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Perfectly Putty Paint

November 24, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We got the great room and entry painted (again) last week and I’m back to show you photos! I made myself sick trying to pick the perfect paint color. I really wanted something warm and muddy. I test 5 different grays (you saw those last week) and ended up at the last minute going with something different all together and I am so, so glad! It’s beautiful and calm and warm.

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As a reminder, here is what the walls used to look like. We loved our light walls, but unfortunately they were not practical when it comes to our growing family with a 160 pound dog.

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The paint color is called Hazy Skies by Benjamin Moore and it is perfectly putty. It’s muddy. It’s tan. It’s gray. I guess some people call those colors “greige” but the whole time I was painting, my mind kept going back to my college ceramics class and that big hunk of clay I was assigned to make into a vase. It’s earthy. It’s putty. It is sometimes a little green. Or, yes, greige too–I guess.

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I had the swatch color-matched to Valspar’s Optimus line at Ace Hardware. There was a question last week about how we go about painting with babies and pets in the house. This! This paint is zero voc and very low to no odor. And you know the best part? We did the whole area in one coat. ONE COAT!!! I’ve tried nearly all the paint lines and this is our favorite.

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Now that it’s on and we love it, we’re ready to paint the stairwell walls, which felt like a big commitment considering it requires using a ladder…on the stairs! #holdme. And eventually we’ll even carry the color downstairs. I thought I would miss our nearly white walls, but this is so cozy and more importantly, suits our family so much better. Three cheers for Hazy Skies!

What do you think?

  1. Debra Kay Moore says:

    Trying to pick out a color for our exterior house. We have the archtectural light gray two ton roof, but my problem is I have a true teal porch. Any suggestions?

  2. Whitney Distefano says:

    Hi, Julia!

    I love your use of BM Hazy Skies. I have a question regarding pairing it with carpeting for a stairway. We are deciding between a light cream colored carpet or a darker medium tan. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Whitney

  3. KimR says:

    Hazy skies looks beautiful! However, it is a little too dark for my space. Can you share the old paint color you had on the walls? Thanks!

  4. Joshua C. says:

    Hi Chris and Julia, I have to know, which sheen of paint do you typically use? We are planning a renovation soon and don’t know what sheen to use for the walls, ceiling, and baseboards!

    Thanks for the advice,
    Joshua

  5. Sylvia Smith says:

    Hi Julia,
    I am using hazy skies too. We have high vaulted ceilings. Should they just be painted white?
    Thank you,
    Sylvia Smith

  6. Haley says:

    Love, love, love the color! We are getting ready to do hazy skies in our home too. Just a quick question- what color did you use for the trim? Thank you! :)

  7. Viktorija says:

    I might have missed it, but did you guys use different sheen of the same paint color in your kitchen and living room? We tore down some walls to have one big room (just like you guys) and now I am trying to decide how to paint it. I guess it makes sense to just have satin or semi-gloss in the kitchen and flat or eggshell across the room in the living area. Or does it look weird? First house, first projects, so even choosing wall colors seems like the biggest, most important decision ever. :)

    • Julia says:

      Paint, nowadays, is so different–semi-gloss in the kitchen is not really necessary like it used to be. I only use it on baseboards and trim. We did eggshell throughout the whole space and have no problems with scrub-ability or durability.

  8. Cassie says:

    Just popping in to say thanks for telling the story about the paint color switcheroo on the podcast! I totally get why you held back on posting about it but it was so incredibly refreshing to hear that even experienced people like you both make mistakes sometimes and that at the end of the day it’s really just paint! I hope you’ll continue to share situations like this (like you did with the built-ins!). Even though your blog is often about sharing the more polished side of life it actually made me feel more capable as a diyer to know that even those we look up to experience really not fun mistakes (growth moments?)!

    • Julia says:

      Thanks so much, Cassie! We look forward to sharing more real life stories on the podcast and you’re right, it’s comforting to know we all make the same kinds of mistakes. If you have a minute, we’d love for to leave a review on the podcast! You can even copy and paste this thoughtful comment right here. Thanks again!

  9. Kaitlin says:

    Beautiful house! I’m obsessed with everything. What color did you paint your door? I am looking for a black color for ours.

  10. Rachel says:

    Hi Julia,

    I like the old, lighter color of the walls as well. Do you remember what color that was?

  11. Abby says:

    beautiful color (i know i’m late to the party here–oops!)…question: where did you get your lamp (and shade if it didn’t come with the base)? i am on the hunt for a pair of lamps for my console table and love that one!

  12. I am soooo in love with your art shelf! It pops so perfectly with the new paint color!

  13. Amy says:

    We painted Hazy Skies as the main color in our home and it’s been great so far. It changes throughout the day and has a good amount of light and dark for a main color! Can’t wait to see how the rest of the space looks with the new color!

