All About Sea Salt
Other than gray and greige, Sea Salt and other beach-themed paint colours seem to be the most popular with today’s homeowners.
Why? Well, like a good gray or greige, they can suit MANY spaces and styles – everything from beachy bathrooms to cozy cottages!
Source Lauren @ Blesser House
Sea Salt: Before we get started
Not only have I worked with this colour on a daily basis with clients, I painted a BIG OLE sample and strapped it to my body for the day (the non-kinky form of body paint). Paint sample on one hip, wine bottle on the other – I was locked n’ loaded!
I looked at it in North and South facing rooms – morning, noon and night, so I could accurately tell you what it does and why it does it!
And let me tell you, I needed that bottle of wine – in a sippy cup. By the time I was done with this colour (and bottle) my brain was swimming with the many ways Sea Salt changed its appearance throughout the day. I mean every colour will change on a room-to-room/wall-to-wall basis, but it must be the mix of undertones in this bad boy that make it the ULTIMATE chameleon colour!
So, the photos of these rooms are just examples of what you might be able to expect from a colour like Sea Salt in a variety of situations – it ain’t gospel, but it might be as close as we’ll get…just call me Saint Kylie.
Sherwin Williams Sea Salt: Undertones
Sea Salt is a mix of water and salt. Hehe, just joking. Sea Salt is a mix of green and gray. Now this is very similar to A LOT of today’s popular paint colours, but it’s all in the proportions when it comes to which colour is going to POP and which is going to recede.
- Most of the time, Sea Salt is a beautiful blend of green and gray, but it’s a cool green, rather than a warm (yellow base) green
- Occasionally it will lean MORE to the green side – more often in a South facing room or a room with warm light bulbs
- Once in a while it will go greeny/blue or blue-ish – not often, but in extreme North facing rooms with diffused light the blue seems to take charge. Part of the ‘recipe’ of this paint colour is a blueish black – meaning it can subtly influence the overall look of this colour in the right lighting situation
In a well-balanced, well-lit room
A room like this often has multiple exposures (like North East or South West for example) and doesn’t usually need much lighting on in the daytime.
Source Amy Tyndall Design
This is a GREAT representation of Sea Salt in this stunning beach themed home. It doesn’t commit to anything except being pretty! If they were to turn some lights on, the colour may appear just slightly more green – although I’m really enjoying the balance they’ve achieved here.
- Look above the kitchen cabinets to see how the green AND gray feel just slightly more saturated. This is what can happen in corners or in a dark room with not much artificial lighting – STILL a very pretty colour!
- Closer to the windows the green picks up that slight blue-ish cast, making this a cool green – not a warm green
- Look at the patch of wall in between the 2 dining light fixtures, notice how it washes out when hit with direct natural light
In a room with direct hits of natural light
In a room with a lot of direct natural light, you can expect Sea Salt to wash out a bit, without losing itself entirely. Once the direct sunlight goes away, the colour will come right on back!
Source Life is What You Make It
Source Studio McGhee
The above 2 bathroom photos show how WELL Sea Salt holds itself in a well-lit space with direct light – while it does wash out a bit, it still retains its overall look.
In a room with very little or no natural lighting / In the evening
When there is very little natural light and a lot of shadows, you can expect this colour to look a bit deeper and rich as it gets a bit more shadowed – keep in mind it’s not just the ‘colour’ that gets deeper, it’s the gray too!
If you have a room with very little natural lighting and you don’t put on many artificial lights, this colour may fall a bit into the blue zone as the black base responds to the shadows. If you were to turn the lights on and they were ‘reasonably warm’ (not icy cold daylight bulbs – hubbys seem to love those) then you should see the green come back.
Source Crafty Teacher Lady
- Notice how much lighter Sea Salt looks on the left (middle and bottom) of this photo – right where the natural light hits it
In a South Facing Room
The suns rays in a South facing room are yellow, this yellow plays off of the undertones in Sea Salt and causes it to look REALLY green (almost mint feeling!).
Source House of Turquoise
Again, there’s no saying whether this room IS South facing or not (I’m good, but not THAT good) but this shows what you might expect from Sea Salt in a Southern exposure room – a wee wink toward the greener end of things!
Source Cindi Parker Interiors
Now it is RARE for Sea Salt to go THIS green, usually its more of a cool green compared to what is shown here. I’m thinking this might be a south facing room and the yellow light coming in is reacting with the cool tones of this colour. The green in the furnishings and warm oatmeal tones have also encouraged the overall impression of the paint colour.
In a North Facing Room
I just couldn’t get Sea Salt to completely lose the green, no matter how much those shadows wanted to interfere. No matter what exposure/room I was in, if it leaned a bit to the gray side with a cool blue cast, the green was always winking at me behind the scenes (don’t tell it’s wife).
Source Life on Virginia Street
In the above photo, the gray is a bit more dominant, however, hop on over to Sarah’s blog and see how this colour changes from every vantage point – like I said – a real chameleon!
Source Southern Hospitality (you know I love her)
Again, even when this colour does pick up a blue cast, it doesn’t look as icy as a traditional ‘light blue’ paint colour can. The gray and green add a certain softness as shown in this beautiful guest bedroom.
Sherwin Williams Sea Salt: Depth and LRV
Sea Salt is a light paint colour, but I would consider it a ‘heavy’ light, as it doesn’t have the same washy look that a lot of light colours can have – probably because of the neutral gray base.
The LRV of Sea Salt is 64. This means that it WILL make a room feel lighter and brighter as it will reflect artificial/natural light back into the space, not drastically, but some.
A few more Sea Salt tidbits for you…
Sea Salt with marble
Sea Salt will look beautiful with MOST marble, excluding those with overly purple veining (sometimes the gray veins can look a bit purple).
Source Life Is What You Make It
Sea Salt in a Nursery
While it’s an alright unisex colour, I think it’s a bit more suited to a little girls room – particularly with gorgeous coral accents!
Source Two Make a Home
To Sum it All Up
Obviously there is A LOT to consider when choosing a paint colour – LRV, exposure, personal tastes and the needs of your home. Trust me, I learn more and more EVERY DAY about how these things can affect the ‘appearance’ of a colour. Here’s what I’ve learned on this salty colour adventure…
- I need to not carry a bottle of wine with me throughout the day – I will then not have any left for the evening
- Sea Salt prefers to go green than blue
- If you have a north facing room that is bright and that you don’t use many artificial lights in, Sea Salt may appear slightly more blue.
- Once you add interior lighting (as long as it’s not those stark harsh white bulbs) the green may come back and balance things out again
- If you have a south facing room, the green may be more apparent as the warm sun rays react to the cool tones in Sea Salt
Phew, we did it! You can probably tell I’m in one of my OCD phases as I left no stone un-turned with that one!
Not sure if Sea Salt is right for YOU and YOUR home? Check out my affordable Online Color Consulting Services – I’d be happy to help!
Chat soon, ~Kylie
Here's some other ideas for you!