The greatest dilemma of all time

The title of this post may be a little over dramatic. I am not the first to face this conundrum or to wrestle with this question. However, the angst, the uncertainty, the pressure of this choice is well known by many.

What paint colour do I choose?

With the conclusion of the drywall phase of the basement, we progress to the painting stage. We (optimistically, as it turned out) bought primer months ago, so last week Matt and I started priming the basement.

Matt priming the long room with the roller

Matt rolls on the primer in the long room

You would think with 5 1/2 months of drywalling (still can’t get over how long it took us), 7 1/2 months of farm ownership, and 9 1/2 months of knowing we were going to be painting the basement, I’d have figured this out by now. But I haven’t.

Most of the time in this project, I was planning on going grey. However, we’re planning on buying a charcoal grey sectional and the carpet will likely have grey tones in it. Painting the walls grey too was starting to seem like a lot. So over the last little while, I started thinking about other options.

The criteria for the colour are

  1. Light – I want the basement to be fairly bright, but, with only one window, pale paint is my best bet.
  2. Neutral – I really don’t want to repaint any time soon, but I may want to redecorate every so often. A neutral colour gives me the option to switch up the other colours in the basement when the mood hits.
  3. Works for the whole area – We have a fairly large basement, and the main room, long room, laundry room, stairwell and hallway are all going to painted the same colour (click here if you need a floor plan refresher).

I ended up buying samples of six different colours. Originally, I bought four, but then I didn’t like any of them, so I went back and bought two more.

Off white paint samples

Clockwise from top left: Cloud White, Distant Gray, Misty Gray, Mayonnaise, Linen White, White Dove. (All colours from Benjamin Moore).

This is my first time sampling colours on the actual wall. Usually I just trust my gut and go with a paint chip that I think will work. However, this is also my first time painting my forever house (bathroom aside), so I feel like it matters more that I get this right.

So, in addition to sampling the colours, I am appealing to you for help. What do you think?

Have a favourite colour that’s not covered in my samples? Let me know in the comments what you recommend.

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13 thoughts on “The greatest dilemma of all time

  1. Looking good Mr. P. I like the work you’ve done, I’m going to Mohawk for renovation construction so this is exactly the kind of stuff that I’m learning about. If you’re doing any framing I could use the practice. 😉 Don’t mean to be a stalker, it’s coming along nicely though!

  2. Oh the paint colour dilemma, I can totally relate. I love Cloud White and White Dove, but if you are up for even more ideas we just used Seapearl OC-19 in our home and adore it! It gives a beautiful light warm white feel with a tad bit more colour. And if I can even throw more options your way, you have a couple of hits of grey colours in your possible paint picks, well Titanium OC-49 is amazing! It has that beautiful grey undertone without being muddy. Happy painting! and doesn’t it feel amazing when the drywall goes up! Can’t wait to see what colour you pick! 🙂

  3. I like the Misty Gray myself. I think gray is the new neutral color and I think it can be dressed up for warm or cool interior colors. However, I usually consult my sister the art minor for interior decorating help so maybe I’m not the best person to consult!

    Got a carpet sample? Maybe that will help us.

  4. i like the misty grey too – to brighten it up with the grey sectional you could throw in some really bright cushions. But it’s going to look great no matter what colour you choose (chose). I’m curious, why did you brick up the windows?

    • They were both small windows below grade in window wells, so they didn’t actually add that much light to the basement. The one window was extremely old, and it was in the cold cellar, where we really don’t need natural light. The other was broken. Rather than replacing them, we decided to just get rid of them. I’m happy with the choice and I really don’t miss them. We do have one big window in the main area of the basement, and there’s no way I’m getting rid of it. It lets in a lot of light and is a nice feature. I find the typical basement windows don’t add much because they’re so small.

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