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The hardest decision on earth: what color to paint the walls

Thursday, October 28, 2010 Leave a Comment

It took us three years of living with our "Builder's White" walls to finally take the plunge and paint the place. What pushed me to the limit was how grungy and gray our walls were -- at least, the lower part of the walls, just about at toddler-height. And the corners, with their long black smudges, like we'd been flinging rubber bike tires around the place. I can't understand why"Builder's White" is impossible to clean.

And then one day, I got a phone call from Handyman Connection offering me a 15% discount on any service.

"Do you have painters?" I asked, not really expecting a yes.

They do have painters -- master painters, in fact, which means they all have more than 10 years experience. And they're a locally owned franchise, which I like.

When Ted came out to give me a quote, he ended up spending more than an hour talking to me about colors. We'd had paint swatches taped to our walls since the day we moved in: bold colors, like yellow-gold "fiesta",  fiery "morrocan spice" or  blue-green "azores."

Somehow, the bold colors just didn't feel right in our traditional Parkwood home. So he offered up some alternatives and asked me to paint some big swatches on the walls and live with them.

It took me nearly two weeks, with numerous splotches on my walls, to make up my mind. In the end, I chose a color that Ted recommended, one that I never would have chosen on my own but discovered I loved: ocean pearl - a gray, green, blue, earthy color. It looks different on every floor, in every room.  It matches all my mismatched furniture. It brightens up my hallways and second floor -- where it is a perfect contrast to my carpet. Left to my own devices, I would have made the mistake of choosing a color similar to my carpet, creating a cave-like effect, where floors run into walls run into ceilings with no contrast.

He did a great job painting - and he did my whole house in a ridiculously fast two days. But what I really appreciated was his advice. First of all, he listened to what I said I liked. Second, he offered me suggestions that I didn't know I would like. Third, he took our bold, disjointed colors and toned them down into a cohesive color palette that worked through the entire house. My own personal Pottery Barn palette.

If you're in the market to get your walls painted, give Claudine at Handyman Connection a call: 303-426-9777. Tell her Liz at Stapleton Moms.com sent you, and she'll give all my readers a 15% discount.