The Great Paint Debate


Titan Blue? Or Stained Glass? (Look at the colors just below her fingers. That’s Stained Glass on the left, Titan Blue on the right.) She’s TORN! The drywallers are finishing up this week and we’re planning to paint this weekend. For now, we’re just planning to primer everything and then paint what else we can in a few days–and leave the rest to paint after we move in. Painting is one job we set aside for ourselves, but we don’t want to hold up the work that follows–floors, trim, installation of the kitchen, etc. So we’re going to beat ourselves up for one weekend, hopefully get it all primed, paint at least a few rooms, then finish later. I don’t like white walls, so they won’t stay white for long after we move in. But moving in–that’s the important thing…. And we don’t want to hold up the other work. I’ve put the kids in charge of painting their own rooms. The boys think, in that case, primer white sounds Just Fine. Princess, of course, is full of enthusiasm to paint! Only she’s torn, torn, torn!

And who comes up with the names of these paint colors anyway? Highland Heather. Thimbleberry Blossom. Violet Devotion. She wants “something calm and neutral, creamy, earth tones.” I said, “So that’s why you picked out PURPLE paint cards???”

That’s the card I picked out for the living room (left)–Darby Creek. It’s on the same paint chip card with Cafe Au Lait (lighter), Mudpie (slightly darker), and Terra Firma (very dark). Is this, like, somebody’s whole job? Coming up with fantastical names for paint colors? (I want this job!) I really like one called Brown Rabbit, but that’s mostly because it’s called Brown Rabbit. I’m thinking of using another one called Sphinx, but with colors like Brown Rabbit and Summer Pecan available, how can I do that??? I’ll probably make a last-minute decision at the paint store.

Princess, on the other hand, is torturing herself. She’s poring over the paint chip cards. Should she go with an earth tone, after all? Maybe Mudpie? Or something more exciting….. Stained Glass? Or Titan Blue? It’s too hard to decide! (If I may inject here…. The new “horse” bedding she picked out is in earth tones.)

Begging for help.

She’s in despair! (We’re very dramatic here.) I promised her The Internet would help her.

Update–I’ll see if I can make this link work for the bedding she’s getting. Click here. Can she really have purple walls with that? What do you think?


  1. jan says:

    You can’t have that job..I have already called it. When we were painting our house we loved some of the same colors…but I thnk definatelt…Mudpie to go with the horse bedding.

  2. Kim A. says:

    I have painted so many times in my current house it’s not funny. I paint, then next year I paint another colour.

    I’m not going to vote, but will offer a suggestion for all of you. Get a sample of the colours you like and paint test areas on the walls. All the walls. Because the colour will look different on each wall and at various times of the day. My lovely soft buttery yellow looks great downstairs, but looks more lemon-y in the upper hallway. Yuck.

    BTW, I’m a green person, and I love your Darby Creek colour. If you like shades like that, Suzanne, you’d like my colours — mostly shades of sage green and that buttery yellow. Makes me feel Spring-like — fresh and cheerful, but still serene. If that makes sense.

    Anyway, have Princess pick a coordinating shade from her bedding. If she paints the walls blue or lilac (which is what Stained Glass looks like to me), she mind find they don’t go well with her “horse” bedding. Hmm, maybe post a pic of the bedding, then we can weigh in!

    But truly — get samples of the paint colours and try them out before you commit to a colour. It will save you MUCH work and fuss and upset in the long run.


    P.S. Yeah, I’m looking at paint samples again for my house….I’m crazy!

  3. Kim A. says:

    One more thing: What brand of paint are you looking at?

    A tip: CIL is fine for light colours, but doesn’t cover well when it’s a medium to dark shade.

    Pick a *good* paint, Suzanne. You won’t regret the extra expense up-front.

    I’ve used Behr (from Home Depot) for the most part, but when I last painted my bedroom, I got $60/gallon paint for half price and what a difference! Went on the walls like melted butter — i.e. smooth and awesome coverage.

