The Wrong Red

24 Oct

Have you ever picked a paint color and thought it would be perfect?  Only to take it home and realize it was oh-so NOT perfect?

Well I went even further. I not only bought the wrong paint but I used it to paint an entire desk the wrong color.

It seemed so ideal in the store.  Bright, bold, fresh and lovely red – just what I was looking for.  When I painted a small tester on the desk, I still thought it to be utter perfection.

What I failed to take into consideration was the lighting and the other shades of red in my office where the desk would actually reside once it was completed.  I was painting the tester outside in the sunlight which was very different lighting than the lighting inside in my office.

Not comparing the other shades of red in my office was probably the most epic fail.  The other shads of red were dark berry red, with blue undertones.  The red shade I chose for the desk was on the other side of the red spectrum and almost screaming orange.

It might not be that easy to see from the picture below since it was taken in my dark garage but I compared the desk to an orange piece of art and the colors compliment each other well.  An orange hue wasn’t what I was going for so you can imagine my disappointment.

I finally realized my mistake after placing the newly painted desk in my office.   I thought it would wow the world but it wowed no one. It was horrid.   It was actually shocking to look at.  The bright almost orange red was painful on the eyes.  You know how certain colors invoke certain feelings?  Like they say they paint jail cells light blue or green to calm prisoners?  I swear my blood pressure raised every time I even briefly glanced in its direction.   It was flaming and very intense to look at.

Looking back I have no idea why I ever chose this red in the first place. It was very bold and a little extreme.  I wanted the desk to be exciting but this was just too radical.

In my defense, I think I worked so hard trying to restore this piece of furniture I was just anxious to finally slap some paint on it.

The original condition of the wood was in pretty bad shape. There were lots of cracks that had to be repaired.  The paint on it was in really bad shape and had to be completely removed.  Paint remover didn’t well at all.  The old paint was cemented on and I had to spend endless hours hand sanding it.

After this bad decision…uncertainty crept in.  What to do now?  I looked at other reds but could never really find another that seemed to be a good prospect. The desk was returned to my garage where it sat for months.  Then when we moved to Texas it again sat in our new garage because I refused to move that ugly thing inside our house until it was painted a new color.  I thought about painting it white.  When it was primed with white paint, it looked very pretty.

However, this desk was really a one of a kind piece and I wanted to give it something special.  And then along came silver.  After refinishing Cory’s two-toned table in silver, I knew this would perfect for my confused desk.  The desk is ornate with claw feet and silver would make it look regal.  I used a different type of silver, and created a rustic look by antiquing it.  I ended up going with one of Martha Stewart’s Metal paints.  The desk finally looks perfect.

So if you hold your horses until tomorrow, you will see the big reveal!

I learned lots of lessons from this desk.  One was to test the paint color IN the actual room it will be located.  Another lesson is that I should have used a color wheel.  Had I brought a color wheel into the paint store and also compared the other “reds” in the room with the ugly red I was going to paint on the desk, I would have known that it was not a good match.

This story finally has a good ending.  That’s the great thing about DIY projects.  If they turn out bad, you can always redo them.  Has something like this ever happened to you?


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2 Responses to “The Wrong Red”

  1. Ashley April 4, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    YES! I have this amazing Lane coffee table. It’s huge and my husband and I both love it. I painted it the wrong ORANGE! It sits in our living room now unfinished because I can’t decide what to do with it. Do I want it black with gold? A bright color? Usual white? Stained? I just don’t know! and my husband thinks I am crazy!

    • Angie & Carrie April 5, 2012 at 7:38 am #

      Ashley – What a dilemma!! After I painted my desk red/orange, I had no idea what to do with it and it sat in my garage for a long time. I finally painted it silver and it’s perfect now!! Here it is in silver – Let us know what you end up doing with it and send us pictures! Send us pictures of the before and after and will show the pictures on our blog! :)

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