Bold Teal Walls & A Handy How-We-Cut-In Video

We finished painting the guest room. And boy is it bold. Seriously, it’s like no room we’ve ever painted before. And we luuurve it. With a capital urv. This is probably the most accurate pic (well I guess it’s as accurate as your monitor) of the dark teal that we went with:

The color was of course inspired by none other than Sue the Napkin. It’s kind of similar to Dragonfly (the color that we painted the backs of the built-ins in the future dining room) but when we held up a ton of swatches in the guest room we preferred this color (Dragonfly was darker and greener).

It’s called Plumage by Martha Stewart, but of course we got it color matched to Olympic Premium paint since it’s No-VOC (even the colorants they add are now VOC free). We went with an eggshell finish (so it’s a bit more wipeable and durable than flat but not too shiny since it’s such a deep tone, which can show lots of flaws and imperfections when it’s glossy). Lowe’s actually had a bit of trouble getting a good match, so if your paint pro can’t get it close enough – our lady finally got it within .03%  accuracy – Olympic’s Azalea Leaf is an extremely similar alternative. Of course you can also just go with Martha’s Plumage and not color match it to any other base to avoid matching worries completely.

But back to the whole room painting process. Let’s just say that as soon as we started rolling it on there were some oh em gee moments. And a fair amount of melodramatic nail biting.

But after we got to the second coat, the coverage was great and it was looking deep and rich and bold and fun. See how much more coverage coat two gave us below (the wall on the right has two coats while the wall on the left just has one). Pardon the semi-odd coloring in this shot and the one above, they were taken at night so the rest are more accurate thanks to daylight.

After we completed that second coat we were sold. Seriously. We got all hyper and slap happy. There’s just something about pairing in your face color with crisp white trim that makes you giddy. And amazingly enough, we got ‘er done with just one gallon of paint (with some to spare actually) since it only called for two coats – probably thanks to the tinted primer we used beforehand.

The first thing we did this morning was run into the guest room to admire it in the daylight. How can a $22 paint job make such a difference? It’s amazing. We were about to snap some after pics for you guys when the doorbell rang. It was our new guest bed arriving 30 minutes early. So it ended up in the pics since we didn’t have a moment to take any without it (more details on our mattress buying adventures later). Anyway, here’s the view of the room from the adjoined guest bathroom:

And here’s a shot of it from the hall:

The off centered windows are definitely going to make the floor plan interesting, but we’ll share how we land on our final layout when we, uh, land on a final layout. We’re just going to play around with things until we figure out what we like best.

Oh and you’ll notice that we painted over some of the wall warts (as they so lovingly call them) like the vents and an old Bell Atlantic phone jack to the left of the white outlet plate above. They were already painted over by the previous owners so we repainted them to match the new wall color. We did keep all of the unpainted outlets unpainted though.

Speaking of painting over things, after a surprising number of requests I finally remembered to make a cutting in video, so you can enjoy the riveting play by play below and see how I use my favorite brush to get a nice clean line next to baseboards and trim (watch it below on YouTube or here on Vimeo):

As for down the road projects, we’d love to add crown molding and possibly paint the ceiling a lighter tone than the wall (or at least freshen it up with crisper white paint along with the trim). But that’s definitely not something we have time for with my mom & stepdad rolling into town this Thursday.

So there you have our dark teal guest room. Now we just have to hang the headboard, dress the bed, get a shower curtain and bath mat, change out the toilet seat (it’s old and rusty), hang curtains (if we have time), and figure out the side table & lamp sitch (might not get to that either). Should be an interesting few days…


  1. says

    I LOVE it! This is close to washed denim by Martha that I’m thinking about doing in my entryway. Do you think it’s too bold for an entry that is next to a bright green playroom??
    Can’t wait to see how the room develops!

  2. says

    That is such a fantastic color. So beautiful and, of course, it matches the napkin’s palette beautifully. I cannot wait to see the room as a finished product; it’s going to be breathtaking with that teal as the background. So bold!

  3. rebecca a. says

    L.O.V.E. IT!!!!!

    OMG it’s so amazing! It’s so much better than I could have imagined. I can’t wait to see it all come together!

  4. Megan says

    I also LOVE it.
    This will definitely appease the “you guys never take risks” crowd- not that they matter at all ;)


  5. says

    So dramatic! Maybe too dark for my taste but I love it in your room! Looks great, can’t wait to see what bed linens you pick? White? Pink? Yellow? Green? Oh my!

  6. Shannon says

    the color is stunning!!! I’m really looking forward to seeing your layout. This room is EXACTLY my master bedroom. windows and door in the same place, the size even looks the same. i’m hoping to be inspired. i’m freshening up our room as we speak. our walls are benjamin moore valley forge tan, a medium taupe, and the bedding from West Elm that I’m dying for actually has a color similar to what you’ve painted your room.

    • Stephanie says

      Me too Shannon. I didn’t notice it until it was empty but my MB is exactly the same. I can’t seem to get an arrangement that is perfect. Very excited to see what happens in here!

  7. Linda says

    Lovely. I’m a bold color girl. We have an indigo blue room and it never fails to please me when I see it. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  8. Becky says

    Wow!! That is absolutely gorgeous!!! I wish the rooms in my house were bigger so I could paint darker colors, but they are wwwaaayyy too tiny to not do light, bright colors. I LOVE the way the white stands out so much against the teal. Wow.

  9. says

    also just wondering: do you guys put any sort of plastic or protective sheeting on the ground while you paint? I of course would drip and make messes on those beautiful hardwoods but perhaps you’re that much of professionals?!

    • says

      Nope, we’re crazy. We just wipe those rare errant drips as soon as they happen (thanks to the floor being poly’d, the paint blob comes right up). But the pros definitely cover everything with drop cloths- we’re just lazy/overconfident. Haha.


  10. Katherine O says

    I love it. I am using this color as an accent in my daughter’s room (she is one, and I am changing her room now that we’ve moved into our first house). How bold and wonderful.

    • says

      That’s a 50/50 thing. In both houses we have owned the quarter round (also often called shoe molding) has been unpainted in every room, so we’re happy to leave it the same finish as the floor instead of painting it to match the trim. It should save me about 500 hours of time, and since it’s already consistently unpainted here, I’m happy to stick with that formula!


    • Heather says

      Since this seems to be so hotly debated, I thought I’d note that we live in a 12 year old house and the shoe molding/quarter round is wood like our floors. The baseboard is white. It touches both the floor and the baseboard – I like that it matches the wood…and less likely to chip or be obviously nicked. To each their own. :)

    • says

      My house is only 3 years old and the shoe molding is also wood colored. I think it’s just personal preference. I happen to like it painted white in my home so that’s on the to do list.

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