What color should I paint my walls?
matwaddell
March 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm keeping the wood color but I want to update the wall color. My first thought was swarm brown, but I think with the wood that would be too much. What colors do you suggest?
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Michael Chase Design
Paint it "Dulux Antique White USA"- a very popular colour. (A top-selling colour for Dulux)
I used it in my last house-it was an old apartment-circa 1934-quite dark inside. This "off-white" has a very warm tone in low light situations. It will never look cold/cool, and the tone will blend with your wood trimming.
March 20, 2013 at 7:20PM     
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Stamps Design Services
You want to stay away from colors that are too similar to the trim, unless you want the wood to blend in. Any cool color like grey, blue or green will make the wood stand out as the feature it is.... I suggest keeping the paint choice light, (though not pastel) Even a cream above the panels and tan or taupe below might work well. Good luck!
March 20, 2013 at 7:21PM     
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K B
First, so glad that you are not painting the wood. It's very expensive to strip and will be highly valued if you ever decide to sell. I don't have any specific colors to tell you, but a medium blue, green or taupe depending on your personal preference should contrast well with the wood work while keeping it from being too dark. I personally would like to see some color and think a green would go well with what I assume is the craftsman style of your home.
Copper Falls
Bassett Residence
Dining Room
March 20, 2013 at 7:22PM     
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matwaddell
The dining room that I took a picture of continues into the living room. I love the current green accent walls and will just rejuvenate them. So what ever color I will use in the dining room will continue out into the living room and need to pair with the green.
March 20, 2013 at 7:37PM   
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K B
If you the love the current green, why not just paint both rooms in that color. Or, if you think it's too dark choose a shade or two lighter off the same color swatch.
March 20, 2013 at 7:47PM     
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Rethink Renovations
Since your wood trim and furniture are all dark, I would lighten up the wall color or go with a darker color on the bottom and a lighter color on the top.
March 20, 2013 at 7:56PM     
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kjdick
Karla Stamps idea of a lighter off white above the panels and taupe or other color sounds nice.
I'm going with creamy whites with my dark wood. I love how it brightens up the space. Like the second picture that Jjdesignkloos posted.
The taupes or grays would look nice too. I would have never considered a taupe if I hadn't seen these attached photos. The taupes in the photos below amazed me that they could look that sophisticated without looking bland. Be careful if you pick grays though. It took forever for us to find a gray that looked right with the dark wood in our dinning room. Hope this helps!
Dining Room
West Newton Residence
Prospect Park West
Great Room
the cinnamon post
March 20, 2013 at 8:06PM     
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jjandhk
another idea: you could paint the top half a warm creamy white; and put a creamy white burlap in the lower panels; or grass paper.
March 20, 2013 at 8:13PM     
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rcwrtr
I would paint the walls above the wainscoting a pale, carnation-like beige/pink or a light, silvery green and would go with a warm, creamy white below the chair rail.
March 20, 2013 at 8:24PM   
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K B
You have beautiful wood work. I would not clutter it up by using two different paint colors or a texture on the wall. If it was a regular chair rail with picture molding, I wouldn't object to two paint colors. But the gorgeous wood work in your rooms should be the focal point, and the best way to do that is to keep the wall color simple IMHO.
March 20, 2013 at 8:40PM     
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libradesigneye
Green below the wainscot - but a muted mossy stone green, like this proven tone - http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW6422-shagreen/
Use this in one shade lighter to refresh your living room, and use the fabulous warm creamy white for above the rail and the ceiling.
March 20, 2013 at 8:47PM     
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midwestrehabber
Benjamin Moores Revere Pewter is a great taupe. You could even lighten it up a bit if you wanted.
March 20, 2013 at 9:37PM   
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Stamps Design Services
The colors posted by kldick were exactly the kid of colors that work well with the dark wood, they give some color with out over whelming the other features.
March 21, 2013 at 12:50PM     
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matwaddell
I really like the taupe in kjdick first photo. It looks sophisticated and it doesn't have all the yellow that’s current in most taupe and what’s currently on my walls. I think it will also pair well with the green accent walls. It’s also goes with the color theme I am trying to do: rejuvenated and update original craftsman colors.
March 21, 2013 at 1:42PM     
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nononanna
You might want to check out Ellen Kennon "Full Spectrum" paints - they are particularily luminous. I used them for a basement room that turned out really nicely. A little more expensive, but I really think they were great for the darker room.
March 21, 2013 at 1:50PM   
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matwaddell
Sadly the dining room and living room are darker areas so I need all the help I can get.
March 21, 2013 at 1:52PM   
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nononanna
Even if you use the Kennon paints, you might want to just accept that the room is dark and go with that - make it very dark. Would you consider navy lacquer? Or any color lacquer? I don't know how to upload photos, but if you google Miles Redd you will see a couple of rooms that he did in lacquered dark blues that are utterly fabulous.

