Shades of grey

Blame it on being away at a course for two days and missing husband and home. While driving back to the farm, I decided that the best colour to paint the basement is the one that Matt liked the most. After all, the basement was his main priority when house hunting, and I’ve said that my priority is to make it nice for him.

There were six finalists in the running: two off-whites, two creams and two greys. When I asked you what you’d choose, one of the off-whites, White Dove (my favourite), came out on top with Misty Gray (Matt’s favourite) in second.

Poll results

We decided to make it Misty. However, it turned out not to be that simple.

I went and bought a 5 gallon pail of Misty Gray. We put the first coat on the long room. And I didn’t like it.

The grey was so subtle that it looked to me like we’d painted the room white. As much as I liked White Dove, now that we’d chosen to go grey, I wanted the colour to be noticeable.

So we returned to Benjamin Moore with the pail and asked them to adjust the colour. The next tint on the fan deck was Bunny Gray, and that’s what we aimed for–keeping in mind that the colour wouldn’t be exact given that we’d already used more than a gallon from the pail.

There were two things I was unsure about though: I thought that Bunny might still be too light, and I was also concerned that we wouldn’t have enough paint in our pail to cover the whole basement. And with our custom mixed colour, we likely would have trouble matching it exactly if we came up short.

So I decided to order a single gallon of Thundercloud, the next shade darker after Bunny. When we got home, we dumped the remains of our Misty sample pail along with the gallon of Thundercloud into our pail of Bunny.

Grey paints in a pail

Misty is the light blob at the top, Thundercloud is the swirl in the middle.

Matt mixed it all together, and I crossed my fingers as I picked up my paint brush. Fortunately, I was happy with our Franken-colour, and we went to town.

Grey painted basement

Sorry for the picture quality here. It was dark by the time we finished painting, and lighting in the basement isn’t the greatest. This is the future ping-pong area in the main room of the basement.

Running to the store for the retint and being away from home for a couple of days cost us a bit of painting time, so we still have a little more to do yet. But with the colour finalized and a few free evenings this week, we’re expecting to make good progress this week.

Have you ever mixed your own paint colour? How did it work out for you? What do you think of our custom shade of grey? Given my subject matter and the title of this post, I feel like I have to ask if there are any Shades of Grey fans out there? I haven’t read it myself. Do you recommend it?

11 thoughts on “Shades of grey

  1. I have made a franken-color. I have so many unused partial gallons that I have collected over the years. Sometimes it works, sometimes no. I just always keep in mind that I can never match it later! I like the gray you made. Looks great!

    • Do you have a favourite colour from your mixes, Sarah? Any tips for what works and what doesn’t? I’m thinking of trying another DIY colour for our front hall closet using some of the leftover basement samples. I’m aiming for a creamy shade and keeping my fingers crossed.

      • I worked on a yellow for my kitchen once. I kept adding and adding yellow and cream together and could never get what I wanted. Then I realized my whole problem was that I didn’t like yellow. So I scraped it and went with white!
        I learned to add a little at a time because you can’t go backwards. And if you don’t mix gloss with gloss or satin with satin, you will get an inbetween sheen, which of course, can’t be matched later.

  2. love the color you chose! but i am a grey-o-holic, so any shade of grey is wonderful in my book :). As for the books, I have read them. I was a little shocked and read most of them with my mouth open, but I am a little boring ;). I definitely read all three and enjoyed them while being shocked though hahah!

  3. Grey is such a soothing color. I’m getting a little tired of the warm trend I’ve been on for… well, forever, and grey seems like a nice subtle move in a cooler direction. I painted my bedroom a soothing blue with a hint of seafoam – I found the color at my local blue and was all set to order it when I remembered that paint almost always goes on darker than you expect (except in your case in the basement) so I had them cut it by 50% and am sooo pleased with the result. So – no, no custom colors but custom shading. 🙂

    Haven’t read the books. My inner perv is curious, though.

  4. I made a colour to match this aqua in some wallpaper I was using in the inset panels of an entertainment unit I was redoing for my step-daughter. (Did you need all that information? Probably not…) I mixed a bright blue left over from my other stepdaughter’s room with some pale green from our kitchen, threw a few other bits in there (white, I think) and made the PERFECT colour! I’m still using it for small projects around the place.

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