When it comes to professional video production and photography, lighting and color are more important than many people think. One particular aspect that you should never overlook when setting up your photography or video studio is the paint color. Your studio wall color plays a huge role in the level of control you get with your lighting.
The best paint color for a video studio is a neutral color like white, black, or gray. These colors have different reflective properties and give you varying levels of control with your lighting. White is more commonly used because of its brightness and the amount of light it bounces around.
While these paint colors are the most preferred for video studio walls, each has its implications. This article will discuss the pros and cons of using these colors to paint your video studio. You’ll also discover a few other alternatives and why you may consider using them.
White is probably the most used color for photography and video studios. Because of its brightness, white is very reflective and bounces the most light around. This soft and beautiful spread of light can be advantageous if your studio lights are not very bright, or you mostly shoot bright and airy videos.
With the amount of extra light reflecting around, you get more fill light around the object you’re shooting, helping you to combat shadows. The extra fill light gives your scenes a sense of depth without using intense studio lights. It is also an advantage when you’re shooting an object that isn’t very reflecting.
Generally, white paint gives you a lot of flexibility in how light bounces off the wall. So, if you prefer the extra light or regularly shoot lighter videos, go with a white paint color. Another advantage of white is that when shooting a product video, a wall painted white naturally isolates the object and makes it easier to edit during composting.
Shooting in a space painted white provides a non-distracting background and allows you to focus on the subject exclusively. While a white paint color certainly has its advantages, some people suggest it makes a room look and feel sterile.
The major downside of white paint color is that it bounces a lot of light around, giving you less control than you would want. A video studio entirely painted with white can also cause overexposure when intense studio lights are used.
Most people use black paint color for their video studio walls because of the level of control it gives them with their lighting. Black is less reflective than white, so it bounces the least amount of light around the subject and gives you the highest level of control of your lighting. In fact, this is the reason why most studio gear comes in black.
Black paint color is more suitable for your video studio if you create objects with darker shadows. It allows you to be more dramatic with your lighting because only a small light reflects off the walls.
Such dark backgrounds and dramatic shadows create more visual impact than white-background images and ensure the subject is the dominant aspect of the frame. Also, since you have more control over your lighting, you can make any scene work for you with lighting modifiers.
Check out my article about how much it costs to build a video studio.
Gray paint color is a compromise between the two previously mentioned colors. Many people prefer it because it is the most neutral color. It doesn’t absorb all the light like black does and won’t bounce off light like white walls. If you work in your studio often, you may find gray to be more aesthetically pleasing and a better interior design option.
If you’re just starting your photography or videography journey, you may consider painting your studio gray. Video and photo editors also prefer gray, especially light gray, because 20% black is the most neutral color comfortable for the eyes when making editing choices. So, a video studio painted gray can also be used as an editing studio.
If you’re considering using gray paint color for your studio, you can choose from different shades of gray. You can get paint samples in shades of light gray, medium gray, and dark gray. The size of your studio will also determine the most suitable shade of gray to use. If you have a small studio, you may consider using lighter gray. For a bigger video studio, a darker gray color may be more suitable.
When choosing the shade of gray to use, you should also consider how much natural light you already have bouncing around in your studio and if you want to reduce it or not. We suggest getting the three shades of gray—light, medium, and dark—and testing them on the walls of your video studio.
Alternatives to White, Black, and Gray Paint Colors
Most people setting up their video studios for the first time usually go for white, black, or gray to have more flexibility with their space and use any color for a project without the wall colors affecting them. However, in some scenarios, you may want a color different from these natural colors.
For more information, check out what colors inspire musical creativity.
Here are a few paint color alternatives you can try:
If your studio is working on special effects videos more often, you may consider painting your space green. You can filter out and replace the green color with any background you want in special effects productions, depending on the video. Green is the most suitable color as it doesn’t match the human skin tone or hair color.
If you paint your studio walls with green screen color, it can serve as your background for your VFX and other related projects.
A Combination of Colors
You can also paint various parts of your studio in different colors. For example, you can paint your studio walls white to get the extra fill light in your scenes, paint your ceiling with black to absorb some light in the studio and have more control over your lighting, and use a dark gray paint for your floors.
You may also use a paint color that tells a story, sets a mood for your videos, or represents the set you have in your studio. It could include wallpapers, textures, or adjacent walls having different colors. This setup is ideal for a permanent video studio where you’ll shoot a particular show or the same type of videos over a long period.
More Tips for Painting Your Video Studio
When choosing a paint color for your video studio, here are other things to consider:
- The lights you have in your studio will affect how the colors will look on the wall.
- Consider if the set is permanent and if you plan to use the walls to reflect or absorb light.
- Factor in how much control of your lighting you want to have.
Regardless of the color you choose, paint your walls in matte instead of a glossy finish. A glossy surface will increase the reflections of these colors and scatter harsh light all over the place. Avoid painting your studio with colors like purple, pink, or red.
Check out how to remove glass glare from video recording in our ultimate guide here!
The most suitable colors for a video studio are white, black, and gray. The color you choose will depend on how much light you want bouncing around, the level of control you want with your lighting, and the type of videos you’ll be shooting. That said, white is the most used paint color because of the amount of light it bounces around and the extra fill light it gives.
You can also paint your studio walls green if you’ll be working on special effects projects. When painting your studio, avoid using glossy paint and colors like purple, pink, or red.
For more information, check out how to make LED lights beat to music.