In any case you might want to consider painting the ceiling a light blue rather than white - it makes it kind of ethereal and disappears.
March 21, 2013 at 1:56PM   
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brody1313
I think the dining room and living room need to be the same color.....so continue w/your green....or my choice would be to do entire space in one new color....possibly doing dr ceiling in another color...good luck
March 21, 2013 at 3:51PM     
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Ironwood Builders
Trying not to actually suggest colors....but take a look at bungalow interior colors from a historic perspective at www.americanbungalow.com
March 21, 2013 at 7:09PM     
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kathleen MK
Use a paler version of the green from the ajoining room on the wainscot and even lighter green above or just a warm white. Keep the ceiling almost pure white to reflect the most light.
March 21, 2013 at 8:30PM     
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THALASSA
Hi there.

I would go white on the bottom half and very very dark on the top. Blue. Green. Charcoal. Or the other way around. Dark on Bottom white on top.
Remove your brown timber trim and paint. Taubmans 1/4 strength Sienna Frost. Also the ceiling in this if you do the ceiling white.
The dining space is so romantic and intimate. Despite what people say about dark colours, closing in a room...sometimes this is exactly what you want. It is not about the depth of a colour it is about what you want the colour to do!

With Love
Samantha xxx
March 22, 2013 at 7:43AM     
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blrussell
Is that border removal I'm looking at? Nice job. Great looking rooms. Love the wood.
March 22, 2013 at 8:22AM   
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Ann
I'd go with creamy white and only one shade top and bottom. I like all the examples of that the very best - it really makes the nice wood stand out.
March 22, 2013 at 8:33AM     
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matwaddell
blrussell, if you are talking about the white at the top, that is actually plaster that has been sanded. The owners before put up some additional, low quality trim that I removed. The wall underneath was in dire need of some patch work and sanding. Other than that all the wood is permanent. I want to keep it that way as well. Also, the previous owners splattered paint all over ALL of the wood work so I've been slowly removing all the paint and adding a new coat of polyurethane.
March 22, 2013 at 8:53AM     
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ritasj
Paint the walls and wall panel molding in same or close to same colors. This will create a subtler more understated detail that is less distracting. The scale of the panels seems wrong for the size of the room
March 22, 2013 at 9:29AM   
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Marie Flanigan Interiors
Benjamin Moore Sheepswool! or Athena! LIght and bright!
March 22, 2013 at 9:48AM   
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terrineff
Seeing the dining room photos above, four different shades of grey walls accented in white wood trim, I can't imagine how you could possibly choose to leave the woodwork as is. Take the plunge and be glad you did!
March 22, 2013 at 12:58PM   
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kjdick
Glad you liked some of the examples. The color for the contemporary mountain lodge is Benjamin Moore Mesa Verde Tan. Yes it is tricky finding a neutral that isn't blah. Hard to brighten up the room with some colors without a lot of natural light too. Choose carefully and look at the color samples in all lights.
Really the Contemporary mountain lodge and the West newton residence look the best to me since accessories and furniture are all really well done. The lighting, rugs, furniture,pillows, and art really make those rooms.
I have a whole ideabook just devoted to wood trim. Well an ideabook devoted to whatever I'm looking for in a specific room or the house as a whole. It really helped me a lot to just browse and save pictures of what I like as far themes and what catches your eye. Maybe you already have a plan for the look of the house. I did not though. All of the sudden you'll have a collection of pictures for dinning room or living room that might give you the right direction for colors and decor that you are drawn to. Houzz has an insane number of pictures to peruse. So use it to your advantage. Ideabooks are a pretty cheap way to start your design process for your house.
March 22, 2013 at 1:41PM     
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nanclifford
Paint the walls a butter yellow. This is really in the off-white family.
March 22, 2013 at 7:31PM     
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Lkristine
I will show you 2 different examples of your room. One walls painted, and the other walls and some of the wood painted. You truly have so many possibilities and it is really just a matter of what appeals to YOU. If you decide to keep all of the wood as it is, this would be a nice chandelier for over the table. http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Indoor-4-light-Antique-Copper-Chandelier/4127717/product.html And on the other hand if you decide to go lighter with some of the wood, here is an example that would work too. http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Soho-3-Light-Pendant-Polished-Chrome-Finish-with-Satin-White-Glass/6784074/product.html Dark wood rug option that would really help balance all of the dark wood and allow your table to stand out........... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Surya-Rug-Flor-Antique-White-Feather-Gray-Rug/22200867 You could definitely do a slightly darker rug if you decided to go with some of the wood lightened. Example, http://www.wayfair.com/Dynamic-Rugs-Florence-Light-Green-Rug-GM4611-521-DY3343.html As well, any of these items could be interchangeable no matter if you go darker or lighter and still blend beautifully with your living room.
March 22, 2013 at 9:52PM   
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Lkristine
Here are images as example if all wood is left as it is currently.
March 22, 2013 at 9:54PM   
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aviap
I would go with a grey blue
March 23, 2013 at 7:47AM   
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K B
Yes it's your home and these are just our opinions, but I would Absolutely NOT paint that woodwork or remove it! Generally, people buy homes like yours for the very characteristics people are advising you to cover up or take down. Don't do it! The quality of woodwork is so different than almost all of what is used in homes today. You can not compare the craftmanship, and to paint or remove it would be a horrendous mistake IMHO. Update the kitchen-- go for it, replace drafty windows--definitely, add a laundry room--yahoo, touch that woodwork--heck no!!!
March 23, 2013 at 10:19AM     
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Judy M
Can you find wood panels to match the trim already up and add it between the trim? I think that would look nicer, then just paint the top??
March 23, 2013 at 10:25AM     
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Jennifer Hogan
A couple of classic mistakes are to decide what to paint one room at a time and to paint based on the current trend. Right now - gray, a few years ago beige.

