Monday, October 10, 2011

Five Dollar Mistakes

Sometimes I feel like I'm penny wise and pound foolish, as the old saying goes. But in the case of house painting, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

I absolutely love the little paint samples that all the stores sell now. It started with Benjamin Moore a few years ago, and now everyone offers it. For anywhere from $3-$8 you can buy paint samples ranging from 4 oz to 1 quart (and price does not necessary correspond to size)! They will tint them to any stock color, and most will color match competitors brands and do custom colors.

What a great way to test colors! The little chips in the store lighting are never what they seem once you get the gallon home. Somehow beige begins to morph pink, taupe turns purple, gray goes green, yellow yells "schoolbus!", etc., etc., etc.

So, I have been testing exterior colors. Which is a vastly different experience from testing interior colors! Who knew that sun could do such things to shades and tints and hues? Our farmhouse is mostly seen from the west and the south, which means lots of direct, bright light. Light trim colors all look white; medium tones get washed out; deeper colors look like garish Easter eggs. I have a towering stack of tester quarts out in the shop and have been to Sherwin Williams three days straight to pick up various body, trim, and accent attempts.

Oh, well. Better to have a few $5 mistakes hiding in the garage than a $2500 mistake on the sides of the house for the whole world to see!

Three body colors and four trim trials later, we're hopefully narrowing
in on a winner! (You can't see the accents I've been playing around
with down on the first floor; I've run out of room on the dormer!)

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