Counter installed, wall color now doesn't work

Mags438June 6, 2014

Hi all. I had my soapstone countertops installed this week. I was thrilled. Last night I oiled perimeter countertops. The current gray wall paint color is not going to work. I'm looking for another color starting point. In gray family. Didn't have luck with gray/green undertones, nor gray/purple undertones.

Cabs are dove white, dark cocoa flooring, and black matte metal hood, It's soapstone - unoiled, which I'm really liking, is a gray-blue and when oiled is a dark green! walls are currently bm harbor gray which worked well before countertops. I'd love to be able to keep perimeter unoiled, and oil the small island.

Any ideas?

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Can you take a picture showing more of the wall with the cabinet, floor, countertop all in the frame? Are you doing a backsplash?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:00PM
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Hmmm, that's a little tougher than it shld be. I think there may be one spot where I can get it all. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:33PM
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I don't know how helpful this will be but appreciate any help. First photo was before oiling and after. This photo shows it drying after oiling.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:24PM
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So will you have a backsplash? To be honest on my ipad it looks really pretty :)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Don't know what you are seeing. It all looks scrumptious.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:00PM
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try BM Grey Owl...sooo pretty.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:33PM
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I think it looks fantastic! I guess maybe IRL you see something different. On my monitor I think everything looks great together.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 6:59AM
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Thank u all. Yes, plans for a subway tile backsplash, but undecided on specifics. Current color with countertop looks a bit muddy brown now.

I sampled grey owl but off-hand don't remember the undertone; It didn't work before countertop install. Maybe I should revisit all the paint samples in basement, there's enough of them.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:16AM
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I think it looks good. I think the wall colour picks up the veins. At least on my monitor. Maybe live with it for a bit?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:37AM
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Maybe it will look less muddy once the backsplash is up & so there will be little wall color up against the counter? Are you doing under cab lights? It might change even more after doing that.

It looks great on my iPad as well, but I know that means nothing compared to real life!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:54AM
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Soapstone seems to have so many undertones. I was having trouble choosing backsplash tiles: originally I wanted a soft gray thinking it would compliment the ss but everything I tried came out looking baby blue. It is all going to depend on the light in YOUR kitchen.

I think your wall color is lovely but I would wait and see how it goes with your tiles and any lighting you may have.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:10AM
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On my monitor, the wall looks more greige/beige (slightly pink) while the cabinets look cream (slightly yellow) and the counters more green. I'd try a gray that doesn't read as beige. Good idea to revisit your previous gray samples. The ones that are more green should work well.
Your counters are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:33AM
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It looks great on my monitor too. If the color isn't right in person, one thing to try is to change your light bulbs -- i.e. if you have warm now, go cool; if you have cool, go warm. My off-white cabinets looked sickly to me until I changed out our CFL's to the cool end of spectrum, which most people on online forums say they hate. lol. The cool end, close to daylight, makes the colors in my kitchen look much better. (My kitchen is mostly warm tones: cream cabs, wood counters and floor, green walls.)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:49AM
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I love gray. Got the gray hair to prove it. :)

That said, gray walls give me pause, unless it's an open space flooded with lots of natural light. It seems right now you are getting to know your soapstone, how it looks dressed up with oil or au naturel. I think it looks fabulous every way and in between, a natural beauty.

I would let it sit a bit. Move on to your backsplash, if you intend to have one. How does it look in the daytime, under natural light? I'm reluctant to rely on the color temp of lightbulbs to correct or compensate for the basics in a room. And now shopping for lightbulbs isn't as easy as it once was.

Your soapstone is the gray for all seasons. Do you really need gray walls? I don't know an alternative because I'm not sure what kinds of colors (warm/cool, contrast/neutral) you like.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:02AM
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Thank you all. Nosoccermom, thank you for putting into words what I was failing to describe! The pink undertone. I'll try the green undertone; I think I need something that doesn't look muddy but not sterile.

Most of my lighting is led 3000k range. There's too much lighting to change, besides recessed, cab lighting and UCLs are already in. I think everyone would be beside themselves (including DH ), if I mentioned changing out something else...I'd like to live to see the kitchen finished! :-)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:07AM
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I think many of u are correct...I need to step back for a minute. I'm feeling myself falling into my old familiar 'trap' of rushing to get to finish line and making poor choices. I'm still a month away from hood so maybe I need to just wait since hood will introduce another color. This reno seems all-consuming, I don't know how many of you multi-task with life.

