Picking Paint Colors

One of the hardest things to do in home design is to pick the right paint color.  I have been really tired of my dining room paint color for a while.  It's a really pretty sage green, but it's dated now.  I am embarrassed to say that I painted it that color 8 years ago.  It's time for a change.  Green is still my favorite color, but I am ready to try something new.

The Before - the green needs to go.
Slowly be surely my house is becoming grey.  It is just my favorite neutral and you can find it everywhere in design and interiors now.  When we put an addition onto our house and remodeled 3 years ago, I painted my kitchen, laundry room, bedroom and master bath all grey (Benjamin Moore Aura - Nightingale AF- 670).  Then when I decorated my son's room all star wars, I painted his room grey as well (Benjamin Moore - Smoke Embers AC - 28).  And now the girl's room is pink (Benjamin Moore - Elephant Pink 2087-70), but has lot's of grey accents.  Oh, and I got a new area rug for the living room, and it's grey as well.  So, needless to say, I want to paint my dining room a nice dark charcoal grey.

Paint chips taped to the wall, checking out the colors at different times of day.
When I pick a new paint color, I start by bringing home no less then 35 paint chips (no kidding). When you go to pick out a color, you are always surprised by how many shades there are of it. Then I bring them home and look at them in the light of the room the color will be in. This usually weeds out at least half the samples. Then I start taping them up on walls, and they look different again and you can throw away another half of them. Now, I'm usually down to 7 or 8 samples and I start comparing it with other colors in my house. I don't want there to be drastic color changes, so I try to pick colors that compliment each other.

Lots of light in this room.

I want to make sure the new color compliments other colors in my home.
I think I've found the perfect grey.  I'm a big fan of Benjamin Moore paints.  My dad swears by them. And their Aura line, may be on the expensive side, but it goes on beautifully and you only need one coat.  The color is called Cinder AF - 705.  I think it's a true grey, and it's darker then my kitchen.  I think dining rooms can be dramatic and have darker walls.  Plus you can see that this room gets a lot of light and all my built-ins are white.  I think it's really going to make the white built-ins and trim really pop.

This is probably the fastest I've ever painted a room.  When Olivia is asleep, I have been working like a mad women to tape and paint as fast as possible.  I'm really excited about the change.  I'll share pictures tomorrow.   I need to re-hang a few more pictures still.

Please share how you pick out paint colors for your home.  And what colors are you loving right now?


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  2. As you may already know, I pick out paint by making quick decisions which result in regret! So, I have learned a lot from you and I am taking it slow now. Even if I have to bring 30-something paint chips home :)

    Can't wait to see the final product! I think the grey is going to look fantastic in your dining room! I think we might finish painting today too!

  3. Lidy, are you painting your nook? what color did you chose?

  4. i do the same, i also carry the chips around with me and ask anyone who might even care slightly! i settled on tide pool blue today for a princess room with princess pink accents for my 3yr old, i love tans and browns, but she's 3, so what can i say?? btw, i loved your sage walls, but....i'm sure gray will give it a new look/dynamic!

  5. Yes, it's actually Joel who is going to be doing the painting ;) We decided on this grey called Fusion. It's light and neutral, which I think will be good for our little space!

    P.S. your dining room looks AMAZING!!! Love the decor as well.

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  7. Oops! Haha, I was posting from work and it was on my friends account! Sorry!

  8. I actually brought home that color as well (Fusion). It is a really nice grey, and has some warmth to it. Nice choice!

  9. It looks awesome Jeran, you've inspired me to finish painting my kitchen and accent wall in the dining room. Wish me luck! Emma.

  10. As a Color Consultant and Interior Designer, I have been seeing gray showing up all over. Don't tell anyone but I was never a fan of gray...key word WAS! I have set aside my personal preconceived opinion of gray.The right gray looks beautiful and can add warmth.(BTW -I always separate my personal from my professional opinion to get just the right unique pallet my clients will love)
    Yes, picking color is not an easy job. I have been to sooo many houses that have multiple patches of samples painted...narrow down to one or two...I could (actually have) write a whole story about How To Paint Samples. lol
    Wishing you a brightly colored day,
    Mary Nolte

  11. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!


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