom painted green with a lamp on a side table

(Image credit: Adam Kane Macchia / BHDM Design)

Last, but certainly not least, is Mediterranean Olive from Benjamin Moore. Trish describes the shade as 'a rich green with gold undertones: 'It pairs beautifully with White Dove and would look great in a casual family room, kid's room or cottage,' she adds.

In this bedroom, it brings sophistication and a sleek sheen to a collected and slightly eclectic space, paired with a pop of unexpected red and natural textures. This shade has also been recommended as a favorite sage green paint by designers, a testament to its versatile nature and widespread appeal. 

With so many vetted options, from light and bright to dark and sophisticated, there's no room to go wrong with olive green paint. Layer with warm, inviting neutrals, and your room will be ready for hosting (and day-to-day life) in no time.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.