Pantone’s color of the year this year is just … wrong. Seriously, they picked some light shade of green. I’m not seeing that color in that many places, but what I am seeing is TEAL. Seriously—teal dressers, teal bookshelves, teal walls, teal everything. At least where home décor is concerned, this is the ultimate trending hue.
Of course, it isn’t just one particular shade of teal. It is more like a range of teals and aquas. But for the most part, we are talking about a medium blue with undertones of green.
What is so appealing about teal? I think I can come up with a few different reasons why teal is suddenly everywhere:
- It is a “neutral” color with restraint and sophistication. Actually, it isn’t far off from that default wallpaper color that used to be included in super old versions of Windows. So it has an air of professionalism about it—which wouldn’t make it a bad choice for home or office décor, actually.
- It grabs attention—but is muted enough to fit into old-fashioned styles. In a largely white interior (very popular right now), teal stands out. It instantly draws the eye. But there is still a sense of subtleness and softness about it, which means it fits well with more rustic, old-world décor styles which are trending at the moment.
- Like the ocean, it is instantly refreshing. Teal is close to the color of the sea, so it can even be used to evoke a sense of the ocean—especially when it is used in ombre décor. Darker shades represent deeper depths, fading into paler shades and finally into white—which is like sea foam.
- It is a “warm” shade of blue. In terms of warm and cool hues, teal is definitely a “warmer” blue than say for example cobalt. If you prefer warmer tones in your home but still want to use blue, this makes it a good choice, since it will not make your interior feel austere.
Confused about warm and cool shades of blue—particularly given that overall, blue is denoted as a cool color? This is a brief but useful discussion on color analysis which can help you make sense of things. The better your understanding of color theory is, the easier it will be for you to match teal with existing décor.
By the way, there is a pretty fuzzy line between teal, aqua and turquoise, so I am featuring all three below (one person’s teal does seem to be another person’s turquoise).
So now that you understand more about the appeal of teal, let’s take a look at some teal DIY décor projects which you can incorporate into your own home!
1. Go for a muted, rustic look.
Here is a teal dresser uploaded by a Pinterest user which I absolutely love! The teal has been brushed on lightly so that some of the original dark wood still shows through. The dark wood color has been left alone on the top so that it forms a contrast with the drawers and the sides. A candelabra in the same teal color has been placed on top to complete the look.
Source: Pinterest Originals
2. Here is how to do a color wash on a dresser to achieve a lovely teal hue.
At the link below, you can find a detailed tutorial which teaches you how you can create a teal wash for a dresser. If you check the link, you can also see some incredible before and after pictures; you seriously would never recognize this dresser—it has changed so much!
3. Use the Bermuda blending paint technique to create some startling contrasts with teal.
This is a technique where you blend a couple of similar shades (like different hues of teal and blue) along with a contrast shade (like a coppery orange) to achieve a look similar to an aged metallic patina. At the link, you can read through an excellent detailed tutorial with lots of images both of this project and others which use the same paint technique.
4. Paint some sections of wood in teal and leave others bare.
Here is another Pinterest image which was uploaded by a user. As you can see, another great way of achieving contrast is to paint some sections of wood with teal and leave others alone. This once again creates a meeting of warmer and cooler colors, and draws emphasis to the painted teal wall on the left.
5. Learn how to get a weathered teal finish for your furniture.
If you enjoy the muted, rustic look you can get with teal, then you are going to adore this tutorial! This finish has the added appeal of leaving the underlying wood grain visible, whereas a full teal wash hides the texture. So if you like the look of painted furniture but don’t want to lose the grain, this is a great technique to try.
6. Teal makes for a beautiful contrast with metallic design elements.
The transformation of this desk is beyond incredible. Check out the post so you can see what it looked like before the paint job. What I really love about this one is the color contrast between the teal and the drawer handles.
7. Paint an ombre teal dresser with a “highlighted” look.
This is one of the most elegant furniture transformations I have seen. Here we have a dresser which has been done over in teal with a subtle ombre gradient. A layered “highlighting” technique was used to add depth, which works beautifully with the ornate flourishes that were already a part of the dresser’s original design.
8. Give a boring nightstand an exquisite teal makeover.
I definitely recommend taking a look at the blog post where I found this picture (see the link)! This nightstand has a clean, contemporary look—very different from many of the more rustic, old-fashioned teal furniture projects I have shared so far. It started out as a very bland item of furniture, and was turned into something truly exceptional by this talented crafter. Check it out!
9. Dark teal can have a very refined look.
While many of the projects I have featured so far are a medium teal, here is one in a very dark teal. Rather like the very first one that I shared, the dark wood on top has been left in its natural hue to provide contrast and keep the piece grounded.
10. Teal can work very well on a table.
This table also has a brown top with teal legs, and it looks phenomenal! Check out the post to watch the entire process.
11. This bed in rustic teal is absolutely enchanting.
Now this may be one of my favorite uses of teal ever! This rustic bed would look amazing even if it were all just in the natural wood tones, but the pale teal really helps to soften up the look and make it more homey. You can also see that it works nicely on the nightstand.
