Sherwin-Williams Announces 2013 Color of the Year

CLEVELAND, Nov. 19, 2012 - Midcentury meets 21st century with Sherwin-Williams 2013 color of the year, Aloe (SW 6464) With a hint of mint and lots of moxie, Aloe's many personas are revealed through thoughtful pairings and diverse applications. Following sneak-peeks of Aloe in fashion and European design shows, its full potential is now ready to be realized.

“This is no ordinary pastel - Aloe is funky and glamorous, demure and free-spirited. While Aloe’s vibe can verge on retro, when paired with caviar blacks, crisp whites or soft grays, suddenly Aloe has a new soul and attitude. And Aloe is highly adaptable, making it a perfect pick for everyday spaces such as a breezy sunroom or a well-dressed living room,” says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing.

For a tranquil aesthetic, Jordan recommends coupling Aloe with natural textiles, aged metals or warm wood tones in light to medium finishes. For a more energetic look, Jordan suggests combining Aloe with vintage chartreuse, floral lilacs and vivid corals.

Aloe is one of 40 colors that make up the 2013 color forecast. Selected by Sherwin-Williams color experts, the shades are grouped into four palettes: Midnight Mystery, Honed Vitality, Vintage Moxie and High-Voltage

Midnight Mystery

Our dark side beckons; we’re irresistibly drawn to its murky depths and shadows. The colors of Midnight Mystery are moody, the vibe is masculine and the aesthetic is both Victorian and futuristic. Earthy Plum Brown, absinthian Bottle Green, the metal gray of Outerspace, and Rustic Red evoking the houndstooth cloak of Sherlock Holmes - these are the intriguing shades of the Midnight Mystery palette.

“We’ve embraced the intoxicating allure of our dark side. It gives us power as we navigate a choppy economy, escaping to the futuristic Victorian vibe of steampunk design that offers a theatrical feel,” Jordan said. “This palette is a declaration of independence-a statement of luxury and purpose that pairs warmly with textured fabrics and collections of curiosities.”

Honed Vitality

The Honed Vitality palette reflects the interplay of time and nature, taking inspiration from the layered hues of mineral deposits, sea-buffeted stones and the weathered shutters of a rustic farmhouse. The colors are chalky grays and blues, and earthy cider-colored browns. Finishes are matte with an organic, textured feel.

“The colors of Honed Vitality create a softened beauty that is restful, comforting and embraces furnishings with natural textures for décor you can feel with your eyes,” Jordan said. “This isn’t a ‘back-to-basics’ palette. It folds in the energy of the Earth. Think of the ‘magic hour,’ those minutes after sunset and before dark when shadows compete with rays of sunlight in an epic battle that washes the Earth in a warm glow.”

Vintage Moxie

Representing midcentury demure with a new, modern edge, Vintage Moxie is a pretty palette in which the retro glamour of pearls, florals and classic feminine silhouettes is tempered by funky accents and attitude. While the Honed Vitality palette is more subdued, these classic colors are more vibrant, yet still remain true to their roots.

“Glamour has become much more free-spirited. We see people embracing their individuality with a standard of beauty that’s unique to them,” said Jordan. “It’s softness emboldened; golds infused with semiprecious citrine, violets that are bit more vivid, an almost black that you might not expect, all set off by gauzy white.”


The electricity of Vegas neon inspires this palette, which plugs in to a digital stream of electric limes, phosphorescent yellows and feverish reds. It’s consumerism as self-expression, giving the bold and the not-so-bold equal permission to be nonconformists. The High-Voltage palette leaves nothing to the imagination, in stark contrast to the colors of Midnight Mystery.

“Big color is being embraced as central to self-expression,” Jordan said. “But all those bold hues need a palette cleanser, bringing black, white, gray and clear acrylics into the picture to offset the electric feel of the brighter neon shades.”

2013 Color Forecast

Midnight Mystery Honed Vitality Vintage Moxie High-Voltage
Rare Gray
(SW 6199)
Silver Strand
(SW 7057)
Rosy Outlook
(SW 6316)
(SW 6875)
Roycroft Bottle Green
(SW 2847)
Unusual Gray
(SW 7059)
(SW 0025)
Feverish Pink
(SW 6859)
(SW 6251)
Mountain Stream
Bathe Blue
(SW 6771)
Black Magic
(SW 6991)
Loyal Blue
(SW 6510)
(SW 7603)
Gauzy White
(SW 6035)
Exuberant Pink
(SW 6840)
Rustic Red
(SW 7593)
Herbal Wash
(SW 7739)
(SW 6464)
Extra White
(SW 7006)
Rookwood Dark Red
(SW 2801)
Roycroft Suede
(SW 2842)
(SW 7083)
(SW 7018)
(SW 6131)
(SW 7697)
Awesome Violet
(SW 6815)
Electric Lime
(SW 6921)
Olde World Gold
(SW 7700)
(SW 0010)
Independent Gold
(SW 6401)
Eye Catching
(SW 6914)
(SW 6004)
Smokey Topaz
(SW 6117)
Radiant Lilac
(SW 0074)
(SW 6950)
Plum Brown
(SW 6272)
Spiced Cider
(SW 7702)
Obi Lilac
(SW 6556)
Frank Blue
(SW 6967)

Color Confidence

The new ColorSnap Studio iPad® app is a great addition to Sherwin-Williams suite of interactive color selection tools. ColorSnap Studio offers all the ease-of-use of a tablet including high definition, as well as pinch, zoom and swipe features to interact with images of your own room, or one in the app. To experiment with more than 1,500 Sherwin-Williams colors, simply touch a color and use your finger to “finger-paint” or connect the dots to “paint” your walls without picking up a paintbrush - no edge-masking required.

Other interactive color tools include the ColorSnap® smartphone app, the powerful online Color Visualizer, and Sherwin-Williams CHIP IT!. Find all of Sherwin-Williams color resources at

Ask Sherwin-Williams™

As the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies, Sherwin-Williams is dedicated to supporting both do-it-yourselfers and painting professionals with exceptional products, resources to make confident color selections and expert, personalized service that’s focused on unique project needs. Sherwin-Williams products can only be found at its nearly 3,500 neighborhood stores across North America. For more information, visit or join the conversation on Facebook at, on Twitter at or on Pinterest at