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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Paint Matters

Years ago, I fell in love with someone else’s bedroom; the furniture, the simplicity, and the color on the walls were absolutely gorgeous. I had been entertaining ideas of painting my Living Room blue, and had never found the right shade, until that day.

After I stopped gushing, my friend gave me three samples of the blue for me to take home.  Lovely, little pots of promise, just waiting for me to paint with them. As soon as I got in the door I grabbed some giant newsprint (not ideal, but what I had) and painted the colors on several sheets of the paper.

I barely waited for them to dry before I had them taped all over my Living Room. As I stood back, I nearly burst into tears; it was horrible. The gorgeous grey blue that reminded me of a serene retreat in my friend’s bedroom, looked like a hastily thought out, baby boy’s nursery in my own home. The blue was too light, and it just looked cheap and silly. The richness of the color was gone, and all I saw was a bad blue.

You see, the light was totally different; my Living Room is larger, filled with too many things, and has a lot of windows. The warm blue became cooler, more basic, and far less important.

I moved the samples around again, and it just kept looking worse. Even as  a decorator, it was hard for me to accept that the color looked nothing like I had imagined. I thought if I stared at it long enough, it would change, and the room would be just as beautiful as hers. But that didn’t work; I took down the colors, folded up the paper, and frowned.

Am embarrassed to admit, that years ago I would not have taken the color pots. I would have asked her for the color that she used, bought gallons of paint, and been really angry at the manufacturer. Then, I would have either gone and bought more, or, still been disappointed, and continue to paint my walls a color I wasn’t very keen on.

I honestly thought that it was just another marketing tool, to make consumers spend more money. But, when you are faced with millions of different color options (yes, millions) how the heck could you possibly choose just one from a small piece of paper in an artificial environment? Even the natural light in a paint store isn’t natural, and it certainly has no relevance to your home, your windows, and your suede La-Z-boy recliner.

I know that it feels like a lot of extra steps, when all you want to do is paint a room, but it is more than worth the effort. Most custom paint colors can’t be returned, so why would you not take the extra time to get it right. Yes, it is just paint, but there is nothing worse than that awful feeling when you roll on the color, and it looks nothing like you had imagined.

Since my blue experience, I have tried lots of other paint pot colors, but still can’t seem to find the right one. My Living Room is still, a very sedate…. Antique White.

Photograph from Remodelista

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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