Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Am I Blue?

Or am I grey? (a before & after during post)

We have friends coming to visit this summer so I decided it was high time to get the guest room sorted out (I can't tell you how exciting it is to finally have a guest room).  Evie has visited a couple of times since we moved and at Christmas she practiced her hooping indoors - leading to walls that looked like this.

The result of a large black-and-white striped hoop being whirled around a fairly small space.

I'm thinking of decorating the room in black and white (oddly enough) but I didn't want to paint the walls plain white, and I thought a pale, silvery grey would go nicely. So I started looking at paint swatches, and paint company websites, and places like Pinterest - and I found it's really difficult to find a grey that's not too dark, or too blue or (shudder) "greige". Eventually I brought a bunch of swatches home from Home Depot, taped them up in the room and then started pulling off the ones I didn't like. I narrowed it down to two paints from Behr - Sterling and Burnished Metal - and after buying sample pots last Friday I painted large patches on the wall to compare:

After I'd done it I realised this wasn't the best wall to use because the light coming in from that side window was distorting the colour a bit (which is why I have a second patch of the BM on the left, closer to the light.

All through Friday and Saturday I kept popping back into the room to see the colours at different times of the day, and in artificial light, and I decided the Burnished Metal was just a little too dark. My only concern was whether the Sterling was going to turn out to be tinged with blue after all.

Sunday morning I made myself a large cup of coffee, put on Terry Pratchett's "Making Money", unscrewed the switch/plug plates, taped the room and started painting. I love painting - it's so zen. Especially with an audio book going. Terry Pratchett and Agatha Christie are my authors of choice for painting.

The Behr is pretty stinky in the can but the smell disappears as the paint dries and by the end I could hardly smell anything. After I'd done the cutting in I was getting very nervous about the colour, but I persevered.

I got all the way around the room but didn't have enough paint left to do the inside of the closet so I've had to leave it for now. I was still seeing pale blue, until I ripped down the masking tape - apparently it was casting enough of a shadow/reflection to tip the colour over. Once it was gone the paint was exactly what I'd wanted - a pale, pearly grey (I went for a satin finish for that little extra gleam).

I tipped the headboard sideways and leaned it against the wall so I could see the effect of the grey, black and white together and I think I'm going to be really happy with it.

Now I just have to decide whether to just get an extra quart to finish the inside of the closet or buy another gallon and do another coat all over. I could probably get away with one coat because it covers really well, but there are a few spots where I didn't have quite enough paint on the roller, and a few others where I had too much and there are some drips.  I won't have time to do anything with it until Friday at the earliest so I have a few days to look at it again and decide whether to be a perfectionist or whether OK is good enough.

Update: I've decided to be a perfectionist and I've bought a second can. Hopefully I can get on the second coat/paint the closet this weekend.


  1. I'm glad you're blogging again and can't wait to see the final results! It must be so much fun to be able to do something so creative for yourself - I couldn't!

    1. Andrea, you could totally do it. Painting's not hard. Prep and cleanup are sometimes tedious (but necessary) but not difficult and the painting itself is basically just moving a brush or roller up and down. There are loads of tutorials and tips on the internet.

  2. I love the look of the gray against your white trim. I agree white walls would not have added much to a black & white room - some things would've disapppeared into the walls! Ilook forward to seeing the final reveal, Wendy. :)

    1. Thanks Revi, I'm hoping to get the painting done this weekend. Maybe tomorrow, although I have to go into work for a couple of hours in the morning, so we'll see. Then I have to get the bed put back together and I can put up a few decorations I have gathered so far. I have a chest of drawers I want to do a distressed black to go in there but I"m not sure when I'll get to that :)

  3. Two thumbs up, Wendy, I enjoyed the way you described it step by step, so one had a sense of the process, the alarms, and the eventual triumph. What an excellent achievement, too, in the room I mean.

  4. EVIE! Destroyer of interior design!!! *waves hoop around threateningly*

    1. As long as you keep it away from my new grey walls I'm happy :)


Leave a comment - I love a good conversation.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...