Perfecting Pink Paint

Yesterday, I shared the process of painting our master bathroom pink.  First, I started with Pink Sea Salt by Martha Stewart.

The color was pale.  I didn’t realize I wanted something as high contrast as the original green color.  So, added 1 test can of Market Flower by Valspar and added 3/4 cups of the large basement bedroom color, to help mellow the bright colors.

We’ve lived with this color for a week, and I’m still not sold.  It’s still too sweet baby girl, not as much dark and moody adult pink as I’d like to see.  I searched my favorite blogs for pink paint colors and found Wild Aster in Nicole’s living room and Proposal in Sherry and John’s baby girl’s bedroom.

Here in Montana, we don’t have Benjamin Moore stores, but Ace Hardware does carry Ben Moore paint.  Luckily, an Ace Hardware recently opened up a few blocks from our house, so I took the boys pink paint swatch shopping.  We pulled nearly every pink pain swatch Ace had, including Proposal and Wild Aster.  Oddly enough, the colors are very similar.  No, nearly identical.  I liked how the colors showed in the pictures, but I also liked a few other colors.  Namely Desert Rose and Odessa Pink.

Proposal is a single swatch card, but Wild Aster is the lightest of seven paint colors.   I also liked Sonoma Clay, which is the third color down on the Wild Aster slip.  And, I liked the online description: A darker, never-fail neutral, this intriguing shade is a modern marriage of pink and gray. Rich and reliable, it has a sleek and sophisticated sensibility.  It had me at a marriage of pink and gray.  That’s exactly what I needed.  I taped the three swatches up on the wall in the bathroom to see what they looked like in the right lighting.

Almost immediately, I eliminated Odessa Pink because it has a heavy orange undertone.  After looking at Desert Rose, I decided the color might be overwhelming on the walls, and it might look too red.

Before I could get too excited by my single paint choice, I compared the pink and the bedroom green.

I like that the colors have a similar value.  And, I like that Sonoma Clay reads as a muddled pink.  Hopefully we won’t repeat the baby pink look with this color.  It seems Sonoma Clay is the winner.

Truth be told, I don’t know if or when I’ll repaint the bathroom.  Ben thinks I should leave the color as it is.  I’m guessing just because he doesn’t want to spend more money on pink paint.  We’ve had this color on the walls for a week and I’m still not happy with it.  I don’t think I ever will be.  I just don’t want to spend more money and my time on something if I’m not going to love it.  And, I’m starting to doubt my pink paint selecting abilities.

But, the helpful Ace paint man showed me Ben Moore 1 pint paint samples which cost about 7 smackeroos.  I just searched online to see what the coverage is.  It seems each 16 ounce can can cover two 4 foot by 4 foot walls with two coats.  So, if my math is right (which I know is a stretch) each can will cover 64 square feet with one coat.  Good news, I just measured the bathroom walls.  The wall behind the toilet is five feet tall and three feet wide or 15 square feet.  To the left of the vanity, the wall is 4 feet tall and three feet wide for 12 square feet.  The right side of the vanity is three feet by three feet, making it nine square feet.  Total that up, and it’s only 36 square feet.  I just might be able to use one small sample can for the entire bathroom.  Does this seem right?  Or am I off my rocker?

Perhaps I should live with the current color for a few more days?  Maybe I could use a sample can to paint the entire bathroom?  That would keep the cost around $20 for both paint colors, which I can handle.

Aghh, it sounds like I’ve already convinced myself to repaint, doesn’t it?  What do you think of the swatches?  Do you have a favorite?

20 thoughts on “Perfecting Pink Paint

  1. The heart wants what the heart wants. Repaint! Sonoma Clay is beautiful. I have high hopes for it!

    1. Charlotte, Isn’t that the truth?!? I have high hopes for Sonoma Clay, too. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint!


  2. I always heard that you shouldn’t use the sample paint to actually paint your walls only to test whether you like the color. I don’t know why though. Something about it missing a component missing that gives paint its durability. I would ask a paint expert before using sample paint as your permanent paint. You could get it color matched to a cheaper paint brand. I agree that the room looks baby girl pink now. I like the new color you have chosen.