  14. Marcellina K says:

    Wondering where the curtains are from though, seems like a great geometric but still versatile pattern!

  15. Giordi Y. says:

    What I want to know is how do you actually get jobs like this done with a husband who works from home and two babies. Every time I think that I’ll just paint a room right quick I remember that I have a six and a two year old that are, ahem, busy. How do you keep out of the paint? What do you do with all your stuff while in the middle of a job? Do you have super powers?

    • Julia says:

      Yes, I have super powers. Hahhaa. I wish Chris worked from home!! We knocked this out in 3 hours. Faye napped for 2 of them and my mother in law graciously watched Greta. I do the cutting in and Chris rolls. When Faye woke up, we kept her busy in her high chair with snacks and she crawled around a bit, too.

  16. Sooooooooo beautiful, wow. And I am STILL drooling over that new picture ledge. Bravo.

    Two questions:
    Black paint—my hubby REALLY wants to paint our paneled basement black. The previous owner had painted it it beige, so it’s really not too bad as is but needs more life. We are HUGE movie buffs and really want to make this an all-out movie watching room. BUT with the beige carpet and white popcorn ceiling, I am afraid black paint will make those ugly features stand out more.

    Can a day basement handle being painted black? We have an off-white leather sectional and beautiful crate & barrel lamps—I figure we can infuse more bring colors (golds & apple greens?) with accessories. I am mostly worried that it could be a horrible, pain-staking mistake too dark to un-do if it doesn’t go well.

    Dogs–hubs and I are planning for a puppy, but how do we keep our nice new house… nice and relatively unbroken? Any tips from when you first got Charley? Does her tail just knock things over? Did she try to eat houseplants?

    Thanks!!!! You guys are the best.

    • Julia says:

      Hey Lindsey,

      If you are committed to making this a theater type room, go for an off-black. Something softer. We painted our last living room a really pretty color (I still miss it!) called “Crave” from Kwal Paint. https://www.chrislovesjulia.com/2012/10/our-dark-diyed-wainscoting-reveal.html

      You might consider painting your ceiling a couple shades darker than white, too. I think dark walls are super cozy! About dogs. We got Charly when she was 3, so she was past the puppy stage. We haven’t had many misadventures with her besides a few potty accidents when we moved here before we got dog doors. I am always surprised how mindful she is when she walks around. Never hits anything!

  17. Jackie says:

    Question – can you refresh my memory on your to-do list for this room? I love following along and am curious about what’s next so I can live vicariously haha :). I can’t remember if you were going to do crown/shoe moulding, if you finished re-staining the grout, etc. This room looks really great – I love the color!

    Best,
    Jackie

    • Julia says:

      Hey Jackie,

      We were advised to hold off on re-staining the grout for at least a year. The grout will naturally get darker as it is unsealed and it has already started, thankfully. So, that project is on pause for now but we’ll revisit it again in a little bit. We are bringing in a contractor to see what the cost would be to vault the ceiling in the great room. We’d really REALLY like to do that before we tackle any other main projects in the great room since that would make a substantial difference. If that cost wouldn’t make sense, we’ll likely plank the ceiling. Chris has talked about adding crown molding, too. I am not sure it would fit our home’s aesthetic, but it’s on the table. We’re also are adding another large window to the left of the patio doors to mimic the one to the right. A fireplace where the fauxdenza now is. Recessed lighting. We’re just getting warmed up!

  18. Suzanne G. says:

    Haha, *which.

  19. Suzanne G. says:

    I’m always stuck on hwich paint finish to go with–what is your favorite for walls? Also, are your baseboards semi-gloss?

  20. I appreciate your struggle to find the perfect shade of “putty” – we have something similar in several rooms of our house (Herbal Escape and Coastal Fog by BM) that shifts shades depending on the light. Sometimes gray, sometimes muddy, sometimes a little green. I like that about these neutral tones though. Love the color you chose!

  21. Ann L. says:

    Perhaps need to include that Hazy Skies is a Benjamin Moore color. :)

  22. Amanda says:

    This is a beautiful color!

  23. CTDC says:

    It looks great! I think it would be super cool if you guys did a full post about how you make realistic design choices with kids. I have an 11 month old and while he is very good about understanding the word “no,” there are some items that just are not realistic to leave out in our house anymore. The biggest challenge is that I cannot style low coffee/end tables/shelves the way I used to. Like in the picture above from your living room, I just kept thinking how I could no longer have a breakable vase and candle sitting out there like that! He would love to chew on them and eventually drop them! Our house is super tiny so we don’t have any areas that are off limits to our son. We have been diligent about not letting the house get filled with hideous kid stuff :) but still, there are some challenges. It would be interesting to hear how you balance the design and parenting imperatives.

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