How to Choose the Blue That’s Right For You!
Are you hunting for the best blue and not just any hue will do? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Blue is a popular paint pick for MANY reasons. It’s calming, classic, coastal, country – subtle, striking and sensual, but the one thing it isn’t? Easy to pick.
And while I’ve written a blog post about the best blue and blue-green paint colours, we need to have a lil’ chat before you whip out your paintbrush. Why? Because while they may seem simple, all blues are NOT created equal…
Short of going ‘primary blue’, it can be hard to peg down a true-blue, particularly once you start mixing in gray.
Shown above: BM Newburyport Blue
A colour like Newburyport Blue is more likely to give a ‘true-blue vibe’ without going right into the primary range.
Blue with purple undertones
These are blues that lean slightly more toward purple, without committing all the way. These blues often feel a bit cooler than neutral or softer blues. Technically, these are blues with a touch of red in them, and you know how technical I am (wink wink).
Shown above: BM Steel Wool
In our last home (above), it was a toss-up as to whether our guests thought the paint colour was blue, blue-purple or gray!
Blue with green undertones
Not I’m not going to say that blue/greens are WARM, but they are definitely a bit softer and more inviting looking than blue-purple colours. Technically, these are blues with a touch of yellow in them.
Shown above: SW Tidewater
Above 2 photos: BM Silver Marlin
In the above 2 photos of Silver Marlin, things look pretty darned green in spots! However, this is a combination of lighting and exposure, as Silver Marlin is a beautiful blend of blue, green and gray!
And why does all of this matter? Because you want to make sure that you pick the type of blue that you like and avoid the ones you don’t. If you don’t like purple, there are a whole WHACK of blues that you’ll want to avoid, blues that you might not have known lean to the purple side if I hadn’t warned you – same thing for green.
And how you do figure out what type of blue you like?
- Ask the paint store which side of the blue-scale your fave sits on
- Compare. Pick your FAVE blue or two, and then pick up the colour chips directly to the left and right (trusting that your paint store arranges them this way). This will REALLY help to show you how the undertones shift from one to another. If they aren’t arranged that way, just grab 4 or 5 blues that you generally like and compare them to each other, this might help you see the shift in undertones
The above photo shows 3 of the more popular blue choices.
And of course, for each one of those colour strips, there are MORE comparables that take things more purple/blue/green – it just depends on which direction you’re heading in!
Shown above: SW Jubilee
Blue and north-facing rooms
If you are wanting to paint your north-facing room a beautiful blue, you need to tread carefully. Northern exposure is a cool gray/blue light. Adding blue to the walls will only compound the ‘cool look’ of the room and northern light also enhances cool colours slightly.
Shown above: BM Woodlawn Blue
If you’ve fallen in love with a more cool-toned blue, you’ll need to do some serious interior work with lighting, accents and texture to add some balance to the space.
Shown above: BM Lucerne
However, if you are seeing what I’m explaining and are worried about that cool edge, consider a blue leans into green/gray, so that it’s a bit softer looking.
Blue and south-facing rooms
Unlike a north-facing room, a southern room just loooooves blue. Why? South-facing light is warm/yellow and painting a southern room a warm colour only packs on the heat! By painting the walls a cool blue tone, you’ll help to balance out the warm sun rays and add some serious colour balance to the space.
However, it’s important that you really LOVE blue, as in the evening, you won’t have that warm sunshine to balance things and will have to rely on your interior lighting to add the balance.
Blue and Light Bulbs
Warm temperature light bulbs: When there isn’t any daylight, you might find that warm bulbs (particularly old-school bulbs) can cast a yellow/gold glow on the walls. When this mixes with blue, it can create a kind of blue/green blend.
Daylight light bulbs: While personally, I find daylight bulbs a bit too crisp for everyday living, they can be nice in a bathroom.
Daylight bulbs will really show your blue at its most true, but keep in mind that it isn’t a warm, friendly-looking light. I’ve found that men often prefer daylight bulbs, whereas women often like the softness of a warmer light.
Cold temperature light bulbs: There is not a single room that I would recommend these for – nadda.
What are the best trim colours for blue paint?
There are 3 ways to paint your trim when you’re using blue.
- Cool white
- Warm white
White: Choosing a simple white is often the safest bet when you’re painting with blue, but it ALL depends on your décor style and other features such as any white cabinets/existing whites
Warm white: A warm white will slightly contrast with the blue, creating a really pretty combo as long as you don’t go TOO warm on the white, subtle and simple is best!
Cool white: Cool whites can keep up the crisp, clean, cool vibe of your blues
So, now that we’ve covered the basics of blue, it’s time to pick you FAVE, so head on over to this blog post to see some of my faves!
Not sure which blue is right for you?
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