Are you one of the people who bought your first home during the real estate climb? And now your bubble has burst - but thankfully, you do still have a roof over your head? When  you first moved in, you and your partner painted walls, doors and trim... making the house a home - but now the walls are looking a little tired? Well than - it's time to WAKE UP YOUR WALLS!!! What good are all those cans of paint doing you stacked and sitting in a lonely (hot) garage?

You do still like your palette, but it's missing a little summ-thin' summ-thin'? Well without spending anything, other than 'maybe' a can of black IF you don't already have, you can give some depth and newness to your walls with paints you already have. You've already spent the money on it - so put it to use and mix it up.

Before I could begin mixing, I studied some of the blues already in our home: pillows, window panels, my husbands dress shirts and even one of my pashminas. These became the inspiration of where I wanted to make the color go. Since I was on a blue kick after seeing Carrie's SATC apartment, I did already have a half gallon of a blue left over (my husband calls it blurple). I also had about a half quart of semi-gloss black left over from painting our old wall unit about two years ago. TIP: If your latex paint has gotten a little thick from sitting still, add a little water to the can - little by little - to thin its consistency.

I cleared the dining room space, including just shifting over the window panels. I needed a work surface inside (WAY too hot out down here!!) So I re-purposed our lovely orange TARP from a hurricane season about five years ago (lovely South Florida living!!) as a table cover (folded in half for extra protection). I then brought in all the supplies I'd need: painters tape, paints to be mixed, paint can opener, screwdriver (to remove switch plates) stirrers, brushes, edgers, a damp cloth and my cookie sheets. Yes - cookie sheets.

Yes - Cookie sheets.
I think I first started using them as trays
back in my old apartment - because it had wood floors.

I love using cookie sheets when painting as a re-purposed tray. The paint can sit and drip on it, along with wet stirrers, brushes, and the lid. It becomes easily mobile when working on a project (and added even more protection to the table). All the drop cloths were in place, a favorite music channel was on, my coke was on the table - It was time to get crack-a-lackin' and start mixin'!

I started with the blue in the bowl first, and little by little began adding the black. At first, I was a bit nervous because I thought the color was looking too much like the gray I already had on the walls - but as with swatches - the paint color changed with the natural light direction in the room. I tested the new color in the corner so I could see the color change side by side. After letting it dry a bit (to cure) I felt I had mixed the right combination. Now it was time to mix it up in the can.

Same process - I added a little bit of black at a time, stirred well, and then dipped the stir stick into the bowl. It didn't match, so I kept adding black - little by little - until eureka! I got it! I started by painting the first corner, stepping back, and checking to make sure the coverage was even. TIP: To help with even coverage and true color: paint at an angle left and then again angle right over the same area (it also helps to cover the 'ghosts' - especially on knock-down textured walls).

Although the taping and edger helped for the most part, because of the walls uneven texture, the blue did bleed. After it dried a bit, I cut back in to touch up. The blue was also used to paint over the blank canvases on the floating shelves in the stairway (to help with the color flow). After clean up of everything. TIP: Use a cloth over paint can tops when hammering to seal back up - it helps to prevent splatter!! I used the furniture slides to shift the table back into place. Although what went back in is already old, it all looked new again with this simple afternoon project!

Now I'm no Danielle or David from Color Splash, but after Jeff said, "Do you know what you're doing?"  - and it was my first attempt at mixing paints on this large of a scale (it's a little different than watercolors for a rendering) - I am very happy with the end result! The added bonus: I tried something NEW.

Apply yourself and surprise yourself!
Why not try mixing up some of your old paints
and see what you can come up with!
Send me your before and after pics - I'd love to see what you mixed up!

Go be a weekend warrior and
have a WONDERFUL weekend!

All photos by Lynda Quintero-Davids

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  1. Good God woman! It looks fabulous. You are one fearless chica, I probably would not have mixed enough for the area and screwed it all up.

    You know I love the dark colors and this one rocks! GREAT JOB!!

  2. (smile) THANKS so much Jill!!! Glad to see you are THRILLED with it!!!

    Have a rockin' good weekend chica!
    :D Lynda

  3. Dang you are good! I've got a ceiling in the foyer that needs a moisturizer and a wall in my dining room that needs an entire facelift. Stan

  4. Great job. It looks beautiful and everything really pops against it. Have a nice weekend, and thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Love the idea of mixing what's already on hand. Recycle and reuse. Turned out beautiful.

  6. Gosh I thought from that first paragraph that you'd had a camera installed in our home!?! ;) LOVE LOVE LOVE The new color!! I've been trying like crazy to find just the righ hue or is it value? Can't remember anyhow- You'd cry if you saw how many different paint samples are slapped on my wall right now!! ;)

  7. Thanks Stan, Mona and Marilyn! Happy to see you liked and are inspired!!

    Angie - Thank you so much for the "LOVE"!! Color can be tricky - especially with light and what colors are in the space the light is bouncing off of. The "hue" is what describes the color (ex: blue) while "value" is the lightness or darkness of a color.

    Try to pull together the textile items you'll be using in the space and have it near you sample-slaps [:-)] Check it out in different lighting (both natural window and light fixtures). Seeing it's base of blue or yellow (warm or cool value of your hue) may help. Try stacking your finds on a chair, or spread them out on a table - a good (EZ & fun) place to play with editing.

    Hope this helps!!
    :D Lynda



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