A Big Blue Mess

Have you ever had an idea that seemed really great in your head, and then once executed it turns out to be a big, ugly fiasco?  That’s what happened when I recently decided to paint a white bedroom blue.  In my mind, I imagined a blue like the roofs in Santorini…but it turned out to be a smurfy blue mess.

Here is what the room looked like at the beginning.  White walls aren’t always a bad thing, but at the beach I feel like things should be a little happier than plain old white.

The color I chose was Valspar’s Blue Burst:

We started painting in the evening as it was getting dark…and that’s was where the problem all began.  After we had painted half of one wall (in a room without overhead lights), the lights completely went out on the whole island.  We didn’t want to waste all the fresh paint we had just poured, so we continued to paint using our iPhone flashlights.  We finished up that one wall and in the morning we realized we had a big streaky mess.  I figured that once we painted the whole room it would look better.  Well, it did not.  At all.  Here is how it all turned out:

This looked way worse in real life.  Seriously.

I really tried to convince myself that it would work out once it was decorated, but in my heart I didn’t believe it.  It needed another coat of paint anyway because it was really streaky, so I opted to just go ahead and switch it out completely for a dark blue paint (hoping that it would cover the smurfy blue) by Valspar, called Fairmont Penthouse Mosaic Blue:

We used the Valspar Reserve paint for this coat, which claims to only need one layer of paint.  This proved to be true (thank goodness!), but the paint is so thick that the roller sucks it right up, and the paint doesn’t go nearly as far as a lower quality of paint.  I chose a semi-gloss finish because I thought that would look really elegant, and because most navy blue rooms I’ve seen tend to be sort of glossy.

Over all, I’m happy with how the room turned out, but it’s not the light and airy beach house look I was going for.  Once we add some art to the walls, and replace a few things I bet it’ll be lovely though.  Here is how the room looks now, even though it’s still a work in progress.

The walls are actually lighter than they look in these photos.  And don’t worry, since taking these photos I have replaced the blinds with curtains.

Anyone else have any awful painting experiences?  This experience has made me a little less confident in my paint selection abilities, but I’m using it as a learning experience, and hope to never make this mistake again.  Hopefully things will be easier when we decide to tackle the other bedroom!  

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. Susan
    October 1, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    Hi Katie, Once upon a time I chose pink paint for the exterior house color! It was called Mocha Mauve; I concentrated on the Mocha part, but in reality, it was Mauve! Kept it on the house for a few years and finally had it painted tan with cream trim and a moss-colored door. People I didn't know on the street stopped to tell us how good the new paint job looked! Wanting to paint a couple of small interior walls black. I think it will look good, but wow, that's a big jump from the gold that's there now. Love your blog!

  2. October 1, 2014 / 5:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I'm sure the room will look great once you're through with it. I don't have much painting experience, but I too am not very confident in my paint selection abilities. I have very green/glossy paint in the bathroom of my new home that I want to paint over ASAP so I guess I'll find out soon if I'm any good at picking out paint colors!

    (picture of the green mess here: http://classicnat.blogspot.com/2014/09/small-home-updates-but-lot-of-them.html)

  3. October 1, 2014 / 6:14 pm

    LOL Flash light painting is real dedication. I love the new darker blue much, much better than your "Smurf" or from the photo's "Painter's tape" blue. I find colors that lean towards the cooler tones can be extremely difficult to get right. I had a vision for my kitchen that came out perfect in Valspars Shamrock Blue but took about 5 shades of what looked like hospital scrubs green to I get it right.

  4. October 2, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Over almost 30 years of Army quarters we have had good luck with paint. Luckily my husband painted in high school and some in college as his dad had a house painting business. He has painted A LOT of rooms. Only one time did I not love the color, I pictured a bright green apple and it wasn't quite right, but I did live with it…..I knew we would move in two years anyway! My most favorite…..my black dining room, cannot wait to do that again in our forever house!!

  5. October 2, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Blue paint is really tricky. The sample looks bright and turquoise-y, but on the walls it looks like a soft cotton blue with almost a touch of periwinkle. I would not have expected it to look like that. I had a perfect shade of turquoise on my living room wall in Hawaii. I always wanted to paint the opposite wall in a bold orangey color to contrast with it, but I never got bold enough to pick one! I was afraid of the orange!

  6. Eliza Toffler
    October 3, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    Haha Katie, this reminds me of when I painted our bedroom a few years ago. I was going for a soft, sage green I thought would suit our Colorado home. The room ended up looking like the Rainforest Cafe. Patrick was kind enough to be tactfully agreeable but it had to go. When they were in the field one weekend I re-painted with a couple coats of golden tan and we were saved from the jungle.

  7. Eliza Toffler
    October 3, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    By the way, I love the deeper navy hue! The beach isn't always bright and sunny. Sometimes those powerful, stormy beach days with a blanket and book are just what you need. That color is surprisingly cozy!

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