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Choosing a Paint Color for the Scary Room

In what might be the most anticlimactic reveal of all time, we painted the Scary Room! Despite the lack of contrast between where we started and where we are now, painting this room has made all the difference. What was once a hodge podge of new and old drywall, yellow-y joint compound and unknown grime is now a fresh, clean slate. Aaah.

We considered everything from wallpaper to paneling to moldings plus a chair rail (in which we could also create a two tone wall!), but for now, we kept it simple. We needed to see the room, and without a floor and exposed framework still in sight, we were having a difficult time wrapping our heads around the space. It was also important for us to get this knocked out before we installed the flooring (to allow ourselves all the paint-oops!). In the end, we landed on our tried and true favorite, Benjamin Moore’s Intense White, and we had it color matched to Valspar Reserve in an eggshell finish.

Intense White is the color of our living and dining rooms and kitchen. It’s the softest shade of gray – so soft, in fact, I hesitate to call it gray at all! Every time we roll this color onto the walls, we second guess ourselves; while wet, you could swear we’re painting our walls beige. The next morning, we always awake to a warm, deep white, and we breathe a sigh of relief. In this house, Intense White is always a home run.

The ceiling got rolled with Behr’s Ultra Pure White in a flat finish, the same off-the-shelf bright white we use on all of our doors and trim. I started by cutting in around the top of the room with the ceiling paint, making sure to carry it down on the walls, too. Afterwards, Scott rolled the ceiling, and I moved on to the wall color. With a steady hand, I went back around the top of the room with Intense White, creating a clean line. I worked my way down the corners of the room and the closet, and by then, Scott was ready to roll the walls. Tip: After sharing the process on our Instagram Story, we received a few questions on our favorite tools to make the job easier. Scott uses this extension pole to reach the ceiling, and I always (always!) have this short-handled 2″ angled brush on hand for the cutting in.

To be honest, we played it safe with one of our favorite, foolproof neutral wall colors, if only to give us the option to change it up later with less guilt should the mood strike to switch it up down the road – whether that means wallpaper or trim or anything. The Scary Room is essentially our home’s third bedroom, but at this point, our main goal is to just get this room to a starting point. Right now, we need a functional closet and clean walls and a floor!

We don’t know if we’ll set up another bed or keep it mostly clear of furnishings until we have a true need for the space, but to put it quite simply, we just want to be able to open this door again. We can’t wait to swing it wide. We can’t wait to have a bare room where the pets can laze in the sun spots.

Next up? Flooring!

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  • Emily @ Go Haus Go2.13.17 - 8:42 AM

    It’s looking great! I’m still amazed by all the shimming on the floor to keep the space level. I can’t even imagine what a task that must be! My brain hurts just thinking about the math—haha! Love seeing these fresh walls. Can’t wait to see the floors!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.13.17 - 8:58 AM

      Gah, is there anything better than freshly painted walls?! It’s my drug. Thanks, Emily!ReplyCancel

  • Oksana | FOXYOXIE.com2.13.17 - 11:11 AM

    This room is almost identical in size to our office-turned-nursery for our little one coming in July… I would love to see some possible furniture layouts in this space – I’m having the most difficult time figuring out ours!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.13.17 - 11:39 AM

      We’re not exactly sure what’s going in here, but we will absolutely be sharing everything along the way!ReplyCancel

  • Paige2.13.17 - 12:02 PM

    I love the color you chose! It’s so bright and fresh!


  • Megan2.14.17 - 3:48 PM

    I noticed in the link to your living room room post you said that Intense White was matched to Valspar’s Optimus, but here you said it matched Valspar’s Reserve. Is one a typo? Or are Optimus and Reserve basically the same? Just wanted to check because I really love how this looks and want to get a sample for my own house, but we only have access to Valspar paints, so the color matching will be key!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.14.17 - 3:54 PM

      Such a good question! Optimus is available at Ace Hardware, where we bought Intense White for our living/dining/kitchen. We bought this gallon at Lowe’s, where they have Valspar Reserve. Neither is a typo, but either line of Valspar will color match just fine. :DReplyCancel

      • megan2.14.17 - 4:06 PM

        Ah! I’m a dork. I thought the Reserve/optimus was referring to the paint color, not the specific Valspar paint line. Duh! :) Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • southern gal2.15.17 - 5:46 PM

    YEA!!! on the way … loving the progress. as always!ReplyCancel

  • Julie2.18.17 - 10:50 AM

    It’s going to look great! I have a question about the floors, maybe you will address that all later. I see that your contractor installed shims, then what are the next layers to get to your final flooring?ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.18.17 - 6:35 PM

      The hardwood flooring goes directly onto the shims. We’ll share how that went soon!ReplyCancel

  • kimberlee majdoch3.3.17 - 11:18 AM

    Do you keep the ceiling a pure white then? I’m considering this paint color for my basement. I love how much the white trim pops against it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.3.17 - 2:12 PM

      Yes, we used Ultra Pure White from Behr for the ceiling and all the trim work.ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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