Snow Paint Snow

If you thought we had given up on the house, we haven’t.  The events of the last few weeks have definitely slowed our forward progress. We are slowly gaining back our momentum as we near moving day.  Z in Salem snow storm First there has been snow, then Matt’s trip to California and then more snow. His flights on both ends of the trip were delayed or cancelled by snow, and on the trip back he spent an overnight in a plane and a second overnight in a hotel the airline paid for in Atlanta.

For this entry I just want to talk about paint for a bit.  The entire interior needed a fresh coat of paint and Matt and I wanted to pick just the right colors and really make it our own.  Sounds simple enough…… to begin we had to do a little soul-searching and figure out what colors we wanted to live with in the main part of the house Living room and Dining room. Since those two rooms were attached we wanted to coordinate with each other and the existing furniture and rug we were bringing to the mix.

The good news is the evolution of sample paints from most of the major manufacturers since I last painted walls.  The bad news is the evolution of sample paints…  All the manufacturers that I tried, Sherwin-Williams, Valspar, Behr, all had cute little sample sizes of paints available for a small price.  Sherwin-Williams comes in a jug style container and is easy to hold while painting.  It is also the largest of the samples.  I have lots of leftovers.  Valspar is a nice small and the cheapest of the three but I had a tough time dipping my brush into the small can.  Behr’s sample seemed to be the best of the three.  Not only did we find the best blue ever.  It was an easy to hold jar style container.  Just the right size.  I learned to sample the paints on several walls.  The existing colors and light conditions can really play with the end result.

We found that the paint samples never looked like the color that was on the paper swatch the paint company hands out. The colors also looked different after they dried and at different times of day depending on what angle the sun was coming from or if it had incandescent or fluorescent light on it. Too many variables! It was difficult to get the right amount of color tint, shade and saturation. Browns came out too yellow or green, and the blue often was either too blue or too dark. The dining room has been dubbed the “boy scout room” because the colors we used inadvertently turned out to be those brown and tan earthy tones in the boy scout uniform. That room may get a redo at some point. The paint does look great on the walls after the wallpaper was pulled down.

I am happy to report that all the paints came in low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds- the bad stuff that makes it smell).  It was interesting to learn that the pigments actually added some of that into the paint.  So even if you get a low or no VOC paint you will be adding some back into the mix with the color selection.  We did run Sherwin-Williams out of the Harmony paint and switch for one of the colors.  It really made a difference.

Ecru in the LR

After much deliberation the colors finally came together in the end.  In the living room dining room we use Roycroft Suede and Ecru (think boy scout olive and khaki) and then in the bedroom we used a beautiful soothing Prelude blue (light slate). The bedroom gets its second and final coat today.   I will hopefully add a picture tonight.

Matt’s idea for the leftovers is to paint the closets.  We will probably do that for some of them.  I am not sure that I can handle a closet with 6 shades of blue.  Perhaps a spring birdhouse painting party?


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