12. Teal can make a bold, modern statement in the right context.
The black and white stick-and-peel wallpaper inside this nightstand really adds some cool contemporary pizzazz. In contrast with the bright aqua hue, it is simply mesmerizing.
13. Use teal to frame a monogram.
Here is another project where teal has been paired up with black and white for an eye-catching look. Only in this case, the frame has a rustic look to it, which in itself is a contrast with the modern look of the zigzag design.
14. Spruce up your jewelry box with some aqua, teal, or turquoise.
Previously a boring brown color, this jewelry box is now a bold aqua that just shouts for attention.
15. Give a dresser a beach vibe by painting it in ombre teal colors.
Have you noticed that teal is a really, really popular color for desks and dressers? Here is one which features a light teal at the bottom, moving up through a gradient of lighter blues to white. It has a lovely seaside feel to it.
16. Here is how to paint your steps with ombre teal colors.
I can’t thank this blogger enough for this one. There is another much more popular image of a teal ombre staircase floating around, but nobody seems sure of its source. This one on the other hand was easy to trace back to a blog, where the creative DIYer who worked on it provided a ton of information on the project. Be sure to take a look!
17. Make beautiful teal ombre soaps.
Seriously, these soaps look so delicious I want to eat them up … well, okay, maybe not literally. But they do remind me of cakes with some kind of marvelous golden frosting on top. Anyway, would these not look awesome in any bathroom?
18. Dip-dye your curtains teal.
Check out this link to read about how you can dip-dye ordinary white curtains so that they fade to teal at the bottom. These are so gorgeous!
19. This hutch is charmingly old-fashioned.
I love the weathered, time-worn look of this hutch, which has been painted with a muted color. It’s not quite teal, but it is in the same ballpark.
Source: Pinterest Originals
20. Turquoise and dark walnut work beautifully together.
Check out the gorgeous contrast between the dark walnut and teal finishes here. What is really cool about this piece is the way the color contrasts were used to draw the eye to the different flourishes in the wood. There were no random choices here—everything serves a purpose.
Source: Pinterest Originals
21. Beautiful blue painted buffet.
Is it bad that I don’t know what a buffet is in terms of furniture? Well, regardless of what it is, I can say one thing for sure, and that is that this one is beautiful!
22. A simple teal dresser paint job.
Painted by Julie Peterson of Simple Redesign, this dresser indeed has a simple and refined look to it. Be sure to check out the source link to see more of her portfolio, which includes many other lovely furniture repaints in blue, green and everything in between.
23. Spray painting works surprisingly well.
Don’t fancy the idea of picking up a paintbrush and worrying about hiding your brush strokes (or artfully working them into the look you are creating)? It turns out that spray paint can work just as well. Check out these beautiful results.
24. Use teal for exteriors, not just interiors.
Isn’t this garden shed absolutely adorable? The teal paint with the white trim looks amazing. The trellis and the windmill help to complete the look, making this an incredibly inviting place to relax for the afternoon.
25. Or do both your interior and your exterior in teal.
Here is an absolutely gorgeous shed which is teal inside and out (so far as I can tell). I highly recommend visiting the source link so that you can see more interior shots. I am totally envious of the person who owns this place!
26. Check out this imaginative sparkling mermaid lingerie chest.
The sheer artistry which has gone into this teal chest is inspiring. While the teal is beautiful all on its own, it is when you pull the drawers open that you really see the magic of this incredible design.
27. Give your kitchen a teal makeover.
The teal paint on these kitchen cabinets makes for a lovely splash of the unexpected amid otherwise warm colors in the wood, tiles and walls. I can imagine that this room now has a totally different vibe than it did before.
28. Integrate lots of different colors for a beautifully textured look.
This paint job is cool because it incorporates lighter and darker blues as well as some other surprising colors—I think I can see hints of magenta in there offsetting the blues. It comes from the aptly-named blog “The Turquoise Iris.” Be sure to visit to see some other cool teal and turquoise décor projects.
29. Check out two more custom teal finishes from The Turquoise Iris.
Here are two more lovely teal painted furniture projects from The Turquoise Iris; you can view more photos of both in the same entry (linked below). Once again, you can appreciate the artist’s use of startling splotches of color—yellows, tans and greens where you least expect them. This is likely a technique she has brought over from the flower paintings she makes.
30. Teal makes for a stunning backdrop for a realistic design.
Finally, here is one of the most amazing teal furniture items I have seen! This one gets shared a lot, and it’s well deserved. Those butterflies look so real, and the teal provides for the perfect backdrop, helping each of them to stand out.
Conclusion: Teal Is a Vibrant, Refreshing Color That Can Complement Any Home
Whether you are looking for a new color to paint your dresser, you are thinking of redoing your walls, or you are searching for an idea for adding more color to tables and chairs, pillows, or anything else in your home, teal is an excellent choice. It is one of this year’s trending colors, and now you have the inspiration you need to bring the magic of teal to your own abode!