Picking the Perfect Paint Color

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hi!  Erica here with how I picked the perfect paint colors for my house.  

A little background:
I closed on my house in May but I needed to be out of my old house by mid-April.   The solution was for me to put all of my stuff into storage and move in with my parents for a month.  The cons were moving twice, the cost of paying movers twice, bringing all four of my pets to my parents' house, and obviously being a thirtysomething adult living with my parents.  The pros were being a thirtysomething adult living with my parents (no need to make myself dinner), time to plan for my new home, and an empty home when I finally did close.   Since, I was already paying for storage, I decided to get the floors done and almost the whole house painted while the house was furniture free.

It was a bit difficult coordinating between the painter and the floor guy.  I lucked out and found this super-cheap and fast painter.  The only problem was that because he was super cheap he was in high demand.   He agreed to squeeze me in on weekends and work on the rooms the floor guys were not touching.

I found a lot of my paint inspiration on Pinterest.    You can click below to check out my board for Old House Charm.

Erica's Steps for finding the right color:
  • Make a list of colors you like from Pinterest. 
  • Ask your local paint store if you can borrow a color wheel.  Or sit down at a paint store with your list. 
  • Narrow down the colors from the wheel.  Hold them against your wall. 

  • Go back to the paint store and ask for bigger sample chips to borrow or narrow it down then and there by looking at the bigger paint chip samples.  Most Benjamin Moore paint stores will have a binder of large square paint chips. 
  • Purchase paint samples of the colors you are torn between.   Try them out on your wall in your lighting.  *I have Revere Pewter in two different parts of my house and the color looks totally different in those two rooms.  It really depends on the lighting and what else is in the room. 
Living room color choices.  I went with the B.M. Classic Gray.
  • Don't be tempted to purchase the cheapest, lowest quality paint.  You may end up spending just as much depending on the number of coats of paint you need.  Talk to your paint store representative and see which type of paint would work best for you.  
  • Take photos or keep a notebook of the type of paint you used and which room you used it in.  This will help you in the future for touch-ups. 

I really lucked out that my plaster walls were in great condition.  The previous owners of my house had removed wallpaper that was up for many, many years and were happy to find smooth, crack free walls.   

Here are some of the before and after color changes I did on my walls:
Hallway: The color on the right is B.M. Revere Pewter.

 Master Bath: The color on the right is B.M. Half-Moon Crest.

 Master Bedroom:  The color on the right is also B.M. Half-Moon Crest.

 Den:  The color on the right is B.M. Manchester Tan.  I may be changing this color to Edgecomb Gray because it is actually too similar to the color of my couch and I want a little more contrast.

Laundry Room/Summer Kitchen: The color on the right is B.M. Classic Gray.  I had some left over from my living room and was anxious to paint over the orange.  If you look closely, you can also see that the ceiling was yellow.  The ceiling was changed to a standard ceiling white.  I really had wanted to do this room in the Best in Show Wallpaper pictured below but it was just too costly and would have been a difficult room to wallpaper.  I compromised by moving my Ballard Design The Inconsolable print to the room. 

 Home Office: The color on the right is B.M. Hale Navy.

Dining Room: The color on the right is B.M. Kendall Charcoal.

Floor Stain
As I mentioned earlier, I also had the floors done before moving in.  I wanted a darker wood to go with the character of the house.  

This was something that I knew I had to take advantage of while all the furniture was out of the house.  The previous owners had redone the floors only seven years earlier and they were still in great condition.  Could I have lived with them, yes?  Would the orangey tone of the floors bother me every day, you betcha!  It was an expense and meant delaying moving in for two more weeks, but I am so happy I did it. 

Above are the two floor stains I narrowed it down to.  I ended up going with the Antique Brown on the right.   The result is a rich looking floor.  I think the steps up the staircase look stunning against the white trim. 

photo credit: Creative Heart Arts

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you come join me as I continue to make my new house into a home of my own. 


  1. You were really lucky, how the moving process worked out. Time to have an empty home, to really do-it-up, to your choice.

    Lovely outcome!

    Gentle hugs,
    Upper NYS

  2. Congratulations on your new home and blog! Love the color schemes! I am also in the process of remodeling a new home I purchased as well! Thanks for your inspiration!