Living Room Paint, Take Two

Okay, I know.  I didn’t post anything last week.  It was because I didn’t have anything nice to say.

On my day off from work on Monday, I painted the living room.  After looking at the swatches and samples for over two weeks, I settled on Benjamin Moore Portland Grey (after deciding that Sea Froth was too close to the previous color of the room). Should be a nice, warm grey, right?

Wrong.  It turned out purple.  Or, should I say “lavender”.

It’s really hard to get the subtleties of grey to show up properly on camera, but I think the pic above is pretty close to how it reads in person.

It wasn’t like someone would walk in and say “what the hell were they thinking?”  But it was absolutely not what I wanted.

I was looking for a warm neutral backdrop for this room, something that would graciously stand out against the ultra white trim.  But Portland Grey was too heavy-handed.  It was a color, not a neutral.  And being that this isn’t a little girl’s bedroom, lavender was not what I had in mind.

A sane person would have stopped after one wall dried and she realized the color was all wrong.  But I have a way of second guessing myself as I paint, and figured that I was overreacting.  I thought that maybe I was seeing the purple tones in contrast to the old brownish color that was there before.  So I plugged away and covered the whole room in this mess.

One bonus discovery to this exercise was learning that Behr Premium Plus is a very high-quality paint.  It went on easily with just one coat for this color combination.  It had better coverage than any other paint I’ve used so far.  Unfortunately I made the worst color decision ever, and had to re-do it anyway.

So I once again borrowed the ol’ Sherwin Williams deck from a kind co-worker.  (It previously helped me select my kitchen color.)

There’s something about Sherwin Williams that’s just reliable to me.  I feel more confident to go into a store that just sells paint, where the employees are trained in paint and paint alone, versus the street rats that populate the local Home Depot paint counter.  Their high-end Duration series is what I used in the kitchen, and worked out really well.  The only downside is the high price tag.  But if you get on their email list, they’ll frequently send 30% off coupons that makes it more comparable to the big box brands.

At this point, I was looking for something much more neutral.  Really, an off-white with more grey tones than yellow or brown ones.  So I settled on Toque White, which was the darkest shade among their “whites” strips.

So without even buying a sample (out of frustration and impatience) I just got a gallon of it.  (The size of the room requires less than a gallon anyway.)  And the good news is that it turned out beautifully.

It’s understated, grey-beige-white-ish (greige), and it gives a classy little contrast between the ultra white trim.  Right now, the built-in is the only area of the room with a fresh coat of ultra white, so that part of the wall gives you the best idea of the color.

I know, I know, it looks like white on white.  But trust me, it’s going to be real good. Once I get all the trim and moulding painted up crispy white, it’s going to just glow with class.  I promise.

BUT.  There’s a shitload of trim to paint, and a lot of it has to be sanded down first.  I barely taped off anything while painting the walls since I knew all the trim was going to get a fresh coat anyway.  It’s all yellowed up and dingey.

I think the first task will be the crown molding because it will give the best payoff, and requires no sanding.  It will really show off the crisp colors to get a definite separation between wall and ceiling.

Then comes the door frames, then the fireplace, then the dreaded windows.  One weekend at a time, folks, one weekend at a time.


4 thoughts on “Living Room Paint, Take Two

  1. looks white to me but i will totally take your word for it! i understand the difficulties of trying to get a photo to represent how something truly looks IRL. that’s why all my food photos suck!

  2. Wow, your perseverance is astounding. I would have just cried and stuck it out with the purple. Good on ya.

    You better throw some good parties in this beautiful house of yours.

  3. Pingback: Crown Molding, Painted « escape from brooklyn

  4. Pingback: No More Painting! « escape from brooklyn

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