Painting Update & Lessons Learned

All right guys, today I’m finally sitting down to chat about all the craziness that happened with our painting ordeal over the past two weeks. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times here on the blog, but I haven’t taken time to explain much of what was going on. So I thought I would do that today, show you our freshly painted rooms, and also share a few lessons I’ve learned from the last two weeks. I’m going to try my best to explain all of this without writing a novel, so grab a snack, get comfy, and let’s get to it.

Ok, so I mentioned recently that I was getting tired of our creamy yellow walls in our living room and front room. They were that color when we moved in 2.5 years ago and and I was just ready for a change and a fresh look. You know how that goes, right?! Well my husband and I talked about the options and we ultimately decided to hire painters to get the job done. We did our research, found a GREAT painting company and I started the painstaking task of deciding on the new paint color. Of course my first thought was to go with white, but I immediately talked myself out of that for a variety of reasons and decided that gray would be a safer route. I looked at about 381 different shades of gray and finally settled on Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams. I also decided to lighten it by fifty percent just to make it a little less dark and more of a soft gray. Or at least that was my hope.

So painting day came and I was so excited. The guys came in, did an amazing job, and the whole thing was done in just a few hours. But once the crew left and I had a moment to take in the new color, I was immediately disappointed. I mean, I loved having the yellow gone but I wasn’t in love with the new color. I started putting furniture back in place and hoping it would grow on me as the day went on. But it didn’t. In fact, I started to dislike it even more because I realized that instead of the soft gray color I wanted, I was actually left with a silvery blue. I thought something might be off, so I started comparing the paint sample I had of Light French Gray with the can of paint the painters left behind. I immediately saw the numbers on the “paint recipe” were totally different for each paint and I actually had two different shades of gray. Then I started painting swatches of the sample color on the wall over the new color and my suspicions were confirmed–they didn’t match at all and I did in fact have two different colors. I went to bed that night feeling sick to my stomach because I hated the color, but I knew we could not afford to have the house painted AGAIN. I had no idea what we were going to do.

The next morning I called my local Sherwin Williams store, which is where my painter purchased the paint, and calmly explained the situation to the manager. I was SO nervous because I had no clue how he’d respond. I didn’t ask for anything, I just let him know what was going on. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me I’d get a return call in just a few hours. It wasn’t an hour later when I got a call back. And to my complete shock and dismay, the guys at Sherwin Williams offered to do “whatever necessary to make the situation right”. They agreed the colors were wrong and offered to pay my painters to come back and do the job again. I couldn’t believe it. It was seriously like a gift from God.

Once I knew the house would be repainted I started to question my decision to do gray in the first place. And then I started to wonder if ANY gray, even the one I had originally picked out, would look blue with the lighting in our home and our golden yellow wood floors. I began to reconsider all of my options and I couldn’t help but think about going white. It was the very first thing I thought about when we decided to paint originally, but I quickly dismissed the idea because I was worried it would be too much. Too white. Too bright. Too cold. Too sterile. I was so afraid no one would like it, so I didn’t even give it a fair shot to be honest. But as I reconsidered all of our options, I couldn’t shake the feeling that white was the right way to go. My husband wasn’t on board with the idea at first, but I begged him to give it a chance and he finally agreed. I knew in my gut that was the right decision for our home. I talked to the guys at Sherwin Williams and thank goodness they were kind enough to let me completely change course and go with a new color for our repainting. Although I know they thought I was a crazy lady for going with white! Either way, Sherwin Williams is seriously amazing. I was so blown away by their customers service. You better believe I’ll be a Sherwin Williams fan FOR LIFE.

I finally decided to go with Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. That’s actually the color in our dining room, so I knew it would be perfect. The guys came back, painted the house AGAIN, and everything went perfectly. And let me just say–I am sooooooooooo insanely happy with my decision. I feel like this suits our home so much more and Alabaster is just the best shade of white. I am so in love with the new look. Here’s a quick reminder of how this room used to look about two years ago with the yellow walls and yellow brick:

And here’s how it looks now with the fresh new paint:

farmhouse style fireplace and living room decor

Quite the difference right?! Even after we painted the fireplace white I always felt like the yellow walls just threw off this space. Everything seems so much more cohesive now and it just fits the vision I have for our home. I absolutely love it!

