Picking out a paint color is hard enough. You take home tons of paint chips, stare at your walls for hours, maybe even buy some sample colors and paint them on your wall. But, what do you do when you start painting your walls and realize you hate the color? Cry? Deal with it? How about turn it into a new color! We’re making lemonade with lemons y’all! Here’s the story:
My mom was coming to Austin to see our new house for the first time and help us paint our fireplace living room. I spilled the beans about most of my mom’s visit, but left the paint fiasco for it’s very own post. I wanted to have all of the materials on hand for when my mom got to town, so I went to Home Depot and bought 2 gallons of Martha Stewart Driftwood Gray (MSL265). It was all I ever wanted. The perfect shade of gray, not too blue, not to yellow, but just right.
My mom arrives on Friday evening, and we whip out the paint. Here’s the problem:
I loved it wet, but dry was bad. It was way darker than I thought it would be. Now, maybe this is my own dumb fault since I did not take the time to buy a sample and test it on my wall. I took the risky route and just bought 2 gallons of paint! So, mom and I were sad. It was not what we wanted. Then Mom had a genius idea! She claims she’s done this before, but we went to Wal Mart, bought a 5 gallon bucket and 2 gallons of plain white interior paint and mixed it all together at 11p. Gotta love a good late night Wal Mart run. The spray paint was an attempt to paint our patio furniture but it took 5 cans to do ONE chair. I’ll open up that can a worms soon!
Since this was a late night catastrophe, the pictures are not so great or so plentiful. But, the idea is simple. If your paint shade is too dark, buy white paint and make your own shade. Dump all of the gallons into a 5 gallon bucket and mix. Andy was super excited to use his drill and paint stirrer attachment to mix, but you can just as easily mix with a paint stick (it takes longer, but same results). This doubles your paint which is good for us since we love the color so much we plan on painting our hallway and foyer the same color. The 5 gallon bucket is also great to store the paint. Tip: Make sure and pick up a lid for your bucket! Here is our stored leftover pretty paint shade:
Oh and my mom is a pro cutter inner, she does not even use tape! Crazy, right? I am the world’s worst cutter inner. Her one thing is she must have an awesome angled paint brush, this Purdy paint brush is her fave:
Here’s the mama working her magic. She started off using a 3 in. agnled Purdy brush, but quickly went back to her oldie, but goodie the 2 in angled Purdy.
Another painting tip: If you are working with more than one person while painting, using smaller drop cloths or card board boxes is so much easier. That way the cutter inner and the roller can roll take their box or drop cloth with them as they go. We happen to have tons of card biard boxes on hand since we had just moved in!
Here are my rolling skills in action, I was way ahead of mama!
Oh and about the outlets. I posted this on C.R.A.F.T. facebook wondering why anyone would take off the outlets when painting… I was pro painting and I’ve been turned. Here’s why:
Does that make sense? Basically, I painted the outlets in one room, and then realizes after 2 weeks they were already getting dingy. I asked Andy if we could just buy new ones and replace them… the problem is the new plates and the actual outlets are no different colors. Grrrr. Lesson learned. And another tip: don’t ever just buy one outlet… you might as well buy a box of 10. Buying 2 single outlets will cost you as much as the box of 10. So, buy these boxes of 10 from Home Depot.
Phew. That was a lot of info. And now for the fun stuff, our specially tinted gray walls. I love how it makes the molding pop.
And here are the painting tips in list form:
- If the shade of paint is too dark, just add white paint.
- Use a GOOD 2′ angle brush for cutting in around walls and molding.
- use cardboard boxes as drop clothes, they’re really easy to move around on wood floors.
- Don’t paint your outlets. You’ll regret it later.
- Buy outlets in sets of 10, it’s way cheaper.
If you’re interested the color of my walls is: 1 gallon of Martha Stewart Driftwood Gray + 1 gallon os white paint.
Do you have gray walls? Have you ever added white paint to a gallon to change the shade? Do you paint your outlets? Are you a butter inner or a roller? I’m a roller, baby! Spill the beans…
Comments & Reviews
Claire @ A Little Claireification says
I keep hearing stories about gray being so hard to choose – this is a fantastic tip!! Way to make your own shade of the perfect gray!! I love it!!
Jamie Dorobek says
It is hard! Some of too blue, some are too yellow, some are too dark… finding one that is just right is super tricky!
I love the color ~ we did our exterior in gray/white a few years ago ~ I’m not too, too bad at being a cutter inner, but … hehe … I do use tape. And no, don’t paint those outlets! Have a great weekend 🙂
kathy campbell says
I almost always add a little white paint when I paint anything, for some reason I always need to adjust the color. I make my own chalk paint by adding calcium carbonate, I use it to to paint all my furniture. mix 4 Tablespoons and 2 Tablespoons of warm water to 1 cup of paint. I love the grey! My niece is doing a grey and white nursery and it is lovely. I just finished painting a frame grey and am painting the first initial on white linen, it’s darling. Have a great weekend.
Great tips! Just don’t try toning down red with white. You will get pink.
When we were painting the purple trim on the outside of our house a nice navy, I had picked a blue that BF said was “too dark” so we ended up buying a shade lighter on the paint chip. When we got it on the first bit of the house, it looked awful, and BF said I was right, we should have went darker. We just took it back to the paint store, and they made it darker for us for free! They just dumped a bit out and added some more darkness, and it was perfect! Your way is a great solution that I wouldn’t have thought of though when needing to go lighter instead of darker.
I’m a roller – too messy to be a cutter inner! Yup, learned a loooooooong time ago to take those plates off and tape those outlets and switches!