    I’ll still use Behr, unless there’s a great deal on a better quality paint.

    Forget the cheap cr*p. Trust me on this one!


  4. Heidi says:

    I think the lavender one she has her finger on is the best, if she goes any darker it will look – well non-earth toney!!! LOL Princess and I are soul sista’s when it comes to picking out paint – we look a lot like this — :wall:

  5. MARY says:

    :biggrin: Princess, we need to see the bedding!!! Window treatments???? Give us a LITTLE more to go on!! I do like the Titan Blue, though, of the three choices. The test painting on the wall is a great idea, and I’m sure you will have some fun with it!! Good luck! Mary :purr:

  6. becki says:

    Years ago, when I was a brand new mom, I watched an episode of Martha Stewart. She was painting a garden/porch bench some sort of “autumn apricot” or something like that shade.

    My husband (on new dad leave) noticed it was about the same shade of the fur balls he had just cleaned up. Sure enough, at the end of her show, one of her cats was indeed lying on this garden/porch bench.

    My point? Pick something that will help hide the little nuances that will occur in life.

  7. Melissa says:

    Wow! two very different choices here. A very specific bed set with no purple in it at all, and a very ‘uber girly’ choice on wall color. She must be a bit torn between what she may perceive as childish and what is perceived as grown up. How can she get the best of both worlds without resorting to a ‘my little pony’ bed set? Perhaps pick paint to match the lightest color in the bed spread without going too neutral? Maybe the green? Perhaps the burgundy (or what looks like burgundy) Yeah, now that I’ve seen the bed set, purple definitely does not go with it.
    Maybe take a pillow sham to the paint store?

  8. Lisa J says:

    When we built our home and I had to pick all the paint colors it was so hard. What looked good on the chips did not look good on the walls!!! So I took a pillow sham or a throw pillow to the store and they worked wonders!!! They were able to help me match it perfectly. But I will admit it was a woman helping me!! hummmmm???? I agree with the buying of good paint, you will not regret it. You get what you pay for and that is true even with paint. Have fun with it and good luck. This is some of the best parts of building your own dream home.

  9. Cyndi Lewis says:

    Remember… it’s just paint. It’s not like you can’t repaint if you change your mind. Given your daughter’s age her tastes will more than likely change rather quick anyway.

  10. Kim A. says:

    Okay, having seen the bedding, forget the blue or the lavender. They just don’t work. Pick up a nice light earth-tone that goes with the bedding!


  11. Treasia says:

    I love both the colors but chose the Titan Blue. Here is another idea as well. Since it is such a dark color (and darker once dried) how about painting the main wall in the blue and then the remaining walls in the mudpie? I think that would look fantastic and she would get all the colors incorporated.

  12. Sarah in Sanford says:

    I love the Titan Blue. It is the color of a blue sky on a perfect summer day. That color makes me feel happy and relaxed. Princess should pick a color that makes her happy when she walks in her room, whether it matches her bedding or not. But that is just my opinion. People who actually have a sense of style probably just cringed reading this comment. Happy paint picking!!

  13. Shirley says:

    I’m thinking that mudpie will be entirely too dark with the bedding which is also dark. I chose the titan blue to offset that.

    Like everyone else suggested, put samples on the wall. They can be covered up with the color you choose.

    I once painted a place on my living room wall about 30 x 36, and left it for about a month before I finally decided if it was the color I wanted. Now my entire living room and hall is that color and I love it.

    And remember, it’s just paint which as they say on HGTV is the cheapest way to change a room. It can always be changed. :rockon:

  14. Jill S. says:

    Nice choices to have to make! Can you come paint my house when you’re done?

  15. Ann from Montana says:

    I agree, agree, agree – with Kim A. about putting chips or bits of paint on different walls. The color looks so different with varying light. And also – QUALITY paint…if you end up with a color you love, it will last a long time and clean up well.

