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Paint, paint, paint

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by snoopy, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    I am painting my living room and would like some input / knowledge.

    Questions I have:

    - Thoughts on lighter versus darker colors? I have a big room and don’t want to go too light but am worried going too dark will make it feel like a cave.
    - Any experiences on picking, say, a Ben Moore paint color but using the color match of Behr or Sherwin Williams?
    - Favorite paint colors/experiences?

    I have gone through so many shades of beige samples, it looks like I have a “beige camouflage” decorating scheme. I ruled out a lot of colors for going too peach in my lighting. Sherwin Williams Downing Sand is in the lead (very much like BM Bleeker Beige but a tad less green). I wonder if a whole room of it will be too dark though. I’d actually like a warmer color – but those are the ones that seem to go peach. BM’s Hush is also an option.

    Also, fwiw, I found a GREAT site with a bunch of beautiful pics. Houzz.com. The rooms are 100 times better than what is in the decorator magazines – which I find dull dull dull. They don’t always tell you the colors – it is mostly an amazing form of PR for local decorators.
  2. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    remember that the paint always looks lighter in the can, but darker on the walls...i've made this mistake before.
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    When in doubt, go lighter. It WILL shrink the room, especially if the floors are darker. I have a really dark living room floor that's going to be the last floor replaced (it's an awkward layout plus the most heavy items to move) and it's going to be much lighter as it darkens the whole room--dark walls would turn it into a cave.

    Personally I've been looking at the Lowes' Historic Preservation colors. But...if you're worried about turning too peachy, look for colors with more orange/yellow in the base. A more gold/yellow would warm the walls up without trending to peach. Conversely, look for the near-whites that have a green tone (really really really pale mosses--sorry, I'm at work and don't have my swatches.)

    Of course because of the materials (my house is a manufactured home) the drywaller who repaired my ceiling noted I probably will have to go with wallpaper or re-plastering to change colors. Woo. Hoo.
  4. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    I think it's not just the size of the room, but the height of the ceiling. If you have cathedral ceilings, you can go a bit darker without the room feeling too small. If you have very low ceilings, I would stay away from darker colors.

    Also, you can do an accent wall with a stronger color while keeping the rest of the walls more neutral. You get color punch without shrinking the space. It also adds more interest to the overall decor.
  5. Aimless

    Aimless Active Member

    I've done complete paint jobs in an apartment and two houses. Behr paint is tops in my book. It's reasonably priced compared to other brands and the quality is excellent. Consumer Reports consistently rates it highly.

    As I worked my way through the rooms in my present house, I got more and more bold with colors and loved it. Don't be too timid. Bold color that you love is an enduring joy and a mood enhancer. You do have to keep resale in mind, however.
  6. ElizabethAnne

    ElizabethAnne Active Member

    Does the beige camouflage scheme mean you are using the trial size paints available at Benjamin Moore and (I think) Behr? If not, IMHO they are worth the cost once you get it down to a few choices. You don't even have to paint it on the wall. Behr has packages of white posterboard to use for practicing the textured paint finishes. I used them just for the trial size paint. You can move them around the room and see them in different lights. I also found if you looked down on them at an angle, the underlying colour (green, grey, yellow, pink) really stood out.

    If you are hesitating on a darker colour, try 3 walls light and 1 wall darker in the same hue. One wall is easier to re-do if you don't like it.

    Good luck.
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Two thoughts: We bought some cheap posterboards and painted the full board with a sample of each "finalist" color, and then tacked them up in the room to see how they looked at different times of day, next to the trim, ... That larger expanse helped a lot. The time-of-day check was also important, as was how the sample looked at night with lighting in the room.

    Other thought: I used low VOC paint when I painted my living room, and it lived up to its name. An hour or two after we were finished you could barely tell any paint odor, and by the next day there was nothing. Big difference, and worth the couple extra dollars.
  8. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. I've had paint look much lighter, so much so that I've gone back to the store the same day for a darker shade.
  9. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    I painted a living room navy blue and it was gorgeous. There was plenty of natural light and the dark color wasn't an issue at all. It depends on when you use a room: daytime vs. evenings or both. Do you want a dramatic statement or neutrality. I asked the realtor if I should neutralize the color when I sold the house and she said no. All the people who looked at the house and the subsequent buyer loved the dark color and drama the room accorded, so it really depends. I have a small guest bathroom and it's painted a very pretty turquoise and I love it. It has white trim and I use navy blue accents.

    As to the question regarding BM vs Sherwin Williams: I prefer SW. Their self-leveling paint is fantastic. It's the best formula I've ever used for not showing brush or roller marks. They can usually duplicate a BM paint if you know the name of the paint. I've used both and will now go strictly with SW. Moreover, if you register with them as a regular customer, you'll get a 20-30% off coupon throughout the spring and summer (when most people paint). That can be a big savings if you're doing a lot of painting.
  10. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    I painted a room dark red. It was nice. But I grew tired of it. Now I think I am going with a dark blue, not navy, a little greener. And SW seems to have better tones than BM.
  11. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    I painted one wall an eggplant color (Approaching Storm by Ralph Lauren) it's dark and I suggest getting a flat versus gloss if it's dark or the shine is overwhelming.
  12. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Late to the party, but to get a beige without a peach undertone, make sure both black and green are in the color mix.
  13. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    My trick with paint colors, which has always worked for me, is to find the color I like and then go two shades lighter on the paint chip. The color on the wall ends up looking like the color I want.

