My Home Interior Paint Selection Tips

Basement Progress

With the basement drywall complete, the next logical step is painting of course.

I usually paint walls after we “move in” so to speak – after the flooring and trim is in. But in this case, if I paint now, I don’t have to mask anything off and don’t have to worry about drop cloths covering the flooring. Without the tile or trim installed, now is the time to make painting an easier chore. I am assuming though that I will have to touch up a few things after the trim is in but otherwise I going with the plan that this will save me some time and effort.

I took advantage of a 40% off sale at Sherwin Williams this weekend and picked up all of our paint and primer for the basement. Total cost, including a couple of sundry items, was around $400. My labor is free.

I thought the project would take a weekend, but here we are on day four, with at least one more day to go. The basement has over 2,000 square feet of paintable surfaces, not including the trim which will be painted white later when it’s installed.

It’s a relaxing project, and it makes me get some exercise so I don’t mind. I talk about colors and color selection later in this post.

Also exciting this week, I picked up all of our tile for the basement. It took two trips with our 4×6 trailer. 667 pieces of 6″ x 36″ porcelain tile total. It is amazing how much tile weighs when you have to move the boxes by hand. We lucked out in that each pallet of 252 pieces fit through the door of the enclosed trailer. The first load let me know that my trailer tires were pitifully under inflated. After unloading, I aired them up and returned for the second load. The excess boxes of 7 tiles apiece easy stacked in the back of the RAV4.

Now we just need to move all 95 boxes down to the basement from the garage. My back will be happy when this basement project is over.

Fingers crossed we can start laying tile in the next week or two.

My Paint Selection Tips For Your Home

As you may or may not know, we’ve chosen Sherwin Williams HGTV Global Spice palette as the general guide for our home decor. Nearly every wall color we’ve used is off of this palette. This has been our “Bible” so speak, but alarmingly Sherwin Williams dropped three colors and replaced them with three new ones.

Oh no! What the hell?!

It took me a while but I’ve come to terms with the new palette colors, which include a replacement for the Edamame (SW 7729) green that we painted the upstairs bathroom. Also Gallant Gold (SW 6391) is gone (we never used it), and Grandeur Plum (SW 6565) is of off the list (an awful for walls, purple color).

As a designer I like the idea that Sherwin Williams’ color experts have assembled a group of diverse colors that all work well with each other. This way I can spend my time painting, and being imaginative with which colors I want to use and how I want to use them.

We selected these colors from the Global Spice palette for the basement:

Cloudburst (SW 6487) for the bathroom (new blue color on the GS palette)

Loggia (SW 7506) which is a fantastic neutral tan, for the living area

Resort Tan (SW 7550), a dark mushroom color for my office (also used it in our living room upstairs)

Cavern Clay (SW 7701) for the storage cubby / play fort under the stairs (a deep earth tone that I’ve wanted to use for quite some time now)

I painted the entire basement with VOC free Harmony primer, and used top of the line VOC free Emerald paint for the walls in a satin finish

Wondering what to do color-wise for your next painting project? Here are my design tips:

  1. Pick A Palette – All paint suppliers have cards of colors that work well together. Pick what you like and go with it. We like earthy palettes because they seem more natural. But if historical or Mediterranean is your thing, go for it. Get something with a few colors from multiple color families – i.e. greens, browns, tans, reds, blues, etc.
  2. Try Monochrome or Tones – Often you can get paint chips on a card with 2-5 other colors that are various shades of the same color. Pick one color off of the card to be your main color, then select a color two shades darker or lighter to use as a compliment. In our last house we chose four colors off of the same card, and painted our kitchen, dinette, family room and fireplace alcove in the order the colors were on the card, lightest to darkest. It created a wonderful color changing graduation across a huge open space. The changing light throughout the day and evening made for a subtle yet interesting effect.
  3. Use Earth Tones Instead of Beige Everywhere – I feel strongly that every room should be a different color, even if the changes are subtle. There is an infinite palette of really nice earth tones that can be used instead of painting everything white, off-white or beige. Infuse subtle yellows, browns, rust reds, sage and plum into your color scheme. Earth tones are natural, inspired by nature and never go out of style
  4. Include Unexpected Touches – Highlight your home color scheme by painting a room or even just a wall with a bold color from your palette. Bathrooms or small bedrooms are a great opportunity for a fun color (or even wall paper) to create some interest in the home. In large rooms I love to paint one wall a contrasting color, or a different tone of color. The front wall of our home is a subtle yellow tone, that is found nowhere else and travels across three other rooms, each painted their own complimentary color
  5. Paint A Few Ceilings – There is no reason all of your ceilings should be white. Hopefully you have a “knockdown” texture on your ceiling or better yet, have no texture on your ceiling and then paint it. That yellow color on the front wall of our home? It carry’s over onto the kitchen ceiling to define that space in an otherwise open floor plan. In the bathroom downstairs, the ceiling and walls are all an earthy blue color. Painted ceilings help cocoon you and make you feel at home
  6. Consistent Trim – I happen to prefer the pure line that wide, simple profile white trim brings to the story of your home color scheme. It helps separate color spaces; floor and wall. And it’s universal – goes with everything. For an earthier look, try an off-white or medium toned trim color. But  I feel like the whole house should use one trim color and go with it. Don’t mix and match trim colors. It’ll just look disjointed.
  7. Don’t Use Purple – Actually I feel like you should be able to use whatever color you like, but I just don’t like bright purples (or other bright colors) for walls; other than the occasional unexpected touch. I prefer a neutral, earthy look and feel for the walls. Then add in pops of color with your furniture and accessories. Earth tones give you a huge array of decor possibilities. A color like purple means you’ll be stuck neutralizing it with boring tan furniture, instead of the other way around. I’d rather the background, which is what the walls are, is more subtle. Then the items in the room can be where the interest is at. Save the purple, bright blues, retina burning reds or acid greens for your couch, accessories or pillows.
  8. Go Dark – Don’t be afraid to paint an entryway, family room or other space a dark color. Colors like SW Plum Brown (SW6273) , Sable (SW 6083) , and Sealskin (SW 7675) are great colors for transitional spaces. Our basement is actually a few darker colors. You’d think that would be counterintuitive, but dark colors embrace you and can make wide monotonous spaces smaller. The darkness can be offset with white ceilings, and lighter furniture and accessories. The only down side is that you’ll likely need 2-3 coats of paint to get the look you want.
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