Did I complain about our living room color? Yes, I have.
“Well, if you don’t like, change it” I kept telling myself. For one and a half years. Something – finally – motivated me and I decided to paint our living room. I decided on grey, a swift decision – for my standards – as it only took a couple months.
I am not new to grey, I used it about 10 years ago for an accent wall. It was a dismal failure. The hue was wrong, it was too dark and it gained the nickname “mouse grey”.
This time around, I was worried it would take forever to pick a “decent” grey – if I managed to find that “decent” grey. However, it only took $4 (plus some cents) and half an hour, to find the perfect grey. *Insert huge smile here – HUGE *
Granted, it also took a certain amount of luck. We went to Home Depot for some supplies and I picked a sample of “silver bullet” on a whim, for ~ $3.50. As I was checking the oops paints (the heavily discounted paints), I got a sample of “cream puff” for 50 cents.
Instead of going by swatches and countless grey samples, I took a shortcut: I made it myself. In fact I made several fantastic versions of it! Including a few gorgeous greige versions.
If you can’t find your ideal grey, you can try this. It worked magically for me and hopefully it will for you as well.
DIY Your Ideal Grey!
– A grey sample. I used the aforementioned Silver Bullet.
– White or black paint. White if you want to make a lighter version of your grey, black if you want to go darker.
– Cream/yellow, only if you aim for a warm grey or greige. I got lucky with my Cream Puff sample but if you are feeling adventurous, you can use brown.
What I do for cool grey: I only mix white OR black to alter the shade.
What I did for warm grey and greige: I added a soft yellow.
I used small plastic cups as measures and to mix my concoctions. I
wrote wish I had written down the analogies (for example, 2 of grey, 1 white, 1/2 cream puff). I mixed and tried on a leftover piece of drywall. Then I double checked on my primed walls to verify the colors. I added white because I wanted my grey lighter.
Testing the color (what I learned from painting our nursery):
Test in the room you plan on painting. Apply on at least 2 perpendicular walls to check how different shadows alter your color. Finally, check in daylight and at nighttime to see how your color behaves under different lighting. Our old living room color for example, was brown in the daylight and oily greenish under artificial light.
Once I decided on my favorite greys, I painted chips (on sticks, drywall scraps and scrap paper) and took them to Home Depot for color matching. This proved a lucky decision because, out of 3 swatches, they accurately got the 2 but, they (the machines) completely failed to read correctly my Gorgeous Greige (yep, I named my colors – the other one is called Perfect Grey).
Testing behind the front door, a very shadowy area, where we had hung our DIY mail center,
(sorry the photo is so grainy but there are 7 different grey hues in it):
DIY your Grey & Greige – cheat sheet
1. Pick colors.
2. Mix and test on your walls. (Remember to write down the combinations!)
3. Create swatches.
4. Colormatch with your preferred paint company.
5. TEST the sample. If successful, go back to the store and order the amount you need for your room.
Now you are ready to paint, and bask at the glory of your beautiful newly painted walls!
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ps. I can’t wait to show you our new colors.