Finding the perfect paint color and starting the mini dining room makeover

Finding the perfect paint color and starting the mini dining room makeover

Today I am using this blog differently then is typically done, I am needing your opinions. I am on a quest Finding the perfect paint color and starting the mini dining room makeover, I narrowed by choices down to a few and am wanting some input from you lovely people.

Finding the perfect gray paint color

I explained my plans for 2017 home improvement projects in terms of my projects, and this dining room was on the top of that list. It is a very awkward layout, with an off centered small window. The dining room also is a walk way to get in and out of the kitchen, while it is also completely open to the living room. There is a lot going on with this space, and a lot going on in the space with my family. I have never figured out the lay-out completely and have changed up the decorations often in here. Never feeling like I am in the sweet spot of being 100%.

Here is what it looked like for a long time. I am not going to do a big makeover. I plan to still use my dining room table, the chairs (for now) and even the wood plank art work got re purposed for this room. I shared the tutorial of that here.

Here is the big time plans, which I am really excited about! For a long time I have wanted to put wood beams in the dining room, or squared wood casing on the ceiling. However, it is a small room with 8ft ceilings. I worried this would make the room feel even smaller. My solution to this is to add crown molding to the ceiling, and frame in the mega sized entryway into the dining room. All with chunky wood. The only two places the word chunky is a good thing is when talking about home wood trim, or babies. Chunky babies are the best!

The new plan for the ceiling is to paint is blue! I am pretty sure anyone that has read this blog, visited my home, or has seen a picture of my home can tell I like decorating in blue. I am planning a high gloss blue on the ceiling. It will bring some drama and color without taking away the size of the room. With high gloss it will even make there be more light in this room. My home many shades of blue in it, and I plan to add more in a few spots. Those details will be explained later.

My home is just about 50 shades of gray too. The actual color shades, not the…ahem… book or movie. I like gray because it is a wonderful neutral, but more modern than the old standard neutral of beige. A quick way to update a home is to paint it gray, any shade will do. We painted our living room and dining room a very, VERY light gray about 5 years ago. I was scared to go darker, and regret that. Yes, I wished I had gone darker in my 50 shades of gray quest. Yes, I am just digging deeper into corny and questionable jokes. Just roll with it.

I have wanted to change the color in the living/dining room for a while, but other projects got in the way. I am looking for more of a contrast. We have beautiful wainscoting but with the very light gray it all kind of blends together. As of now I am committing to tackle the dinning room, but hope to be painting the living room the same color very soon.

I want a gray, standard gray. No mix of blue or purple in it, which is surprisingly hard to find. I picked three varying shades to try out. This is where you all come in! All of the paints today are Pittsburgh paints, the first one I am showing off is the flagstone. It is a beautiful gray with no other undertones of color. In my dining room it is a little on the dark side. I wanted to go darker for contrast, but not turn my home into a cave.

Next we have Solitary, a very cool in tone gray. This one is a good medium of the color above and the lighter one I also have as a option.

Lastly we have Elemental, which is a really light gray. In fact it is only a little darker than what is currently on the wall. So which gray is your favorite? I wanted to give a few recommendations here, when planning to paint a room be sure to get a few samples. What it looks like on the paint sample in the store will be different. Also, paint a sample of each color on at least two walls. I painted these small squares on opposite walls in the dining room. This way I am getting the view of how lighting will change the colors too. Lastly, do not decide until the paint is dry and you have seen the color with natural lighting as well as night time with the lights turned on. Again, every little differences can really bring out different tones then what you expected. No one want s to go through the hassle of painting a room and then realizing they hate it. A waste of time and money. Take it from me and my 5 years old, too light wall color in my home.

The next step is for the ceiling. I painted these directly onto the ceiling so I had a good sense of lighting here too. I went with an obvious turquoise and a more subtle blue with a hint of turquoise. Am I crazy for wanting to paint my ceiling blue?!!!! Have I gone from cuter and safe to loosing-her-mind-too-much-HGTV-watching territory? I feel like it is fun, a little drama, bold, and will actually make the room feel bigger. Let me have it straight, have I gone to far?

This one is called misty aqua and it is pretty much my spirit color when decorating. I am concerned that this color will be a lot to handle on the entire ceiling.

The next is cosmic rays, which is a beautiful color. I was surprised with how gray/blue this color looked. On the sample in the store it looked very blue. Just more proof to get a sample and paint it on the wall.

Another option I am considering if going with the lighter tones version of Misty aqua, which would be mountain dew. This automatically makes me think of the drink with that name and the stark green color it is. I think I will go and grab a sample of the lighter tone and try it on the ceiling. I want to make sure it is not too light and that it simply blends into the ceiling. Another thing to consider is the finish for the ceiling, I really want to go with a high gloss finish. However, we have very textured walls and I do not want the high gloss to highlight the textured finish. So many things to consider still.

As of now my favorite for the wall is the Solitary gray color. I wanted to see how it would work in contrast with the hallway color. As I explained above, this entryway will have wood casing on it, so there will not be a direct connection with the two grays. But I will wanted to make sure the blend well together. I adore the dark gray in my hallway and will not be changing that. Just the living room will be painted, most likely in the same gray that I pick for the dining room.

