my color comfort zone.

I mentioned last week that Homestead House recently sent me some more of their milk paint.  I had requested some neutral shades, and I got plenty of those (and will be sharing a piece in one later this week), but they also sent me quite a few colors that I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own.  One of those colors is called Gatineau.

Here’s how it looks on their website.

Hmmmm.  Yep, I definitely would not have put this one at the top of my wish list.  I’m not gonna lie, when I pulled it out of the box of paint I received I really didn’t think I would ever use it.  It was way outside my color comfort zone.

We all have a color comfort zone, right?  I actually have two.  One for items I’m keeping for myself and one for items I’m planning to sell.  My own personal color comfort zone is pretty wide open.  In fact, the front door of my house is quite similar to the Gatineau

But I tend to be a bit more cautious about color with items I want to sell.  Almost anyone can work a neutral color into their existing décor, but there just aren’t as many buyers who will be able to use a color with a lot of personality.

Regardless, while testing out a few of the more neutral shades last weekend I decided to mix up a little Gatineau to see what it looked like IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ in case you didn’t know).  I painted it on a Popsicle stick and then pushed it aside for a bit, but I kept glancing at it and finding that the color was really growing on me.  It wasn’t until the paint on the Popsicle stick was fully dry that I realized it wasn’t nearly as yellow as I thought it might be.

If you’ve mixed up green milk paint before, you’ll know that the dry powder looks yellow.  Your first reaction when seeing it will likely be ‘uh oh, I’ve got the wrong color’.  When you add the water and start to mix, the paint will still look much more yellow than the final color.  You have to be sure to give the green shades of milk paint plenty of time (15 to 20 minutes at least) for the blue pigments to dissolve before starting to paint with it, always mix frequently while working with it, and always paint your entire piece at one time (cautionary tale here).

After admiring the color on that Popsicle stick for a while I decided to be daring and step outside of my color comfort zone and paint something in Gatineau.  Specifically, this incredibly adorable little table that I picked up recently.

After re-gluing some veneer that was lifting up on the top, I sanded it lightly and then wiped it down with some TSP substitute.  Next I painted it with two coats of Gatineau.  I followed that up with some Homestead House Limestone milk paint on the details including that really cool ribbed section.

It’s interesting to note that I got a lot more chipping in the areas that were painted with the Limestone than I did with the Gatineau.  Normally I would say that is because I didn’t sand those detailed areas as much as the flat areas before I started painting, but in this case even the legs didn’t chip much and I hardly sanded those at all (the distressing you are seeing on the legs is more the result of post-paint sanding rather than chipping).  So, I wish I had an answer for you on this, but it’s a mystery to me.

With milk paint, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  Personally, I was happy to do that with this table.

Had I lined up all of the paint colors from Homestead House in order from most favorite to least favorite, I think Gatineau would have been somewhere near the end of line.  So imagine my surprise when it ended up being one of the first colors I chose to use, and then my total astonishment when it turned out to be so perfect on this little table!

Sometimes you just have to step outside of your color comfort zone!  But the real test will be whether or not this table sells.  If any of my local readers are interested, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ tab for more info.

But hey, how about you, do you like to experiment with color?  Any favorites that you’ve used lately?  Please share.

34 thoughts on “my color comfort zone.

  1. I like it. I think it turned out great. I’ve never used the Homestead colors but this looks like it might be somewhere in between Lucketts green and Boxwood in MMS milk paint. Would you say this would be closer to an apple green or not? I’m trying to get brave enough to paint my kitchen table legs. At first I thought just white, but no I’m considering green.


    1. Yes, I would consider this an ‘apple green’. This color is more similar to Luckett’s than Boxwood. I’d say Gatineau has just a bit more yellow than Luckett’s.


  2. A couple of observations… I admit that green is my least favorite color unless it appears in nature. However, I am surprised that I rather like how this piece turned out. I think it is saved by the addition of the Limestone. Sometimes the eye needs a contrast in order to appreciate the overall image. As for why one color was more chippy than the other, I make no claims to be a science savant but there may be a chemical reason for this. It’s kind of like why red wine is almost impossible to remove when it stains while other colors are less aggressive. The base pigments for colors are collected from various sources and some are more permanent that others and react differently even though they are suspended in exactly the same binder. Did you know the color yellow used to be horrendously expensive because of where it derived from? Sacred cows in India were lead to marble slabs to urinate. When the urine was dried, the residue was scraped from the marble and used as the base for yellow paint. Does that fall into TMI? Anyway, the green you used may be more “adhesive” because of the source of the pigment.


