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Considerations When Painting Your Restaurant

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It goes without saying that having a well decorated interior is important to any business that interacts with clients or customers. For restaurants it’s particularly important due to the effect your choices can and will have on your clientele.


Before you even think of making a decision on how you want your restaurant to look, you need to understand who it is for. Your choices are not for you, that’s vanity whispering in your ear. Your choices are for your customers, specifically who you want your customers to be.

Understanding what your market is and who you are hoping to attract is crucial at the earliest possible stage. You need to tailor the restaurants image to suit the patrons you are targeting, and only once you understand who that is can you begin to work on how to achieve that.

Once you’ve identified your customer base, you can then begin crafting the feel you want your restaurant to have. A bustling bistro full of energy is going to have very different requirements to a quiet and sophisticated fine dining experience, and your next step will be to select the right colours to encourage the right behaviour.


Which colours you choose is a complex and tricky subject which has many considerations beyond simply picking one you like. Colouration is the first thing people notice when seeing something for the first time, and has a huge influence over their initial impression.

Colours not only affect emotions and mood but can also trigger behavioural reactions, and you will want to know what the effect your chosen palette will have on your customers.


Every hue or ‘colour’ has a group of emotional responses associated with it. Some are fairly obvious such as anger for red - but red is also associated with Passion, Energy and Excitement for example. Therefore matching the appropriate colours to the emotions you want to associate with your restaurant is an important part of cultivating the right feel and atmosphere.

It also extends beyond just the emotions involved, it encompasses the effects it has on human responses and behaviour. Another well-known impact of red is the effect it has on our appetite, making us feel hungry and thus ordering more food – and is the reason why so many well known restaurant chains use red in their branding and interior design.

Conversely, blue is a colour that suppresses appetite. All you can eat buffet restaurants might well be interested in incorporating blue into their colour schemes for this reason.

Another example of a colour that can be used to manipulate behaviour is yellow. As well as being associated with happiness, yellow has been known to promote irritation.

It’s tactical use can speed up the turn around time of tables in a busy restaurant – although what effect this could also have on the atmosphere and reputation of a restaurant makes this a high risk strategy.

Numerous studies have concluded there is a measurable effect from just about every colour, with some more pronounced than others -  and the sheer number of establishments that follow this methodology informs us there is a benefit to doing so.

The following table identifies the emotions and behaviours each colour promotes and is associated with, not all of them being desirable:

Colour Emotions Behaviours Industries
Red Anger, Energy, Excitement, Passion, Attention Urgency, Aggression, Caution, Hunger, Irrational Sports, Entertainment, Food, Children
Orange Fun, Creativity, Warmth, Adventurous, Independance, Value Communcation, Stimulation, Freedom Transportation, Sports, Food
Yellow Happiness, Positivity, Optimism, Emotional Enthusiastic, Confidence, Friendly, Anxious, Irritable Travel, Leisure, Food
Green Harmony, Balance, Fertility, Kindness Rejuvenated, Relaxed, Encouraged, Creative, Revitalized Environmental, Property, Agriculture, Education
Blue Honesty, Wisdom, Responsibility, Security, Loyalty Calm, Ordered, Secure, Relaxed, Content Finanace, Security, Healthcare, Technology
Purple Sensitivity, Compassion, Imagination, Spirtuality Inspired, Intuitive, Creative, Luxurious Religion, Humanitarian

Compassion, Love, Playful

Calm, Immaturity, Admiration Fashion,l Beauty, Feminine
Brown Natural, Comfort, Reliability Serious, Supportive, Humourless Agriculture, Construction, Legal
White Purity, Cleaniliness, Innocence Clarity, Sophistication, Efficiency, Elitism, Boredom.  -
Grey Neutral, Practical, Conservative, Formal Composure, Timelessness. Maturity, Depression  -
Black Discipline, Elegance, Authority Intimidation, Control, Sophistication, Concealment, Imposing




Each hue is associated with being either a warm or cold colour, but the boundaries aren’t always clear as to when certain shades cross over from one side to the over.

Some hues can have tints and shades in both the warm and cold half of the spectrum; grey for example can have a cold blue colour too, as well as a warmer brown – with the debate being where does it cross over into simply being brown.

Generally the hues are divided as red through yellow including browns and tans being warm, while blue and green through violet and including greys. Peak contrast in red-orange opposed with green-blue.

The reason warmth is important is it can actually affect people’s perception of temperature. People surrounded by warm colours actually feel the temperature is several degrees warmer than it is – and the opposite goes for cold colours.

This effect is something you can use to your advantage.


It’s all well and good selecting your perfect shade, but you also need to ensure it is something that you are prepared to keep maintained. We have talked about the effects rundown paintwork can have on your business, so taking some time to consider the practicalities of your desired colour palette is worthwhile.

Some colours inevitably need more upkeep than others. White is a classic example, when new it looks as smart, clean and sophisticated as can be - but it’s downside is how easy marks, dirt and dust show against it, making it look anything but clean.

Having said this, we can’t paint all our interiors in darker shades of brown and grey to hide the passage of time, but you do need to understand the effect your choices will have on the level of maintenance you’ll have to invest in keeping everything looking good.

Strategically painting different areas in different colours from your chosen palette can cut down on maintenance. Consider steering clear of whites and creams and instead using slightly darker hues in high wear areas like entrances and thoroughfares, as well as near also sources of dirt – particularly the kitchen.

Serious consideration should be given to the quality of paint you use throughout your restaurant, as opting to use premium quality paint is a decision than can save you both time and money.

Paintfinity paint is superior in every way to standard quality trade paints; it’s stand out benefits to the food services industry being the toughness and durability of it’s finish, keeping it looking perfect for longer and needing far less maintenance over time.

It has the highest grade of scrub and marking resistance, as well as giving off almost zero harmful fumes and odours. When the time does come to repaint it, it is dry within just 20-60mins and has superior coverage meaning you need less paint, less coats, and less work.

If you would like more information on Paintfinity’s range of commercial paints or would like to set up a trade account with us please get in touch here or give us a call on 01962 711 640.

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