ask the experts4 min read

Color explained: everything you need to know about teal paint

Hallway decorated in Lick Teal 02 paint shade
Lick Teal 02

WordsFrankie Marqueé


Ah teals – that mellow middle ground between blue and green that feel rather grown-up, a little bit different but  in no way try-hard. In the Lick palette, we’ve got a total of six, but how do you go about knowing which is  your best match? Keep reading and you’ll soon find out…

Let’s talk undertones 

Hover over any of our colors, not just teal, and you’ll likely see a shout-out to an undertone in the one-line color description that appears as if by magic. Undertones are the base that help to define a color, its temperature, its mood. They’re a big deal in other words and they’re not to be ignored. 

But what on earth do they mean? What’s the difference between a grey-based teal or one with a blue undertone?  Will one suit by home better than the other? The answer to the last question is a definite yes. Undertones shape your paint's character so it’s wise to get clued up on what they’re all about. 

At Lick, we use two main undertones for our teals – green and grey. Grey undertones are known for their crispiness and their contemporary edge, whilst green undertones are known for their warmth.

Color compatibility and room direction 

The final deciding factor for finding your meant-to-be teal comes down to the color compass. Natural light is a glorious thing, but depending on what time of day your room receives it most, the tone of that light will be very different indeed and therefore, your paint color can look almost like it’s got a filter on it. To choose the most harmonious hue for your room that means looking at the compass and understanding which color best suits the point that it’s facing.

North-facing rooms: mid blue or green teals

Northerly light is a cool so-and-so, known for its hint of blue. That means if you pick a cooler teal, it’s going to feel cooler still and bring out its blueness. That can be great news if you’re channeling a cool, minimal Nordic scheme, where Teal 02 paint is going to feel even bluer and chiller. However, if you're wanting to warm up your space, go for Teals with warming green undertones such as Teal 04, Teal 05 or Teal 06.

East-facing rooms: teals that best suit the time of day 

With both east and west-facing rooms you’ll need to think about at what point of the day you use them most.  Take an east-facing sitting room as a good example. In the evening, it’ll have cooler light, so if you pick a cool teal like Teal 03, it’ll feel fresh and calming rather than cosy and comforting. Perhaps that’s what you’re looking  for, but if not, it’s better to go for slightly warmer teal like light teal blue paint, Teal 01. The reverse is true for AM light where it’ll  feel far warmer.

West-facing rooms: on the whole, warming teals  

Take the east-facing room advice and flip-reverse it, because in that same living room scenario, your west-facing  living room will enjoy warm and bright light come the afternoon and early evening, so if you l-o-v-e the depth of Teal 02 and Teal 03, they’ll feel box fresh when you wake and then later in the day, you’ll be able to warm  them up nicely while neutralising the glow.