Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paint Testing

Have you ever put off painting a room because you were having trouble deciding on a color?  Or wished that the paint sample was more like an 8x10 or 11x14 inch size rather than the size of a business card?  Am I alone here?

Well, I'm not usually paint shy.  I'm not afraid of color, and I'm not afraid of making the wrong choice.  After all, it is just paint; so any wrong color choices could easily be corrected.  However, when choosing a color for my dining room ceiling (a.k.a. the 5th wall) I have been at a loss trying to decide on the right color.  Why?  Because I really really really dislike the actual painting of a ceiling.  The process, the neck cramp, the pain of it all is just not my favorite thing to do.  It does make such a huge difference in a room though, which is why I'm planning to paint it in the first place.  When I do it; I only want to do it once (which of course I'll probably end up changing in a couple years).  Regardless, I want to make the right paint color choice.  In addition my hope/plan is to use the same color chosen for the dining room ceiling on the walls in the kitchen and on the 5th wall in the hubs office (you may remember those painting projects from my "list of to-do's" for the year) to create a little house flow.  Again this is why it has been quite the struggle for me to just choose a color already!

Interestingly enough Room Remix - The Blog is doing a series about this very issue - paint.  I'm loving this series!  To my surprise a couple of things that I did while trying to decide on a color were given as advice on how to choose a paint color by a few of my favorite bloggers.

After taping a few different samples on the ceiling in the light cream/goldish color I was going for and examining them at different times of day I narrowed it down to one color, Macadamia by Martha Stewart.

 I wanted a cream that had a slight yellow undertone that would warm the room up, but I wanted to keep it light so as not to overpower this tone on tone color scheme I've currently got going on in there.  I feel the need to give Martha a shout out here because her paint samples are by far the largest in comparison to other brands.  I did however have this color matched in Behr (flat is the best for a ceiling).  I've heard Martha's paints are kind of watery?  Although I've never used them; does anyone know if this is true?  Anyhow, I like Behr so I had the color matched at The Home Depot.

Then I grabbed a large canvas (24x36) at Hobby Lobby ($13 - on sale) and gave it 2 coats of my chosen paint color.  The canvas was about the same color white as the ceiling is currently so painting over it would be just like painting over the ceiling color.  Then once it was dry I had the hubs hold it up to the ceiling more times than I care to share :)

To add another log to the fire, I've mentioned before that I want to stencil the ceiling.  Well, I found a stencil that I liked (Hobby Lobby - about $10 on sale) and decided to test it on the canvas as well.  This was great practice as I've never stenciled anything before.  Plus I was able to see that the color (Waverly Cafe Cream - the color that is on the walls of the dining room) I was planning to use over the Macadamia ceiling didn't show up at all!  Let me just say I'm soooo glad that I decided to test this out on the canvas before I attempted this on the ceiling!

See how you don't even see the stencil.  It's there, but you'd never know it!

Then after seeing that this color was not enough of a contrast to the ceiling color, I used a little white acrylic paint that I had in my craft room and went back over the stenciled design by hand.  The brighter white paint color shows up much better.  So now I am  - 1. positive that I love the Macadamia color for the dining room ceiling, the kitchen, and the hub's office ceiling - and 2. not sure about the stencil.  I think this particular stencil is a smaller scaled pattern than what I would like.  I think maybe a larger patterned stencil would be better.  Mainly, I'm just not sure yet.  However, while I'm deciding on that I can at least get the paint color on the 5th wall of the dining room- right?!  I no longer have an excuse to keep putting it off.

So, how do you decide on a paint color?  Ever painted a canvas to sample a color before painting it on a wall or ceiling?  I think this is a really inexpensive way to test a color before taking the plunge.  I would especially recommend doing this to anyone that was hiring out for the paint work.  If you're paying someone to do the painting you definitely want to make sure you've chosen a color that you love!

As far as the stenciling goes, does anyone have any special tips or tricks you'd like to share?  What are your thoughts on this stencil pattern?  Yay or nay?

Linking up over here!

***Check out this more recent post to see what I decided.


  1. I LOVE that stencil!! Its the exact same one I used in my closet office!!

  2. LOVE the stencil! I haven't used stencils too much so I dont have very many tips for you.

  3. I always test paint before buying now. I usually just paint samples on the wall since I know I am going to paint the walls anyway. I love that stencil. Good luck doing that on the ceiling. Talk about neck pain!

  4. I know Kim- I can already feel the neck cramp coming on :) I love the stencil too; I'm just wondering if a larger pattern wouldn't look better and be a little easier to work with on a ceiling?

  5. I love the stencil . . but I can see a larger pattern as well. Especially with it being so high. You can get away with a bolder pattern. Paint choice is so hard!!! I always try to jump in and not look back! Good luck.

  6. I use to buy a gallon of paint and just do it, but now it takes me forever to make a decision. Good luck & I love that stencil.


  7. I loved painted ceilings and I'm in awe that you're going to do it. And the fact that you're going to stencil it, too? Brave. Probably should go ahead and schedule a neck massage for the day after :-). I'm so excited to see how it turns out! This would be the perfect post to link up to the paint party - hope you will.

    Have a good weekend...

  8. Oh - yes- I totally meant to do that! Thanks for the reminder to link up :)

  9. i like the stencil! lovely greetings

  10. You might look at "Cutting Edge Stencils" they have large size stencils for walls/ceilings. I found them from another blog. They did the ceiling --it is on the Cutting Edge website


  11. I love the stencil. You may need to go with a bolder color though to really make it work. I'm considering doing something cool on my half-bath ceiling (it's small!) so may go to Hobby Lobby to check out their options!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


design + development by kelly christine studio