    I love the gold paint in the photo of the bedspread. I painted my living room a “gold” and agonized over which color until I put the chip samples around the room and watched. Am very happy (LUCKY!).

    Good luck with the weekend paint marathon!

  16. Linda~ says:

    After looking at the bedding, I would go with Mudpie.

  17. Amy says:

    I think Mudpie is a little dark. Something in a nice taupe, the color of ripened wheat would work well with horse bedding. Princess can accent with color in her room!

  18. Remudamom says:

    Whoo hoo, Back in the Saddle, one of my favorite catalogs. Of course she can have purple with that, it’ll be the color that makes the room.

    When we added on to our house our two girls got the old master bedroom/bath. They had to agree on the walls, but their bedspreads are very different. It makes them happy.
    They are about your girly’s age.

    You know, come to think of it, I’ve seen plenty of rooms with at least one different colored wall…….

    Someone at the Well Trained Mind is looking for cornbread tips, she needs to visit here!

  19. shasta3 says:

    Here’s my suggestion……Why not paint the room mudpie and then do an accent wall titan blue? She could paint her window seat area titan blue so that when she’s snuggled up reading in her “cave” she is surrounded by a beautiful sky blue color?! Just a thought!!! Good luck….I hate making decisions like this for myself.

  20. tombstone annie/annbb says:

    I’m with the posters above that say not the purple and (probably not) the blue with the bedding she wants. I’d go with a lighter tone in the bedding. Kim A. seems to really know what she’s talking about – I think I’d lean toward her advice.

    love the bedding – gonna make a smashing bedroom!


  21. lintys says:

    I picked Titan Blue but that was before I saw the bedding. Now I’d say gold, burgundy, or green – take a sham to the paint store and match the paint color to one of the colors in the bedding. I don’t think either blue would go with the bedding. Mudpie would be better, but probably too dark. There are a lot of good suggestions above, I just want to add my voice to the ‘nix the blues’ opinions and the ‘match the bedding’ views.

  22. Amy Addison says:

    She’s a teenager…she needs dark and moody (which goes great with real earth tones). The bedding lends itself to Mudpie, out of the three choices. If she wants purple, she should find some purple in the bedding and match that. But I’m thinking a taupe-y brown or sage green is going to go better with that bedding.

  23. JanC says:

    Has she thought about a nice soft teal or green, such as the bedskirt in the photo of the bedding? If she choose another “family” of blues, she should still be able to go with a blue – just not the bright blue on the card. Good luck. We are painting too. It is such a DECISION which color to choose. I usually give up and paint everything eggshell or antique white. I know – boring, but then most of the walls are covered with paintings and photographs 😆

  24. Gloria Jean says:

    I didn’t vote because the little circles wouldn’t let me mark both the Stained Glass AND the Titan Blue. Years ago one of my daughters chose colors very close to those for her room. We painted the walls with the more purple tone and the ceiling with the skyish blue. Her bedroom faced south and the quality of light in the room coming off those colors was magical. I think the bedding can work with some “marrying” choices for the other accessories in the room. By that I mean maybe a bedside rug or windowseat cushion that includes both paint and bedding colors.

  25. jenn says:

    I just helped a friend do a horse-themed bedroom for her daughter. She has similar bedding, her mother blew up horse photos to poster size & framed them, and we painted the walls and ceiling blue (very close to the Titan Blue). We used sponges to paint quite realistic, wispy white clouds around the upper walls and ceiling. Looked GREAT! Her daughter says it feels like she is living in a storybook. 🙂

  26. Jen(aside) says:

    The purple really just wouldn’t do with that bedding, it’d make the bedding look out of place. But, if she wants a purple room….!! 🙂

  27. Letha says:


    I saw on one of the home make over channels the other day where they painted the walls a Cream Color and did the trim and door in a Chocolate Color. I loved it! Just an idea.


