Ask Kate

Spray Paint FAQs

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Some of you, no, a handful of you have been reading this site since the beginning when I started spray painting all sorts of things on the average of at least once a month and frequently mentioning my affection.  I jumped on the spray paint bandwagon several years ago, cracked the whip, and cried "Faster, faster, take us to a better place!"  I have an entire category dubbed "Spray Paint, My BFF" and I reckon I’ve done my part to keep RustOleum, Valspar, and Krylon in biz.

I’ve spray painted just about everything:  plastic, glass, wood, fiberglass, mirror, metal, ribbon, laminate, etcetera.  I’ll spray paint anything that stands still, mostly because it’s  cheap-n-easy, but also because my curiosity in this wonder product knows no end.  Most especially since I’ve witnessed first hand just how many gosh darn things seem to look better when dosed with Toluene and Xylene (the chemicals in spray paint which we never mention in the light of day, but secretly adore in the private solitude of our well ventilated garages).

Spray paint, when applied correctly, possesses the magical power to transform so many dated looks into a something fresh and modern, all in the course of an afternoon.  I think if I was stranded on a deserted island, a can of spray paint just might be on my wish list, not for the giant ‘SOS’ but to give my pathetic coconut mailbox attached to my hut that extra oomph it needed.

I’m sorry, where was I?  Oh yes. Take this sweet little French style solid wood nightstand I spied while gallivanting around the local thrift store last week.  Fab lines, lovely detail, but with yellowed spotty paint and chipped gold accents.  Facelift needed.

All’s well that ends well when you have a well shaken can of spray paint with which to solve the world’s problems.  The final paint is RustOleum’s ‘Canvas White’ found at True Value Hardware.

Before:

endtable before 2

After:

cg endtable final after

‘Shipwrecked Pitcher’ from Anthropologie

I have used spray paint in so many ways I can’t even count them anymore.  Take a tour through my home and you won’t find a room with at least one spray painted thang.  Since I often get asked questions about spray paint, I reckon I’ll just put all those FAQs in one big post.  Bear with me.  I don’t know all the answers, but that’s where you come in at the end friends.

Away we go.    

1. What surfaces can I spray paint?

What can’t  you spray paint?   Well, perhaps that’s too inclusive.  Here’s the growing list.  Plastic, metal, fiberglass, mirror, glass, wood, wicker, masonry, plaster, concrete, canvas, ceramics, MDF, laminate and particle board.

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The Paint On My Walls

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

This is a post from a long time ago, but updated as of May 2013, just in case you’ve ever wondered about the colors on our walls . . .

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I’ve received several emails lately inquiring about paint colors in my home.  Shelley recently wrote,

“Dear Kate,

I’m curious if you would mind sharing the paint colors on your walls in your dining room, stairs, and entry?  I so want to take my dated golden oak stair rail and replicate what you did with yours with the gel stain and glaze!  Thanks for the inspiration…now only if I can get a dose of courage as well.  I love your home!  Simply beautiful !  ~ Shelley”

Sure Shelley!  Some of the colors in my home are straight out of the paint can.  Others I’ve tweaked by blending my own color.

In our living room is Benjamin Moore’s Affinity ’Tranquilty’ but I had the guys at the BM store tweak it by pulling two drops of blue out of the formula to make it a hint grayer, so we dubbed it ‘Tranquility Tweaked’.

blue and white living room

 

Here’s the formula for the Ben brand (which I love because it covers in one coat!)

S1  0x  3.0000; Y2  1x  1.5000; B1  0x  20.0000; O1  0x  19.0000

Here are three closest color matches to my custom formula: ‘Portico’ by Valspar, ‘Sea Salt’ by Sherwin Williams, and ‘Chicken Wire’ by True Value. .

