Paint it black. Or green. Whatev.

June 16, 2008

I’ve been thinking about painting this room:

Living Small homework room

Right now, the walls are Dark Mustard. I like the color, sure; very earthy and organic and kind of like the inside of a cooked squash. Yummy.

But I’d like a little more light. They say that, the darker you paint a room, the smaller it feels. This phenomenon is likely due to the fact that a darker color absorbs more light than does a lighter one. (Remember junior high science? The spectrum and all that? Well, I do.) I’m thinking some form of chartreuse.

Wait! Don’t cringe — chartreuse isn’t all bad. Try this on for size: Anna Sova’s Praying Mantis, part of the company’s Mid Century Modern palette:

Praying Mantis

See? Not so ugly. Certainly, I’m in the market for a non–off-gassing paint, one with low- or no-VOCs (volatile organic compounds). I don’t want to breathe in chemicals for the rest of my life in the tiny house. TreeHugger told me about a few other earth-friendly paints: YOLO Colorhouse, Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony collection, Safe Coat, BioShield. But are there others? Has anyone tried any of the aforementioned wall-slicks? Lemme know. Summer’s here, and it’s paintin’ time.


13 Responses to “Paint it black. Or green. Whatev.”

  1. Sandra said

    I used Yolo Colorhouse for the interior and exterior of my home and I could not be happier with the results. Go Yolo!

  2. Thanks for the Yolo recommendation, Sandra. I’ll have to take a look at their palette. Maybe they have a Praying Mantis look-alike.

  3. csegeln said


    I used Farrow & Ball paint in my condo and I love it. It is a clay finish and has no chemicals or formaldehydes. The colors are stunning and work beautifully with all sorts of light. It is definitely a pricey paint, but I found it worth it!

  4. I’ve heard of F & B, and I’m pro-zero-formaldehyde. I suppose that, even though it’s at a higher price point, I won’t have to buy much — the room is very, very small. Not much wall to coat.

  5. csegeln said

    The F&B website allows you to order sample pots, too. You can swatch color on the wall to see how it plays with the light. In painting my condo I got excellent coverage with the paint so I didn’t use as much as I thought I would. Good luck!

  6. Awesome! I love samples.

  7. Grant Wagner said

    I always thought that winter was for paintin’ and a summer was for gardenin’.

  8. Summer is for both around here. When I paint, I want to have the windows open — not an option in the colder, rainier months.

  9. Alison said

    I’ve used both SafeCoat and BioShield paints and been very happy with them. Better coverage, ease of application, and of course, no awful paint smell. (I was able to find colors I liked in the “mis-tinted” cans at our local supplier, so even the price was a pleasant surprise)

  10. pamela said

    We just used Freshaire, Home Depot’s version of non -VOC paint. It was about $36 a gallon. Took two coats, but it’s nice. “praying mantis” is an interesting color name.

  11. Cool. Thanks, Alison and pamela. I’ll look into the colors available through SafeCoat and BioShield, and I’ll also have to check out Freshaire — haven’t heard of that one before.

  12. Christine said

    I’ve used Benjamin Moore’s Eco Start primer and their low-VOC paint for years. They are both great products. Praying Mantis will be a bit dark. Try a lighter shade on the same chip. Good Luck.

  13. I’m a big fan of Ben Moore’s color palette. Maybe they have a lighter version of Praying Mantis. Thanks for the tip!

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