Peter Piper Picked A Peck of Pickled … Paint Chips

Peter Piper has been MUCH more efficient than us apparently…because, saying we’ve “picked” paint is an over statement. Rather, we have a few samples up on the wall and have been letting them marinade for a few days…we wanted to observe them in different lighting conditions, with some furniture in the vicinity, etc. Honestly, if I tell co-workers one more time that “I’ll be painting” when asked what my weekend plans will entail you can consider me a big, fat, liar. Our goal this weekend is to decide on the paint color, which we’ll get into below, and begin the priming process. Oh, and I also said I was addressing patching the wall texture…well, I’ve been all talk and no texture…so we have that on the old  to-do list as well. On to paint:

As narrowed down in our “Shades of Gray” post, we have most assuredly decided on a paint hue from the gray color family. The big dilemma is that there is a gigantic array of gray paint with a variety of undertones…some appear lavender, others blue-ish, green-ish, tan-ish. I was pretty sure I was drawn to shades with a cool undertone but we wanted to be sure we got a good look at several of our favorites which definitely varied in their tone. So, last weekend Andy primed a wall and we put up some samples. Duncan supervised:

The following photographs were taken in both morning and afternoon daylight (sorry, I can’t remember exactly which pic depicts which lighting scenario):

As you can see in the picture above, these samples represent our top three choices based on paint chips alone. While we really liked them all, we were definitely able to read the “undertones” more once the samples were up in larger format on the wall. Here’s our initial take:

1. Gray Owl – too dark and looked too green in certain lighting conditions.

2. Moonshine – love this color but it is reading too tan for what we were going for.

3. Heavy Goose – dare I say it was juuuuust right…but we were still undecided…also afraid it may be too dark.

So, we decided the responsible course of action would be to return to our pencil-case o’paint chips and pick a lighter color to get up on the wall to compare. The 4th front-runner, for good measure, became a lovely little shade called Gray Morning by Laura Ashley for the Valspar brand of paint available from Lowe’s.

And a slightly alternative view:

Here are the samples as seen during the evening with incandescent light:

Good golly, now we have two favorites. After putting Gray Morning up, it became really clear that the first two options are pretty much off the table…well, wall really. Numbers 3 and 4, Heavy Goose and Gray Morning respectively, have emerged as the favorites. I’m concerned that Gray Morning (4) may be too light. I still want this color to make a statement and offer some contrast. In my head, I really envision some lovely white trim really popping against a slightly more saturated gray. PS, in case you were wondering what that smudge of paint above the door is…that was another sample not worth mentioning. Thought it looked totally gray on the paint chip but it ended up looking almost ivory. Case in point, test your paint.

I also thought it would be a good idea to put some furniture that we will be using in the living room in the vicinity of the paint samples to make sure that jived as well. Here’s a look at that:

So, who’s the lucky paint chip???

Drumroll please…after a week of staring at the walls, the winner is…Heavy Goose. Wacky name, lovely color. It really is the color I envisioned before I even started looking at actual paint chips or samples. I allowed myself the time to observe the sample in different lighting, and arranged some furniture nearby to get a feel for how the fabric would stand out against the hue. I’m really excited to get this up on the walls. Now, just to finish the prep work…wall texture and priming.


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