OK, so this isn't exactly a home repair question...it's more a decorating
question. I am somewhat lacking the decorating gene that is apparent in most
women, so anyhow...
Our house is mostly painted in neutral, safe colours that go with pretty
much everything. In other words, blah. I am not a beige/white/offwhite walls
type of person, so I've got some plans for painting. Adding some COLOUR, as
well as some texture to the walls with some vibrant paints and glaze.
I rarely see homes that have deep colours on the walls. My question is, am I
opening a big can of worms here? You can always paint over colours you don't
like of course, but with the deeper hues that I'm thinking of, it's probably
going to take some work to restore it to something safer if we decide we
don't like it.
Do any of you have experience using dark colours on walls? Did you
like/dislike the results? How difficult was it to return a room to its
original state if you (or someone else) couldn't live with it?
Try adding color first, and work with textures after you're more comfortable
and confident making "drastic" changes.
After years with "eggshell" and "antique whites" I painted 2 Livingroom walls
with cranberry. Took 2 days to fall in love with the warmth and the contrast
but it brought out the oak floors and oak baseboards and actually compliments a
Don't be afraid of color it's easy to change if you don't like it.
Yes, I've seen some awesome colours...I've got more paint chips than I can
count. I've had lots of recommendations for Pittsburg paints, and that's
what we've been using. We already did our bathrooms with a deep green colour
applied with sponges, and I love it. It did make the rooms look a bit
smaller I guess, but we were very pleased with the results. Fortunately I
have a husband who is not afraid to live in a brightly coloured home!
The technique I'm contemplating next is 'ragging off.' Put one colour on the
wall and let it dry, mix another colour with glaze and apply on top, then
remove much of the top coat to let the bottom show through. I'm thinking of
using contrasting colours for the base and top coats, the end result will be
rather dramatic. I'm going to give it a go on some foam board or something
first though and see what it looks like.
Excellent. You won't regret going wild with color, but do take a look
at the various matching palettes the different manufacturers put
together. Good combinations can be found from Polo (don't buy the
paint, just look at the big brochures) and other fancy names.
For best results, don't do the actual ragging off alone. One of you
(perhaps your husband?) should roll on the paint, properly thinned
with Floetrol or similar slow-drying agent (I didn't use glaze, but
that's another option), and the other should follow immediately and
rag off. You'll love the results; I think it looks a lot better than
sponging. For your first time, try two related colors, one darker
than the other. See how that looks before adding a third. I tend to
go light base with dark emphasis, but others do the reverse. That
third color could be the contrast you want.
I painted a bedroom - with satin in a cinnabar color - and did not care for
it - the paint was too glossy, which gave it a blah feel and not the warmth
I was looking for from the color. I repainted with a dark flat cranberry
color - it took about 1-2 days to get the feel for it and now I love it. It
does take two coats (with a darker color) and it is a bear to trim at the
ceiling, but it looks great and was worth it.
Remove NOSPAM from e-mail address when you reply
"KD" < snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
There is an excellent and cheap tool for "trimming at the ceiling."
In fact, it's my favorite painting tool. I don't know what it's called,
but it's a flat pad in a plastic holder with two little wheels on one
side. If used correctly, it makes trimming at the ceiling a breeze.
We painted our bedroom orangem and our living room (light) purple (we
were also tired of the neutral/beige look).
We put in new moulding in the bedroom and stained it dark. It sets off
the walls and carpeting very nicely.
We haven't tried painting over either room, so I don't know how hard it
is to cover them up,
I finally got around to painting and did use some colo(u)r. I got the
nerve after watching hours and hours of Christopher Lowell, While You Were Out,
and Trading Spaces, along with other similar decorating shows.
I painted my living room a sort of moss green. (I always paint the ceiling two
shades lighter than the walls. Makes it look higher.) Since the living room,
dining room and kitchen all connect, I painted the dining room wainscoating
the same moss green and the dining room and kitchen walls a shade of
peach. (Probably too pastely for some folks.) I also painted my kitchen
cabinets the same moss green and used a dark green glaze on the cabinet
doors to jazz things up a little.
