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What is a warm blue paint?

What is a warm blue paint?

When looking for a warm blue paint color, there are a few key things to consider. The shade of blue, the undertones, and the finish will all impact how warm or cool a blue paint color will look. Choosing the right warm blue paint can be tricky, but understanding some basics about color theory and paint finishes will help narrow down the options. In this article, we’ll discuss how to select a warm blue paint color for your home.

The Basics of Warm and Cool Paint Colors

In the world of color theory, colors are described as being either warm or cool. Warm colors have a yellow, red, or orange undertone. Cool colors have a blue, green, or purple undertone. Most blue paint colors are on the cooler end of the spectrum. However, some shades of blue lean slightly warmer.

What makes a blue paint warm? Warm blue paint colors get their subtle warmth from hints of orange, yellow, tan, or brown mixed into the base blue color. These warmer undertones subtly shift the blue color slightly towards the warm end of the color spectrum.

Some examples of warm shades of blue paint include:

– Sky blue
– Periwinkle blue
– Powder blue
– Robin’s egg blue
– Pale turquoise
– Baby blue

These warm blue shades tend to read as soothing, tranquil, and inviting on walls. Cooler blues, on the other hand, come across as more energizing and stimulating.

How Lighting Affects Paint Color

The way lighting hits a wall painted in a warm blue shade will affect how the color is perceived. Warm blue paint colors will look more blue in cool, natural daylight. Under warm incandescent light bulbs, that same blue wall may pick up some of the yellow from the light source, making the blue wall appear slightly greenish.

This color shift that happens under different lighting is important to consider as you select a warm blue paint color. Sample paint chips viewed under the lighting conditions of the room you want to paint will give the most accurate representation of how the color will look.

Finish Impacts Warmth

Another important factor that impacts the warmth of a blue paint color is the finish. Paint finishes determine the sheen level of the dried paint. Some common finishes include:

– Flat – no sheen, matte finish
– Eggshell – soft velvety sheen
– Satin – smooth, subtle sheen
– Semi-gloss – some shine
– High-gloss – reflective, shiny finish

Flat finishes with no sheen tend to mute colors slightly. The lack of light reflection flattens the tones of the paint color. Higher sheen finishes like semi-gloss and high-gloss will intensify a color.

Choosing a warmer finish like eggshell or satin will make a blue wall appear slightly warmer than if it was painted with a flat finish.

Matching Undertones

When selecting a warm blue paint color, you’ll also want to consider the undertones of your furnishings and fixtures in the space. Paint colors can interact with other materials in your home. If your floors, cabinetry, furniture, or countertops also have warm undertones, a warm blue paint that picks up on those yellow and orange hues will create a harmonious color scheme.

On the other hand, if your home has mostly cool-toned finishes like grays and beiges, you may want to opt for a cooler blue to complement those existing elements. Clashing undertones can make your space feel disjointed.

Warm Blue Paint Color Options

Now that you understand what makes a blue paint warm, let’s look at some specific warm blue paint colors perfect for walls. Here are some top options in various shades of warm blue:

Pale Warm Blues

– Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore – soft warm gray-blue
– October Mist by Sherwin Williams – pale periwinkle blue
– Skylight by Behr – airy blue with gray undertones
– Baby’s Breath by Valspar – crisp robin’s egg blue

Light Warm Blues

– Dewdrop by Behr – tranquil green-blue
– Coastal Star by Valspar – bright periwinkle blue
– Fair Blue by Farrow & Ball – powder blue gray
– Nebulous Blue by Sherwin Williams – hazy slate blue

Mid-tone Warm Blues

– Blue Danube by Behr – denim toned blue
– Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore – gray-blue with green hints
– Blue Nautical Mile by Valspar – deep robin’s egg blue
– Rainwater by Sherwin Williams – tropical teal blue

Deep Warm Blues

– Blue Note by Behr – rich Earthy blue
– Blue Lagoon by Benjamin Moore – mysterious moody midnight blue
– Livingston Blue by Valspar – cobalt blue with energizing pop
– Moroccan Blue by Sherwin Williams – oceanic teal blue-green

Tips for Using Warm Blue Paint

When working with warm shades of blue paint, keep these tips in mind:

– Test paint samples on walls before committing. Colors look different on tiny chips than full walls.

– For bright accent walls, deep warm blues create an energizing focal point.

– Soft chalky warm blues can read as neutral in some spaces but add subtle color.

– Warm blue pairs perfectly with warm neutrals like tans, taupes, and soft whites.

– Warm wood stains and finishes bring out the slight yellow in warm blue hues.

– Cool grays, slick surfaces, and metal finishes contrast beautifully with warm blues.

Warm Blue Paint in Rooms

Warm shades of blue work well in nearly any room when selected thoughtfully. Here are some ways to incorporate warm blue paint colors in various spaces:

Living Rooms

In living spaces, warm blues create a tranquil relaxed vibe. Light powder blues pair nicely with white trim for a beachy look. Go for weathered wood tones and soft tans to accent.


Bedrooms benefit from the soothing ambiance of warm blues. Try a chalky robin’s egg blue on the walls or opt for a dramatic navy accent wall behind the bed. Warm metallics and neutral linens enhance the cozy factor.


For kitchens, pale warm blues complement marble, natural wood, or white cabinetry. Mid-tone teal blues add personality to modern kitchens with stainless steel and high gloss tiles.


Bathrooms feel instantly refreshed with cool clean warm blues. Try a light powder blue on upper walls with crisp white lower cabinets and tiles. Warm wood flooring adds rich contrast.


In offices and studies, warm blue paint colors aid concentration but are less stark than cooler tones. Pair sky blue or slate blue walls with dark wood built-ins for a refined academic vibe.

Achieving the Warm Blue Look

There are a few different techniques for making a blue wall paint color appear warmer:

Mix with warm accent colors. Using accents like burnt orange, mustard yellow, or terracotta will make surrounding blue hues feel warmer and more inviting by comparison.

Layer lighting. Combining overhead cool daylight bulbs with yellow lamp lighting will make a blue wall reflect both cool and warm undertones.

Add warm wood tones. Staining trim, doors, and furniture a honey oak or medium walnut tone will bring out the subtle warmth in a blue paint color.

Choose a warm sheen. A flat blue can read icy. An eggshell or satin blue finish will feel softer and warmer.

Warm up adjacent walls. If struggling to find the perfect warm blue, paint adjacent walls a warm neutral like tan, beige, or greige to create a harmonious color scheme.


With so many options for turning basic blue into a warm and welcoming paint color, you can easily infuse any space with the tranquil ambiance of blue without the sterile coolness of some shades. Test out warm blue paint samples and finishes to find the ideal hue and tone for your home. Soon you’ll be relaxing in a beautiful space awash in rich, cozy warm blue tones.