Swatches on the Wall, Swatches on the Wall–Lookin Like a Fool With My Swatches on the Wall

*Insert big sigh while humming along to that little diddy*

I started second guessing my decision on the Balanced Beige once I painted some bigger swatches of it. It wasn’t looking as warm as I’d like, and on some walls there was a faint blue tint when the sun would shine on it. I loved it on some walls, but others I didn’t love as much.

I think I have tested about 8 more colors than when I last posted about painting. I’m not even going to mention any of the colors that obviously don’t work and are purpley-blue. Gah!

So today we are still going to talk about Balanced Beige and a new one…SW Windsor Greige. I really like this one.

See how the Balanced Beige can take a blue tint on certain walls, especially up next to the Windsor Greige?

Sorry to keep talking about my painting woes. I just really want to get this right as this is a big project. Maybe I’m just freaking out because this will be a big change going from dark, to light and neutral? Maybe I’m worried neutral is boring, even though I know that is so not true.  But I think the Windsor Greige might be a little more me.

So, which do you like better…

  • SW Balanced Beige or
  • SW Windsor Greige

Does the WG still look grey to you, just with a little more brown undertone? On the walls where the sun hits when it turns blueish sometimes with BB, should I paint those walls a different shade?  Humor me, please.

If I could get the paint right, I could start on everything else. I know what this room looks like in my head and it’s fabulous! :) And thank you to everyone who chimed in on the last paint post and gave some recommendations and input. I did try a few but they didn’t work. :(



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  1. I’m going to have to go with SW Windsor Greige for this one…the other is too blue and might make you feel as if you’re out to sea, stuck in a raft, no paddle, no land in sight, with just your canteen and granola bar and one bar left on your cell battery. It’s a huge commitment…go with SW Windsor Greige. Seems a bit safer.

  2. I like them both but the windsor greige is warmer and I think I’ll go with that one. :o) Your title made me giggle! I needed that this morning =)

  3. Girl you are just cracking me up this morning! I just about spit out my coffee! I can’t help you decide which color (the monitor make the colors look bluish to me). Perhaps painting larger swatches might help (like 3ft x 3 ft)? Both colors work well which ever you choose. …now that song will be in my head all day….Thanks Em!

  4. From the pictures….I’d say Windsor!

    Are you doing the painting yourself? I have a two story living room like yours. My husband painted ours on the scaffolding that was left from the drywallers….just curious how you planned to do it!

    • Hey Michelle, I plan on doing what I can and then having the paint guys come and do the 2 story part. No way I’m getting on the scaffolding thing! Plus I don’t have one. :)

  5. I am going to go with windsor greige also. It is warmer and probably would look better with the furishings you already have. I am trying a light greyish beige in my family room. I just posted about it. But I think I am going with BM Clay Beige. It is very similar to WG.

  6. Windsor greige is my vote.

  7. WG for me! :)

  8. I agree with the supporters of Windsor Greige. The other color looks too blue to me, and not as warm.

    One thing that we’ve tried when trying to nail down a color is actually putting something white (like a piece of paper) next to the swatch on the wall to separate it from the wall color. We noticed that the current wall color sometimes affected how we were perceiving the swatches, and putting it up against something neutral corrected that. (Balanced Beige could look more blue compared to your current camel color, in other words).

    I hate picking the right color — I’m indecisive as well! Good luck!

    • Thanks Mindy! I did that today and the BB is looking better! But I’m still unsure. haha. Thanks for the tip though, it did change the color…again. :)

  9. Gotta be honest, I think the Windsor Greige looks like it has more of a greenish undertone. Personally, I’d prefer a slight blue undertone to a green one any day, so I vote for your original choice. I also think your original pops a little better against the wainscoting, but that’s just me. If the Windsor isn’t looking greenish in real life like it is in the photos, then disregard this altogether! :) Good luck! Paint is so tricky!

