The Dining Room in our new house was dark red. Red paint is a funny thing – I feel like very few people are luke warm about red paint. It’s not my favorite and so I was planning to paint over it at some point in the first few months of living here to make the room lighter and brighter, but I’m not outrageously offended by red paint and it wasn’t the first room I was going to tackle. I have lots of friends who love red, and do red well. I know lots of people who can’t stand red. So let’s just all declare that it’s a color that creates a strong reaction one way or another in most people and leave it at that, sound good? However, Mr. B couldn’t handle the red. I was kind of surprised by this – he definitely has opinions about things he likes better than others decor wise, but he’s not the type of husband who would walk into a house and say, “We have to paint this room (insert whatever color he loves here)”. So, I was surprised that he felt strongly against a particular color. On the first night in our new house B said to me, “I really really really want to paint the dining room. Tomorrow.” I said, “Absolutely, if it’s bothering you, let’s paint it.” Again, I had always planned to paint it, just wasn’t my top priority. And then I remembered that he’s red-green color blind. I forget this, because he compensates so well for it in his day to day life, but red is not an attractive color the way Mr. B sees the world. So, the dining room became the first priority.
So I marched off to Benjamin Moore for a gallon of Gray Owl cut to 50%. Last winter I really wanted to paint our downstairs (which was Benjamin Moore Powell Buff) gray, and had picked Benjamin Moore Gray Owl as my winner, when I realized that I would have to chagne a lot of things to make the gray work – like curtain panels, etc. And knowing we were in our house at the time for another year to two max, I held off. Glad I did seeing as how not even six months later we’re no longer living there (especially since the buyer and her realtor adored the color and asked me how to pick colors during the final walk through. My answer? “No clue, I just picked this out of the Pottery Barn catalog”.) But back to the dining room.
I’d seen lots of hints on Pinterest to cut grays by 50% when getting them mixed, and since the dining room has very little natural light, I thought that was a good choice. Benjamin Moore was super helpful and recommended two to three gallons to cover the red. But at their paint prices (I really like their paint and have found that their formulas aren’t color matched very well at other places, so I shell out the money for the real deal), I chose to go the primer route first. We bought a 2 gallon bucket of Kilz Premium Primer, and used it all (3 coats of primer! My arm was killing me!) . The next day, my mom came up and we painted the dining room during nap time. Should I have been getting things ready for Tom and Nell’s birthday party tomorrow instead? Yes. But I’m good at not sleeping, everything will be fine.
I love this color! It’s very light, but just gray enough. And it’s a very true gray (word of warning: I’ve heard that when it’s color matched elsewhere, it often reads too blue or too green). It has some brown in it, which makes it a “truer” gray according to the Benjamin Moore guy. Here it is in natural light and artificial (with some natural light) so you can see the color variation.
I’m not labeling anything as an after yet, but this is progress. Please excuse the bins of Thomas’s baby clothes we still have to move to the basement storage section. Moving man, takes a lot of work.
Again, not an after, just progress. This won’t be the final piece of furniture we use as a buffet/china cabinet. But until I find something perfect, we had it and it does the job. Also, this paint choice solidified the decision to paint the entire house. The two neutrals don’t play well together. Plus, the house is 12 years old and hasn’t been painted in about that long, it’s due for some paint.
So that’s the first change we made to the house. What do you think? Still to do (with no time frame in mind): Replace the chandelier with something a little more in line with my “urban cottage” style; replace or paint the baseboards (we’re leaning towards replacing them with chunkier, craftsman trim, but we’ll see), a cool old buffet or hutch to hold our wedding china. Mr. B wants to replace the dining room table, too. We’ll see, I love that table.