8.21.2012

Paint Paralysis

Picking paint colors is one of the hardest things ever! {Can I get an AMEN?!?!} Designers make it look easy, but trust me, when it comes to their own homes, they struggle! And neutral palettes? They look so simple, but getting the tones just right can be really tricky! Yes, I'm writing about paint. And yes, I have a lot of silly stuff to say! 

Can't trust a photo. The sky is casting a blue hue on everything here.

You should have seen my crazy self in early July. I carried paint swatches with me everywhere. My girls thought I was nuts! Hard to choose paint colors when you aren't even in the house yet, so I just kept staring hoping that a few would speak to me.

Oh, and I googled and searched Pinterest like a mad woman...despreate for clarity. But here's the deal: looking at paint colors in other people's homes, with their lighting, their wonky camera settings, not to mention varying computer monitors, is no help at all! {I knew this, but couldn't help myself!}

No matter how much you love a color in a magazine or on a computer screen, it won't look the same in your house. Hence the need for sample...after sample...after sample.

I finally settled on a half formula of Fieldstone {far left} for this room.
{I highly recommend cheap foam brushes for samples. That way
you don't have to wash your brush in between colors.}

Everyone says that painting a room is one of the least expensive ways to transform a space, but painting a whole house? Not my idea of a bargain! However, I'll be the first to tell you that painting does do wonders. It makes a house feel much more fresh and more "you."

Here's Benjamin Moore's Fieldstone at 50%, aka "half formula."
But you can bet it will look entirely different in your home!

During the paint process, I learned...uh, remembered something about myself: I don't like to make mistakes. Part of it is the perfectionist in me. {I'm still recovering. This move is helping, but I've got a long way to go!} The other part of it is that I hate to waste money. But my sweet husband gave me lots of GRACE and encouragement...told me not to fear making a mistake. We could always repaint.

Sometimes too much freedom paralyzes me {still afraid to mess up}. But then again, so does indecision. So after sitting paralyzed for several days, I chose mostly familiar colors from my Houston homeI loved Benjamin Moore's Wickham Gray. It felt very Provence to me. Gray with a hint of blue.



Wickham Gray in my Houston home.

So when I couldn't decide what color to paint this dark, cave-like room...


...I went with Wickham Gray.

Nice color, but in person, it feels too blue here.
{Country light must be different than city light.}

It's actually not so bad in the picture. See? Photos can be deceiving!

Back to the drawing board.

Lord, help me! Not loving any of them. Have to decide tomorrow.

At least I have a good excuse to repaint!

An unexpected wall invasion during the internet installation. 

If you think I'm overthinking it with paint colors, you should see how meticulous I am about tweaking font colors! There's no such thing as basic red and green on my Christmas card designs! {This is why people pay me for custom work, right?!?!} It's not bad to have a meticulous eye. You just have to know when to stop. Clearly, I'm still learning!

One last thing to share.
 Before we painted, we wrote words on the walls. 


The girls loved doing this, and they wrote the dearest things. 



Writing words on the walls was by far the best thing about painting. We love knowing there are blessings, prayers and truths surrounding us in every room. Words are powerful!

Time for bed! I've got to get up early and look halfway decent for my new Tennessee driver's license. I've never had anything but a Texas one. Weird!

Hugs to you!

P.S. Can't wait to show you the wonders paint did for my kitchen! Feels almost new!

UPDATE: Just stumbled upon this paint post and was reminded of a great tip: ask your paint store for the formulas. Seeing what tints are added to the base may save you from buying so many samples.

39 comments:

  1. I just went through this. and it was awful. I have two words for you... okay... four words for you... Benjamin Moore, Dove White.

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    1. I used White Dove on all my trim. So pretty!

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  2. why hello there, it's 1:15 AM and i'm searching paint colors on the computer. i know, pointless. i'm not even looking at blogs and somehow I ended up visiting you. God must find this funny, the way we girls fret over our paint colors decisions. I suppose He wanted me to know I wasn't alone, and I'm not the only one still trying to break my perfectionist ways. And I only need to figure out paint for the kitchen. Why is it so confusing?!?!?! can't wait to see your kitchen painted!! xoxoxo

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    1. That's EXACTLY why I wrote this post...so you'd know you aren't alone! Laughing because I stayed up reidiculously late searching paint colors back in July. As if the computer was going to tell me what to do if I jsut searched long enough! Maybe I should pick yours and you should pick mine! xo!

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  3. Love that you wrote prayers and scripture on the wall before painting! I'll have to rmember that for next time we paint. I hope you love whatever color you choose. :)

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  4. I love that you wrote prayers on your walls prior to painting! What a lovely idea and knowing you are surrounded by God's grace is comforting, yes?