Farmhouse style fireplace and living room decor

And here’s the how it looked before by the window seat:

Modern farmhouse home tour

And now:

farmhouse style living room decor

Before:

Modern farmhouse home tour

After:

farmhouse style living room decor and old door

farmhouse style fireplace and living room decor

farmhouse style fireplace and living room decor

I wanted to share this experience because I learned a pretty good lesson through these two crazy weeks. And that lesson is this: LISTEN TO YOUR HEART.  I knew in my heart from the beginning that I wanted to do white. But I didn’t let myself go there mentally because of all the reasons I mentioned earlier. I was too afraid of what others would say and forgot that it’s my home. I didn’t let myself trust what I wanted for our home, so I talked myself out of it. Thankfully everything worked out the way it did and I got a lucky second chance, but this was just a reminder for me to trust my instincts. So the big takeaway here is to follow your heart. I know we’re just talking about paint colors, but I think this applies to lots of things in life–big or small. Follow your gut and don’t question it. Believe in yourself enough to trust your instincts. If I had done that from the beginning, we could have avoided all of this paint drama. Thankfully things worked out for the best and I learned a few important  lessons in the process.

Our living room was also painted, but since this is the longest post ever I’ll share that with you another day. Thanks for stopping in, I hope you have a fabulous week!

Leave a Comment

67 Comments

  1. Nice lesson you have learned. Yes, always follow your heart. It also built confidence day by day. By the way, your decoration idea inspiring a lot. I love the decoration of the places nearer to the fireplace.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Missy wrote:

      Maybe a crazy question….what direction is your house facing? I am loving the Alabaster in your room but my house is facing east with east and west windows only. Not wanting the color to look dirty white. Yours looks great.

      Posted 2.14.18 Reply
    • Jayne wrote:

      What color is the paint on the ship lap

      Posted 2.21.18 Reply
  2. michelle peterson wrote:

    I love the white!! We are getting ready to move and I keep going back to white and gray. You made my decision. Thanks for sharing:)

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you!! I am so happy I went with white. Gray is soooo tricky!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  3. Lisa wrote:

    Great lesson to learn, lovely one! It looks serene and beautiful! WONDERFUL choice!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Lisa!! I am so happy with it!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  4. Marilyn S. wrote:

    It’s beautiful -you are so right about going with your heart. We painted our dark wood cabinets this past summer. From the day we looked at this house with the realtor 4 years ago I knew I wanted to paint those cabinets white. Well……. when it came time to finally paint them I decided that gray would be more “up to date” well….. after painting the cabinets TWICE with 2 different grays -they still looked blue ! My sweet (hard working diy-er ) husband convinced me to just go with my original vision and paint them white. Since we did all the work it took us about 3 months to complete (twice with the grays and then the white) but they are gorgeous and look like they belong that way.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh my goodness! You poor thing. I can’t imagine painting cabinets more than once. That is so much work! But I am so glad to hear you finally got your white cabinets. I am sure they look amazing!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  5. Wanda McDaniel wrote:

    Love SW Alabaster! All my woodwork is Alabaster with ….Online Gray walls!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  6. Verna wrote:

    Everyone thought I was crazy when I had our whole lake house repainted in white, but I love it and most people agree now it was a good choice!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I think that’s the first impression most people have when they hear about white paint. It’s underestimated for sure!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  7. Lisa wrote:

    Love it! I went with Dover White from SW and am definitely a convert. Plain white is sometimes too white unless you have a cottage by the sea. I did look at some light grays but decided against it. I felt it would be too trendy. I’m not into switching paint every year.

    I love your choice! Looks perfect in your home.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh Dover White was my second choice Lisa!! That’s a great color too.

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  8. Jm wrote:

    Love your room!!!! And that screen door??? Where oh where did u find that? It’s perfect.
    My bathroom being painted TODAY!! In SW white. No color. No shade. Just white. Praying it’s not too bright but it’s at lake house and felt “in my gut” that white was right! Fingers crossed.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  9. michele wrote:

    I love the color you chose! I too recently went to white (dove white, Valspar) and I love it!!!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  10. lee wrote:

    I love the white too on your walls. What color did you paint the trim?

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  11. Mary For wrote:

    I love the white! It looks beautiful. Since I have been following your blog I have admired your drapes. Can you tell me where you purchased them from?

