Paint by Numbers: I wish

There is no prescribed formula for getting paint right.  See it in a magazine and fall in love.  Visit a friends house and after several glasses of wine get her to reveal make and model.  Dine at your favorite restaurant and look longingly at your perfect shade of taupe.  Even those hues you’ve had ample time to reflect on, and perhaps worked hard to get, begging the Maitre D’ to phone the Owner, find out the designer, inquire with the Interiors group that selected the color…oh you think I haven’t, I have!  Even then, it doesn’t mean it will fulfill your wildest dreams.  You know, the ones where your home is so perfect Architectural Digest is calling to do the cover shoot on you?  That one.


It gets messy before it gets beautiful.  

LIGHT – it’s different in every space, and it’s quality and make-up, natural and artificial, Southern exposure or Northern, city or country….all influence that color.  Were you with me until city or country?  Try living surrounded by tall buildings that cast shadows or a hulking Chestnut Tree – even the pretty pattern the leaves cast on the wall will influence your perception of the color.

Left:  Benjamin Moore’s Sand Dollar.  Right:  Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee.

So what to do about all this?  Get friendly with your local paint supplier or hardware store.  Those tiny little paint chip strips are lovely for an inspiration board or to remind yourself of the color you eventually picked – I like to use them for craft projects myself, but they simply won’t do for informing a decision as important as what to paint your living room.

Left:  Benjamin Moore’s Tissue Pink.  Right:  Benjamin Moore’s Wild Aster.

Today I will head back to Warren Hardware my local Hardware store where they are all too familiar with this exercise.  I have sampled:  Paisley Pink, Balboa Mist, Nantucket Fog, Kentucky Haze, Van Cortland Blue, and Wedgewood Gray.  I painted it in big 12 x 12 swaths mid-day when the sun was shining.  Of the six Wedgewood Gray is a winner for the kitchen cabinets.  Nantucket Fog and Kentucky Haze are still in play but uncertain.  I will now try: Sand Dollar, Tissue Pink, Wild Aster, White Dove, and Swiss Coffee.  I haven’t even gotten to the bedrooms rooms yet.  Lordy…I’m dizzy with paint fumes.  Wish me luck.  Thank goodness for that extra hour today.  I’ll need, but when do I not?


Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.

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