Choosing the Perfect Navy Paint

For quite some time now, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to go BOLD in the guest room. I’m not sure how I came up with the idea that the room had to be navy, but once I landed on that idea…there was no turning back. That room was going to be navy! But the problem is…there are sooooo many navy paint colors out there. How the heck was I going to find the right one for the space?

Following some of the tips from this post, I browsed the internet, Pinterest, and some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. After lots of research, I narrowed it down to 4 navy contenders.

Valspar “Cadet Song” (VR11SA)


Photo via The Lily Pad Cottage

Valspar “Indigo Streamer (4010-4)

desert-domicile-indigo-streamerPhoto via Desert Domicile

Valspar “Dutch Licorice” (4008-4C)

dutch-licorice-whatevershesgotPhoto via Whatever She’s Got

Valspar “Relaxed Navy” (5001-2B)

grace-lee-cottage-relaxed-navyPhoto via Grace Lee Cottage

Honestly, I liked them all and had no idea how the heck I was going to choose one winner. So, I headed to Lowe’s and got some samples to bring back home with me.

navy paint colorsTop: Relaxed Navy (left) Dutch Licorice (right) Bottom: Cadet Song (left) Indigo Streamer (right)

diy_wood_wall-002I painted them on the wall, where our wood wall would be installed. After painting them, I immediately knew that the one in the upper left hand corner was OUT. It was pretty, but much too light and blue for my liking. I needed something darker.

navy-paint-samplesThe other 3 were still in the race though, and I needed to figure out which one was right for me. I didn’t want to paint the 3 samples on the other walls of the room, specifically because I wasn’t yet decided if I was just going to paint the wood wall in navy as an accent, and leave the other 3 walls gray.

So that’s when this new product from Lowe’s came into play…and let me tell you it was so HELPFUL when it came to making my final decision. spot-on-lowes-paintIt’s called “Spot On” and it’s a mini kit that helps you decide exactly which color paint you should choose for your walls. The kit is equipped with a color handbook, three 9”x12” removable decals, sample paint trays and rollers. You can pick one up at your local Lowe’s when you get your color samples, or order one online here. paint-samples-swatchesThe handbook is pretty awesome, because it is chock full of useful information right at your fingertips. It chats about sheens, color flow between rooms, and even has a paint coverage calculator so you can figure out how many gallons you need to buy!


I loved the handbook, but the paint trays, rollers, and decal sheets were my absolute favorite. painting-navy-samplesYou just flip the sheet on over, pour your sample into the mini tray, and roll it onto the sheet. navy-paint-dutch-licoriceThen you’re supposed to let it dry, paint on a second coat, and then work with it. However, I was waaaaay too eager to do 2 coats and wanted to get a move on with my navy selection. navy-paint-choicesSo 1 coat was going to have to do! To keep the colors straight, I wrote down the names on the bottom with a sharpie. dutch-licorice-spot-on-sampleThen, all you do is peel the decal off the sheet and stick it to the wall.  It doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue, and you can easily stick & re-stick them in different areas of the space. I tried them on all of the walls, put them by the trim, windows, and closet. navy-paint-samples-on-wallHere are my 3 navy choices. Honestly, after putting them up in a couple areas…I immediately knew which one was right for me.

Cadet Song = too grayish

Indigo Streamer = too blue

Dutch Licorice = JUST RIGHT!


We had a winner! I drew a little star on the bottom, and left the samples on the wall until Finn was home to judge them too. He agreed…our guest room would be painted in Dutch Licorice.

And to hold you over until the painted guest room reveal, here’s a little time lapse video of us painting the space….

You’ll notice halfway through that my mom stopped by to bring us lunch, and we then recruit her to change her clothes and help us paint! It was a team effort all around.

All the details on the paint job, next week on the blog!


Other Paint Color Resources

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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