What a Pain(t)

by Kimba on April 12, 2011

in Basement,decorating,Paint Colors

Last weekend, we went through the agonizing process of choosing a paint color for the basement. Over the years, I’ve made enough paint color mistakes that I’m very indecisive careful when it comes to choosing a new color. (Remind me to tell you about my pumpkin-vomit kitchen sometime.)

From left to right, the colors are Favorite Tan, Sensible Hue, Comfort Gray and Studio Taupe.All from Sherwin Williams

I really wanted to go with a Sherwin Williams color. Mostly because they were having a 40% off sale last weekend and I didn’t have time to run all over town collecting paint samples. I’ve always been happy with Sherwin Williams paint and figured that it would be easy to find something I loved. I was wrong.

When we started this process, I had it in my head that I wanted to try a beautiful gray for this room. The minute I put the Comfort Gray and the Sensible Hue (more of a grey/beige…graige) on the wall, I knew it wouldn’t work. This room has very little natural light and all of the grays looked too cold and concrete-like. Maybe I just didn’t find the right gray, but when hubby saw the colors and said, “please no gray”, I just decided to drop it.

That left me with Favorite Tan and Studio Taupe. Both beautiful colors. But neither one worked in this room. I know it’s because of the lack of natural light. That totally changes the look of any color.

And so I stared. And I stared. And I stared at those giant swatches painted on my wall. Thanks to hubby and the boys for making it easy to see the colors. And I tried to convince myself that one of those colors worked. For 2 days, I tried to convince myself. I was starting to feel a little like Goldilocks. This one’s too dark, that one’s too blue, that one’s too warm. I needed something that was just right.

In the meantime, we took on the mammoth project of priming and painting the ceiling. Is there any less-satisfying task in the world? Priming and painting an already white ceiling a slightly different shade of white. Ugh. And somewhere in between straining every muscle in my body by climbing the ladder 428 times and coating my entire body in tiny dots of white paint, it hit me.

The master bathroom!

We used Restoration Hardware paint in the master bedroom and bathroom. Cappuccino in the bedroom and Latte in the bathroom…Seen here with my $7.50 painted cabinet. I LOVE Restoration Hardware colors. Especially the Latte.

Restoration Hardware has a very limited selection of colors. But they’re all beautiful. And they’re kind of like Garanimals for paint. They have 8 color collections with about 5 colors in each collection. And you know that all the Flax colors work together. Same for the Slates, Flints and Butters.

The only thing I don’t like is that Restoration Hardware is over an hour away and I didn’t have time to go across town. So I pulled out my leftover bathroom paint, created my own sample on a piece of trim and took it to Sherwin Williams for a match.

I’m not usually wild about paint matching because it never seems to be exact. But I was desperate. Rumor has it that Benjamin Moore Crisp Khaki #234 is a match for Restoration Hardware Latte. But I’ve not seen it myself, so I can’t confirm. That’s just what the Internets tell me.

As soon as hubby painted a swatch of the Latte on the wall, I knew it was right. He painted some right next to the other beige colors, so I could see the difference. It was love at first brush stroke! It’s a crisp neutral. Not too dark. Not too light. Not too cold. Not too warm. It’s juuuuuust right. (Goldilocks analogy complete.)

In this case, Sherwin Williams did a good (though not absolutely perfect) job on the color match. Here’s the color formulation.

Now it’s your turn to share. How do you decide on a paint color? What’s been your experience with paint matching?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Be Sociable, Share!


1 Rachel Jernas@bigfaithtobiglife April 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

Perfect color choice! ­čÖé

2 Trish April 12, 2011 at 9:22 am

Love the color choice! …but wasn’t it goldilocks?! (:

3 Kimba April 12, 2011 at 9:30 am

Oh my gosh. I’m an idiot. THANK YOU for saving me from myself.

4 amy April 12, 2011 at 9:24 am

I’m an oops paint girl ­čÖé I experiment with whatever is 5 bucks a gallon and it usually end sup ok…when it doesn’t…I spend another 5 bucks and try again. Whenever I do paint match it never turns out close enough to do any touch up work, so I’ve learned that touching up after about 5-7 years just isn’t going to happen…it is time for brand new paint on the walls at that point…
amy┬┤s last blog post ..Splurging and Impatience

5 Ange, I April 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

Just this weekend I decided to paint my bub’s room and thought I picked the perfect color. When I started painting and realized it looked more like a paint color for Hannibal Lector’s bedroom I knew I would be making my way back to the store for another color. Thankfully they tinted my flesh nightmare and it looks great now! Lesson learned, buy samples first! I have not had good luck with paint matching at all. I think the Restoration color is going to look great!
Ange, I┬┤s last blog post ..Winner of the Chick Hardware Giveaway!