    A "Victorian" color like the one you picked will look beautiful if you have crown/picture moldings that can be painted semi-gloss or high-gloss white. Otherwise, I fear it could be too dark.

    How tall are your ceilings? If at least 9' and it would fit with the rest of your house, could you consider installing picture moldings? I find that darker colors look so much nicer with (flat) white above the picture molding and semi-gloss white baseboards and picture moldings.

    In my pre-war aparment, I painted my bedroom Restoration Hardware Latte and my foyer Restoration Hardware Silver Sage. Both beautiful, darker colors that looked amazing with the moldings. (RH paint sucks, though. Match it with Benjamin Moore or Behr.)

    Now I have an ultra-modern apartment with wavy, curving walls and "futuristic" architecture. Everything is some shade of bright white, light gray, dark gray, or exposed metal with big punches of lime green in unexpected places (stairs, furniture, sides of "3-D" walls, LED lighting). When this never-ending construction is eventually done, I'll post pictures. But somehow I have a feeling you're going more in the direction of my old apartment. :)
  14. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Ooh, I love lime green and gray! :cheer2: Can't wait to see pictures!

    I just painted a few walls in my dining room medium gray. I am a big fan of painting one or two walls, rather than the entire room. Since the dining room has a brick wall (painted white by previous tenants), I painted the left and right walls gray. I love how it looks, especially against the pine cabinets and black speckled countertops. Oh, had I been bold enough to paint a lime green wall! I'll just have to accessorize :)

    I've always been able to find colors I like in Valspar paint, and Lowes has sales on with regularity.
  15. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I can't wait for Louis' house pics! That's all I have to say.

    Well, that and that Mini Ice wants to pain his room teal (in honor of the San Jose Sharks) but has settled for their poster. I don't think I can deal with teal.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    My younger niece insisted on getting her room painted orange for her birthday. It's her favorite color, but her room is quite small. My sister gave her a select range of light oranges to choose from. Niece went for a shade of pale peach but would not negotiate on the neon pink curtains with neon orange polka dots. :lol:
  17. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Ben Moore was the original maker of the paints for RH, back many years ago, so they should be able to do a good match. They developed the original RH palette, including the silver sage you mentioned. Now I think Rodda Paint makes the RH paints. Rodda is a paint company in the Pacific NW.

    Lime Green is a very "of the moment" paint color, and looks very current in the types of modern settings you mentioned.
  18. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I love the combo of pink and orange - the stronger the colors, the better. But the light orange for the walls was probably a good idea, because that'd be a LOT of orange.
  19. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    I prefer my rooms to be painted white, I admit. If I wanted a strong/dark color, I would always do one wall of it, Nd have the rest a light/white color.
  20. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Most of my house is white. But one wall in the living room is purple; the adjacent half-bath is the same purple. Two walls of the dining room are a very pale green.

    Right now we are looking at paint colors to give things a bit more life. I want to paint our bedroom teal but my husband is reticent to go with such a strong color, so we're probably going to pick a muted version with a good bit of gray in it as well. For the rest of the house, probably a creamy color with some peach to it. I hate hate hate earth tones, so nothing with a brown or yellow base.
  21. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Add me to the list of those who want to see Louis' pictures.

    We've got the responsibility of selling my MIL's mid-century-modern house in LA, and so after years of living in a Victorian, I'm suddenly enmeshed in learning about how you go about decorating a m-c-m, which is a very different beast.
  22. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Thanks everyone.

    I would have never made the connection with the crown moldings and darker colors but now that it has been mentioned, I can see why that would work better. It would make the wall color more of an accent rather than a mainstay of the room. I do have higher ceilings but no moldings. And I have transitional furniture and black/brown modern art. One of the things about my current yellowy beige wall color that bugs me is that the art fades away into the walls. So there goes Downing Sand – which is probably too dark and greenish. I am now looking more at a lighter griege: Accessible Beige by SW. I am generally not a fan of grey tones but it reads more neutral to my eyes than the batch of beiges that are common in the BM/SW/Behr book. And it may be a better bridge color.

    FWIW, I was less anal about the dark yellows I picked for my bedroom. Neutrals are actually much harder because none of them are really neutral, and they can go pink or green on you in different lighting. And if you get it wrong, it is really wrong!
  23. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    I painted the walls and the ceiling of my half bath Benjamin Moore Caribbean Blue Water and I love it. We have white subway tile halfway up the wall, so the effect of the blue is striking. A bright blue could work if he has lots of white or birch furniture.

    Benjamin Moore New Lime! With the light in my apartment, various people have tried to convince me it's yellow. :p

    Agreed! Every room in my dad's house looks like some shade of pale pink. :scream: Except the hallway, which came out as canary yellow. :scream: Every one of these colors was allegedly a neutral. And allegedly some type of beige.

    Ironically, given all of the unintentional pink, when he went to pick a color for my niece's room, the intentional pink came out orange. :lol:
  24. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Hey Snoopy -- If you happen to be doing a white ceiling -- especially if the ceiling is already white -- Home Depot sells a ceiling paint that goes on pink and dries nice and white -- but the pink makes it much, much easier to see what you have or haven't yet painted. Given the roller on a long stick we used on the ceiling, it made things much easier (and more even) than in the prior room where I hadn't used it.
  25. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I too am waiting for pictures of Louis' apartment to see what all the :yikes: renos have resulted in.

    and I painted our bathroom a tealish color, but it's broken up well with the big white bathtub and stuff.
  26. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I'm hoping Louis will have a party and invite FSU. ;)
  27. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Ooh, even better! I love those chartreuse colors that look green/yellow!