Paint is tricky…
Ask anyone who has ever gone looking for a simple ‘white’ paint color to paint a room.
There are literally hundreds of different shades of white.
Why? Well, it all comes down to a little thing called ‘undertone’.
These are the colors that are underneath the overall color.
It can come as a nasty shock when you’ve picked what you thought was a nice light caramel taupe color from the 2×2″ sample card, only to discover after painting an entire room (or house) that what should have been a nice neutral brown now looks ‘pink’ in a 300 sq. foot room.
Been there, done that.
So, needless to say, when I wanted a ‘true gray’ I made sure to do my homework.
Many grays have undertones of red, yellow, blue, and even purple.
I wanted a pure gray with no obvious undertone.
I found what I was looking for in Sherwin William’s Repose Gray:
This gray is light and silvery, rather than a heavy-handed ‘industrial concrete’ shade.
Paired with an ultra white trim color, and Dovetail for the cabinets, my bathroom re-dec is approaching its one year anniversary.
Considering my budget was minuscule, I incorporated a few hacks in my project and figured I’d share!
SPRAY PAINT HAS COME A LONG WAY!:
Spray paint is an incredibly inexpensive (around $5-7$ a can!) way to give your existing old builder’s oak colored items new life. Head down to the ‘cage’ in your Home Depot paint department, and check out all the fabulous colors and sheens! I’m partial to Rustoleum products, as I’ve found they consistently give the best results on all sorts of different surfaces (wood/metal/plastic).
Here is the before and after of the bathroom wall cabinet that was in the house when we bought it. The ‘before’ is a stock photo (as I’m terrible with taking ‘before’ photos). However, it is an exact replica of the old cabinet.
I sprayed the entire cabinet a flat white, then gave it a protective layer of clear sheer matte coating.
*Look for cheap hardware and spray with a layers of white milk paint (yes, Rustoleum makes this!). Then use a small square of sand paper on surface until you get the vintage look you’re aiming for:
Can’t afford a new bathroom vanity or medicine cabinet? Paint the old one!
I was terrified to do this! I’d never painted an existing piece of furniture before this, and figured it would involve complicated steps and products.
Coupled with the fact that the vanity was a hodge podge of real and pressed wood (with a faux wood colored paper glued on it), I did not know how well the paint would stick. Honestly, I simply brushed on two layers of SW Dovetail and called it a day. Its held up fairly well, but after a year a few spaces need touching up. But, it’s a great alternative until you can afford to replace the whole thing.
A few parting tips & tricks:
Instead of replacing existing hardware, use Rustoleum’s metallic spray paint on old ones. I LOVE Rustoleum’s Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze. Simply unscrew the hardware, take out back, and spray a coat or two. When it dries, you’ll have what looks like brand new up-to-date knobs and handles! My handles were a nasty gold color, now they’re a chic up to date black bronze.
Live plants are always an inexpensive, but lovely way to accessorize.
My CHEAP go to re-dec resources: Tuesday Morning’s / Craigslist / Facebook Swip Swap / Amazon ‘Deals’ / Houzz
‘Milk Paint’ is a vintage lover’s best friend! Revitalize existing wall switch plates with a coat or two!