Grout Cottage: Samplin’

This week it was time to do some color sampling on the exterior of the house and the interior of the upstairs apartment. The interior selection is fairly straight forward. I generally approach the paint color selection process in this way.

  1. I gather some inspiration via Pinterest, Houzz, blogs, misc interwebs
  2. Based on the inspiration and my personal preferences I choose a general color for a room, i.e. I’d like to paint the bathroom aqua blue, living area will be gray etc.
  3. Take some paint chips and the color wheel over and see how some specific shades look in the actual space
  4. Purchase paint samples and paint them on
  5. Live with things, re-visit at different times of day. Hopefully don’t have to repeat.

So I’m at Step 4 of the process and this is what things looked like this week,

This is the open kitchen and living area combination, there is no way to break this room up to change colors so the whole space will be all the same color. I have so many light gray samples already so I boxed up some of my favorites and took them over.

The samples in the kitchen area,

grout paint kitchen

1. Gray Owl  2. Classic Gray  3. Moonshine

Before putting the brush to the wall I was really banking on Moonshine being a sure thing but I don’t feel 100% about it yet. Everyone loves Gray Owl and I thought I would give Classic Gray a chance. I had tried Winter White in the downstairs apartment and it was too light although it looks like perfection on the chip. There’s no clear winner at this point. I’ll have to keep visiting and I have a week to decide on interior colors.

Here are the same colors in the living area,

Grout paint LR

1. Gray Owl  2. Moonshine  3. Classic Gray

On the same day I tested some colors in the bathroom. I thought about maybe going bottle green this time but I just can’t seem to get away from blue/green and I’m going to use the snowflake tile again and I like the blue/black/white combo.

Grout bath paint sample

I tested Woodlawn Blue, my go to Healing Aloe and Hollingsworth Green. Woodlawn is the winner.

Moving to the really exciting part on the exterior. This is my first round and really this project warrants at least a 2nd round BUT I think you’ll agree there are some solid possibilities here.

Testing on the side of the house,

grout paint side

1. Woodlawn Blue  2. Hollingsworth Green  3. Stratton Blue  4. Wythe Blue

5. Knoxville Gray  6. Templeton Gray

grout paint sample side2

Colors 5 and 6 are meant to be accents. I originally set out to find a 3-color scheme but I really want to make things a bit easier on myself and do two colors–a color for the body of the house and a trim color. But I think I can easily use Knoxville Gray on some small trim parts on the house without over thinking things.

Same set of samples on front porch of house under cover,

grout paint sample porch

And again on the back of house,

 grout paint sample back

I know someone out there has a opinion so let’s hear it. Favorites, clear front runner, instincts, experiences with these colors? Do tell.



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  • Hi Sarah, for the exterior, I favor the Hollingsworth Green with Knoxville Gray trim. As for the interior upstairs, Classic Gray is my winner and the Hollingsworth repeated in powder room.

    Hope this helps:)

    • Melissa how could you swoop in like that and go completely in the opposite direction, damnit!

  • Hi Sarah! I agree with Melissa with one exception. I think a Stratton Blue exterior with Knoxville Gray trim would be stunning. I’m impressed with your eye for color and design and admire your work from afar. Cathy

    • Thanks Cathy! I have to say I’m leaning towards Wythe or Woodlawn. There’s light green houses all around, the block needs some blue/gray action.

      • Diggin the Stratton Blue w/ Knoxville Grey trim at first and would have said that was my firm choice… After your comments here though – I really had to go back and think about the Woodlawn under the porch to appreciate its color. The contrast between light and dark is probably the way to go. You really do have incredible talent. Thanks for sharing the process with us here.

  • I have paint swatches up on the outside of my house right now….. It is so hard to decide! For the exterior I really like the Stratton Blue or the Wythe. I think I like the gray owl for the interior.

    • Jenn don’t end up like I did on the Indiana project and paint the house 3x. It is a challenging process.

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