.the the

The dining room, kitchen, and family room  are all connected as open spaces so it made sense to paint them all the same color which is Benjamin Moore’s ‘Camouflage’ a pale gray green.  It looks different in morning and evening light, a brighter green in direct sunlight and more gray in evening or indirect sunlight.

kate-family-room.jpg

console-table-in-family-room.jpg

 cgirl-kitchen.jpg

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In the foyer is a neutral tan color we painted many years ago and I’m sorry to say, the name is not on the can because it was a custom color, but here are some close color matches: ‘Wheeling Neutral’ by Benjamin Moore, ‘Churchill Hotel Wheat’ by Valspar, ‘Whole Wheat’ by Sherwin Williams, and ‘Classic Taupe’ by Behr.

entry-staircase.jpg

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The kids’ study was recently given a makeover and the color is Glidden’s ‘Oyster Bay’

blue and green study with window seat

 

The master bedroom is another custom blend – it’s a mix of 1/2 Camouflage and 1/2 Misted Green, both by Benjamin Moore.  The closest color match is ‘Comfort Gray’ by Sherwin Williams.

 

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In the master bathroom is (shoot me now, I know) another custom color I mixed up with leftover paints …. but I’ve color matched it too so here’s a few close ones:  Valspar’s ‘Clothesline Fresh’, Glidden’s ‘Grey Leaf’, and Sherwin Williams ‘Silver Mist’.

kate-master-bathroom.jpg

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In my daughter’s room I painted the walls a pale gray with a hint of green, ‘Jade Frost’ by Glidden.

blue-and-lavender-girls-room.jpg

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In my oldest daughter’s room which serves as a guest room while she’s at college, the wall color is ‘Blue Green Gem’ by Kelly Moore – a watery pale shade of Tiffany blue.

blue-bedroom.jpg

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In the home office, I hung the grasscloth wall covering, but I painted the non-papered opposite window wall in a very close match by Valspar called ‘Seafoam Storm’ which is a really gorgeous medium gray blue.  The back of the bookshelves are also painted with ‘Seafoam Storm’.

kate-office.jpg

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In my boy’s room, we painted his walls an intense teal  called ‘La Fonda Villa Fountain’ by Valspar – it works well with the board and batten installation painted in Benjamin Moore’s ‘Dove White’.

boys-room-lego-table.jpg

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On the walls in my powder bathroom is Valspar’s “Seine” – a deep mushroom gray color with a little chocolate brown in it too.  I also installed beadboard wallpaper for a nice contrast.

kates powder room

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‘Silver Sage’ is one of those colors that you just can’t go wrong with ~ so it made sense to use it in laundry room, but I cut it in half with white to lighten it a bit.

So there you have it, for anyone who’s ever had any questions about the paint colors in the CG household.  You can tell I’m a fan of blues and greens, as long as they are muddied up with gray.  In my opinion, adding gray softens hues,  reduces a color’s saturation, and creates a more soothing color, therefore increasing the chances you’ll be delighted with your color choice over time.

You can tour the entire house and see more pictures of our home here.

That said, regardless of what you choose, paint is simply the easiest way to transform the feel of a room.  Yours truly is guilty of picking up the brush on many occasions and changing the walls in my home simply because the mood strikes!

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Winners + White Walls

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

giveaway winnersCongratulations to the following winners:

In the Pine Cone Hill Giveaway, #327: Jessica B. who wrote:

“Lenox, Links, Scramble…oh my, they are all lovely. Thanks !”

The winner of the Wine Country Pantry Giveaway is #79: Rachel F. 

  

In addition to winning all the goodies, Rachel also posed this question with her entry:  

“As we continue through grad school we are still renting housing and it is becoming a bore, and quite frankly getting me down on my decorating abilities.  White stark walls, cement walls, old dingy cabinets, etc.   What in the world can I do to make this temporary home my own ?”

Great question Rachel!  You have the same dilemma many renters face:  turning white walls into a stylish and comfortable home that you want to return to at day’s end.   There’s not much you can do to dingy cabinets in a rental without permission to paint, beyond giving them a good scrub.  As for white walls ?  There’s a lot that can be done to bring warmth, color, pattern, and style to your abode. 

 

My Best Tips for Decorating with White Walls: 

Splurge on a Colorful Patterned Rug.   Pick a bold color or interesting design you love, then go for it !  These two examples by Pottery Barn and West Elm are staged on wood floors, but you’ll have a harder time noticing your less than desirable rental flooring with area rugs like these.   Plus, you’ll anchor your seating area and brighten your space.

pb moorish rug

west elm rug and sofas

 

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