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. Sherri says

    Very cool! The color looks close to the bathroom post from The Lonny mag…are you still planning on doing your bathroom that similar color?

    • says

      Nope, we decided to go for this color in the guest room so we don’t want the hall bathroom to look too similar. We’re still pondering another hue for that bathroom (since we also want that to be bold and fun, but not too blue-heavy).


    • Cameron says

      Oh no!!! Now I’m horribly depressed. I love the paint in the bedroom, but I was sooooooo excited about that bathroom. I thought the inspiration was dreamy, so I couldn’t wait to see y’alls take on it. Off to cry now…..

  2. Lauren Q. says

    We just did our living room accent wall this kind of dark teal and I love it!! We used Valspar, color matched with Sherwin Williams Cote d’Azur – love it!

  3. manon says

    wow it looks amazing. I want to paint a room like this. I just need to get confident about it :)
    What kind of color is your floor in this room? I love it.

  4. Tia says

    Several months ago you mention not usually taping when you paint and using a tapered paint brush instead. I have to say, that little piece of info changed my life! :) I bought a really nice tapered brush and I never tape anymore. It’s SO much easier and actually comes out better since the tape often bleeds. Thanks so much!

    • ellis says

      Oh my goodness, agreed! My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy and frets that I don’t tape, but to me any mistakes that happen when you tape are such big BLOTCHES versus mistakes when you freehand with a good brush are more smooth little errors. Much more manageable.

    • says

      We’d love to repaint the trim with crisp white paint down the line (it’s already white, but could use a fresh coat when we have time- definitely not by this weekend though).


  5. Sandy says

    I have to say, “you guys are bold” for going with such a “bold” color. The first time and last time I did a color as bold as yours, used it as an accent color for fireplace wall, I didn’t sleep all night just thinking how bold that wall was. Simply don’t have it in me to have dark walls like that. Changed it the following day. Question though, coming from all neutrals in your other house, and so easy to decorate around neutrals, do you think this is a color you will stay with for a long time? It just doesn’t have that airy, crisp look to it anymore.

    • says

      Once we bring in art, a headboard, curtains, bedding, and other textiles and focal points to break it up I think you’ll see what we do- that it’s actually sort of a neutral color once you load everything into the room. I know it’s not a light color, or a tan color- but it’s amazing how it goes with everything we hold up (a lime headboard, a chocolate blanket, a yellow rug, etc). I guess time will tell how the room evolves and how long the color stays, but we’re loving it!


  6. Leslie C. says

    I think you just discovered my Craft room color for me!!!
    This color makes me swoooon (Well, the color on my monitor hahah)! I will definitly be adding it to my color list to try out!

  7. shannon says

    Love it! Glad to see you guys doing something bold. I have a similar color in my hallway (perhaps a bit more blue) and I’ve always loved it. Congrats on your new color addition! :)

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