Goodbye Perfect Blue

We started working on finding that just right color for our dining room a few weeks ago.

Right away, I bought samples of BM (Benjamin Moore) Marine Blue and BM Champion Cobalt.  Though the CC was nice, it reminded me a bit of faded dark denim.  Yet, I was in love with Marine Blue.  It is a dark inky navy blue with the perfect amount of (subtle) green undertone.  It’s an amazing color.

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So, what’s the big problem?   Well, when I went to our local Benjamin Moore store and bought two gallons of Marine Blue, it was a completely different color.  In the gallon size, it was a dark teal.  In fact, you can see a bit of it just to the left of the words “Marine Blue” – it’s the lighter color.  Not even close.

I took it back to the store.  They said sometimes gallon formulas are different from sample formulas.  I realize that, but it’s usually by a hair.  Not a completely different shade of blue.  So they tried to color match the sample color that I loved.

After 2 days of working on it, I picked it up. It was exactly the same as the BM Champion Cobalt that you see above.  They refused to work on it any more.  I bought one of the two gallons to try, though it did not suit me.

So, then I went to my favorite color matchers at Sherwin Williams.  They tried for a full day to match the sample of Marine Blue.  And, in the end, they also ended up with a color similar to Champion Cobalt – which is too purple and too muted.  It reminds me of faded denim.  I really wanted that BM Marine Blue!

What a nightmare and LOTS of trips back and forth.  It was way more work than choosing a color from a fan deck should be.

I looked in every fan deck I own (and that is a lot) for a color that matches BM Marine Blue.  Nothing.  It is one tough color to come by!  It’s not too green, and not too purple.  Most blues are clearly on one side of the other.  And, it’s dark and inky.

So, in the end, I went with the next best color – SW Loyal Blue.  It has a similar undertone – slightly green, but not too green and not purple like an indigo typically is.  However, it’s not dark enough and not quite green enough.  Who knew they couldn’t alter it to match the BM Marine Blue.  Darn it.

It is the color that I also used on my entry dresser and on my family room ceiling.    Though in the entry, I did mix it with some pearl craft paint to create a bit of a metallic sheen.   Oh, and this is an updated photo of the entry, by the way.  I’ll be updating the tour section soon.

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Here is Loyal Blue on the ceiling of my family room. This is also an updated shot.  This room is very difficult to photograph since the only light is backlight – it makes everything in front of it dark.

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Here is the SW Loyal Blue in a couple of other rooms so you can see the color better.

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So, learn from my saga – you can’t have Marine Blue colors in the gallon size aren’t always even close to samples.  This is the first time it has been this far off, though, so I don’t think it happens often.  However, BM said it’s not terribly unusual for it to be this far off.  SW said that is why they do quart size samples – so it translates better to gallons.

What I also learned is that BM’s no VOC Natura line is awesome.  It is truly odorless.  With my bad allergies, that helps so much!  So, if you are looking for a no VOC, no odor paint, try the Natura line from Benjamin Moore.

Have you ever had an experience like this with paint where you find the perfect color and in the end, it’s no attainable?

kristysig

10 Comments :

  1. Absolutely. I painted our master bathroom three times to achieve not necessarily the right shade, but ANY shade of gray. In the 2 previous times, the walls appeared too white without any tinge of gray in them – so different from what the samples showed!

    Then, the colour I painted the upper portion of the walls in our bedroom (the lower portion is wallpapered) was completely different too. It appears to have too much of a blue undertone. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to change it!

  2. We painted 8 different reds in our dining room once, trying to achieve the perfect shade. Literally painted the entire room at least 3 times! How frustrating for you – but I wonder when you get everything back in the room and put art on the walls if it will bother you as much. I hope not! It looks so pretty!

  3. I use Rub N Buff paint alot… I have never mixed it w/other paint,,, is this what you did on the dresser ?
    I have mixed R&B colors together and that is great !
    Love reading the details from you … thx

    • I am going to revise that. I just remembered, I mostly used Pearl craft paint (see my metal look letters under popular posts). But, I did use Rub N Buff mixed with paint for our coffee table! Worked well. It’s very subtle.

  4. Wow – I though Sherwin Williams could match anything ! That is a good to know about the samples versus gallons.

  5. Did you do 2 coats on your wall when sampling the Marine Blue? I freaked when I put on the first coat of BM Slate Teal because it was so bright and not the color on the paint chip. But after drying and then putting on a second coat it was exactly the color I fell in love with on the paint chip. And so sad that the Champion Cobalt didn’t work for you. I love it in my dining room. It’s such a rich deep blue. Good luck with your painting!

    • Oh yeah, we did several coats of every color that we tried. It wasn’t so much that it didn’t match the chip as it was that the color from the sample didn’t match the color from the gallon size. Such a bummer. I think Champion Cobalt is a nice color for sure. Just not what I had in my mind for this room.

  6. All I can say is I’m glad you go through these trials and tell us about them. This will certainly help me when we start to paint next year!

    http://emeraldobsessive.blogspot.com

  7. I hate it when the color doesn’t match the sample! I always try it anyway and live with it for a few days and if it’s still not right then I get something else and repaint. Most of the time I don’t notice after a few days ;)

  8. Hi Kristy,
    When photographing the dining room, have you tried bracketing (or HDR photos)? I’m sure your camera can probably do it. Just a thought! (Sorry if you’ve already posted on this or tried this)
    Keep up the good work!
    Christy

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