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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Paint Pitfall, Lesson Learned

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So, did you read in my Martha Stewart Living magazine column that there is a brick building across the street from my apartment that casts a red glow on my walls? I decided that I would need a yellower beige for balance.

Well, guess what? The original color I chose, Eiderdown, did not work at all. The building across the street cast such a strong red through the windows that the color seemed very off and not what I had imagined. It did not create a “color cocoon” but rather a harsh glow that kept me up at night.

So, off I went to check out my other options, including Mourning Dove, Heath, Hemp, Sandpiper, Cobblestone, and Cavern. Finally, I found the winning color (check out tomorrow’s post) that looked right in the bedroom. The painters could move on.

While I leaned a valuable lesson about paint, color and light, I also save myself some money. I stopped the painters immediately, before they could move on to another room, and quickly revised my plan. This soon created a seamless neutral backdrop for my furniture.

Do you have any scary paint stories? I’d love to hear about them. Dear readers, drop me a line and share.

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Comments (4)

  • I painted a whole living room using a beautiful greige color - until I saw that it cast a ghastly greenish pallor over everything. I have now learned to find out about the color make up of a paint (does it have predominantly green, red or blue tints) - it can make such a difference. Needless to say I repainted the walls using a different tone with red rather than green nuances

  • Two years ago we were renovating the whole house. I had been devising this project in my mind for at least 2 years and I KNEW what paint I would use in each room. Just as the painters are ready to begin, the beautiful soft olive color I had chosen for the living room looked BLACK!! It is a room with no direct light and the shadows cast by the indirect light created the "black" look. I burst into tears sure that the project was a huge mistake. An artist friend stepped in and helped me chose the perfect beautiful beige for the living room, Grant Beige, and it's companion for the smooth transition down the bedroom hall, Elmira White. Beautiful! This created a central neutral area with the kitchen done in Fire Opal and the sunroom in, what else, Solaria. We still love it !

  • I did my place in a beautiful misty grey. But what I thought was going to be elegantly moody turned out to be rather depressing on a day-to-day basis. Now I'm in the process of chosing the right tone of white. And I'm taking my time.

  • 15 years ago I decided to paint the living room in my new apartment a soft green/blue - very pale, the barest hint of color.

    However, once the paint was on the wall, it looked more green than blue. And at night forget it - in incandescent lighting it looked like the wrapper of double mint gum. It was horrendous.

    I learned that not only is it important to consider the color in different types of lighting but also to consider the paint color over which you are painting - in this case it was a yellowed white - which can change the end result.

    BTW - the color you chose looks perfect!

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