I am a self-professed color freak. So when the DIY Furniture Girls offered up “neutral” as the theme for the April challenge, I wasn’t even sure what this meant. After all, what kind of color is neutral?
Or is it even a color at all?
Disclosure: I received free paint from Pure & Original in exchange for writing a review on the blog. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own.
To help me figure this out, I decided to visit the color experts at my local Sherwin Williams paint store. And what I learned is surprising.
One, neutral is absolutely not a specific color. And two, it is absolutely more than just beige.
In fact, it is a type of color family.
That’s right. A type of color family.
Using their newly introduced ColorSnap system, I was able to easily and clearly see how an array of reds, yellows, greens, blues, browns, and blacks could be used for this challenge and still be considered neutral.
And I found it interesting that, since its founding, Sherwin Williams has offered its colors based on color saturation (how light/dark the colors are). But with the ColorSnap system, which was introduced in early 2016, colors are now arranged according to families based on…well…..the rainbow.
When you visit the store, the colors are broken down into smaller books (below) with each book containing a color family. Honestly, I found it so much easier to navigate than the old system. And the swatches are bigger, too. It just makes the whole color selection experience easier, faster, and more accurate.
And I was also happy to realize that what I thought was a mismatched set of bland colors in my living room is really an array of neutrals that can be pulled together with just a few accessories.
Well, yay!!! Snaps for ColorSnap!
So I found a neutral on the Sherwin Williams ColorSnap wheel that was a near match to some furniture paint that I already had on hand.
I was finally ready to help this dark and dreary chest find its light and neutral bliss.
Actually, it’s really hard to feel sorry for this little chest. I mean, it’s not like it was abused or anything. In fact, it is quite the opposite. This is a Hooker chest that I’ve had for many, many years. Other than its dark color, there’s not a thing wrong with it. But in order to update the look, the red on the drawer fronts and sides just had to go.
So I taped off the parts that were going to be refinished and tried not to panic as I broke the factory finish with sandpaper.
To this day, when I look at this piece, my head still swims a little…..and I can still hear Sheryl Crow singing ……..”the first cut is the deepest.”
Yea, girl. You know it.
But, as I moved forward with the prep…..I quickly learned that the rest of the “cuts” on this perfectly kept piece were just as deep.
The trick to getting through it …..is to exhale often……..and just. keep. sanding.
A link explaining which tape I use and why is here. Click here.
Following a wipe down with a tack cloth, one coat of Pure & Original furniture paint in Sea Moss (a neutral green) was applied. I didn’t prime and was, because of the red, a little worried about coverage and bleed through.
But after a second coat, the coverage was almost perfect and there was no bleed-through….even after it sat like this for a week.
The remaining paint, a combination of Kiwi White and Lagoon Water, was layered on using a dry brush technique. The specifics on using this technique with Pure & Original paint are on an earlier post (click here).
Then the final layer, a tobacco-colored antiquing glaze by Ralph Lauren, was applied with a brush and wiped away (while wet) with a damp cloth. In case you haven’t used glaze before, tips for working with glaze are also found on an earlier post (click here).
The addition of soft layers with different colors of paint and glaze produced an understated depth on the piece and tied the new color to the existing stain color.
The original hardware was reattached without any change to its aged-look and patina.
Then the chest was moved around the house…..
….looking for just the right space to showcase its new look…..
….before returning to its original location….
…..in the living room.
Now….let’s compare the colors in this room to the Sherwin Williams neutral colors palette. I know! Right?
See the array from different color families from the neutral palette? But… they all have basically the same color saturation (how dark/light they are)?
Yea. That’s pretty amazing, but here’s what’s really neat. This room was assembled from pieces I found throughout the house.
The goal was to relax the room’s traditional roots without having to buy new furniture.
This meant my only option was mix and match.
And it all happened before I even saw the new Sherwin Williams neutral color wheel. #greatminds #LOL
But this room does illustrate one very important decor tip. It shows that soft and calming neutrals can be incorporated into a room without having to lock into one single color family.
And it can all be accomplished by mixing and matching furniture pieces and paint.
The living room is nearly complete and the reveal will further explain how I toned down the “traditional look” without buying new furniture.
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And, if you’ve enjoyed this makeover, I do hope you will share it with your friends.
Annnnnnd now…..Please enjoy more pieces from the fabulous ….