Paint chips.

Last weekend, I finally got to experience the moment I’ve been waiting for all year: I got to march right up to the Wal-Mart paint display and pull out my own little selection of paint chips. 


Some people can stare for hours at baseball cards or comic books. Me? I am absolutely mesmerized by paint chips. I would have stood there for an hour, soaking the color in, if Josh hadn’t forced me to choose a couple so we could go home.

This is probably weird, but I feel as though every little rectangle of pigment is an entire room, begging me to choose it.  The Dover Gray says, Pick me! Pick me!  The Green Ash says, You know I’ll make the room look more sophisticated.  And then the Butternut pipes up, But you always wanted a gold-toned dining room.

It’s very hard to turn any of them down when you know that somewhere, somehow, each color will make somebody’s bedroom or living room or dining room look perfect.  It’s such a huge decision to pick just a few for your own little home. Pastels? Jewel tones? Neutrals? Light or dark? Pure or muted? Background or foreground? It becomes so overwhelming.

Fortunately, my husband calmly pointed out a few of his favorites and gently steered me away from the extremes (a teal dining room could look so striking, don’t you think?). I came away with a fistful of creamy beiges, browns, yellows, greens, and greys, which I contemplated in various lighting situations and finally was able to take to the apartment last night. Current picks (unless vetoed by landlord) are: light yellow-beige in the kitchen and bathroom, light green-grey-blue in the bedroom, and a medium cool brown in the dining room.  The process was complicated by the reddish-brown stained cabinets in the kitchen, the greeny-almond trim that I’ve already mentioned, and the strangely purple-toned white mottled carpet in the living and dining rooms (ugh). But since everything else about the apartment is absolutely fabulous, I am happy to overlook these minor color variations.

I’m trying really hard to stick to neutrals given that a) if I do, I might not have to re-paint when we move out someday and b) I’ve painted with primary colors before and they were harder to work with than I’d thought.  I got so excited about color when I painted my last apartment that I came out with a lemon yellow bedroom, light blue living room, red kitchen, and green bathroom. And then when it was done I looked around and thought about daycares, kindergartens, elementary schools…primary colors can look a little “now we are six” unless you have nice modern furniture, which I didn’t. It’s so much easier to paint with a muted color and add the punch with accents.


I began scrubbing the walls last night in preparation for this weekend’s paint fest. In the process, I discovered that parts of the apartment have been sky blue, petal pink, and fuschia at various times in its life. Mmm, fuschia. Do you ever wonder what your house/condo/apartment looked like when other people lived in it? I think there’s a good chance that the previous tenant will come into our apartment someday (she only moved a few doors down), and I really wonder what she will think. 

Will show plenty of before & after photos – which I always love to see – after the weekend.  The RenFair poster has gone by the wayside, I’m afraid…can only have one painting project at once. And what poster could compete with the fun of transforming your own home into a sea of lovely blue, brown, and beige?


3 thoughts on “Paint chips.

  1. I’m so excited to see your final result! Good luck on the paint colors. I seem doomed to always buying at least three gallons before finding one that actually works.

  2. Don’t give up on the Renfair poster– from what I saw of your plans, and what I know of your talent, I think you really have a chance to win. Just think– if you won, that could be new cushions, new fabric, new candles– or something else to warm up your new place even more.

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