Before & After: A Beautiful No-VOC Color from Glidden

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In spite of my husband’s request that we not paint this apartment, I just can’t help myself. The dining room was first on the list, and once I get the painting/decorating/prettifying bug, I can’t get rid of it. Luckily for me, Walmart recently asked the Walmart Moms to try Glidden’s newest offering: their no-VOC Brilliance Collection 2N1 Paint + Primer. Of course, I wasn’t a matter of if I should paint, but what to to paint.

I considered refinishing my Hooker Mainline desk, because the previous paint job has a little wear and tear. But I eventually decided to paint my daughter’s room, because I really hadn’t done anything with it in the months we’d been living here. I just plopped down her existing furniture and walked away.

Above, you’ll see the color I eventually chose: Bermuda Bay, a rich turquoise. But believe me when I say it took a LONG time to reach that decision. Believe it or not, I initially considered painting her room a soft lavender. Her room gets a lot of sun, and I initially wanted it to feel really light and airy — so much that I put up gauzy ruffled curtains to make sure the room gets as much light as possible. So I headed to Walmart to pick a color. I planned to get small test pots in a couple of different shades so I could see how each interacted with the light.

The problem? Walmart only offers testers in a very small selection of colors. As someone who has been burned picking paint colors from nothing but a swatch from the store, I would definitely recommend that Walmart offer small test sizes for any color a customer chooses. Because I was burned again this time.

Once I saw the available colors, I became a little indecisive. With no testers available, I took home a handful of swatches in various shades of purple, gray and even light green. I taped them to the wall in my daughter’s room and let them sit there for a full 24 hours so I could see them in the light of day and the nighttime shadows. But I didn’t like any of them. Not really. Here’s a closeup:

It was really hard to tell how they would look across large walls from just a tiny swatch. After going back and forth a few dozen times, I initially decided to go with one of the light green shades. It is the bottom right swatch in the image above. So I went back to Walmart to buy a gallon.

But once I got it home, I hated it. No. Really. HATED it.

When I opened the can, I decided to dip my brush in it before pouring it into my tray. I put a little on the wall so I could get a feel for it. The color was barely visible, wet or dry, as you can see in the photo below. Plus, it felt like day-glo instead of a happy, cheerful color. Burned by the paint swatch again!

Of course, this was partially my fault. When I decided to paint, I had no real plan for how I was going to decorate the room. I didn’t want to do pink again, like her last room. And besides that, this room is a lot smaller with a vastly different layout. My indecisiveness and overall lack of planning made it that much harder for me to choose the right color.

I couldn’t decide what to do, because I knew there was no way I was going to paint the whole wall in that unfortunate shade of green. So I did nothing for a few hours and watched my husband laugh at my moping. But thanks to the Internets (yes, I added an “s”), I found out that I could return the paint. I’m not used to this, because once you have a paint color mixed at Lowe’s or Home Depot, you can’t return it. So thank you for that policy Walmart!

I decided to return it, but had NO idea what color I would choose instead.The conversation inside my head went something like this:

A darker green, more lime than lemon? Maybe. Back to pink? Meh. Try again with purple? None of them really suit my taste. Blue? Well. Nothing else in her room is blue, so it would clash. But then again, nothing else is purple, either. Blue might work, but maybe more on the turquoise side. Oooh! Turquoise!

My daughter happened to have a pair of pants in a beautiful shade of turquoise/aqua sitting on the ottoman at the foot of her bed (you can actually see it in the before photo of the whole room above), and it was kismet. I immediately started picturing how the room would look with a turquoise accent wall with the gorgeous ruffled white curtains. My mind’s eye started editing other stuff: Recover the headboard in white, remove the green rug, jump for joy. It was coming together in my mind without even trying. So turquoise it was. And I took the pants with me the second time around to make sure I came home with the right color.

Returning the paint was a breeze, and the customer service rep didn’t even think twice about taking it. Thank you Lord. And Walmart, of course. :)

I happened to find a shade of turquoise that almost exactly matched my daughter’s pants. So I came home and painted, and the rest is history.

The paint performs beautifully, with no noticeable odor and great coverage on the first coat. I did a very thin second coat just to make sure I didn’t miss anything since I was painting the dim light of the lamp (it was nighttime). The paint is thick, probably because of the primer, so it rolls on like a dream with very little dripping or splattering. The price, just under $30/gallon, is comparable to other no- and low-VOC paints with primer (Behr costs a little more than $30). But the fact that I can return a gallon of mixed paint if I’m not happy with the color definitely gives Walmart the edge in this case.

