what I do

what I do

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My painting fiasco

Ready to see how my painting came out?

First a little re-cap.

For years, I have wanted to paint my walls a light gray. When I painted over the old yellow walls a few years ago, my first choice was to go with a gray but because of the green silk curtains I had (I didn't want to have to replace them) and that distressed green armoire, I could not. So I painted a light tan instead. And it was "okay" but not perfect. So when I removed the armoire a few months ago all I could think about was,  "now I can paint the walls gray". I wrote about it here.

But the funny thing is that when I decided to paint this week, it wasn't gray I wanted any longer but white. I soooo wanted to paint my living room walls white.

I knew clearly that the room was too dark and the ceilings too low to achieve the look I wanted. I "knew" that the walls would look dark and dingy but I could not get the idea of having fresh white walls out of my head and so I had to try it. It did not look good. As Maria Killam, a color expert (and whose blog I have read religiously) states in one of her posts:
"...if you don't have enough light streaming in your house for most parts of the day, then white is not the best idea. What will happen instead is your walls will look gray and dingy because the shadows all on their own will simply cause your white walls to appear gray."
And that is exactly what happened. The good news is I did not paint all the walls. I painted two walls that had different exposures. One looked too stark white and the other looked gray and dingy. I used Benjamin Moore's White Dove:

It was clear that I was not going to get the look I wanted and so I decided to go back to the light gray. I used a gray that I had used in our TV / family room because I had some leftover paint in the garage and it was late and the paint stores were all closed. I was impatient (don't do this!).

So are you ready to see the result?

To appreciate the change and if you look closely, you can see above the blinds where I left off - the old color (Manchester Tan) is to the left, and the new color (Revere Pewter) is to the right. 

wall color before

Here are a few images of the old paint color ... I had to laugh, you can see how often I switch the room around because the furniture layout if different in every photo, haha! 

Can you see the "gold" in the old paint? Because I wasted so much time painting white and then gray, I ran out of time and didn't get the living room painted as I had hoped. In the photo below, you can see where I left off; the new color on the left and the old on the right.

 Do I love it? Yes and no. I think it is perfect in the dining room and I like it in the entry. But I am not sure I am going to like it in the entire living room. I may lighten up the Revere Pewter or switch to a different color altogether that will be lighter but not white. 

I had such high hopes for my two days "off" and had even run up to Aaron Brothers to purchase some new frames to make an art wall in my entry. I had the white walls in my mind and was thinking, "white on white". Not only did I run out of time, but I changed my mind on the art wall too. So I took a little trip to HomeGoods instead ...

I love the new mirror ... it feels so "Barbara Barry".

Barbara Barry by Henredon

I am drying out the paint brushes for a while ... its time to get back to work!


Unknown said...

I've often said if I could do it all over again, I would paint my walls white.. I don't know if I actually would but I understand the draw! The color you chose looks awesome!

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

I like the gray. It makes the white trim and accessories POP!
The new mirror is dynamite!
I'm into neutral grey colors. They are so easy to work with. Most things blend so well with them. My color SW Silver Strand. It's on every wall in our home. It's soothing, and looks different in each room, due to natural lighting and accessories.

Anonymous said...

Looks warm and inviting from the pics but you know best. I cant seem to pull away from the tans and browns I love so that is what my new home is getting. Love that mirror...sometimes homegoods really comes through!

Tiffany said...

It looks nice to me. Good choice. I also love your brass urchin. Did you find it at Home Goods?

Unknown said...

Hi Tiffany, no... I didn't get them at HomeGoods - I wish! I bought them from No. Four Eleven:

Tiffany said...


Holly Gruszka said...

Trial and error, right? From all of our reading in blog world and the great knowledge of Maria Killam, we've learned a lot about color and the effects of light on color. I feel like it's such a long process to learn about how different colors look with different lighting. We just did a big paint job on our main floor. I haven't posted about it yet. I really like the Revere Pewter, but I can see wanting to lighten it up too.