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Sherwin Williams Sea Salt bathroom

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams is an incredibly popular color, but it tends to shift in tone from one room to another.

Bathrooms are not always at the top of your mind when you are designing the interior of your home. They are not one of the main living areas, and this often affords you the freedom to play around more and be creative with your color palette.

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams is a great choice for a bathroom paint color, and it really captures a spa-like, serene quality. However, this color is quite the chameleon, so you will need to be prepared for it to shift and change.

Choosing a color scheme for your bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the home. But because bathrooms tend to be small and they primarily fulfill a functional purpose, they often get neglected when it comes to the thoughtful design aspects that you afford the rest of your home.

However, designing your bathroom can actually be great fun, and since the bathroom is usually tucked away – this space can offer you an opportunity to be a bit more bold and daring with your design choices.

Of course, your bathroom color choices and the overall look and feel should still feel like it is part of the rest of your home.

But a simple coat of paint, and perhaps a few new fixtures, can transform your bathroom from a fairly simple and uninspired space to a luxurious spa-like master or even a whimsical guest bath quite quickly.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt bathroom

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams has been a staple fan-favorite shade among designers, influencers and homeowners for years.

This mid-tone shade is incredibly complex, and at first glance you may not know exactly what you are looking at, with all of the subtle pale blue, green and gray tones that are present.

While Sea Salt may seem intimidating initially, it is actually an incredibly calming and versatile color and it is an excellent option for a variety of spaces including bedrooms, laundry rooms, powder rooms, guest rooms, mud rooms and bathrooms.

Sea Salt is actually the ideal shade to use in bathrooms because it can really create a relaxed, almost coastal vibe in the space, and this is part of the reason why the shade is so popular.

Sea Salt is technically classified as a green shade. If you have been staring at this color in your local paint or hardware store (or even online) and this is surprising to you, you may be picking up on some of the color’s green-gray and blue-green undertones.

This combination of blue, green and gray tones means that although Sea Salt leans towards being a cooler color, it does have a slight bit of warmth.

This prevents it from feeling too drab (and often makes it the perfect choice when you want a cool toned color scheme, but you also want to keep that real earthy spa-like feel).

Sea Salt also sits in the perfect mid-tone range that ensures that it has enough pigment to be used easily as both a main all-over wall color and a secondary accent color within your scheme, but it still has enough brightness to freshen up the space.

This complexity makes Sea Salt incredibly fun to play around with in a variety of schemes. But be warned – this color does tend to shift and change easily between its undertones (it’s a real chameleon).

Unfortunately, this means that if you fell in love with a picture of someone else’s Sea Salt bathroom online or in person, you may not be able to capture that same exact look in your own bathroom if your lighting differs from theirs.

But the good news is that as long as you know what to expect from Sea Salt in different conditions, you may still be able to create your own beautiful and unique bathroom design using Sea Salt, just the same.

Sea Salt: The technical details

If you want to figure out if Sea Salt will work in your bathroom, it is best to start with the basics, which are outlined below:

Details Sea Salt – Sherwin Williams
Color swatch
Color code SW 6204
Color family Green
Undertones Blue and green-gray
LRV 63
RGB 205, 210, 202
Hex code #CDD2CA
Collections Living Well (Recharge), Pottery Barn Teen (Fall/Winter)

If you have all of this background information safely tucked away in your brain, it becomes much easier to understand the complexities beneath the surface with Sea Salt.

It also helps you understand why it makes for such an excellent shade choice when it comes to bathroom color pallets.

Sea Salt’s undertones certainly make the color interesting, but they are still muted enough to ensure that it feels serene and calming.

As far as its LRV goes, experts generally stick to shades that have an LRV of between 60 and 65 for walls, as they reflect just enough light (between 60 and 65 percent) to liven up a room.

Sea Salt is on the lighter end of this spectrum, which means that it is still light enough to use in bathrooms which have fewer windows.

Why you should use Sea Salt in your bathroom

Sherwin Williams claims that adding Sea Salt to your design color palette should make “every day feel like a relaxing beach day.” And for the most part, this is exactly what makes this color such a popular choice for bathrooms.

It has just enough pigment to steer you away from the boring, all-white bathroom look and to provide some real visual interest to an otherwise purely functional space.

However, it is still subdued enough to ensure that your bathroom feels like a calm and clean sanctuary.

Sea Salt vs. similar colors

It can be quite difficult to see Sea Salt’s undertones when you are looking at the color by itself. However, when you compare this color to other similar shades, you will quickly see just how complex it is.