    Choosing paint colors makes my palms sweaty. Too many choices and I am paralyzed with fear of failure. Ugh!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful new home and the challenges it brings. It's nice to have company!

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  5. I love the challenge of picking paint! Believe me, I get just as stressed out, but somehow I just can't stop either! I make LOTS of mistakes. In fact, my whole house right now feels like a big mistake, and I'm wanting to repaint EVERYTHING! From your photos, I can tell you one thing you're doing that might be sabotaging your efforts....painting samples on a colored wall. Your brain compares them to the color that's already there. So, a blue gray paint sample painted on a beige wall is going to look way too blue (or maybe not blue enough), when in reality, it may not be. If you put up some white primer first and paint samples on that, or paint on sample boards, you might have better luck :) That said, you are still WAY ahead of me....your home is sooo inspiring, both the Houston one and the new one. Can't wait to see the finished product! I moved from Canada to Houston, and couldn't believe I had to get a TX license, so I hear ya! Best of luck!!!

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    1. You are absolutely right about the colored wall throwing me. I've just been too lazy to prime. Mainly because I didn't think it would be this hard to pick a neutral color! Who was I kidding?!?!

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  6. I really enjoy reading your blog. I think I might try a new paint color in our dining room after reading this post. Loved the sentiments your girls wrote on the walls. Our kids did the same thing when we built our home. Three Mango Seeds

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  7. Looking good out there lady! I've been in a paint crazed mess upstairs myself this week, painting old furniture and you'll be happy to know that we finally tackled the master bedroom, it might even be blog post worthy. ;)
    Can't wait to see your kitchen!!!
    xo~
    T

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    1. Proud of you for tackling the master bedroom! I know it's the last thing on most people's list because no one else sees it, but you're worth it! xo!

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  8. As I read this post, I kept thinking that if it's important to you, then it is important to God. (even paint colors)

    I cannot wait to see your home in person. I know it will be beautiful and perfectly you.

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  9. I hear you...I can't even begin to imagine picking colors for a whole house. It would paralyze anyone!
    Mostly I love the girls prayers. Underneath that paint are prayers and I LOVE that!
    Missing you....glad to hear your enjoying your new home { even if you are pulling your hair out...:)
    xo

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  10. Hi. You are not crazy for writing about paint...I do it all the time ;). Also, we went with Benny Moore's Halo in our new family room. Great color, I got it from Miss Mustard Seed. No blue undertones, very neutral grey. Oh what a bear paint can be....
    I am looking for a soft, neutral blue for the girls room upstairs. Your Whickam Gray has me intrigued. Hmmm.

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    1. I love Halo. Used it in my girls rooms. Funny you mention it because I tested it in the family room today. Try Wickham Gray and Horizon. Both are blue gray.

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  11. Your Houston home was so lovely in the photos so why break it if it isn't broken? I was so paralized with paint when we remodeled. The outside painting the brick was torture. I even stopped the painter doing the outside so I could text my husband when I came over and saw the backhouse primed....seeing red brick go a grey/white was terrifying....but I love it now. We did a lot of BM Balboa Mist in the main rooms of the house and I adore it. Worth checking out if you aren't all there yet.

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    1. Not there yet, but getting closer! Going lighter than I ever imagined. Balboa Mist is so pretty! Was just looking at the one above it the other day, Classic Gray. I need a little more earthiness, I think. Lookign at Ballet White. Way lighter than I imagined I'd go! Exterior will be coming up for me. Dreading it!!!

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  12. I feel your pain. I think it is so hard and even painted my living room and had it completely repainted before my husband got home from work because I just couldn't live with the first color. Before I had my room painted this time (a neutral) I had 5 different shades on the wall...clearly picking paint colors is not my forte!

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    1. Only five different samples? Not bad! I think I'm up to a dozen. Make me stop! ;) And thanks for the nice words below about my home in Houston.