Lastly I wanted to confirm that the gray I am leaning towards has a good contrast with the new cabinet in here. Once I put this cabinet in that is pure white I realized how similar to white my very light gray was. There is zero contrast and everything just blends together. If I take the time to add wood details to my home or built in cabinets I want that hard work and pretty to shine. Blending into the wall is not what I am going for. I think the contrast is great. As of now I am leaning towards this color, but will decide after I see how it looks at night with the lights on. Finding the perfect paint color and starting the mini dining room makeover is a lot more work then you would expect. Not so much work, but takes more planning time then assumed. Typically finding the right color, and then prepping the space with tape takes longer than the actual painting. I hope to get the wall and ceiling painted this weekend, and then start working on the crown molding. That us a whole other level of options that can take a long time to confirm. I will be turning to you all again for some moral support and opinions.

So what color fo you think I should go with for the wall and the ceiling? Am I crazy to paint my ceiling blue?




  1. I like Solitary for the walls. I have mixed feelings about the ceiling. If you paint it blue, it’s going to make the ceiling look lower. I don’t know if that’s what you’re going for or not. Either way, I looking forward to seeing the end results.

  2. Painting is one of the easiest way to change and freshen up a room. Choosing the colors is one the hardest things to do.

  3. My living room is a medium gray and my dining room and kitchen are a soft dove gray. I have a chalkboard backsplash in my kitchen and it looks fabulous with the gray. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

  4. I wish I owned my home so I could paint. I can’t wait to see your end results, so far, I am in love with everything you’ve done to your home.

  5. I can’t wait to see how this turns out! Paint and crown molding can totally transform a room. So exciting!

  6. It’s so hard to find the perfect paint color. I love that you are painting the dining room ceiling blue. That’s such a fun pop of color.

  7. Catherine Sargent says:

    I like the Elemental and Cosmic Rays. I like the idea of using a different color on the ceiling. I can’t wait to see it finished.

  8. I have to admit, I love the gray. I tried to convince my hubby to go this colour when we were looking to re-do the walls upstairs but it was a no go.
    Love what you have done!!

  9. I love the ceiling colors and would have never thought to paint our ceiling a color other than white. My dining room totally needs a makeover and this is a great inspiration for me to get my butt in gear!

  10. Oh this is going to turn out so pretty! I really like the Misty Aqua color! Cant wait to see how it looks when it is done.

  11. Claudia Krusch says:

    I always have a hard time choosing a new paint color. I will have to try painting swatches in the room next time I decide to paint.

  12. Oh you definitely had the right ideas for choosing colors. I need to do it like this. Your ceiling is going to look so nice with any of the blues.

  13. I really like the Solitary color as well! I think the end result will look amazing. And the blue ceiling will make everything pop!

  14. I did this once. I’m not sure I can go through it again lol. I love the Solitary color though. It looks like it would go with a lot of accent colors 🙂

  15. All these shades of grey are right up my street! I can’t choose an actual favorite. I’m looking forward to seeing which one you choose in the end though 🙂

    Louise x

  16. I liked the elemental and cosmic rays the best. Choosing paint takes me forever. I can never decide and I’m not brave enough to paint swatches on the walls, nor do the stores where I live let you buy tiny amounts to do it. Love your reno and the overall makeover idea. Wish I had the budget to do this myself. The crown molding will look great.

  17. You have such great light coming in through the windows. I ted to like lighter colors as darker seem to always make the room much darker than I intend.

  18. Isn’t amazing how you can transform a space by just changing the paint on the walls? A fresh coat of paint is an awesome transformation.

  19. These are some great tips! We have to do a major house renovation in the spring, including painting the entire house!

  20. I think Solitary is the way to go on the walls. To me it just has a better feel and look to it than the Elemental. I am uncertain about the ceiling, but I don’t think I like the Misty Aqua with the grey. But, I am not certain.

  21. This is part of the reason I wish I were owning instead of renting. Painting seems like such fun!

  22. I like the solitary grey for the walls… then if you’re doing the ceiling blue I’d pick the lighter one (or even lighter than that- also barely blue/noticeable)… I LOVE crown-molding in houses! can’t wait to see the end result, have fun with it : )

  23. I like the flagstone especially since you’re talking about doing the family room the same color eventually. You might not be happy if such a large area is too light. I would go with the cosmic ray for the ceiling. Good luck

  24. The solitary was my choice before I’d read anything. My home is also 50 shades of gray so I totally get it. I think solitary would look most excellent with cosmic rays. I can’t wait to see the finished project.

  25. I like the idea of a blue ceiling, but I would go much lighter than your samples. You don’t want to look up and see baby blue, you want to notice a hint of blue, but not have it hit you in the face. I would look at Mountain Dew, but maybe it again, half in intensity. Also make sure the gray you pick matches the same Hue of the ceiling. If you look at the thanks together you will see the blue and the gray coordinate or fight each other. Paint is tricky. I’ve been decorating them over 40 years, and then less you go with the tried-and-true color combination, you just have to try the sample in the room it’s going to be used in. Good luck.

  26. Great combination! I look forward to seeing what you end up choosing.

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