05 June 2009

Not-So-Amazing Gray

The neutral color that is the basis of our house is a Sherwin Williams color called "Amazing Gray." We LOVE this color. A friend of mine (very talented in color selection) helped us to choose it. One of the things we love about this color is its moody, chameleon qualities. In various lighting conditions, the color morphs from a museum grey, to a calm beige, to hint of sage green, to anything in between. This color is an especially good backdrop for a lovely art collection (which we do not yet own, but will one day!).

We had some paint leftover from our big paint job when we moved in, April 2008, but knew we needed a couple more gallons to complete the job. I bought more Amazing Gray earlier this week, making sure to ask for the correct paint line (Duration Home), sheen level, etc. You can see where this is headed.

Long story short, our old batch of Amazing Grey was professionally painted in the top foot of the walls on Thursday, while my husband painted the rest of the walls with the new batch of Amazing Gray that night. (He painted in a record 2 hours -- a little "So You Think You Can Dance" motivation goes a long way!). He checked out the paint as it dried and apparently had a nagging feeling as he went to bed. This morning, first thing he did was head downstairs to examine his paint job in full daylight. He came upstairs and sadly reported: "it doesn't match."

Indeed, it doesn't. In fact it SO doesn't match that you can EASILY see the difference with a basic digital camera:

I know that different batches of paint can be off, but this was REALLY off. I looked more closely at the labels:


I called SW this morning, highly annoyed. I got the standard lecture about how I should paint a test strip first before painting a whole room. yes, I know I know, I *should* have. But give me a break -- YOU CHANGED YOUR FREAKIN' FORMULA!!! The store manager said that sometimes the formula will change from year to year "to ensure a better match." A better match to what, I ask you? The manager offered to replace the new Amazing Gray with the older formula "on our dime." So generous of you, Mr. SW. Can you please also supply the painters to repaint?

As if this was not enough -- we also needed one more gallon of "Ceiling White paint." Nothing special -- just standard Sherwin Williams ceiling white paint. They were out of stock. Not Only were they out of stock, But Also every SW store within a 30 minute radius of our home, was out of stock! There are 6 SW stores in this radius. How is a dearth of standard Ceiling White paint possible??? Why can't you just mix some up? I do not understand. Anyways, we got the choice to wait a day for it to arrive in their store, or, we could alternatively drive to the 7th-closest-store to get ceiling white.

We chose to wait a day.

In other non-paint fiascos of the day, the wood floor company returned today to do the last step of the job - reinstall our baseboards. Our contract with them includes their painting and caulking the baseboards. They tried to tell me that they talked to my contractor, who had told them he would do the painting and caulking. Liar liar pants on FIRE! I asked my husband to go stand out by their work van to ensure they didn't leave, while I called the floor manager to "remind" him of our contract. He then called the scheduler, who then called the crew. Next, a very unhappy flooring contractor came into our house and started caulking and painting the baseboards. They only did the bare minimum but they did it fairly well, at least.

Also, tiling for our fireplace has started. For our hearth tile, I could only order it in quantities of 10 tiles per box. I needed exactly 2 boxes, not counting overage. Buying loose tiles was not possible. The tile guy gave his immediate blessing to play it risky and order just the exact 20 tiles. Of course -- one of the tiles is broken. All 20 tiles were definitely intact when they arrived. Who knows how this one tile was broken, but it happened, and I am now short one piece (one HALF piece, to be specific). The tile guy is optimistic that he can find a match for it on Monday morning, as he said it's a pretty easy slate match. This is probably a minor issue, overall. We'll know on Monday. (note, the white strips on the sides of the fireplace are just MDF to provide a hard edge for tiling. Eventually this will be alder, stained to match my cabinetry.)

And really, they are ALL minor issues, overall. They just all converged on the same day, at the end of the week, resulting in a lot of scrambling around.

The good news of the day is that we are now moved back into my office and dining room. LOVING THAT! Another step along the path to normal living.


Paul Anater said...

I'm a Sherwin-Williams man, despite the nose-curling other designers do about it. I will never understand why Benjamin Moore is the default brand for so many designers. Sherwin-Williams has a better neutral palette, I don't care what anybody says. Amazing Gray is a great color and I've used it many times. I'm sorry to hear about your paint fiasco though. Do you have an account at the store where you bought that paint? If so, they are supposed to store your formulas in your file. Ugh. That kind of stuff is maddening. Makes for good stories after it's all over though...

Rachele said...

I've been happy with Ben Moore, Sherwin Williams, and also Miller/Devine paint (which I never heard of until I moved here to Portland). I agree that the SW neutral palette is fantastic! I also think Ben Moore does a pretty good job with reds... I've tried other lines but always end up with a Ben Moore color, when I want red. Devine has done well by me with greens and blues.

I do have an account at the store, but I had only had them save custom colors and paint matches before. Also the initial Amazing Gray purchase was done by my paint contractors. I *did* have them save the "old" Amazing Gray formula into our account this morning, though!

Rachele said...

wish I could edit comments for grammar...

mom2reese said...

Wow - that is different! Sorry you're having to deal with all this, but you're right, minor in the grand scheme of things.

Making a mental note to add my SW formulas for Worldy Gray and Amazing Gray to my SW account... I'm sure we'll be needing to do touchups with the two rugrats.

Ace's Lady said...

I didn't know that the store will put the formula into an account for you; that's valuable information! This post also reminded me to include time/energy for mess-ups and redos. Can't wait to see how the REAL "Amazing Gray" looks!

Rachele said...

dgk - you've seen the real amazing gray already -- it's been in our house since Day 1. Jay has already painted over the "imposter" Amazing Gray so I'm afraid that window of opportunity is forever lost. :)

Ace's Lady said...

Oh, yeah! I forgot... my brain's mush this week (SB tournament, end of school, Autumn's 8th grade grad ceremony, etc).

tile said...

Yeah! I agree with Paul. The store must be kept formula about that paint.

augustine said...

this post stresses me. not only thinking about color choice but the potential need for matching color one day.

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