  10. I like the balance beige but it is hard to choose from a monitor screen. Best post title ever by the way, thanks for the morning laughter! :)

  11. Reminds me of when I was trying to pick a color for my living room. I had about 15 different colors painted on it for months. It drove the hubby crazy!

  12. I just found you bopping around decor sites! Great blog. And I do the same thing with swatches everywhere! You have to. My vote is for the Windsor. The Balance Beige really looks grey. I like the creamy tone of the Windsor. Adding you to my follow list, come check out my blog, Playful Decor. I just started but will be focusing on kids room decor. Nan

  13. Greige

  14. Definitely the Windsor Greige! Much warmer looking if you don’t want the bluish tones :)

  15. I like the Windsor Greige better than the other choice. I do think the other one looks blue-ish in certain pics. And yes the Windsor does look grey to me still with brownish undertones but I agree with one of the commenters up there that it could look greenish too in certain light. I have a beige on my wall that has greenish undertones and I’m ok with it. it looks good in my house.

    I would paint all the walls the same color and then you can go back later after you live with it for awhile and see if you want to change any of the rooms then.

  16. Definitely the Windsor Greige.

    If you look here, scroll down and they used Windsor Griege on the walls, there is a picture –

    Hope this helps – and it is a hard and big decision, I know – good luck!

  17. It’s Windsor Greige (love the name!) for me.

  18. Your title made laugh out loud this morning. The one thing I ‘ve learned about gray is that any blue untones will show in light. Have you tried SW 7506 Loggia? I painted my guest room in it and really like it. I have no idea where you live but if it’s in the D/FW area I will be a happy to give you some to sample.

  19. I vote for Windsor Greige. Finding the right gray especially when making a big change can be so frustrating! I hope WG ends up working for you.

  20. Prmier, Primer, Primer! It might help you decide on a color better. I have just gone through 20 GALLONS of it with our new home. Boy does it affect color when you don’t use it. I do like WG for your color!

  21. I feel your stress over the paint choice….understandably so paint choices are not easy at all! Hang in there you will make a decision and love it! SW Windsor Greige gets my vote! It looks warmer to me.

  22. I say just get about 10 more samples on those walls and call it a day of hodge podge :)

  23. I’ve been chosing shades of gray paint these last few weeks too. I can’t believe there are so many to choose from! Anyway, I love the Windsor — gorgeous!

  24. I’ve been choosing shades of gray paint these last few weeks too. I can’t believe there are so many to choose from! Anyway, I love the Windsor — gorgeous!

  25. My vote is for Windsor Greige.
    I know how hard it is to commit to a color, especially for such a bif space that has such different types of light. It took me FOREVER to decide on a color for the majority of my house.

  26. I’m also worried that the current wall-color is what’s making you dislike BB. I’m afraid the WG is going to be too tan in many lights. My screen shows it as a light khaki with grey undertones, not a brownish grey.

    Then again, my biggest nightmare would be to end up with a grey that looked tan in some light, so I’d definitely lean towards a grey that looked blue in some light.

    That wasn’t helpful AT ALL was it? Sorry!

  27. PRIMER WARNING: I know how hard it is to pick out a gray paint! I tried 10+ samples from Sherwin Williams before finding one I liked. I bought the paint, we primed the walls (over goldish tan and red), and then with the first brush stroke of the gray paint, I hated it! The color looked totally different over the primed walls. So, I started all over again (and wasted a lot of money on paint)! So, if you are planning to prime your walls, or if you want a more accurate read of the paint color, buy some primer and test your paint samples on it before buying the paint!

  28. I was just stopping in to tell you exactly what Mindy said. The colors are being thrown off by the existing color all around your paint swatch. You need to paint your swatches big (like Kim said) 3′ x 3′ and right next to the moulding. Or make a window in white cardstock so you can see the color against white. Then paint the second color on top or below that one. Then see what you think. I looked at both swatches and they are very close to one another. The WG has a hint more brown tones in it. And the BB errs more on the gray side. I sooo know what you mean about having a color in your head.