6 Susan @ Busy at Home April 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

I love the color you decided on! I’m horrible at paint colors, myself. Like your pumpkin kitchen, I had a bumblebee living room for a few days. Ugh.

Like you, I recently decided to go with a store palette and just use that from now on. I use Pottery Barn Fall 2010. I just made a post about it, actually!


7 Karena April 12, 2011 at 10:03 am

Adore the color, and it can be so tedious, yet you DO want it just right!

I will also have a very fashionable giveaway on Friday!

Art by Karena

Art by Karena
Karena┬┤s last blog post ..A Winner &amp Blogging for Charlie- Help a Bloggers son in Need

8 Laree @ Ever Heard of Euless April 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

I also played this weekend at Sherwin Williams. I’ve been looking for a good green for my kitchen – not too bright, not too gray. I found the perfect thing at SW. It’s called Alexandrite, but I had them mix it at 50% so it wasn’t too dark. LUUUUURVE it!

I got two gallons, but only needed one. I’m going to mix the other one with some leftover white and paint my split pea living room.

9 Annestrawberry April 12, 2011 at 10:30 am

I had the same issue looking for a tan at SW when we did our house. We had used practical beige in our house in utah but the lightng was totally different here, so we tried my moms macadamia (too yellow) and eventually found the perfect mix of the two, had it matched and now we call it our street name tan. Ironically, after hunting the whole swatch book without success, our color was almost identical to a special collection one they had called bittersweet stem. I guess what I’m saying is its a lot harder than it looks to find a perfect, easygoing tan! Yours looks great!

10 Pam @ diy Design Fanatic April 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

I am going through the same thing ~I’m trying to choose one color for the family room that opens to the foyer that is open to two hallways. IT HAS to be perfect. I am thinking of Favorite Tan, but I still have to paint some swatches on poster board and see how it looks in the room. I might end up using your color mix – who knows! I had the hardest time choosing a paint for our dining room. I blogged about it here: http://diydesignfanatic.blogspot.com/2011/01/choosing-paint-forthe-dining-room-and.html

11 Kristin@FavoritePaintColors April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

Paint can be so hard to get right! I had Crisp Khaki in one of my rooms at an old house and really loved it. Warmed everything right up. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

12 Meli April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

I love it! It looks great….you did good momma.

13 Funky Junk Interiors April 12, 2011 at 11:25 am

I went through four gallons of different paint when renovating, thinking each one was perfect. But a kitchen install deadline loomed and I too was desperate.

I went into a paint store where I knew of this girl that really knew her colours. I showed her what didn’t work, told her what I was after and decided whatever SHE picked, I’d MAKE it work.

And naturally, she nailed it first try. It looked awful wet but once dry, it’s the most perfect neutral I’ve ever laid eyes on. I had a neighbor fall in love it so much she repainted her house with the same color!

Canada – Cloverdale Paint – Bamboo Beach. Not pink, not green, just a lovely neutral brown undertone. It’s perfect!

Sometimes it pays to trust the pros.

Funky Junk Interiors┬┤s last blog post ..A unique dried flower-shutter centerpiece with shutter linkup!

14 Jess April 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

Finding gray paint has got to be the most difficult. I must have 20 different samples taped to my wall trying to find the right shade that’s not too purple or too green or too brown or too blue. UGH!!! I love your tan color, though! ­čÖé
Jess┬┤s last blog post ..French Toast Bake

15 Jessica @ Decor Adventures April 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

I love how you came to this conclusion, it was something you already knew! That keeps it nice and simple, and I think the color wil really nice. Soft but classic and it has some nice personality.
Jessica @ Decor Adventures┬┤s last blog post ..How to Wash Old Brick An Office Update

16 Jessica @ Decor Adventures April 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

OK, typo. I think the color IS really nice ­čÖé

17 Brooke @ Inside-Out Design April 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I choose paint like you do- get a couple sample sizes and stick them up on the wall {for a few hours – don’t have the patience to wait days!} I made the mistake of not doing this as a newlywed in our first home- I found a paint color that looked like a sand-colored neutral in the store, but when we got it home it had way more pink to it than it looked like on the color swatch. My brother-in-law (who’s name is James) came over half-way through the paint job and said “I feel like James in the giant peach!” Ugh, so not what a girl wants to hear after slaving away for hours with a roller. Luckily I learned my lesson and the paint in our second home came out perfect. I would love to hear about your pumpkin-vomit kitchen! haha

18 melissa*320 sycamore April 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Hey Kimba girl! One of my favorite websites is http://www.colorcharts.org
Go there, type in latte up in the search box, choose RH, then click on latte, then match this color, and BAM! there are all of your closest color matches in benjamin moore, behr, etc. So cool!

