We are currently in the stages of prepping the exterior of our house for painting, so picking a paint color is the logical next step…but who knew there could be so many different colors of grey to choose from??
Well, actually I already did because of our hunt for the perfect “greige” during our main living area project, but it’s still overwhelming to look at all the swatches and know you have to pick just one! For most small rooms, I narrow it down to one color, paint the sample just to make sure it’ll work, and we go for it. If I don’t like it, we can repaint it with about $40 and a Saturday afternoon. But this is way more pressure. We’re talking days and days of hard labor out in the hot sun to get this house painted (we’re doing it ourselves, you see), and hundreds of dollars in paint. It has to be right the first time. Even if we hate it, it’ll probably stick around for a while. So, no pressure. I started with this…
Kind of overwhelming. To simplify things, we’re ignoring the gutter color choices and the white trim options until we choose the siding color. Then we’ll choose a clean white trim color from our “Behr Whites” book that coordinates with the paint and gutter options (though at this point we’re thinking plain white for the gutters to tie into our new white vinyl windows.)
Once we got them home, it was easy to eliminate a few right off the bat: any that were too green, too pink, too blue, too dark, too light, etc. Next, we eliminated any that obviously didn’t coordinate with the brick color. Then we compared them all to each other and matched up similar swatches, then chose our favorite of the 2 or 3 that were very close. Finally, we had it narrowed down to just 4 options. (Bottom left: second from top. Bottom right: middle)
Andrew had originally said we were only buying 3 samples (he has to lay down the law or I might get carried away), but he was pretty satisfied we were able to narrow it to 4, so off I went to Home Depot to get my samples. We got them all in Behr since that’s what we’ll be using. Andrew’s employer, MASCO, owns Behr and he gets a discount, so that made that decision easy. And at $2.84 per sample, getting 4 wasn’t such a big deal.
I painted swatches above our garage first. This is the biggest area of siding on the front of the house, and I think the way the front looks is the most important. All about the curb appeal! Here are the colors from left to right:
- Pewter Cast by Sherwin Williams (SW 7673)
- Anonymous by Behr (780F-5)
- Zinc by Martha Stewart Living (MSL267)
- Suede Gray by Behr (PPU18-17)
After getting them painted, we felt like maybe we were being influenced by the existing tan trim, so we painted a few coats of white primer around the swatches to mimic our soon-to-be white trim.
We also painted swatches along the side of the garage door so we could see them all next to the brick. (Top to bottom: Pewter Cast, Anonymous, Zinc, Suede Gray).
Then we painted bigger swatches on the back of the house. Here they are partially in the sun.
And in the early morning in the shade.
We’ve heard that you should always choose a darker shade than you think because the sun can make the colors look a lot lighter and more washed out than what you see on the swatch. (Also keep in mind these samples are flat, but we’ll be using either satin or semi-gloss, adding a little more depth to the colors.)
We have sort of a tricky situation, though, because they all look much darker on the front than they do on the back since the siding in the back gets more sun (the pictures don’t convey this very well). We don’t want our house to look ominous from the front, and we already have a very dark roof and lots of black in our brick. We felt like we needed a lighter color and might just have to deal with it being a little lighter than desired on the back.
Even on the back, though, we felt like Zinc and Suede Gray were a little too dark. Also, Zinc had a bit too much green in it, and Suede Gray ended up being a bit more brown than we were hoping. So out with those two…
Leaving us with Pewter Cast and Anonymous.
We both love Anonymous on the back…
But felt like the more “greige” qualities of Pewter Cast might help tie the paint into the brick a little better, and might keep it from looking too much like your typical grey-house-with-white-trim scenario. Though when looking at it alone, it’s still definitely in the grey family.
Something about the blueish tones in Anonymous also make me feel like it just doesn’t belong outside in nature. But I don’t know…maybe I’m crazy.
I really do like them both, but I don’t want anyone to look at our paint choice and think “They just chose that color because they liked it, but without any consideration of what would go with the brick.” Don’t tell me no one thinks like this. I think about this stuff all the time, and have found myself thinking that about specific paint/brick combos on several occasions! Like I said, I’m crazy, and I think about things in WAY too much detail. I just can’t help it.
Meanwhile, our fluffy grey Winston (who hasn’t been properly introduced yet) is tired of looking at paint swatches and wants us to just pick one already! He’s about 100 colors of grey, so he thinks they’re all wonderful.
At this point I think we’re leaning toward Pewter Cast, and we’ve even considered asking if they could just make the Pewter Cast about 10% darker. Which do you prefer? Do you like the truer grey or the greige?
Check out the other stages of the process and the finished product!