(Paint) Color Me Cheap

25 Mar

I need to pick out paint colors for the interior rooms of my new/old house. I have actually done this paint-color-selecting thing myself before, in fact, I selected all the paint colors for my former 4,000 square foot house/garage apartment combination. But all of those were either a tan color called Whole Wheat or one of six colors other than Whole Wheat that I mostly considered a terrible mistake six months later.

Help. Are you good at paint colors, readers? I’m asking because I suspect that The Mister will not agree to paint my entire house in Whole Wheat. And my dining room is, right now, a regrettable shade of eggplant. Not to mention that my daughter’s future playroom is a purple/green combo that is frankly, terrifying. We are simply tearing out the pastel polka-dotted bathroom (but not just because of the polka-dots; the ceiling is less than 6 feet high. It’s a bathroom for hobbits. Or children. But not people with clausterphobia issues or those who don’t care for stooping over the sink, Quasimodo-style.)

This room is sort of Whole Wheat already, but it doesn't look good.

This room is sort of Whole Wheat already, but it doesn’t look good.

There is a color specialist here in Nashville who has been recommended to me. For lots of ‘merican dollars,  I could pay her to tell me what colors to choose, but it seems like, since I have watched several hundred bajillion hours of HGTV, I should be able to choose a color or two OTHER THAN WHOLE WHEAT by myself. Or alternately, with free help from nice people like you. You should help me. What color do I paint my living room (pictured above)? Anyone? Or, have you ever just painted everything tan by default? xoxo, LaurenT

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11 Responses to “(Paint) Color Me Cheap”

  1. Therese Odell March 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    I’m trying to find this one nice bluish-almost-light-purple-gray that our designer suggested to us that we didn’t end up using, but in my search, I found this: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW6791-laurens-surprise/
    Kismet.

    • Therese Odell March 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Oh, and here’s that other color: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW7657-tinsmith/
      A nice handsome gray is a neutral that isn’t boring and works with pretty much any sorts of furniture. Something that I would recommend that we did was to paint the moulding the same color as the ceiling — we went with pretty much the brightest white there was, and it really helps pop against the color of the walls throughout. Paint ideas, I gots lots of ’em!

      • apronstringsvintage March 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

        I like that color gray and thank you for the feedback on the molding–it is white right now but needs a repaint; I will go for a bright white, for sure.

    • apronstringsvintage March 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Ha! Maybe it’s a sign?

  2. Bernale March 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    What about a reddish – ;like the one in the apartment? I especially love it with whole wheat!

    • apronstringsvintage March 26, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      Ma…strong colors look crazy with the stucco plaster walls so we are leaning towards light neutrals. xoxo

  3. Lisa March 26, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    I highly suggest staying away from blues. Love blue, but it is a wall color that people grow tired of very quickly.

    White trim is always a winner because highlights any wall color and brightens a room.

    There is a lot to consider when picking a wall color. How big is the room? How tall are your ceilings? What color is your furniture? Do you like bold or soft colors? What kind of atomosphere are your trying to create? Does the room receive a lot of natural light? If you are someone who likes to redecorate often, is the wall color going to be easy to work with?

    I suggest that you go to any paint store and pick several swatches that you like. Tape them all to the wall. Over the next couple of days your eyes will be drawn to the color that suits your desires. You will quickly weed out what you don’t want.

    Sherwin Williams also sells 1 quart sample containers for aprox. $7.

    Last suggestion, don’t cheap out on the paint. Coverage and durability are worth every penny.

    Any color can be beautiful given the right application. Now go get those swatches and have fun.

  4. nancyworegreenstockings March 26, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Very pale pastels are my version of neutrals. Something like this or maybe a shade darker might work: http://www.homedepot.com/p/BEHR-Premium-Plus-Ultra-8-oz-640A-1-Soft-Iris-Interior-Exterior-Paint-Sample-640A-1U/202181139#.UVD1-xzCaSo

    I painted my bathroom and kitchen with soft, pale pastels just a few months ago, and I love it. For me, it provides just the right amount of colour without being overwhelming.

  5. sarahjohnson210 March 26, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Our avocado green kitchen felt kinda daring, but I love it.

  6. Eartha Kitsch March 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Ooh…paint is such a personal decision that I won’t dare to suggest colors but I say don’t be afraid to get a bunch of the little cheap paint samples mixed up and just go for it. I’m the person who always has 15-20 colors on the wall before I decide so…yeah. Don’t forget about Sherwin Williams’ “Chip-It” tool where you can get close matches to photos that you find on the internet. It has helped us in the past. http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/color-selection-tools/chip-it/

    My other advice is not to use Behr paint. We only use Porter or Sherwin Williams now. Though it’s more expensive, it covers soooo much faster and better. The rooms that we have painted with Behr have all become discolored and look dirty now whereas the rooms that we used the better paint on still look bright. It seems like the professional painters grade paint is always the best – especially with textured walls. You don’t want to have to fight them to get the color on. Good luck and can’t wait to see what you decide!

    p.s. I’ve even taken pretty vintage clothes to have them color matched before. I once did an entire upstairs in a light blue taken from a man’s dress shirt from the 50’s and it was glorious.

  7. Lisa March 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    I agree with all of Eartha’s suggestions; plus, she’s a pro when it comes to cheery, bright interior color choices! Listening to her story about the blue dress shirt just makes me so happy.

    I chose colors that remind me of a fifties’ tablecloth, to tell you the truth. I have a Miami blue/cyan living room, an apple green office, a dark eggplant spare bedroom (not my choice, former roommate…but it’s kind of elegant with the white trim!), and a coral pink bedroom. Like the other Lisa said, the colors SUPER pop because all the trim is white. I can’t wait to see how your palette turns out (oatmeal-less, haha)!

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