Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Caution: Wet Paint

From a distance, Rattlebridge Farm doesn't look like a place where paint gremlins have gone wild.
But it is the birthplace of wildness. Paint wildness.
As you may recall, my front door has been painted 
SW's Urbane Bronze, a dark gray with brown undertones. 
It looked very nice and dark on the door. I've been thinking about painting our powder room a dark color--maybe black (click to read about it) So I thought, Why not try Urbane?

Now I just don't know. I just don't. 

Here are two "before" pictures:

We opened a tub of "Urbane Bronze," a dark gray:

Several photos made the Urbane Bronze look brown. 
You can see where the Urbane ends and SW's Caviar begins--that color is a true black, and quite lovely (far right).

Here's a shot of the truer colors:
The Urbane is the color of a chalkboard. 
In person, "Caviar" was too harsh for this itsy space.

I'd brought tubs of SW's Anonymous and Intellectual Gray, so I slapped up samples on an innocent door.

(A side note: I didn't think my 6' 8"standard, hollow-core doors would benefit from dark paint, but I do admire the trend, and once I had paint and paint brushes, I got brave and brazen. A very dangerous combination!)

I began with Anonymous, which is two shades lighter than Urbane.
I think it might look good in the bathroom, too, but I'll have to try that another day.

I like it! 
But wait...I also like Intellectual Gray, 
which is three shades lighter than Urbane.
Anonymous is on top. 
Intellectual Gray is on bottom.
(So why am I afraid to try black or Urbane on the door?)

I need to back up, look at the door from a distance. 
Whew, that's better. Where did I put the tub of Urbane?
It's daunting and exciting to think about painting doors. It could be awful or awesome--but the only way to know is to test a few colors, right? I already had the paint, and the exercise felt great!
I even like dithering over this color or that color.

But I have also defiled a wall and two perfectly good doors.

Meanwhile, Bandy caught the paint fever and painted another door, where light was more plentiful.
Here, he's adding a patch of Urbane. 
Below, left, we have Intellectual Gray; 
Anonymous is on the lower right.)

Do you have a favorite so far? 

Urbane? Intellectual Gray? Anonymous? Or white?
(The paint is still very wet, and the Urbane looked like Caviar.)

Here is the same door but with different light conditions:

Same door again, but photographed from another room.

Now let's look one more time at the bathroom door.

I am changing the brass door hardware anyway. 
Nickel knobs look so pretty against dark doors.

I didn't post photos of the master bathroom debacle, which included a major spill; but it's safe to say that I have a new name: 
Color Me Confused. But happily confused.

Bandwidth and I would love 
to know what you think.
1. Which color would you pick for the bathroom? Urbane Bronze? 
Go lighter? Darker? 
2. Would you stick with white interior doors? 
Or go with a shade of gray?
If so, which shade?
3. Where does the accent paint on a door end? Does it stop at the door? Does it include the jams? Leave the jams white?

4. Any suggestions?
We're interested in all ideas!

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  1. I lost count on how many times I've scrolled up and down! I can't decide. I do like the Anonymous on the door with three colors. Intellectual Gray is pretty too. Not sure about the Urbane since you have told me you were going for a lighter, semi-Swedish-ish look for this house. Have you changed your mind?!


  2. Gosh, I am glad to see you, Allison. You're right: I'm still going for a lighter, semi-Swedish look.

  3. I like the Intellectual grey. For the interior doors if your walls are going to be a difference color, I'd stick with the white.

    My doors are white and they really pop out against the wall colors.


  4. I like the Intellectual Gray,Michael. I think it would be lovely with your lighter look.

  5. I vote for intellectual gray..love it good luck...Pat H

  6. Just to be sure I'm not confused. Caviar is not going on walls in the bathroom? If so, go with darkest on the door or at least the anonymous gray. They seem to stand nicely against your hall color. Best of luck with the decisions.

  7. Love the Urban Bronze in the powder room! Go with the unexpected bit of drama. If you're doing an semi Swedish look in the rest of the home, I would go with the Intellectual Gray for your doors. Anonymous competes with the Urban Bronze. Intellectual Gray would also draw in some of your exterior coloration.

