Tuesday, April 9, 2013

House Update: My New Living Room Color

I probably should have posted about the living room turmoil before now, but I just didn't want you all to have to endure the sheer frustration I was experiencing. First of all, this is what the living room looked like when we bought the house:
This is just 1 half of the very large room, but it gives you the idea. The walls were a nasty mauvy-brown color that changed greatly depending on the lighting of the room. We knew we wanted it a nice neutral color so we wouldn't feel the need to paint it all again any time soon - this way we can just change the curtains or other colored accents when we feel the itch to change :) Much less work that way. We also needed the wall color in here to be cohesive with the surrounding rooms since you can see this room from the kitchen, entry way, dining room and office. This proved to be no small feat - over the last 2 months of owning my house, we have painted no less than 9 different paint color swatches on the walls of my living room: 3 Valspar, 6 Sherwin Williams (when I finally realized I hated Valspar). I have spent $39.00 on paint samples! That's a gallon of paint! In all honesty though, I am really glad I bought the samples and they were more than worth their price. 

So, the problems. With the first colors we liked, they looked taupe on the chip and in the store, no joke they were like a hospital gray on the wall - kind of a weird purple, blue, gray. So not nice. We thought it might be the lights in the room being too bright, so we changed them to regular 60 watt incandescents - still no change. Then we figured it was that nasty mauve paint - maybe it was soaking into the colors and altering them as they dried. So we painted a large area with Kilz and then painted the swatches again. Still no luck. Next was around the time we had painted the other rooms and found out that Valspar paint was no bueno. So, I grabbed some Sherwin Williams paint chips, picked a few colors and got some samples of those. Still no luck! 

At this point, everyone - the Sherwin Williams guy, my friends, my family - thought I was just terrible at picking paint. Which I am not! Just had to put that on the record :) Fully frustrated and on a time crunch (Sherwin Williams had all their paint 30% off and I wanted to catch the sale), I went to my friend Tara. She is a hair stylist and colorist as well as an artist. Basically she is meticulous about color and I knew she would be a great third party to ask. I showed her my latest paint samples and she was surprised - they were all pretty colors! I knew she had doubted me, lol. She then volunteered to go to my house the next day and paint them herself and tell me what she thought. She was extremely confused when she called me. She told me that they all looked awful in the room no matter what she did - just like what happened to me. We agreed that my living room must be cursed and I figured I wouldn't be able to get the sale at the paint store (it expired that weekend). After work I went to Sherwin Williams and showed them my pictures, told them my problems, etc and they said it was probably the way the light filters in the room combined with the beams in the ceiling and carpet color that made everything turn an orangey-pinky-peach color. They suggested I try something with a little more green in it to counteract the pink-ness. They also told me I could buy my paint untinted to get the sale price and then bring it back once I picked a color! How fantastic is that! They totally saved me there and they now have a customer for life, let me tell you. I picked a 2 beiges with a green tinge and got samples. Sadly, they didn't work out either. I had also purchased the gray paint I was using in a bathroom on that trip and just for experiments' sake, I painted a swatch. It wasn't the right gray, but it looked so much better than all the other samples!
This is my heavily swatched wall. For the record, not one of those colors is actually peachy flesh colored on the chip. These are all tans and taupes and beiges. The gray is the only one that stayed true to its color once it was on the wall, so I started looking at grays. I tried the same suggestion and chose 2 grays that had more of a green tinge to them and EUREKA! I finally found THE COLOR! It was a complete miracle, at least to me :) My 2 month battle was won and I went back and had my paint tinted. 

Sorry for this being such a long post, but you had to hear the full ordeal to understand how elated I am with the final product of this room :) If you are still reading, thanks! 

So, my husband painted Kilz on his day off last week - it took 3 coats of Kilz Latex to make the wall not splotchy from the red color. We weren't taking any chances after all we had gone through and I would rather buy more Kilz since it's much cheaper than the real paint. Plus, check out what the original paint job looked like - here is a close up sample of one of the worst best spots:
They should hire themselves out, let me tell you. Can you imagine how awful that big room looked with that dark blue color? Yuck. So, we wanted all traces of the former paint colors completely gone.
Even though this was just Kilz white, it was such a glorious difference! So much brighter and fresh feeling. But they did not stay white long...
This is our paint color - Sherwin William's Sedate Gray. It's much more exciting than the name sounds...
I had to capture the moment of when we first painted the official color on this wall, lol. This wall is over 13 feet tall and even on a ladder I am too short to reach the peak, so Justin had to do the edging up top. He just loved it :)

So, here is the final result (drum roll please)...
Whatcha think? Isn't it great! Here is another shot:
We just used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Latex Enamel Untinted for the trim and I love that it pops. The wall is Sherwin Williams Super Paint Satin in Sedate Gray. We did 2 full coats of color just to make sure it was completely even. I seriously love my living room now. The color combined with the new couches looks so much more modern than it was :) Ah, I just love looking at it. The only downside is that we only have those 2 walls painted right now, lol. We will be working on the rest as soon as we move in, but we wanted at least these two done so that we can mount our tv and not have to take it down to paint.

So, with this last part done, we are officially ready to move in! My checklist or necessities is done, plus a little more when you count the sewing room and office. We will be moving next week, so in the meantime I am working on the downstairs bathroom :) Never a lack of things to work on!

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