Navy blue has become interior designers’ and homeowners’ go-to neutral paint color and it’s easy to see why. In design, we’ve come to think of neutrals as gray, beige, and white paint colors but navy is a nice alternative to these traditional shades. But, did you know that the term navy blue actually came from the dark blue uniform worn by the British Royal Navy dating back to 1748? Today’s American navy wears dress “blues” but they are actually black. We often think of navy blue as actually much lighter than it truly is, even with today’s paint color, Naval. It’s far more saturated than a true navy blue which is more subdued and muted. That being said, Sherwin Williams Naval is a particularly popular navy blue paint color because it’s bold and moody. Paired with the right trim color and decor accents, it can feel rich yet calming. Overall, SW Naval is neutral but not bland. It’s inviting but it’s got some depth. If navy blue is calling your name then Sherwin Williams Naval should definitely be on your shortlist.
- All About Sherwin Williams Naval SW 6244
- What Paint Sheen Should I Use for SW Naval?
- Sherwin Williams Naval in Real Spaces
- What Colors Go with Sherwin Williams Naval?
- Colors Similar to Sherwin Williams Naval
All About Sherwin Williams Naval SW 6244
According to Sherwin Williams, Naval is a “deep blue, with its cool gray-green undertone, brings a meditative serenity to your space.” One of the most popular navy paint colors on the market, Naval was Sherwin Williams’s Color of the Year in 2020. What is so beloved about this paint color is its versatility. It can create a splendid backdrop for any decor style. It can easily work as well in a coastal cottage as it will in a sophisticated traditional home. Let’s unpack Sherwin Williams Naval and see if it’s right for you.
How Light or Dark is Sherwin Williams Naval?
The first thing to discuss when talking about paint colors is value. How light or dark is the color? It’s important because you never want to be surprised by a color being too light or too dark once it’s on the walls. If we can get a good idea of its value before we pick it then our chances of actually liking the color we’ve selected in much higher! The way we determine the lightness or darkness of a color is with LRV. More on that in just a moment. What is important to note is that Naval is a saturated, deep dark blue. That’s expected as it’s a navy blue paint color but when compared to various other navy blue Naval can feel more saturated and not quite as soft.
What about the LRV?
The Light Reflectance Value or LRV of Sherwin Williams Naval is 4.
Okay, more about that LRV thing I mentioned. We use a tool called “Light Reflectance Value or LRV to determine how light or dark a paint color is (100 is the whitest white and 0 is the darkest black). “Light” refers to Light Reflective Value, meaning the amount of light reflected. The more reflective the color, the brighter it will appear. This deep navy blue color has an LRV of 4. Naval is just one point higher than, Anchors Aweigh, the darkest navy blue that Sherwin Williams offers. LRV is super helpful when comparing paint colors because we can get a better idea of the value in numbers and not lean on the naked eye. Let’s take a look at Naval compared to the rival Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. Hale Navy has an LRV of 8.36. Just four points on a 100-point scale doesn’t seem significant but when comparing two similar colors this is a distinct difference.
Is Naval a Warm or Cool Color?
Maybe color undertones are more of a topic for neutrals but I think they’re important to chat about with blues because it can be the difference between a purple-leaning navy blue and a true blue. Sherwin Williams Naval is a neutral, slightly cool dark blue paint. To determine whether or not a paint color is warm or cool we look at its undertones. Cool colors will have undertones in the realm of gray, blue, purple, and maybe even green. Since we’re on the topic, let’s just dive right into undertones.
What Are Sherwin Williams Naval’s Undertones Anyway?
Reading undertones is how you avoid a purple accent wall when you were hoping for dark blue! I looked at Naval against several comparable colors as well as white and black and I don’t see any super obvious purple or even gray undertones. Naval is a solid dark blue paint color. In some comparable paint colors like Hale Navy, you can see gray undertones that soften the color significantly. Naval doesn’t have those undertones and therefore misses the softness as well. It’s a more saturated color because of it. That being said, make sure you sample, Naval because sometimes it can surprise you with the amount of color it has hidden in that paint can.
As a general rule I always say, “you must sample your paint colors!” You need to stick samples of your desired color in the space and check in on it at varying times throughout the day (morning, afternoon, and evening) to get a true, accurate idea of what the color is going to look like in your space. If you buying paint pot samples, consider using large posterboard for samples to give yourself the most accurate idea of the color.
I like SAMPLIZE for this. Samplize offers convenient peel-and-stick paint samples that are affordable, easier, and better for the environment than traditional paint pots. They are mess-free, display colors just like a wall, are reusable so you can try them out all over the room, and arrive to your doorstep in just a few days.
What Paint Sheen Should I Use for SW Naval?
I often advocate for an eggshell finish for interior walls however, for doors and trim, I recommend a satin or even semi-gloss. With this dark blue paint color, the more gloss the sheen has the more saturated the color is going to appear so keep that in mind when selecting a paint sheen. That being said, you still want at least a satin finish for something like a front door or trim work.
Sherwin Williams Naval in Real Spaces
Kicking it off with an elegant and sophisticated bedroom, Naval is showing off here. It’s worth pointing out that the deep navy blue doesn’t overwhelm this space because it’s complemented beautifully by crisp whites and other neutral colors and textures.
From subtle sophistication to high drama sophistication with some glamour added in. Naval looks stunning in here from the ceiling on down. This is a great example of how moody and luxe this color can feel in a space.
