Choosing a Paint Colour

After looking at and dealing with chalky builder’s paint on the walls for 5-1/2 years…..and figuring that having the interior of the house painted isn’t going to get less expensive over time….. I decided to bite the bullet and at least start the process.

In an open concept style of house – there aren’t too many options when it comes to managing a large job in phases – and phases it will have to be for budgeting purposes.  Phase 1 will have to be the Great Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, Hallways and the wall heading down the stairs to the Lower Level + all trim and doors in these areas.  Since one runs into the other, you can’t stop once you start!!! The Main Level Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Laundry can wait until Phase 2 and the Lower Level until Phase 3.  Closets may end up being in Phase “infinity”.

Now that I had determined how to proceed, I had to find a painter.  My regular guy is meticulous, does a fantastic job, but is slow and therefore expensive.  I interviewed 2 other painters and settled on one who comes recommended by neighbours – and who provided a very reasonable estimate – besides – I liked him.  Feeling comfortable with somebody who is going to be in your home for an entire week is important.

So – now I know what is going to be done and who is going to do it.  All that is left is to choose the paint colour.  Oh My God!  All I want is a neutral with “some colour” to provide contrast with my white trim and ceilings, trending toward the taupe vs the beige.  Well – easier said than done.  Those little colour strips you can bring home just do NOT tell you how the paint will really look on your walls.  I have to be sure – it’s a lot of wall and a lot of money to end up hating the colour!!  There are so many undertones to these neutral colours….some are pink, some yellow, some green and some purple……yes, purple!!!

Once I had selected a particular paint colour from the little colour strip, I purchased a “test pot” and painted two coats on two different areas of the house (different lighting).  I did this 6 times….and hated them all.  Now what?  Shares in Sherwin Williams ???   Bring in the experts!  I hired a paint colour specialist/decorator to help me solve my dilemma.  This sounded like $75 well spent.  She has recommended a grey/taupe.  It definitely doesn’t look pink, yellow or green – but once again, I have to paint a splotch on the wall to be sure.  She also recommended a matte finish vs eggshell or satin.  That set me back – I haven’t used anything but eggshell EVER.  Apparently paint quality has improved to the point that matte finish is washable.  Imagine!  I will have to think about that one though.

The proposed colour – called Alpaca – is now on the walls in both great room and dining room.  It is really hard to focus on my paint splotch (about 12″ square” ) and not look at all of the other colours that are up there, including the existing paint which tends to be a pink beige.  I have done 2 coats and will now let it dry really well – tomorrow will be decision day.   Hmmmmm – so far, not sure.   It’s pretty grey.

Decision made.  Alpaca it is.  My painter, though, is a smart guy.  He will buy 1 gallon and completely paint one wall to let me see it in quantity (and with the best quality paint) to be sure – before moving on.    We start April 15th.

Wish me luck!



3 thoughts on “Choosing a Paint Colour

  1. Good luck Sue. I know how hard it is to pick colours. Hope the colour is what you want when you get it on the one wall.

  2. Don’t go matte. The previous owners spent alot of money on painting this place with expensive matte colours and it totally shows every smudge and wipes off very easily. The eggshell we replaced it with is so much more durable.

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