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paint color:  SW Rice Grain

I have gotten several e-mails asking about paint colors in my house. 

Along with the paint colors I thought I would provide unsolicited advice on the ins and outs of choosing a paint color.  I preface this advice with the disclaimer that I am not an expert.  I don’t work for a paint company.  I have not gone to paint color school. 

What I am, though, is so much better.  I am the person who has painted and repainted and repainted rooms because I couldn’t figure out the answer to this simple question,  “Why did the paint color in the store not look like the paint color on my wall?”

If you are a paint color expert….this post is not for you.  Please feel free to come back later.  If you have ever stood in front of a paint chip display and closed your eyes and pointed….please read the following:

(1)  The darkest color on the paint strip is your best friend

When you are looking at colors on two (or three different) strips of paint chips, many times the colors will appear to be the same.  THEY ARE NOT!  Do not be fooled.  Each strip of paint color chips are tinted in a slightly different direction. 

For example, a khaki could have a pink base or a blue base.  A gold can have a green base or a brown base.  A red could have an orange base or a pink base.  (I think you get the point).

To see the true color tint….look at the darkest color on the strip.  This color has the most color saturation and you can see the color more easily. 

paint color:  SW Anonymous

(2)  All surfaces are not created equal

Fact #1:  When painting a ceiling any other color than white go at least one shade lighter.  Color on a ceiling appears darker than on the wall.

Fact #2:  When choosing a color for the floor.  Always go one or two shades lighter.  Color on the floor appears darker than on the wall.

For example, in the master bedroom, we pulled up the carpet and painted the subfloor with squares.  The darkest square (see the floor over by the Christmas tree) is the same color as the walls, yet it looks darker.  Amazing.

Note to self:  Post idea #456 “How to paint subfloors with squares.”

(3)  Saturation is the Key

If you remember nothing else from this post.

If in two months you say, “thistlewood who?”

Please, please remember this unsolicited advice when you are standing in front of that paint display:

Find the color you want…..and then go one shade darker.

I know.  It’s scary.  It’s only natural, we have a tendency to go lighter with our paint choices.  The only problem is, natural light and “stuff” tend to wash out our first color choice. 

Trust me on this one.  You will be much happier with a little more saturation.

paint color:  SW Mindful Grey

(4) You Can Never Have Enough Paint

You have seen them in the paint store mixing paint.  They take the tinted base and then add different colors.  Here’s the secret:  no can of paint is exactly the same.

They are close.  Maybe you won’t see a difference.  Maybe you will. 

Don’t take the chance.

Buy a five gallon bucket and mix your cans together before you paint.

Learn from a person with a two-tone painted room.

paint color:  SW Mindful Grey

(5)  Sample, sample, sample

They sell $4.95 quart paint samples at Sherwin Williams.  I suggest you do not let $4.95 come between you and the perfect wall color.  A painted swatch on the wall beats a paint chip color hands down every time.

I use them to paint samples.  I use them to paint furniture.  I use them to paint anything and everything.  I mix them together to make sure I use every bit of my $4.95 paint purchase.

So for the person who e-mailed me about the paint color of this hutch, I can’t really help you out.  You see, it’s invented.

Let’s call it SW:  Anonymous Mindful Rice Grain Grey….

                                                                           ….and leave it at that.

PS  If you would like to see any of these colors on your wall, Sherwin Williams has a great tool called a color visualizer.  You simply upload your photo and brush in the color.