    1. I did not know that about yellow! Ewwww. Now you’ve got me thinking about the chippy-ness being related to color. I’m going to have to think about whether or not I’ve found the white shades to be chippier than the colors in the past. Hmmmm….


  3. I love that little table! I would not have chosen that color either. Funny my favorite color is green. Clothing, accents, etc. A wonderful summer color. But, I would have shied away from putting it on furniture. I have painted a couple of small things with Lucket’s MMSP. How does it compare to that color? I am thinking of doing a dresser in green and putting Iron Orchid’s seed transfer on it for my greenhouse. I would be interested in your comment about the comparison. Thank you for sharing.


    1. I love your idea for a green dresser with the Seed transfer. Perfect for a greenhouse! I would say that the Gatineau has just a tad more yellow in it than the Luckett’s.


  4. Love the color, love the table. I can’t imagine that someone would not like it, but I’m a person that does gravitate toward color. Good for you, picking a color you thought wouldn’t be a ‘first choice’. It was a great choice. Oh, and thanks for the heads up on the green milk paint mixing. I have never seen that tidbit of info before and have not used a green milk paint before.


    1. Yes, I’ve had trouble with several green pieces where the drawers turn out a different color than the body. Just keep my tips in mind though and you’ll be fine with green!


  5. Such a pretty color!! I’m sure your table will appeal to many. For resale, I’ve found that I can go more colorful for smaller pieces … stools, end tables, chairs etc. and they sell quickly. But for myself, I’m currently in the process of adding some pretty vibrant colors on large pieces…mainly SW Honorable Blue on my dining room hutch and table. Color can evoke an emotion, and any color that makes you happy is a good one! Have a great week.


    1. Thanks Linda! As a fellow Minnesotan I’m sure you realize that’s not a recent photo of my house 😉 But it won’t be long until the gardens are full again this year!


  6. Love the table! Love the color! What color is your front door? I love that color with the gray house color and white trim!


  7. The table is sweet, and I love to see the exterior photo of your beautiful home and carriage house. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Right now the leaves are only just appearing and the perennials only about half way out of the ground (that photo is from a previous summer) here in Minnesota. It’s hard for me to imagine that the gardens will get as full as they look in that photo, but of course they will! I just have to be patient a little longer.


  8. I am a huge fan of yellow greens. Darling table so very sweet. I did think immediately of your front door when you showed that color. Very similar to one I had painted for a client about 8 years ago. People would actually come ring her doorbell and ask her what color it was. I do get the comfort zone thing however so yay for courage to go outside of it!


    1. Good memory Victoria, to remember my door color! I have a couple of Adirondack chairs painted in this color too. I like to plant lots of bright lime green plants (Sun Power hosta, Gold Heart bleeding heart, Tiger Eye sumac, Lime Time coleus) to help brighten up my fairly shady gardens, and I like the way the door and the chairs pop against the shade too.


  9. The table is beautiful! I honestly don’t know how you decide which pieces are to be sold and which ones remain with you. I would have a difficult time deciding as all of your pieces are gorgeous! Keep up the great work!


    1. Sometimes it is tough and there are pieces that I really, really want to keep. But I have a fairly small house and so I have to limit how much furniture I have. If I keep one, I have to get rid of something else. And that does happen sometimes 😉


  10. I love this little table to pieces! It would fit perfectly in my home! You have such an eye for color and color combos! Kudos! Susie from The Chelsea Project


  11. I think this little table is adorable! As always, you have done a remarkable job!! Great shade of green!


  12. Whoa. I’m loving that color on your table. Perfection. I would never have picked that color, but now having second thoughts. I’ve been staying too neutral I’ve recently realized. My Kentucky Living painted her bedroom a similar green recently and it is beautiful. Thanks for the inspiring post.


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