Hi Guys! I have been itching to actually do something big with my house and not just talk about it! Ha! My living room is the saddest, so I figured I would start there (check back next week and I will have another update- this room is my focus right now so plan on seeing some results! I have some big things in the works that I am SO excited about!). You can see I have starting working on my living room- that I did some coffee table styling and here I have decorated for Halloween. But the biggest problem in my living room is the paint. I think it is too dark and besides that, I did a crappy job of painting (I think I forgot to stir the paint or I used two cans with different finishes- oops) and the finish is splotchy in some places- you can kind of see it in this picture:
How to Pick the Perfect White Paint Color
So it was off to Pinterest to figure out exactly what I wanted. You have seen my living room mood board here and how my living room is looking now here. I knew from the mood board that I wanted white, but I have recently honed that in even farther when I came to the realization that I want my living room to look like a Paris apartment- lots of light, white walls, amazing trim, and wood floors (preferably in a herringbone pattern please and thank you).
But what white to get? I knew I wanted a bright, pure white so I went to Home Depot and got a million white paint swatches and then taped up my favorites to the wall. I stared at those for about a week.
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I had some I liked, but wasn’t totally sold on any of them. Then, I got a book in the mail (don’t you love good mail days?!) Styled by Emily Henderson and it has a section in the back for paint color suggestions- mostly by Benjamin Moore.
So I went to the Benjamin Moore store and got paint chips of all of their whites. Based on the suggestions from the book, I was leaning towards Super White or Dove White by Benjamin Moore. Can you tell by now that this story is too long?! I was bored of researching and thinking and not doing anything about the terrible paint in my living room! Plus, it was Friday and I hate going to the store on Saturday (mostly because hauling around a baby makes everything take forever) and I wanted to get painting on Saturday. So I want to Home Depot and instead of buying a sample, I bought a gallon. Rebel without a cause! P.s. did you know that Home Depot has all of Benjamin Moore’s paint formulas in their computer? So you can save some money by getting it mixed at Home Depot. All they need is the number.
Saturday morning, I put my baby down for a nap, threw some laundry in the washing machine and then raced to prep for painting as quickly as possible. I grabbed supplies and wiped down the wall and trim, I then started painting and cut out the wall first and then used the roller. The first coat took about 2 hours and 5 minutes to prep for and apply plus brush washing time. I got really excited- This paint color is working! I wanted to add more contrast and this was working! During my baby’s second nap I put up a second coat (this one took about an hour), but this time I was more concerned. It was still looking grey!
Here is a photo from the kitchen. You can see from this angle that “super white” is grey (or greyer) than my kitchen! And you can see in contrast to the white closet walls how grey they are!
It then got me to thinking- wouldn’t the color of the closet doors be perfect?! The color is delicate white by Olympic (from Lowes). Plus, I already know it works in my space! So for me, Delicate White (no longer available) is the perfect white for my space.
Here are my tips for finding your perfect paint color- PAINT A SWATCH on your walls! I hate to yell, but I am yelling at myself and the expensive $40 can of paint and three hours I wasted. Coulda, woulda, shoulda! Anyway, my point is you can’t read a description of a paint color and have it look perfect in your space- OR see it look perfect in another space. There are SO many variables like lighting in your region, where your windows, how much sun you get, your furnishings. Paint chips are just so tiny it is really hard to tell how they will be on a large space until you try it out. So try it out, trust me 🙂
Here are my tips for painting- I have painted SO much in my day. I have learned some tips to advoid mistakes (because I have made way too many)-
- Lay down a drop cloth every where you are painting. Then when you drip (which you will), you can just be like “darn, guess I have to be more careful” and then slow down instead of “crap!!! I just ruined my floors!!!” and have to spend your time cleaning instead of painting.
- Always have the drop cloth underneath your open can or paint tray. That way if it tips over again, you only get paint on a cloth. I invested in a drop cloth at Home Depot and it was so worth it. I was painting my bedroom when I was super pregnant and didn’t do this tip and spilled a full gallon of paint on my carpet. You can still see the stain.
- Wear paint clothes- again, you will drip. It’s better to not be wearing clothes that you care about.
- Wear a shower cap while you roll- I might be the messiest, but when I roll, I always used to get paint splatters in my hair. Not anymore! You might feel ugly for the 20 minutes it takes to roll, but not as ugly as having paint in your hair!
- Have a very wet rag ready for spills- that way you are ready to clean them up right away
- Buy a good angled 2″ brush- I just got this one for this project and it worked SO well! You can also buy it at Home Depot (the link is for Amazon). This is the BEST cutting in brush (see how to use it in the video below)
- Wash out your brushes very well between every coat. I used to put my brushes in a plastic bag and then throw them in the fridge, but it ruined my brushes. It was good for being lazy, but washing them well (use dish soap to get off any dried paint) protects your investment so you can use your fancy brush for a long time.
- Don’t use blue tape- this one might surprise you, but I used to use blue tape and was the messiest/sloppiest painter and then pull it off and spend one million years fixing all of the bleeds. Now I use Young House Love’s method of cutting in and then can see when I make a mistake and quickly fix it. Below is the video. I used to cover my outlets and light switches in tape, but I didn’t do that this time and didn’t have any problems.
I was really hoping to finish this post with a picture of the perfect white paint color on my walls, but it wasn’t meant to be. I headed to Lowes bright and early to get my paint mixed. There was one customer in the store and three employees standing around and no one would come to the paint desk. Finally, I got someone to mix my paint. I cruised the store with my baby pricing out some molding for the living room (!!) and a fan for my baby’s room (he still doesn’t have a light). I was back at the paint counter 20 minutes later. But my paint wasn’t there. The paint mixing store associate headed over and said he needed to clean the machine and it would be 20 more minutes. I was ticked! Why hadn’t he been cleaning it while I had been walking around? I figured it would take 20 minutes to clean the machine and then 5 minutes to mix my paint and then 5 more minutes to check out and get my baby loaded up in the car- waiting one hour for paint, no thanks! Plus my baby was getting cranky. So I left without any paint. I was SO disappointed! I hope I don’t sound like a drama queen. I get paint mixed all of the time for home and work projects and I am used to waiting in the store for my paint. It was just that the store was empty of customers and I felt like the time they asked me to wait wasn’t reasonable.
So the color of these white doors will be the color of my living room
In prepping for this blog post, I figured I could pull the paint out of my garage and paint a swatch from there so you could see how it will work. I opened the can and it was all dried up! Ha! I couldn’t help but feel like I can’t win with this whole paint thing. But I am an eternal optimist and can see the progress- I am getting there!
Last of all, I just learned that you can buy your paint online at Lowes and then pick it up mixed at the store. I am SO doing that next time.