House painting stuff to know
Saturday May 08th 2021, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Life

My apologies for using someone else’s picture, which will embiggen if you click on it, but I know when that house is sold the original will disappear. I’ll link below to be fair to the realtor and owner.

My great-grandfather founded a paint and glass company that in its day was the biggest one in the western states. It’s been gone forty years now, but a little bit of knowledge did make it down to me.

And that is that painted walls reflect off each other and darken each other.

Just like yarn spun from wool is just a bit darker than the raw fibers, and knitted things from that yarn are a little darker still. They reflect on and within themselves.

We once picked out some palest peach paint for a kid’s bedroom and by the time we finished the fourth wall it was all a deep dark anxious orange. Check the paint chip–yeah, that really was the one. So not what we wanted, and I knew I should have known better. I went back to the store, bought some very nearly white light blue and gave it a do-over that turned the room the color shown on the right side of the photo above–I mean, seriously, that’s exactly it. But at least this time I knew how much darker than the chip it was going to look.

All of that was over mid-century mahogany paneling that after decades of the wood and glue drying out was a fire hazard anyway, so we later replaced it entirely with wallboard. Color: eggshell. Our contractor said it was more restful on the eyes than glaring white. I figured, kid, you want color when we’re done, put up a picture or poster, it’s a lot easier to change than the walls.

Anyway, so I came across the photo and it stopped me in recognition: I have lived this. All those shades of blue: they’re all the same color, even the same can of paint, all of it, even that dark dark bathroom back there.  And you’re going to need strong light to get even the foreground to stay how it is once the sun goes down.

Just in case anyone was planning on painting any rooms any time soon.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Uh oh. Page broken.

That’s ok – I get the idea. I have seen this happen in my mother in law’s house. She had very deep colours to start with and they became so oppressive with 4 walls done. Plus – every room was a different colour. It was -hmmm – how do I say this. To my eyes it was hideous.

The big guy would do the same thing if I didn’t rein him in. He is learning that while he is the painter I am the colour chooser. Makes for some interesting conversations.

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 05.08.21 @ 6:26 pm

The same is true for black and white photos to be printed. You need to hold them back a bit to keep the contrast.

When choosing a yellow for my bedroom, I found a paint I really liked, then went one or two shades lighter. I love the way it turned out.

So, let me blow your mind … if what we see is reflected light, is the thing we are looking at really the opposite “color”?

You’re welcome. 😀

Comment by Anne 05.08.21 @ 9:47 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>