  8. Urbane Bronze is so inviting! I love to go into powder rooms that look mysterious. The Black is my pick!

  9. I'm thrilled to hear your ideas! Love then all! I like Intellectual Gray, too. So soft and barely there. Where does the paint end on a door? Would the jams/trim be painted or left white?

  10. Urbane on door, the top hardware s so darn gorgeous and don't paint door jams. Also the room would be good in the Urbane if you put a touch or two of a bright accent in the room a strikingly bright like bright teal or something.

  11. But I also like Anonymous. :-) This dilemma calls for ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

  12. I have found that when painting deeper colors, you have to get the whole room done before you can really tell how it will feel! Painting a room black would be scary even for me...but, you've made me wonder if I should be thinking about it. But, in saying that I do like both of the bottom colors on your door and think that either would be a nice lead-in to your "black' bathroom! I for the first time am painting a room an off white color. To me that is scary! Good luck and have fun, it's just paint!

  13. KW, I'm not using Caviar/black in the powder room. I do like the color, but it looked severe in person--and in that space. The Urbane Bronze looks good with the white fixtures, not quite as strong; but I am going for a lighter, country Swedish/Gustavian sort of look, which is very different from my overwrought style, and I don't have a color nailed down for the powder room.

  14. I Love Anonymous on the door...but wish that you would consider wallpaper in the powder room...thinking of the powder rooms of The Enchanted Home...pretty spectacular...you have great instincts..don't over-think the garage doors...I think they are great!

  15. I like the Intellectual Gray. I once painted doors, trim, and baseboards chocolate brown in the master. I learned my lesson from that one. Give me white trim on doors and molding. It's classic and timeless. We began to tire of the brown and it locked us in to what the walls could be.

  16. I like a little drama...love the Anonymous/1

  17. Love the Urbane for the powder room. Nice and dramatic! For the doors, I personally prefer white doors and trim, but I do love the Intellectual - it would be beautiful. And to make your head spin some more, we recently painted our master bath SW Dovetail. It's drop dead gorgeous, but may be more brown than you want. Good luck!

  18. Kat, I found SW Dovetail in my fan deck, and you're right--it's beautiful. I love brown/grays.

  19. Kathy, I have wallpaper in my laundry room--frogs, beautiful little green frogs. I love to go in that room. (But I'm a 3rd generation frog collector, so naturally I'd love the critters everywhere.)

  20. Colors are definitely fun, and easy to get carried away with!! But I'd have to say if you really want the light look, keep them white, or go with intellectual grey. :) and I agree with Sarah - White trim all the way! :) I think it's so fun that we get to follow this process!

  21. Michael,

    You paint the front and back do the door, not the sides near the jams. It will stick if you paint it. My doors and jams are the same color.

    You can paint different colors, but like someone said, you'll have to see how it looks after the entire room is done.

  22. Anonymous for bathroom walls and keep doors white - just my opinion.

    And spill in master bedroom?


  23. I love reading all the comments. Being a bold and colorful girl it's hard for me to say I would go with anything but black. It's such a small space I would go bold. I would also like to suggest the wallpaper idea. I love wallpaper, just look at my house. I once wallpapered the walls above the wainscoting and across the ceiling in a small print that was mostly a black background. Loved it. That said would you like to consider a chair rail or paneling part of the way up the wall and wallpaper above? hummmm.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  24. GO BLACK!! and do a shiny glossy black! where else can you go crazy with something different than in a lil potty room? It will be a conversation starter..believe me! I did a small potty room in my mud room in an apple red color. it started with a cool print from a great artist that I loved and wanted to sit on back of toilet against the wall. accented with black toile and black/white photo collage of architectural images I captured in Italy. EVERYONE comes out of there talking about it. I love going to that room!
    I would do a lighter shade for door that will lead into the BAM factor when they open the door.

