Jul 5, 2012

Picky, Picky

We have our paint colors for the exterior of the house, people!

I went to Lowe's and Home Depot today in search of test pots of paint.  I got Martha Stewart's Flagstone, which is the body color used in our inspiration pic.

I wanted to test a wide range of undertones, although Steve and I were both pretty sure we wanted a gray that was dark-ish.  Steve wanted "not too brown" and I wanted "not too blue."  Like I said before, I have a hard time visualizing these things without trying them.  And $18 worth of test paint is totally a better deal than painting your whole house and then realizing you don't like the color.

I ended up getting six colors to try.  Here they are in no particular order:

Martha Stewart "Flagstone"

Martha Stewart "Cement Gray"

Behr "Elephant Skin"

Valspar "Wet Cement"

Valspar "Urban Sunrise"

Valspar "Stone Mason Gray"

And since this girl can't get a good eyeball on paint colors, I find it necessary to actually paint test swatches.  Twice.  One at the front of the house, to see how it looks in the shade and near architectural details like windows; one at the back of the house to see how it looks in full sun.

Yes, I did write the paint names directly on the house.  Who cares, we're going to paint over it on Saturday, so what the heck.

Urban Sunrise was too light.  Wet Pavement was kind of... flat.  Cement Gray was too blue.  Steve liked Stone Mason Gray on the sunny side of the house but not the shady side.  We alllllllmost went with Elephant Skin.  But as I was googling around, looking for photos of houses that had already painted with Elephant Skin and Flagstone, I found something hilarious.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  My favorite DIY blog, Young House Love, had posted a blog entry about picking paint colors for the exterior of their house.  What did they decide on?  Martha Stewart's Flagstone.

Young House Love's test swatches.

And what color door do they have?  Bright yellow.  That's what I want!  Does the Flagstone (the swatch closest to the door) look bomb with the yellow or what??  Here's some other pictures of the color Flagstone used.  These guys make me confident that this color will read as a soft gray, not greenish or overly taupe-y.

From Your Nest Design

From Numbered Street Designs

Tomorrow I'm going to be bringing my Flagstone chip and a 30% off coupon to my favorite local Sherwin Williams guys.  Woo to the hoo!

What do you think about our color choice?  Should we have gone with Elephant Skin instead of Flagstone?


  1. I'm not a fan of grey - I would have gone more blue ;). Gray? Like this color on your background - it is gre/ay or blue? It looks sort of lavender on my screen. I like it.

    I'm sure it will look great - I do love the idea of having a brightly colored door. Is yours already painted or are you going to paint it yellow? Have fun and good luck =).

    1. Grey/gray. What is the proper spelling? I think either will do and kind of switch back and forth between them. ;-)

      I'm not generally a fan of gray as a house color either, unless it's paired with lots of really white trim. In this case we felt kind of limited by the house colors next door to us. Yellow was our first choice and the preschool next door is a really cute lemon chiffon color. A light green would've been my second choice but the neighbor on the other side already has a light green house. The rest of our block is blue (three houses) and brown (two houses). So, gray it is!

      Our door is white right now- we will definitely be painting it yellow! It'll be taking "fun this place up" to a whole new level!

    2. Ha... yes, I guess what the neighbors are doing might factor into my decision, too, if I were painting a house. I'm sure it will look great - I do like the flagstone used as an interior color in the photos you posted - pretty :).

      We're in for a bunch of nice weather, too - woohoo! Too bad I'm stuck inside doing hw, for the most part. This time next year, I will at least be out of school - so excited. Have a great weekend :).

  2. Corinne SummersJuly 05, 2012

    I Love Flagstone. That was my first pick even before reading the rest of your post. Good choice!

    1. It's hard not to love every color in Martha Stewart's line. Can't wait to see the Flagstone on the whole house. EEEEE!!

  3. AnonymousJuly 05, 2012

    Go with your gut. It will look different on the whole house, but if it's your favorite, you will love it. Shannon S.

    1. Thanks Shannon! ...And if ends up looking kooky when the house is done, then I am just going to have to rely on next year's landscaping budget to camouflage the kookiness. I don't think you'll see me shed any tears over improving that yard! ;-)

  4. Yes, Flagstone, and after it's complete, love it twice as much as you thought you would, and recite the serenity prayer.

    1. Fingers crossed! It might not be a bad idea to start with the serenity prayer now....