Scpalmetto, I think ur comments and others have given me a good reason to pause. Did you do room color first or tile? I think I'm going to have a hard time finding appropriate color tile with soapstone changes too.

No I really don't need gray walls, I guess.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Lighting may change some thing, but it's not going to really change the mismatch. I think your issue is in both hue and saturation. You picked a color that's not quite right for the cabinets or the stone, and it's not going to improve the more stuff you put in the kitchen. In addition to the right hue, you've got to choose a less saturated tone that will play well with your counters whatever their state.

Harbor Gray is part of the American Colors collection, it looks purple to me, and I find all of those colors a little brownish.

If you want to stick w BM paints, consider some of the grays in the Off White collection, and go for the less saturated colors. I think Gray Owl is pretty, but too much pigment. When you go for samples, consider Horizon (OC-53) shown below or Paper White (OC-55). They are very neutral grays, and I bet you will love one of them.

This post was edited by EAM44 on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 15:21

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Thanks EAM on color lesson; appreciate it. Americas colors paints usually work in this house; I've bought soooo many paint samples thru the years, they gave me a contractor discount! I don't have enough closets to use up all the samples I have from this project alone.

I'll take a look at those 2 colors; notice they are on same swatch as gray owl. They are paler (saturation?) though. I do want color on wall and wouldn't want to re-paint it myself. There's very little wall space, so I'm okay with it if I have to do myself after contractors finish. I still have some outstanding elements that I think I will feel more comfortable if they were in place. I think I'd scream if I had to ask him to do again (it would be 4th time); contractor would prolly fire me!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 4:31PM
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I see a lot of purple coming through.

I'd want it to be a powdery-whiteish grey.

Love everything else.

Is that a microwave or toaster oven in your opening, and what model?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:45PM
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Hi mare, it's the Breville toaster oven, the 800 something model. The initial design had it as a true built-in, but I guess after going thru a few sets of hands, opening grew in size. lining the upper with base cab was prolly better. It has been well used in temporary kitchen along with rice maker and microwave.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:02PM
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Hi Mags, they are on the same swatch as Gray Owl, but these colors are not the same as colors in other collections with descending chips showing greater saturations of the same hue. If you look at the top chip on the swatch, November Rain, it's almost taupe. The chips at the bottom aren't increasingly saturated, they're less brown, completely different colors. It's a little confusing. I hate it when they deviate from the rules...

I have a few samples myself. I bought three samples before I found the right color for my family room walls. I hit the cabinet paint colors on the first try. You just never know. It's worth it to find the right color, and by the way, I'm sure your contractor loves you if he's painted that wall three times already.

The single most confounding outstanding variable will be lighting (warm or cool LEDs), so if you want to wait for UCL to be installed, that's reasonable. But if possible, check out the cabinet color and the paint color together in daylight before you take home another sample. If they don't harmonize in the same light, they're not going to look good in your space.

Good luck and don't forget to show us what you pick!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:14AM
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Mags - beautiful countertop and cabs!
I always recommend giving a little tincture of time before making changes.
That being said - I agree with above posts - the saturation is wrong for your rich countertop. I also see some purple but it might be my monitor.
In any case, I would try to hone down your BS before finalizing a new wall color.
It took me 30+ samples to get my house color right - just little differences can make a big difference. You should have seen my checkerboard old garage. The neighbors had fun with it knowing it wasn't forever.
My kitchen swatches are well hidden behind the wall ovens - not as many but whoever redoes the kitchen will be scratching their head...
Can't wait until your final decision!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:18AM
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laura mcleod

I'd be tempted to paint the walls the same color as the cabinets, which look gorgeous with the countertops and the floor -

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Nantucket Gray by BM would be beautiful. Not really a gray but a sagey green that would look good with your cabinets and soapstone. It's one of the historical colors.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:31PM
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I'll leave the paint advice to the experts who have posted...just wanted to say that I adore your soapstone! Lovely!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:31PM
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my entire house minus a few bedrooms is NOvember rain,
It can be blue, green, beige and gray.
Emily henderson describes is in her blog recently on a post with her "go to" paint colors. most of them are gray

Here is a link that might be useful: emily's paint colors

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:02PM
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I agree with those that say too much saturation...
I'd go to an off white that picks up the veining in your beautiful stone

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:22AM
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