    Best of luck and can’t wait to see the final results (oh, btw, you were right I forgot to link to you on the Paint Preview tab. Doing that now.)


  29. I like SW Windsor Greige

  30. Love the SW Windsor Greige.

  31. Sharon Woo says:

    I like the Windsor best here. It definitely has less blue tone (at least in the pictures, and its a bit warmer but definitely in the gray family. :0)

    Good luck!

  32. Tammy Banos says:

    I love Windsor Greige. I am in the middle of painting my ENTIRE house. I had a zillion swatches on the walls and the biggest lesson learned is this: the existing wall color and surrounding swatches will effect the sample color, particularly the undertone appearance.

    Based on the color wheel, yellows and blues will enhance each other. Since your existing wall has golden (yellow) undertones and the surrounding swatches have blue/violet undertones, you may not be seeing the true color (they may be appearing more blue than they really are). Soooo…my suggestion is that you cover 6″ – 12″ of the surrounding area with white paper so that your eye is judging ONLY the color sample.

    For example, in my quest for the perfect warm beige I narrowed down to two swatches next to each other on the wall. I couldn’t get over the green and red undertones and how different they looked than the printed SW swatch. I covered one swatch and the existing wall color with white paper and instantly the red undertones were gone. Same thing with the other sample. Since green and red are complimentary colors, they were playing off of each other. I am nearing completion and there are ZERO red undertones.

    I truly hope this helps. I know it made a world of difference for me.

  33. I can definitely see the brown undertone in the Windsor Beige. It’s absolutely my favorite of the two. Good luck in whichever you decide to go with. (:

  34. DUDE.

    Same problem over here. I want something that will go with our living room (Cliveden gray morning) which has a LOT of green in it. But, I don’t want the whole house green. We’ve tried Rice grain, nuance, and useful gray. They all came out green today. I might try this greige you speak of! ;) What’s one more swatch on my wall…. ha


  35. I like the Windsor better.

    And now I have that dang song stuck in my head! Man, that dude is a crack up;)

  36. I know just how you feel. I am exactly the same way when it comes to choosing paint. It is soooo hard to choose.
    I’m liking the Windsor Greige, but honestly I think either one would look fabulous!

  37. greige is my vote… I know how you feel about this big project… I was looking for the perfect grey/blue color for my great room (literally my kitchen living and dining are all connected). I couldnt find the right color and had swatches up for over 6 months. Finally I gave up and painted everything chocolate brown. Here’s to hoping you dont give up on your vision like I did with mine :)

  38. I admire your patience……windsor greige, hands down!

  39. I really like the windsor geige. it will lighten things up & go with your current decor. I love all the wainscotting in your home, such a traditional classic feel that will keep on giving in years to come. Beautiful home!

  40. Ha, look at all those swatches! It’s insanity!

    I like the Balanced Beige better BUT. I am a cool undertone person. Warm undertones, not my thing. If warm undertones WERE my thing, I would definitely prefer the Windsor Greige. Especially if a blue base gave me pause, as you described.

    I’m not sure that the Windsor Greige actually looks gray, like you asked, but I do think it looks nice.

  41. Okay–so I’ve put up some white paper around a big swatch of the Balanced Beige like you all have suggested, and I’m liking it more again. Ha, yes, I’m insane. But I still don’t know what color I’m going with. I even got more samples today!

    • Stephanie says:

      I think if you are looking for a change, the BB is the way to go. The WG looks more like a builders basic color. I think once everything around it is gone and that’s all that’s on your wall next to the mouldings, you’ll love it and not see those undertones. Of course, if you are like me, you’ll spend the first couple of days overanalyzing and picking it apart, but you’ll love it!

