Paint options for Provence look if I paint yet again

Scarlett001December 1, 2012

Some of you may have read my post about the horrible way that Ivoire is looking in my house at night. I have to be realistic and admit that I do not like it, and I will have to pay to have the place repainted at some point.

I was planning to attempt a sort-of Provence inspired look with warm yellow/orange walls and I was going to redo my interior design. I chose Ivoire and got a nice daytime colour (although less apricot than my test painting suggested might happen - it appears as a nice creamy yellow) but a terrible green undertone at night that I don't think that I will be able to live with - it annoys me already. I paid professional painters to do this, so I've cost myself a lot of money.

The problem is that I've learned the lesson that the "yellows" etc. play up heavy green undertones in my house at night. I'd probably have to go very orange during daytime (which likewise might annoy me) to get rid of green undertones at night. Some Provence photos show very white/ivory walls with a lot of off-white rustic furniture with a splash of colour in some dried lavender. So I could go that direction - but maybe my house would do weird things for even a neutral off-white. I admit that I do prefer the warm look but not if it means my house is green at night.

I wanted a sunny cheery house, but this green undertone thing may eliminate the option of a yellowish paint unless I am willing to go much more apricot. I wanted more apricot undertones than Ivoire was even giving in the daytime so maybe I should try a tad more orange in the paint. I am trying to think of other options. Next time around, before I get the professionals in to paint the vaulted ceilings, I may test out the paint colour and paint one of the guest bedrooms myself first (these rooms show off the green undertones the worst of any room).


This post was edited by Scarlett001 on Sat, Dec 1, 12 at 3:34

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Scarlett, I just read your other thread, re the green under tones. I'm so sorry. How very frustrating. I have BM Soliel in my dining room, which has a vaulted ceiling, A pretty, warm creamy yellow with apricot undertones. It's a Ben Moore Affinity color, I beleive AF 330. No green undertones, and it has a really nice glow. Oh, I painted the ceiling in Soliel as well, I don't know if this enhanced the 'glow' or not, but I really like the effect.
I am looking for other colors with this apricot glow as well.
In the living room, which has varying ceiling heights, I used a F&B color, Orangery, FB70. Part of this room always felt very cavelike and dim during daylight, no matter what I did with lighting. Orangery is a light to medium orange with an ochre undertone, and with the trim painted BM Mascarpone, gorgeous in this room.
another thought.. would you consider paiting your trim a warm white? That may help.
Best of luck, color is so important, and realy affects the way I feel. I understand your frustration.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:49AM
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Yellow is a difficult color to select. I would move from sample boards to one wall (then a room) before committing to have the whole place painted again. Get a gallon of paint for the test wall so the pigment proportions will be the same as when you paint (they can be off when mixing a smaller size). Make sure the light bulbs are ones you like and plan to use in the future. Incandescents are being banned and hard to find already (except the decorative styles). Look at the paint with different light bulbs to see how it changes and if you can live with the variations.

You might cover other walls when painting a test wall because the current color will be bouncing around. Maybe hanging plastic drops over them would work. Painting the other walls will make the color more intense.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:06AM
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As you noticed, most homes in Provence and other areas of southern France actually have very little 'color' on the walls. They tend toward whites and sometimes creams. Color is brought in by the tile floors (often just the brownish-orange-ish shades), stone walls which also tend toward whites with browns and beiges mixed in, and by the accessories, door paint, and furnishings. Often, furnishings are natural wood tones and not white. It is the light that is magical. It is just different from most places here.

If you love that look as I do and have the right furniture, it could be wonderful. You should definitely try a white in a guest room to test it. The look certainly seems to work best in rooms with good light and if you don't have that in your house, you may find you prefer a little color rather than going strictly provencal.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I need to ponder the off-white kind of idea some more. I live in a very cold northern climate and I see a lot of snow all winter so was hoping to "warm" the house up.I will look up those other colors mentioned above. Thank you.

If Ivoire is turning green at night, is there any hope of finding a paint in the warm range that won't turn green. If the yellows throw greenish undertones, will all the beiges all do this, and will even off-whites do this? Or is it luck of the draw and one yellow-orange might do this, and other one won't? Or do I need to go a lot more orangey in undertone (be it beige or yellow paint) than I originally intended. The thing is Ivoire is similar to Philedelphia Cream and others, and they look like they have a lot of orange undertones yet this is not happening in my house. So do I up the ante a bit on the orange??

I am not sure even what I am looking for any more to try and get rid of this effect.:)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:35PM
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As I recall, if you look further down on the strip, you will see green in that line.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Do you mean in the Ivoire strip??

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Yes, looking at the progression of colors on that strip. That's the way I remember it but I don't have it in front of me.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Just looked at the strip and the "darker" versions certain do err towards bronzey colours. Are the colours on the SW strips supposed to be in the same family of colours?