  25. Oh, my! I do like all of the colors but I kinda like the Urbane Bronze. But most of all, I LOVE your thick pretty ponytail! :)
    Be a sweetie and Happy New YEar!
    Shelia ;)

  26. Might as well throw my two cents in! Even though I wouldn't paint a room black, I thought the black rooms you posted earlier were quite striking. (I live in a Victorian house, and black walls wouldn't be true to period.) Seems like a soft black would be very pretty in your powder room. Then I read that you were leaning toward a Swedish interior, and that made me wonder why you would be painting walls dark at all. It seems pale grays would be more appropriate. The words that came to mind when I saw the grays painted on your door were "military" and "warehouse." Just doesn't seem soft enough for a Swedish look, but I can see a very pale gray. I personally would leave all doors white and paint only the walls, but I'm conservative! Btw, the nickel knobs are lovely!

  27. I like the Urbane Bronze...

  28. What a dilema...I love the Urbane Bronze, but then again the Anonymous is great too...I think both colors would look good with the hardware...the only thing about the Urbane Bronze, is that from a distance, especially if the door is closed and looking down a hallway...it may look somewhat like a "black hole effect"...I saw a door in a similar situation and that was the effect and feeling that it gave...they eventually changed to a lighter color...It has to be so difficult to make this decision...!

  29. Not to add another color, but have you ever looked at Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore? It is a gorgeous color that looks different depending on the light. It is really dark, but not black. It has some navy in it as well as grey tones. It is really hard to describe. Look at it if you get a chance.

  30. I'm still in a dither. :-) Shirley, you're right, the Urbane does look like a dark hole, especially in darker rooms. I don't have to decide right away, thank goodness!

  31. You are having such fun!

    Do you really want to hear what I think? Yes? Okay, you asked for it. ;-)

    I would paint the doors dark (either the Urbane Bronze or black... there is a paint that is made by BM in a low lustre that is made for metal doors. I'll see if I can find it and send you the numbers on it). I would leave the woodwork white. I thnk that's the case with most of the woodwork I've seen with black doors.

    That being said, I would paint the bathroom Intellectual Grey and use white, white trim in there. My cousin is a preservation architect in DC and Martha's Vineyard, and my favorite room in any of the places he's done over the years was his living room in their Georgetown townshouse which was painted grey with very white trim. He upholstered his sofa in a herringbone/tweed suiting fabric, and he did the pillows in a red foulard silk. He said that he did it that way because men don't often change their suits, but they can change their ties as the mood strikes. ;-) I asked him what color it was on the charts, but he couldn't remember the exact color. It was Benjamin Moore, though.

    I've always heard that Revere Pewter is a good shade. Not sure, though, because I've never tried it. I just think I would reverse it and have the dark door and the lighter walls, but if you go dark on the door and the walls, then you might want to paint the wood trim on the inside of the bathroom dark. I just think your door will pop more if you paint it dark and the room lighter. Whatever you decide, have fun!

  32. I feel alone, but I like the Anonymous and love the hardware with that color. It really stands out.

  33. I say go for the intellectual on the walls, anonymous on the doors and intellectual on the door frames. I read you are going for a Swedish gray so I would keep it lighter rather than darker.

  34. Maybe I am confused, but isn't Swedish style more of light, airy colors and not dark?

    On another note, I would paint the door a color if that is the only door in the hall way. I really like the anonymous color for the door and then maybe the Intellectual gray for the walls inside the bathroom. And then the trim White. I love white trim with colored walls, I guess that comes from when I have matted my images :-)

  35. Anny, thanks for your comment. You're right. The Swedish/Belgium look seems to be about whites/creams/grays, sparkly chandeliers/and curvy, wooden ones, slipcovers, and no clutter. I painted big swatches in the powder room--Anonymous and Intellectual Gray. Both looked great. I painted two doors also. Almost decided to NOT paint any interior doors...but I keep going back to Intellectual. I'm going to do an update on the powder room and the doors. This room will get more lighting. The sconces will be raised and the fixtures changed. I have not ruled out a different vanity. Trying to move carefully, because this Swedish/light look is SO different from my normal style...I have to keep reminding myself to dial down the color. :-)

  36. Replies
    1. Benjamin Moore Winds Breath, but in this photo, the color is much whiter. Winds Breath is a soft beige-white. You can see examples of many white paint colors here: http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/search?q=white+paint