Wednesday, July 15, 2015

True Confessions: I Am Not a Paint Color Ninja

 Painting brick to match cedar shake is a job for a fearless Paint Ninja. Unfortunately, I'm not that person. I've been told that the shake on our house will not weather all that much (indeed, when I looked at other houses in the area, their shake hadn't "aged"). 

First, a little background information is in order.
Shake is being installed on the front and rear elevations.


The brick columns beneath the balcony may be painted, then covered in pressure-treated lattice--hopefully a climbing rose will soften the columns. Covering them in stone wasn't an option, as it would make them stick out 4 inches on all sides, and they'd be way too big for the space.

Stacked stone will go on the "round" sun room (below--just the top of the room is visible).

Shake will also go on the "garage side" of the house. It's a small area, cut up with windows and garage doors. But while I was making up my mind--to shake or not to shake--I painted a sample of Plymouth Brown. Everyone agreed that shake would look so much better than paint.

The other side elevation, the one in the trees, is a separate matter. It's hidden, and the space is mostly brick--shaking it would put a serious dent in the budget. My GC wisely advised me to paint the area. I needed a color that would resemble the shake, and I tried several.

From left, the colors are: Jackson Tan (doubled formula), Jackson Tan (1/4 darker), Charleston Brown, Plymouth Brown, and Valley Forge Brown. (All Ben Moore colors.)

After weeks of dithering, including a consultation with a local Benjamin Moore expert, the time has come to choose a color for the bricks. 
It seemed as if Plymouth Brown (the middle color) was a close match.

A large swatch of Plymouth Brown went up. To be fair, this photo was taken after 5 pm...but you get the idea. From afar, Plymouth Brown seems a bit darker, but it will prolly work.

 From this angle, the color is a little clearer.

Nothing is being painted on the rear elevation, but I still needed a point of reference for Plymouth Brown.

 Another look. I keep telling myself it's just this wall. And it's hidden.

Bandwidth suggested we try Valley Forge Brown (you can see it on the front elevation--a shake is propped next to it). 

This photo was taken at 2 pm, in much brighter light. On the left, the color is Valley Forge Brown; on the right, Plymouth Brown. What do you make of this? I'm totally flummoxed.

From left (and in dappled light): Charleston Brown, Plymouth Brown, Valley Forge Brown.

Argh, argh, argh.
Due to the rainy season, I have a little time to ponder. A larger swatch of Valley Forge will go up. I may try to tinker with colors, too.

What I really need is this color, the color of an apple tart. 
Better yet--I should just eat the tart and then pick a color. 

21 comments:

  1. Fun as it is deliberating over the color of paint when it's all painted, landscaped, and dressed, the probability of you even noticing the painted wall is very slim to not even seeing it. You will be seeing the "whole house" not just one little bitty painted wall. Unless you chose purple or some other equally outlandish color. Look forward to every post on the Ranchberger.

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  2. Adore the shakes and really like the Plymouth Brown. And, thumbs up on the dark grey doors! I painted all the trim (baseboards, crown moulding, etc.) in our cottage "Caviar" (black, obviously, by SW) and never looked back. Looks subtly sophisticated and makes me smile! I really enjoy being a part of your home's progress through your posts...lovely! Cheers! :)

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  3. I like the Valley Forge because it seems to "disappear" better...

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  4. I don't know what to tell you, except to go ahead and enjoy that delicious looking tart. It took me three years to pick a yellow for my bedroom LOL

    xo,
    rue

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  5. I am so with you about the problems of choosing the right paint colors. We are building a stand alone condo which will hopefully be our forever home. I have never been faced with so many decisions-on everything! And don't get me started on paint colors, countertops, lighting, etc. It is so hard and I want it to be so right. I will continue to follow you and commiserate with you on your home selections.

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  6. LOL I'm with Rue on this one, good luck. I just don't know. Tarts fix everything.

