What a Difference a Gray Makes

When we originally purchased our home, the master bedroom looked like this:

MBR Before 1  MBR Before 2

While there were definitely things we loved (tons of space! TWO closets!) the negatives were glaring, and possibly hazardous to our health.  You see our home was previously owned for its entire 60 year history by a smoker.  Every surface was covered with smoke and sticky tar.  Our plan of attack was to remove whatever could possibly be removed (carpeting, window treatments and light fixtures) and clean and paint everything else.  And did I mention that due to some snafus we had exactly ONE WEEK to do all of those things before we officially moved in?  And a budget as well.

I did a little online research for the best ways to remove the accumulation of smoke and tar and came up with an effective and economical solution – vinegar.  The Hubs and I spent several days wiping down every ceiling and wall with vinegar soaked mops, then priming with an oil based primer (we were advised by the painting pros at Sherwin Williams that any remaining tar will bleed through a latex primer).  Finally with the help of some very dear friends we spent an oddly fun Saturday night eating, drinking and painting the bedrooms of our house so we could move in.  And after a few hours the master bedroom was decked out in this color:

Benjamin Moore 1608 Ashland Slate

Benjamin Moore 1608 Ashland Slate

We lucked out when it came to the budget. The retail store I work at offered leftover paint for $5 a gallon! I was able to get two unopened gallons for Ben Moore’s Ashland Slate for our bedroom for a whopping $10.  While I had originally envisioned a lighter warmer gray for the room the Hubs and I both loved this moody gray, and we loved the price tag!  Here’s the finished product:

MBR Dark 1

Don’t ask me why I didn’t move the sorted laundry before I took this picture – I told you that we are NOT photo shoot ready!

MBR Dark 2

It is a beautiful color and it received raves from most of our visitors.  BUT.  It did not match my original vision for our bedroom.  I had hoped for a soothing, calming, warm space.  Ashland Slate was not fitting the bill.

I convinced the Hubs that we should repaint at some point.  Re-painting was not high on our priority list when there were still so many other projects to complete.  We planned on living with Ashland Slate for a while.

But as the date approached for our hardwood floor refinishing (!) I became convinced painting before our beautiful new floors were done was a better idea – no worries about drips!  So the weekend before we left for vacation and had to remove all our furniture to allow the floor refinishers in we added one more project to our list.  Repainting the bedroom.  So now it looks like this:

IMG_1772  IMG_1774

The new color is Sherwin Williams 6071 popular gray.  And I absolutely love it!  The entire room feels lighter, brighter and bigger.  And most importantly the room now has the right “feel” to it – a restful and soothing oasis from our crazy days!

There are still a few “to do’s” left in this room.  We plan on replacing the closet and bedroom doors with white paneled doors to match all the woodwork and new exterior and basement doors.  And with the lighter color on the walls the ceiling is looking a little dingy, even though it is freshly painted.  We are considering painting the ceiling a color which is new territory for us. I think a light aqua would look fresh and still calm.

So thoughts folks?  Do you prefer a neutral or bold color for your master bedroom?  Ever done a colored ceiling? Do any of you have awesome friends that are willing to spend a Saturday night helping you paint and remove carpeting?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


4 thoughts on “What a Difference a Gray Makes

  1. Ha! We painted our bedroom a pretty dark, warm gray about 6 or 8 months ago and ended up repainting a lighter gray about a month ago. It does make our room a lot brighter! You will love the white doors in there. We also replaced oak doors with five-panel white doors and I love it.

  2. Um, I HOPE I have awesome friends like that, since I was one of the crazy painters at your house! What I might not have, though, is the ability to let go of the control enough to hand my friends a paint brush. Props to you for that.

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