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 M. says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!! Beautiful and the white trim looks SOOOO crisp and gorgeous. I might have to steal this idea.

  2. Sarah R. says

    I love the color. I went dark and bold for my living room (blue gray slate by Behr) and I really like it. The layout for your guest bedroom is nearly identical to my master bedroom – same window size and placement and the closet door is in the same place. I’ll be interested to see how you arrange the room. :)

  3. Emmy says

    How long did it take to get out your gear, paint, and then clean up?

    I have to paint all my rooms in our new house and so far I have only gotten the foyer done & the dining room. It is so much work to paint the trim, windows (ack!) and ceilings!! And I know you are not painting the trim, which I might have to resort to when my out of town guests come!

    • says

      We primed the room on Friday (took about 2 hours from start to finish since we just did one coat) and painted the room on Sunday (two coats took us about 3.5 hours from start to clean-up). Hope it helps! It definitely can take a lot longer when you have to use drop cloths (on carpeted rooms) or plan to paint ceilings or trim. Good luck!


  4. Katharine says

    Oh my gosh that is a fantastic color. I kinda want to hug it, or pet it, or something. I’ve never been brave enough to paint walls that dark, and I can’t imagine my husband would go for it. But WOW.

  5. says

    Thanks for the cutting in video, a friend who is a painter showed me what to do but my technique is still not perfect. Gonna try what you suggested.

    Crossing my fingers that you guys get everything done in 3 days, although with painting behind you, hopefully it will be smooth sailing. You guys are brave, dark colors scare me. LOL.

  6. says

    I love it!!! I think it’s a great way to try a color for a secondary room—you guys definitely enjoy color, you just haven’t gone crazy for it on walls. I’d say just keep it balanced, clutter-free, and bright in other areas! I love it!

  7. Deanna says

    Love the new color! How bold, but what a beautiful statement it makes! I also purchased your favorite brush, and it is definitely my favorite brush too! I am so happy I don’t have to tape off my rooms anymore!

  8. Kate says

    This looks amazing! I have to admit, you totally got me on the last post! I was appalled… Mouth wide open! So glad that was just the primer. Bet you can’t wait for this week to be over!

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