      I can’t remember from your previous post if you had tried SW Mindful Gray. My husband is a store manager there and I remember him telling me it was a very popular gray when I was searching for one (we ended up with a mistint, so it’s not a real SW color, but I can give you the formula if you were interested… :)). I can ask him the other ones he mentioned – I can’t remember now…

    • Anonymous says:

      i have also been going crazy trying to pick out colors for a big very bright open area living room kitchen. i think i have decided on the balanced beige. it looks different in every light. gray sometimes and beige sometimes. a shade lighter was suggested to me accessible beige but it is to light and balanced beige is the next color.

      grays are to hard to pick out but i think this gives a gray and beige feeling depending on the light.
      its so hard to tell

  42. windsor baby!

  43. Windsor! Totally!!! I think you and I have the same paint color taste. Our walls are the same camel brown as yours and before I even read your post I picked out the windsor from all the paint colors in the first pic!! Crazy!! I’m glad you’re doing all this leg work. We’re about to paint and you’ve definitely helped me see what my house would look like with new colors! We have the same warm colors – reds, camels, etc. in our house right now, so this has helped me out tremendously!!

    • Oh no…PLEASE test all of your colors. I make the mistake all the time by choosing a color that looks great on the internet in someone else’s house, but looks like poo in mine. And like the other readers have said…try the white border thing and paint BIG swatches. :) Good luck!

  44. Oh I know this is difficult! The sunshine, the changes in the light at different times during the day and, of course, cameras don’t always show the true color.

    My recommendation?? Use PRIMER on the walls and then try a color or…find some pieces of sheetrock, prime them & paint and hang in different areas. I think that would give a truer color than swatches on an already painted background. I do believe the background paint can “tarnish” the true colors of the new paints.

    Just my 2 cents ~ :-)


  45. I agree that the other colors being so close is throwing you off. I usually paint my sample on something like a white flat gift box or foam core would be good, and then carry it around the house to see it in different light. I think no matter which you choose it will pick up different tones on different walls. That’s not a bad thing. Otherwise it would all look sort of flat. And if you are going to use blues in your accent colors then a blue undertone is good too. I can’t see the plan in your head! lol!

  46. While I am impressed with your swatches, what I LOVE is the title for this post! ‘Will be singing it all evening!

  47. I love all these colors…..hard for me to choose! I think I lean WIndsor….good luck!

  48. I vote Windsor! :) My poop brown bathroom looks similar with small painted swatches all over the walls. And now I’m not loving any of of them, so I’m headed out tomorrow for more. Ha!

  49. I like the balanced beige…

  50. I am just catching up with my google reader and your posts about paint are cracking me up…..because this is exactly what I am doing and I have swatches all over too. I also have dark colors with sages, burgundies, etc and am ready for a complete change. I may have to get rid of everything and slipcover the couch and loveseat but I am ready!

    My walls are more khaki and I decided the only way to get a good color I want is to put primer all over first. Right now I am liking SW Rice Grain. Have you tried that one yet? I saw it on a couple of other blogs and thought I would try it and so far it is winning.

    My hubby and I are off to go tomorrow to get a couple more samples just in case. I may have to try the Balanced Beige.

    Have fun …can’t wait to see the change!

  51. We just did a main floor remodel and I painted my whole downstairs SW Balanced Beige and I LOVE it! I have a friend who flips houses and came and saw mine and said that is the color she will be using from now on.

  52. WG all the way!

  53. I definitely like the windsor greige. But if you like how different colors look on different walls, then paint the walls different colors.

  54. Hi Emily, I am an allied ASID interior designer that has painted walls for years doing faux and murals and I currently have a paint contracting company with my husband. With that said, I consider paint color selection to be one of my specialties. Definitely the Windsor Greige if you are keeping your furniture and accessories as shown. The Balanced Beige is too blue and cool for the room. The warmer tone of the Windsor Greige is a better choice.

