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The best terra cotta paint colors in 2023

Want to paint a room in your home terra cotta? Bring on the fun! Here’s how to pick the perfect terra cotta paint color + some of my favorite terra cotta paint colors!

Earth tones are having a big moment. This is boosted by boho or natural style home decor.

This style typically involves a lot of greens, neutral naturals, and pops of bold colors like terra cotta.

It might give you 70s vibes, but this beautiful rich color is here and trending in a big way!

the best terra cotta paint colors

What color is terracotta?

Terra cotta is typically considered an earthy shade of deep orange with a good amount of brown to it. It can also have undertones of peach, pink, gray, or tan.

Is terra cotta red or brown?

Terracotta colors are actually not red but usually more orange and brown. Orange colors include red in their makeup, so a very dark or deep terra cotta might read as a bit red.

Is terracotta the same as burnt orange?

Terracotta is usually a burnt orange with a good amount of brown to it. Burnt orange itself is sometimes less muted than terracotta and can appear very bright. So, most terracottas are burnt orange, but not all burnt oranges are terracotta.

What color family is terra cotta?

Terra cotta is in the orange color family.

Is terracotta a popular color?

Terra cotta is definitely trending. This color is popular for home decor and accessories. Due to it’s bold hue, it’s less popular as a wall paint color – but it is a fabulous option for color-lovers!

Is terra cotta a good color to paint room?

Heck yes it is! A lot of people are afraid to decorate with bold colors. They are scared to paint a terra cotta wall and terrified of painting a whole room terra cotta!

However, the right shade can be truly beautiful. It could subtly add just a touch of soft terra cotta to an otherwise beige space.

Or, it can be bold and bright and transform even a small space into a brilliant jewel box.

What room should I paint terra cotta?

You can paint any room terra cotta but here is some advice.

If you are painting a living room, kitchen, or large, open space, go for a lighter shade. Something with muted, gray or beige under tones. This will make the space feel light, airy, and bright with just a hint of happy warmth.

If you are painting a bedroom, playroom, office, or similar, go with a nice medium toned terra cotta hue. Consider painting a 3/4 wall with white on top to brighten it further and draw the eye up.

If you are painting a small space – a powder room, closet, or laundry room – go bold! A deep terra cotta can be fabulous and dramatic in a small space.

Is terra cotta paint warm or cool?

Typically, terra cotta paint is warm in tone. They usually have red or orange undertones. Warm colors usually make a space feel very cozy and inviting!

Consider going very bold and painting even the ceiling. This is a trick used by interior designers to make small spaces feel actually larger and extra cozy.

the best terra cotta paint colors

How to pick the right terra cotta paint color for your room

There are a lot of shades of terra cotta paint. How do you find the right one?

The answer is to let your room do a lot of the deciding. No color will look exactly the same in any two spaces.

Start by looking on Pinterest for inspiration. Create a board just of terra cotta rooms that you love.

Once you have at least twenty pins in that board, look them over. What do they have in common? What family are they in? See if you can click thru and find out the actual color name.

Now go to your local paint store. Grab the paper paint swatches for as many colors as you can that are in the family or vibe that you determined you like.

Bring them home and tape them or hold them up on your wall. It’s important to hold them vertically in the actual space and not just look at them at the hardware store.

Narrow it down to your 2-5 favorites.

Return to the paint store and purchase samples of those colors.

Paint squares of that color – at least 12″x12″ – in several places in your room. Be sure to get spots next to things that won’t change – like trim, tile, or flooring.

Look at the paint morning, noon, and night. Look with the lights on. Look with the lights off and the blinds open.

Take a picture. Take a picture with a flash.

Which do you prefer? That is your color!

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What colors go with terra cotta?

Terracotta is a great color because it pairs with so many accent colors!

It is easy to pair terra cotta with neutrals: white, black, gray, beige, cream, and brown are all colors that complement terracotta.

Terra cotta also pairs nicely with bright colors for a bold look: mustard yellow, navy blue, black, or sage green.

Don’t be afraid to layer shades of terra cotta, too. Darker shades pair really nicely with pale terra cotta!

When choosing complimentary colors for your terra cotta colors, my biggest tip is to pick something at least two shades off. Basically, pair a light color with dark accents or a dark color with light accents.

Imagine taking a photo of your room in black and white – you don’t want it to all be the same shade of “gray” but instead go for contrast!

Click here to see all of the 65 best paint colors to pair with terra cotta!

Terra cotta paint color scheme

Join the (free!) PaintColorProject+ community to access this exclusive color palette! Once you join, you can right click & save the palette image!

sherwin williams cavern clay terra cotta paint color palette

Does terra cotta go with gray?

