I've been staring at these samples for months.
Well actually, just the two on the top have been there for months. Both are in the gray family, but not just plain gray. The one on the top left is call "artichoke". Yeah, really! I don't see it at all. Artichokes are green. This is gray with a little brown and green in it. The colors on the computer really don't show it well.
The one on the top right is "coastal villa". It was really too tan for me. Remember gray is the new tan!
So I added the sample on the bottom. It's more of a true gray. But it's too cold feeling.
I should note that I got all these samples from Lowes for $3 or $4 each. They will mix up any Valspar color in a sample half-pint size.
It still didn't feel right to me, so I went to my favorite paint store (Sherwin Williams), which is actually the place where the paint will be coming from. They had a pamphlet full of grays and neutrals!
I matched the bottom shade from above with a shade that was closest, but warmer at Sherwin Williams. It's called "dovetail".
I didn't know this, but Sherwin Williams also will mix up a sample for you in any shade. The catch is, it's a full pint (i think) instead of a half pint so it cost $6 instead of the $3 at Lowes. Sherwin Williams says mixing colors in a larger size give you a truer sample of the shade.
Here are the same 4 samples that were painted on the house again in a different format. I think you can see the differences better here (although the dovetail is looking a little purple).
For the siding inside the staircase, I went with a gray that is two shades lighter because there is hardly any daylight. And in person, now that it's painted, it feels like the same shade as outside. You'd never know it was two shades lighter. But I'm sure it would feel cave-like had it been the same exact shade.
On the porch/deck ceiling, I chose "enamelware" by Martha Stewart. It's the same color that I painted our current kitchen/laundry room. Apparently it's tradition in the south to paint porch ceiling a light blue color. I just think it's pretty. People thought that the blue kept mosquitoes away. And actually, it did, back when paints were made differently and blue paint was made with milk and had lye in it. Lye repels insects, not the color blue. But the belief still exists today.
So the painters got started on a Saturday. They had to caulk EVERYTHING so water wouldn't seep into the spaces between the boards. They also had to prime and paint all the raw wood and trim. Then they sprayed the siding color on. The three of them were done in 5 days.
You can't be a painter and have a fear of heights. We hired these guys because they have no fear and everyone else wanted to charge us an extra $1000 to rent a lift so they wouldn't have to be on 40 ft ladder. I understand. I can't even go 10 ft up a ladder without feeling dizzy.
I swear the ceiling is actually blue. I know it looks white. But just wait until I show it to you in the staircase. The overcast light washes the color out (and I'm not just talking about the ceiling). It's much bluer on sunny days.