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  7. Oh boy, I wish I had an answer for ya! But I just posted about a poor color in my dining room...LOL So I cannot pick colors either, I end up re-doing it. I will tell you this, the darker brown (Bandwidth's suggestion) looks really good, because I always liked a slightly darker color on the bottom if there was a two tone situation going on. Like when a chair rail is installed or for foundations. It kind of "grounds" things...my humble opinion. Good Luck!

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  8. Part of what you may be dealing with is the difference between cool, gray light (north and east exposure) and warm, yellow light (south and west exposure). The color on the north side of a house will look different from the same color on the west side of a house. The goal is to take the kind of light you are working with into account. Say I have a room that faces west and I want paint it yellow. I would be better off choosing a cool yellow rather than a warm yellow. Otherwise the room will feel hot and unpleasant. If I have a northern facing room a warm toned yellow would be better to compensate for the gray light. A cool yellow in a gray light would not be very pretty.

    If your brick wall is facing west or south the darker color will seem brighter and more clear toned. If it is facing north or east it will seem darker, especially if it is shaded. The same is true for the lighter color. Because you can't paint different exterior walls different colors the best thing you can do is go with what works best on the front elevation taking it's exposure into account. You would be looking for undertones that are harmonious with the shakes. You will not be able to get a perfect match on every side of your house but you can have tonal harmony.

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    1. A brilliant look at paint and exposure--thank you! This explains why I had so much trouble with a former bathroom--it had several windows, and each one had a different exposure. At the ranch, the brick wall faces south and it's surrounded by trees. Shake is going everywhere but this one wall. Again--thanks so much!

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  9. While any of the choices are nice I would go with Plymouth brown...just looks richer and deeper than the others...plus it will probably be better at hiding the inevitable dust and dirt that all ground level walls wind up with!

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  10. I think all the colors look great, as I'm a Ben Moore fan for sure. I really do love a painted brick, it's going to be so gorgeous! ditto with the tart, yummy!

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  11. My question is does this paint look good with the chimney. I'm seeing certain tones in the stone and I'm just curious if you also considered how that paint color looks with it. :-) Just a little more to add to your confusion!

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    1. So true, Liz. The bricks on the front elevation (under the shake) will be covered with stacked stone. We put samples on the brick to see how they worked with the shake and chimney. So I'm spared that mismatch, at least. :-) And I've been on roll. Even though the painted bricks will be around the corner, I wanted to find a color that worked with all of the elements, if possible.

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  12. So hard to decide on a color...you are smart to paint large swatches of it on the wall and wait a while and see which you prefer, and you always seem to make the right decisions....and I agree, eat the tart, then pick the color...and when you do make the final decision, eat another tart to celebrate!...it does look beyond delicious!

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  13. Oh, it's sooo hard to choose colors! I love the large swatches to help you make your decision. Whatever you choose, it will look great, Michael Lee. I Like your solution of eating the apple tart to provide you insight in your decision!!

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  14. Eat the tart; pick a color! I love that, M'Lee. Best of luck on your decision making and I hope you find just the right tart to ease your painter's woes.

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  15. No advice on the paint, but absolutely eat that tart! Oh, my does that look delicious. Yummy!

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  16. Wow! That's the kind of decision that seems fun at first, then you see how complicated it gets, then it turns into a huge stressor. Eat the tart!

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  17. Michael, I am sure the colour you choose will be lov-i-lee as all three appear to work well with the shakes. That said, IF a copper down spout is also in the space then you might want to take that into consideration as well. Like Liz; nothing like adding more to your confusion (☺) ..... sorry. -Brenda-

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  18. Yes, eat the tart first and go with your gut! Sorry for the bad pun. As an actual paint color ninja, I have to say that I think all your choices are good, and any one you pick will be great. I think the closest color to the shakes is the Plymouth Brown, but I also like the Jackson Tan 2x if you want a great neutral that's not attempting to be the same color. Good luck!

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