We’re bouncing all over the place with this color. Here we’ve got Naval on the kitchen island of a pretty traditional white kitchen. I like that helps ground the space and gives it a little interest against the all white backdrop.
Another more neutral feeling space, this home office has Naval painted above the wainscotting. One thing I like about all of these examples so far is that we get to see how truly different this color can be. It can act like a showstopper, but it can also be another neutral that layers beautifully.
I think Naval is a great choice for dining rooms. No matter your design style, Naval can dress up your dining space beautifully.
If you aren’t sure about committing to very dark navy blue walls you could try a high trim accent with Naval walls above it. I love a good board and batten situation and this one is beautiful with the navy blue walls accenting the white board and batten.
There’s just something about a navy blue front door. Naval is a really nice choice for a front door paint color.
True navy blue? I’m not sure if I’d go with true navy blue here because overall Naval is more heavily saturated than what I feel navy blue should be but it’s pretty dang close. It’s got some gorgeous depth that is hard to deny, we can see that in this space above.
Where Should I Use Sherwin Williams Naval?
Sherwin Williams Naval, like many dark colors, ends up as accent paint colors so on front doors, accent walls, bookcases, etc. I think Naval is great for all of those spaces but it’s also an excellent choice for a moody bedroom or even a bold and bright kitchen island. I recommend experimenting with SW Naval and trying it out. Navy blue paint colors aren’t just trending, they are timeless. If you find a space that could use some freshening, try out Naval. Here are some spaces where Naval would make an amazing backdrop.
- Accent walls
- Moody Bedrooms
- Living Room (especially with white trim)
- Dining Room (consider wood or white wainscotting)
- Front Door
- Kitchen Island or Kitchen Cabinets
- Home Office
What Colors Go with Sherwin Williams Naval?
I love a good color palette and Sherwin Williams Naval is a great addition to a variety of color palettes. Let’s take a peek at some colors that go well with Naval.
Here are some great trim options:
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – Chantilly Lace is one of my favorite paint colors of all time. It’s excellent on its own as a luxe white but it’s also a go-to white trim color.
- Sherwin Williams Extra White – Extra White is a really, very white trim option that is really clean making it a great contrasting trim color for Eider White.
- Benjamin Moore White Dove – This one is a warmer white paint color but a nice choice for a creamier, luxe trim to soften Naval a bit.
- Naval in a semi-gloss sheen – Oh hello, drama! Don’t underestimate the use of the same color in different sheens. If you want just a slight contrast with high drama in your space consider using Naval with a flat or satin sheen on the walls and then a semi-gloss sheen on the trim.
Here’s a list of additional paint colors that coordinate well with Naval making a lovely palette – this is not an extensive list but it’s a great place to start.
- SW Agreeable Gray
- SW Crushed Ice
- BM Chantilly Lace
- SW Topsail
- SW Stardew
- SW Stonington Gray
- SW Eider White
- SW Evergreen Fog
- SW Pewter Green
- BM White Dove
- SW Sea Salt
- SW Pure White
Colors Similar to Sherwin Williams Naval
So what other colors are kinda sorta like Naval? Or what other navy blue paint colors are out there worth exploring… There are several I think are worth mentioning so I’m going to introduce them here.
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
Looking at Sherwin Williams Naval next to Benjamin Moore Hale Navy you can see how saturated Naval is. Naval is slightly darker than Hale Navy with their LRV’s being 4 and 8.36 respectively. Hale Navy has more gray to it giving it a more muted and even deeper navy blue color. Some say Hale Navy is more traditionally navy blue while Naval has too much color or saturation. I think both are lovely choices depending on what you want from your navy blue paint color. For a more muted tone, go with Hale Navy. Something with a bit more color, Naval’s got you.
Sherwin Williams Cyberspace
Sherwin Williams Cyberspace is another one to consider if you are looking for a dark, deep color. With an LRV of 6 it’s still not as dark as Naval (LRV 4). At first glance, you may be tempted to place Cyberspace in the charcoal gray family but it’s really blue with some gray undertones that really calm the color. Compared to Naval, it is a very subdued, muted navy blue. For spaces that don’t need a punch of color but are looking for something calming Cyberspace might be a good option.
Sherwin Williams Dark Night
Dark Night is a deep color that at first glance on the paint card you might be tempted to call it teal. On walls, though it’s a beautiful rich navy blue that has the slightest green undertones. Dark Night has the same LRV as Naval, 4. You’ll see the same depth of color here just slightly different hues. If Naval is just too blue for you, give Dark Night a go.
Sherwin Williams In the Navy
Sherwin Williams Naval and In the Navy are the two closest navy blue paint colors that we’ve looked at today. In the Navy is slightly more saturated than Naval so it will appear slightly “brighter” although both have the same level of darkness with an LRV of 4. Comparing the two colors you can see that Naval has some gray in it that tones it down ever so slightly compared to In the Navy.
Sherwin Williams Naval is a lovely, deep navy blue paint color that can be used in traditional and modern spaces. It pairs beautifully with white and other shades of blue as well as brass accents. Naval can be used for gorgeous accent walls, and front doors, as well as a bold statement color in certain rooms. I hope this article was helpful in giving you an idea of what to expect when using SW Naval. Be sure to check out all of the other paint color reviews for more paint color ideas!