For instance, you may struggle to see any green tones when Sea Salt is by itself. But next to Rainwashed (a very similar Sherwin Williams shade), which has more of a distinct blue color, these green tones become really apparent:

Sea Salt – Sherwin Williams Rainwashed – Sherwin Williams

If you think that Sea Salt looks much darker in the tin, then positioning this shade between a lighter shade like Healing Aloe (68 LRV) and a darker shade like Palladian Blue (60 LRV), can show you exactly why Sea Salt’s 63 LRV is right in that mid-tone sweet spot, as is displayed below:

Healing Aloe – Benjamin Moore Sea Salt – Sherwin Williams (LRV) Palladian Blue – Benjamin Moore

Taking your room’s orientation into consideration

The lighting in your space will always have an impact on the way that paint colors reflect. But a chameleon color like sea Salt can make your paint look like a completely different shade from one room to the next.

This so why it is imperative to keep in mind that your bathroom’s orientation will cause Sea Salt’s undertones to shift, as is explained below:

Room orientation Sea Salt’s look and feel
North-facing light Northern light is cooler and tends to reduce the intensity of colors. Sea Salt should appear slightly muted and bluer in this light.
South-facing light Southern light is warm, which should bring those green tones in Sea Salt to the forefront.
East-facing light Eastern light shifts throughout the day. This means that Sea Salt may look green in the mornings, but shift to a more green-gray looking color in the evenings.
West-facing light Western light is the warmest light in the house, so you can be assured that Sea Salt will look greenest in this light.

Sea Salt in artificial lighting

Bathrooms tend to have fewer windows, and therefore, less natural light. However, because they are functional spaces, we humans tend to bolster up the light in this space with artificial lights.

The temperature of your artificial lights could also shift the way that Sea Salt looks. This is outlined in the table below:

Lighting temperature Intensity Sea Salt look and feel
Soft light 2700 to 3000K The warmth in this light tends to clash with Sea Salt’s undertones
Natural white light 3500 to 4100K This cool light tends to enhance Sea salt’s blue-gray and green tones
Daylight 5000 to 6500K This enhances even more of those blue undertones, but it can be a nice balance for warmer natural light

How to test out Sea Salt in your bathroom

Since Sea Salt can shift so drastically from one room to the next, it is often safest to test the color out first.

Sherwin Williams does offer paint samples for all of their colors and while you can paint a bit of this color straight onto your walls or cabinets (if you are daring enough), it may be best to create your own large paint swatches, so that you can test the color in shady and sunny areas in different parts of the room.

To do this, you can simply paint your sample paint on drywall panels or on a piece of poster board.

This will allow you to observe what the color looks like at different times in the day, over the course of a few days before you commit to it.

Which colors go with Sea Salt?

Sea Salt tends to work very well with any of the colors that we would traditionally associate with a coastal theme. This includes hues of blue and green as well as earthy (sand-like) colors, which are on the warmer end of the spectrum.

This color also works well with both light and cool, and darker and warmer natural wood tones.

If you are serious about coordinating the color scheme in your bathroom around Sea Salt, you may need to consider a colorimeter, like the VEYKOLOR Color Sensor. This can help you identify, categorize and save colors on the go.

Buy it on Amazon

Fitting options that will work with Sea Salt

Whether you want to incorporate Sea Salt into an existing bathroom that you just want to upgrade a little bit or you are starting your color palette from scratch, it is important not to forget about the finer details, like your bathroom’s hardware, fittings and fixtures.

The blue and gray tones in Sea Salt tend to compliment chrome fittings beautifully.

However, some designers have gotten away with pairing warm-toned brass fittings with Sea Salt. This combination tends to give spaces a vintage-inspired look and feel.

Color palette ideas for a Sea Salt bathroom

The color palette that you settle on for your bathroom will ultimately depend on your own personal style. But some of the paint options that work really well with Sea Salt include:

Option 1 – Light, bright and coastal:

Alabaster – Sherwin Williams Shoji White – Sherwin Williams Maison Blanche – Sherwin Williams

Option 2 – Darker and earthier:

Chantilly Lace – Benjamin Moore Retreat – Sherwin Williams Iron Ore – Sherwin Williams

Trim colors that work well with Sea Salt

Sea Salt works well with both cool and warm-toned shades, so what is most important is making sure that there is a difference of at least 10 LRV between Sea Salt and your trim shade to create that crisp, clean look.

Some of the best trim shades to pair with Sea Salt are as follows:

Color name LRV Color swatch
Pure White – Sherwin Williams 84
High Reflective White- Sherwin Williams 93
Snowbound – Sherwin Williams 83

When is Sea Salt not the right choice for a bathroom?

Although Sea Salt can look almost like a cool gray in some lighting conditions, it is important to remember that the color’s main hue is green. Even in low-light and cool-toned lighting conditions, Sea Salt will never look like a real gray.

If you are looking for a versatile gray paint color to work in your bathroom, then Sea Salt may not be the ideal option. You may want to consider a shade like Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams as your main color, instead.