May, 2011 browsing by month


Finding the Undertones in Gray Stone

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Markham Roberts

When trying to find the best paint color to work in blending my fireplace shelves here, I knew the first step was that I had to find the best undertone of gray in my stone:


Thanks to Maria’s training, I could quickly identify the undertones in the gray stone. Gray has undertones of green, blue and purple. Another undertone to consider is taupe. Taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color.


Ranchwood-Taupe Undertones                     Revere Pewter- Green Undertones


Coventry Gray  Blue Undertones                      Purple Undertones

When I tried the larger samples, the Cedar Key taupe, which I thought would work, was just to light. But I did like a darker version of the taupe with the stone, Indian River 985.  What a pretty color!

The color does work with the stone, but the larger my sample I used, the less I was loving the taupe with the gray as much as I liked the greenish grays and the blue grays.

So for my large samples to paint and try at home, I decided on Copley Gray HC-104, a greenish gray and also Chelsea Gray HC-168 which is a blue gray.


Copley Gray HC-104



Copley Gray on top, Chelsea Gray on bottom.

Here is the Copley Gray:


Nahhhh…  Not loving it.

Here is the Chelsea Gray:



Yes!  Very nice.  Chelsea Gray it is. And since it is such a small area, I decided to paint the back wall a darker shade of the Chelsea Gray, Kendall Charcoal HC-166, to give the shelves depth.  *A good tip to remember- when painting shelves, paint the back piece a darker color to make the back recede or a different color than the sides to make them more interesting.

Look girls!!  I painted the wood!!  :)


Another good trick to remember- When painting small areas, use a small roller for quick, smooth results.


I worked on this project for about six hours total over the weekend. Everything was given two coats of paint. Here it is ready for the shelves:


Looks so much better already.  And the final project:



I want to get a great lamp/light for the top shelf.  So what do you think?  Do you think it was worth painting the wood?



My husband, the wood lover, is really happy with it too!

To summarize, any of the gray undertones, green, blue, purple or taupe would have worked well. The blue undertone I choose was my personal preference.  Also, see how important it is to sample!  The large sample really gave me a good look at the color!

Comments?  Any wood you would like help painting over?  Contact me today!

Similar post you might be interested in reading:

Understanding Beige Undertones

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Pop Paint Quiz

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Think you know everything about painting?  Take this quick test and see how you do!  Answers below- no peeking!


1) Which material is the best choice for a drop cloth?

A. Canvas
B. Newspaper
C. Plastic
D. Towel

2) True or false?

Never paint over wallpaper.



3)  Which paint color is the best to balance the bright light of a large wall mounted TV?

A. Bright yellow
B. Pale green
C. White
D. Dark red

4)  In order to give a room a tranquil and calm look, which of the following colors should be avoided?

A. Pale green
B. Clean red
C. Beige
D. Light brown

5)  True or false?

You can’t paint over dark colors.

6)  What’s the most important preexisting feature to take into account when choosing a paint color?

A. Flooring
B. Furniture
C. Wall coverings
D. All of the above


Amanda Nisbet

7)  When testing out a color scheme in a room with both natural and artificial lighting, which of the two light sources is more important to consider?


Ty Larkins

8)  True or false?

Painting a sample of a color on a surface is not an effective way to see how well it will work.

9)  When applying a typical indoor acrylic paint, on average, what is the recommended time to wait in between coats?

A. 30 minutes
B. 1 hour
C. 4 hours
D. 8 hours


10) What type of paint finish holds up the best to frequent cleaning?

A. Flat
B. Gloss
C. Satin
D. Eggshell


1. A. Canvas
2. True
3. B. Pale green
4. B. Clean red (and also other saturated colors like bright green)
5. False; a quality coat of primer and new paint is often enough to hide
any color
6. D. All of the above
7. Both
8. False
9. C. 4 hours
10. C. Satin

10 Correct: The paint has probably already dried – another flawless paint job!
9 Correct: Keep mixing that paint a little bit longer.
8 or Less Correct: Don’t rush off to the store just yet – do some research and study those swatches!
   Quiz  by Michael Juliano.

So how did you do?  Comments?

If you need help choosing the perfect paint color for your home, contact me today!

Understanding Beige Undertones

Inspiring Benjamin Moore Rooms

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White Kitchen Redesign Completed

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Do you remember the kitchen redesign I was working on here & here?


2011 05 24 010


2011 05 24 006


2011 05 24 016a


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2011 05 24 022

I am certainly not a great photographer!  The rooms really came out beautiful and updated. The green we used was  ben moore hillside green 495. The color looks a little brighter in these photos than in real life.  Her kitchen cabinets were painted white dove oc-17 in a semi-gloss finish.  Her subway tile for the backsplash was purchased at Lowe’s for a great price.  The client was very happy with our choices which makes me very happy!

I also helped her with suggestions for the bedroom:


2011 05 24 027a

Very pretty! 

Comments?  Let me know what you think!

If you need help updating your home, contact me today!

Beautiful White Kitchens

Beautiful Greens

A Welcoming Painted Entryway

Choosing the Right White

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Working With the Stone Fireplace

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Ever since we have moved into our New Hampshire home, I have not cared for this cutout of shelves in the fireplace below:


Something was just not right. They always seem to be screaming ‘Look at me!’ Do you think you know why it is not working?


Do you see how yellow the wood of the shelves are?  They are so bright and yellow, it is making them stick out like a sore thumb! The yellow is screaming. Plus, look at the stone:


It is gray stone with an undertone of taupe.  I actually do see a little green too.  What do you think?  So now we have determined the problem. The yellow wood is not working with the gray stone.  Solution?  Can’t change the stone, going to have to paint the shelves.  Well, my husband is going to give me a hard time about painting the shelves because they are gasp! wood!  He’ll get over it!

So I choose a couple samples with taupe undertones (BM cedar key 982 and smokey taupe 983):


And also a warm gray with a touch of green (edgecomb gray HC-173):


The samples are just too small.  I did not have my cases with me to see a larger sample.  I am going to choose two of the three colors and paint on poster board to test. That is the best way to be sure to get it just right.

I will post pictures next week on which color I choose and hopefully get them painted pronto! 

Then I will get into why I have to change the wall color now too.  Never ends does it. ;)



If you need help choosing colors for your stone fireplace, contact me today!

Related Topics:

Understanding Beige Undertones

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Color

Using the 60-30-10 Color Rule

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