Our Bedroom The Victorian House

Testing Paint Colors for the Bedroom

The walls in our home (the ones that don’t have wallpaper, that is) were all painted creamy white before the house was put on the market. It’s a good base to start with because it’s allowing us to take our time with decisions, rather than rushing to cover up horrid colors right away. I’ve been working on the kids’ rooms right away so they’ll have spaces that feel special, and I think it’s time to paint our bedroom next.

Testing Paint Colors

The rug that I first tried in the living room is officially staying in the bedroom. I’m liking the fir/pine wood upstairs (though it was painted once upon a time — the Victorians liked to faux-finish lesser woods to make it look like nicer wood than it really is), and the major furniture of the room is in place. Our bedding will probably be mostly white, and the neutral upholstered bed is staying as-is.

Paint Colors for the Bedroom

I’ve been wanting to try Sherwin-Williams’ Sea Salt forever, because it’s one of those colors that pops up over and over and looks completely different (and completely gorgeous) every time. I think it’s too light next to our wood trim though. The other color that I tested is Comfort Gray, which is one shade darker than Sea Salt. Before we moved into this house, I did tell Brandon to slap my hand away from the paint if I start trying to put gray on all the walls. But! This is more bluish!

I think it’s the winner.

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83 Comments

  • Reply
    Danielle
    October 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Both colors are very nice but, I actually like the Sea Salt color best. I didn’t find it light at all, according to the picture. But the Comfort Gray does seem like it would pick up other colors nicely, like the lamp.

  • Reply
    Nitya
    October 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Hello! I have SW sea salt in our master bedroom. it is one of the most soothing and serene colors and makes me feel calm as soon as I enter. I have decorated the room with blue, turquoise and yellow. Looks like we tend to pick similar colors because I have SW Contented in my formal dining room and family room. BTW Good luck with your book!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Contented was a great color! I loved it in my office, in the first house.

  • Reply
    Jessica S.
    October 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    My eyes were gravitating towards the “sea salt” shade, before I read through this entire post and discovered that it’s the option you’ve really been dying to test! I don’t think it’s too light next to the trim… If anything, I think it presents a nicer contrast against your (West Elm?) lamp. In the end, I believe you should go with whichever shade seems to make the yellow of that lamp really “POP”!

    Also, as a fellow gray-paint and SW enthusiast, I’d like to recommend “Twilight Gray” and “Zircon” as additional contenders. We used those shades throughout our home; and we were really happy with the result.

    • Reply
      Amber M.
      October 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Me too! I love both colors but feel the sea salt is so light and fresh, plus I have it in my dining room so maybe I’m a little biased ;)

  • Reply
    Emma
    October 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    That lamp is amazing! Where is it from?

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    All of our bathrooms, the laundry room, and the kid’s ceilings are painted SW Sea Salt and I adore the color! It looks lighter in your picture than up on my walls. I’m sure either color will look beautiful!

  • Reply
    Christina
    October 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    The gray is the winner? They’re both lovely. Dying flowers… :)

  • Reply
    Bethany
    October 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve been wondering, now that’ve you’ve been in the house a bit, if you have an urge to paint any of the wood trim or doors?
    I ask bc I lasted all of 4 months and then craved and needed (!!) all white trim. Like it was urgent, and I needed to start right that weekend. My husband kept reminding me that I swore I was not going to touch the original trim, but a girl wants what a girl wants.
    And also, the darker grey gets my vote!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I won’t say that I’ll never paint any of the trim (because I’m open to it and white trim is beautiful), but right now I’m enjoying the challenge of working with all of the wood everywhere!

  • Reply
    melissa
    October 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Our kitchen is Sea Salt and I love, love, love it! Our trim and cabinets are white, but I think it would look just as nice against natural wood.

  • Reply
    Margaret
    October 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Def the Comfort Gray (I just painted a room this color and it is definitely blueish. The lighter color doesn’t stand up to the trim nearly as well. But I think I’m going to have to trust that this looks better in person, I feel like the blue is bringing out all the yellow in the trim.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 11:55 am

      That’s what I was thinking, regarding the lighter color. It’s pretty, but I’m not sure if it will stand up to the trim. It IS looking a bit yellow too, but it’s not so bad in person.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    October 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    LOVE the comfort gray, go for it!

