Month: May 2011

Finding the Undertones in Gray Stone

May 31, 2011

Markham Roberts

When trying to find the best paint color to work in blending my fireplace shelves here, I knew the first step was that I had to find the best undertone of gray in my stone:


Thanks to Maria’s training, I could quickly identify the undertones in the gray stone. Gray has undertones of green, blue and purple. Another undertone to consider is taupe. Taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color.


Ranchwood-Taupe Undertones                     Revere Pewter- Green Undertones


Coventry Gray  Blue Undertones                      Purple Undertones

When I tried the larger samples, the Cedar Key taupe, which I thought would work, was just to light. But I did like a darker version of the taupe with the stone, Indian River 985.  What a pretty color!

The color does work with the stone, but the larger my sample I used, the less I was loving the taupe with the gray as much as I liked the greenish grays and the blue grays.

So for my large samples to paint and try at home, I decided on Copley Gray HC-104, a greenish gray and also Chelsea Gray HC-168 which is a blue gray.


Copley Gray HC-104



Copley Gray on top, Chelsea Gray on bottom.

Here is the Copley Gray:


Nahhhh…  Not loving it.

Here is the Chelsea Gray:



Yes!  Very nice.  Chelsea Gray it is. And since it is such a small area, I decided to paint the back wall a darker shade of the Chelsea Gray, Kendall Charcoal HC-166, to give the shelves depth.  *A good tip to remember- when painting shelves, paint the back piece a darker color to make the back recede or a different color than the sides to make them more interesting.

Look girls!!  I painted the wood!!  🙂


Another good trick to remember- When painting small areas, use a small roller for quick, smooth results.


I worked on this project for about six hours total over the weekend. Everything was given two coats of paint. Here it is ready for the shelves:


Looks so much better already.  And the final project:



I want to get a great lamp/light for the top shelf.  So what do you think?  Do you think it was worth painting the wood?



My husband, the wood lover, is really happy with it too!

To summarize, any of the gray undertones, green, blue, purple or taupe would have worked well. The blue undertone I choose was my personal preference.  Also, see how important it is to sample!  The large sample really gave me a good look at the color!

Comments?  Any wood you would like help painting over?  Contact me today!

Similar post you might be interested in reading:

Understanding Beige Undertones

White Kitchen Redesign Completed

May 25, 2011

Do you remember the kitchen redesign I was working on here & here?


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I am certainly not a great photographer!  The rooms really came out beautiful and updated. The green we used was  ben moore hillside green 495. The color looks a little brighter in these photos than in real life.  Her kitchen cabinets were painted white dove oc-17 in a semi-gloss finish.  Her subway tile for the backsplash was purchased at Lowe’s for a great price.  The client was very happy with our choices which makes me very happy!

I also helped her with suggestions for the bedroom:


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Very pretty! 

Comments?  Let me know what you think!

If you need help updating your home, contact me today!

Beautiful White Kitchens

Beautiful Greens

A Welcoming Painted Entryway

Choosing the Right White

Working With the Stone Fireplace

May 23, 2011

Ever since we have moved into our New Hampshire home, I have not cared for this cutout of shelves in the fireplace below:


Something was just not right. They always seem to be screaming ‘Look at me!’ Do you think you know why it is not working?


Do you see how yellow the wood of the shelves are?  They are so bright and yellow, it is making them stick out like a sore thumb! The yellow is screaming. Plus, look at the stone:


It is gray stone with an undertone of taupe.  I actually do see a little green too.  What do you think?  So now we have determined the problem. The yellow wood is not working with the gray stone.  Solution?  Can’t change the stone, going to have to paint the shelves.  Well, my husband is going to give me a hard time about painting the shelves because they are gasp! wood!  He’ll get over it!

So I choose a couple samples with taupe undertones (BM cedar key 982 and smokey taupe 983):


And also a warm gray with a touch of green (edgecomb gray HC-173):


The samples are just too small.  I did not have my cases with me to see a larger sample.  I am going to choose two of the three colors and paint on poster board to test. That is the best way to be sure to get it just right.

I will post pictures next week on which color I choose and hopefully get them painted pronto! 

Then I will get into why I have to change the wall color now too.  Never ends does it. 😉



If you need help choosing colors for your stone fireplace, contact me today!

Related Topics:

Understanding Beige Undertones

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Color

Using the 60-30-10 Color Rule

Understanding Beige Undertones

May 17, 2011

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Maria Killam’s True Color Expert Training  was to learn how to distinguish and ‘see’ the undertones of color.

I wanted to understand the difference between the various beiges and how they all work together.  After taking Maria’s class, I can now ‘see’ the pink, yellow and green undertones in both paint color and furnishing and how they relate/respond to each other when they are together in a room.


Yellow Undertones                                         Pink Undertones

Green Undertones

I had on online color consultation yesterday that I was able to use my newly acquired ‘expert’ training.  She had written to me asking for help because she just could not figure out what the problem in the room was, just something was not working. She is keeping the carpet. Here are a few pictures she sent to me:

Den (1)

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Do you see the wall color compared to the carpet? I see a lot of pink in the wall beige color. Can you see that?  And what undertone do you see in the carpet?

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Green undertones! My first suggestion I told her was to take a sample of Huntington Beige HC 21 and lay it down on the carpet and see how that worked together.

Huntington Beige HC-21

“Perfect!” she said.  I did have her look at other color samples but she said that the first choice was best.  Yay!

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Even her beautiful artwork will look better with the greeny Huntington Beige behind it on the wall.  I told her the art works well with the rug, it is the wall color throwing off the room. Are you recognizing the undertones when I am pointing them out?  It is hard I know.

The best advice I can give you when trying to determine an undertone of a color is to compare them together. Put your beige samples right up next to each other to help you see the differences between them. Try laying a couple different samples out on your bathroom tile.  Which color sample looks best?  Same with your kitchen granite, which undertone is obvious when you sample other beiges next to it?  It takes practice.  If you want to learn to be an expert on undertones, take Maria’s color training.  You will be an expert like me! 🙂

Comments?  Questions?

If you need help choosing the right colors for your home, contact me today!