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What color is terracotta paint?


Terracotta paint is a warm, earthy tone that can add a sense of depth and richness to any space. The name “terracotta” comes from the Italian words terra cotta, meaning “baked earth”, referring to the natural clay color. Terracotta paint includes shades of red-orange, brown, and tan, reminiscent of natural clay and pottery.

Terracotta paint colors are extremely versatile and can work in almost any room of the house. The warm, inviting hue brings a touch of the outdoors inside and pairs well with neutrals like cream and tan for a subtle, earthy look. Terracotta also pops against shades of green and blue, making it ideal for accent walls or front doors. This attractive paint color flatters most woods and natural materials.

The Color Spectrum of Terracotta Paint

Terracotta encompasses a range of warm, earthy hues. There are lighter, more neutral terracotta colors as well as richer, deeper shades. Lighter terracotta colors include:

– Natural clay
– Unbleached silk
– Sandstone
– Parchment
– Straw

These lighter terracotta shades have a warm, subtle look. They are excellent background colors and work nicely with accents in deeper shades.

The mid-tone terracotta colors include:

– Terra cotta
– Adobe
– Desert rose
– Paprika
– Firecracker

Mid-tone terracotta colors are bold yet warm. They make excellent statement walls or can be used throughout a room for a cozy aesthetic.

Deeper terracotta paint colors include:

– Barn red
– Apple cider
– Canyon walls
– Brick road
– Tuscan tile

These richer terracotta shades make dramatic accent colors. They also pair beautifully with creams, grays, and blues.

Choosing the Right Terracotta Paint Color

With so many shades of terracotta paint available, it can be tricky choosing the right hue for your space. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect terracotta paint color:

Color Type Description
Light or neutral terracotta These work well in any room and are especially nice for large spaces like living rooms. Light terracotta colors have a subtle, natural look. They are tranquil and versatile.
Mid-tone terracotta The warmth of mid-tone terracotta colors brings a welcoming feel to kitchens, dining rooms, and studies. These colors also make eye-catching accent walls.
Deep or jewel-tone terracotta Use rich, saturated terracotta colors sparingly as accent walls or front doors. Their boldness can be overwhelming in large doses. Deep terracotta colors pop against light walls.

When selecting a terracotta paint color, also consider the amount of natural light in the space. Deep terracotta hues can feel dark and dramatic in low lighting. For dim rooms, go for lighter terracotta shades. The color of the furnishings and fabrics in the room will also impact how the terracotta paint color appears. Look for colors that coordinate.

Terracotta Paint Color Combinations

One of the joys of decorating with terracotta paint is seeing how it interacts with other colors. Terracotta is extremely versatile, complementing a wide range of paint colors and materials. Here are some recommended color pairings:

Terracotta and Cream or Beige

Cream or beige walls with terracotta accents create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The neutral backdrop lets the terracotta tones pop. Add natural textures like wood furniture and jute rugs to enhance the earthy feel.

Terracotta and Blue

From powder blue to navy, blue is a surprising yet sophisticated pairing for terracotta walls or accents. The contrast of warm and cool tones is eye-catching. For a beachy look, pair a sandy terracotta with light blue walls.

Terracotta and Green

Green is the complement of red on the color wheel, making it a vivid match for terracotta’s orangey-red undertones. Try sage green with a rich terracotta or olive green with a lighter clay shade. The colors bring out nature.

Terracotta and Gray

Cool grays tone down terracotta in a subtle, elegant way. Use light gray walls with deeper terracotta accents or vice versa. Add textural elements like woven blankets and reclaimed wood furniture.

Terracotta and Brown

Different shades of rich brown harmonize flawlessly with terracotta walls and accents. Mix chocolate, tan, or mahogany furnishings with terracotta walls for a soothing, grounded look. Distressed woods also pair nicely.

Terracotta and Black

For dramatic contrast, pair jet black accents with terracotta walls. This bold but surprisingly versatile color scheme works in modern, traditional, or eclectic spaces. Try black and white photography in terracotta-painted hallways or black furniture against a terracotta feature wall.

Terracotta Paint in Different Rooms

From energizing accents to zen neutral backdrops, terracotta paint fits beautifully in every room of the home:

Living Rooms

In living rooms, light terracotta colors like parchment or sandstone create a soothing, welcoming backdrop. Pair with blue and green accent colors and natural wood furniture for a relaxed feel. For drama, use a deep terracotta like Tuscan tile for an accent wall.


Terracotta is a appetizing color for kitchens, calling to mind delicious spices, clay cookware, and Provence countryside. For a French country kitchen, opt for warm terracotta on the lower cabinets with soft cream uppers. Or make a terracotta backsplash the focal point against white or blue cabinets.


In restful bedrooms, lighter terracotta colors like straw or desert rose can create a peaceful ambiance. For excitement, paint an accent wall in a vibrant hue like Firecracker. Terracotta also pairs nicely with bedroom blues, greens, and browns.


The inherent warmth of terracotta brings life to sterile bathroom spaces. As an accent, try a rich shade on the vanity or a saturated hue like Tuscan Tile for the bathtub surround. Neutral terracotta paint is soothing on walls.