  • Reply
    Chernee's House
    October 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Hi –

    I am really enjoying your blog – I would have to agree with the others I really like the Sea Salt – I actually have both of those colors in my house – I just painted this summer my bedroom Sea Salt and it is such a soothing color!

    http://cherneeshouse.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/seasalt-by-the-bathroom-wall/

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

      I considered a lot of those same colors that you tested!

      • Reply
        Chernee's House
        November 1, 2013 at 7:14 am

        You can’t go wrong with either of them – Happy Friday and looking forward to seeing how the room turns out!

  • Reply
    Chernee's House
    October 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Hi – I have both colors in my house – I like the Sea Salt for some reason better in your picture! We painted our bathroom Sea Salt and I just love it!

  • Reply
    Andrew Schultz
    October 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I love both of the colors. Your decision of the gray to stand up to the trim is definitely my preference.

    Ever consider painting JUST the upstairs wood? I just think it would be smashing. Especially if that second kitchen became a craft/workroom type of thing. You could do amazing things with those cabinets!

    My former Oak Park house had gorgeous dark oak on the first floor and then painted birch on the second floor. I felt like I had the best of both worlds in terms of decorating options.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      I have thought about it! It’s pretty common around here, since the upstairs trim is rarely as nice as it is on the main floor (as you no doubt know). I’m having fun working with the pine right now though — I have oak downstairs, pine on the second floor, and painted white up on the third floor. So I have some of the best of all worlds right now.

  • Reply
    Mandy @ This Girl's Life
    October 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Love the Comfort Gray – such a warm tone and goes great with your woodwork and that lamp!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    October 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I love the comfort gray. I like the way it looks with your woodwork and furniture.

  • Reply
    • Ginylle •
    October 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I do prefer Comfort Gray as well. Good choice !

  • Reply
    Juliane at Modern Mural
    October 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Perfect choice! It is definitely more blue, especially with the warm, golden wood in your house. It doesn’t seem like a color called “comfort gray” could ever be a bad choice. I love the little piece of wall art on the table with your yellow lamp. Great work!

  • Reply
    Jules
    October 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I was desperate for Sea Salt to work in the boys’ room, but no dice. One day I’ll get to use that color. ONE DAY.

    I actually like it in the picture and don’t see it as too light, but I know pictures never compare to how things look in person–especially anything blue!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I remember us talking about Sea Salt! I want it to work, but I don’t know. One other option is to use Sea Salt in the bedroom and Comfort Gray in the adjoining room. Maybe?

  • Reply
    Courtney @ PrettyCheap
    October 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    agreed-the comfort gray is beautiful! can’t wait to see the finished product. LOVE that rug too! :)

    thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Laurie
    October 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Yes, I think you are right, the Comfort Gray is the one.

    I also think you helped me pick out my color for my own bedroom. Sea Salt may just be the thing for my room full of navy accents!

  • Reply
    Audrie
    October 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Either colour is lovely! I painted all the bedrooms white, then realised I wanted some colour for the hallways and downstairs rooms, so I went with a pale blue grey, and the living room is a mid grey. Can’t fight my love for grey :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I used the Sea Salt in my living spaces. Sometimes I love it because it is such a pretty neutral and looks great with pops of red here and there. Sometimes it drives me crazy because it looks too blue and I just want it to be more gray. I don’t know. I’m thinking of painting over it and painting all the walls white. We’ll see…

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I don’t mind if it skews blue in this case, but I can see the frustration if you wanted it to read more neutral. Do you have white trim? I love all-white spaces, but with my wood trim it feels somewhat unfinished.

  • Reply
    stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Comfort Grey! Feels nice and moody for a cozy bedroom.

