Before And After: Painting The Living Room

I’m excited to continue sharing with you the transformation of my living room, step by step. It’s been a journey as all room makeovers are but it’s been fun. As I said yesterday, today I am going to show you the pictures of the new paint color.

My hint I gave you for the color was “I wasn’t sure what it was going to be until I stirred it up and put it on the wall.” Sarah guessed the closest and said I mixed two paints together and that’s basically right. I actually mixed 9 colors together to get the color I ended up using! Crazy, I know!

Here’s the story. I wanted to paint the living room. The budget didn’t allow for it. My Mom had a couple of paint cans that she offered to give me and suggested I mix the two. I had never done anything like that before, thought it was a crazy idea, and went for it! I took the two partial cans my Mom gave me and several other partial cans I had lying around and mixed them up. Most of them were left over from other projects and some were sample cans. I was completely blown away by how much I really liked the color. I thought it would just be a stand in until I could repaint when the budget allowed but instead I really love it! So cool! Here are a few of my paint cans:

paint cans

and the final color:

paint bucket

And now for the reveal (sorry for the graininess of the pics, I didn’t have a very sunny day for pictures):

living paint 1

living paint 2

Once I have artwork and pillows the room will really start to pull together. I’m having fun getting there and taking my time doing it.

Do you have some mismatched paint that you might want to mix? Here are some tips that I picked up in this experiment for maximum results.

1. Make sure you have the same kind of paint. What I mean is, use all latex or oil based but don’t mix the two. I used all latex so I can’t really vouch for mixing oil paint. Also, if you care about the sheen, make sure to only mix flat with flat and glossy with glossy. I didn’t really care what it ended up being but I think most of mine were satin.

2. To get your desired outcome, think about what you are mixing. I wanted a light color, that was my only criteria. So, I didn’t mix in any dark colors, I added only light colors. If you want a darker color, don’t add white. If you want a light color, don’t add black :) No brainer, right?! Also, mixing multiple colors either result in gray or brown. I was hoping for gray so I wasn’t being very picky about what tones I put in.

living paint 5

3. Check your local Habitat For Humanity store. We have one in town and they sell paint. I ended up buying a half gallon of just plain white for $3 because I knew I wanted it to be a light color. If you think you might need more to mix in, check and see what they have on hand. It’s usually really cheap and then you can make your color lighter or darker accordingly.

living paint 4

3. Mix way more than you think you will need. In the past I’ve used 1.5 gallons to paint the living room. I ended up mixing between 2.5-3 gallons. I had so much left over that I painted the bathroom (more pictures later) and the entryway. Plus, I still have 3/4 of a gallon left. Here is the entryway:

entry paint 1
(By the way, it’s really hard to get an accurate picture of a paint color especially since most people’s monitors aren’t calibrated. This picture is probably the most accurate.)

4. Buy an empty paint can from your local home improvement store the remainder. You might want to use the color again for touch ups and stuff and it would be near impossible to match the color. I bought my paint can at Lowe’s for $3.50.

5. Mix it up really good before you paint. Make sure there aren’t any unmixed spots even on the sides of the bucket. You don’t want any funny spots on your wall!

6. Paint a little test swatch on a piece of paper, let it dry, and see how you like it. I dried mine with a hair dryer and took it to the room to make sure it wasn’t hideous.

living paint 3

Can you believe it ended up being really close to the color of the dining room, just lighter? I was contemplating painting the living room the color of the dining room previously so I can’t believe the color is so close. Amazing!

living cat
Yes, it’s kitty approved! As soon as I whip my camera out she has to inspect and she actually ends up in a bunch of photos.

This was such a good experience for me that now I have plans to mix other colors I have so I can paint Jason’s office. I’m pretty sure I’ve never shown you pictures of his office but it’s pretty sad indeed. Maybe I will be bold and show you some ugly pics of his wood paneled basement office :)