Sherwin-Williams graciously sponsored this post! We are so lucky to have them pitching in to help support our super season of painting. If I haven’t already made it very clear, I’ve been very eager to lose all of this beige. If you’d like to jump to more recent photos of the paint in our home, visit the before + after section.
Even my Mom looked at the paint swatches on our wall and questioned “Wait, those are different whites?” to which point, I’m sorry to say that you’ll probably think we’re a total snooze-fest when we tell you we went with the center white, Snowbound (SW 7004) by Sherwin-Williams, and slowly, it has been going into every room of our house.
That’s right. As of this week, our house is color-free. Are we wild cats or what?
My last home had a lot of natural light. It was also much more segmented in terms of each room having clear boundaries, it wasn’t as open concept as this ranch house is. In buying that house, I was escaping apartment life and a world of can’t-touch-those-white-walls, so naturally in my transitional house, my bachelorette pad, I embraced color. And damn, I adored it, I made that pretty clear. I still do adore it, really, but I’ve gotten my fill.
There are more than a few great things about embracing color on walls, but this house is different, and we’re not ready to dive into painting the living room/dining room/hallway gray or olive green just because those are colors that I naturally gravitate to on the color wheel. Instead, we decided to start neutral, go white, and backfill with colorful accents, lighter floors, and then if desired, go back and add in some color to the walls once we see how best it will work and what furniture we end up with. Repainting is an undeterminable time away from today though, let’s love what we’ve got for awhile.
We’ve done a whole lotta “WOW”-ing of this place in the days since we finished priming. If it’s possible for primer to get whiter (and it might be, what do I know), it seemed to be happening. That one little flat coat of white that we applied over the course of a weekend did so much to this place, we knew that overlaying a Snowbound eggshell (or eg-shel?) would make it look that much better, what with a little thicker and slightly glossier finish to help the light bounce in the house.
Everything considered, I took Sherwin-Williams up on its offer to sponsor our summertime of wall painting (how quickly it turned into fall), and accept 5-gallons of free paint in exchange for us trying it out in our house, each gallon valued at about $50. They agreed to let me test the Harmony Zero VOC paint product, which is slowly being rolled out through all of their retail stores. Zero VOC is the perfect fit for me and our growing family, what with the long lingering VOCs that are emitted from other paints long after they have dried. We keep it no secret what brands we’ve used in the past–let’s just say that I’ve taken in enough VOC’s myself for a lifetime, that’s probably why I can never remember where I left my glasses–but were excited to try this product and put the sponsorship opportunity to use in a really practical way. I hope you appreciate the transparency in this very experiential review.
Snowbound SW 7004, a white that many/all/myself included would describe as almost white out of the can, is actually on the cooler side of the white spectrum offered by the retailer (super fun fact, Extra White by Sherwin-Williams is white right out of the can, according to my local store). I did a little/lot/somewhere in the middle amount of research when it came to warm vs. cool whites, and everyone had a lot of opinions. So many opinions, the online reviews written in such strongly worded language, that if I showed you snippets of quotes out of context you’d probably assume that it was text from a political debate, or moms debating the pros/cons of co-sleeping with infants. Good grief, it’s white paint, let’s not get crazypants.
What did help in that little/lot/somewhere in the middle amount of research was that I was able to compare photos of the rooms already painted in these various shades. More so than falling into a place where I was focused on the design aesthetic of the rooms that were bright white, I honed in on the size of the room, the number of windows, the ceiling height, other basic features like fireplaces, trim, and floors. It was from there that I decided to be a follow my gut and go with a cooler shade of white (half of you are shouting “the horror!” right?). Cooler seemed right, I didn’t want to end up with something too yellow-based or tan, that much I knew, and if something about the cool paint looked horribly wrong, well, it’s just paint, so it can be redone.
But I really loved it, right from the get go. It did amazing things to cover what was left showing through of the light blues in both our master bedroom, and the nursery.
Like with the priming, Pete and I tag teamed this project. We didn’t do it over the course of two days this time–somehow between July and now we never had two consecutive days to dedicate–but we fit in a room here and there as we were able to make time for it.
I cut in and focused on the trim work. Pete rolled. And often, we worked on opposite schedules just to get progress made where we could. He’d paint while I was on a conference call, I’d paint while he picked up Julia from camp. He’d do the morning coffee run, I’d do the afternoon. Teamwork, yo.
We purchased our own rollers for the job, a rare splurge for the “best” quality in the store knowing that we wanted as smooth and even of a coat as possible (better quality = less shedding, white paint = shows more imperfections).
Timing of the actual labor actually had a lot to do with the available sunlight in the house as well, because rolling white paint over white primer is a lot harder to do when you’re working on a shady day or at night. There just wasn’t as great of a distinction between the two, except for seeing where it was wet and still glossy, and where it was flat and already dry. All painting had to happen on days with excellent sunlight to help illuminate our house.
I’ve heard a lot about poor coverage with low/Zero VOCs, so I did wonder how well it would work or if it would require multiple coats. In our case, we had no problem. Of course, with the primer we were going over light base coats, and with the Harmony paint we were going over white primer, so with just one coat of paint, we were able to make 4 of the 5 gallons cover the walls in nearly all of our rooms (all bedrooms, hallways, and living and dining room, but excluding the bathrooms and kitchen).
It was hard to capture a clear change between the paint and the primer as we worked. In this next photo, I like to think you can see where the still-wet glossier eggshell paint begins. Yeah? No? Clearly, the camera had no idea where it wanted to focus.
The white has lived up to our expectations, brightening our home and allowing us to see it in a new way. In the living room, the new couch is still set to arrive in the coming weeks, and after that, new floors.
The wavy glass wall between the living room and the dining room was removed too, and save for the half wall that juts a foot outward, you’d never know it was there but the line of sight between rooms is much improved. In other news, we bought Julia a mini-POÄNG last time we were at IKEA. We also bought another large EXPEDIT cabinet, which remains a makeshift bench in front of our dining room table.
Finishing the walls leads us into a place where we’re ready to start on the flooring, on the decor, on the other details that will eventually need our attention. And because it was a big debate point, the Snowbound or cooler white shade doesn’t come across as cold or boring to me at all. Yes, the Jade is on the verge of collapse.
What do you think?