One grey, two grey, three grey, four

BathroomPaint5

Color is in some ways the simplest of fixes. On the many home buying shows that we used to watch, someone invariably walks into a home and declares “I don’t like the color” as if that is the sole criteria by which a space should be judged. Not the location or layout or any of a million things difficult to change, but color. Something that a gallon of paint can remedy.

So color is easy, in theory. Except that you have to pick the color. And that’s kind of nerve wracking. Especially on short notice.

BathroomPaint1

On Friday our contractor told us that because they would lay tile the following week, they needed to paint on Monday. I always pictured painting walls as something done late in the game, but I guess that’s from the perspective of someone who’s only painted rooms that are already built. In this case, why bother taping off the tile when you could just paint before the tile is even there?

BathroomPaint3

Our Saturday morning mission: select a neutral color that would complement the many shades of warm grey in our palette. We quickly passed by the riotous color of the paint shop displays and zeroed in on a limited universe of grey, grey, and more grey (maybe even a little gray).

BathroomPaint2

It didn’t take us long to narrow in on a particular color family, but then the nitpicking began. This one was too pink, those were too green. And within each color family there arose another bit of drama -  is the third one up too dark, or the first one in the series too light?

BathroomPaint4

We finally settled on “Waynesboro Taupe” an innocuous brownish grey that was almost the exact color as some of our mosaic accent tile. Great we thought, it will create harmony by linking the accent tile to the vanity area, across the expanse of white tile that separates them. The store mixed it up in a premium low-VOC formula. We brought it home, slapped a sample on the wall, and decided that it was way too dark.

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So what did we do? We jumped three rungs up the color chart, headed back to the paint store before closing, (our last chance, they wouldn’t be open Sunday) and returned home with warm concrete grey called “London Fog.” It’s like a super neutral.

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So far it seems to be the right choice. Applied across the expanse of wall between shower and tub surround it picks up the tile tones while receding into the background. Walking into the space, our first thought is not “what color are the walls” but “wow look at that awesome window.”

Now we need to find another project for our gallon of semi-gloss Waynesboro Taupe. Hmmm, downstairs bathroom need a makeover too?

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