So… painting this weekend.
First, a word about colors. Did I say all of this already? I am generally fearless about color. In the past I have had rooms in the following colors: red, raspberry, orange, apple green, teal, aqua, periwinkle, bright blue and purple. Those were all selected without swatching paint – pick a chip, make some paint, be happy. (We also have lavender in U’s room – but I did swatch that.) You’ll notice 2 gaps in that list – neutrals and yellow. Picking a grey for our living room was nervewracking – there are all those undertones and it is SO stressful. I am happy with our color (Behr Pensive Sky), but it threw me for a loop.
Which brings me to this weekend. Our hall color was easy(ish) – I had seen and loved a few deep bluey turquoises and loved them but didn’t want one in our room (which, as I mentioned is more about what I don’t want than what I do want). I first feel in love with Benjamin Moore’s Newburg Green and Martha Stewart’s Plumage, but went with Sherwin-Williams Deep Sea Dive – since I still may do a navy in our room I wanted a bit more differentiation. I love it. Love, love, love, LOVE! I was fearless about the color but a smidge worry about the light – it’s a small hall with a smallish light. It’s not a bright space and I was going dark. But it looks amazing – it used to be a passageway, not it looks like a room with presence. It had been an apple green, one shade darker than our (old) living room (Apple 3 and 4 by Laura Ashley for Lowes – I would link to these but they look totally different online).
But the bathroom. Oh the bathroom… We have ONE bathroom. So anything happening in the bathroom needs to happen fast. It’s not like painting renders the bathroom totally useless, but we do enjoy things like showering, so it needs to be pretty fast. We have high “wainscoting” (read: hideous fake tile paneling that is glued down and not really removable), so there’s not much wall showing. No strip is more than a foot tall or wide. I wanted citron – like an acrid, angry yellow that wasn’t like a highlighter. I have seen lots of things this color – but in paint it’s HARD. I know I can use the magic scanner eye to match anything, but I didn’t have what I wanted on hand. I’d see it on someone’s sweater or purse – and mostly in my imagination.
Ursula and I had heated debates over “our” colors – she was sick last week and we spent one of her “I feel fine but had a fever less than 24 hours ago so I’m home” days paint shopping. I found a swatch at I thought was perfect. So did she. Mine was Allen + Roth Limoncello, hers was Martha Stewart Mimosa. This colors were basically identical, but we were not budging (I will say that she has an *excellent* eye for color and I genuinely seek her input on paint). For various reasons, we didn’t swatch – mostly because we only needed a quart. As soon as I bought the quart I did a square on the wall and I was happy with it.
Happy until I painted it all over the next morning, that is. It wasn’t acrid or angry. It was happy and bright. It wasn’t hideous, but it was completely not interesting. It was like “hey! I’m yellow! Look! Yellow! That’s Me!” It was like the paint equivalent of Doug from Up. I tried to talk myself into it. I tried to talk Dan into it. Dan wasn’t having it, but wouldn’t say “this sucks”. Thankfully, I saw the light before we put up a second coat.
We fished a million chips out of the trash can. Away from the bathroom, we’d select a different color. “Oh look – this is way greener!” and “oooh – it looks great with the hall!” Then we’d hold it up to the Limoncello sample and it would be basically identical. Like I mentioned with Apple 3 and 4, light greens/yellows do NOT look accurate on screen, so we were sort of lost. There was one we liked – Lively Yellow – but a) the name sounded too yellow and b) I still didn’t know if it was different enough. So then we looked at one shade darker, Frolic, which I loved but had initially discarded because it was so bright. I made Dan pick, and now our bathroom is Frolic. It is still not the color I had pictured exactly in my mind, but I am happy. Really happy. Because of the brightness it’s mixed in a deep (clear) base rather than white. This keeps the color very true (and perhaps it’s so hard to find – since lots of brands use white bases), but the combo of clear base but not too dark (so not too much pigment) made the paint crazy thin. Like a watercolor. We had one coat of the horrible Limoncello (white base) plus 2 of Frolic. And honestly, a third coat of Frolic would have been ideal.
Wow – that is WAY more than anyone wants to know about my feelings on citron paint. But maybe this will help the vast number (ha!) of people who want angry yellow walls?