    1. Hi Amanda, The paint guy at Ace told me Ben Moore suggests painting over the sample, as it is just for testing color. But, he also said he has used it as a paint and it has held up just fine. He thinks the difference is the sample comes in only one sheen, eggshell. Which is fine with me. I might check out some other cheap brands of paint. Any brand suggestions for the cheapest quart?


  3. Home Depot has the values for Benjamin Moore paint in their computer. You can get one of their samples, paint it on posterboard, and see if you like it in the light of that room. If the color bothers you, then it bothers you and I don’t see it getting better.

  4. I am on my 4th coat of paint in my guest bathroom, although I have finally found the winner – Behr Gobi Desert. It was our gut instinct color, but I thought I wanted something different. For me, I am sticking with this tan and will just get wild-and-crazy with decorations and towels.

  5. I’m definitely NOT a math expert, but if one small can covers two 4×4 squares, wouldn’t that be 32 square feet? (4×4=16, 16×2=32?) When you figured it I’m guessing you just combined the two squares and did 8×8=64. If you use that same logic and combine the dimensions of your current walls you would get 9×6=54, but if you do it separate you get the 32 square feet you came up with. ???????? I could be totally wrong though. I feel like it should mathematically be the same.
    However, that would technically mean that one can could do one coat right?

  6. And as I typed that I realized you said it covers TWO coats!!! Sorry!!! Scratch all that!:)

    BTW I love the Sonoma Clay.

    1. Wendy, I’m sorry you’re going through the same thing. Painting several different colors in the same space just isn’t fun!

      Meggan, Yeah, I see what you mean about the multiplication. I’m definitely not known for my math skills. I’m gald we’re on the same page now. Fingers crossed for Sonoma Clay. 🙂


  7. I vote repaint…your heart is telling you to. I am a huge fan of Ben Moore paint, love it to pieces. Saying that, I have used Valspar Premium paint from Lowe’s and have to say it is very very close in quality. I don’t know the price difference, but you can call and ask and pop over to test out some new colors.

  8. $7? Get it colour matched at homedepot, Martha and Behr samples are only $3. I believe they only come in flat though. I’ve got 6 samples sitting on my wall right now (3 martha, 3 behr) and I (personally) would prefer an eggshell.

    1. Laura, the $7 Ben Moore paint is for 16 ounces, not the small test samples. Which I think is pretty reasonable because their quarts are $14. So it’s half the paint for half the price in only an eggshell finish.

      Marcy, I have considered grey, but I’m kind of set on pink. If the second attempt ends in utter failure, I have the original green left over from our bedroom, so I can always go back. I’d rather take more of a chance and go with pink. But, I do like the idea of grey. Maybe for another room…

      Thanks for the help!

  9. agree with the color match option – Benjamin Moore is ++$$$ (but the colors are fantastic. Have you ever thought of grey instead of pink? And keeping pink accents… might make it a little more adult.

  10. Use the sample can to paint one wall, then live with it for a few days. Don’t cut in and all that jazz – it’s what takes the time. If you don’t like it SIGNIFICANTLY more than what you’ve got already, you can paint over that wall since I’m guessing you’ve got lots of your custom paint left since you mixed a few different ones together.

    A sample can goes a long way in my experience. There really is a lot of paint in them.

  11. I almost hate to bring it up, to plant the idea in your head, but a lesson to share about pink tones…

    The muddled pink you are going for reminds me of warm beige my mom painted her house a few years ago. Most of the living spaces, the two story foyer. It was a great color on the swatch.

    But then it went up on the walls.. And at certain times of the day, that is most times of the day, it was a fleshy bandaid color. So very sad. And kind of gross.

  12. I’ll give you $7 to paint, Sis. I love you but that pink is terrible. It’s not “you” and it’s just not pretty. I really like Sonoma Clay, go for it.

  13. I was just at my local Ace to check out Wild Aster and when I inquired about Proposal, they said in the computer they said it’s the same color. I don’t know if they know what they’re talking about, but who knew?

    1. Hi Tracy H,

      That’s interesting because they seriously look so similar. It makes sense they’re the same, actually. Wild Aster is from their normal line and Proposal is from the Affinity line. Either way, they’re pretty colors. 🙂

      Happy weekend!

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