Paint color fail.

“It will probably look better in evening light.”  “The floors are probably making it look brighter.”  “I’m sure it dries much more muted.”  “Blue isn’t so bad.  It’s kind of soothing, right?”

I made these excuses and more on Sunday.  We wanted a nice, pale, smokey gray for the office.  I found Heavy Goose from the Martha Stewart line and thought it was perfect.  I spent the whole day painting.  Over the course of the day I started making the above excuses.  I hoped if I just got the whole room painted it would work out.

Finally when the first coat was finished I had to break down and admit it.  The color is wrong.  It’s nowhere near a smokey gray.  It’s blue.  Nursery baby blue.  If you are having a little boy or really love pastels, I’m sure it’s a lovely color.  But it’s not at all what I had in mind.  What a waste of a day.  It won’t be staying.  This will be a shared space and I want it to be somewhat masculine.  I don’t know when it will get painted or what color I’ll use but it will change.

Any thoughts?  Suggestions for a new color?  Have you ever picked the wrong color?  Did you live with it or repaint?  Did you go with a totally different color?  Or just tint it in the right direction?



  1. I’ve always found mixing paint to be a really dodgy thing. I can’t believe there isn’t a more accurate system. It seems like, whenever I’ve painted a room, the color is always a bit off. Usually we just learn to live with it.

    There was one time, when I was younger; my parents wanted to paint our front door and shutters a nice, rich maroony-red color. We picked out the perfect paint chip but when we applied it to the door it was dusty pink. Terrible. We DID repaint that.

  2. Ugh. I hate that! Try looking into Farrow and Ball paint colors – they do excellent smokey, muted colors. I bought one of their sample books and have the guys at Sherwin Williams match the colors for me (they can look up the exact color formulas) so no guessing on what it will turn out like. Good Luck!

  3. Painting is so frustrating… I can’t imagine having to do it AGAIN after putting all the work in….

  4. You know, the only time I have had this problem has been with the Martha Stewart line of paints. I bought what I thought was a nice crisp but slightly subdued blue for our kitchen and once on the walls it looked like the type of blue you would paint at a day care for boys – very in your face and not pleasant at all like the sample. We had to paint all over it again with a shade a blue that was a bit more muted.

    I also find that when you look at paint chips the colour its shows when it is laying horizontal – which is how we tend to view them naturally, can be quite different from how it looks when the colour is painted on vertical walls. It can look so completely different.

  5. Darn it that is so annoying. It doesn’t look so bad in the photo but I can see it’s pretty light. I love the smokey grey idea so I hope you find the right one!!

  6. We painted our house a nice grey….er, blue. Yeah, the OUTSIDE of the house. Our brand new house that we were over budget on already. Blue. Not what we expected or wanted. Especially when I TOOK the paint chip over to a house in the next neighborhood and made sure it matched. (The GREY of the other house.) So maybe it’s a grey/blue thing. I don’t know. But we never did have the money to repaint that house before we moved. So, I feel (or rather, felt) your pain. (It was actually handy for the neighborhood. Take a left at the blue house….or, we are the fourth house down from the blue house….was something we heard often. We were the point of reference. So, I guess our epic fail was a benefit, at least! ) Sorry, but yours doesn’t look as bad at least for your neighbors!

  7. Grey and Blue do, do that! We did the same thing, but to our studio. And with a very grey cement floor the blue just stood out as BLUE! Go with a warm grey instead, with brown undertones maybe? I’m sure you are already done painting this part haha, Your house looks great and now I can live through you and your house crazyness for a bit until we make the big jump ourselves. Best of luck!

  8. holy cow! i did the exact same thing!! i looked and looked and looked for a GRAY gray and i really thought this was it. mine also looks like a pastel blue, no matter what the lighting is. out of the the 9 swatches i chose heavy goose seemed the least purple/blue.

    here is my blog with all of my swatches. i haven’t posted the results yet because i haven’t decided if i’m going to redo it. unfortunately, we paid someone to do it… and they did our entire living room, dining room, entry way etc. shit!

    when i google-imaged martha stewart heavy goose… it looks like it turned out completely different in this persons studio…

    oh well, now we have pinterest to help!

  9. *sigh* been there done this (just recently) used stonington gray by BM. which is a lovely gray w/ blue undertones. lovely color… just completely 100% wrong in the 2 LARGE (and angled walled) rooms. had to admit defeat, then prime then repaint in lighter colors. all by myself: i’m 5’3″ & 107 lbs soaking wet. it was exhausting but honestly worth it. i read somewhere that it takes a very honest & courgeous person to admit when something is wrong & have the strength to pick up & move on (or paint on).

    PS- i ended completely scratching my idea of cool gray & went back to what i have since found that makes the most happy & relaxed… a warm gray & a creamy white.


  1. […] couldn’t take it any longer.  Do you remember when I wasted a whole day painting the office the wrong color?  Well this weekend I got busy and fixed it.  I of course debated for a long time about the new […]

  2. […] than white, the only paint colors in our house currently are shades of gray.  If you remember my first fail in gray paint, you know how much I toiled over the right shades for each room.  I’ve had a number of […]

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