Monday, May 5, 2014

How to lighten paint

One of the hiccups we encountered on this house remodel journey was the paint. In our last house, I had chosen the paint at the very last minute (without even testing it) and loved it. So to make life easier, I decided I'd just do the same paint in this house.

Except I didn't factor in that our previous house had a ton of windows everywhere and this house has 5 windows and 1 sliding glass door for 3 bedrooms, 1 great room (living/dining/kitchen area) and 2 bathrooms. Yeah, it sometimes feels like a cave in here.

So when we tested the paint that we ordered, I panicked. It was really dark and brown and not at all the light airy color from our previous house.

We hemmed and hawed for a few weeks trying to decide what to do. The only option if we didn't want the dark brown paint was to try to lighten it ourselves.

So Brian bought a huge trash can from Home Depot and wiped down the inside. We dumped in all the wall paint (three 5-gallon buckets) and added one 5-gallon of white paint. He mixed it with a cement mixer for a really long time. He wanted to make sure that the white paint wasn't settling on the top or bottom so I would tip the trash can and he'd mix, tip and mix, tip and mix.


Then we very carefully poured the new paint back into the 5 gallon buckets using an old pitcher. Once the trash can was empty enough to pick up, he lifted it and I scraped the insides with a spatula so we wouldn't waste any paint.

Here's a shot of the difference: (the original color is what we painted all over this section of the wall, the lighter color is that strip you see right in the middle-ish)


All in all, I'm SO GLAD we lightened the paint. The new color looks very close to white, which is what I wanted in the first place. I'm also really glad that this didn't end up being a mistake that cost a lot of time and money to fix. We're not sure if we'll end up with an extra 5 gallons of paint after all the painting is done, but getting the color that makes me happy every time I look at it makes it totally worth it. Plus it's probably better to have too much paint than not enough, right?