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Decorating & Furniture/Toning down too bright yellow wall color in LR


Hello! First, thank you for any ideas you may offer. I don't know where else to turn. We have a Mediterranean-style decor in new FL home, very large great room w/ 16' sloped ceilings. "Main" wall where we have TV, it's just huge. The finish on the walls is "knock-down", where they splatter-spray a stucco-like material on an area, then they "knock" it down with a trowel to flatten it, which gives a nice texture.  

Basic paint color we had done all throughout is a nice creamy vanilla-type color. I hate white, all our furnishings and interior colors are earthy/natural, warm.  We wanted to paint the large great room wall a neat mustard-type color, something with a "Medit" feel to it.  Please look at this Kilz web page to see the color "Golden Pyramid", B24. You'll see lots of small rectangles of colors.  Click on the mustard color that's 3 in from left, and 4 down.

We didn't want the 100% painted-solid look, so using 5 parts glaze (per instructions on glaze), and 1 part flat interior latex paint, we used cotton jersey just balled up in our hand to pick up some of the mixture, and we'd just "wash" it over the wall, like a 2'x2' section at time.  You could say it looked like we were washing windows.  Some places it went on heavier, some lighter, and a very few places still have the original creamy vanilly showing through.

PROBLEM:  The color appears too "vivid" or bright, just appears very, very yellow, especially during the day. I was thinking the way to correct it, and possibly make it an even better color, is to add a "wash" of glaze color over it, perhaps a sheer brownish shade.  I figured use the same application method because it was easy and consistent, and "wash" it over the yellow. The glaze color needs to be a thinner combination than the 5:1 glaze-paint we originally used for the yellow.

I have 2 main questions.
1.) To get a more toned-down shade - I'm picturing a brownish-color paint, but I'm not sure what KIND of brown. I don't want to make the color end up looking too orange, or red, just to make it basically a little browner & darker, less YELLOW.  I realize you can only be general with the colors we're discussing. Perhaps there's a link you could send with a few colors you might suggest.

2.) What ratio would I want to try? The 5:1 we used for the yellow I think is too "saturated" to use 5:1 again.  I think we want it a little more glaze to paint this time so it's more sheer. I just have no idea how far to go. For example, would I want to just do a 7 or 8:1, or would I really need to go as far as 12 or 15:1?   


 ~ Nancy L.


Thanks for writing and for your question.  

Yellow is a very difficult color because of it's "translucent" nature.  Your situation is more common than you might think.

I have a different option to offer.  Rather than using a glaze/paint mixture, opt for a paint.  To thin latex paint, use water.  Here's why.  Glaze is used primarily to extend your drying time, giving you more time to work with the paint to achieve the desired effect.  It does not necessarily "do" anything else.  Some glazes give a hazy appearance, some a glossy one, but basically, it gives you more working time when applying the paint.  

Since your technique is perfected, and you appear to be satisfied with that, you may want to consider ragging on paint to achieve the color you want.  

Faux techniques like ragging/sponging/bagging/smooshing have one thing in common.  The color you apply on top is the color you see most of.  So, if you might a more mustard to taupe color as a result, apply that overtop what you currently have.  

Just remember that when you mix red and yellow you get orange; blue and yellow you get green...back to basics.  For a Meditteranean feel, I'd probably opt for a medium shade of gold or even use a taupe over the yellow.

Visit for more tips on faux painting.

Hope this helps you.

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


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