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What color is chestnut?

What color is chestnut?

Chestnut is a reddish-brown color that resembles the outer shell of chestnuts. It’s an earthy, natural shade that can range from a light tan to a deep, rich brown depending on the specific type of chestnut. Chestnut gets its name from the nut of the chestnut tree, which has an outer hull or shell that is varying shades of reddish-brown. When someone refers to something as “chestnut” colored, they are talking about a warm, reddish shade of brown.

The Color Chestnut

More specifically, the color chestnut is defined as a medium reddish-brown. It’s considered a neutral color, meaning it goes well with both warm and cool shades. On the color wheel, chestnut is located right between red and brown. It has some muted orange undertones but is not as bold as a bright orange-toned red or rust color. Chestnut has more brown tones than similar colors like burnt sienna or copper. Compared to chocolate brown, chestnut has more red/orange undertones.

The specific hex code for the web color chestnut is #954535. This reddish-brown shade is slightly lighter and brighter than the true color of a chestnut shell, but it is the officially recognized web color chestnut. When printing the color chestnut in CMYK formats, the code is 0, 39, 88, 43.

Chestnut in Nature

As mentioned, the chestnut nut itself is the origin of this color name. The outer hull or shell that protects the chestnut seed is a light to dark brown. The shell color depends on the specific species:

Species Shell Color
American chestnut Light brown
European chestnut Dark brown
Chinese chestnut Dark brown
Japanese chestnut Medium brown

American chestnuts tend to be more of a tan, while European and Asian chestnuts are a richer, darker brown. The darker brown shades are closest to what we think of as classic chestnut color.

In addition to chestnut shells, there are other instances of the chestnut color in nature:

– Chestnut brown horses – Some breeds like Belgian and Percheron horses can have chestnut brown coats.

– Red panda fur – Red pandas have thick, fluffy fur that is reddish-brown in color.

– Freckled bird eggs – The eggs laid by birds like robins sometimes have little brown speckles reminiscent of chestnut shells.

– Autumn tree leaves – In the fall, the leaves of certain trees like maple and chestnut transition to warm, chestnut hues.

So in summary, the chestnut color is inspired directly by the shell of the nut, though there are other chestnut-colored instances in the natural world.

Chestnut Brown Hair

In hair color, chestnut brown is a popular shade that flatters many people. It comes in both cool and warm-toned versions. A cool chestnut brown hair color has subtle ash tones, while warm chestnut brown has more golden red undertones. This versatility makes chestnut brown hair dye one of the most popular brunette shades.

Here are some tips for identifying true chestnut brown hair:

– It has more red/copper tones than milk chocolate brown hair but looks more natural than auburn hair.

– It is two to three shades darker than caramel or honey brown hair.

– Chestnut brown hair color should not pull too cool or ash-toned, nor too brassy. A balanced neutral-warm chestnut is ideal.

– In sunlight, there should be subtle glints of red and gold throughout the hair.

– Compared to espresso hair, chestnut brown has more warmth and dimension.

Chestnut brown is suited for those with fair to medium complexions and hazel, green, or brown eyes. It looks great on both cool and warm skin undertones. This versatile shade works well for those who want to go darker than caramel brown but maintain some warmth.

Chestnut Brown Paint Colors

Chestnut is a popular paint color choice for home interiors. It creates a cozy, welcoming feel in spaces like living rooms, dens, dining rooms, and bedrooms. Chestnut brown paint works well in both modern farmhouse style homes as well as traditional rustic cottages.

Here are some tips for working with chestnut brown paint:

– Test paint swatches first – Chestnut can look quite different depending on the brand of paint and specific finish. Always test samples first.

– Lighting affects appearance – Chestnut will look lighter and warmer in sunny rooms vs. cooler and more muted in dim lighting.

– Consider undertones – Does the chestnut paint look more red, gray, or yellow/orange? Undertones impact the look.

– Distress for a rustic look – For farmhouse style, consider distressing new chestnut painted furniture or walls for an antique look.

– Accent with black – Black furniture, accents, and dark wood trims really make chestnut walls pop.

– Complimentary colors are blue, green, cream – Chestnut brown paint coordinates beautifully with navy blue, sage green, and off-white.