I love it! I, too, was stuck in the off-white rut and hated it.
Before I did too much, I painted a corner of the dining room and looked at
it for a few days until I decided that I liked it. Then, and only then, did I
continue to paint the rest of the kitchen/dining room.
I recently finished painting my master bedroom a medium blue that would
probably be too dark for most people. I figured it was safe because it's a
very large room. Again, the ceiling is two shades lighter. I'm very happy with
how it turned out, too. It's not completely finished. I'm going to add some
accents using a sort of taupe shade of paint.
If you're worried that you (or someone else) won't like it, just do a small
space and look at it for a day or two.
As far as returning it to its original state, well, you'll just have to paint
over whatever you painted. (Another good reason to test a small area!)
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any specific questions.
BTW, I don't have that decorating gene, either, but I recently took some
art classes and, as I said, have been watching a lot of decorating shows!
If you get BBCAmerica, watch a few episodes of 'Changing Rooms.' Their
web site has a *lot* of colorful examples, too. These people are *not*
afraid of color!
Not everything appeals to me, but if an episode description mentions
"Moroccan," take a look.
You might also look up some references to "Williamsburg" color
schemes. These feature rather strong dusty blues, greens, and rose
It may take 2 coats of 'light' to cover a 'vivid', but paint decisions
Well, I've painted most of my house in "darker" colors. I think it looks
great - I get sick of looking at bland neutrality (I had a hard time
convincing the wife - but after it was done she really liked it). My house
is a colonial so perhaps it is more conducive to that type of painting?
Anyway - my living room has a dark blue horizontal paneling to the chair
rail (The paneling is tongue and groove pine) and a darker red from there to
the ceiling which is white. I stick with semi gloss paints as the more
glossy the paints get the worse I feel the darker colors appear. At night
the room just "feels" real warm with the lamp light not being really
reflected off a glossy wall. I also utilized a border atop the chair rail
around the room which, I think, greatly adds to the transition. The border
I had picked before the paint and had the paint store match the blue to the
In my son's room I painted the bottom portion of the room dark blue (A
different shade then the living room - and painted from the floor to the
bottom of the window sill. I had the paint store match the blue to the blue
in the paper) and then papered the top with a white paper that had red,
yellow and blue squares, triangles and circles. I then put a sesame street
border between the paint and the paper.
In my room I did a similar treatment I painted the bottom portion of the
wall red (Different then the living room color - I had the shop match the
red to the roses on the paper), up to the chair rail. I then papered the
top with a rose patterned paper with a backing that is sort of a dark
tanish. I then put a rose border around the chair rail.
All in all I am really pleased with the use of more "vivid" colors. The one
thing I would recommend is to definitely stay away from glossy paint.
No dark colors in my home, but I've seen others that are fantastic.
First experience was a friend who had a deep, vivid red dining room.
Very large and light, so's it didn't look like the inside of a lipstick
tube :o) Next was my daughter's deep purple dining room. Fantastic!
Would you believe green and orange trim?
Hubby and I got brave and got an oriental rug with mainly tomato red,
and beige blue accents. Tomato red went on the chairs. Walls, tile
off-white and taupe. I'm a beige/blue person :o)
The room itself should be considered - a place where you spend a lot of
time you may not want a deep color. Color supposedly affects mood, too.
Long winters with little sun may be tough, with a dark blue or green
room it may be depressing. Red, orange supposedly are stimulating. The
size of the room and amount of lighting, as well as other components in
the room, make a difference, too.
Go for it. You can paint over anything. Some deep colors, especially
red and blue, are tough to cover with (label will say so). They can
also be tougher to cover. Count on needing more paint when using a very
Thanks for your input everybody! I'm going to give it a go in the living
room, give it a nice warm colour...but as a trial, I'm going to do the coat
closet first! I'm thinking of a yellow base coat, then ragging off a nice
PEI mud colour. (that's sort of a brick/terracotta colour for those of you
unfamiliar with the colour of mud in PEI) :) It should be interesting! I
have tan chairs in there with a print that includes a bit of that shade in
it, so it should work out pretty well.
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