August 7, 2013

The floor project, end of Day 3.

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Tomorrow, sanding and finishing, and then dodging the fumes. The floors, when finished, should be close to the color of the window frames, and Meade plans to paint the walls, which right now are a yellowish cream. What color would you paint the walls? Meade and I are in discussions about that, so help us (me) out here.

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74 comments:

Big Mike said...

What color to paint the walls? I'd absolutely want to see the color of the finished floor first, and I absolutely wouldn't want to paint the walls untl the floors are sealed.

Given all that glass, do you want to focus on summer and summer colors, or is the room used year-round? If year-round you might think about warm colors to make it feel warmer on a bleak, snowy day.

BTW, did Meade do all this himself or did you two make a team? Whether I'm congratulating one of you or both of you, you do nice work.

k said...

I like restful colors. I chose a pale off-beige called "Sweet Cream" when we repainted living areas in November. But I also chose... 14 yrs ago ... a beige rose color for the bedroom that I still love. Otherwise, dove greys in varying blue tones.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a year-round room, the room we spend the most time in. We keep our desks side-by-side looking out the window, and the open kitchen projects into this area, so we're looking at it when we're in the kitchen. The TV also goes in this room.

Ann Althouse said...

"BTW, did Meade do all this himself or did you two make a team? Whether I'm congratulating one of you or both of you, you do nice work."

We hired professionals. Meade did move some damned heavy furniture out, which was especially hard because it's a step up to the rest of the house.

I would not recommend doing this work on your own. There's all kinds of machinery involved, and a lot of skill.

Over on the left, there is a spiral staircase down to the lower level, so there is a round opening in the floor. Getting that part right -- which they did -- looked really challenging.

There's still sanding left to do, which seems really hard.

John Burgess said...

If the color is indeed similar to that of the frames, then I'd go for a light blue. Something that would be brighter than a Wisconsin winter sky, but softer than a summer one.

Paddy O said...

The walls should be the color of the leaves outside.

ALP said...

Paint the walls a light beige that takes on different hues depending on the light. That's the effect I got with Sherwin-William's "Croissant" - in some light conditions, it takes on a warm, peachy glow. In others, a cool grey.

FleetUSA said...

I think a bit brighter yellow would be great. Especially in the long winter nights.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

When I was in 5th grade and my sister in 2nd, my parents bought a very odd house in upstate NY. (The previous owner/builder was anticipating WWIII, so among other things all the walls were made up of three thicknesses of cinder blocks.) It had a corrugated flat metal roof, and was altogether not all that much to look at from outside. Nor inside either, when they bought it. But under the hideous living room carpet there was a marvelous hardwood floor, with all the boards at 45-degree angle to the walls.

Restoring the floor involved sanding it and re-staining it. My parents rented a sander for the bulk of it, and had us kids tackle the areas next to the walls by hand with sandpaper. Nasty, gritty, tiring work.

Later on, Dad decided to double the size of the house by building an addition on top of the garage (the house was built into a hill, so the garage was basement level relative to the rest of the original house, and on top of it was a 20x30' massive concrete slab just begging to be built on). So he designed it, hired professionals to do the framing, and then we all handled the sheetrocking, and Dad himself did all the hardwood flooring. It's time-consuming and leaves you all achy from having to hammer a lot in uncomfortable positions, but not really all that complicated. Still, not for the faint-hearted!

Re: color, our current house has trim very much that honey-brown color, and the prevailing wall color is a sort of pale cream verging on ivory. It was here when we bought the place, two years ago. We find it harmonizes very nicely, and have no inclination to change it. (The whole place is full of built-in cabinets in the identical shade of wood stain, and I can't think of a better complement to it.)

missred said...

I, personally, like greens. Almost any green.

colleen cafferty said...

We had some issues with contractors first ruining a redwood balcony with SPF coating (only use timber oil), and then could not find anyone to sand it down.

So I started working on it WITH A HAND SANDER as an experiment and it ended up looking like beautiful furniture. Took forever working weekends. I had cheap, but good champagne every Sunday to celebrate as the sun went down.

I'd send you pics, but there aren't attachments here.

traditionalguy said...

Try a light gray wall color.

jnseward said...

Light greenish blue.

The Elder said...

Green. Some shade of green.

Dad always liked green best.

MadisonMan said...

Does the paint have to match furniture colors?

How about Dark Green? I think there's enough light in there that you could pull that color off. Avocado.

Unknown said...

A lightish blue-grey I think would look well here

not too light. get a few chips or bits of sample paint

it's lovely!

Kate said...

