Yellow paint looks very different on different walls, what to do

kitchen4usMay 6, 2009

I would like some feedback. So far we have bought 6 paint samples (1 tan, 2 green, 3 shades of yellow, all Dunn Edwards paint). At this point, we're leaning toward a neutral yellow, especially after placing some of our artwork against the different colors.

So here's the challenge. The latest yellows purchased were Dunn Edwards 'Flaxen' (looks a bit strong), and most recently 'Antique Lace.' Even with Antique Lace it looks quite yellow on the (main?) wall that we'll likely place the TV against, however the adjacent wall (90 degree turn) when painted the same yellow (primed wall first, then painted 2 coats, just like the other wall sample), the color is very, very faint, can hardly tell it's yellow. Has anyone else experienced this? I guess I would rather error on the side of one of the walls being faintly yellow rather than the main wall being too strong of a yellow. I have been so surprised, though, at the way the 2 walls look. Your feedback is appreciated.

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My experience has been you aren't going to find a paint that will look the same color on all walls at all times of the day and night. This of course is due to lighting and what the paint is reflecting off of.

I guess the key is to make sure you do all four walls and then look at them day and night. Remember, once you get furnishings, etc. into the room, the paint will not be the primary focus. My new office is painted Nantucket Gray which is a very pretty color by day. At night, I'm not so crazy about it. I didn't have adequate lighting in the new house at the time the house was painted so I had to chose my colors using the similar lighting at my present house. I did pretty good on all my choices except for that one. Since I don't have the option to repaint I'm devising other ways to ensure it's not the focus and to use bright white lighting that will keep it as bright as possible.

I chose BM's Rich Cream which looks yellow, very pale, yet when the afternoon sun hits the laundry room, where it is also, it's a very, very bright yellow. That's OK though because bright yellow in the laundry room is a good thing. I don't get direct sunlight into the main living area where the RC is also, so I never have to worry about that room turning bright yellow.

As long as the color I chose looks good in all lighting, not necessarily the same in all lighting mind you, then I can live with it. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:43PM
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it is likely your lighting or reflections..or even what is near it..some items will pop out the color..

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:51AM
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Even though I love soft yellows, it always takes me awhile to get used to them. My BM Windham Cream is FINALLY calming down, in my mind, but at first I was sorry because it was sooo yellow.

You could paint the wall that's too yellow a Muslin type color and put the yellow on the other walls. It's nice to have an accent wall be a different color.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Kitchen4us - I totally get your pain. I've been on this forum for about two months now trying to pick out yellows, tans and golds. I too have gone through 11 (yes 11) paint can samples, which has now made my home look like a giant "paint-by-number" project. Here is a picture of my foyer painted SW Tavern Tan (I was going for a very pale golden-tan).

As you can see, it has no gold or tan in it at all - it looks like a great big stick of butter! UGHHH!! Here's another angle:

It's definitely getting re-painted - I am not getting used to the color at all - YIKES!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:53PM
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Kitchen4us - If you like the color(s), I'd just stick with it. We had some very well-heeled friends that bought a home in the Chicago suburbs where each of the room walls were intentionally painted slightly different hues from the other walls (in the same room). I would have never noticed it but it was pointed out to us.

I'd never do it myself, but this was a high-end home, so the homeowners would be able to pay someone to go through all 10,000 paint cans when something needed touching up. :) So go for it and don't worry that the color looks different depending on the light that falls on those particular walls!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 5:59PM
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I went through different yellows for my kitchen...I thought Benjamin Moore's Windham Cream was the one but when I put it on found it too yellow, then tried Butter Cream, same result....finally went with Mannequin Cream and I love's what I wanted ...a very soft soft yellow...I like it so much I'm doing our bedroom the same colour!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 6:10PM
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When we were building 5 yrs. ago , the paint looked alot stronger when no furniture was in it. Once we got in with furniture & drapes up, it toned down. It is probably just your lighting. Good luck with the painting! My rooms are SW Ivorie, Blonde, Restrained Gold & mannered gold if you wanna peek. They range in the yellows to golds. bonnie

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonnie's home

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:24PM
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