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  13. Forgot to say as I got so carried away with my paint issues that your Houston home is GORGEOUS - just love your style - chic and comfortable - the perfect combination! Can't wait to see this one ~

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  14. Ok, you are totally speaking my language now! I just went through this several weeks ago so I feel your pain!! I am a neutral girl & they truly are the hardest colors to pick because of all the undertones. I had to comment because I was down to three colors in the end...classic gray, ballet white & Windsbreath. For me, the classic gray had too much blue in it ( although it may be perfect for you since you like a blue undertone). I ended up going with ballet white in my main rooms (foyer, liv & din room ) but I had it darkened 25% ( I was worried it would be too light on its own, but it probably would have been fine either way). I used winds breath (also darkened 25%) in my family room. I have to say I am very happy with my choices. I would have given anything to have someone help me that night before making my final selections so hoping this will help you! Check out my blog to see what the colors look like although like you said its hard to tell from a computer screen! Good luck & can't wait to see what you end up with!
    Heidi
    Nuburylane.com

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    1. So funny...I tested Ballet White today and thought I might like it to be 25% darker (because I love to tweak), but then thought I might like it as is! So on the same wavelength with you! I'm down to Ballet White or Halo...I think! Going to look at your photos!

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  15. Funny! I had considered halo too ( ended up using ash wood..the one below it...in my master bedroom! ) All great choices!

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    1. I used Ashwood in our entry and hallways! Loved seeing your living room.

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  16. Amen!! I am so with you Linsey, I can't tell you how many times I have painted my living room and it still doesn't feel right.
    I am looking so forward to seeing your home, you have a fantastic eye for design.
    And your daughter's writings are so precious!! I love the way children pray, so beautifully and pure.
    Hope you have a lovely night.
    P.S. How are your girl's liking their new school?
    Sincerely,
    Melinda

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    1. They LOVE their school! We feel beyond blessed! Thanks for asking!

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  17. Oh gosh. There are too many paint colors for people like us! Drives me crazy and practically gives me heart palpitations! I'm so in love with color, until it's time to paint a wall, and the crazies set in. It's completely ridiculous. My precious husband once surprised me by painting our kitchen/dining room/living room while I was out one day (with my paint choice), but after living with it for a day it just had to go; that was a big re-do! Since then I've been very gun shy and it takes me light years to decide. I finally settled on Behr's Decorator White and Martha Stewarts Milk Paint for the main areas in our house and I don't see myself changing anytime soon; they are great neutrals in our light, thank goodness!

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    1. I hear ya! In love with color and all of the subtelties until I have to pick a paint color! But the funny thing is, if a neighbor or friend asks for help, I can pick it!

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  18. Amen and amen. Staring at a pile of paint swatches and cans too. You nailed it right on the head - "I don't like to make mistakes." I am deciding tonight and moving on! Thank you friend!

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    1. I decided today and am moving on! Went with a color I already had. So much for all those samples I bought!

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  19. I lived with a terrible faux finish for 2 years because I couldn't figure out what color to paint the walls. I was absolutely paralized and looked at paint swatches on my walls for months and months. I finally called in reinforcements by enlisting my good friend who went to art school and sees color like no one else. She picked out 3 good paint options for me within 30 seconds. Amazing! Best of luck to you. I know you'll do well...from everything I've seen on your blog you have a great eye!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. Sometimes I just need to TRUST my eye. I made the decision today and am embracing that it may not be perfect, but it will be done {and hopefully something I can live with for awhile!}.

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  20. Just found you and your blog and LOVE it...so full of inspiration. I really enjoyed your post from january 11, 2011 on saying goodbye to the negative whispers in our heads...thanks for that!
    good luck in your new home!
    best,
    heather

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    1. Thank you, Heather. That post was so therapeutic for me. I was in a rut and needed to work it out! Welcome ot the blog! Glad to have a new friend here.

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  21. I can't wait to see your home...dying for some pictures. okay, "dying" is strong but you get the picture. :)

    so curious about your fleas...praying they are GONE.

    Happy Weekend~

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  22. My husband and I have been in our place for a YEAR this weekend, and because of a weird color (non)match in our living room, the color I had chosen to paint our dining room didn't fit anymore.... so I never painted it. Last week I read this post and fell in LOVE with the color you used and knew right away that it would be perfect for my naked dining room! We ended up going even lighter because we have hardly any natural light, but it is now painted and FINALLY getting finished! Thank you thank you thank you!

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    1. So happy to hear that you found some inspiration here! Hope you love it!

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  23. Favorite picture- the wall with the multiple samples. We just moved back to the United States from Ukraine and bought a house and it felt like a cardboard box inside- top to bottom brown. And now I am known as the shades of gray lady at the BM store (nice- I've heard mention of the book). Long story short- we were down to the wire on choosing a color and finally the painter made one and it looked good...it's a beautiful paint job but I don't think it's the right color. I cried all day in between the 300 boxes that were delivered last week...anyway, it's encouraging to know I'm not alone! :)

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    1. Never alone! Grays are SUPER tricky. They are so light dependent, so everything from what kind of weather you're having to what kind of lighbulbs you use can have an impact. The right one will come. Hang in there!

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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