Colour focus: teal

If your heart sings when surrounded by soothing shades of blue and green, teal may just be the hue for your home.

Bunnings magazine January–February 2020

Once the cornerstone of 80s interiors, teal has shrugged off its retro past to emerge as one of the trending tones for 2020. This rich hue anchors timber tones, offsets metallic touches and adds depth to accents of soft pink and peach.

“There’s a lightness and fluidity that speaks of creativity and adventure,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, colour expert for Dulux. “It’s the ideal backdrop to combine furniture from different eras – from mid-century through to the 80s – in elegant and refined shapes.”

Why we love it

A perfect fusion of mid- to deep-toned green and blue, teal combines the balance and calm of blue with the optimism and healing properties of green. “Reminiscent of tropical and seaside escapes, teal evokes a sense of rejuvenation and relaxation, and has quite a soothing, calming effect,” says Rachel Lacy, colour category manager for Taubmans.

Teal traverses a spectrum of tones, from aqueous hues and pale blue-grey through to deeper shades evocative of the bottom of the ocean.

“Paler teals may have undertones of grey, while brighter teals tend to contain yellow pigments,” explains Rachel Rimmer of colour consultancy Hello Colour. “Although sometimes confused with and similar to the colours cyan and turquoise, the difference with teal is that it’s a darker and less saturated colour.”

Sea change

Blue-greens complement varying architectural styles, suiting both period-style homes and modern interiors. “With its calming qualities, teal lends itself wonderfully to areas of contemplation, including libraries and studies,” says Rachel Rimmer. “Teal also makes a stunning statement colour in the kitchen, where it contrasts beautifully with rich timber tones and beautiful brass hardware.”

This all-rounder is also conducive to relaxation, making it perfect for bedrooms. “Pale teals with grey undertones help to establish an ambience of rest and reflection,” says Rachel Lacy.

Make waves

“Colour is so clever at creating a mood,” says Rachel Rimmer. “In high energy rooms such as the kitchen, you should gravitate towards bold teals with yellow undertones.”

With its eye-catching intensity, teal is ideal for an accent wall or to highlight an architectural feature. “For a show-stopping feature wall, go for an intense teal such as British Paints Riverland Blue or Tempted Turquoise,” says Kelly Magee, colour expert at British Paints.

“Softer tones such as Water Flow and Aqua Motion can be used in bedrooms or living spaces to help create a sense of calm.” Teal can also be added to a neutral space in small quantities through cushions, throws and other accessories.

Bedroom wall painted with rich teal hue
A relaxing blue-green feature wall in Dulux Deep Aqua is a good pick for the bedroom.

Perfect pairing

Teal sits opposite coral on the colour wheel, so it looks wonderful when paired with warm pinks, golds, oranges and soft, blond timbers.

“Warm, earthy hues such as dusty clay and rusty terracotta really help to contrast the richness,” says Rachel Lacy. “You can also try layering it with vibrant jewel tones like sapphire, amethyst and ruby for a luxe look, or create a cool palette and combine teal with inky blues, washed aquamarine and white for a beachy, ocean-inspired feel.”

If you love the look of yellow and teal, Andrea recommends choosing a gold or ginger tone over a straight yellow, which will fade the bluey-green and make it look washed out. Also try to avoid pairing teal with colours such as bright blues, strong violets and vibrant yellows. “Teal tends to lose its warmth and elegance when paired with any of these,” says Rachel Lacy.

The right white

White makes a striking offset, but check your undertones, says Kelly. “Teals tend to work best with colours that have a similar undertone, so try to pair cool, crisp white with blue or green undertones,” she says.

“Deep, dark shades pair beautifully with neutral whites like British Paints’ Love Note, while softer teals tend to work best with cool whites like Infinity White.” As always, for fine-tuning the perfect colour selection, sample pots are your best bet.

Pro tip

For a softer teal, try Dulux Jadeite, Herbal or Hancock, which can be used on one or two walls, or inside a nook as an accent hue

Start painting

Take a look at our full range of paint or take a sample in-store to get it colour matched.


Photography credit: Dulux Australia/Lisa Cohen

Colour palette with varying shades of teal paint

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

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