Saturday, August 28, 2010

Choosing colors

Yesterday I stopped into the Miller Paint store and picked up some paint color samples to bring home. Aren't they pretty? I love paint swatches. I love choosing colors to paint with, colors for quilts, for artwork. The strips, above, are Millers' regular paints. The individual swatch is from the Devine Color line, a thicker, supposedly superior grade of paint. The regular Miller paint is very good, in my opinion. My favorite brand to use.

The color is for our little entry area. I originally painted it quite a dark teal blue, actually the same color the entry in our old house was. I loved the color, but it is too dark in the new house, where there is no natural light in that area and only a small wall fixture to light it at all. The fact that there is also a big scratch in the paint there is yet another reason to repaint the area.

The color I chose is the darkest one on the top set of three swatches in the photo above. It looks pretty gray in the photo, but there is actually a lot of blue in it. The Devine Color swatch is too blue. My chosen color is in that range of blue/green/turquoise/gray that I love.

I have some friends that are repainting the outside of their house and have been stewing on the colors for more than a month. At one point I was called in as a consultant and I prepared several possible color schemes that I thought would work nicely with the brick part of their house, which is a given. My suggestions didn't speak to them. It is the husband, especially, who is having the hardest time making a decision about the color. Many years ago I had a job in interior design and put together whole house color schemes, inside and out. For me it was great fun and really creatively rewarding. But I see that it is not that enjoyable for a lot of people. I used to teach color classes to quiltmakers and met women who agonized over choosing fabrics for a quilt. I think it is that thing of practice. And confidence. I make color decisions nearly every day . I think when you only choose a house paint color every 20 years or so, it doesn't come easily.

I drove by our friends' house a couple days ago. He had started painting a nice creamy, golden color and seemed quite pleased. Can't wait to see the finished job. I just love that feeling of newness that a change in color around the house gives you. And I am probably weird, but I love the smell of fresh paint.


  1. Oh, I know what you mean about picking colors! Hard task sometimes. When we had our house painted, I grabbed about 40 different colors (not from the same color range either), then picked from that. As it turns out, I don't love the color we finally chose - I like it, but don't love it. Wanna know why? It's a green with a little blue in it, but it clashes with the grass color. Sorta drives me nuts.

  2. I like the smell of Bondo and I love the smell of ink on paper fresh off the printing press, so you liking the smell of paint doesn't seem weird to me at all. :-)

  3. MtnBarb10:13 AM

    Some of us really can't make a choice easily. There are 4 24" squares of paint on my kitchen wall. They've been there for 2 years! When a friend came in she said she thought they were a decorative design! lol

  4. I think the color choice is intimidating to a lot of people, and in part I think it's that some people don't have the ability to look at a swatch and picture how it will look in the whole room. Some people are better (or more practiced, maybe) at visualizing a whole from one small thing.

    Have you seen the tv commercial from Sherwin Williams? They have made origami animals and scenes and all from paint swatch strips and it all comes to life -- it's so charming and it entertains me every time. Oh, if you haven't seen it you can find it here:

  5. I grew up with a grandfather who was a painter/paperhanger and I love those smells, to this day.

    Paint! I mourn the fact that Devine paint is no longer available in NJ. My kitchen is Devine Breeze (sometimes blue, sometimes green) and my fireplace wall is Devine Blush. I don't think Benjamin Moore can hold a candle to them.
    Love your choices, too!

  6. Gee, those swatches look awfully familiar to me. ;-)

    Number me among the love-the-smell-of-fresh-paint people. It's right up there with new-mown grass and frying onions and garlic, as far as I'm concerned.

    I'd forgotten about the interior design portion of your career history. That's one more thing you and my friend Jackie, the paper/book artist, have in common. She used to design interiors for Kaiser Permanente. One of these days the two of you have to meet.

  7. Love your new color & love putting color schemes together. I have a folder full of swatches that I used when I taught. My daughter recently repainted her living room 2 shades of grey and in the evening the darker has a definite purple cast.