Meeting the Petersiks relit the fire in me to get some work done around here. Yes, that was in November. Stop judging. So what if the fire is at a slow burn that makes me glower at everything but not actually do anything?
Preventing me from moving forward on any new rooms are the mistakes I’ve made in rooms I thought were close to done, or at least somewhat presentable. If dwelling over mundane things was an Olympic event I’d be the Michael Phelps of the sport. Or Michelle Phelps since I’m a broad. Whatever.
Anywho, I had the living room/dining room color picked out almost immediately after closing on our house in May 2011: Benjamin Moore Wind Chime. Turns out Candice Olson likes it too. It’s one of her designer picks. How awesome am I? Awesome, totally awesome.
But did I spring for actual BM paint? Nope. I had it color matched to Olympic no-VOC paint. In a flat finish, figuring with the less than stellar walls flaws would be disguised, and I’d just touch up scuffs and what not. Guess what I learned?
Don’t use cheap paint. Use the most expensive, quality stuff you can afford. And do not put flat paint on your walls unless you’re a masochist.
This paint does not like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It becomes discolored or rubs off. It also rebels against touch ups, making them as obvious as a black bra under a white shirt. Also, I am lazy and hate trudging down to the basement, mixing up the paint for touch-ups and cleaning up afterward.
But I figured I’d just deal with the paint until I’d worked up the energy to tackle the room again. So I set my sights on the hall.
Unfortunately, our house is as close to open concept as you can get without actually being open concept. Due to a bulkhead, the doorway from the hall to the living/dining room is not and cannot be trimmed out without looking weird. But I thought as long the colors complemented each other, it wouldn’t be a big deal to use different colors in the hall and living room.
I couldn’t (and haven’t) been able to figure out how to paint the stairway without constructing some crazy scaffolding. And after painting the ceiling in the living room three times and still dealing with paint roller tracks, we were both in no mood to paint the rest of the ceilings in this place. So we hired a painter.
He took care of the ceilings with not a streak in sight. And he painted the upstairs and downstairs hall, including the stairwell. After much deliberation, I chose Marilyn’s Dress by BM — A light, seemingly pure gray that seemed to go just fine with Wind Chime. I moved that tiny swatch around the house, looking at in different lights, and comparing it to the Wind Chime swatch.
Despite knowing better, my laziness had me relying on swatches to choose a paint color.
Don’t do this. Get a sample can and paint either the wall directly or a poster board to slap up on said wall, and study it throughout the day on both sunny and cloudy days.
The first inkling that my choice sucked was when it first went up and the painter asked if I liked it. I had thought it’d be darker and said as much, but figured I’d get used to it. The second bad sign was when a friend said he liked the blue. I tried not to hiss at him and wrote that off as a typical man’s grasp of colors. (An ex-boyfriend said there are only 5 colors in the average male mind, and pink and purple are the same.)
But after the errant thought that the wall looked purple at night from the living room crept for the billionth time into my pea brain and finally took root, I grudgingly acknowledged that denial ain’t just a river in Egypt and that Marilyn’s Dress might need a damn cover-up.
There are five stages in the grieving process, and it’s not uncommon to bounce around among them before getting to the acceptance stage. I’ve been floating around denial, anger, and acceptance for quite some time, and we all know I always seem to have depression covered. (Depression joke!)
I did NOT want to deal with painting the whole hall again after shelling out the bucks for a painter. So I tried working with Marilyn’s Dress, and had even decided to bring the color into the living room because it’s a lot easier to paint one room than two hallways and a stairwell. My laziness knows no bounds.
But there just wasn’t something right with the color, and I couldn’t quite place my finger on what exactly. When Andy offhandedly said it was the floor, I had a total “duh” moment. I took quite a few art classes in my school days for Christ’s sake.
I had ignored the floor when deciding on paint colors, ruling it neutral without thinking. But the floor has such a warm stain, it’s basically orange. So while the yellow-undertoned Wind Chime luckily looked fine with the floor, the wood pulled out the complimentary blue and purple hidden in Marilyn’s Dress. Ugh.
So why not paint the place Wind Chime you ask? Because the paint and finish I used ruined it for me. The color is now just a reminder of my many blunders. And it also kind of reminds me of toothpaste.
After multiple trips to BM and multiple swatches and sample cans of paint, I narrowed it down to two – Glacial Till and Revere Pewter.
Based on the tiny swatches, I made up my mind on the warmer, tanner Glacial Till. But learning my lesson from last time I bought some paint boards to check out how larger swaths of color would look. And it’s a damn good thing I did.
Both looked ok in natural light. But under the boob lights in the hall, Revere Pewter looked better. Next to the new gray cabinet in the living room, it looked MUCH better. So Revere Pewter it will be once we figure out how to carve out the needed time and effort to paint.
I am kind of annoyed that I’ve settled on a neutral, wanting to be a brave color person. But resale is always in the back of my mind, and I do not want a realtor to tell me to repaint AGAIN if we ever decide to sell this place. But at least Revere Pewter sounds a whole lot better than Builder Beige.