In this article, you will learn about Air force blue, Denim blue, and Steel blue colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors for your home project, the following information will help you make the right decision.
Air Force Blue vs Denim Blue vs Steel Blue
Choosing the right blue for your decor can be challenging, especially if you’re committing to a deep shade.
Darker colors often take at least two coats for complete coverage and are harder to undo if you want to go back over them with something light.
That being said, all three of the blue shades listed below could be an ideal choice for your home.
Air Force Blue
Air Force Blue is a very saturated blue with no red whatsoever. It has enough green to tone down the intensity of the blue, but this is a color that may not get along well with other colors.
If you want to use this color as an accent wall paint, be aware that warm tones will pop against it. This may be to your benefit!
For example, if you own wooden antiques in a variety of finishes, all the red tones in the varnish or patina will stand out. Your oak bookcases and your maple piano will both look very good against this blue.
However, using this shade in your home could lead to a sense of visual agitation. If you’re inclined toward minimalism, just one bookcase or just the piano may be just right.
Neither this blue nor the warm tones you pair with it will back down.
The watchword for this color is “crisp”. If possible, try to pair it with white painted trim. Ivory or cream trim will read yellow. If you’re not crazy about white trim, try a very pale gray shade, or consider using a light maple finish.
Since light maple is supposed to be yellow, it should produce a clean look.
The big challenge when using a color that is extremely out of balance is lighting it. Yellow light is not the best choice for this color.
- white sheers or window films to soften the color
- indirect lighting, such as soffit above cabinets
- cool light bulbs in filtered shades
Pendant lights in a library or office can be cooled down with a white-filtered shade. Soffit lighting can brighten the space without displaying a stark white light bulb.
If you have the space, consider using white paper spheres over white bulbs to brighten the space with white light.
RGB: 0, 48, 143
Hex Code: #00308F
Because everything goes with blue jeans, using Denim Blue in your home decorating scheme should be fairly easy. However, this blue has a lot of personality and may go to battle with other strong colors in your home.
There’s enough red in this mix that it will work well with wood tones and ivory trim colors.
This is also a color that will work exceptionally well with pastels.
If you love the idea of an accent wall in your bedroom or a child’s room, you can easily pair this with a pretty pale yellow bedspread or mint green curtains.
Denim blue has a strong visual presence. On a large or long wall, you may be happier with it if you break it up a bit. You can use this shade as a glaze and apply the glaze over the base with a stippling sponge, but this can be a fiddly and time-consuming process.
Another option is to texture over this color with a gloss finish in the same shade.
Striping can be done with a tape measure, a level, and good-quality masking tape. Find the center of the wall and set your first tape line from floor to ceiling. Measure from this line out in both directions. Don’t start in the corner!
Corners are seldom square; you don’t want to get to the other end of the wall and realize your stripes are all just a bit crooked.
You can also create a very simple texture of gloss on flat with a feather duster. Paint the wall flat Denim Blue. Mix your Denim Blue semi-gloss or gloss paint with just a bit of water in a paint pan.
Dip the tips of a new feather duster in the glossy paint and apply it to the wall with a slight twist of your wrist. Do make sure you mask well; this can be messy.
Work the duster very lightly to avoid drips and do your best to be consistently inconsistent. Apply paint diagonally, horizontally, and vertically.
If you see a pattern forming, move to a new patch of wall. Because you’re applying the same color twice, the effect will be very subtle.
Your Denim Blue walls will work with either white or yellow light. Do try to avoid hitting this or any intense shade with a lot of top-down light. This is a cozy color. Do your best to avoid a lot of shadows.
RGB: 21, 96, 189
Hex Code: #1560BD
Steel Blue is a lovely shade that will work with a lot of other colors. It has enough red to function well with warm shades, so a cherry floor or ivory kitchen cabinets will look terrific against this blue.
Be definitive in your choice of contrasting colors when using this blue.
If you want to pair this color with something dark, use black instead of gray.
If you want to bring red into the room, don’t tint it down to pale pink. Though this is a balanced color, it is still quite strong. Use saturated shades with it to allow Steel Blue to shine.
Contrasting colors such as salmon pink, jade green, or sunflower yellow will look terrific against this color. Do be aware that this shade will be hard to tint on your own.
If you want to mix your own colors and lighten this shade, do your best to find the plainest white you can. Bright whites will add blue to the mix and the new color will not be pure.
Do be aware that this color will maintain an energy or presence, no matter the lighting you use. If you need a color that will fade into darkness in your bedroom, use Air Force Blue.
If you need a shade that will help you settle your children at the end of the day, Denim Blue may be ideal in your family room.
However, if you need a color to help you focus, Steel Blue will be an ideal choice for your office.
RGB: 70, 130, 180
Hex Code: #4682B4