If the room is north-facing I would choose a lighter shade. It's such a beautiful room with the windows. In the summer all the color you need is outside, but in the winter you will want something cheerful. You and Meade don't happen to prefer the same color, do you? Don't be practical and choose neutral. You love this room.

tpceltus said...

My two cents:

Keep the paint a neutral color...it shouldn't fight with the colors from the terrific view (w/its own colors). Having vibrant colors in the furniture can give a shot of drama in summer and provide contrast in winter.

For a neutral, think brillant white re ceiling (for height and light) and bone for the walls (a warm color that's not really a 'color'). If determined to have a bold color, do so only on a wall opposite from the window view and use a gloss or semi-gloss paint.

Love your blog...lots of different topics, insightful observations, fewer damaging commenters now.

Leigh Fellner said...

A brownish-charcoal the color of winter bark, which will both highlight the wood and recede so that the view's the thing. I recommend Valspar's "Fired Earth".

No matter what shade of green you pick, it will be wrong, looking phony in spring and summer, and incongruous in fall and winter.

Jane said...

These are warm tones. Perhaps they are dated to about 5 years ago, but they look good with greens, browns, and black.

(Not for blue or grey, which are popular now, I think).

http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/consentinochardonnay

LTMG said...

You aren't going to see much of the walls after you move desks, lamps, electronics, etc. back into the room. A light color will reflect exterior light and brighten the room that much more. I'd opt for eggshell or just a tiny bit darker. Other commenters have suggested hint of pink or gray or blue or green. That can work if that color matches the dominant color of your furnishings.

LTMG said...

What is the dominant color of your furnishings that will occupy the room? A very pale hue of whatever that color is will match and will reflect exterior light throughout the room. If you have no dominant color among your furnishings, then maybe opt for eggshell or a tiny bit darker. I don't think you would want a pied piper look in the room where you spend many hours.

cassandra lite said...

The painters are beginning their third day here...of probably seven. It took us two months--yes, two months--to decide what colors we wanted. So I can be of no help.

tpceltus said...

If you want a dramatic color on any wall, please also ask your painter to slap your favorite colors and his against the wall. You may be surprised that his colors open your eyes to colors you hadn't really thought of.

Ann Althouse said...

Keep in mind that the ceiling and those beams are a medium tone wood. There is no white ceiling, but obviously there's a lot of window and open space, so should the walls be light or not.

Also consider that these walls extend into the kitchen, so you'll be choosing the kitchen wall color too,

Henry said...

What tpceltus said....

Except, since there's no white ceiling, paint the walls white. Let the wood tones carry the color of the room and let the walls pick up the light and color from the outdoors.

Don't do beige. Don't do any kind of off-white or antique-white or this-home-was-lived-in-by-smokers-white. Pick a good strong white.

Sharkcutie said...

Periwinkle blue!

Freeman Hunt said...

What color are you finishing the floor? I have natural finish (whatever that means) red oak in a sunny, dark green room. I was going to paint the room cream, but after the floor was put in, I liked the dark green again.

Ann Althouse said...

The floor will be natural, which will be like the window frames, so there will be a lot of brown.

The point about the color on the other side of the window, in different seasons, is very good.

Phaedrus said...

The paint should match that lovely AC unit in the wall.

Paint is such a personal preference. Take a picture when the room is finished then go to any of the major paint company web sites Behr for example and use their virtual room to see how different colors look. Go to the bookstore and check out the home improvement magazines with similar rooms and see how you like the colors. If that fails just go bright red as in Wisconsin Badger red.

C Stanley said...


Also consider that these walls extend into the kitchen, so you'll be choosing the kitchen wall color too,

So then we need to know what colors are in the kitchen- especially the cabinets and countertops.

Ann Althouse said...

The kitchen cabinets and floor are natural maple. The countertop looks like wet beach sand.

KathyP said...

My suggestion would be to paint the TV wall darker than the other wall(s). I think it will make a good contrast to the TV especially during the daytime. Otherwise the picture may be too washed out to enjoy.

C Stanley said...

Check out Beach Glass by Benjamin Moore. It's a blue gray but really complex. It sounds like it would be wonderful in your kitchen but I'm not certain about how it will work with the wood tones in your other space.

For that room I was leaning toward either Tree Moss or Silver Sage, so see if those appeal.

Capitol Report New Mexico said...

For the walls, I would do white, but that's a New Mexico thing. However, I would find an accent color here and there. We repainted our dining room last year, white, but with a blue on one end of the room. Everyone loves it. This accent color notion I got from the work of Alexander Girard on the Santa fe campus of St. John's College in the early 1960s. Have some fun without getting carried away.

