Picking Paint Colors

It’s official. I hate painting.

Considering painting is one of the easiest things to do to a house, you may wonder why I hate it so much. I didn’t used to until I sprayed this entire house, then went back and painted the living room, kitchen, bathroom, AND dining room.

It’s less the actual act of painting (except that cutting in is literally the worst until you figure it out. It’s been a while since I had to so it took a couple rooms to get it right), than it is picking paint colors.

The house is relatively small (only 1300 sf) so choosing a color palette that didn’t make it seem small was important. I also didn’t want anything super bright, and I was on the fence about how many rooms I actually wanted to paint a color.

Firstly, I knew I wanted to paint the living room grey. I’ve definitely been roped into that school of thought, and choosing the right grey, as many people know, can be a challenge. I picked up multiple paint chips from different brands, in varying shades. I took them all over to the house and looked at them on different walls, trying to guess between green-greys, blue-greys, and greiges (beige-greys).

In the end, I went with a blue-grey, “Stone Isle” from Sherwin Williams for the living room.


For the kitchen and bathroom, I was originally going to go with a mint green, but considering the very ugly 70s brown tile that makes up all of the kitchen backsplash, it just didn’t go. The mint was too bright and sort of clashed with the tile. I’m not a fan of the tile, but it’s staying for now so I thought it would be better to at least attempt to compliment it. I ended up choosing “Lament Blue” by Valspar for the kitchen and bathroom. It’s a little brighter than I expected, but it works.


As for the dining room, I originally didn’t want to paint it anything other than white, but the old wood paneling was still showing despite 3 coats of white paint. The only option was the slap a pigment on the wall and hope that did the trick.

The dining room and living room are right next to each other, separated only by an archway, which does give some definition and allowed me to pick a different color rather than extending the grey since I thought the grey would be too dark in both rooms.

This was the challenging room. Finding a color that would cover any lingering show-through of paneling while still being light and airy. I went back and forth for many days trying to figure out first what color and then what shade.

I opted for a light shade of green, one that went with both the grey and the blue that are in the adjacent rooms. The color is “Pirate Coast” by Valspar, but at 75%. I’m sure the girl at the paint desk thought I was crazy when I said I wanted it at only 75% of the shade. It forced her to actually do math but oh well. I got my green at 75% of the original shade.


It’s a little difficult to see the color here, but trust me, it’s green. Here’s a clearer picture of the distinction between the living room and dining.


It turned out looking pretty good–no show-through! The last question is the master bedroom. To paint or not to paint. I need to decide before the carpet goes in. I suppose that’s another problem for another weekend. For now, I at least have the majority of the house painted and that’s done enough for me.


3 thoughts on “Picking Paint Colors

  1. Looking great! For goodness sake, please paint the bedroom now BEFORE the carpet and before you move in! You will kick yourself later if you don’t (ask me how I know!). Get the hated stuff done and then enjoy the new house!

    xoxo Bossy Aunt Sue

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