Popular brand chestnut paint colors include Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, Accessible Beige by Sherwin-Williams, and Smokey Topaz by Behr. Always get color samples to find your perfect chestnut shade.

Chestnut in Fashion

Chestnut is an extremely common color in fashion. It pairs well with black, white, pastels, and other earth tones. Chestnut brown clothing has a vintage, timeless quality to it.

Some ways to incorporate chestnut brown into your wardrobe include:

Women’s Men’s
– Dresses – Sweaters
– Coats – Jackets
– Boots – Suits
– Bags – Boots
– Scarves – Belts

Chestnut brown flatters most skin tones. For casual looks, pair it with creams, olive greens, and denim. For workwear, mix it with navy, black, and gray. Chestnut leather handbags are versatile and stylish. Overall, chestnut is a flexible neutral that works for day or night wear.

Foods Associated with Chestnut

Obviously chestnuts themselves are the food most related to this color. But there are other edibles that are chestnut-colored:

– Chestnut pasta – Made from finely ground chestnut flour, this pasta alternative has a signature brown hue.

– Roasted chestnuts – Fresh chestnuts that are roasted over an open fire take on a deeper, richer chestnut brown color.

– Chestnut soup – This blend of pureed chestnuts, vegetables, and cream makes for a hearty, earth-toned soup.

– Chestnut ice cream – You can find chestnut-flavored ice cream with swirls of chestnut puree running throughout.

– Chestnut brownies – Brownies made with chestnut flour or chestnut paste baked in have both chestnut flavor and color.

– Mocha drinks – Coffee mixed with chocolate, like a mocha latte, turns a chestnut brown color when prepared properly.

– Mushroom soup – Cream of mushroom soup, loaded with browned mushrooms, is reminiscent of classic chestnut brown.

So while chestnuts are the most obvious chestnut-colored food, you can find the hue in coffees, soups, baked goods, and other items too.

How Light Reflects Off Chestnut

The way light reflects off a chestnut surface is unique. Light interacts with the reddish-brown pigment, absorbing some wavelengths and reflecting back others. Here are some key ways light reflects off the chestnut color:

– In daylight, appears medium-dark brown with warm, orangey undertones. The red/orange wavelengths are reflected back more.

– Under incandescent light bulbs, chestnut reflects back even warmer – more orange/copper tones come through.

– In shade or shadow, the brown tones are muted and cooler – less reflectivity of light.

– When chestnut has a matte, flat finish the color is muted. Glossy chestnut reflects much more light.

– Distressed or weathered chestnut absorbs more light, creating an antiqued look.

– Polished or varnished chestnut has a liquid-like sheen when light hits it.

So in summary, the finish, lighting, and other factors impacts how our eyes perceive the chestnut shade. It ranges from a soft beige-brown to a vivid burnt orange-brown depending on the context.

Unique Facts About the Color Chestnut

To recap some of the most interesting facts about chestnut:

– Gets its name from the nut of the chestnut tree, but can describe anything reddish-brown.

– Much darker and redder than similar colors like beige and tan.

– Widely used in fashion, interior design, paints, and cosmetics like hair dye.

– Has both warm orangey-red undertones yet also muted cooler brown tones.

– Looks different under various lighting conditions – warm natural light brings out the red undertones more.

– Chestnut leather is prized for its warm richness and supple texture.

– Can vary significantly depending on the specific item – i.e. there’s no exact universal chestnut.

– Works as a neutral that pairs well with many other colors from pastels to black.

So in summary, chestnut is a versatile, earthy reddish-brown that takes its name from a nut but encompasses a wide range of beautiful warm brown shades. This down-to-earth color is a perennial favorite across many industries.


Chestnut is ultimately a reddish-brown color inspired by the outer shell of chestnuts. But it is also so much more – chestnut describes a whole family of earthy, cozy shades ranging from soft beige-browns to deep mahogany hues. Whether it’s chestnut brown hair, chestnut leather shoes, or chestnut stained wood, this color has broad appeal. Chestnut manages to be warmly rustic yet also refined and sophisticated. No wonder it finds use across fashion, home decor, food, and other lifestyle areas. So the next time you see that reddish-brown color, you can confidently call it chestnut!