Michael K said...

Green

Lem said...

Shouldn't the wall painting been done before the floor?

Almost Ali said...

I suggest two shades of orange - the bolder shade around the windows, and on the transition (porch/deck) wall.

Orange compliments spring and summer, welcomes fall and warms winter, and loves to play in the snow.

RecChief said...

I think an offwhite. Also, if they use water based finish there really won't be many fumes

Augie Fartro said...

Bilious green.


The people who do flooring work like that are something. I had some floors done in Madison, and later in Atlanta, and the guys who sand, and then stain and apply polyeuethane have lung disorders (sawdust) and glazed red eyes from the polyeurethane. I don't think that line of work has much longevity.

MaxedOutMama said...

On the end walls, a very, very light kind of pink or rose, but not a bright pink - an offish pink. A touch of red will work well with the wood. But that's just my vote - maybe it won't work for one of you.

On the interior wall, the starkest gloss white you can find.

You want the available light to kind of bounce around the room picking up glints and tones.

The most important thing is not to pick the color of the end walls until after the floor is done. Then test the color you think you want at night under artificial light. You have those long dark winters to contend with, so how the room looks with your lighting is the most important issue. During the days and summers, the outside lighting will swamp everything anyway - as it is designed to do.

I think you could test best by making your best pick, getting a sample and painting a piece of plywood and propping it up against an end wall at night with the lights on so that you can look at it.

I do think you want the interior wall to be a stark gloss white, though.

I like thinking of the two of you working at your desks, maybe muttering a few comments and passing a few jokes back and forth. It's the Meade and Ann room, and the Meade and Ann window-on-the-world room, and whatever you do should be a bit subdued, because the point of the room is the people in it, contemplating the world and sharing their perceptions.

cf said...

I agree with the Greens.

I had very marvelous luck with one that looked like the light one in this group
http://design-seeds.com/index.php/home/entry/color-message

Beautiful room you have there, whatever season, congrats.

WAmom said...

A color I've enjoyed living with is Pratt & Lambert Chalk Gray #2275, like a mushroom color. For me, it's the ultimate neutral. It doesn't cast pink, and it doesn't cast yellow. If you wanted warmer, I once had woodwork your color, and it looked really good with Benjamin Moore's Linen White, a really beautiful color. If you want the rising trend, go minty green. Supposedly, seafoam is becoming dated.

Unknown said...

How about sage? In the verdant months, the walls are less conspicuous. In the winter months, it isn't bleak. I did that in a similar room in my house, and it worked out. I do a lot of work myself, but totally agree on floors. That's a skill that you won't use often and you would regret mistakes. And those guys are quick.

Rusty said...

If the floor is going to be as dark as the trim you might want to lighten up the walls even more.
An eggshell would be my choice.
Otherwise on less than sunny days the room will be dreary.


I would not recommend doing this work on your own. There's all kinds of machinery involved, and a lot of skill.

Not really. I've done it. Careful planning and patience is all that's required.


Rusty said...

Since the floor is going to be as dark as the other wood trim, I'd opt for an even lighter color on the walls than there is now. Otherwise on less than sunlit days the room will seem dreary.

Administrator said...

Three words.

Sea.
Foam.
Green.

Kelly said...

I'm into grey. Half my house is painted some form of that color. Try Benjamin Moores Revere Pewter. It's beige in some light, silvery in others.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

"Gentle Rain" by Behr. It's a true medium gray. It does not become blueish or lavendar. Just put in a gorgeous cinnamon-toned maple hardwood floor and it looks great next to it. Neutral and shows off the wood. It's the monochrome next to the sepia window frames. Will not compete in any season. Will not depress, even though it's a gray.

annk said...

Paint color should be a warm but pale cream or gray, so that you can use brighter colors as accents elsewhere (art, pillows). You've got lots of color outside and that should be the focus.

Inga said...

I suggest the palest shade of yellow possible. Keep the sun shining in that room, even in winter.

galdosiana said...

Given the warm tones of the wood and the amount of light you get in that room, I'd go with a cream/yellow color. We just painted our upstairs hallway in Behr "Stable Hay", and it's one of those paints that really changes hue depending on the lighting. In less sunlight it looks light beige, and in bright light it's a fairly sunny/pastel yellow. We really like it, and I could see it looking really nice in your sun room.

David said...

Paint it a creamy yellow.

David said...

"There's still sanding left to do, which seems really hard."

Spoken like the lawyer that you are.

(And my sentiments exactly.)

Sorin said...

