27 December 2009

Happy Camper

I just finished a meal I usually only eat on Thanksgiving: mashed sweet potatoes, corn pudding, and my friend Yokko's delicious cranberry sauce. My tummy is extremely content.

The rest of me is pretty pleased, too, because this weekend we finally figured out our exterior paint color. To recap:

We knew we wanted something in the neighborhood of green. We narrowed it down to two Sherwin-Williams paint cards that had promise. Of those, I liked the one that had a little more blue, which was fine by Steve. Of that one, I liked the darkest of the light shades (Coastal Plain); he preferred the lightest of the dark shades (Privilege Green -- who thinks this stuff up?). I bought a sample size of Coastal Plain and painted some scraps of Hardi-board siding that R had given us. Here it is with our chosen stone (Antique Lueders), our trim color (Panda White), and our galvalume (silvery) metal roofing:

(Of course, monitors vary; while we have made every effort to bring you along on every step of our journey, the management of this blog takes no responsibility for how the colors appear on your monitor and cannot be responsible for any adverse reactions you may have if you don't like what you see.)

I liked this color, but Steve thought it was too light. (That was the sample that we used when we went stone shopping.) So I bought another sample size of a custom color halfway between Coastal Plain and Privilege Green:

It seemed pretty dark to me, but I was willing to give it a chance until I realized that the house is situated in such a way that the sun will usually be facing the back of the house, so the front (which, we agree, is the part that matters as far as aesthetics are concerned) will almost always look darker than its true color. At that point, we were at an impasse. We really wanted to be able to see the colors on an entire wall to get a true feel for how dark they are.

We pretty much wanted the color of R's other current Craftsman house, but darker, so we turned to him for help and learned that the other house is painted a color called Chatroom (at 150% intensity, so it's about halfway between Chatroom and the next darker color), which wasn't on any of the cards I had. This is R's other house; we were looking at the green part below the second-story windows:

So it was back to the paint store to look for Chatroom. Imagine my surprise when I found it on one of the grey cards! We could not believe that "green" paint is grey, but it was a few days until we could back there to compare the sample to the house. Once we did, though, we found that the grey Chatroom sample matched the color of the exterior but also (through some kind of magic) appears decidedly green when painted on a whole house. Here's a scrap of Chatroom siding:

This told us that our greens would look really, really green -- too green, probably. So we turned to that other paint card that we liked (the one that wasn't as blue) and again ordered a color halfway between the lightest of the darks (Clary Sage) and the darkest of the lights (Artichoke). That color was nice:

Then we took this sample to another house we like and compared it with the siding. (This house, which we first saw on the Parade of Homes in June and is still for sale, is so beautiful, my heart breaks a little every time I see it. But it costs about double what we could have paid and is on a postage stamp of a lot....) That house, too, had green siding that we really liked, but darker than we want for our house. When we compared our sample to this house, our newest sample seemed really, really green. Again, we found that the green siding was closer to the grey color card than to any of the green cards!

The logical thing at that point would have been to buy a sample of the grey shade between the colors of the R's other house and the darker house (called Hardware), but my brain wouldn't let me order a quart of grey paint when what I want is a green house. So we regrouped, went back to the paint store, and asked for a mix between our last color (halfway between Clary Sage and Artichoke) and a darker version of Chatroom. The result, which the paint store guys named "Sageroom," looks just right. (Steve would like to go a bit darker, but again, the front of our house is going to be shaded from the sun most of the day, so he sees the value of staying lighter.) So here is Sageroom, with our stone, our trim color (Panda White), and our galvalume roofing.

There are three pieces of Sageroom siding in this picture. By chance, each is at a different angle to the sun, so you can get a sense of how the color changes with the light. (The piece standing on end is reflecting the sun right at the camera and isn't as indicative of the color as the one on the ground and the one lying on the stone.)

Today, we happened to be out and about with our siding in the car and came across a model home that looked pretty close to our color, so we compared it. Pretty close in the sun:

And pretty close in the shade:

It was great to see how the color (or a very close approximation) will look on the whole house:

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