Paint Problems

One of my absolute least favorite things to do is to choose a paint color. I mean I love it and hate it all at the same time. There is absolutely nothing worse than finally choosing a color and then getting it slathered up on the wall and it not being at all what you thought. 

I concluded that one of the reasons I hated it so much was because I hate keeping up with paint chips. You know the drill... go to the store grab 3-4. Get home, none are what you want. Go back get more.... So to put that madness to rest I saved myself a little time (and money) and purchased a paint deck. I got mine on ebay for 50% off the retail price (it ended up being $17ish). It was brand new in the wrapper. 
I really like Behr paint. I pretty much stick to it except the one time I made a terrible mistake and went to Sherwin Williams and was totally disappointed with the water paint/primer combo and the other time when Home Depot clearanced their Martha Stewart paint. Other than that I pretty much always go with Behr.

Also I rarely buy samples. There's just something annoying about getting samples mixed and having to go back. Granted it's annoying to buy the wrong color too, so I'm torn in that department. When we painted the outside of our house I got 2 samples (which if I were being totally honest I couldn't tell the difference and ended up choosing the color that I thought had the prettiest name- surely I'm not the only one who has ever done that?), and when I had to choose the perfect shade of red for our last house's master bath I grabbed a sample. Didn't want any fire engine walls going on. Those are the only samples I've bought. Ever.

Another paint issue I have is NEEDING to get color on the walls without thinking through everything else that needs to go in the room. So I'm taking it easy in this house and figuring the room out first and THEN choosing a color. It may take longer at first, but will hopefully save me time and frustration later on. There is nothing more frustrating than settling on a paint color and not being able to find curtains, fabrics, or rugs to match!

Yet another problem is finding lovely colors all over pinterest that I HAVE TO HAVE ALL OVER MY HOUSE, color matching it to my beloved Behr paint and then repainting becomes an absolute headache. Trust me-I learned this the hard.way. I don't care what the stores say about how accurate or perfect their colormatchingjedi skills are, they could all use a little fine tuning. Let me explain...

One issue I ran into in our Toccoa house was falling head over heels over the color Gray Horse by Benjamin Moore. I am totally not at the point where I can pay $50 a gallon for paint at BM so I had it colormatched to Behr paint. Then I needed another gallon. So I had it color matched again using... wait for it... the EXACT same barcode that they used to match the previous gallon. When I put it on the wall right next to the other gallon's paint guess what? IT WASN'T THE SAME COLOR. I almost cried. I was so frustrated, tired and beyond the point of caring. I blamed it on terrible lighting, some pregnancy hormones, and threw some frames over it and made sure the curtains stayed just so so no one would ever notice. True story.Except I was too far over it to mention it in the big reveal. Because I mean I had just spent a week painting my house. Didn't really want to succumb to failure.

Getting a paint deck long ago would have literally saved that headache... because my friends, I figured out how to do my own paint matching. You can call this Caroline's amazingly awesome colormatching skillzzzz.

Enter one of my most favorite colors ever. It was an Olympic color that we had colormatched at Home Depot. I almost feel like the C word is becoming a bad word around here. The paint is actually HD's but the color was Lowes (see how cray things got in that house?). We used this color in our old office that then became Emberly's old room. BTW I store my paint in mason jars with the lids labeled. More on that here. The sticker on the lid is NOT the color of the contents inside.
I am debating whether or not to do an accent wall or 2 in our new house. It may happen it may not, time will tell. But here's what I did. To avoid the store colormatching nightmare all together I simply painted a little piece of paper and held it up to my paint deck and flipped through until I found a pretty similar color. Voila! I know, total let down right? You were probably thinking I had some huge amazing revelation to reveal. Point being- I loved the original color, and I wanted to find one almost exactly the same. Obs I won't use the old color to touch up or anything crazy- it's just the basic color I was going for.

The color I landed on Mississippi Mud. Quite fitting in a home with a Mississippi boy. Now I know that if I want that color in my house (and need more than the quart of Oyster Shell) then Mississippi Mud it will be. NOT a custom color match.
Enter my arch nemesis:
I absolutely LOVED this color when I painted our master bath with it a few years back. And I used it again in Emberly's gray/pink nursery, and again in the rest of our house. And besides how the 2 gallons mixed terribly (looking blue in some lights green in others), it dried noticeably green in our living room (almost a sagey light green). Which is funny because I had this color for over a year in our master bath and it NEVER looked green in there. It's amazing how paint really does play tricks. For the record I'm not really a green girl. I really don't like green at all (at least not in huge doses). And I was sad that this color that I loved so much just wasn't working anymore.

And what finally sealed the deal is when I held it up to my paint deck that had gray with black undertones. I always look to the bottom color on the paint chip to see what the base/undertone color is. Sometimes gray has blue in it, other times it has black. Side by side Gray Horse really does look green; and if I had my paint deck I would have noticed that! I want to keep Emberly's room the same color scheme (pink/gray in the new house) so I decided to go with "Gentle Rain" by Behr. It's the second one down.
I'm telling you, my paint choices were a hot mess. In Emberly's nursery in our old house I had a color called Powered Pink by Glidden. Again I had it matched but this time I went with Sherwin Williams paint because I had a coupon (which still ended up being more expensive than Behr). I mentioned that saga earlier in the post. I really wanted the same pink shade in her new room because all her bedding is that pink and so are her curtains. 

I obviously wasn't going the SW's route again. So I did the same thing. Painted a piece of paper and held it up to my paint deck. The top 2 colors actually looked exactly the same. I got Josh's eye to agree and he totally agreed. So what to do when that happens?
I look down the rest of the card (or choose the one with the prettier name- just kidding <--- actually I'm really not kidding). See how the top swatch has more red undertones than the one underneath that has more peach/orange undertones? I want a red/pink. Not a peachy pink, so I went with the top card, top color called Powdered Blush.
It's amazing to me how light/peach it looks here, but how pink it was in real life.

My whole stick with one brand has already proven itself effective at the new house. My first project was to paint Luke's room. When we walked through the house and I asked if he was "SO EXCITED about his new house" he looked at me and said "Yeah, I like it, but it doesn't have a blue room for me." I'll show before and afters later, but I chose a Behr color and got one gallon mixed thinking it would be enough. I was only painting three walls, but I didn't take into account how high ceilings are in this house AND that I wanted to paint the ceiling too. I had to run back to the store and grab another gallon, and when I painted with the 2nd gallon, you can't even tell where I left off. I was seriously nervous after the Gray Horse ordeal. And thrilled with the results.

So although a little lengthy those are some lessons I've learned from a paint matching practically an entire house and being frustrated most of the way. Didn't want to make those same mistakes here. Maybe you're not as crazy as I was, but I figured I'd share a few lessons learned along the way!

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