November 15, 2016

I spilled a fair amount of blog ink talking about the paint color for our living room walls. And certainly I have spent even more brain power mulling it over. We have had black in here since the spring. From certain angles, there were some things about it that I really loved. Since we went through the work of painting it, I wanted to give it a fair shake. And still, since changing to white I realize how much I also didn’t like it. Once it was different we felt so much less oppressed – in our flexibility on decor choices (everything looks good with white!) and because the lighting is so much brighter.

Once we settled to move on from black, we had two idea directions to decide between. First, I considered a muted blue-green-gray. I had been tossing around that idea since even before when I chose black.

And second, white of course! This choice was because I just love white rooms and out of our motivation to have the next paint color be one we knew would work.


I looked at many blue-green-grays (over a hundred) and did not find one that completely was nailing it. Some notable contenders were Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray, Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray, and Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon.


None of them were ones I felt confident on and I wanted to make a conservative pick. I had a self imposed deadline of re-painting before our halloween party and as it was approaching, we went for it with Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White. (I love when deadlines make me do that!)  We felt more confident we would like the subtlety of a white in the interest of maintaining flow on the first floor. All of our rooms down here have white walls (except powder bath) and I am a big proponent that houses look best when many of the walls are the same color.

(I owe you an update that I decided to not work on our powder bath in October! Instead, we finished up the shiplap in the office and painted the living room.)

Everyone’s first question is how many coats it took, and perhaps surprisingly it was just one coat of primer and two coats of color. We used kilz high-hide stain blocking primer and the top coat of color is in egg shell.

I love the white so much. I still maintain the black could have worked, but I ceased to want to make it work. This room is far from an “after” but this “progress” feels a lot easier to live with. Next up is replacing the light fixture (I am doing that in winter before I realize I will miss the fan), tweaking the rug with a fun DIY, draperies, a new sofa, and more art.

Also I did not mention there is another room in our house (upstairs) that I am eyeing to possibly make (partly) black! Muahaha.

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Leave a Comment


  • Kristin

    I love the white. It really makes the wood beam and cornice pop out!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Kristin!

  • denise

    i like the white repaint-do you wish you would have kept the first set of slipper chairs in the blue/grey color?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I don’t think so. I’m liking gray less lately and more into greige or white!

  • Sarah

    Loved the black since it was an unconventional choice and I was excited to see how you would tie it all together. However, I have to say, the white looks much better! So fresh. Looking forward to seeing what else you do with the space.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Aw thanks Sarah!

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