Color Wars

Things this post should be:

  • A reveal of the newly-painted buffet
  • Adorably lined and repaired drawers
  • See how cute in my dining room!

Things it is instead:

  • Pictures of other people’s stuff.


When Lesley visited (almost two weeks ago), we* figured where better to spend the weekend than in a basement?

There is some cool stuff down there:

And the buffet is now mine. I think there used to be one of these in every unit in my building, and although simple, they are fairly well made and pretty. Not necessarily in the best of shape though…

While much of the finish was in good shape, there were enough spots that were in really bad shape that sanding and then re-staining was NOT going to be fun. The picture on the right is a long mirror (perched on top of the dresser in the first set of pictures) that is supposed to go on top of the buffet. It’s a pretty mirror, but I wasn’t positive I wanted it because it would make the (already big) piece (even) bigger.

Plus: You can see the bottom left corner was having some frame issues anyhow…no mirror fixing for us!

Minus: You can see the top left corner of the buffet doesn’t look quite right. That’s because there is a cutout in the back for the mirror to slot in to…that we weren’t going to use. Mirror fix, off the list; Gap fix, on.

We decided to go with a really deep navy, so that it wouldn’t be too much of a pop in the room, hopefully read pretty neutrally, and tie in with my dining room drapes:

And then they went and bought supplies and they sanded (and sanded and sanded. and melted.) and then they painted and then…


The sanding made it look like this:

And we bought a board (which was actually pretty complicated, since we needed exactly 1.75 across and pretty long) and patched the hole. We also patched the worst of the nicks and scratches on the top. And then we primed and painted.

So here is where you usually do at least a sneak peek….so, now for our (non) sneak peek:

(Not) ta-da!

Please go back and read above:

We decided to go with a really deep navy, so that it wouldn’t be too much of a pop in the room, hopefully read pretty neutrally, and tie in with my dining room drapes.

That’s Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy. It reads very, very Americana-type blue to us. Sadly. Which does not match with my curtains at all. And before you go all, “Maybe you should do another coat?”…That’s THREE. 3. Its got a lot of gray it isn’t that dark, and it certainly isn’t navy like my curtains are navy. Our fault. Don’t pick paint so fast (we were just excited!).

So it’s close to being done (with repaired drawers, which hopefully my dad can help with Saturday) and new hardware, but I still need new paint.

I picked up my friend’s husband (such paint-choosing talent!) on my way home yesterday, and we hit the hardware store to try to fix this situation.

My thoughts:

  • Maybe what I want isn’t a very deep navy, its black with a lot of navy in it?
  • Can I just get something darker than my paint?
  • How do I make sure it doesn’t just look black (which I think would look funny with all of my dark wood)?
  • Why did I not just test first?

We found a “Greys” swatch that might have a couple options:

Benjamin Moore Soot (the lighter one)

Anna, who used it on the walls above, says, “I used Benjamin Moore’s ‘Soot’ with a matte finish. It’s actually the deepest, darkest indigo blue imaginable and not a true black, but that’s what gives it that extra oompf.” So thats a good sign, right?

Another option was Benjamin Moore “midnight dream”

…still looks kind of black.

But I liked this one:

Ooooh, and this:

They’re both Midnight Dream too. Funny, they look more like the blue I was going for, not that gray/black one above. Because it’s by Behr. Oh.

So, I think the color I like exists (maybe?). I know that the two BM colors have more parts black in them (we asked them to look up the formula). But I also doubt that a color that looks really dark blue in real people’s houses exists. I think I might take back my original (still mostly full) quart and ask for more black tint and try that out. And if it doesn’t I’ll buy new paint, by a different brand. On the plus side, the piece itself isn’t hard to paint at all—I’ll spend more time on clean up than I will on the painting.

LESSON LEARNED: Google image the heck out of the paint color you want to buy. You’ll see what it looks like, avoid an unwanted Happy-4th-Americana-blue moment and get other ideas from “liked this color but LOVED that.”

What was your biggest paint color mistake?

*ie Lesley thought I should wait before going after the bathroom walls with a hammer. But at least we shopped for tile!


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