  28. Sooz says:

    :catmeow: That orange cat sitting behind her in the picture? Look at his face. He definitely has an opinion. You should ask him. He probably would have gone with some mouse bedding, though. And if the Princess is happy with the color, that’s great. At her age, she is just figuring out who she is and what she likes. Thank the Lord, you aren’t looking at black paint chips!

  29. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    The wall color in the picture is perfect with the bedding. :thumbsup: I think that would work better than any of the choices given. The window seat area would be perfect for the “blue/purple” paint. I also agree that the quality of the paint matters. The extra “up front” cost will be cheaper in the long run. Better color match, easier cleaning and less fading. Have fun painting. The color you picked for the living room is nice but would not be my choice because I like creamy (off white, buttery yellow) walls. Then I can go with anything I want in furnishings, pictures, etc. Everyone have a great day and :hug: to all.

  30. Maria says:

    Princess..remember this: It’s only paint. you can redo. Of course, with all that painting you’re going to be doing you may not want to redo any time soon. I think I prefer the Titan Blue because the other looks too lavender and I”ve had it with lavender but that’s just me….I can’t see lavender with that bedspread, but I can see blue. And Beige. If I were a paint namer person I would say Beige 1, Beige 2, and Beige 3. Just to make it really confusing for people.

    Have fun with all the paint!!

  31. kaye says:

    I think I like Stained Glass only because of the name. But I like purples and blues. So it’s really up to her… hmmm. Gotta be tough!

  32. catslady says:

    I don’t see a sample of the mudpie? But it sounds dark to me unless maybe one wall mudpie and 3 walls a more beige color. We did a bedroom with 3 walls coral and the ceiling and one wall off white and I love it. I think because of the bedspread I agree that the lilac and blue aren’t probably the best colors.Unless of course she wants to return the bedspread… (shhhhh I didn’t say that) :purr:

  33. Sue Luna says:

    :biggrin: Go to Pioneers Woman’s blog and you can print off some fantastic horse pictures to frame and go in her room. Her photos are wonderful! After seeing the bedding, I would go with mudpie!

  34. Shary says:

    Titan Blue walls with a leathery brown accent wall might be something to consider… Blue walls will give Princess that “out ridin’ in the clean air” feeling.. not to mention how peaceful blues can make a gal feel..

    One of our daughters loved horses and rode them every chance she got. …’Wish we could have found those bed linens when she was at home.. She’s furnishing her little boys’ room with a cowboy them these days! (Denim blue and gold sueade colors)

    Our living room is a Misty Mountain Green.. and we love it.. I wasn’t a green fan until we bought our current home .. where the MMG was already on the living room walls… We’ve changed the colors throughoutthe rest of the walls.. but that one is a keeper… as is it’s name!!!!! :snoopy:

    Decorating a new home .. What fun!! Best wishes to you!

  35. Becky says:

    I don’t think either blue will work with the bedding, but maybe a more neutral bluish-grey color would (think a really light version of the blue-ish color in the bedding.) Still, I dont’ think she would want grey walls in her bedroom. I would recommend something neutral and slightly warm for a bedroom with that bedding — almost like the wallpaper on your webpage (minus the dots), and then if she wants to do different bedding later on, she could change it up without painting the walls. If she really has to have some blue/purple in her room, she could introduce color in other ways — through curtains, wallpaper borders, pillows, etc…

  36. Becky says:

    Oh, and another thing… go 2-3 shades lighter than you really want with the paint because the color reflects on itself and makes it look darker on walls than you think it’s going to look from the paint chip.

  37. Rosa Veldkamp says:

    I would not choose the purple either. That said, as the mother of four, two of whom are girsl I know Princees will pick what she thinks looks good. After all once you are older than…say 25… you know nothing about todays style anyways! 😥

  38. Brandy says:

    I have a similar color blue on my bedroom walls, but I went way neutral with the bedding and used white (it can be bleached). I do find the blue very soothing. But, neither the blue nor purple seem to match the bedding. Sorry Princess!

