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Looking for a specific shade of blue color but can’t decide? Kensington Blue and Van Deusen are not as common as other blue colors but they are still great options. This article will compare the two colors and provide you with the information you need to make the right decision.

kensington blue and van deusen blue wall art

Both Kensington Blue vs Van Deusen blue can work if you need a rich blue to serve as an accent wall or as part of a wainscoted color scheme.

However, if you own more than two pairs of jeans, you know that one is your absolute favorite.

Depending on your color scheme and your saturation preference, you may want a simple shade of Kensington or the slightly more complex shade of Van Deusen blue.

Kensington Blue vs Van Deusen Blue: Side-by-side comparison

kensington blue, van deusen blue wall art above a sofa

Kensington Blue

By the numbers, Kensington and Van Deusen blue are really close. If you’re working to try to compare two very similar shades, the simple way to determine the base tone is to lighten it.

If you lighten Kensington Blue, you simply get a lighter blue. This is a wonderful shade to pair with a bright white for a clean, tidy finish.

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kensington blue wall art

If you love strong colors, it can be tempting to put deeply saturated colors in every room of your home.

However, many factors can impact the mood of a room that is painted in either dark or deeply saturated colors.

For example, a room with a wall of windows to the south can be quite bright all year long. Floor-to-ceiling Kensington Blue paint can be quite pleasant.

If your windows get only northern light or there’s only one small window in your space, painting all available wall space Kensington Blue will be a cave.

The amount of visible wall space once you’ve put up your favorite hangings will also have a big impact. For example, you may love a hanging garden chair, lots of plants, or woven wall hangings.

kensington blue infographic

You can lower the impact of a very dark wall paint by covering the walls in patterned hangings or by hanging a wicker garden chair against a wall that has little to break it up.

Additionally, reflective tones and features can break up an extremely saturated wall paint. Reflective pieces, such as mirrors or highly reflective frames on art, can be a fun way to break up a dark, intense wall.

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RBG: 75, 90, 113
Hex Code: #4B5A71

kensington blue wall art above a desk

Van Deusen Blue

While Kensington Blue lightens to a light blue, Van Deusen blue actually goes a bit lavender. It is a bit smokier than Kensington and will offer a bit less contrast against warm colors than Kensington.

Either of these rich blues will work in a home designed for rich colors. Do consider painted trim when working with such a dark wall color.

van deusen blue wall art

A fun way to put Van Deusen to work in your home is to pair it with a very pale cream.

If you love the look of shiplap but can’t do all your walls at the moment, go ahead and hang ivory or pale cream shiplap on your shortest wall and paint the rest of the walls Van Deusen blue.

Because Van Deusen will work with grey tones, you can also apply a weathered grey shiplap on an accent wall. When working with shiplap, you will want to complete the top and bottom with a piece of trim that is about as tall as your individual shiplap panels.

To really tie it all together, choose a variegated grey shiplap and some ivory trim paint. Get a couple of gallons of ceiling white and mix them in a bigger bucket.

Add a cup of your Van Deusen blue to your ceiling paint and work the whole room from the top down. Every inch of the room will refer to the next stretch of the room, creating a sense of visual connection and calm.

van deusen blue infographic

If your home is a bit older, you may struggle to line up shiplap effectively; you may be 8’3″ at one corner and 7’11” inches tall at the other end. Covering that up with trim alone could be a challenge.

In that case, consider using shiplap as your wainscoting base. Snap a level line at the height you prefer, generally about 32 inches from the floor.

Start your shiplap at that line and install it down to the floor, then put your trim over it. Painting all of this with your chosen trim paint will do a lot to bring the space together.

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A dark color along the bottom of the wall can make a room rather squat. If you want to add a contrasting color, a chair rail, or a wooden accent with light-colored paint, make sure the top of the wall is the darkest color.

RBG: 72, 91, 110
Hex Code: #485B6E

van deusen blue wall art over a desk

A Fun DIY Option For Dark Colors

Dark colors can also be fun to play with if you have the patience to fiddle with different sheens. One fun project is to make your own striped wallpaper with the same color in two different sheens.

Paint the whole wall a flat blue. Leave time and material for at least two coats! Dark colors are almost important to apply in just one coat.

Now measure out the wall from the center at the ceiling and at the baseboard to create a uniform pattern where you will apply masking tape. There are several critical points to hit for the best quality finish.
1) You have to measure from the center because 90 degrees has little to do with a corner in most houses. Just trust me.
2) You need to use a really good quality masking tape for a clean finish. Measure, apply, and smooth down the edges.
3) Timing is all.

Figure out how wide you want your stripes to be and whether or not you want a regular pattern or something random. Use small, fine-textured foam rollers to apply the shinier paint.

Work directly over the stripe so you don’t drip down your flat stripes. Start in the corner. Paint just one stripe and pull the tape to be sure that your shiny paint is not bleeding.

Pulling tape when the paint is freshly applied can save a lot of tears and messy edges. Work slowly and stick close to the painting surface, rolling it up as you remove it and discarding it immediately.

Will you get paint all over your hands? Of course! That’s part of the fun.

hands covered in paint

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