Thursday, October 9, 2014

Finding the perfect shade of gray.

I'll start out by saying this:

I am a color person. 

I get it from my mother, who's dream job would be to name colors all day long.  Except that she has no vision when it comes to a color in a room.  Naming is pretty much where it ends for her.  I, on the other hand, could spend hours in Sherwin-Williams, touching all of the rainbow of swatches and deciding on the very perfect color for each and every room in my house.  

In the past, I have always spent the most of my time combing over swatches, choosing a sample or two to take home and paint onto the wall, and going from there.  Simple.  Easy.  

But my vision for a light gray for the living and dining room has proven ... difficult.  There are currently 12 shades of gray on the walls in that room.  Brian wanted me to keep adding to it as a nod to the book title.  But the overwhelming amount of options is already making me want to poke out my eyeballs.  

Admittedly, my biggest mistake was painting all of the samples over the peachy-beige on the walls instead of priming it first.  Lesson definitely learned.  Trying the shades on several walls was very helpful, as was studying all of the samples during various times of day.  Another helpful step?  Pouring over blog entries on choosing the perfect gray, like these from Ask AnnaLove, Pomegranate House, Stacy Risenmay,Pretty Handy Girl, Thistlewood Farms, and this one from Emily Henderson is helpful and hysterical.  

I tried a few shades from Sherwin-Williams and a few from Lowes.  All seemed like the perfect one on the paint chips, but once I got them onto the wall, while pretty, they just weren't what I was looking for.  When they seemed too light, too blue, too green, too beige, too purple ... I started mixing.  

To achieve shades that were darker/lighter/less blue/less green/etc, I used Valspar Summer Sparrow, Valspar Montpelier Ashlar Gray, and Valspar Java.  

I finally landed on Silverpointe or a slightly darker, less blue version of Silverpointe that I mixed myself.  While I LOVE Silverpointe, the final decision was for the custom mix.  Silverpointe will definitely end up somewhere else in our house, but I wanted something a tiny bit warmer for this room.  

I painted a little bit on the back of another paint swatch and will take it to Sherwin-Williams to see if I can find something similar or if they can work their color-matching magic.  

I have never in my life had such a hard time choosing a paint color!  But hopefully I'll be able to get some paint on the walls today!


  1. I enjoyed your blog and am having the "grey" dilemna as well -- I have tried 8 color samples and encountered the same results you mentioned -- too blue, too purple, not too grey! So the patchwork wall remains until I am again inspired to search for the "right" grey. Tomorrow I plan to obtain samples of silverplate and aloof gray.

    1. Thanks Judy! It's so hard, isn't it?? I currently have paint samples on walls in 2 rooms in my home too, just waiting to see what strikes me. I'm still loving the Silverplate in the dining room! I chose SW Tinsmith for a bathroom and laundry room and also love that. It's a nice true gray. Good luck to you. Let me know what you land on!


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