  39. Rosa Veldkamp says:

    You’ld think by my age I would know how to spell girls! 😮

  40. Susan says:

    Princess, I’m glad you have to make the final decision and not me! :purr:

  41. Tori Lennox says:

    I have some paint chips with such descriptive names as Fortune Teller (yeah, I’d really guess that was a purple!) or Key Largo (which, you know, just screams muddy blue). I’d like a job naming paints. I could do just as good a job, I think! *g*

  42. wkf says:

    Ask and you shall recieve everyone’s oppinion. What does mud pie look like? Purple hues won’t work with that bedding. Sorry. Navy and darker greens will. or mud pie.
    GET A TINTED PRIMER FOR ANY ROOM THAT IS going to be a darker shade. It will help cover and it will help save on real paint costs. You won’t be painting three or four coats(GALLONS AND GALLONS, dollars and dollars.) I don’t envy your painting challenge! Good luck. (She could always get different bedding.)

  43. Jeri says:

    :snoopy: I believe the stained glass would be perfect. It would be like the desert sky at night with her comforter set she has picked out.

    I discovered your site last week when I read the on-line Spencer newspaper. I looked at the pictures and realized that I had been to the farm during my childhood. I called my mom who works in Charleston WVA and told her about what I had seen and about Bob Sergeant and she said yes we had been there for Democratic fundraisers. So I told her about your site and for her to look at it also. I am living in Newcomerstown Ohio now, and your site reminds me of all the hopes and dreams I had of living on a farm and having a garden and chickens. So I will live a little bit through your experiences. Truly Yours Jeri Starcher

  44. Heather says:

    Looks like a good time for Mom to step up and discuss color coordination :talktothehand:

  45. Noble Pig says:

    Oh yeah, I can pick out Thimbleberry Blossom in a lineup anywhere, anytime!

  46. Estella says:

    I like the Titan Blue. I think it would be ok , given the background of the bedding.

  47. Annette says:

    I like the titan blue, does the bed set show any landscape with sky? is so the blue would proably tie it all together. We just bought a new house (new to us) and had to take down 8 rooms of wall paper first! My advice is buy quality paint! we bought Olympic from Lowes and it covers usually in the first coat and has no smell at all and dries quickly. We just bought wal-mart brand paint for one bedroom in a dark burgundy, did not do well at all, we are actually having to redo it because it just turned out so bad. We do not have a white wall in our home, with colors like honeybutter, tabu (sage green), timeless taupe, brickdust, sauted mushroom, merlot! There are just to many great colors, totally understand not being able to decide!

  48. Shirley says:

    I just had to tell you that I made your cornbread again for dinner. It is so yummy. I love all the recipes on the various blogs, but all I do is cook, bake and eat, eat, eat.

    Hope you get all your painting done, and you will get moved in soon.

  49. virginia says:

    i would choose an interesting, warm neutral(see above) that would work with the bedspread, and paint a wide stripe(4 inches) in “stained glass” (about 36″ up from the floor.) next summer, when school’s out and she’s bored, she can trace silhouettes of horses onto the stripe and paint them……….

  50. Marianne says:

    Oooh . . . purple with all those earth-tones on the bedding? Maybe if she doesn’t want more brown or tan or beige in the room than is on the bedding, then she could pick out a similar blue from the sky parts of the coverlet. Doing that might pull it all together.

    Good luck with the painting. We’ve been living with bulder white for the past 2.5 years because every time I bring home a can of paint, it just isn’t exactly what I had in mind! And it doesn’t help that my husband won’t help with the choosing . . . only the veto-ing!

  51. virginia says:

    this was just one of many choices when i “googled” the phrase “horse silhouettes”.

  52. Tresha says:

    I think if she goes with Mudpie it will look a guest bedroom and not a teenager’s bedroom….

  53. Dani says:

    All of those colors that Princess picked will work great with the bedding she picked. What about two walls (opposite each other) Titan and two walls Stained Glass. Or scrap all that and go for a orange/yellow sunset color. That’s my vote.

