The Cool House: paint
Showing posts with label paint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paint. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What did we do before blogging?

My beloved iBook went terminal on Friday and I am unable to do anything blog-oriented like post photos or type, or even read emails on a regular basis. If you're keeping track, that's three computers in one year that have bailed on me. Unfortunately the iBook pretty much contains, if not my life, then certainly my address book, my photos, my music and all resources for the house.
I was in the middle of transfering files to an external hard drive when it crashed so Friday and Saturday were given over to weeping and gnashing of teeth. On Sunday I decided I had to do something other than sit there and try to restart the iBook again and again, so I tried out a few more colour swatches on the kitchen walls. At this point there is very little wall left that doesn't have a trial colour on it, and I'm beginning to think different coloured rectangles on the wall is a look that might catch on!
I sent Steven to get the colours this time. It was getting too embarrassing for me to keep going back to Aboff's the paint store. He chose shades of green: Benjamin Moore Wind Chime and Crystalline in trial pots. Naturally he likes the darker more sagey one and I prefer the lighter greyish tone. We have until tomorrow afternoon to pick one if we want to paint on Thanksgiving Day. We've invited people to come over and way in on our choice (and paint too if they're so inclined) I'm making Rogan Josh and there will be "likker".
That's plenty to do and hopefully it will stop me from fretting about my mac for a while.

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.......


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

USA and Canada not compatible

At least regarding Benjamin Moore paint. For reasons best known to themselves but I think it's to ensure I go stark, raving mad trying to pick out colo(u)rs for the kitchen, BM Canada has different names and a different numbering system for its paints. Why? Why would they do this? It's just cruel. Canadian paints have CC before the number as in the examples above. I did not know this. Armed with the numbers I wanted to get paint chips of I went to Aboffs, my local BM store. They had a paint fan with Classic Colours on it. CC- Classic Colors. Wouldn't you have assumed that was what the CC stood for? They even had a CC-700. It was called Enchanted Forest in American and is a dark greeny grey hue. Nothing like the Smoky Green that I was going for.
Likewise Lemon Grass CC-648 in Canada or 339 here.

Really, isn't there enough to divide us already without this?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Do months have colours?

They do in my twisted mind. November has always seemed like a grey month and in that spirit I decided to paint the downstairs powder room a steely grey. The problem is that there are so many shades out there, even if I confine it to Benjamin Moore colors. Another Shade of Grey even has links to gray paints on her website. I was wary of making it too dark because it's a tiny space, I don't like greys with lavender undertones and I thought the blue-toned greys might not go with the faux marble vanity top (I can't wait to replace that baby with the real thing). So in the end I used Benjamin Moore Titanium, a grey with a greenish hue. It's the same paint I put on the dining room walls. And when I say same paint, I mean the half gallon we had left over from that project. I know it says to use the paint within six months but it won't be the first time I've let paint sit for a couple of years before throwing it on the walls, and we have already established I am a cheap lady. It isn't really steely but it looks stylish enough.
The best thing about painting this house is the surprise I always get when I take off the heating grills. The original Las Vegas on Acid 1968 wallpaper will be revealed in a tantalising 8"x6" strip. The half-bath did not disappoint: grey foil wallpaper with black squiggles and beige blotches. Groovy.

Foil wallpaper, powder room

And it's a good thing I didn't start this project in October - because that screams pumpkin orange.

Edited to add: I went back into the powder room after the walls dried and the are a great colour. Unfortunately the clean walls clashed with the filthy beige carpet. So I ripped it out. The plan is to redo that floor when we do the kitchen floor, which is looking further and further away and I am definitely not living with a disgusting carpet or with carpet tacks for the next year or two. Sooooo a solution will have to be found pronto.
At least it's Friday and we have all weekend to think of something.

powder room no carpet

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


First Frost
Originally uploaded by modernemama
I just love this color, First Frost, from Pittsburgh Paints, not only because it's clean but it's also shiny too. Just look at the cat food cans reflected off the wall. (Must hang cabinet for those!).
I still have to paint the old laminate countertop but it already looks a gazillion times better than it did before.

