The Cool House: Choosing paint colors, driving myself nuts

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Choosing paint colors, driving myself nuts

Kitchen paint colours

I was at the paint store yesterday trying to pick out chips and this is what I heard "This is so difficult, I'm getting a headache". I went to the store again today and another customer was appealing for help "I can't find it, it was here a moment ago, where did that pot of color go?"
I'm glad I'm not the only one totally overwhelmed by the choice of paint colors out there. You'd think it would be easier now you can view colors online, but the color on your monitor and the color of the paint chip aren't always the same, sometimes they're not even similar. And those little trial pots of paint? It would be better if they had them stacked by number and not by shade because those rows of greys and off-whites start to merge into a giant blur before long, hence the woman having a melt down because she couldn't find the pot she wanted. She had the number but that wasn't helping her get in and out and back home to slap a 2' square of Benjamin Moore HC-36 on the wall. Then of course when you get the swatch home it may look totally different on your wall, with your light and furnishings. So why would I put myself through this process?
Because it will be at least another year before we get round to the kitchen reno and the unpainted wall behind the refrigerator and the water-stained and dingy ceiling are getting on my nerves. Of course the fact that the refrigerator is just sitting there attached to a random wall is also irritating but that's not something I can tackle alone.
I decided to paint the kitchen over Thanksgiving and I wanted to get some swatches on the wall this week. That way we can make sure the colours look good in all light. It should have been an easy task, the moldings and doors are all stained, the cabinets are burl wood laminate and the ceiling will get a coat of Benjamin Moore Cloud White because it's worked in other rooms.
A buttery cream we thought, so I went to get some. I came home with 10 of those paint chip cards, 4 paint chips from BM Aura line and a trial pot of Voice of Color Pineapple Delight. Two coats of that and I knew it was a mistake. Too light, too creamy for our architecture. We needed to go greener, perhaps.

Green, grey-green, taupy-green

Or greyer?

Kitchen paint colours

I was already starting to wilt. Luckily I had the paint chips to help me. I narrowed it down to Sesame and Anjou Pear, plus the Lemongrass color I found on the Benjamin Moore Canada site. Unfortunately even though I had the dedicated number for Lemongrass that didn't help me get a Canadian color out of an American paint mixer. Can't be done. They have their colors, we have ours. Tough. Move on. There was also no sample of Sesame but I was not leaving there empty handed so I chose two trial pots that looked (to me) quite similar. The Anjou Pear and Sweet Pear.

On the walls the difference was startling. Anjou Pearhas a muddy quality to it while Sweet Pear is luminescent. I'm a little disappointed with the Anjou, it's from the Aura by Benjamin Moore range so it's low VOC and only requires one coat. I'm trying to be environmentally friendly but the texture is thick and it goes on streaky. Like mud all ways round, really.

Anjou Pear top, Sweet Pear bottom

I think we may have a winner, although I'll need to leave it up a few days to make sure.

BM Swwet Pear

Why did I really chose this color? Perhaps it was subliminal.......



Anonymous said...

Do you have a final picture of your room with the sweet pear? Do you find it to be too bright or overpowering? I want a pear shade but don't want something too bright.

modernemama said...

We painted one wall and decided it clashed with everything. It was just too intense for our light challenged kitchen. In the end we went with BM Titanium and we are about to repaint the new kitchen with BM Silver Satin. Good Luck with your choice!