Have You Ever…….. Had Trouble Picking Paint Colors?

Over the last week, my husband and I decided that we needed to paint the “den” area off of our kitchen and the kitchen itself. These two rooms flow together and when we noticed the ceiling over the patio door had some splotchy areas that turned out to be dust or accumulated dirt, it pushed us over the edge of decision-making.

My husband, being the good guy that he is, promptly cleaned the spots and they are gone for the most part. But, after he finished he reported that we “probably need to paint the ceiling” and since there is no divider of any kind between these two rooms that form an open concept living space, there is no choice but to paint the kitchen ceiling as well.

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The color of the ceiling does not pose a challenge of any kind – it is white and needs to be painted white. However, it is also consists of the dreadful “popcorn” effect and will be somewhat of a challenge to paint even though the color choice is a no brainer!

The family room or “den” is currently a very light creamy yellow. I am sure I can pick something to go with the brown sectional and chocolate-brown leather, mission style recliners, and mission style oak furniture my husband crafted.


The kitchen is where I will really have a problem.  Upon deciding to paint the ceiling, my spouse said, “are you going to change the colors of the kitchen walls?”  Well……yeah! Our kitchen was last painted in the summer of 2011. I know because my oldest son and I were in Washington D.C. for the national phase of the National History Day competition. I helped to chaperon this trip of four students, so while we were gone, he installed new countertops, a new sink, and painted the walls.


My choice at the time (2011) was called Grecian Seas.  It is a deep teal. I love how it looks and have acquired many aqua and teal ceramic pots, glassware, and even an aqua Kitchenaid mixer, but it is time for a change! I know this because the trend has caught up to me and what was my pick in 2011, is now the 2019 Color of the Year, according to the Pittsburgh Paint Company brochures! Of course, it is named something different now, Night Watch, but it is very much the same tone of deep teal green!


UGH! This always seems to happen to me. I pick something, and then, it becomes trendy years later! Do not think that I am delusional enough to think I am a trendsetter, for I am not. Not that many people have visited my kitchen. And, I do not troll Pinterest, as the sight actually overwhelms me with what everyone else views as “picture perfect”  or the “trendiest” colors.  Contrary to what you might now think, I have a more independent decorating soul than that and it has served me well in the past.  But, I do seem to have special senses when it comes to colors and tone.


The problem I have, besides wanting to change a color that is now in vogue, is picking a new one! Our trim is oak, not white. Have you ever noticed that in most, if not all, of the paint brochures, the colors are shown against a white trim or white moulding? Well, they are! And, of course, this is because white – or the absence of color – better shows the color you are choosing.  However, when you are attempting to choose a color to butt up against oak moulding, the choices are not as clear. The color you select might not ring as true as it does on the chip or against white moulding.

Our very first house, a 1912 federal style period house, had moulding made from sweet gum wood. It was nice, but when we gutted the entire place – room by room – we found the moulding was brittle and cracked upon being taken off. So, my husband fashioned new moulding and we painted it all white. It was sharp! And, my color choices were true.  But, that was in New York, about 30 years ago.

Now, in Wisconsin, we have oak trim. It’s okay, but for the reasons cited above, it is so hard for me to pick out new colors when we decide it is time to paint! Have you ever had trouble picking paint colors?

I also seem swayed by the names of the paint colors themselves. I tend to choose something nature based, rather than a color with a utilitarian or whimsical name. I think that is really odd! But, I remember most of the paint color names for many years after the job has been completed. The names stick with me!  Those paint companies sure do their advertising jobs well! It makes me wonder whether I am really picking the color I like or the name of the color that I like best. Now, I’m afraid these realizations might stifle my choice.


Anyway, I stopped at the local home improvement store today and gathered a number of paint chips to bring home and analyze.  Holding them against my oak trim and cabinets will make my choice all the more difficult.  But, unfortunately, it is the best I can do.  Under these circumstances it might take a while!

There is one thing I know for sure, however, and it applies to those trends that I don’t really care about. It’s this: what comes around goes around! My once unique kitchen color of deep teal is trendy right now, but it will be out of vogue just as surely as avocado green and butterscotch yellow are now.

Feel free to let me know what you think. I also hope you stop back to  look for a future post once I decide on my next kitchen color!

8 thoughts

  1. When I worked in homebuilding we often suggested painting an area of a wall where you could view it all hours of the day for the lighting effect. Good, keep it up for a week or so then if you like it move forward. Happy painting I’m sure it will work out great

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently painted a whole house and I’m a designer with lots of experience in color its effect. The most valuable tipp I can give is that: If you choose your wall color, always choose one or two tones less saturated and one tone lighter than you intend it to be. On a big surface the effect is always more intense and dark than on a small one :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Our walls are dark, as you saw in the photo but it works as I’ve brought in pottery, in lighter tones for accent. The cabinets are oak and the counters are a speckled brown. Initially, I was afraid of it being too dark. But, we’ve loved it and the room also gets a lot of natural light. For me, it is about the “change” – I get very used to how things look and envisioning something different is very hard. Besides, I still do like this color. But, I do not like thought of as trendy. That is definitely not what I’m going for. Thanks for your thoughts! Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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