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In this article, you will learn about olive, moss, and sage colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors, the following information will help you make the right decision.

Olive vs moss vs sage green paint colors infographic

Olive vs Moss vs Sage Green Paint Colors

Green can run the gamut from bold Kelly green to subtle celery. Olive, moss, and sage all have high concentrations of red and blue, which means that these greens are all easy to pair with other colors.

These greens can blend into the background or be brought forward, depending on what you pair with them.

olive, moss, sage colors wall art under lights


By the numbers, olive green is loaded with contrasts. The concentration of red and blue actually cancel each other out, allowing the green to come to the front.

olive color wall art under lights

Be aware that olive green has a strong underlying yellow tone.

When decorating with olive, be aware the contrasting tones are in the purple family.

If you push olive green with a lot of contrast, you may find that the yellow tone becomes overpowering, especially in a small space or a room that gets a lot of sunlight.

A more gentle way to work with olive is to work with nearby tones, such as camel brown or brick. Interestingly, a pale aqua or butter yellow color can also look very good against olive green.

Wood tones and olive green can be tricky. This color wants to go yellow. If your floors are golden oak, this color may look like pea soup on the walls.

olive color infographic

However, against a cherry floor finish, olive green will stand strong. If your household can sustain a light tone on the floor, a cool maple finish can be ideal against olive green.

If you have painted trim, don’t be afraid to go a bit darker than just white or cream; a pale tan trim with a satin finish can work very well next to an olive green wall.

It is critical when working with green that you check it in full sunlight. You can’t get green without yellow, and the color of light in the space may bring it forward.

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Because the yellow tone that is drawn forward in olive green is not especially pretty (think mustard) the amount of natural light a room gets can recommend or veto this color.

RGB: 109, 113, 46
Hex: #6D712E

olive color wall art above a desk


Moss green is not far from olive green, but this color is easier to decorate with by the numbers.

Moss green has a greater saturation of green in comparison to red and blue, which reduces the yellow edge.

moss color wall art under lights

With a base of moss, you can create a floral or forest palette in your space.

For example, you can use purple or lavender against moss. If you have moss green on your living room walls, consider a mauve side chair to provide a pleasing contrast.

At right angles to moss on the color wheel is a lovely camel or tan. Avoid the “coffee” tones, such as latte; these colors tend to cool once they’re on the walls and any blue against moss will make the yellow in this green pop too strongly.

Accent colors that will shine against a moss green palette include leaf green, cyan, and violet.

moss color infographic

Do take care to start with pastel accents; bring home pillows and throws to see what strengthens your moss color without changing the tone.

Study the space in all hours of the day to make sure you will be happy with this shade during the workweek and when you’re home relaxing on the weekends.

Moss green is easier to trim against than olive. White trim will work, as will most wood tones. Do remember that red tones in flooring and trim will give courage to the red tone in the moss color; yellow oak will draw out the yellow in your moss green walls.

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RGB: 138, 154, 91
Hex: #8A9A5B

moss color wall art above a desk


If you like the idea of moss or olive green but can’t quite commit, sage is a great compromise! Sage green is a beautifully balanced color that won’t change radically as you add contrasting and complementary colors.

sage color wall art under lights

Sage may also be the best color in this listing that could work, in a pale tone, throughout a new house.

Like the green leaves in a flower bed, sage works with pastel tones as well as with stronger colors.

Sage walls in your living room could look terrific with your brown leather sofa, your oak floor, and your maple piano.

In a child’s bedroom, you can pretty up the space with pink pillows or purple cushions.

If you want to decorate your boy’s room in blue, stick with navy; cobalt or cadet blue could gray out your sage walls and make the room appear tired or dingy.

When choosing floor and trim colors, remember that sage is a very well-balanced color. Whatever you pair it with will likely draw out complementary tones.

sage color infographic

If you want to put down carpet, a tan or brown will likely coordinate because the yellow in both colors will connect.

Cherry or red oak flooring will provide a bit of contrast in your living room and make sage a bit bolder.

If you love gray and want to put down gray carpet, do make sure that it’s closer to greige than blue-gray. A gray carpet with a lot of blue in it will turn blue in a sage green room.

Depending on where you buy your target, you may not be under the best quality lighting. Bring home a sample and put it on the floor against the wall.

Check it repeatedly throughout the day to be sure you’re happy with the color.

RGB: 156, 175, 136
Hex: #9CAF88

sage color wall art above a desk

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