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn
    October 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    We have sea salt in one of our guest rooms and it is not light at all – to me, it was the perfect color to warm up the space! I do think, though, that the comfort grey works better with the wood trim in that spot, so I don’t think you could go wrong either way :)

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I’m still feeling torn between the two, because yeah, I think either would look nice. Ask me today and I’ll say one color, ask tomorrow and I’ll change my mind!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    October 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    LOVE the comfort gray ~ my eye was instantly drawn to it in the very first picture. Gray without being “cold” and the perfect intensity.

  • Reply
    casacaudill
    October 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    What is it with faux wood treatments on real wood?! Our 1910 craftsman had that too. We actually didn’t even notice it until a week after we moved in. Whoops.

  • Reply
    Karen June
    October 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    The Comfort Gray adds a beautiful warmth to the space and looks great with the wood tones and decor you showed. Plus I LOVE the name. I’m a sucker for marketing :)

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    October 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Love your choices, but especially the Comfort Gray: Handsome.

    Jennifer’s comment is so interesting. Paint colors can really change with the light. The seasons, even. I swear, the palest colors can double in ‘brightness’ once the whole room’s painted – reflecting off corners and opposite walls.

    I used a color similar to Sea Salt (B. Moore’s Quiet Moments) in the upstairs bath, and it’s the softest sea glass pale blue. Love it. Used the leftovers to paint just one wall downstairs – and it’s obnoxious baby blue. You just never know for sure – until it’s all done. (I suppose this keeps the paint companies in business!)

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Quiet Moments is a beautiful color too. I suppose it does keep the paint companies in business! I wonder how often it puts people off though — too scared to try, lest they make a mistake.

  • Reply
    Sarah from a fine line
    October 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    These colors are very similar to the grey I have in my living room/kitchen. It’s a very open floor plan, so I wanted a color that wouldn’t dominate the room or make it feel smaller. It looks great with wood trim, glossy white kitchen cabinets, and black marble countertops. The brighter colors in the space are teal and coral red. I agree that slightly darker is the way to go in your space.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      That sounds fantastic! Do you have a photo? I tried to search your site, but couldn’t find one. There’s some coral red happening in our room too, and navy instead of teal.

  • Reply
    kristi
    October 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    We have sw seasalt in our bedroom. Its more green than anything. Like…seaglass I would say but all paint is different in different light… we love it! Comfort gray was a wonderful color too!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      It’s a chameleon of a color! Sea Salt doesn’t read green at all in my bedroom — definitely a light blue/gray color.

  • Reply
    Nicole L
    October 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Why fix something that isn’t broken? If you love grey, you love grey! (And that is one very nice grey).

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I love both! I’ve been really drawn to these light grays with bluish undertones. I just painted my son’s room BM Horizon, and I think it’s my favorite color so far. We have a couple older pine pieces (that dark orangey-ish color that’s not always the best)in the room and the color really modernizes them–to the point where I really like them again.

    I’m excited to see your paint choices and your process–always super helpful!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      That’s the best, when a change of paint color can help you love everything else that much more.

      And I’m glad to hear that the process is helpful! It’s how my brain works — I like knowing all of the choices that go into a room — but so many people just want the before and after. I think the in-betweens are just as interesting.

  • Reply
    laura
    October 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    comfort gray comfort gray!! :)

  • Reply
    Jillian
    October 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I just spec’d Sea Salt for a client’s kitchen remodel. I definitely think it’s more blue than gray. It looks great with your wood trim.

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I had dinner with my family this weekend at a local seafood place called Sea Salt, which led me to comment that I had just used Sea Salt in a client’s guest room, which led my kids to wonder about why we name paint colors, which led to me talking about color names being evocative, telling a story. My 7 year old asked, “What color is ‘Sea Salt’ anyway?” Ad my 5 year old said (having never seen the paint chip), “kind of bluish greenish grayish.” Evocative, indeed!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 31, 2013 at 12:02 am

    The Comfort Gray works best with your trim I think.
    I’m torn between these two shades, with Contented thrown in too, for my bedroom. It’s difficult to pick, the room has such strange light.
    Looking forward to seeing how this will look when you have it painted.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      I used Contented in my office, in the first house. It’s not great in the bedroom here, but it’s a great color.

