On Tuesday I wrote about Project Showroom = Temporary Sanity. Although the ONION article is faux news story whose sole point is humor, I do have my own Lowe's paint story.
We had a smudge on our ceiling. Though people rarely look above their heads, our house is on the market, so everything has to be perfect. Since the smudge was in the living room, and the living room connects to the dining room and entry way, it would be a big job to repaint the entire ceiling. In addition, the vaulted ceiling is 20 feet high at its apex, and I don't have a ladder that tall. So the clear directive is to get paint that is an exact match and perform touch up.
LOWE'S TRIP 1: My wife, Sheryl, went to Lowe's and collected samples. Although our ceiling is white, there are many shades of white. She brought home 10 of those sample cards. I got up on a ladder and held each card up to the ceiling. From below Sheryl would give the thumbs up or thumbs down regarding whether each sample was a close match or not. The color variations were very small, so it was tough to decide. Eventually I used scotch tape to affix each sample to the ceiling, got off the ladder, and we both evaluated them from below. We made our choice.
LOWE'S TRIP 2: I went to Lowe's, selected a flat white interior paint, and brought it to the paint center with my sample card. The paint department employee mixed my sample according to the card's specification. I brought it home, painted the smudge, and let it dry. It was too white, The repainted section stuck out like a sore thumb. It was worse than the smudge.
LOWE'S TRIP 3: We know Lowe's can match paint. We considered removing a small piece of the ceiling and bringing it to the store; however, with the house on the market, we hated to do that since repairing would involve texturing that would also have to be a good match. We thought the color swatch method was the way to go. So far we were 0 for 1. Then Sheryl had the bright idea that the A/C vent was the same color as the ceiling itself.
I removed the vent and brought it to Lowe's. I grabbed another white flat interior paint can and brought that to the paint center with my vent. That same paint department employee asked "Did that other paint not work out?" I told him the bad news. He scanned the vent to determine the mixture values. He started to mix the paint, but just before doing so - stopped, and said aloud "Why does this have any blue?" He went back and rescanned the vent and got settings that made more sense to him. It turned out that the original scan picked up part of the vent opening which was black due to its shadow. He mixed my paint using the second reading. He even painted tiny section of my vent and dried it with a hair dryer. We both could not tell where he had done so. It was a perfect match. I brought the second can home and painted the wall. It was an exact match, and we all lived happily ever after. Had the Lowe's paint department employee used the original scan readings, I would have made TRIP 4.
Since Project Showroom is based on real world appliances, fixtures, floorings, cabinets, counters, and wall paint, it will be great to see these combinations using model numbers that you can specify at the store. You can furnish your entire home, make purchasing decisions, and pick everything up in one trip.
Do you have your own paint stories? Let us know at [email protected].
Personally feeling the pain that Project Showroom will resolve is alive in the lab.