Thursday, January 23, 2014

Battle of the Greiges | Colorspiration

battle of the greiges knockout round
Am I the only one that feels like finding a new paint color for a room is like figuring out the results of the room’s personality test?  I always have a “family” of the paint color I want but then 20 samples later I determine the perfect color. 

Our living room was the first room we painted when we moved in over three years ago.  That was a CHALLENGE.  An empty house, cherry wood (reflects and changes paint color A LOT), and figuring out sunlight patterns throughout the day.  I also didn’t know as much about paint color as I know now… turns out painting every.single.area. in your home a different color, you learn a lot!

But I have loved the blue (Sherwin Williams – pure silver) for a while… but first mistake we made was choosing a flat finish.  It was the first time I have dealt with textured walls and the knock-down freaked me out.  Any finishes with even the slightest of shine made me feel like it made the texture so much more obvious so I just wanted flat.  In fact, I wanted even more flat than flat. But the problem with flat paint – it’s not durable… to bumps, to rubs, to toys banging, to food splatters, to magic eraser.  Our walls have taken a beating so it was just time to repaint.  So of course I turn to the pitter patter paint family of my heart – greige. Anything in the grey – neutral – brown tone family is a safe bet for me.

However, I wanted to lean more towards the beige side of the family rather than grey.  Only because this room meets the kitchen which is painted with “mushroom” (a dark toned greige) and our entryway which is a Mocha Brown by Behr. Because of the two dark tones I want something lighter for the big room.

I’m rambling.. you’re all here for paint not me rambling.  May I present the contestants!

The colors were a little hard to truly capture because they’re surrounded by the two windows but it seemed a lot more accurate when I had my dashing son sit in on the picture as a focal point. Hence the next picture. And yes, his face is extremely messy. And yes, he’s wearing a belt, that he calls a “seatbelt” around his body because he’s being the Easter Bunny… oh does that confuse you? Have you seen Rise of the Guardians --- yeah he was being THAT Easter Bunny.

One of the benefits of putting up all the possible paint samples is seeing them in every direction of the room throughout all the times of the day.  It’s unbelievable how much light and angles effect the color of paint, especially a color that has such underlying tones of other colors. 

So what do you think of the samples?  Which would you pick?  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram I posted the picture below and asked which color they’d pick….

The most popular colors were 2, 5, 8 and 9.  No one picked 1 (which is funny because that was an impulse sample choice in the store…always stick to the plan!)

How I determined my color choices:
My go to color banks are Behr and Benjamin Moore.  I try to stick within these two color banks because I’m comfortable with them, they have a huge variety with subtle hue differences between colors (so if something is ALMOST what you want but not quite, more than likely one next in the color chart will be it).  Also there are SO many color brands out there, if you find who you like and you trust their colors it’s easier to find what color you want.  You start to understand their color choices and find what fits you best. 

First I’ll look online, compare the color swatches, look at the room examples, search on Pinterest/Google Images for “real life” pictures of the paint and get anywhere from 5-10 paint names I want to look at in store.
Then I’ll head to the specific brand store (Home Depot or Benjamin Moore) and find the paint cards that I want.  There I’ll compare in different lighting and the in-person look of the card.  I’ll try to cut typically 1-5 choices from my selection out at this stage.
Next I’ll get the final samples of the colors I want to bring home and see in my home setting – THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!

Some unknown helpful tips when getting paint samples:Home Depot provides samples of paint in a flat finish.  This is great because you’ll have zero reflection of light so you can truly see the color.  However, because the final finish that I choose from my paint and the fact I have textured walls I actually want to see what the paint looks like with a little shine.

Lowe’s provides samples of paint in a satin finish.  This is great if you are going to choose a finish with a shine to it as you’ll be able to determine how it looks as a final product.  However, this also creates a challenge because of the reflection it’s REALLY hard to get a true idea of the actual color because you’re fighting a glare.

I bought 5 paint samples from Home Depot, and 4 from Lowe’s…. see what I mean?


Paint samples from Benjamin Moore or similar competitors like Sherwin Williams, you won’t be buying a small $3 container, you’ll have to purchase a pint that’ll run about $7.  As you’ve read I usually want to leave the store with 3-7 paint samples from each brand so this could easily run be up to $50+ just in samples.
Instead I take my paint cards from BM and go to Lowe’s/Home Depot and have them pull the formula and I can buy a sample of the color in a more affordable price range (ssshhh I cheat).

But!  I figure it’s okay I do this because, Lowe’s/Home Depot wins for getting my money from the extra samples.  Benjamin Moore wins because I only buy their paint for the final paint product for my walls.  And…the earth wins because I’m not disposing of 10 unused pints of paint every time I paint a room.
Now are you curious about the names of the paint samples I selected for my living room? 

Battle of the greiges
1. Almond Wisp. 2. Collingwood 3. Smokey Taupe 4. Wheat Bread 5. Chocolate Froth 6. Apparition 7. Mineral 8. Nimbus 9. Sandstone Cove

A quick comparison – it’s pretty crazy how some on screen swatches are pretty close to the real color, and some are SO off like Behr’s Mineral….. the online swatch doesn’t show any pink hues…the real sample looks like I’m going to paint a baby girl nursery.

Underlying pink hues is one of the most challenging aspects of trying to pick a more beige-ish greige. Beige does have a strong pink undertone to it so it’s a tricky balance.

My first samples were only the Behr ones and I wasn’t a fan of any once I had them up. Number 9 was the “closest” but didn’t have enough warmth to it…felt cold/stale for my taste.  To me greyish tones add a lot of warmth to color (which to most isn’t true because most people respond with grey is the saddest coldest color there is, yet it makes my heart go pitter patter). 

So…. what color do you think I ultimately choose?  I think I really did choose the “room’s personality” with this one… I think it’s going to look UGH-MAZING.

1 comment :

  1. See, now I'm totally crushing on #4 Wheat Bread. I used to be a fan of Mineral, based solely on the online swatches (it's been in my Pinterest hoard for over a year now!), but seeing it on your wall it looks like my niece's room - PINK.

    Basically, I have no idea which one you chose. I thought one, then I looked at the glare shot, and thought something else, then I gave up because it's like the swatches on my wall for the last year. GAH!


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