Mexican Colors for Interiors


The rich and vibrant colors of Mexico are reflected in its interior design styles. Mexican colors for interiors include deep ochres, reds and oranges, bright yellows, whites and blues and a range of greens and purples. There aren't really any neutral or conservative colors in the Mexican color wheel, just strong, evocative and passionate tropical colors of the country and the climate. Artist Chucho Reyes describes Mexico's colors as an "adventure of disorder" for the bold and striking bursts and combinations of Mexican use of color.

Natural Color Pigments

  • Natural color pigments are used with Mexican stone, adobe and cement architecture, preferable to synthetic paints for better porosity and ultra violet light resistance. Ochres and reds are mixed from iron oxide, umbers are mixed from manganese, grays are mixed from stone chalk and greens are mixed from iron silicate. Natural color pigments create a soothing range of earth tones such as browns, tans, dusky oranges, reds, mustard yellows and sage and olive greens.

Lime-Based Paints

  • Lime-based paints are made with slaked lime and pigments. It is resistant to bacteria and fungus, with excellent adhesive properties. Its porosity and anti-mold protection make it a valuable design element for stone and cement surfaces. Lime-based paints are typically earth colors ranging from creams, browns and yellows to oranges and greens.

Stucco Finishes

  • Stucco is a mixture of lime, sand and water, and acrylics or pigments are added for color. A stucco finish on walls adds texture as well as color, and can incorporate intricate designs as well. Stucco can be mixed with any color for interior walls.

Ocean Color Scheme

  • Bright yellow, light and dark blues, turquoise, white and silver make up a color scheme that evokes the colors of the ocean or the bright night sky and early morning atmosphere. The colors are used in patterns or on walls, trims, doors and mantels. It is a color scheme frequently used in Mexican hand-painted tiles.

Mexican Sunset Colors

  • Bright oranges, yellows and reds, as well as metallic bronzes and golds make up the colors of the Mexican sunset. Used liberally and boldly, these colors together create a strong statement and a vibrant backdrop for large potted palms, big wrought iron crosses and rattan or rustic wooden furniture.

Tropical Jungle Colors

  • Bright green, bright red, royal blue and hot pink, and sometimes black and bright yellow make up the tropical jungle colors that create a bright and cheerful design. Used as wall colors or accents, the happy tropical colors are a strong design statement. They work well with large areas as well as smaller display areas, in tiles and ceramics and in wall hangings and textiles. They are the central colors in serapes.

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  • "Color en Mexico", Amanda Holmes and Elena Poniatowska, 1998
  • "Mexicolor: The Spirit of Mexican Design", Tony Cohan, Masako Takahashi, Melba Levick, 1998
  • "The New Hacienda", Joe P. Carr, Karen Witynski, 2003
  • Photo Credit mexican belts image by cilin from
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