Most terra cotta shades are muted with gray undertones. This means that the coordinate well with gray accent colors. I recommend a shade of gray either two shades lighter or two shades darker than your terra cotta, for contrast.

Do burgundy and terracotta go together?

Burgundy and terra cotta can work together, but it’s a bit like pairing red and orange – tricky. Unless you are confident in your color pairing, I’d stay away from this combo.

Does brown go with terracotta?

Most Most terra cotta shades are orange with brown undertones. This means that the coordinate well with brown accent colors. I recommend a shade of brown either two shades lighter or two shades darker than your terra cotta, for contrast.

Does Navy go with terracotta?

Yes – navy and terracotta are often paired together in prints and patterns such as rugs and wallpaper. This is a great combination and really can feel traditional in certain applications (like an oriental rug) or modern in others (such as an abstract painting).

What white paint goes with terracotta?

I like to pair terra cotta with a warm or neutral toned white paint color. Cool tones will read as a bit blue in this pairing.

Here are my favorite warm white paint colors.

the best terra cotta paint colors

The best terracotta paint colors

Here are my picks for the best terra cotta paint colors for your home, broken into light and dark shades of terracotta.

Light terracotta paint colors

Sherwin Williams Smoky Salmon

Sherwin Williams Smoky Salmon

Smoky Salmon is a great choice for a light, muted terra cotta color. It can lean a bit pink or even blush in certain lighting so be sure to swatch it if you don’t like that look.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Smoky Salmon.

Sherwin Williams Persimmon

sherwin williams persimmon

Persimmon is an energetic orange paint color that is muted down with gray undertones. It’s almost a muted tangerine – light, bright, and happy, but not at all neon.

Note that Benjamin Moore also has a color called Persimmon that is much redder and not really terracotta at all!

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Persimmon.

Valspar Lush Peach

Valspar Lush Peach

Lush peach is a very light terracotta color that reads as almost – you guessed it – peach. I included it anyways because it is a bit of a safer way to incorporate terracotta into a room without having to fully commit to a darker color.

Behr Piñata

Behr Piñata

Behr Piñata is a mid-toned terra cotta color. In a very bright room, it will read as a bit lighter, but in a darker room it will look darker. This shade has some pink to it for a soft, muted look.

Dulux Tuscan Terracotta

Dulux Tuscan Terracotta

Tuscan Terracotta is another great lighter terracotta paint color. It has a nice balance of pink and orange to it, and is a good match to a literal terracotta pot.

Dark terracotta paint colors

Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay

Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay

Cavern Clay has a good amount of red and orange to it. It’s a very rich color that can read as Southwestern or even Mid Century modern.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Cavern Clay.

Benjamin Moore Spiced Apple Cider

Benjamin Moore Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced Apple Cider is a mid to dark toned terra cotta color with a good amount of pink to it. It also has beige and gray undertones, which help to keep it from looking salmon.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Spiced Apple Cider.

Benjamin Moore Wild Flower

Benjamin Moore Wild Flower

Wild flower is actually classified by Benjamin Moore as a red color with pink and orange tones to it. So, it’s a redder shade – but I think that it still reads as Terracotta.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Wild Flower.

Valspar Copper Patina

Valspar Copper Patina

I love this as the ultimate darker terracotta color. It’s truly a rusty orange with brown to it – a beautiful, deep terracotta!

Sherwin Williams Baked Clay

Sherwin Williams Baked Clay

This is another great rusty orange paint color, with just a hint to red to it to give it that terracotta feel.

Note that Benjamin Moore has a color called Baked Clay, too. It is much redder and not really terra cotta!

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Baked Clay.

Benjamin Moore Baked Terracotta

Benjamin Moore Baked Terracotta

This medium to deep toned shade of terracotta is a bit brighter and less subdued than some of the other options. Great if you love bold color.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Baked Terracotta.

Benjamin Moore Terra Cotta Tile

Benjamin Moore Terra Cotta Tile

This is an ultra-deep terracotta shade with a good amount of red to it. Super luxe and almost a jewel tone its so rich!

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Terra Cotta Tile.

Benjamin Moore Terra Mauve

Benjamin Moore Terra Mauve

Terra Mauve is another more rusty orange terra cotta color. It is very muted with a lot of gray to it, and a beautiful deep shade.

Click here to get a peel and stick sample of Terra Mauve.

What are your favorite terracotta wall colors?

Still not sure what paint color to choose?

My Paint Color Formula ebook walks you through the painless process of expertly testing paint swatches to ensure you have the perfect color for your home.

Learn more about the Paint Color Formula here!

The best way to sample paint? Samplize!

Get peel-and-stick removable and reusable paint samples here!

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Thanks for reading!

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