Help with Paint Color

ann.5January 23, 2013

I am trying to find an off-white, warm paint color for my entire first floor: living rm, family rm, kitchen and dining rm. I am switching from the maroon, dark tans and want to go with a light airy cottage look. I have tried manchester tan, natural cream, edgecomb gray, then I have tried ballet white, creamy white, I just can't seem to find that right off-white without too much yellow or green in it. My trim and kitchen cabinets will be behr Swiss coffee, any ideas would be greatly appreciated! I will getting white slipcovers for the furniture. Thanks.

This post was edited by ann.5 on Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 18:29

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I'm in exactly the same boat as you but I'm switching from the previous owners' orange, peach, green and dark blue! Like you I've tried many BM off whites - moonlight white, white heron, simply white and snowfall white. The ended up looking (in order) khaki, blue, peach and yellow on my walls. I also have tried farrow and ball pointing and wimborne white. I've been reading Maria Killim's blog and thinking a lot about other colors in the room. My oak floors are very, very orangy/red and I think that really makes it hard. I've gone the opposite and I'm picking a white with no real undertones (that I can detect anyway) SW high reflectance white. It's much brighter than what many others would like but for me it seems to change based on what's around it and adapt with it rather than imposing strange undertones.

Another difficulty I've had is that the paint samples on the wall don't resemble the paint chips when dry. I wonder if color matching the chip for a shade you love could help? My final piece of advice is to look at the formulas on the cans and see if there are any trends to the shades you've tried. That could help you avoid another miss.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Thanks, it's nice to know it's not just me! My oak floors also give off a reddish tone. I read Maria Killim's ebook and subscribe to the blogs, I haven't looked at many sw colors, I will also check out the cans and see which direction I seem to be going.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 2:38PM
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I've used BM's Muslin and/or Lambskin with success. It depends on the light though, so maybe try a sample first. Both looked great with white slipcovers in my rooms. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:24PM
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As far as the colors reflecting what's around them more, you might try a full spectrum paint. I picked up a swatch of BM Crisp Linen (Color Stories, full spectrum). It's a pretty bright white which seems clean, so to speak. Other brands I've heard of are Ellen Kennon and C2. You will find information here on this site.

You are right, the sample pots not resembling the swatches is a real problem! I am amazed. What a waste of time, effort and money.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Other full spectrums are Donald Kauffman (sp?) and I've read Farrow and Ball but I'm not positive on that one.

For snookums2 - just out of curiosity why would full spectrum color not reflect what's around it? I'm somewhat of a newbie at all of this too. (So much so that I'm now scraping my walls... but that's a story on another thread!)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Hi browneyes, I'm scraping my walls too! What an endless mess.

I haven't tried full spectrum yet, I've just read much about it here. Color is always affected by what's around it. The full spectrums do this differently though because they have many more pigments in them to interact with the light and surroundings (and they don't use dulling black). They kind of morph to the space, taking on the colors around it so they blend better.

Here, I did a google and this guy seems to describe that well. Darn he's making me rethink my paint choice again! You will also find discussions on it here at GW.

Here is a link that might be useful: full spectrum description

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Thanks for the description. I'll check out that link, not positive I want to though if it'll make me rethink my choice of color! (which is currently white).

Why are you scraping? I am because I foolishly discovered that the former owners had painted latex over oil after I had already primed. Thank goodness it took me a while to decide on colors otherwise I'd also be scraping away my paint too.

It's quite a learning experience! Makes me miss renting just a bit though :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:03PM
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I meant changing paint type, not color. I would like to try the full spectrum to see the difference. BM's new line doesn't seem to have "my" colors and the others are less convenient so I haven't pursued.

The paint here is 40 years old and the builder did a lousy job with the foundation coating. Cheap builder's flat, unprimed drywall, probably sprayed onto a dusty surface. So a few years back it started flaking off the walls down to bare drywall, sometimes in sheets!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:24PM
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