Painted Living Room – It’s Not Supposed to be Blue Either

I was hoping we’d have more progress made in our living room since failing for the second time with a paint color, but alas, it is not so (obviously). Thus, up this post goes, and here’s hoping that it’s three times the charm…meanwhile I’ll go bury myself into a good Korean variety show to mellow my frustrations… 

It was Friday afternoon. The crazy snowstorm was to start later that evening. Guess where I was?

Lowes. Looking at…not snow blowers.

Not shovels.

Or salt.

But paint colors.

It seemed I wasn’t the only one thinking that being stuck inside from the snow was a great time to paint a room as the paint center had a steady stream of people buying paint.

Just the week before, Karl and I had painted our yellow living room using a Sherwin Williams grey paint called Alpaca. We had put a sample on the wall and let it sit there for days, and it was a light grey all that time. So we went with it.

We painted the room after dark, and so it was not until we had painted our entire room with it…and then confirmed it the next morning…that we had purple walls.

Or more precisely, lavender.


…annnnd it was our presently lavender-colored living room that was supposed to be grey that had me at Lowes just hours before the snow began.

We had a giftcard from Christmas for Lowes, so not wanting to spend any more on paint, that’s where I chose to go. That, and after telling some friends about our purple woes, we heard from a lot that Sherwin Williams is pretty bad with greys and that they were presently living with purple or blue walls.

I picked up a few sample swatches and held them up under the fluorescents, went to their lighting section and held it under those bulbs, and went outside the store and looked at them there…

…all of their greys seemed to go either toward blue or green.

Somewhat frustrated, an idea started to grow, so I went back inside and asked the lady who was mixing paint if she could add nothing but black to the white paint base.

She said yes. I was thrilled and simultaneously giving myself mental pats on the back: how can you get anything but grey when you add black to the white base paint?! Why didn’t I think of this before?!

She added about 20 drops of black paint to the gallon can and I was all set. The paint samples she gave me of it on the lid were of a light grey. I was psyched to have finally come up with a solution that had no reason not to work.

arrow is pointing to the final mixed grey we got after adding nothing but black

As the snow came down on Saturday the room got painted. We finished all the big areas.

It’s blue.


Allow me a moment here.


K. I’m done.

At least blue is better than purple…

Starting to see paint color layers almost as bad as our wallpaper

As for progress made in other rooms, we currently have our living room furniture in the dining room and are slowly back to work on removing more of the wallpaper glue from the walls. Feels good to be getting something done.

We’re going to wait now until the weather warms up a bit so we can open windows next time we make an attempt to paint. This last can has been really high with the fumes (to me at least – Karl hasn’t smelled it as much) and having some ventilation would be nice.

In the meantime I’m seriously debating about whether to drop grey altogether for this room. However, what color should I go with if I do?  I’d love some feedback! :)

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  1. Good morning, ugggg, I feel your pain with trying to find the right color! Just one question, have you thought about painting the trim a white? I don't know if that is an option but I feel,like it will help with finding the right gray. Best of luck to you

    1. Hi Debbie! Finding the right grey is tough in this room for sure, and it's true that painting the trim white might help balance a grey color a bit. However, we're actually quite smitten with the stained wood look, especially given the age of the house. Hopefully we can find a color solution that works with it! :)

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