Friday, July 06, 2007

First Frost in High Summer

Voice of Color- First Frost
Originally uploaded by modernemama
While the gusts have gone to Baltimore and DC for a few days I decided to paint the laundry room, a task I have been putting off for a couple of weeks. I used First Frost from Pittsburgh Paints Voice of color range.
It truly wasn't my intention to do this but I'm sure that this is the same color that was on the wallpaper in here in 1970. I think I might have chosen it because subconsciously I'm worried that we are taking too much of the original feel out of the house, but my original intention was to get a clean, reflective tone into a windowless space. This is just the tinted primer so we will have to suspend judgement until the top coat has dried. I'm going to paint the formica countertop while I'm about it. Hopefully the Rustoleum will do as great a job on that as it did in the medicine cabinets in the boys' bath. Those babies look brand new. This will be a temporary fix until we do the kitchen and put in new countertops and cabinets in here as well. But I want a nice space to do the washing in until then.
I've had to stop for today because I took a brushful of primer to the right eye and as we had to use oil-based primer because of the weird stains it took a while to clean it up. And it's nearly martini time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

More colour

Before putting the house on the market the listing agent made previous owner have the entire house repainted Navajo White. We know that the house was originally painted a bright blue in the dining room and den. The bedrooms were originally funky late 60s oil blue, gold, green and yellow, and pink and purple. We discovered that early on because the painters didn't bother painting the insides of the closets. The mud room, maid's room (now my office) and the hallway and stairs were once wallpapered. We have found some of the original wallpaper behind light switches and when we replaced the thermostat in the foyer. I wish I could have seen the house in all its original glory.
wallpaper remnant
Apart from the Bronzed Beige customised walls, we have decorated the dining room, which we painted with Benjamin Moore Titanium on the walls and Cloud White on the ceiling and baseboards and the master suite with Ralph Lauren Blue Mesa. I also mixed Cabot Wood stains in Ebony and Walnut to get the colour I wanted on the replacement windows. I have touched up around the new windows in the den, Verity's and Fliss' rooms with the Navajo White. Although Navajo White is really not our style I'm not planning to paint there any time soon because the paint is new. The kitchen and foyer have only primer so far, and while it's bright, it's kind of boring, but there doesn't seem much point in painting until the kitchen project gets underway. I'm getting impatient here, can you tell?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Personalizing those custom colors

Checking on my site visitors with StatCounter this morning, I was fascinated to find someone had linked through a Google search on "Bronzed Beige" the Benjamin Moore paint color. I posted a year or so ago that I had bought two gallons of the paint the previous November (2004) and had yet to slap it on the walls. I never did post what happened to them.
Apparently you are supposed to toss paint you haven't used after six months but I abhor waste so that didn't happen. Last October I did open one can, stirred it really well and slapped a coat on the mud room wall that had previously had the wallpaper that looked like mold. Unfortunately on the wall the paint looked like mold too, sandy mold but not something I could live with. I decided something a little brighter would be better and bought a can of BM Yellow Highlighter and mixed a pint of that with a pint of the Bronzed Beige. It was too yellow for the mud room but worked really well on my office walls. I made up another batch of the mix, but this time 75% Bronzed Beige and 25% Yellow Highlighter and used that on the mud room. It's better but eventually I'll repaint it, probably when we do the kitchen. The kitchen project seems to be turning into an entire first floor decorating project!
The remaining gallon or so of Bronzed Beige I mixed with two gallons of Super White and painted the fern bedroom and, after a brief flirtation with an accent wall in Ravishing Red and a replacement from our local dealer who had given me Red Oxide by mistake, Steven's office, too.
Four rooms, three different shades from a couple of gallons of oops paint can't be bad. Of course I still have a gallon of Ravishing Red I need to find a use for before it hardens in the can.