Picking Paint Colours

Choosing the colours for our walls is not my strong suit. It’s not the Husband’s either. Every time I pick up a paint brush to add a fresh coat to our home, I end up disappointed. Four years ago, I started off the trend by painting our basement apartment a peachy pink, when I had intended to find a more or less neutral beige. I played it safe upstairs when it came time to paint our living room and kitchen walls, and ended up bored by the colourlessness of our walls all too quickly. Our bathroom came out more yellow than I wanted. And our back mudroom – I had intended grey, but somehow, I got purple instead.

Now, it’s time to paint again. We have a whole attic that’s primed, waiting for a couple coats of colour. And, our main floor desperately needs repainting, now that we ripped down a dividing wall between the dining room and living room. In the past couple years of not painting anything, I’ve learned a little more about what I actually like on the walls, but my poor colour history haunts me. We’ve now lived with paint blotches on our walls, little test patches, for over a month, so easy to ignore, especially since an irrational fear stops me from buying those gallons of paint and picking up a roller.

I also have a couple dilemmas to figure out yet, which certainly doesn’t help my hesitation. It’s just paint, right? I can always change it; I can always repaint!

(Yeah, right. Maybe in another 3 years…)

Cho's apartment, attic, 32 weeks 036

Upstairs, we’re looking at cool greys. Darker or lighter? The Husband and I are also stuck in a bit of a disagreement about what should be painted up here. Just the verticals walls, or the sloped ceiling too? I’ve heard we can make the ceiling height seem higher by painting everything the same colour. He’s not convinced and thinks the ceiling should be painted like a ceiling: in other words, white. I’ve been tempted to just paint the whole space white and remove the argument altogether.


Downstairs, which you admittedly don’t get a great shot of, I’m leaning towards a blue-green. I’m more or less happy with the colour we found, but am once again stuck wondering exactly what should be painted. The whole space, from dining room, to living room, to kitchen to back hallway? Or, should we pick a contrasting colour of some type to break up the colour, maybe do the laundry closet wall something different from everything else?

And then, of course, there’s the wall going up the stairs. Yes, you see a black test splotch there. We’ve already pretty much nixed the idea of the black, but I’m at a complete loss for other options. Because the grey of the upstairs and the turquoise of the downstairs are almost too close in colour type, we don’t seem to have a lot of options. Black seemed like a bold neutral that could really stand out and make a bit of a statement, but with it on the walls, I wonder if it’s just too dark. We’ve considered a patterned wallpaper of some kind, but when I’m already uncertain about paint, wallpaper seems like too much of a commitment.

One way or another, I’d really like to get some paint on the walls soon. We’re so close to being finished our renovations for the forseeable future – I almost can’t believe I can actually say that! – and paint is one of the final hurdles to get past.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to ignore, especially after 3 years of getting really good at ignoring things.

0 thoughts on “Picking Paint Colours

  1. I wish I could help you, but Im just as useless at paint selection. Though, I do agree with you that the attic should all be one colour!! Just keep it light and airy to make the room seem bigger

  2. I'm actually pretty good at paint colors.

    What about for the wall with the crib going with something even darker? This way the beautiful paint color you spent so much time on with that piece of furniture will really pop. Maybe Zinc by Martha Stewart?

  3. I agree that it would be lovely for the crib to pop against the wall colour, but I would hesitate to paint that wall alone. It will highlight the sloped ceiling and make the room feel "short" (in my untrained non expert opinion). I would pick a cooler gray to play up the cooler tones in the crib colour and go all over, walls and ceilings.

    OR you can forgo the crib colour and just focus on a wall colour that you love. In my experience (I"m on a 2nd kiddo :), cribs are pretty temporary fixtures.

    No matter the colour, I would def go all over. I love the two bedrooms below 🙂


  4. I'm with Casey on this one. I'd keep the colour selection light and airy, but I would paint the ceilings. If the ceiling wasn't angular I wouldn't paint it (so a regular boxy room, I'd keep the ceiling white), but I think with angular ceilings like yours it looks more open and larger with it all being one colour.

    I think if you go too dark, you'll find the room too dark and it will seem smaller. You can still get a nice pop of the crib with a lighter colour, you just have to choose the right contrasting colour. Also, you only have that one window, so it might be nice to go with a light colour to reflect the light that you do get :).

    I'm sure whatever you decide it will be lovely!

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