You could say that Behr has had a thing for blue-green paint for some time now. In 2018, the company named the shade “In the Moment” its Color of the Year, and then gave the same title in 2019 to “Blueprint, a slightly darker version of the hue.” Given Behr’s preoccupation with the color, we had to ask: What’s the appeal?
“Blues and greens are being treated as ‘new neutrals,’ meaning you don’t have to be a risk-taker to incorporate them into your space,” says Erika Woelfel, color expert and vice president of color and creative services at Behr. “They’re versatile and welcoming.”
Behr isn’t the only brand with a penchant for blue-green paints, either—PPG has been singing its praises lately, too. “Blue-green paint colors can ground décor and create serenity,” says Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager at PPG. “Blue-green paint colors can also add a hint of glamour with deep teal tones, or encourage relaxation with lighter aqua hues.”
When blended together into one paint option, blue-green is the type of pigment that can enliven or soften any room because it covers such a wide range of tones. And given that blue-green appears in nature, it can also harmonize with wood furnishings, large windows, or stone accents. If you’re suddenly just as interested in the wonders of this paint as Woelfel and Schlotter are, then follow along as they describe how to go about choosing the 10 best hues for your room.
Choosing the Right Finish
As with any design challenge, Woelfel’s key advice for choosing a blue-green paint comes down to how you intend to spend time in a certain room. Figure out whether you’ll be entertaining, or lounging, or perhaps a mix of both. When you can picture a general use for the space, then you can narrow down the range of blue-greens available.
“Choosing a lighter color will create an airy feel, while a darker hue can make the room feel more intimate,” Woelfel says. “For instance, if you’re looking to curate a carefree space, consider a cloud-like blue, like Fresh Tone. But if you’d prefer to cultivate a moody setting, I recommend using a darker blue-green, like Antigua.”
Once you have a color in mind, pinpoint the right finish. “When using blue-green paint, a satin or gloss finish adds an element of luxury, especially in a small space like a powder room,” Schlotter notes. “In areas of high traffic, it’s always best to go with a higher sheen that will hide scratches, scuffs, and dirt better.”
Using Blue-Green Paint in Every Room
In the Kitchen: “Layer your walls, cabinets, and trim in blue-green tones to create a monochromatic look and instantly amp up the contrast in your kitchen,” Woelfel suggests.
In the Living Room: “Leverage more vibrant blue-green hues in spaces used for entertaining,” Woelfel continues. “But if you prefer to relax and recharge in your living room, seek out subtler colors with a touch of gray. Consider pulling pigments from your favorite piece of furniture, like a painting or rug, to create a cohesive look.”
In the Bedroom: “Blue-greens are the perfect choice to promote rest in the bedroom,” Woelfel notes. “To add unexpected interest, paint your walls in a neutral shade of white and add a pop of color by applying blue-green on the ceiling. This decision might seem intimidating, but just like an accent wall, it can add a beautiful contrast to the room.”
In the Bathroom: “When painting a small space like a bathroom, a dark color can add an instant wow factor,” Woelfel says. “After landing on the right hue, I recommend using satin or semi-gloss enamel for the bathroom, as this sheen will help resist moisture.”
The Best Blue-Green Paint Colors to Try
“This soft, cloud-like color will keep your room tranquil,” Woelfel says. “Apply it in your bedroom or bathroom to start and end your day with some calm.”
“This is the perfect bright aqua for a living space,” Schlotter adds. “It’s cheery and not too traditional.”
“This paint offers a perfect balance of green and blue, reminiscent of sea glass or spruce trees,” Woelfel notes. “It pairs nicely with wood furniture.”
“This is an aqua-blue with a gorgeous deep-water undertone,” Schlotter says. “It would work well in a bathroom when paired with white trim and accents of pink, magenta, or coral.”
“A mature take on the blue-green color family, Chelsea Garden feels as if it were plucked directly from nature,” Woelfel adds. “It’s sophisticated enough to be used broadly across a living room or exterior.”
“If you love the beach, you should create a breezy atmosphere in your kitchen with Sea Sprite,” Schlotter says. “Pair it with open shelving in lighter wood tones.”
“Playful and livable, this vibrant teal will liven up any space,” Woelfel continues. “Use it in a dining room alongside other brights, blues, or neutrals.”
“This color can promote a happy, refreshing feel in a bedroom, which is sometimes needed at the end of a long day,” Schlotter adds. “It’s a soft, muted, and tropical turquoise aqua with an aquamarine undertone.”
“This icy shade of blue-green is a delicate take on the trend if you’re looking for a more subtle way in,” Woelfel says.
“This is a perfect choice if you’re hoping to create a feeling of comfort and positivity,” Woelfel notes. “This feels stable and soothing, especially when used in the bedroom.”