I would recommend going with a very pale color to tie the room to the outside. It’s hard to say not being in the room but you might consider a shade of green with cream in Venetian plaster for the solid wall. Meade is a DYI guy so he should be able to make it work. Another option might be to go blue to tie in with the sky. I so want to walk barefooted on that bare floor. It’s looking good so far.

RecChief said...

what tpceltus said

Ann Althouse said...

"Shouldn't the wall painting been done before the floor?"

Well, Meade came up with the idea of repainting some time after the floor project started, but I still think the answer is no.

For one thing, all the baseboards were pried off to do the floors, so you'd want to paint at least them afterwards. But also there's a lot of dust and banging around in doing the floors, so I think freshening up the walls afterwards is the better choice.

The argument for doing the walls first would only be: Then I don't have to worry about dripping all over the place. But a good painter doesn't drip. And even if you're not that good, it's not really hard to wipe up the occasional drip. Using changing the flooring as an excuse to be sloppy painting... that seems wrong.

C Stanley said...

If paint drips, don't wipe it up. Wait for it to dry and it will peel right off.

Is the wood of the window frames and ceiling looking so yellow because of reflection from your current wall color? I suspect so but can't tell for sure, and it will make a difference in choosing a new color.

Ann Althouse said...

It already is creamy yellow, so if you like the way it looks in the pictures...

janetrae said...

Taupe (which looks, depending on the light) brown or gray or green. And can look dark or light, again depending on the light. Do you use curtains? what color are they?

janetrae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smilin' Jack said...

Paint it black. Goes with everything, and Goth is overdue for a comeback.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is the wood of the window frames and ceiling looking so yellow because of reflection from your current wall color?"

It's the color it is because it's old. It's yellowed with age, in that typical way wood has. And some of it was stained, with a medium tone. It's been like that a long time.

Ctmom4 said...

Color is hard. I think I would avoid light blues and yellows, which will not work with your kitchen and are too cool for the cold Wisconsin winters. I like the chalk gray suggestion, and I just saw Sienna red on the Valspar website which is nice and warm, but may be too close to the wood trim. Your painter may be very helpful with suggestions, and the best advice I got was to paint a big swatch of whatever you consider, and live with it for a week. Color is hard!

Ctmom4 said...

Oh, and don't use water based finish on the floor, which will not hold up, although the floor guy may tell you it will. Don't believe him.

Ann Althouse said...

It occurs to me that it will be hard to judge the color in the summer light and have it be a good decision for winter light. This is a northern exposure, and the sunlight is very different in winter. Of course, all that greenery outside is gone then too.

traditionalguy said...

A light gray clashes with nothing and is a calming color, probably because it is a white with some black mixed in.

That gives relief from the blend with everything pastels that also make red heads with pink skin disappear into the background.

C Stanley said...

With all the considerations you've stated and shown, I now think a midtone warm gray would work best.

Midtone because too light would wash out with all of the sunlight (someone mentioned Revere Pewter which is a great neutral but too light in this space, I think.)

BM has Creekside Green which is slightly sagey or Nantucket Gray which has yellow undertones.

Either or them would play well against your yellowed oak as well as maple tones, and wouldn't clash with your periwinkle room. And they are neutral enough to frame the view in both winter and summer (will fade back in summer while making the cool whites and blues of winter pop, I think.) Just make sure there's only an undertone of green because those shades read much more green on the wall than they look on the chips.

Conserve Liberty said...

Glidden "Pistachio Ice Cream."

Really. It really is a real color.

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh, and don't use water based finish on the floor, which will not hold up, although the floor guy may tell you it will. Don't believe him."

Our guy explained everything very well and we chose oil.

There's a commercial grade water-base that's more expensive, but it's still not as sturdy as oil.

The main thing about the oil is the fumes, but once it's dry that will be a nonissue. We'll just "dodge the fumes" as I said in the post.

Ann Althouse said...

This topic really got a lot of comments!

People like to talk about color, I guess. Everyone has an opinion and it's a matter of taste. Apparently, green and gray are very popular.

The comment that's had the most influence in resolving the issue "Meade and I are in discussions about that, so help us (me) out here" was Henry's: "since there's no white ceiling, paint the walls white. Let the wood tones carry the color of the room and let the walls pick up the light and color from the outdoors."

This was already my opinion, and I greatly appreciated getting it so well stated by an outsider.

Adeleshiv said...

Benjamin Moore Rendezvous bay. What can I say, we live in the south and love bold.

http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/rendezvousbay

C Stanley said...

So, now you have to choose WHICH white....

JamesB.BKK said...

if you decide to go with something that is not "neutral" (washed out), consider http://encycolorpedia.com/9f1d35 - the burgundy [original].