  55. Lol! Post title is too funny. My husband actually rolled his eyes!
    I like the color everything is now… so I’ll just keep my trap shut, lol

  56. Best post title- ha!! I really like the Griege!!

  57. Windsor! So, did you make a final decision yet??? ;)

  58. Hard choice but Windsor Greige is my vote. Good luck with any colour you’re going to end up with!

  59. I found your site from pretty handy girl’s blog. I think I like the windsor greige better.

  60. Does the Balanced Beige have a tinge of gray in it? If so, I would choose that one.

  61. I, too, feel like I’m living in paint chip jungle right now. I have squares of poster board taped all over (except that they keep falling off the walls). We are having the living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, and nook painted. They have to be the same color because our house have a very open floor plan and there is no where to break the colors. Our ceilings are 20′ so we are having painters come in. It’s expensive so I have to be sure of the color since it won’t be able to be repainted any time soon.
    Currently I have green walls with a couple of red accent walls. I’m ready for something lighter and was thinking of a gray. But then I start thinking maybe I’m just in a gray trend right now and will wake up in 6 months and think ‘what in the world did I do?’ But I think beige is boring and many beiges look green after they are applied.
    After I read your blog, I went through my monsterous stack of chips and found the Windsor Greige. Now I’m off to SW tomorrow to get a sample of that. It seems to be a nice compromise between gray and beige.
    If you want a real true gray, I have a square of Martha’s Sharkey Gray and it is a nice cool gray. I really like it, but I have “gray fear.”
    I’ll be reading to see what you decide on.

  62. I have been through the same process you are going through with finding a greige color. Every color I thought would work ended up being too blue, the solution for me was to go with one of my husband’s choices which was SW Mega Greige. I never thought the color would work because the sample dot on the top looked oh so brown, but once it was on the walls it ended up being perfect!

  63. Hey Decorchick,

    I love your blog and I got a real deja vu feeling reading about the paint swatches on your wall. My family room wall is covered with paint swatches too! I’m starting a basement remodeling project in a couple of weeks and am having a terrible time trying to decide on a paint color. The family room is big (about 20 x 24) and has only two small windows so very little natural light. I’ve been trying to find a light, neutral color but every color I try is either way too dark or looks totally different depending on the time of day and which wall you’re looking at. The guys down at my local SW store laugh when they see me coming ‘cuz I’ve been spending so much time there poring over paint swatches. I’m actually starting to get desperate enough to try white down there (of course, there are about a million different shades of white to choose from). On a happier note, your earlier blog on grays did inspire me to go with gray in the guest bedroom in the basement … SW Mindful Gray is on my shortlist for the bedroom.


  64. Wow, what an elegant look. LOVE that colour of paint. Now I want to repaint my house (that I only just finished painting…)

  65. Ooops! Meant to comment on the finished paint job page, lol.

  66. Nadgunna Takit says:

    This is the worst possible way to test paint colors:
    Tiny patches. Close together. Some are even overlapping each other!

    When you do this, your eyes are only comparing the new color to the current wall color, and to the shades you’ve painted around it. You are able to envision how any ONE color might look everywhere.

    You need to start with just 2 or 3 likely candidates at most. Paint up 3′ sections with lots of distance between them. Be sure to paint more than one test area; color will look different on different walls. Make sure the colors are covering completely (use a mini-roller, not a foam brush, and do a second coat if needed). Then, give yourself a full day/evening to live with it.

    If you still aren’t sure, or you can’t even decide which two colors to try first, hire a color consultant. If they are any good at all, it will be money well spent.

  67. Ann Rachel says:

    Hi Emily, I love that you change things up but I would really love to know what your current paintcolor is on the wall, it looks really warm and inviting and just the right color for my living room! Thanks!

  68. Check out this beach house they used the balanced beige by Sherwin Williams. You can see how nice it looks!

    So, I choose the Balanced Beige by Sherwin Williams

  69. I would go with balanced beige. To me, it has warmth and the WG is too cold. That is just my preference.

  70. do you have a picture of what you decided?
    Going through paint torture now–uggh!


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