No Money Remodel #4: Paint, Schmaint

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Who knew picking paint would be this big of deal?

After a couple go-rounds of mixing paint this week I’ve decided that the paint I found at the recycling center won’t work.


It’s a pretty color, but very, very light and heavy on the yellow end of the beige spectrum.  I tried mixing different amounts of my gunmetal black paint to see if I could find a grey I liked (which was the favorite reader color by the way) and never could.


It’s kind of hard to see in that picture, but the yellow cast is pretty heavy and looked almost sickly. All the shades of grey looked sun-faded or like they had that awful indoor-gross-yellow light on them.

Not good.

I also realized that it was a satin finish and I couldn’t find any more 5 gallon paint buckets in satin finish to mix in to try and stretch it. (Thanks to those of you who recommended not mixing finishes—so right you were). Add to that my realization that a half 5 gallon bucket wasn’t going to be enough and it was time to take the paint back to the recycling center.

And in one of those tender mercies sort of ways, there were two practically full 5 gallon buckets just before I got there in nice, pretty shades of … beige.


But at least it’s on the soft tan end of the spectrum rather than the sickly yellow.


And thankfully both of them are the same finish which means I should have plenty to finish the whole upstairs.


The only slight downer is that it’s eggshell finish instead of a satin or semi-gloss and I worry about wear and tear from sticky kid prints that need to be wiped from walls all . the . time. Hopefully having extra paint left over will help.

As far as color, I’m going for grey again as a first choice and beige as the back up. And the good news is that Mr. Thrive is coming around to the grey kitchen idea … slowly. I had always figured that we’d have to do one color for the whole upstairs because of our open-ish floor plan. But it looks like there might be an easy way to break up the miles long, formerly red wall so that we could potentially do one color in the kitchen and another shade for the rest of the upstairs.



So the plan for this week:

1. Get paint mixed, decided on and actually on the walls.

2. Finish sanding the acres of bead board and get priming done.

3. Start watching Craigslist and Freecycle for remnant wood and/or trim to use to break up the kitchen and living room.

4. Get left over sheet of bead board to use for the new kitchen back splash cut down.

4. Send ornery new camera to the repair shop (*gulp*) and see how well I can blog for the next month using still images from a video camera. Wish me luck on that one …

And what do you think about using eggshell finish paint?

Will it hold up?

Any tips to keep it from showing wear quickly?

Thank you!


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  1. Eggshell is the finish we have picked for our hourse. It's been holding up pretty good with only one hooligan at home... The MrClean magic sponges have a lot to do with that. It scrubs off the tough mess without removing the paint as much as other scrub sponges. No joy on the Sharpie though.. that still had to be repainted :)



  2. Yeah, I never use eggshell finish paint, but it is definitely a step up from flat, right? I think scrubbability depends on the quality of the paint, and I can at least vouch for Sherwin Williams being good paint. I copied an idea from a blogger to put paint in little tupperware containers so it is easy to do touch-ups as I go along. Definitely better than lugging the can out. And I think the grey and beige (especially since they will come from the same color family) will look great with some trim between them. I really like grey and brown together. Good luck with your list!

  3. I don't know about eggshell. I use flat enamel and it cleans up pretty well. For the most part. We have imperfect walls and flat seems to cover up the bumps and bruises a little better. Eggshell is up the spectrum from flat enamel for sure so it should clean up pretty good.

  4. I've always used semi-gloss but a friend of mine is a pro and he offered me a trade which resulted in me watching 7 kids for a week but getting my downstairs painted for free. He insisted I would be happy with flat paint or he'd re-do it for me and I'm so glad he did. My 3 year old went through a writing on the walls phase shortly after the painting was complete. While magic erasers took off a lot, I still had to repaint... in our upstairs where we have semi-gloss you can totally see where we repainted. Downstairs where the flat is, you can't tell at all! Plus, our walls are 50+ years old and pretty uneven. The flat paint hides so much of the imperfections. I now vow to go with flat or eggshell at the most so I think you got lucky!

  5. I am sure that you already solved this... I used Metro Paints which is a great recycled paint... but minimal color choices... and i didn't like them quite the way they were so I used syringes to figure out proportions (so it would be replicate-able)... we went with mocha like color... btw looks great with black structures and white trim.... what was also really nice is by mixing it... we have used several of different itinerations of shade in different rooms and the house has good color flow... the key was using a paint mixer that attaches to the drill bit.

  6. So, how did it all turn out then? I've just stumbled across your blog and now I am so curious to see the finished result! The last posts I can find are from 2011.....

    How did the separation of your living area and kitchen go? The beadboards, did you paint those out? Grey with your cupboards would look fab, I'm dying to see photos!


Thanks so much for the comment love! I do cartwheels when I read each one. Well, I imagine my pre-pregnancy self doing cartwheels, but you get the idea ...