Dining Rooms

Terracotta dining rooms exude welcoming charm. For a casual space, use Paprika on the walls with weathered wood tables and chairs. Formal spaces feel rich with plum-colored wainscoting and pale terracotta walls. Terracotta also complements dining room blues, greens, and metallics.


In home offices and studies, mid-tone terracotta colors like Desert Rose or Sandstone help stimulate focus and concentration. For a bolder home office, paint an accent wall in a saturated shade like Apple Cider.


Painting a front door or front hallway is a great way to welcome guests with cheerful terracotta color. Red-orange hues like Firecracker or Apple Cider make old doors pop. Or coat hallway walls in earthy Clay or Paprika.

Outdoor Spaces

For exterior spaces like porches, patios, shutters, and front doors, rich terracotta shades hold up well against sun, wind, and rain. Plus, the earthy colors connect the indoor and outdoor aesthetics.

Terracotta Paint Sheens

Terracotta paint comes in a variety of finishes, ranging from flat matte to high-gloss. The sheen you choose impacts the overall look and feel. Consider the pros and cons of each finish:

– Has no shine, completely matte
– Hides imperfections well
– Needs frequent touching up

– Soft, subtle sheen
– Durable and easy to clean
– Hides imperfections
– Most popular all-purpose finish

– Smoother, slight luster
– Relatively tough and washable
– Shows some surface imperfections

– Moderate shine
– Very durable and scrubbable
– Reflective finishamplifies imperfections

– High shine surface
– Very durable and easy to clean
– Can feel slick
– Draws attention to flaws

For high-traffic areas like hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms, opt for a tougher glossy paint. For hiding surface flaws, use a matte terracotta paint. Eggshell and satin finishes offer great versatility for walls and woodwork.

How to Use Terracotta Paint

Painting with terracotta color is similar to using any interior paint. Follow these steps for best results:

1. Prep the painting surface by cleaning, spackling, sanding, and priming as needed so the area is smooth.

2. Before starting, tape off any adjacent surfaces you don’t want to get paint on. Lay drop cloths to protect floors and furniture.

3. Apply two coats of quality terracotta paint, allowing proper drying time between coats. Water-based latex paint dries faster than oil-based.

4. Use good application tools – quality nylon or polyester brushes, roller covers, paint trays, and scrub brushes for washing brushes. Avoid foam rollers which can cause bubbling.

5. Maintain a wet edge and move quickly to blend the paint properly and avoid lap marks and uneven coverage.

6. For the smoothest finish, gently sand the final coat with fine 200-400 grit sandpaper once fully dry. Wipe away dust before applying any clear finishes or sealers.

7. Allow at least 2 weeks curing time before washing or scrubbing newly painted terracotta walls. Curing fully hardens the paint.

Following these tips will help you achieve professional-looking results painting with warm, earthy terracotta colors. Take your time prepping and applying coats and the finished look will be smooth, rich, and lasting.

Matching Existing Terracotta Paint

If you need to match existing terracotta painted walls when doing touch-ups or expansions, take a chip or swatch to the paint store. They can use a color spectrophotometer to analyze and perfectly match the terracotta tone. Be sure to note where the existing color is located in your home and how much natural lighting it receives, as both affect color perception.

For quick paint-matching at home, paint a thick stripe of the new terracotta paint color next to the existing color in an inconspicuous spot. Check that the tones match at different times of day. Adjust the new paint formula if needed by adding small amounts of complementary paint colors until you achieve a perfect match.

Terracotta Paint Brands

Quality paint will ensure your terracotta walls maintain their rich, vibrant look over time. Here are some top brands for interior and exterior terracotta paint colors:

Behr – Offers a wide range of finish options. Known for good hide and coverage. Provides color-match services.

Benjamin Moore – High quality designer paint with excellent durability. Many terracotta paint colors to choose from.

PPG – Budget-friendly brand with many locations nationwide. User-friendly applicator and cleanup.

Sherwin-Williams – Trusted brand with unique terracotta colors like Firecracker and Yucca. Easy to apply.

Valspar – Affordable option carried at Lowe’s. Terra Cotta exterior paint offers mildew resistance.

Rust-Oleum – Specializes is durable finishes like textured terracotta paints for patio flooring and outdoor furniture.

Behr Marquee – Higher end Behr line provides one-coat coverage and superior fade resistance. Great for dark reds.

Test swatches first to ensure you are happy with the finish and color-accuracy. Provide the brand name and specific terracotta paint color to your local paint store for easy matching.


With earthy beauty reminiscent of clay pots and Tuscan tile, it’s easy to see the appeal of terracotta paint colors. Terracotta tones ranging from creamy neutral to vibrant burnt orange provide warm, welcoming style in any interior. Combining beautifully with shades as diverse as sky blue, sage green, taupe, and ebony, terracotta paint makes for a versatile, livable color scheme. Whether applied subtly or dramatically as an accent wall, quality terracotta paint invokes rustic character and brings a touch of nature indoors. With proper prep and application techniques, your terracotta painted room will provide years of rich, authentic color. Let this ancient hue fill your home with warmth and simple handcrafted beauty.