Terracotta Paint Color – How to Choose the Right Shade

Terracotta paint colors are having a major moment. The warm, earthy hues in the terracotta family add cozy vibes to any room. But with so many shades to choose from, how do you pick the right terracotta paint color? We’ll cover everything you need to know to find your perfect match.

What Exactly is Terracotta Paint?

Terracotta refers to a range of colors in the orange-red family. It’s considered a warm, neutral paint color. Terracotta shades are inspired by the natural clay earth tones found in terracotta pottery and roof tiles.

True terracotta colors have subtle earthy undertones, giving them a grounded, organic feel. The hues can range from burnt orange to deep reddish brown. Some lighter terracotta paint colors take on more of a peachy, pinky-beige tone.

Why Terracotta Paint Colors Are Trending

After years dominated by cool grays and whites, warm earth tones like terracotta are making a comeback in home decor. Terracotta paint colors have steadily grown more popular over the last five years. The cozy hues provide a soothing contrast to our fast-paced modern world.

best terracotta paint colors

As people search for ways to create a more grounded, nature-inspired atmosphere at home, terracotta colors fit the bill. The natural look and feel of terracotta makes it easier to incorporate indoor plants and wood accents. Using terracotta paint is an easy way to jump on the earthy color trend.

Best Terracotta Paint Brands & Colors

Ready to explore some top terracotta paint color options? Here are a few favorite shades from leading paint brands:


Some popular Sherwin-Williams terracotta paint colors include:

  • Persimmon (SW 6339) – Vibrant orange-red
  • Smoky Salmon (SW 6331) – Softer pinky-beige
  • Cavern Clay (SW 7701) – Rich brownish-orange

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore terracotta faves include:

  • Baked Terracotta (BM 1202) – Warm red-orange
  • Warm Brownie (BM 2101-30) – Dark, chocolaty terracotta
  • Terracotta Clay (BM 2151-30) – Earthy brown-red


Valspar’s terracotta options lean reddish-orange:

  • Terra Cotta (6007-9B) – Rich orange-brown
  • Sun Dried Tomato (5007-7A) – Vibrant reddish terracotta

Choosing the Best Terracotta Color for Your Space

The lighting in your room is key for picking the right terracotta hue. Test paint colors in the room before fully committing. Natural sunlight often makes paint appear lighter and warmer.

In smaller spaces, bright or bold terracotta can become overwhelming. Opt for softer or more neutral toned terracotta like Sherwin Williams Smoky Salmon or Benjamin Moore Melon Rind.

Sample paint swatches on the wall are the best way to see how a terracotta color actually looks in your home. Be sure to view swatches at different times of day since lighting affects the way you perceive color.

Complementary Color Schemes

Most terracotta shades pair beautifully with other natural, earthy colors. Think warm woods, black, cream, mustard yellow, sage green, and charcoal gray. Terracotta also accents blue-green hues nicely.

For trim, match the vibrancy of terracotta walls with a slightly deeper or warmer version of the color. Or provide contrast with bright white trim.

Design Styles for Terracotta Colors

What interior design styles work well with terracotta paint? Here are a few approaches:

  • Farmhouse – Terracotta is perfect for modern farmhouse spaces.
  • Bohemian – Adds warmth to boho style rooms with tapestries and woven textures.
  • Modern – Deeper terracotta can feel sophisticated and sleek in contemporary homes.
  • Traditional – For a classic look, use terracotta on accent walls or smaller accent pieces.

Applying Terracotta Paint

Prepping your walls properly ensures terracotta paint adheres and lasts beautifully. Follow these tips when applying terracotta paint:

Prep Work

  • Clean surfaces thoroughly and sand glossy areas.
  • Fill any cracks or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth.
  • Use primer if painting over darker colors for better coverage.

Paint Techniques

  • For larger walls, use a roller for quick, easy application.
  • Use angled brushes to paint corners and trim.
  • Apply two coats for best colorpayoff and durability.

Finishing Touches

  • Consider a slightly deeper terracotta for trim to accent walls.
  • Add visual interest by incorporating secondary colors on accent walls or furnishings.

Using Terracotta Exterior Paint

Terracotta paint colors aren’t just for indoor walls–they also work beautifully on home exteriors. Here are a few tips for using terracotta exterior paint:

  • Fully commit to terracotta for your whole house color scheme.
  • Test paint swatches outside at different times since sunlight impacts color.
  • Prep and power wash exterior surfaces thoroughly before painting.
  • Use exterior-grade terracotta paint for best durability.

For a warm, welcoming curb appeal, finish exterior walls and front doors in harmonizing terracotta tones. For example, pair Sherwin Williams Red Cent (SW 7757) on the body with Sherwin Williams Roycroft Bronze (SW 2838) on accent siding or front doors.

Terracotta Paint Colors by Room

Which rooms work best for terracotta paint? Here are a few ideas:

Living Room

Use terracotta on living room walls or accent pieces. The cozy earthy hues promote relaxation while adding visual interest.


Terracotta bedrooms have a peaceful sanctuary feel. Softer terracotta colors can even boost sleep quality.

Dining Room

Paint dining room walls terracotta to complement wood dining sets. Deeper shades work well in rooms with lots of natural daylight.

Accent Walls

Not ready to paint a whole room terracotta? Use it on accent walls instead. focal walls behind beds, sofas, or seating areas are perfect for bold terracotta colors.

Terracotta Paint FAQs

Have more questions about decorating with terracotta? Here are answers to some common terracotta paint FAQs:

Is terracotta still in style for 2023?

Yes! The earthy terracotta trend is still going strong for 2023. Terracotta colors pair perfectly with other popular 2023 colors like sage green, deep blue, and mustard yellow.

What are the most popular terracotta colors right now?

Some of today’s trendiest terracotta paint colors include:

  • Sherwin Williams Persimmon (SW 6339) – Vibrant orange-red
  • Benjamin Moore Terracotta (AF-15) – Rich, warm red-orange
  • Valspar Sun Dried Tomato (5007-7A) – Bold reddish terracotta

Yes, terracotta complements gray beautifully. The contrast of warm terracotta with cool gray is soothing and elegant. Try light airy grays like Benjamin Moore Silver Lake (OC-22).

Painting a gray house exterior? Opt for deep terracotta on the front door for a striking combo.

Ready to infuse your home with the cozy terracotta trend? Now that you know how to pick the perfect shade, you can confidently decorate with this gorgeous earthy color. Paint your walls or accent pieces terracotta and enjoy the warm, welcoming vibe.

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