As far as SW goes, maybe Compatible Cream would have been a better choice as it is more orange, but the darker colours on that strip still seem not quite orange but perhaps hae some green in them.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:53PM
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I used mostly BM, but I used Pratt & Lambert Accolade (nearly the same in price) for my dining room and my third floor bedrooms. I'd take a look at their colors, especially the Williamsburg colors because they have a lot of unique shades. I used a cream-colored Williamsburg color in my upstairs called Weatherburn Tavern Bisque. It's not the least bit green at night. Take a look at this nighttime shot followed by a daytime shot as an example:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pratt and Lambert's Williamsburg Collection

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:56PM
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They seem to be but I don't remember if I asked the store. Some lines they are, some aren't.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I have been painting my living room BM205 for years. On the strip is looks beige, but it is yellow on the walls. No undertones, maybe gets a bit darker at night.
I think there is a yellow thread in the GW archives. See if you can get ideas from there if you can find it.
Ivoire is a color that has come up so often here and you are the first that meantioned green undertone. Just goes to show you how much your personal space plays in how colors reflect undertones.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:00PM
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You probably already know this, but if you go on the Sherwin Williams color visualizer or into the store you can put in a color and see how much red, green and blue are in the formula and then go to the right or the left if you want more red and less green, etc. Compatable cream seems good, or jersey cream. Ellen Kennon's honeysuckle would be really pretty s well.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:17PM
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I also have Morning Sunshine, which is definitely YELLOW with some orange undertones.
However, I would try different light bulbs before repainting, especially since you like the color in daylight.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 2:19PM
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When I read your other post I was wondering if there had been some technical error in the way the paint had been mixed.

Was it you or someone else on the thread that said it hadn't been done by computer but by eye? Even large quantities of white would be nearly impossible to do accurately "by eye". Most paint stores use a proportioner device to dispense the colorants, and the shade is entirely dependant on the accurate calibration of that dispenser. Does the paint on your walls match the paint on your sample board, in all lights?

Also since your whole house was done in the same shade I wondered whether the paint had been mixed in five-gallon pails and if there was some error in the company-provided formula given for a five-gallon batch. If mixed in gallons, then the painters should have done something called "boxing" to create an admixture of all the gallons. One takes a clean five-gallon pail and dumps in a two to four of the gallons, stir and return two or three gallons to their original pails, and add some more gallons to the 5-gallon mixing pail, stir again, and repeat. The point is to avoid any small between-gallon differences, so the whole house matches. I was wondering if it was possible that a single gallon of highly-mismatched paint could taint the whole quantity of your paint.

Did you buy the paint or did your painters do that? If they did, are you sure that it was the correct color and the correct brand and not a cheaper off brand that was cooked up in a computer "matching" program?

I don't have Ivoire paint, but it's very odd that no one else is reporting a color-shift to a greenish tone at night, which caused me to wonder whether you, in fact, have the real Ivoire. Do you see the same color shift on the walls as well as your sample board?

Certainly before doing another whole house job I would paint two adjacent walls in a proposed new color to check it out. Of course before going that far, I would paint large sample boards - the biggest sheets of foam you can get at an art store, at least 2 X 3, but even bigger is better. Do a couple of coats, and paint more than one board in the same color so you hang them in a corner together.

I am sorry you are not happy with your paint, and having spent a lot of money on it, must be doubly frustrating.



    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:42PM
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What type of light bulbs are you using?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 7:50PM
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That's a really good point about painters not actually using the brand you chose. That is not uncommon. Colors don't match well brand to brand in my experience. They often don't even match their own swatches for that matter. I've seen the pamphlet version differ greatly from the strip. Sample pots and quarts can be completely different than the swatch. They mixed a gallon from formula that was completely off (acquired brand). SW thought I was unusual to be checking, lol. BM said it rarely happens but I had a stack of bad samples with me. All after a lot of pointless agonizing over the undertones.

Do you still have the sample board or paint around?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Dec 2, 12 at 20:27

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:02PM
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I have a feeling Ellen Kennon's Honeysuckle would be perfect for what you are looking for. You can order an 11x17 sample for $5.00 from her website. It's a beautiful color. I have the same issue with yellows in my home. They just don't work. Good luck with your color selection!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:12PM
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So many good ideas for colours and advice.

Well, you may recall that originally one BM store tried to colour match Ivoire and failed miserably. So went to get Ivoire at SW paint. Their Ivoire formula for Emerald paint was miserably off - if my current Ivoire goes mild green undertones at night, then that would have gone puke green. So SW attempted to colour match their own paint. And failed (again a bit too blah). So I took it to another BM store and they did another colour match - they got very close but it may be a tad less apricot than the sample board. Anyhow, it hardly looked green - not at all!! I know the BM store where my painter picked up the paint, and all should be in order so don't think anything happened.

I have changed to all "Reveal" bulbs and it has helped a bit. Still not quite the "sunny" colour that I wanted - but in hindsight Ivoire is not really a sunny colour per se so that may have to do with me choosing not quite the right colour of paint. The Reveal bulbs make the room more bearable so I feel not quite so desperate to rush out and paint - so I might take my time and if I repaint wait until the spring arrives (prefer to paint in the spring when windows can be opened etc.) and perhaps do a bit of homework in the next few months about what colour direction I would go if I do repaint.

