Choosing a Navy Paint Color

Project nursery is well underway! We spent last weekend hanging crown molding and painting. I knew from the beginning I really wanted to do navy in this room. At first I was planning on one wall of navy and the rest a light gray, but after looking at lots of navy rooms I found myself more drawn to the all navy rooms so I nixed the gray wall idea. This room is small, and it’s going to have a lot of stuff packed in there, so once it’s all done the wall color will be more of an accent anyway. I’m planning on white curtains and lots of stuff on the walls to contrast.

I have been a fan of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy since the first time I saw it, and I’ve seen tons of bloggers using it lately. I couldn’t not try it out, you know, in the name of research. I love seeing how the popular paint colors look in real life. It was the first sample I picked up, but after putting it on the walls in this little one window bedroom in the back of our house….it was just too dark. It’s a really great navy, and has lots of gray in it, and I do love it, but it’s not right for this room. So I went two shades lighter on the card and tried out Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue, and then I was worried that was too light, so then I sampled Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue.

Benjamin Moore navy paint color ideas

It was between Newburyport Blue and Van Deusen Blue. I finally decided on Van Deusen Blue after A LOT of waffling. I really wanted a good, dark navy wall, but I didn’t want the room to be too cave like, and the room will have a couple pieces of espresso furniture which I don’t want to just blend right into the wall.

Tips on choosing Benjamin Moore navy paint colors

Once we started painting the room, I knew that Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue was the right choice, especially after it started drying. It’s two shades lighter than Hale Navy, the color I originally thought would be the winner in here. Colors tend to intensify once you get the whole room painted, and this room only gets a little bit of mid-morning direct sun, then the rest of the day it doesn’t get any direct sunlight. It’s still a good dark navy.

Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue

I used Benjamin Moore Ben Paint in eggshell, since it was significantly cheaper than Regal and Aura, and I thought with a dark color I’d probably be doing two coats anyway so I didn’t want to fork over for the super expensive paint. I typically go for the highest level, most expensive paint from whatever brand I’m using since I prefer the ease of use, and they just tend to perform better.

Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue

But, let me tell you, the Ben line of paint is really good. When I was cutting in around the crown and baseboards, I had no issues with streaking, and when rolling it was essentially one coat coverage. I did have to touch up a few flecks from the roller here and there where you could see little tiny dots of the old wall color, but I seem to need to do that every single time I paint a room regardless of the paint. I didn’t do a full second coat, just a light touch up for the flecks. I didn’t have to do a second coat where I cut in at all, aside from touching up a couple spots I missed the first time (thank goodness…I hate cutting). It’s a paint and primer in one, and sometimes I find that means it’s a really thick paint, but this is actually a thinner paint that just covers really well. I prefer this because you use less paint, it goes on more smoothly, and dripping isn’t much of an issue.

This room is about 12×12 with a window and two doors, and I still have over 1/4 of a gallon left. Our ceilings are low at 7.5′, so keep that in mind if you’re doing calculations on how much paint you need.

Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue

Even though they say it’s okay to use acrylic paints while pregnant, I still wore a respirator to be on the safe side. This is low VOC paint, but it still has a paint smell (I’ve found this to be true of pretty much all the low VOC paints I’ve tried). I have this respirator
which is excellent for all types of applications. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s also so much better, and I think more comfortable, than a dust mask if you are doing heavy sanding, and it really blocks out all sorts of fumes well. If you are working with something particularly toxic, you should of course consult the manual to make sure it works for that.

Now we’re busy putting together the crib, dresser, and decorating. We picked up the crib and dresser from Ikea a couple weeks ago, and I actually enjoy putting together Ikea furniture and normally do that sort of thing around our house. I find it funny now how putting together furniture now completely wipes me out. I spent a few hours putting the furniture together the other day and felt like I had just finished a serious workout. The up and down with this belly is tough!

I’ll update here with the final room reveal, but I’ll be posting more detail about our decor choices on Involving Home if you want to follow along there.

If you are looking for more navy inspiration, check out my recent post on top navy paint colors.



  1. katherine says

    I painted a wall in my dining room and the adjoining hallway in hale navy last year and loved it! I had no idea it was a stylish color, I’ve just always loved navy!

  2. says

    These are the EXACT colors I’ve sampled and had the same reaction as you… the Hale Navy felt VERY dark in our low-lit dining room. The Newburyport felt like it had more ‘blue’ to it… i.e. it was easier to tell it was a blue in the darker room. I’m excited to try the Van Deusen! For a formal dining room I’m cautious of blues that might read too ‘young’, but it looks nice and rich on your walls. Fun! Thanks for the intel! xx

  3. says

    This post helped me so much! I am in a similar situation. I’m in the process of choosing paint for the house we’re building (too many decisions!) I really wanted a navy room, but didn’t want it to feel too dark and we are dealing with a small space, along with some darker furniture. I was strongly considering van Deusen blue but couldn’t commit until I saw this! It still looks gorgeously navy :) Thank you!


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