Watery vs Tidewater: What’s the Difference?

sherwin williams watery vs tidewater

When searching for the perfect soothing, tranquil blue paint color, two great options from Sherwin Williams are Watery SW 6478 and Tidewater SW 6477. At first glance, these two shades appear quite similar – light blues with green undertones. But looking closely, there are noticeable differences in depth and intensity.

This in-depth guide will compare Watery vs Tidewater to help you determine which is better for your home’s interior. We’ll analyze everything from undertones, light reflectance value (LRV), real photos, room pairings, and more.

By the end, you’ll understand how to choose between these beautiful light blues from Sherwin Williams. Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Watery and Tidewater

Before getting into the details, here’s a high-level overview of how Watery and Tidewater differ:

  • Undertones – Watery is a pale aqua, Tidewater is a soft teal
  • Light Reflectance – Watery has an LRV of 57, Tidewater has an LRV of 65
  • Use – Watery suits accents, Tidewater fits walls
  • Rooms – Watery excels as a focal point, Tidewater shines everywhere
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore Watery SW 6478 and Tidewater SW 6477 more thoroughly.

Detailed Review of Watery SW 6478

Sherwin Williams Watery
Image Credit:@ living.with.noelle

With its pale aqua appearance, Watery SW 6478 by Sherwin Williams creates a delicate, ethereal backdrop or accent wall with a dreamy feel. This light blue commands attention.

Here are some key details about Watery:

  • LRV: 57
  • Undertones: Pale aqua
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Accent walls, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms
  • Pairs Well With: White, gray, metallic accents

Watery is a heavily saturated robin’s egg blue with subtle cool green undertones. In certain lights it can read almost white. The soft shade provides a sense of escape.

The 57 light reflectance value offers lovely visibility without being too stark. Watery gives off an airy, whimsical feel.

This saturated blue pairs well with crisp whites and silvery grays needing a pop of levity. Popular Watery color pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Pure White
  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
  • Polished nickel fixtures
  • Marble surfaces and tilework
  • White trim and mouldings
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While Watery can accent anywhere at home, it truly excels as:

  • An accent wall
  • A backsplash
  • Bathroom wall
  • Bedroom focal point

With its dreamy aqua hue, Watery makes an enchanting accent.

Detailed Review of Tidewater SW 6477

Sherwin Williams Tidewater

With its soft teal appearance, Tidewater SW 6477 by Sherwin Williams creates a soothing, tranquil blue backdrop suitable for relaxing spaces. This versatile cool blue succeeds anywhere you desire peace and calm.

Here are some key details about Tidewater:

  • LRV: 65
  • Undertones: Soft teal
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, spas, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Grays, whites, natural wood tones

Tidewater is a hushed blue-green with faint gray undertones. In most lighting it maintains its restful, understated appearance.

The 65 light reflectance value provides enough brightness without being too bold. Tidewater gives off an open, serene feel.

This adaptable blue complements a wide variety of cool colors nicely. Popular Tidewater color pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Pure White
  • Medium wood stains and finishes
  • Brushed nickel lighting fixtures
  • White trim and mouldings

While suitable anywhere a peaceful palette is desired, Tidewater truly excels in these spaces:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Spas and Salons
  • Nurseries

Tidewater’s soft tranquility helps create a relaxed backdrop, perfect for styles promoting wellness and self-care.

Light Reflectance Value Comparison

The main difference in LRV between Watery and Tidewater is noticeable:

  • Watery SW 6478: 57 LRV
  • Tidewater SW 6477: 65 LRV

Tidewater will read brighter and more versatile than the dreamy, ethereal Watery. Tidewater provides enough light for walls, while Watery is best reserved for accents.

Direct Comparison of Undertones

When viewed together, here is how the undertones of Watery and Tidewater differ:

  • Watery is a heavily saturated pale robin’s egg blue with cool aqua qualities.
  • Tidewater is a soft blue-green teal with subtle gray influences.

Watery is a bold, vivid pop of blue while Tidewater is an understated, tranquil backdrop.

Style and Room Pairings

Due to its punch of color, Watery SW 6478 excels as:

  • An accent wall
  • A bright focal point
  • A kitchen backsplash
  • A bedroom or bathroom statement

Tidewater SW 6477 fits best as a wall color in these rooms:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Nurseries
  • Spas

So Watery makes a lively splash, while Tidewater shines as a soothing backdrop.