And now that the wall is painted, I have some other ideas for her room. As you can see, I did reupholster her headboard with an old white Ikea curtain we had laying around. I didn’t tuft it this time, but the fabric has subtle lines in it that make up for the lack of buttons. I also made a new cushion to go on top of her Owyn toy box from Mod Mom. It will now serve as a bench at the end of her bed.

I also changed out her bedding, mostly because of an act of fate. Once I finally decided what I was going to do in the room, I really wanted to mix color and patterns. I tend to decorate in strict 3-color palettes: Ex. Pink, green and white (my daughter’s previous bedroom). Gray, white and yellow (my previous master bedroom). Blue, white and yellow (our current dining room). I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and do something a little more adventurous and globally-inspired. I walked into Target to grab a white, textured lamp shade to replace the pink and green one my daughter already had. I look across the aisle, and what do I see? A gorgeous turquoise bed set on clearance — sheets and all!

The colors and patterns were perfect, but I walked over just knowing it would be made of polyester. But as luck would have it, the entire set was made of cotton except the stuffing inside the comforter. It’s not organic, but definitely better than synthetic fabrics. Plus, the brown duvet cover in her old room just wouldn’t work in her new one. So I bought it.

And let me tell you — it made SUCH a difference in making the room look pulled together! I initially planned to repaint her pink dresser, but with this new bedding, I love the pink and turquoise together!

More importantly, Ja’Naya loves it too:

So within the next week, keep your eye out for more posts on projects I’m tackling to complete the room, including customizing her Ikea Malm dresser (finally). Plus, I have to do something about that horribly off-center window behind her bed. I’m feeling completely inspired, so I’m not going to stop until it’s done!

Thanks Glidden!

Why It’s Green:

  • Paint with primer contains no VOCs

Price: $28.97/gallon (aff)

Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for sharing Glidden’s new paint collection with you. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own. Check out what Denise at Wholesome Mommy, Renee at Cutie Booty Cakes and Lori at My Wooden Spoon did with their paint!

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10 comments… add one

  • Tara @ Deal Seeking Mom August 31, 2011, 5:23 pm

    It’s gorgeous, Jennae! Wanna come redo my girls’ room?!?
    Tara @ Deal Seeking Mom recently posted { Vistaprint: 10 FREE Note Cards (Pay Shipping Only!) }

    • jennae August 31, 2011, 5:48 pm

      Thanks Tara! If you really want some help, shoot me an email and let me know. I’m always up for a challenge :) I offer decorating advice as a service.

  • Monica~MommyBrain August 31, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Beautiful job once again!!! I love the color you chose, and then how it all came together with the bedding, etc…
    Monica~MommyBrain recently posted { Live Video: Hurricane Irene is knockin’ }

    • jennae August 31, 2011, 6:02 pm

      Thanks Monica! I couldn’t believe my luck to find something that fit my vision so perfectly!

  • jenn aka the picky girl August 31, 2011, 7:37 pm

    I LOVE the color. That color turquoise with pink is a favorite combo of mine.

    I, too, have been burned by swatches. It’s pretty unbelievable because when I first moved in my house I painted five rooms with no samples and love the results. But when I got to my dining room, not only did I have samples…I had 10! Same thing when I painted the exterior. So frustrating finding a color you have in mind.
    jenn aka the picky girl recently posted { My Life in Books 2011 }

  • Monique September 1, 2011, 6:36 pm

    Beautiful color! Your daughter’s room is adorable. I have tried Behr and Glidden paints. I didn’t notice any difference and Glidden is less expensive than some of the other brands. According to Consumer Reports, Glidden is about the same in quality as Behr, Sherwin Wllms, Benjamin Moore and others. In fact, in some areas, Glidden was the better product. I’m not sure why interior designers favor the more expensive paints but the next room I paint, I’ll be using Glidden.

    (I’m not affiliated in any way with Glidden. I just like to find good quality bargains. Why pay more when a less expensive option will accomplish the same thing as the more expensive paints?)

  • Kathleen W. September 1, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Gorgeous! That color is perfect, and I love the bedding. And there’s that dollhouse too!

    I think you need a big round retro mirror to offset the window. Maybe one of those starburst kind.
    Kathleen W. recently posted { Zutano: Adorable Clothes for Wee Ones {Giveaway} }

  • alison September 5, 2011, 6:38 am

    Good job!! This is so beautiful and nice colors its very relaxing and modern… Thanks for sharing! Keep posting!
    alison recently posted { How To Conceive Quickly }

  • Jason September 7, 2011, 3:19 pm

    She is one lucky little girl!

    Funnily enough that is nearly the colour on the bedroom we painted for my grandson, going for an underwater/pirate theme, and that turquoise is as near to sea that we could get / wanted.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • CC September 12, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I didn’t care for the color on the swatch, but seeing it on the walls made me a fan. Hope your daughter loves it!

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