  54. coquet's cache says:

    do they have the little trial size containers of paint for your colors? those are soooo cool. almost as cool as the paint namer’s job. i would thoroughly rock that job. maybe i could be your assistant if you get it?

  55. Lisa in Californi says:

    I love the light purple color… purple is my favorite color after all. It will make the room look just a bit girly with the horse bedding which can be very “heavy” because of all the brown colors.

    What it comes down to is…if the color makes her smile, it’s the right one.

  56. farmer girl says:

    Please, oh please, oh please choose the Titan Blue. Trust me, it will be beautiful! I hate to break it to her, but the purple just wouldn’t match! Most of all……. just have fun. You can always repaint!

  57. Beth says:

    Sorry Princess, as much as I love purple it just does not go with the bedding you picked out. If you changed it to a set that had horses and some purple in the background, then okay. But if not… sorry.

  58. Renna says:

    Though I think the Titan Blue is quite pretty, with the bedding she’s chosen, I think a soft sage green would be more complimentary to it. It would still be a calming color, but it would go ‘with’ the bedding rather than clashing ‘against’ it. But, hey, that’s just my opinion. Princess needs what will make her happy! :mrgreen:

  59. Enid says:

    When my daughter was about the same age she picked lavender paint and her comforter was/is a leopard print. I was nervous, so I asked a decorator if that was OK. Her comment- “She’s a child, let her do what she wants in her room”. Best advice ever. Don’t worry.

  60. Ulli says:

    Love your blog! You’re living where I want to live–the mountains! Although I’m right next door in VA, I’m close to DC.

    Okay, my opinion on the colors for Princess’s room… since the bedding is dark and earthy in color, my choice would be the Titan blue or even the lighter one above that–the color her finger is on. Those colors would represent the sky which would be a good background for the bedding. The purple doesn’t make as much sense and wouldn’t be as soothing to the soul. …Just my two cents…

  61. Rooth says:

    I am purple crazy… my house exterior is the lightest of lavenders, my compnay is called Concord, and last year I repainted all of my tooms either a righ medium purple or mellow yellow. Believe me purple can be a neutral. peopl come into our ofices and say WOW great color. People come into my house and love the bold colors. DO it Go with your heart it’s just color!

  62. Laura says:

    My friend Laura went for the lightest shade of purple (where you have to look twice to realize it is not white)for all her common areas with a glossy white trim. It feels like the tropics year round, which is truly a compliment since she lives in Columbus, Ohio. It is very soothing and calm and a joy to visit.

    Food for thought. And worse comes to worse, you can paint again.

  63. Krista says:

    So torn – Mudpie would defintely go with the earthy colors but too dark! My best advice? Which is morelikely to happen first – new bedding or a new paint job? If she wants cheery color, I say go for cheery color and get some accent pillows/pieces to tie it all together.

  64. Janice from TN says:

    Hi Princess- I’ve painted walls everywhere I’ve ever lived and the one thing I can tell you as a console is… it’s just paint. Easy to fix, easy to change if you feel you can’t live with the color that looked so good on that tiny little chip when you got a whole room of it! Don’t fret, each one you picked are great choices, calm, soothing to the soul, so you’ll be good no matter which you end up with. I do like the name of “stained glass” though.

  65. Nicole Reising says:

    What fun! I especially got a kick out of the boy’s responses to the whole painting thing. LOL – I can just see mine doing the same.


  66. Trish says:

    With all those paint chips, do you have one from Martha Stewart for Goats beard? I am looking for the cordinating color for trim to go with Goats Beard.

    Thanks, Trish…

    Please email me if you do…the old colors have been stopped and now Lowes has new colors for Martha Stewart Paints but I’ve already started my kitchen in this one. I love it!

  67. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Trish! No, I didn’t have any Martha Stewart paint chips, sorry!

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