  • Reply
    Kris
    October 31, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Sea salt has been a hot color in the blogging/design world for a few years. I do like it, but it does look so different in different spaces. We currently have it at our office.

  • Reply
    Kris
    October 31, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Oh, and I also prefer the sea salt with your woodwork.

  • Reply
    Tena
    October 31, 2013 at 12:38 am

    The Comfort Gray definitely reads blue to me and I like it very much.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    October 31, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I would also try BM Horizon!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Horizon is another color I’ve been wanting to try! It’s a little to straight-gray for the bedroom though. I actually want my gray to read more blue in this case.

      • Reply
        jenny
        November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

        Actually, it comes out with a hint of blue. I have it in my bedroom and was surprised by that but it’s very subtle and quite beautiful.

  • Reply
    Megan G
    October 31, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Comfort gray was the main color in my whole house. So soft and neutral while still being color. It looks fantastic against all that gorgeous wood.

  • Reply
    Jen @ Bungalov
    October 31, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Comfort gray! Love it so much against the other colors. It also pops nicely against the wood. I also have older wood trim in our bungalow (actually very similar to yours) and I had a hard time picking colors because I wanted to make sure the winners looked nice against it. Sometimes the lighter colors get washed out. They tend to pop better against the white trim.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      “Sometimes the lighter colors get washed out.” Yes. If we had white trim, sea salt would be the color, no doubt.

  • Reply
    Liz
    October 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Love the gray. Are you going to put the Edison light back up in the room or use it elsewhere? If you decided it does not work in the house, please email me. I would love to buy it from you.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      October 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      I haven’t decided yet. I love the light, but there isn’t a clear room that seems to be calling out for it yet (despite needing to replace lighting in several places).

  • Reply
    Jennifer I.
    October 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I have both colors in my home and love them both! I’m liking the “Comfort Gray” in contrast with your wood trim and wooden dresser. I love the two colors :) Mine look more blue in my lighting – but are definitely not too blue.

  • Reply
    Molly S
    November 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Love both colors- have you considered an ombre effect on the wall so that you can incorporate both colors? Your test patches already have this sort of feel… Good luck!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    November 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I love the sea salt! I think it looks amazing with the rug, lamp & trim!

  • Reply
    Abbie
    November 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    My sister has a pretty much identical dresser that she updated with some Anthro knobs. Love it!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    We used a lot of Comfort Gray in our house and LOVE it. It’s not *really* gray, it’s sort of gray, sort of blue, sort of green, all at once. The name is so apt because it really is a warm, enveloping color. Sea Salt is gorgeous too, but I agree that it seems too light to do justice to your trim…

  • Reply
    Antonella
    November 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I love the dying flowers! I’ve got some myself but I now moved to my fiancè’s flat and apparently it’s a man thing to not “get” them. Have to see where to hang them :-)

  • Reply
    Marianne
    November 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I have comfort Gray in my bedroom and I love it. It’s very relaxing and soothing and a great backdrop for bolder greens and blues. I also have a few accents of pink and coral/orange and they give a nice contrast against the Gray.

  • Reply
    Jace
    November 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I prefer the sea salt to the comfort next to the trim myself. But I’m biased, I’ve had sea salt in my living room and kitchen for a year now and still love it!

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I love the sea salt!

    ps- Where, oh where is that lamp from?! It’s sort of perfect!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Tami O'Malley
    December 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I second the sea salt… although both are lovely!
    It’s been so fun to watch you do another house! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    In the Bedroom | Making it Lovely
    January 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    […] Comfort Gray. So much better against the woodwork than Sea Salt! I shouldn’t have second-guessed it. And I for sure shouldn’t have third-guessed it, having tested an unfortunate greenish color […]

  • Reply
    Amy
    November 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Looks like this project is several years old but the Comfort Gray vs Sea Salt decision question lives on. I have about 75 minutes until the painters come for the consult and I am still going back and forth what color to re-paint the master bedroom (white trim, light beige carpet, dark furnishings. . Last time they painted it Morning Dew which on my walls looks like the color of dew, which looks exactly like the color of nothing, so I am eager for the perfect color to appear.

  • Reply
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