My Accent hits a wall
January 22, 2019 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Baby room accent wall help needed for the functionally color-inept.

Y’all helped me last time, and the room was beautiful. Now we’re looking for a girls room accent color...

We moved and my son’s room is now a bright pinky-orange. Wayy brighter than the link suggests. He has told us in no uncertain terms “I like my pink room.” Great! So for the girl, we’re thinking a bright blue or some kind of electric purple. I love this color, forgive the bikini smizing Or something like this. Not orange, pink, pastel, grey or blueberry-yoghurt purple. Decor will be a black and white decal, think Banksy for kids, and a modern espresso wood crib. Bedding is pretty neutral, white with ABC print.

Which companies make bright blues or purples? Can you point me to some swatches? Am I nuts for going this color route and if so what else should I consider? Thanks for helping.
posted by St. Peepsburg to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Forgot to add, the other three walls I’m thinking of keeping white.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:19 PM on January 22

I'm not a big purple fan, but I think an electric indigo shade (i.e. a vivid purple-blue) would work well with the dark wood and light bedding. This pinterest collection has a lot of nice examples of the color in room decor, which might include links with details on paint companies.
posted by karayel at 12:31 PM on January 22

In my experience, very bright "electric" colors are very hard to tolerate for long periods. They're not soothing. I'd lean toward something like a deep slate blue or a warmish purple. The last thing you want for a baby is an agitating color.
posted by quince at 12:51 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]

The accent wall of my office nook is a deep Prince purple that always gets tons of compliments. It's probably easier to work with than neon purple. It's still dramatic and cheerful, but not aggressive and it dims nicely at night. It matches dark wood furniture and bright books/accessories beautifully.
posted by Freyja at 1:10 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]

Whenever I paint a wall, I pick the color I think I want and then paint a bunch of swatches including the original color and a bunch of variations - lighter, darker, more or less vibrant, etc. Then I wait a few days and visit the room at various times of day and keep track of which colors I like best with the changing light. I never wind up going with the color I originally chose.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:27 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]

I would also suggest going with a purple-toned off-white along these lines for the other walls rather than stark white.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:29 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]

1) Absolutely seconding Freyja's suggestion of Purple. Lovely, dark, rich and royal, easy on the eyes and actually a bit of a neutral.
Pair it with the palest almost-white colors -- anything -- pinks, lavenders, wispy greens, aquatic blues, soft dawn-like creams and yellows. Antiqued silvers and golds.
The blue tones will bring out oranges in woods, so go almost-black if you don't like it, or natural and red-toned if you do. Get something small and cheap in mahogany or cherry and see how it plays.
Take a light hand with any other broad swatches of color. Black, white and neutrals, maybe soft items with the same color family.
Of course, toys and books are perfect accessories, regardless of their colors.

2) Seconding showbiz_liz in using a large swatch of drywall and a starter pint to sample the color in different lighting conditions. I tend toward satin finish in most areas and semi-gloss in kitchens and bathrooms.
The glossier the finish, the more imperfections will show. And I am not a fan of scuffing the finish with sandpaper in order to repaint if I can avoid it, which is necessary with glossier paints.
A good primer is required, even with "paint and primer combined" paints. Be ready to do two or more coats, particularly with a dark color -- they can streak. You may not notice this at first, check it from different angles.
Cheap dark paint... no, do not do this. I'm a Valspar fan, but I might hit an actual paint store for this color.

3) I'd have the paint store mix a color that is an almost-white of the same color, something they have pre-set into their mixing system, so that I could get more paint later. There are so... many... whites for just this reason. Any little discrepancy will show up with almost-whites, so don't go out on a limb with a custom color.
If you do decide to DIY your last coat on the other three white walls, add the tiniest little dab of dark color to a lot of white. A little goes a long way. Be prepared to add more white.
Mix all that you need, and then a little more. You will not be able to reproduce the color.
Dark colors are difficult to shift from the original color. Again, go with something already in the system, not a custom job.

4) You will need ceiling paint. You will touch it with the roller, or it will splatter. Sorry.
Maybe you can touch it up after the dark color dries. By all that is holy, don't smear it trying to remove it.

5) Good square edgers, good paint rollers and lots of painter's cloths. A couple of paint brushes for detail work. Taping off the things that don't need painting, and removing the tape promptly and gently, to keep from pulling away the paint on the walls. Lots of patience, and a staging area away from the fumes.

Good luck!
posted by TrishaU at 3:33 PM on January 22

Bright blue is very bright - I moved into an apartment with a sand-beige bedroom, painted over the previous tenant's vibrant teal/aqua. The landlord had just repainted, but somehow they must have had the closet door closed, because that was still bright turquoise. The reflected light made it look like there was an alien spaceship landing in the closet - it's like the whole thing was actively glowing! Even when I had clothes in there!

So yes, absolutely, paint the accent wall boldly. But be prepared for everything in the room to look like you put a blue gel on the spotlight. May even make people look washed-out or unhealthy.
posted by aimedwander at 4:30 PM on January 22

Thirding the Pantone Prince Purple. That is just gorgeous and warm and relaxing. It will bring out the gold tones in the wood.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:20 PM on January 22

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