19 Susan April 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I’ve always get a headache choosing colors…I like neutrals but I don’t want my tans to be too gold OR too pink. Mostly I stick w/ Ben Moore…love Pittsfield Buff the most of all. I also have a bathroom in Eddie Bauer Pecan that is fantastic.

What has helped me the most is looking at all the pictures on Garden Web (Home Decorating Forum). What a lifesaver!
Susan┬┤s last blog post ..Places I Go 1

20 Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D April 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I’ve made some very bad choices about paint color.
Now, I have a system that works perfectly for me.

I head to the store, usually, Home Depot because I like Behr, and I grab paint chips. (Behr has HUGE paint chips – score!)

I get like 5 large paint chips for each color I am TRULY considering. (I’m not trying to be wasteful here.)

Then I tape the backs of each color grouping together so I have a block of sample colors and I paste each block on a different place on the wall. On a white paper background. Far enough apart from each other that they won’t fool the eye.

I look at them in daylight. remove any definite NO chips. Then in the evenings. Then I move them around closer and farther from the light sources.

Soon, a chip becomes my favorite.
Then I buy it.

I DO NOT SECOND GUESS MYSELF… or (heaven forbid) buy a coordinating paint in the store (no matter HOW wonderful it looks under those little fluorescent/incandescent light bulb tester things) w/o first going through “THE PROCESS.”

So far I have never been unhappy with a color I’ve gone through the process with. And, thus endeth, my story ­čÖé
Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D┬┤s last blog post ..Got It In the Bag!

21 Heathahlee April 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Even though I have yet to post about it, the first Sunday of April I came home from a retreat to a brand new craft room, courtesy of my men. They had cleaned out the guest room (it was the room Momma had stayed in and I was SO ready to move on…I just couldn’t get in there and do it) and even PAINTED the entire room. Tonya from Love of Family and Home had sent me a chip of a paint color I had drooled over and hubs sneakily asked me some questions and sneakily took my chip and sneakily had Lowe’s match it (it was from Do It Best and we ain’t gone none of them there things ’round these parts) and it was a PERFECT match. Better match that my Green Tea Leaves paint and chip that CAME from Lowe’s. Until they mess a color up, I’m content to use Lowe’s matching from here on out.
Heathahlee┬┤s last blog post ..Milk on Tap

22 Amanda @ Serenity Now April 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

“Garanimals of paint.” Love that!!! Only another mama could pick that line out. ­čÖé

23 Pine Tree Home April 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I haven’t had success with color matching either. Something is always slightly amiss. I am a huge fan of neutrals though and I laughed out loud at your “wishful thinking”. Hoping one day the paint color would just work. I’m liking your new color choice.

24 allison walker April 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm

i am a color/paint FREAK!! i recently went through a HUGE paint match debacle and ended up having to repaint my ENTIRE HOUSE. I too love sherwin williams. if i find a color i like in another brand I just have sw make it in their own paint. So far so good.

25 The Mommy Therapy April 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I love the color you chose. I also have an affinity for Restoration Hardware paint colors, but I have yet to use one. I have a severe condition where every room in my house is painted some hue of blue. I didn’t even notice it until I was picking out our playroom color and started navigating toward blue and my mother stepped in with an intervention. It’s being painted yellow right now.

I usually pick my color by the following ways:

1. Name of color. Our guest room is Santorini, one of our favorite locations and a beautiful shade of blue. Our playroom is going to be picking daisies…who wouldn’t want to play in there.

2. Stolen from the Potterybarn catolouge. You know how you can go to their website and chose any page of their catalouge and find out the paint on the wall in that room? Well I’ve done that, twice.

