Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pick a Yellow, Any Yellow

Or not.

You only have 25,000 shades, hues and values to choose from. Who knew there could be so many varieties of a basic primary color? I have purchased about 20 sample cans of yellow paint and taken home hundreds (yes, hundreds) of paint chips during the past week, searching for that perfect shade. None of them is the right one. I don't even think I'm getting close. They are all either too dull, too bright, too cream, too peach or, worst of all, too lime green. It doesn't help that each one changes depending on where I place the sample board (and when). Under the florescents, everything looks puke green. In the sunlight, they're either too yellow or too pale. At dusk or on a cloudy day, most look muddy brown. In the hallway, they look different from in the kitchen.

Picking the sage for the laundry room was easy. Three sample colors and voila! I chose Benjamin Moore's Hollingsworth Green from the historical collection. But yellow? Maybe I just don't know what I'm looking for. Do I even want yellow? If not yellow, what else? DH doesn't want sage. Should we be bold and go red? What does the house want? My house in Minnesota begged me for yellow, a deep rich yellow. So naturally I thought that was MY yellow -- Benjamin Moore's Morning Sunshine. Funny thing, when I bought the sample and tried it here in NJ, it just looks like peach sherbet gone bad. But I swear it's yellow in the other house.

The paint companies, like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, now have this neat online program, a personal color visualizer, that allows you to choose a room and paint it with any of their gajillion colors. Supposedly, it will help you pick a color. It sounds like a great idea, and it's so fun to play with that my daughter pushed me off the computer so that she could "decorate." The drawback is that the color you see on the monitor is not necessarily accurate, and the same color swatch will look three different shades on three different computers.... and who's to say what color it will be on the actual wall? And quite frankly, when you're trying to decide between a swatch that is only 1/100th of a shade different from another, well, the subtleties become impossible to appreciate.

How is it that I can strike out so many times? I'm literally dreaming about yellows. When I close my eyes during the day, I see swatches of yellow. I can describe it. I can almost see it, that perfect shade. A warm, rich, deep, golden yellow that complements red accents and has no hint of green. But not too dark. A Monarch yellow, cheese yellow, Rudbeckia yellow, a Tuscany yellow. Yet none of these colors is speaking to me, neither at the paint store nor in my house. I fear I will break the bank looking for yellow. My painters will be here next week, and I'm fresh out of color.


Anonymous debojeanne said...

Rato, dont you need to get some of the outdated stuff off your blog? I love looking at it but I was just wondering how far back they are supposed to go? Keep up the good work, Love you, Debonrfvhl

8/29/2006 11:15 PM  

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