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  12. Deedra wrote:

    Sarah, that is absolutely beautiful! You made the perfect choice. Looks great!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  13. Jodie wrote:

    I think the white makes floors look less yellow! Great choice, I love it!
    Your decorating has inspired me!
    I look at your blog first thing in the morning!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I totally agree. Doesn’t it look less yellow?! I noticed the same thing Jodie. Thanks so much for stopping in, I really appreciate it!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  14. Donna wrote:

    Oh wow Sarah, what a big difference! It looks so awesome! Love how you rearranged everything too! Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so true what you said. Follow your heart. It seems like you always go back to the first instinct. That’s happened with me many times. Have a great day!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh thanks Donna! You know I had to rearrange the house with the fresh new paint. Can’t wait to share more soon!!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  15. Dana wrote:

    It looks so beautiful! I am going to do a total re-do this coming summer of a paint job gone wrong, and I was considering – heavily – the SW Alabaster, but after seeing your stories and reading this post, Alabaster is a definite choice! I love the warmth it brings along with the light and airy feel…..the exact feel I am going for! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I am so glad this has been helpful for you and your decision Dana! Choosing paint colors is TOUGH. But Alabaster is really an amazing shade of white. I absolutely love it in our home and I am so happy I went this route!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  16. Jody Jackson wrote:

    Sarah it looks great! Are the walls and the fireplace the same color? Or is that just due to the light coming in?
    Thanks. Jody

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      No, they aren’t the same color but it kind of looks like it in these photos! The fireplace is a brighter white.

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  17. Jennifer wrote:

    I’m so happy it worked out for you. It’s a big decision. I have about 20 paint colours to go through to start my home makeover. We have decide to start with the bedroom. We have the same shade of beige everywhere at the moment. I’m looking forward to have a new look th is warm and comfy.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh wow! That’s a lot of colors to choose from. Good luck with your decision Jennifer, it isn’t easy!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  18. Mary wrote:

    It looks lovely! If you aren’t comfortable in your living space, no one else will be either! What do they say? If mama ain’t happy, no ones happy! 😁

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      haha that’s EXACTLY right Mary!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  19. Angela Servello wrote:

    Good morning Sunshine, once again you have helped me make a decision. I have been making myself crazy for weeks trying to pick out a white/cream paint color. Too many choices. I had narrowed it down to SW Alabaster or SW creamy, but after seeing your walls, I really love the alabaster. It looks so clean and fresh. So sorry to hear what happened but live and learn, always go with your gut, it’s seldom wrong. Thanks for sharing my friend. Xx

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh my goodness Angela!! I cannot believe you are in the middle of making that decision now. What perfect timing! I think you will love the Alabaster, it really is a wonderful color. It’s also in our dining room and I LOOOVE it. xoxo

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  20. Judy wrote:

    I am SO happy that Sherwin Williams was so nice and fixed the problem. I have always
    found them so be so nice.
    It looks beautiful. Love the color and everything is just glowing with the white. Following
    your heart, was the BEST…
    Enjoy your new room..

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh me too Judy! I was sooooo lucky that Sherwin Williams made it right. They were amazing throughout the whole thing!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  21. Tammy Ganci wrote:

    Hi,
    I too am in the process of picking out a white. I have walls the color of mocha in my living room and dining room with white and oak furniture, very pretty but after 5 years we are now tired of the darkness of it. I too have farmhouse / coastal decor and I am so excited about going with white. Will let you know which one we pick out, but I do love the one you chose.

    Have a blessed day with your family
    Love your blog friend,
    Tammy

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh good luck with your decision Tammy! It’s never as easy as you think it will be. I actually want to write a post on this topic–tips on how to choose the right paint color for your home. I learned a few things throughout this ordeal!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  22. Faith wrote:

    Hi Sarah, the changes look fresh and clean, and so glad you are happy with it. Something the stores won’t tell you is, if you pick a Sherwin Williams color and then go have the color made up in a sample of one of Lowe’s or Home Depot little jars to choose, then settle and go to SW to have it mixed, it will not be the same. All paints are mixed from a blue or yellow base white. (Learned in my color theory class) It is different bases from brand to brand, so they will not be the same. You must use the same brand with each mixture. For example…You can take a Ben Moore sample paint swatch and they can resolute it on the computer, but if you have it mixed in the sample can of Olympic, or Behr, you have to always use that brand thereafter to get the matching results….if you go and have a can of it mixed in the actual Ben Moore paint brand it will not blend the same…so always sample and decide from the brand you will buy….what a wonderful experience with SW, I do love their paint. The white is nice…always fresh….enjoy…I have white too. Challenges me to add color in furnishings….I love red!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      That’s a good reminder Faith! And you’re exactly right. In this situation I got the sample paint from Sherwin Williams, which I think was my saving grace. They should have matched up perfectly!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  23. Nikki wrote:

