Picking the Perfect Gray

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I have some good news for you guys today!!

Go ahead, take a guess.

I'll wait.

Okay, fine I'll just tell you.

I've finally convinced Steven that painting our great room is of the utmost importance!  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am.  I am soooo over you Cliveden Sandstone (by Valspar).

I've been itching to paint these walls for a while now, mostly because we don't really get a ton of natural light in here.  We have the french doors and the two windows in the dining area, but that's it.  It's like a cave in the middle of the day when the blinds are closed and the curtains are drawn.  There's absolutely no light that seeps in from anywhere else.  So, light and bright is the plan.  I already painted the walls below the chair rail white a few months back, so this time we're just painting the top half.

Like most of the rest of the blogosphere, I decided to go with gray walls.  I knew that there were a lot of different grays out there, but I didn't quite grasp how many options there really were... talk about overwhelming!  There are the blue-grays, the green-grays, the beige-grays (greige), and the true grays.  I picked out some Benjamin Moore swatches I liked, then had color-matched samples made at Lowes.  I narrowed my original 5 samples down to 3 (I painted the sample colors on foam board so I could move them around from wall to wall)...

I played around with the colors in Photoshop to see how they would look, but it's really hard to get a true read on the colors because they're all pretty similar.


Silver Lake:

Marina Gray:

Marina Gray was quickly ruled out because it was too dark.  Right now, our kitchen and dining nook are painted a darker color than the rest of the great room (Hotel Carl Tan by Valspar), so I got a darker sample in case I decided to go that route again.  Spoiler alert:  I didn't.

Do you want to know which color we have sitting in paint cans out in our garage waiting for its big debut?

And the winner is...

Benjamin Moore Sterling!

I chose it because it was light and bright and didn't hue noticeably toward green or blue.  It's a nice neutral gray.  The color I was sure was the one before I got any samples at all (BM Moonshine) turned out to look sage green at night and was a total disaster!  Always get samples!  I looked at all of the samples at all different times of day and in different lighting to make sure they didn't turn purple at 6 p.m. or something. ha.

I'm excited to get started (perhaps this weekend?!) and see how much it brightens up the space.  We'll probably take it slow and do one section at a time (first the foyer, then the hallway, then the dining/kitchen, you get the idea).  At any rate, I am beyond THRILLED that we're finally doing it.  Yay.

Have you painted anything lately?  What's your favorite gray paint color?

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