This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Valspar.
Man, it’s non-stop excitement up in this joint. Two weeks ago, you suggested a wealth of paint color options for the boring white-walled bedroom in our very first home, then we narrowed them down together to six possible shades. This week, I’m going to show you which color Sean and I have chosen, announce the winner of last week’s Lowe’s gift card, give away another Lowe’s gift card, and show you a sneak peek of the room in progress. We’re getting there, Internet, I promise.
So first of all, congratulations to Anne Ferris, now the proud owner of a $100 gift card to Lowe’s. Next week, I’ll be giving away the granddaddy of Lowe’s gift cards---the sir of Lowe’s gift cards, if you will; the gentleman-at-arms---so if you haven’t entered yet, next week’s going to be the time to do it, trust me. This week, however, I want to explain how we came to choose the color we did, and show you a little progress on the room so far.
You’ll remember that my inspiration for the bedroom was this gorgeous charcoal gray color I first saw on the walls of a hotel room in Paris. Here’s a picture of my sister in the hotel room, demonstrating how incredibly the color captured the light:
I’ve been in love with this color since March, when we stayed in the hotel, and when I saw that Valspar had a couple of color choices that seemed to look fairly similar, I crossed my fingers that someone might suggest them.
And as it turns out, they did: Mark Twain House Ombra Gray was put forth in the comments, and so was High-Speed Steel and Almost Charcoal: all lovely dark grays a lot like the one above. But then a couple of people suggested Beguile, which couldn’t be more different---it was still a dark gray, but a much browner dark gray---and I fell in love with that too. And then I went right back to the beginning and started to question the idea of choosing dark gray in the first place: would it be too dark? Too moody? Would I look like an angsty teenager painting my bedroom a statement black? (“My soul is charcoal! None of you understand me! I shall paint my bedroom charcoal too, the better to reflect my thoughts as I sit here and read Sylvia Plath!”)
And so my thoughts turned to Metropolis, another popular (and much lighter) suggestion, and I considered that seriously too, even going so far as to try it in Valspar’s Virtual Painter tool and search for glimpses of it on their Color Buzz blog. Honestly, this is what happens when you have readers with such good taste: a person cannot be expected to make a decision! Why couldn’t more of you suggested a neon pink and mint green combination, so I could have rolled my eyes and gone with the other guys? As it was, I loved all of your suggestions and comments and insights and it was tougher than I expected to decide.
In the end, it really came down to High-Speed Steel and Almost Charcoal, both of which you advised would look really good in the room. In order to make our decision, we tested both of them against two other “control” grays in the same family---the Mark Twain House Ombra Gray and a much darker shade called Muted Ebony--and tried to figure out which we preferred.
By the way, are these tiny pots of paint the greatest invention ever or what? I’ve never gone this route before---preferring instead to buy a couple of gallons of what I think will look good and splash it on the walls even as the creeping dread of doubt pours in----and I’ve got to say, it was pretty genius. The fact that they cost a very reasonable two bucks fifty a pop meant we got to try out our two finalists---High Speed Steel and Almost Charcoal---against two other dark grays, live and in person, and see if we still really liked them:
From left to right: Mark Twain House Ombra Gray, High-Speed Steel, Muted Ebony, and Almost Charcoal. When I sent this picture to my mother, asking her which she liked best, she said “Well, I like that just as it is! Maybe a splash of red at the bottom and it fits in with your décor perfectly!” She’s not wrong: you could almost explain this away to curious visitors as a very expensive piece of avant-garde art.
Anyway, the color we ended up choosing, without further ado, just because it straddled the line so comfortably between charcoal gray and cool cement without veering uncomfortably into Goth Teenager Black or Unwanted Tones of Navy or Olive, was.....High-Speed Steel.
Hurrah High Speed Steel! It conjures up images of fast-moving freight trains for me, don’t know about you; and sure, while it’s not the most romantic name for a bedroom paint color---no Honeysuckle Breeze or Whispering Willows (I just made those up: do you think I have a future in naming paint colors?)---it’s sort of poetic in its own way, I think. High Speed Steel, High Speed Steel: yes, I like the sound of that.
We’ve spent the last few days taping and painting, taping and painting---I am a cautious painter and always tape first; for other tips on how to make your paint job look less DIY, check out Valspar’s Paint Like a Pro page---and we’re finally getting there, I think. Next week I’ll reveal the finished room for you---we ended up painting a couple of other things with Valspar paint, since they had such a good selection of colors (much better, if I’m honest, than I thought they’d have)---but for now, here are a couple of in-action shots that’ll show you how we’re getting on.
We chose a flat finish because the walls are kind of weirdly shiny and textured in our bedroom and I’d hoped it would minimize that. We also bought better quality rollers and brushes than we normally buy, my justification being that we own this house now and we should do it properly. (Truthfully, I’m not sure how much difference it made. You can see, however, that I didn’t splurge on a drop cloth and just ripped up some old grocery bags instead. Daredevil idiocy or earthfriendly environmentalism? I’ll let you decide. After I tell you that I spent an hour the next day scratching up paint splatters with my fingernail from the hardwood floors. Yeah, that one’s pretty obvious.)
This is how I always start painting. No, it’s not a love song to the letter W, it’s just something I read somewhere about how to paint evenly. Maybe you were supposed to make an M, actually, now that I think about it, and then fill that in. Oh well, too late now, no harm done.
Ooh look, there we go: real color on the walls! This is only after the first coat; the second gave an even deeper hue and minimized the shine further. But you’ll have to wait until next week to see that.
So go on then, what do you think? Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card to Lowe’s---thanks to BlogHer and Valspar---chosen at random by one of those random number-choosing sites. As before, duplicate comments are not permitted, I’ll notify the winner once s/he’s been chosen, and the official rules are here if you’d like to read them.
Come back next week for the big reveal, a ton of before and after photos--- though mostly afters because the befores are so boring they’d put your high school trigonometry himself to sleep (I’m sorry; I don’t find trigonometry very interesting, but you can substitute this for calculus or American Idol or another boring subject of your choice)---and the chance to win a final grand prize which any home improvement enthusiast will surely find rather thrilling. Not long now, and then the entire Internet will see my bedroom! Wow, I’m trying not to think about how creepy that actually sounds.