From Sea to Frothy Sea

I had a vision. A Dining room of ethereal, cozy, coolness. Like a winter woodland landscape. Originally, we wanted to keep the baseboards as bare as possible. The plan was to strip the baseboards and trim and then to leave them bare. The idea came after we started stripping the baseboards and found the wood underneath to be so pretty.  Almost like white washed oak.

This would be an example of what we were feelin’ color palette wise (neutral, but not. Ya feel?) :


To go with the bare wood, we were thinking something along the lines of this color by Benjamin Moore:

It’s a color called Sea Froth. The name couldn’t be helped, so we decided to go with it anyway.

As much thought as we put into how we wanted the room to look and feel, we just did not get it right. I’m still not sure how that happened. You have to understand we were so, so tired of working on the room. This is where we went wrong, by the way. We had slaved away on the repairs, which took months to complete. Then there was ALL THE DAMN PREP. Jeezuz, that was a pain, I can tell you. It’s never as they like to show it in the commercials: moving furniture around and then breaking open a can of self-priming paint and then a few W formation paint strokes later, the room is done.We patched the P1020388holes, smoothed


the bumps, stripped the paint.

We sanded the trim, the walls, we wiped them down and     cleaned the room of any dust and debris before we started  paint. We used an oil-based primer on the plaster walls because the fresh coat of paint the building management had applied to make the apartment more saleable to us, was already peeling off – a year after they applied it. (This is not uncommon on plaster walls and an expert told us oil-based primer would do the trick. So far so good.)

One on side of the room, the paint stripping went very well. We had gotten the hang of working with the Silent Paint Remover. The wood was almost perfect underneath all that paint.

Unfortunately, that was the case on only one side of the room. The other side of that room were two external walls that had been subject to a LOT of water damage. The baseboards there were warped and splintered. We did not think we had it in us to rip out the baseboards and replace them with expensive new ones. Besides, we already knew we were going to be putting bookcases in the corner where most of the damage was. So we decided to paint over the baseboards after all to give the room a uniform look.

There are several looks you can go with for a room and don’t let anybody tell you any different. It’s not always white ceiling, white trim with a band of paint all around the room. We decided to paint our baseboards the same color as the walls. The ceiling and moldings and window trim are a GORGEOUS paint by Benjamin Moore called Dove Wing (OC-18) . I love it. It made me happy as we were painting it on.

Not so much with the wall and baseboard color: Benjamin Moore’s Sea Froth. I thought, okay, it’s not going to be a winter woodland roomscape. But the color can still be calming and clean (which is all we wanted after the chaos of “Phase 1: Everlasting Repairs”).

I was anything but calm when Sea Froth first went on the wall. It was 4pm on a late autumn afternoon and it looked pink. Mauve at best. Or worst. Whichever. I did not like the color. Not because it was necessarily an ugly color, but it simply was not what  I had intended. But too late. We were too damn tired to do anything about the color. You have to understand, we had worked on the room for months. First stripping all the paint off that we could manage. And that. was. hell. By the time we were done with prep and finally ready to paint, I didn’t have the energy to NOT paint. You know what I mean? I didn’t have the energy to NOT finish the project. It just needed to end. The painting needed to be over already. So we painted the room pink. Mauve, really.

The next day I was on the computer searching the internet for a solution I googled: How to neutralize purple paint? How to make purple paint work for you? How did I get into this mess? That’s when I found Kylie M. Interiors. I read through the blog and realized this woman knew all about Benjamin Moore paint, and how paint colors work.  I could ask this woman – this professional –  an actual question about paint and color! So I asked her how to deal with this Sea Froth fiasco on my walls.

I had read her very informative and instructive post on why bad paint happen to good people and realized I – meaning, my diningroom – had become the victims of undertones. Who knew Sea Froth could have such an undertone to it? It’s basically a totally different color on our walls as it was on the huge piece of sample paper. Anyway, I wasn’t going to re-paint and I decided to ask Kylie how to best work with the color. I told her I was going to be painting a huge dining hutch and THANK GOD she said that a strong grey – with NO undertones – would work well with the room. She suggested a gorgeous charcoal gray by Benjamin Moore, which, as it happened, was exactly the color I wanted anyway.

In the end, I have to say, I love our dining room. Which is also our livingroom while we are working on the actual living ro0m / using the living room as a  P1030915 guest room. The color changes by the hour and, it seems, by the temperature.  It is a cool color, but it is also not a sterile color so that it can be cozy as well.

Here are the colors that I now think work so, so great together. Really, they put a smile on my face when I see them together. Which is everday.


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