We are giving our Barn House a fresh color of paint this weekend, and the old girl is looking Migh-tay Fine in her new shade! It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since the last paint job...but as we cleaned and prepped the faded yellow we could see just how much the house needed it. Ugh, was it really this bad??
After dreaming of endless possibilities for new color schemes, it seemed we could only decide on a color that was almost exactly like what we already had. Sherwin Williams makes budget paint samples and we had tried several. The one we'd hoped would be perfect looked positively awful on the wall. The next one was far too wimpy. Another, too bright. We wanted oomph, but finally settled for "safe," so off to the paint store we went, resignedly.
Part way through the 5 gallon bucket we bought, Tom laid down the roller and said, "I'm not going to all this trouble to get exactly what we already have. Look at this! You can't even tell where I've painted! We've gotta find something more inspiring!"
He was right. It was just too blah. We looked again at the paint strips that had been our finalists, and decided that what we needed was a deeper shade of our 5-gallon loser. Although we hated to spend another $120.00, the thought of spending 5 more years with a color we were already tired of gave us the courage to splurge.
And what joy, what ecstacy! What a thrill to see liquid beauty being rolled out over the miles of siding that covers this barn! Buttery, warm, not-too-tan, not-too-lemony, "Golden Fleece" (SW 6388) is just what we were hoping for.
So here are my tips for finding your own perfect shade:
1. Be nosy. Look at houses you drive by and don't be afraid to ring the doorbell if you see something you like. We stopped on a busy street and held our paint chips up to a charming house we liked and it really helped us narrow the field.
2. Check out the color combo cards at the paint store. The paint companies have spent millions of dollars coming up with great combinations, so don't look down your nose at an "off the card" design! Sherwin has a Paint Visualizer online to help you find a good exterior combo.
3. Look in the "Historic Color" collections. These colors are tried and true gems. Generally not too bright or garish...two looks you want to avoid.
4. Try the samples. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have small (less expensive) samples, but don't be afraid to buy a quart of the real deal and brush some of it on so you can see it.
5. Look at your paint samples in different lights. Paint several spots so you can see how it looks at different times of the day. Squint and look through a round "O" you make with your fingers. It might not help, but you will look like you know what you are doing. I'm a professional and that's what I do.
6. Look at the other colors of things you cannot change. Green roof? Red bricks? Paint your sample up next to those things and see if you like it.
7. Pick the right sheen. We chose exterior FLAT, but if you like eggshell or semigloss, make sure you like the sheen before you fork over enough for the entire house.
8. Use a good quality paint. I happen to love Sherwin Williams over the "Big Box" store brands, and use their "SuperPaint" line. It is thick and covers well. Painting is a big job, and you hate to have to do more coats than you need to. You get what you pay for.
9. Don't be afraid to start over if you don't like the way the color is looking when you are part way through. Most people only paint their home every 5-7 years (or more!). You want to love driving up to your home and seeing it in splendid color, rather than feeling underwhelmed because you didn't want to "waste" what you started with. Live, woman, LIVE!
My arm is aching from cutting in corners and trim all day long. But, oh, it is so worth it. This frumpy old place is getting a new lease on life and I'm really, really excited. A new color is good for the soul, AND good for the eyes.
I'm already imagining what SW 6328 "Fireweed" will look like on the doors.....simply smashing!