attic · painting

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.

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