    I think the Albaster looks awesome with all of your creamy, neutral colors you use throughout your home. I love Sherwin Williams paint. My husband is my “painter” and it’s the only brand of paint he will use. All of our trim work is done in Alabaster and 10 years later it still looks great. You made the right decision 😊

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh that’s awesome your husband is a painter! I agree, I think Sherwin Williams is the best. I love them even more after this!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  24. Heather wrote:

    It couldn’t have turned out more beautiful, Sarah! Isn’t amazing how we can find blessings even in the most difficult situations. I believe God had a plan and a message through all of this, for both you and your readers. Sometimes it’s scary to follow our heart, but I LOVE what you said about “believing in yourself enough to trust your instincts.” Wow! I needed to hear that!! Thank you for sharing and I absolutely love the Alabaster!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yes indeed Heather! It’s amazing how lessons can be found in every situation, especially those that are difficult or don’t work out like we thought they would. I’m just so grateful I got a second chance to get it right!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  25. Jayne Finkbohner wrote:

    Oh I so agree with your advice!! Always follow our instincts!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  26. I can so relate to you on this. I also painted my whole interior Alabaster White and I swear everyone thought I was crazy. I started thinking maybe they were right but when everything came together it was GORGEOUS. Now those same people are asking me if I can come help them design their house 😂

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      That’s so funny Rachelle! I know everyone thought I was crazy too, but I’m so glad I changed course and went with my gut.

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  27. Lelanie wrote:

    I was worried about the same thing! I never thought I would like white. I’ve always painted my walls a light buttery shade of yellow, but I will definitely go white. I considered grey too, but nope.. it’s going to be white. I might paint the inside doors a light shade of warm grey. Your house looks amazing.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I have never done it either. When we painted the dining room white a few months ago that was my first time. But I LOOOVE it. Never going back!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  28. LOL The Lord is good. I love how he knew you need and your heart and took great care of you. We’ve been slowly painting the gold (dag barf gold though) walls in our house with SW Accessible Beige which is really a pale taupe in the day and a warm gray during the evening. I love it and can hardly wait to be able to afford to do the rest of the house. So glad you’re happy. It makes all the difference. 😉

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Amen to that! God worked it all out for the best. I am so grateful! And your home sounds lovely, good luck with the rest of your painting!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  29. Dina wrote:

    Oh Sarah!!!!! It is just beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing. I though I liked the other color but this is perfect!!!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Dina, I am so happy with it!

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  30. Carol Wilks. wrote:

    Ok I almost did the same thing! My color was similar and I first tried whites. Allabaster and some others. Alll looked so plain and I was afraid sinrhen tried several greys. Ended up with bone black in kitchen breakfast and hate it. So dark and blue. Did the family room pale oak. Dont like! Did foyer and living room revere peuter and love it but and it blends great with pale oak. But still hate kitchen and now because if u wish I had just done allabaster everywhere!! What color is your trim and fireplace! My fireplace is white. Don’t know exact color because it’s been white so long! Painted brick too!

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Carol! What a bummer. Maybe you can repaint soon! And to answer your question–the trim is cloud white and the fireplace is ultra pure white by Behr I think.

      Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  31. Rachel wrote:

    Sherwin Williams is the kind of company you will now love to recommend. The white is perfect….light bright and fresh.

    Posted 2.12.18 Reply
  32. Dianne Gingrich wrote:

    Love the change. So bright and fresh!

    Posted 2.13.18 Reply
  33. Jane wrote:

    Great job, Sarah. Sherwin Williams has surpassed my love of Benjamin Moore and Behr. They are good people.

    I have painted several rooms in Alabaster (I have three homes–uh oh!) It doesn’t have ANY undertones. It looks gorgeous up against high gloss white molding.

    I have a large Great room with a 19 foot arched ceiling. I did opposing walls in Alabaster and Teardrop, a very pale TRUE gray. As my furniture is creamy, and bits of pale blue here and there–it’s perfect. Light is the true key. Hang the paint strips all over…look at them in all hours of the day. One of my walls is entire glass panels. It was so, so challenging to get true colors in the changing light. But it’s also amazing!

    You did a fantastic job. You have an eye for detail, where someone else might have thrown up their hands.

    Jane xxx

    Posted 2.13.18 Reply
  34. Candace wrote:

    Oh my goodness, your home is absolutely Beautiful…I love, love, love all of your decorating ideas…It is so fresh and clean and perfect. Thank you for sharing…
    Candy XXXXX

    Posted 2.14.18 Reply
  35. Tracie Jones wrote:

    I like it, too!