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Real-Life Photo Examples

Let’s look at real-life photos to compare Watery and Tidewater:

Watery SW 6478

Real Sherwin Williams Watery
Image Credit:@ melynnerust

Tidewater SW 6477

Real Sherwin Williams Tidewater

You can see Watery’s bold aqua tone compared to the subtle teal tranquility of Tidewater. Lighting affects their intensity.

Should You Choose Watery or Tidewater?

So when choosing between Sherwin Williams’ Watery or Tidewater, which works best for your space? Consider the following:

Consider Watery SW 6478 if you want:

  • A bold, dreamy robin’s egg blue
  • To create an accent wall or focal point
  • A splash of color in a kitchen, bedroom or bath
  • A fun, whimsical pop of color

Consider Tidewater SW 6477 if you want:

  • A soothing teal blue for walls
  • A versatile color suitable for any room
  • A relaxing, peaceful bedroom or living room
  • An airy feel that promotes tranquility

For a striking splash, choose Watery. For a tranquil wall color, go with Tidewater.

Get large color samples before deciding. Test them in natural light at all times of day to ensure the right undertones.

Either beautiful blue from Sherwin Williams can meet your needs gorgeously!

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Watery and Tidewater create soothing backdrops. Here are ideas to complement them:

Watery SW 6478 Pairings

  • Crisp whites and silvery grays
  • Accent walls and tilework
  • Metallic brass fixtures
  • Natural stone surfaces
  • White trim and mouldings

Tidewater SW 6477 Pairings

  • Cool grays and taupes
  • Light oak wood tones
  • Woven natural fiber textures
  • White spindle furniture
  • Sheer linen drapery

Choosing colors and materials that enhance Watery’s vibrancy or Tidewater’s tranquility is key.

Room-by-Room Guide

Here are rooms best suited to Watery and Tidewater:


Watery – A beautiful backsplash focal point to contrast white cabinetry.

Tidewater – A soothing, peaceful blue if used all over walls or on accent surfaces.


Watery – An eye-catching statement wall behind clawfoot tubs or vanities.

TidewaterCalming and spa-like when used on walls, perfect for self-care spaces.


WateryVibrant pop of color as a headboard wall or bedroom accent.

TidewaterTranquil, relaxing blue that encourages peaceful sleep.

Living Rooms

WateryVivid focal point to balance airy whites and grays in modern living rooms.

Tidewater – A versatile backdrop suitable for any casual or formal living space.

Both blues work beautifully but serve different purposes.

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Watery vs. Tidewater Comparison Chart

Here is a summary comparison between Watery SW 6478 and Tidewater SW 6477:

Paint Color Watery SW 6478 Tidewater SW 6477
LRV 57 65
Undertone Pale aqua Soft teal
Use Accents Walls
Sheen All finishes All finishes
Rooms Kitchens, baths, bedrooms Bedrooms, living rooms

Which Blue is Best for Your Home?

So which of these gorgeous Sherwin Williams blues works best for you?

Watery SW 6478 is the better choice if you want:

  • A bold aqua blue focal point or accent
  • To make a vibrant splash in any room
  • A fun pop of color for kitchens or bedrooms
  • A dreamy, whimsical statement

Tidewater SW 6477 is ideal if you want:

  • A versatile teal suitable for entire rooms
  • A relaxing, soothing bedroom or living room
  • A peaceful feel that promotes tranquility
  • An airy wall color with hints of gray

For an elegant splash, go with Watery. For spa-like peace, choose Tidewater.

Be sure to get large color samples before deciding – both are beautiful!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to common questions about Watery and Tidewater:

Q: How do Watery and Tidewater differ?

A: Watery is a bold aqua accent blue while Tidewater is a soft teal wall color. Watery makes a statement and Tidewater offers flexibility.

Q: Which blue paint color is darker?

A: Watery SW 6478 has an LRV of 57, while Tidewater SW 6477 has an LRV of 65, making Tidewater lighter.

Q: What colors complement Watery?

A: Crisp whites, grays, brass metallics, and materials like marble and stone allow Watery’s blue to really pop.

Q: Is Tidewater suitable for low light rooms?

A: Yes, with an LRV of 65 Tidewater SW 6477 can brighten up a low light room when used on walls, without feeling too bold.

Q: Does Watery have green undertones?

A: Watery SW 6478 has subtle cool green-aqua undertones, but reads as a pure robin’s egg blue in most lighting conditions.


Whether you choose the dreamy elegance of Watery SW 6478 or the spa-like tranquility of Tidewater SW 6477, both of these Sherwin Williams blues create beautiful spaces!

Test them out to find the perfect light blue for your home’s style.

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