My Paint Color Disaster: Don’t Let This Happen to You

By anonymous.

Every other year or so I take it upon myself to do something different to the house. Occasionally I will buy a new living room chair or a new piece of art for over the couch. I have changed drapes, retiled the floor in the dining room, installed wall to wall mirrors and then later took them down, installed carpet and had it removed, and gone through several sofas in the past few years. That sounds like a lot, right? It isn’t even scratching the surface of what I am capable of. You could call me a home décor obsessive compulsive if you will. Either way, I have had lots of catastrophes with my home redecorating vibe and nothing has been quite like this. All because of some paint color.

Looking back on it, I should have gone back and asked for more help from the friendly folks at the home improvement store. They are usually pretty nice, but I like to shop alone.

Anyhow, I picked out some paint that I thought would work well. It was a red color; something that I thought would bring some warmth into the living area of my home. I picked it out, took it home, and went to painting. I am a very neat person, so I didn’t bother getting any coveralls, drop cloths, or anything like that. I have never had an issue with paint before.

I got to painting. Boy, was it a task. I had to get a ladder and get up into some pretty high corners. I used a roller and it had things looking great but I never use enough paint that way. In an effort to fix that, I poured some more paint in my tray and rolled my roller through it. I didn’t let as much of the paint just roll off as I normally do, and what did I do? I dropped paint on the coffee table—right on top of it. Luckily, I was able to clean it right off with a damp cloth but it was too close for comfort for me. Half an inch to the left and I would have destroyed some of the most expensive carpet I have ever laid eyes on, so I stopped what I was doing and went out to buy a drop cloth.

Here is a tip: don’t let your frugality get in the way of protecting your home! You spend all of that money on paint; you may as well go the extra mile and get the extra supplies that are going to make it easier for you and safer on your décor. Drop cloths, coveralls, masking tape, and things like that are of the utmost importance when it comes to painting a room in your home—especially if you are a beginner like me.

This was not the end of my catastrophe with this living room painting project. It got worse from there; I finished painting the whole room after about a day or so. I gave it a second coat, put my furniture back in and the color didn’t match at all. That was more frustrating than I could possibly say; it wasn’t just a bad match—it looked awful! It was the wall color or my beautiful new furniture and I wasn’t sending my furniture back anywhere. Of course, I had to head back out and find a different color.

This time it was harder to find the color I wanted. I was suspicious of every color palette that I found; I would look at it and wonder what it was going to look like once it was dry. This time I decided to talk to the sales guy about what happened to me, and he mixed me a little bit of every color that I was considering.

That was a great idea; I don’t know if that is their policy but it really worked well for me. I took the different colors home, painted them on a wall and let them dry. That worked great: I was able to compare their true finished colors and get an idea of what mixed best and I didn’t end up going with a red tone at all. I landed on a warm, chocolate color that really brought out the colors in my home.

As you can see, I learned an expensive lesson with this home painting experience. Everything had to be perfect—it was the living room, the showcase of my home. I owed it to myself to do it right and make it a beautiful thing. I had a vision for my living room and small catastrophe through large catastrophe I thought I saw that vision crumbling for a few moments.

I learned some lessons. Take your time. Make sure you don’t spend money on gallons and gallons of the WRONG color. Get drop cloths, aprons, coveralls, edger’s, tape, and anything else you need to get the job done right rather than try to be frugal and end up potentially destroying your carpet or furniture.

The best paint colors from Sherwin Williams – “Paint Color Cheat Sheets” – A great short-cut to finding a perfect paint color.

Find answers to your paint color questions.

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