3. Stolen from friends’ walls. I see a good neutral, I steal it.

So basically I lack my own imagination, but I love the colors that end of on our walls! My daughter’s nursery is from Potterybarn Kids and I LOVE that color. Antiguan Sky…beautiful!
The Mommy Therapy┬┤s last blog post ..Turns Out- Its All Stellas Fault

26 Jaykay April 13, 2011 at 9:13 am

I am totally loving your Latte paint color! Thanks for turning my eye to restoration hardware paint colors… Didn’t know about them as my state doesn’t have a store, but I think you may have found the perfect color for my basement too! I’ve had good luck with paint matching, currently have BM’s Greenfield Pumpkin matched in walmart paint on an entry wall… Cheap way to try a color to see if you like it, which I do! Oh, and I work in a prison and all of our walls are painted bright colors and none are “cellblock gray” so don’t worry! ­čÖé

27 a woman who is April 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

hahaha I am glad to see there are others who like me have such a hard time with paint color!!!! It is ridiculous. I am soooo happy you found your neutral. Important stuff, so now you can get on with the fun part!

28 Julie@followyourheartwoodworking April 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

As you say, the color can depend on the room it’s in, so you can’t always go by whats in the store, or on a computer screen. I picked a nice soft blue for my kitchen/living room. My husband and I started painting and I could not believe it. I swear it was soft lilac. We kept going and I thought of having to paint the whole thing over again in BLUE instead of PURPLE! I kept saying to him, this is terrible, how could this be the right color? In the morning, all had changed. I love the color and it is definitely a pretty light blue, I never see a hint of purple in it, no matter the lighting. Very strange!

29 Eileen Lee April 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I have the “favorite tan” in my bedroom and absolutly love it! You picked a great color, enjoy!! :)))

30 Melanie Buchanan April 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I know you said you were trying to use Sherwin Williams but i just finished painting our basement. And through process of elimination I chose Benjamin Moore – Stone hearth. It is a gray color with a bit of brown to it. Our basement has a lot of light and the color gives it a warm cozy feeling.

31 Lesley @ TheDesignFile April 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Choosing colors is so tough! I just chose a gray for my kitchen – it’s Stonecastle from Valspar – and it was lighter than I expected. But I’m keeping it. I love it.

This is why paint samples are awesome!!!
Lesley @ TheDesignFile┬┤s last blog post ..Paint apps let you match color to inspiration

32 Natalie April 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I’ve enjoyed finding your blog! I do have a question on an old post- your drop cloth curtains- I’ve just made some and they just don’t hang right, they seem too stiff. How did you get your sto look so nice? I’d love to hear how!!!!

33 Danielle @ The Sunshine Girl April 14, 2011 at 9:00 am

I know exactly how you feel! After a color disaster in my living room I was very wary of choosing another wrong color. I went to Home Depot and grabbed every swatch that was relatively close to what I wanted and taped them to my walls. After sitting on the couch and staring at the colors over the course of a few days I was able to narrow it down to just one. I still wanted to take the extra step to make sure it was perfect and bought a sample and did a larger color block. I love it! And thank goodness because I do not want to have to paint my living room (w/ cathedral ceilings) again!

You made a great choice! The color is going to look wonderful!
Danielle @ The Sunshine Girl┬┤s last blog post ..The Greens Dreams and Kitchen Progress

34 HomeIdeaResource April 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I love your choice of coffee colors. It is amazing how choosing the right shade can change the entire atmosphere of a room. Check out how you can also incorporate feng shui colors into your home design.

35 Michelle (LemonadeGal) April 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

My past system has been paint each room twice — first the color I thought I wanted, and then the real color. Now my system is to but a half dozen tester cans. ­čÖé Choosing a paint color is my least favorite task!

36 Angel April 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I too throw swatches of color on my wall waiting for the perfect one. I’ve spent many hours on the internet looking for the perfect color. I have Sherwin Williams Latte in most of my house after seeing it mentioned on HGTV rate my space, gardenweb, and two peas in a bucket. I love it. I would never find the perfect color though without the people who share their paint secrets, thank you:)

37 Mary Jean Taylor April 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Love it! I’ve always had great luck with paint matching with SW. I’m not a huge fan of their color’s but love their paint, and it is the closest to my house and I get a 25% discount there, so logical choice for paint. They matched 2 Devine Paint colors for me wonderfully and I had a fab piece of fabric that they made a custom color from and 3 years later I still use that color. Just bought another gallon of it today! I recently used Ben Moore paint in my Master and my kitchen….love it, but had to pay full price…ugh! A discount and less time traveling weighs heavy in my mind!

Can’t wait to see the final! your color is going to be great!!

Previous post:

Next post: