The Best Terra Cotta Paint Colors

Terra cotta has been enjoying a well-earned revival.

If you want to revitalize your living space, give your garden a makeover, or spruce up your patio, terra cotta is the ideal earthy tone for injecting a rich, playful edge and bringing your space to life. 

The Best Terra Cotta Paint Colors

In this post, we’ll be sharing our favourite terra cotta shades to help you achieve that sophisticated, earthy edge that’ll take your space from zero to hero in a jiffy. 

What is Terra Cotta? 

Terra Cotta (sometimes terracotta or terra-cotta), refers to any type of fired clay. This distinctive type of ceramic pottery is often used to make flower pots, sculptures, pipes, and bricks, and its body can be glazed or unglazed.

The word terra cotta actually translates into ‘baked earth’ – just one glimpse of this iconic colour reminds us that this really is the perfect name for it! 

As a colour, terra cotta can be described as warm and earthy.

It’s usually a blend of dark orange and brown, however, some variations of terra cotta can be slightly peachy or flushed pink, with undertones of tan, black, or grey. 

The Best Terra Cotta Paint Colors 

Terra cotta comes in many shades, so you may be wondering which one is right for you. To help you find your terra cotta calling, we’ve put together a list of our favourite shades of terra cotta below. 

Benjamin Moore Baked Terra Cotta: 1202 

This bold terra cotta boasts playful pink undertones, and it matches perfectly well with grey, cream, or straw colourings.

Baked terra cotta carries all the warmth of its darker shades with an uplifting edge that promises not to drown out your living space. 

Red Sand: Dulux Heritage 

If you’re a fan of lighter, dustier terra cotta tones, you’ll love Red Sand by Dulux Heritage. This delightful shade grounds your space in dusty, earthy tones that are reminiscent of a summer sunset.

This shade is in its element when paired with dark or light browns, greys, and plenty of greenery. 

Valspar Terra Cotta Trail: 2005 – 7B

This interior terra cotta paint is on the darker end of the terra cotta spectrum.

However, it still carries those light, peach-flushed undertones that can brighten up any space, while still offering a warm, inviting energy that only terra cotta can bring.

Valspar is known for its affordable, reliable, and diverse colour palettes, so you’ll find plenty of matching paints to pair with this tone. 

Persimmon: Sherwin Williams

On the more creamy, neutral end of terra cotta, we have Persimmon by Sherwin Williams.

Persimmon is a playful, dusty tone of terra cotta that pairs beautifully with most neutrals – especially those with green or peach undertones.

Persimmon is also available as an interior or exterior paint, making it the perfect choice for a diverse range of projects. 

Inkwood: Sanderson

Perhaps the most peachy and playful of them all is Inkwood by Sanderson. This paint evokes images of Mediterranean architecture and bold sunsets.

Its energising tones are light and coral-shaded, making this terra cotta the ideal choice for any space where you want to kick back and unwind. 

Cavern Clay: Sherwin Williams 

Making the list is another distinctive entry from Sherwin Williams  – Cavern Clay. Cavern Clay is a darker tone of terra cotta that borrows its dominant hues from the darker ends of the red and orange spectrum.

It complements a variety of spaces, but particularly any with a Mid Century modern influence.

Its ancient, warming tones aren’t as bold and light as other shades, making it the perfect paint for those who want to invite terra cotta into their space, without it dominating a room.  

What Colours Compliment Terra Cotta? 

Terra cotta is a diverse shade that pairs beautifully with most neutral tones.

When paired with muted whites, reds, greens, blues, pinks, and even mustard tones, terra cotta becomes a playful, earthy, ancient-feeling shade that brings the feeling of the great outdoors straight to your front room. 

If you really want to make your terra cotta space pop, we’d recommend incorporating different textures into space: bamboo, timber, punchy ceramics, and woven rugs are wonderful additions, and they can be added to almost any room of the home.

Other popular textures include velvet, which when used in deeper tones, can really highlight the depth of terra cotta. 

What Colour Is Terra Cotta? 

Terra cotta sits somewhere between orange and red. However, some shades in the family can have much lighter hues, including dusty pink and peach.

Some shades of terra cotta (especially those on the darker end of the spectrum), may boast dark grey undertones, which are great for making any space feel warmer and more inviting.

Just be sure to pair these darker tones with lighter decorative features to prevent drowning out your space. 

Final Thoughts 

In the 19th century, terra cotta became architecturally significant. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that we turned our attention to the complexity and richness of its colourings, and started inviting it into our living spaces.

Although its popularity has ebbed and flowed, terra cotta is coming back bigger than ever – there’s never been a more perfect time to decorate your space with this iconic shade, and add unmatched depth and richness to your home. 

Ida Oliveira
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