If you are looking to update your home with warm colors, both burnt orange and rust are great options. This article will discuss both of these colors with a side-by-side comparison helping you choose the right one for you.

Burnt Orange vs Rust

Both burnt orange and rust are extremely warm colors with high levels of red pigment. While burnt orange includes just a bit of blue, rust is only comprised of red and green.

Both of these colors work well with green tones as well as blends of blue and green, but a little goes a long way.

burnt orange and rust color wall art above a sofa

Burnt Orange

Burnt orange is a very warm color with a high concentration of red, a bit of blue to cool it and enough green to gray it down a bit.

burnt orange color wall art under lights

This color is often a feature of fall leaf displays, adding a touch of warmth to the year as the weather cools.

For best results when using this color inside your home, pair it with other warm shades.

If your ceilings could use a coat of paint, add a bit of your chosen burnt orange wall shade into your bucket of ceiling paint; try to keep the ratio low, such as 1 cup per 5-gallon container.

Do invest in a quality paint blender to fully mix this hot color into your ceiling paint. Because ceiling white can often be bright or include a bit of blue; consider using a simple off-white such as Navajo White as your ceiling color or it may end up dulling the ceiling paint just a bit.

Take care to also consider your lighting when using burnt orange as an accent wall or on a large piece of furniture.

Many LED bulbs include a bit of blue tint, which can make your burnt orange turn muddy. Keep an eye out for warm bulbs; you can also add a warm diffusing shade to your existing fixture to enhance, rather than dull, your burnt orange.

This is a strong enough color that you can get a bit bold with other colors. One burnt orange wall and a terra cotta floor could be an amazing addition to a sunroom or a three-season room.

A rich, warm charcoal gray carpet or rug could also be a wonderful addition. If you long to use burnt orange on your kitchen walls, consider adding rubbed bronze or cast iron hardware to your cabinetry.

burnt orange color infographic

A black sink and warm gray concrete countertop could be exactly what is needed in a bold color scheme.

If your woodwork is warm but not hot, such as yellow oak vs. cherry, the wall color may overpower the wood tone.

If you’re interested in painting your woodwork, look for the palest peach that you can find.

For example, Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise could be just the shade you need to bridge between your burnt orange accent wall and your yellow oak floor.

Should you have the eventual goal of changing out the flooring to suit a warmer color scheme, you may enjoy a bigger visual bridge between wall and floor.

Adding a custom wainscot under a chair rail could be a wonderful option; you can paint it to match your trim and avoid creating a tussle between yellow oak and burnt orange wall.

RGB: 203, 96, 21
Hex Code #: #CB6015

burnt orange color wall art over a desk

Rust

Rust is a surprisingly unbalanced color; unlike burnt orange, rust has no blue at all by the numbers. However, we do notice that there’s more green in rust than in burnt orange.

rust color wall art under lights

While blue will add a smoky touch to burnt orange, the additional green actually darkens rust.

Because it’s darker, rust is more likely to recede.

If you’re considering one of these colors as a wall color and you have pale maple or yellow oak woodwork that you want to sparkle, go with the rust.

Because it’s a color that’s willing to take a step back, other saturated and especially warm tones will work with it. Wine, dark brown, and a deep moss green will all work well with this color.

You may want to use rust in your decorating fabric. Be ready to play with this and have a bit of fun. Look for fabrics and throws with plenty of texture.

This warm color will provide a wonderful series of colors in shade; a draped throw lit from above will provide visual interest both in the folds and by the nap.

Rust is also a color that will allow other shades to pop. Do pair your rich green suede sofa with a rust throw, but consider also investing in cushions that feature cream shades and a pop of cyan or warm teal for even more visual interest.

rust color infographic

This lovely warm shade also adds a rustic touch to your home. Because it is a color that will lean back, consider adding this to an accent wall where you can display baskets, leather-bound books, and wrought iron hooks for plants or coats.

Like burnt orange, rust will behave badly if you bathe it in blue light. If you want to use very warm shades in your decor, you may be happier with your lighting options if you can use hanging lamps and table lamps.

Because so many energy-efficient bulbs have a blue cast, being able to alter that tone with a cream or amber shade will support your warm color choices.

Unlike burnt orange, this tone has a shot at behaving well with all wood tones. If your decorating style is a bit more rustic because you love older furniture, you may have a variety of wooden pieces.

This color choice will allow your red oak table, maple storage cabinet, and mahogany piano to glow without overwhelming their red tone.

This likely will not be the best color to pair with specific cool colors. Pale yellow and green will likely work well, but any cool blue that is very unbalanced will create a jarring visual contrast.

If you love to use a strong wall color and lighter shades on your furniture and decorative pieces, you will create a more restful visual field if those lighter shades include more green than blue and if your accent color is warm, like burnt orange and rust.

RGB: 185,71,0
Hex Code #: #B94700

rust color wall art above a desk

The right accent color can turn an ordinary room into a visually stimulating spot. Adding a warm accent wall will warm up the room.

If you use the wrong shade and want to change it out, go darker or prime first. Accent walls can be risky; the wrong shade can be overpowering and getting rid of it can take several coats.

Do take care not to overload your accent wall with decorative art or furniture; leave it blank so you can study and enjoy the color.

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