Picking a new paint color is not as easy as it seems. Aside from having all your roommates (e.g. husband and kids…oldest of whom is unhappy with any choice besides pink or purple) agree on the color, or at least, color family, there are about 10,000 choices to make after that. You have to decide what brand, what exact shade of the 500 choices they have in each brand, what sheen, whether you need primer, will it go with furniture/tile/granite/flooring/trim paint, does it look good in each lighting situation….good grief, the list goes on!
We had at least picked a general color: Grey….don’t tell my oldest girl, she’ll be annoyed.
I was looking for a grey that wasn’t too much like concrete, but not so green or blue or pink either (yes, all those colors are possible – even in grey). I was looking for something more grey than linen, not too dark, that contrasts with our white and dark brown furnishings, and only takes 2 coats to cover the current paint color. I think I picked up and sorted through literally 200 swatches of “greige” (grey-ish beige). I picked up 10 samples of paint from 3 different stores, on 5 different occasions in addition to some I had from a previous project….bringing the total to 15 samples from 4 stores. Here’s what I discovered:
- Sherwin Williams - at their stand-alone stores: paint samples (1 qt @ $6 ea) do not match the swatch and take 3-4 coats (!) to cover.
- Valspar - at Lowes: paint samples (8 oz @ $2 ea) kind of match the swatches and take 3-4 coats (!) to cover.
- Behr Ultra – at Home Depot: paint samples (8 oz @ $3 ea) in darker shades match the swatches in 2 coats.
- Behr Premium Plus – at Home Depot: paint samples ($?) take more than 3 coats to match the swatch…but I gave up because I decided I didn’t like the color.
- Benjamin Moore – at Ace Hardware: paint samples (2 oz @ $4 ea) match their swatches in 1-2 coats and I believe BM paint is THE best. Ever.
Every time I have used Benjamin Moore paint, I have been enthusiastically satisfied with its coverage, low odor, and fast drying time. Their paint is far superior (in my opinion) to Behr, Valspar, and Sherwin Williams. However, the new Behr Ultra paint with the paint-and-primer-in-one is earning some high marks. (and it costs A LOT less @$30/gal vs. $50/gal for BM)
The funny thing about the paint color I’ve chosen is that I didn’t even get a sample for it until today. Yesterday, I finished painting the samples on the dining room wall and, through process of elimination and comparing what was on the wall to other paint swatches I’d collected, I found that I liked a previously eliminated swatch best of all. In my frustration with Sherwin Williams’ mis-matched samples, I blended together 1 part Universal Khaki and 1 part Amazing Gray and found that I liked that color best of all. Knowing that SW didn’t mix it right and that their paint takes 3-4 coats to cover, I figured I should flip through my Behr Ultra swatches to find one that closely matched my creation and would only take 2 coats to cover.
That’s when I found it: Perfect Taupe. Of course. The one that’s named Perfect. Naturally.
So here it is, folks….our new downstairs paint color, Perfect Taupe by Behr Ultra…