I sifted through a nice little collection of white paint chips last week as I prepared our guest room-turned-office for a new coat of paint. Did you know Pantone’s inspirational white collection rolls 68 swatches deep?
Where’s a girl to start when, in addition to those 68, every one of my go-to brands also provides dozens of “white” options?
I had to keep it easy, so I only came home with 7. All Behr so that I wouldn’t drive myself crazy comparing white to white to white across brands. Or moreso, so I wouldn’t drive Pete crazy, since he told me he didn’t care what type of white it was, as long as it was white. BAH.
For two years, the walk-in-closet has been white. This, you know.
Before that, it was the previous owner’s nursery, complete with illustrated zoo animals and coordinating wallpaper. But when I decided to brighten it up, I chose a straight-out-of-the-can white, and a cheap can at that. Mr. Seconds for $6.99-a-gallon cheap. The room was home to shoes and clothes, not heavily trafficked, and not a haven for overnight guests, so I didn’t put too much into it.
The inexpensive color had begun to look a little dirty, or faded, or dull compared to the trim, which, while also straight-out-of-the-can white, was a more premium paint with a nice satin sheen that had held up supremely. Having painted the ceiling blue probably helped distract you from the wall state… it fooled me, anyways.
Although in the vein of being transparent, the blue was painted after the walls, and a little sloppily at that. I had been needing to touch up the upper edge for awhile. This I knew. And ignored.
The white I finally landed on was a Behr color; Powdered Snow (or W-D-700 if you appreciate details like that). I had it mixed with a satin base, much like the rest of the paint in my house.
It’s the swatch shown at the top of the post on the right. Creamy, with no obvious tints.
I hadn’t wanted to sway too white-blue, or white-pink, or white-yellow, all of which were also in my swatch mix, so my options were pretty quickly narrowed down. The Powdered Snow was a white tied to the tan/almond/brown family, so it still had an air of warmth to it… sort of like a very soft ivory.
I assumed that painting white on white was going to be a challenge, as if I wouldn’t easily be able to see which areas I had already painted.
I was clearly wrong. My whites were considerably distinct in hue.
See what I was talking about when I said the walls seemed dingy?
I left these necklaces and hooks in place until I was right up beside them with the roller, and decided that I’d remove them entirely and patch the holes. Before I did, I snapped this shot. The contrast between the old and new paint was astonishing. Old, inexpensive paint clearly had blue-gray undertones compared to my new, freshly fallen Powdered Snow. Also, the old must have been a flat or eggshell finish; the satin coat is much brighter and reflecting than it’s predecessor.
Two coats of paint (including edging around the whole room a second time) did the job and completely covered up the old paint. I find with most light colored Behr paint that I usually need two coats, but wasn’t sure if that would be the case with “white”-on-“white”. It was. And for the record, if it’s dark paint, I plan on 3, even if I’m starting with a tinted primer.
Clean paint makes me feel like I just took a shower. All’s good, except now my previously nice trim looks like the ugly stepsister of the white paint chips.
And, well, it’s bright and clean but obviously still a mess. The other guest room is also loaded with office materials waiting for a home, so I’ll be working hard on this over the next few weeks starting with the desk and chair.
Stay tuned for change.
P.S. Never whip around too quickly with a roller. I did just that and knocked into a new pair of suede boots. Most of the paint has come out with bar soap and water which I’m sure is totally not kosher with leather material manufacturers, but if anyone’s a miracle worker out there, please share your secrets.
P.P.S. Also, probably not a good idea to paint a room and leave most of your shoes including a new pair of black suede boots in the line of fire. Don’t be an idiot like me. Just move your shoes.