Thank you all so much for comments and advice etc.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:39AM
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OK, I am confused! Is Ivoire a SW or BM color? If either one of them was "color-matching" the other's original color then that explains a lot.

If color is really important then stick with the brand that wrote the original formula, that way what you sampled is what you get, or if not, then you have legitimate beef. (One company has been advertising that they will replace it, though of course the paint cost isn't what drives the expense of a professional paint job.)

However if you attempted to cross brands then you were really asking for trouble, unless you also sampled the "color matched" concoction and approved and accepted the new brand/formula.

Frankly, I think color matching between brands is dubious, at best. Because the underlying base formulas may be different and the colorants different and then there's the vagaries in the digitization of the primary sample.

Computer color matching, or even the standard formulas that paint companies dig out about each other are more likely than not to be different tham the official shade from the orginal brand. The color-matching thing is marketing-driven nonsense, IMO, just an attempt to get you to buy the house brand. It's not that easy.

I am sorry you aren't pleased, and sorry you have to face the expense of another paint job. But if you do go ahead make sure to stay within the original brand/paint name or number. You're less likely to be disappointed, again. And since this is whole-house job, take the time to sample the actual paint product, extensively, before springing for the labor cost.

Who knows, maybe your paint will grow on you - paints often do that.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:34PM
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We had the same problem with a tannish yellow that I wanted in our downstairs. DH painted the kitchen and FR with the one we picked. To our dismay, we had the same thing as you, greenish undertone at night. We picked another color, more toward the red/brown range, and it worked. Can't tell you the color, as we had it mixed with one paint company from a sample from another. Sorry.

A good idea to make sure the paint is mixed properly. We rencently had a condo painted. I had given the painters a gallon of paint (tan) to start with in the kitchen, then told them the color to go get when they needed more for the rest of the condo. For some reason, the color in the kitchen didn't look right, but we figured it was the work lights. A few days later, we figured out that the original can of paint was not mixed properly. The kitchen was a beigy-PINK. Took both the used cans back to HD and showed them that something wasn't right, and they replaced the bad can.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I had the same thing happen at SW. When I took the paint back they found one didn't have a pigment added and the other was mixed with the wrong base. I kept hearing about how easy it is to get paint matched but errors seem to happen for one reason or another at all the paint stores even with their own paint, so you really do have to check carefully. I don't think I'd rely on having the painter do that. The cost of the paint is indeed the easy part.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:03PM
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In terms of whose colour it is (asked above). Ivoire is an SW colour. I wanted low or no VOC paint.

Originally, I wanted the BM Aura low VOC paint so that is what initiated the original BM colour match (lousy match). So I then decided to use SW Emerald no VOC paint and go back to the company whose colour it was, for the reasons you stated. Emerald is a very new no VOC SW paint - so likely not what most others on here have used for Ivoire. Not only was their own formula for Ivoire in Emerald paint totally not a match (they admitted it did not match and called the manager - I noticed the mismatch when 1st gallon mixed) - they then attempted to colour match their own colour and did a marginal job - they had already added too much pigment and made it too dark/blah and it was clear that they were going to be unable to get a match as they thought it was good enough and I did not. So back to a BM moore store to attempt yet another match to SW Ivoire. I think the match was okay - but I was fed up at this point and decided that this match would have to be okay - I have a rest of my life to deal with incl. my career etc and this was taking far too much time!. In hindsight, it may have not been quite bright enough, or maybe it is and Ivoire just plays strange on my walls or I made a poor colour choice etc. I don't know.

It looks about what Ivoire should look like during the day but just a tad green at night (although new lightbulbs have helped). Mind you, my blue carpets are not helping matters (they will be changed to hardwood in due course). Or maybe I am more sensitive to greenish undertones than others might be - esp. as I had wanted apricot undertones.

This post was edited by Scarlett001 on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 16:26

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:21PM
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When I was getting samples and some paint at SW, I found they were consistently taking a turn to yellow. At BM, I found similar colors (warm whites) were consistently off in a weird gray direction (could have had green to it, I was taken aback by how muddy and gray the colors came out when they were supposed to have some golden tones).

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Interesting. I actually found a lot of the BM colours had very muddy undertones - colours like Pittsfield Buff as one example.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:59AM
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Have you tried changing to different light bulbs? There are warm white, reveal white-white, try some of those. CFL give a greenish cast. Since it's just at night, the walls are only reflecting your electric lights - fix the lighting and you will fix the wall color...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:45PM
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I actually did change the light bulbs. It toned down the problem, but not entirely. It is still rather muddy/murky with greenish undertones at night. Even at day it is not quite what I want - it is pretty enough, and I could accept it - but I really wanted some apricot undertones. I have this somewhat orangey golden oak trim/cabinets and they really look better with apricot undertones vs. just plan yellow. Just not the colour I wanted. :( Expensive mistake. Sigh.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:42AM
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