Everything can be related to five basic elements and how to use them is in the art of Fengshui. The table below is the most basic character. 
However, the most difficult part is not the answer itself. The original meanings of ancient Chinese materials faded with time and the description of color is strongly at the eyes of beholder. For example, according to the description of the manufacture, my car's color is aqua, which has a metal element. According to the RMV, it is green, which has a wood element. Luckily, there is no argument about what red or black is. Most of the people agrees that yellow refers to is the same yellow that we use for our link buttons on the left. This is also the yellow used by Chinese royal family historically. It has the character of earth thus the royal family claims they own the earth (or they can claim they are 'down to earth', whatever). 
As for the different shades of the color, I do not believe there is an agreement among the researchers. 

 

Element

Color

Metal White, Aqua blue
Wood Green, hunter green
Water Black, navy blue
Fire Red, light purple
Earth Yellow, light brown

For practical applications like painting your house, it is recommend to use very light, close to white color and avoid collision of colors. This is true to most of the houses. However, if you are into modern arts, make sure you do not pain your kitchen black or bathroom red. Unless, you have hired an on site consultant and know exactly what you are doing.