Losing Sleep over Clashing Grays

March 8, 2012

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When we revealed our new paint color for the family room, we were so happy that so many of you loved it as much as we did.  There was one issue that the paint color did bring up, that I was trying to avoid thinking about fixing it.  However, when one of our readers brought it up–I knew it wasn’t just me who was bothered by it:

The darn railing was completely clashing with our new paint color.  I knew it.  Chris knew it.  And Missy knew it.  I’m sure a lot of you were thinking the same thing.  Last June, I painted the small divider railing a medium gray and the large staircase railing, too.  It was pretty tedious, but free with a coupon for a free tester pot of Benjamin Moore paint–the results were worth it:

With the new paint in the family room, Martha Stewart’s Zinc, it suddenly didn’t look that great:

Not only was there a gray overload, but the grays were clashing.  I wasn’t lying when I told reader Missy that we do have plans to switch out both the staircase railing and this divider rail–we do.  Right now, we just don’t have the budget for the look Chris and I both have been eyeing and I have been pinning like this example via Houzz:

Until we have enough pennies saved for the clean-lined and clear railing of our dreams, we will have to live with the current railings.  But that doesn’t mean we have to live with a clashing-color railing.  A few minutes after I responded to Missy’s comment, I got a text from Chris that said, “I think if we’re going to wait to paint the railing a different color, we should do it before putting the bookcases up. Thoughts?”  It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, and definitely not what sounded like a fun time–but at that point we both knew that it needed painted and it would be easier done before we build the bookcase on that side of the doors.

After a quick discussion on what color to paint them, we decided on oil-rubbed bronze.  Tuesday night, we put on the first coat of oil-rubbed bronze and I put on the second and final coat yesterday during Greta’s nap.

When Chris asked how I like it, I responded with a “Hmmmm.”  To which he quickly replied, “Oh great.  What color are we re-painting it?” Ha!  Well, we aren’t re-painting it, that’s for sure.  It’s better than the clashy gray, but I still can’t wait to replace the railings all together.  I think it is the busy railing that is bothering me more than the color now. Although this quick fix only cost us $8 and time–so it was the smart decision right now.  I was pleasantly surprised they made oil rubbed bronze in a can. Did you know that?

I was unpleasantly surprised it was oil based–especially since there was no sign of it anywhere on the can.  Although I guess the “oil” part in oil rubbed bronze should have given that away.  When we went to clean up our brushes and hands, it became very apparent and that’s when I noticed in fine print on the back to “clean up with mineral spirits.”  Gah.  Okay, the smell tipped me off a bit, too.

The coverage was nice and it is the exact color you would think of.  A sort of metallic brown-black.

I still haven’t started on the main staircase.  I am admittedly dreading it, but as soon as it is done–you better believe you’ll see the photos.  Here’s a recap of the transitions this little railing has gone through in 9 months:

Did we make the right choice? Is it silly to think that oil rubbed bronze paint wouldn’t be oil based?

P.S. Chris’s brother, Brandon, and his wife Stephanie finally put up photos of their new home on their blog.  Take a good look at the before pictures because so much has changed!  

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What do you think?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would love to know if you primed them before repainting. I painted my railings as well and am loving this updated color. Thanks!

    • Nope! Since this is an oil-based paint it went on without a primer just fine. Although, it is worth it to note our original railings weren’t shiny or polyed at all. That might make a difference. Good luck!

  2. I admire your veracity as you attack each and every detail. You’re so honest in all of your posts and I love it. I feel like I’m in on the decision-making.

    I do think that the railing is very busy and doesn’t match well with the aethetic you’re going for. But those things can be fixed in good time. I definitely think you improved it though! It looks much better with the zinc!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It looks alot better!

  4. Oh man. Now you got me thinking. We initially nixed white because of all the white we have going on already. Also the white of the curtains, cabinets, and bookcases are all different whites and we weren’t sure how to find one that would look good with everything. But now….now you have me thinking. Let’s just hope these railings aren’t here too permanently.

  5. Tracy says:

    Aren’t the bookcases white? I personally, would have went white. It would be a nice crisp look against the gray and it would compliment the kitchen and the new bookcases. It looks nice though.

  6. Jessie McKinley says:

    I really do like it! I think it looks much better…and you can’t beat the price. You guys are amazing!!!

  7. Bummer to have to go through painting again, but it does look much better without the clashy gray! Those new, modern railings will look really awesome whenever you get them!

  8. I think you made the right choice – looks great and it’s a nice fix until you can get the railing you really want!

  9. Thanks Lexy. Honestly, you and all of our readers are definitely in on the decision-making around here. We read and often times, discuss each comment we receive and act accordingly. Not saying that if someone doesn’t like something–we are automatically going to change it, but we definitely consider all ideas. In this case, the reader “verbalized” her concerns which were in line with ours–and there just wasn’t anymore ignoring it.

    Veracity is a great word. ;)

  10. Kate says:

    I think it looks great! And the oil will be very durable. It seems that most paint not custom mixed at the hardware store is oil based.

  11. I think it looks better. just my 2 cents worth!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It looks alot better!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is the paint color in this room the same color as the kitchen?

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