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. Stephanie says

    Very nice!! Sherry, you have an amazingly steady hand and an amazing amount of patience! Do you ever make a boo-boo though? I’ve tried and tried cutting in without taping off, but I always end up messing up somewhere and then I end up taping off anyway. So, after accepting that I don’t have a steady enough hand, or enough patience, I tape first. The walls look great!!

    • says

      Oh yeah I make paint mistakes all the time. Thankfully the precious owners left the trim paint clearly labeled in the basement so knowing I could quickly touch things up was definitely a comfort!


  2. says

    Golf clap! This turned out great! We’ve got a teal accent wall in our bedroom.. you can never have enough teal, and it’s got a great soothing feeling for bedrooms. Can’t wait to see how this room comes together :D

  3. Karen says

    Gorgeous! I just love that color. I wish I had enough courage to paint my bedroom that shade.

    Is this the bedroom that adjoins the yellow bathroom? Are you going to tie the two colors together, or go in a completely different direction?

  4. says

    amazing! love the contrast and now i’m inspired to paint my office a deep rich hue. didn’t you have a double/queen bed in your old guest room (@ the old house) before it turned into the office? why didn’t you keep that one for the future guest room at your new house (granted you might not have known you were moving at that point…)?

    • says

      We had a full sized bed in that room but nearly a year before we moved (or even knew we’d be moving) we realized we no longer had room for it (Clara was born, John came on full time at YHL – which means we needed a full time home office for two, etc) and it was an extremely old mattress (we’re talking about a 20+ year old hand-me-down) so we were happy to craigslist it for $60 – instead of storing it up in the attic or basement for an undetermined amount of time before we gained a guest room back (it would have been all musty and gross by the time we needed it, plus we decided that it was high time we grew up and purchased a new bed for our guests instead of making them sleep on the old “secondhand” one- haha).


  5. says

    That looks great! I love it with the white trim! So dramatic and moody.

    Oh, by the way my husband and I are going to Richmond this weekend for a wedding (we’ve never been there) any must-go-to spots??

    • says

      We actually have a post planned for this Friday all about our favorite Richmond spots! Spoiler alert: a few faves are Bottom’s Up pizza, Kuba Kuba for lunch, hanging out at the river in Pony Pasture, walking around Carytown, strolling through Maymont, etc. Hope it helps!


    • Stephanie S says

      The VMFA (fine arts) museum is great, but might be crowded since we have a big Picasso exhibit. The Tredegar Civil War museum is great, and the grounds are wonderful for walking. Richmond is also a great restaurant city, so you can look at Urban Spoon or Yelp to get some ideas. You’ll probably be busy with wedding stuff, but Richmond is a great town and offers oodles of things! Enjoy my adopted city.

    • says

      Edgar Allen Poe Museum, Hollywood Cemetary, Maymont Park (Greatest house tour and gardens), Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Carytown (shopping), Tredagar Iron Works and Belle Isle, John Marshall House, Museum of the Confederacy (if you’re into that kind of thing), VMFA (but will be very crowded), Richmond Valentine Museum (great city museum), Walk through the Jefferson Hotel, walk up and down Monument Avenue, Segway Tours of Richmond, for sight seeing.

      Richmond has good eats. There are lots of food blogs for the RVA. Check them out.

  6. says

    This is the color I wanted to paint our bathroom!!! I LOVE it. The hubby has convinced me to go with red in the bathroom instead (BM raspberry truffle), but we haven’t tested it yet so there’s always time to change my mind…

    We painted Martha’s Darkening Sky in our kitchen/family room and I totally love it. In fact, we have 4 MS blues in our house now.

  7. Christin says

    LOVE the color! It looks fantastic. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the room comes together. Congrats on a taking a risk – I’d say it’s a huge success!

  8. says

    Love it! We have a small bedroom that we use as a closet, but as we transition into a time where we are thinking about having kids, we want to make it into a nursery. This is a VERY similar color to what we are thinking. We are going to accent it with black, white, silver and grey, and are trying to choose the pop of contrasting color that we might like, maybe eggplant, maybe yellow.

    I love this color and can’t WAIT to see it with the bed.

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