Monday, April 11, 2011

Picking The Perfect Paint: Is There An App For That?

Job number one in my quest to freshen the family room was choosing the perfect wall color. Since the furniture is staying, I went looking for a color that might be a little more exciting than the current shade- which is white. Plain old white...  paper white... no hints of grey...  no undertones of blue, green or pink- just White.

You might think that since I have the full paint fan decks from three major paint companies, choosing the perfect paint color would be simple...  not so much.

These are the paint fan decks that fit in the picture. I have others.

After much comparison, indecision and deliberation, I chose three potential colors:

Sherwin Williams 'Buff' -SW 7653,
Sherwin Williams 'Creme' -SW 7556 &
Benjamin Moore 'Cable Knit'- CC-306  (which I had color-matched at Sherwin Williams).

I'm sure these paint colors are beautiful in the right location. Every paint 'reads' differently depending on the light, time of day and in relation to the other items in the room.

In my family room these colors told their own sad story:

Buff looked like pee,
Creme looked like lemon sorbet &
Cable Knit... NO. Our dog would stare at the spot on the wall where I had painted Cable Knit, and then he would bark. I don't think that's a good sign. He continued to bark at the sample until I painted over it.

I returned to Sherwin Williams to buy a color-matched sample of Ralph Lauren's 'Writer's Parchment'. My neighbor painted her basement this color and I love it.  However, in my family room, Writer's Parchment looked quite green. Again, No.

Sherwin Williams paint samples in fantastic one quart size.

The paint samples at Sherwin Williams are great. You can buy one quart of paint for between $6 and $7! Plus, the screw cap is such a smart idea- it is much cleaner to work with than standard pry off caps.

I now had four quarts of various shades of 'cream' and felt no closer to finding my elusive perfect paint color than when I started.

I tried Martha Stewart's 'Glass of Milk'....

Martha Stewart paint sample in approx one cup size.

... couldn't even tell the difference. On the plus side, if I ever need to tell someone the color that my family room used to be, now I have a color name!

The sample of Martha Stewart paint cost $5 for less than 1 cup. That's not a great value compared to Sherwin Williams, but I was in Home Depot and it was convenient and I was desperate.

Once again, I consulted my paint chips and this time chose Benjamin Moore's 'Ivory White'  CC-130.


Benjamin Moore paint sample in 2 oz size.

This color is the perfect creamy white for my family room. It has just a smidgen of yellow, but definitely doesn't look like pee, sorbet or ghostly apparitions.

At about $5 for only 2 oz, the Benjamin Moore paint sample pot offers the least value. In these days of advanced computer color matching, I know I won't buy samples at Benjamin Moore in the future.

I had the color matched at Sherwin Williams and bought their premium paint for $20 less per gallon than the equivalent at Benjamin Moore. Up until now, I have always used Benjamin Moore paint, and while I think they offer an excellent product, their paint is quite pricey.  I am curious to see if Sherwin Williams paint is as durable as Benjamin Moore's.

So, that is the story of how I ended up with a paint sample collection like this:

Color me crazy for needing 6 samples to get the perfect shade of cream!

I'm so happy I found the 'Perfect Paint' for the family room.  Now it's painting time.  I hope I have the right kind of rollers!