    Posted 2.15.18 Reply
  36. Leigh Manis wrote:

    My local SW store also has customer service that can NOT be beat!! i always prefer to buy my paint there instead of a local big box store after having it mixed wrong there previously. You just can’t surpass the actual ‘paint knowledge’ at the true paint store!

    I’ll have to re-think Alabaster myself now. 🙂
    Great blog!
    -Leigh

    Posted 2.16.18 Reply
  37. marcie wrote:

    Love your room!

    Tell me about the curtains…..
    are they drop cloth?
    what did you hang them with?
    I see the clip rings but what are they attached to?

    Posted 3.8.18 Reply
  38. marcie wrote:

    what about the curtains!

    are they drop cloth?
    what did you hang them with?
    I see the clip rings but what are they attached to?

    Posted 3.8.18 Reply
  39. marcie hiatt wrote:

    what about the curtains?

    are they drop cloth?
    what did you hang them with?
    i see the clip rings but what are they attached to?

    Posted 3.8.18 Reply
  40. Linda wrote:

    I love your updates – you did a beautiful job on paint colors………….but I LOVE the yellow you had. Do you happen to know what color that was? Yes I know my grown kids tease me as I have yellow now and want to repaint yellow again!!! It is just such a happy cheerful color that goes well with other colors but very difficult to find just the right yellow…..

    Posted 7.24.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Linda! That color was Autumn Blonde by Sherwin Williams. I loved it for several years!

      Posted 7.24.18 Reply

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  • I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since our trip to the Silobration. 😍😍 I was so glad my husband could go along with me & I love this shot of us—standing in muddy puddles & soaking wet, but happy as can be. I am so blessed to do life with this guy by my side for over 16 years now. 🙏❤️
  • Rise & shine, it’s coffeeeeeee time! ☕️☕️Can you believe Thanksgiving is only two weeks from today? TWO WEEKS. Time to get yo stretchy pants ready!! 🙌🏻 I’d love to know what Thanksgiving traditions you have in your family. I’m looking for new things to do with the kids & I’m curious if you do anything special or unique to celebrate the day?! 🦃
  • You guys told me you love before & after shots, so here’s another one for you. Swipe right to see how I styled our breakfast nook when we first moved in three years ago. This was actually after I painted the walls, they were dark brown before, and I was pretty happy with how it looked. 😬Obviously we have since updated a few things in this space—I added faux shiplap (it was my first big project & I was so proud I did it all by myself!) and then I added a new light fixture, a different table, shelves, etc. .
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The thing that strikes me the most with these two photos is the difference in my style. At the time I was struggling to figure out what I liked & how I could make that work with a tight budget. It didn’t happen over night, but slowly things have evolved in this space & it looks totally different today. And if you think about it, that’s kind of the cool thing about life. Nothing we do is ever perfect when we just start out. There are bumps in the road, struggles, growing pains, etc. But as time goes on we (hopefully) evolve to be better than when we began. And even though it’s nice to get to the pretty after photo, especially if you’re impatient like me, it’s also kind of nice to appreciate the journey. Yes, that’s cheesy as heck. But it’s TRUE. I love looking back at these photos of when we first started out because it reminds me of the journey & how hard we’ve worked on our home. It’s still a work in progress,  but I’m grateful for it all!
  • Today was crazy/surreal/awesome all at the same time. I spent the day working on a project that totally took me out of my comfort zone, but it went so well & I’m happy I decided to push myself & do it. (Watch my stories to see what I’ve been up to!) Then when I got home I had this smiling baby waiting for me at the front door. My husband snapped this picture of us & I just love the look on her little face. This girl is attached to my hip all day every day, so she was very happy to be back with mama. 😍😍 Now it’s time for pizza & cozy clothes!! 🙌🏻🙏
  • I’m still a little ways off from jumping into Christmas decor, but I did pick up a pair of these eucalyptus & pinecone wreaths from Target yesterday. I loooooooove them & now I’m getting a teeny tiny itch to add a few more pops of Christmas into this room. BUT I’m going to hold out a little longer. Anyone else still holding onto pumpkins or have you started to deck the halls?!
  • #flashbackfriday to one of my favorite snapshots with my girl. I can’t believe this was almost a year ago 😭😭 This sweet pea is my little BFF & I shared in stories today about how she teaches me to be brave. I hope you watch it if you’re facing something big in your life right now. It’s a simple, yet powerful reminder that fear is choice & you can face anything in life if you simply make the decision to be brave. #goforit #getthatcandygirl

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