Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Color Woes

In some ways, the great outdoors can be so much easier to decorate than indoor spaces. The greens of the leaves and of the grass combined with the vibrant colors of the blossoms are never too flashy, forever coordinated and always appreciated.

Inside, color tends to cause us a whole lot more angst.

Take this assortment of aquas and greens, for instance. One would think that among them would be a perfectly suitable color for painting chairs or the occasional table top or other furniture piece, or dare I suggest, a wall?

Well, it's not that easy. On chairs, these all ended up either looking garish or like a baby pastel. On the wall, almost all were either the wrong shade or too intense. One of these did finally become my living room accent wall color. It's the one on the upper left with hardly any left in the can. Even that I'm iffy about at certain times as the light changes. Morning light vs evening light is a never-ending source of consideration, right Lynette and Paul?

With all this aqua goodness in my possession and cluttering up my storage space, I should certainly have what it takes to mix up a happy hue. 

Some time last year I had done just such a thing when I painted this little end table:

You can find the post about that Easy Breezy Table Redo HERE. For that one, I primed first and did a slight distressing so some wood and some white showed through.

Some of that paint mixture was left over and I used it to paint these end tables recently:

You can see the before and after of these HERE. I painted three coats on these and didn't distress them at all. The result was different but the color was still pleasing to me. However, I wasn't finished. Yet I was out of that paint.

So I got to work mixing colors again to try and match that color combo. The two I used were running low, so I knew I had to get it right without a lot of trial and error. I know the name of the green but the print on the more blue aqua label has faded. With no intention of buying any more paint, since I have such an aqua collection as it is, I just wanted to get the mix right and be done with it, using what I already have.

You see, these end tables are related to a mack daddy coffee table that belongs to their family. They used to be a tight-knit group until I separated them.

Daddy-O has been tipped on his side hugging the wall in the Florida room, trying to stay out of my way until I could decide his fate. While he's been off to the side, he has certainly not been invisible. I mean, look at him. He's a hulk and he's been in a few scrapes. He, in all his brute, was hard to ignore.

Meanwhile, the trio was constantly begging to be reunited. Even though Mack-Daddy is too big for my living room (especially in brown), I figured if he got the aqua treatment like the end tables, I might be able to live with him in the space again.

So I started mixing. Oh, joy. These blobs represent the various attempts to match the previous color. From the image, they look the same, but one was more green and darker, one was too dull, etc. I finally pretty well nailed it, and I put brush to brawn (the brawn of Mack Daddy) and helped him get in touch with his feminine side.

I was also on a hunt for pillows for the love seat. The colorful ideas I had did not pan out. Not one store in all of creation had the colors I was looking for. They seem stuck merely on red for some reason or inappropriate designs in unacceptable multi-shaded fabrics. The fabric store did not have the color I was looking for either. 

It looks like I will be fertilizing the heck out of my flowers for a while in the hopes I can get them to produce a never-ending supply for my tables. They will have to supply the final raspberry or tangerine or coral accents in the room. (Although I do have my little metal bird. He's also going to be a big player in giving me that color pop.)

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you how my color woes turned to color joy.


  1. I'm sorta liking your collection of aquas...it makes my creative juices flow seeing all those shades together! I'd love to see a wall piece - something like your map - done in each of these colors and grouped en masse on the wall!
    You could put in a pop of coral or whatever for fun, too.

    Here's a trick I used that works pretty well if you ever get a piece that you thought the color was great, but it looks a bit "in your face." Do a dark color wash over it - like watered down dark brown paint or something - very watery - just a hint of a stain. And then wipe it off. It will stick in cracks and character marks but it tones down and adds depth to a too-bright or too-pastel color.

    Another interesting technique is to paint darker colors underneath, lighter coats on top, and sand it to see all the layers of a family of colors. Talk about depth and interest! And I know you're a pro with a sander. :) The cool thing is that if it still looks too bright, raw or pastel, the dark wash works wonders.

    Whaddaya think?

  2. I love the assortment of blues. Very pretty.

  3. Is it silly to say that I love your paint pictures? I mean....I kept waiting to hear you say that you got them from the Sherwin Williams paint site! LOL! Can't wait to see your paint project!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day.

  4. ah-hah! I see now. I was wondering how you came to find the lovely hue once again.
    I saw your after post--love the 3 tables together. Wonderful impact in the room.

    good job, Pat


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