In a Quest for a Perfect Cerulean Paint Hue. To Tweak or Not to Tweak?

Cerulean blue is a bright and vivid shade of blue often associated with the sky on a clear day. It is named after the mineral cerulean, known for its deep blue color. Cerulean blue is commonly used in art, design, and fashion to evoke a sense of calmness and tranquility. This hue sits between blue and cyan on the color spectrum, offering a refreshing and cool appearance. Whether used in paintings, home decor, or fashion, cerulean blue is celebrated for its versatility and its ability to bring a touch of serenity to various creative endeavors.

In the late spring of 2022, I found myself growing tired of the darker blue Sherwin-Williams Georgian Bay ambiance in my living room, a shade that had adorned the walls for a good five years. Eager for a change, I embarked on a quest to introduce a new, lighter color into my home. After scrolling through numerous magazines and drawing inspiration, I became captivated by the sky-blue hue known as Cerulean.

Cerulean, situated between blue and cyan on the color spectrum, presented a delicate balance. My objective was to discover the perfect shade that wouldn’t lean too much towards aqua, ensuring that my home retained a serene atmosphere rather than resembling a seaside retreat. Armed with determination, I acquired at least six blue samples. Some appeared more aqua upon testing, while others exhibited subtle periwinkle tones. Although periwinkle blue is undeniably charming, I remained steadfast in my pursuit of the ideal cerulean.

Before – painted in Sherwin-Williams Georgian Bay

Following an extensive sampling and a month of contemplation while gazing at my test-painted wall, I ultimately settled on “Toronto Blue” by Benjamin Moore. However, I found it to be slightly darker than I desired. To address this, I opted for a custom-made solution, lightening the color by 25%. The final paint color adorning my walls is, therefore, Toronto Blue but in its custom-tinted variation. Concerns about whether the color might end up too light or not to my liking did cross my mind. However, I reasoned that adjusting the color by 25% would result in a noticeable yet not overly drastic lightening from its original state. Crucially, this modification maintained the original relationship between blue and green, ensuring the richness of the desired sky-blue hue. By adjusting both components proportionally, I avoided the risk of the color becoming overly intense or veering into cyan territory.

Various samples including custom Toronto Blue WIP on the walls – by Benjamin Moore.

In the realm of working with colors and paints, repeated experiences offer an intuitive understanding of the outcomes. This familiarity develops over time, especially after observing numerous samples on the wall once they have dried. It’s this intuitive sense that grows with practice, providing a valuable guide for color decisions in subsequent projects.

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