You want your home to reflect your personality and to flow from room to room

Look in your closet and around your home. What colors make your heart sing? What is you favorite outfit or painting that has colors that you just love seeing together. Find your inspiration.
Look around your home and decide what cannot change (either because of budget or because it is a feature you love and will not change.)

My two favorite ways of finding colors that go together are to look at good art and to ask Mother Nature. seascapes, fields of flowers, rivers and mountains, grassy plains, storm clouds, pictures of the snow, or a fire, pictures of animals - the green eyes of a cat with the different coat colors are all fabulous combinations and they are timeless.

How I like to figure out my final pallet is to get a large white sheet, take samples of the things that I own that are going to stay in the order that I would walk through the house. Then I place the colors that I have selected and place 8x11 painted sheets of the colors on my sheet as I imagined them flowing. . . then I make some adjustments - one color may seem to bright or too blue or too pink.

When you have adjusted everything take the color sheets and place them in each room - do they need tweaked because of lighting? Dark rooms need more saturated color or the color goes gray with a lack of light, bright rooms may need to have the color toned down.

Rule of thumb is 50% of your home is one base color.

I also like to think of the ceiling as a 5th wall. I used my ceilings to tie the whole house together, using my base color on the ceilings and in my living room and halls, with other colors on all the other walls.
March 23, 2013 at 11:18AM     
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Michael Lambert
Take a look at Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper to get a sense of colors in period-style rooms with darker woodwork like yours.
March 23, 2013 at 1:24PM   
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matwaddell
As this time, I'm going to keep all the wood it's natural color. It is one of the main reasons I bought the house. Also, with the way the wood flows
Through the house, if I painted the dining room, I'd have to paint all of the wood through the house. I also love how the wood ties all the rooms together. I'll take some more,
High quality photos tomorrow and post them. I'll also post what colors I'm leaning towards to get all of our opinions. I thank you all so much since you've all been so helpful!
March 23, 2013 at 7:20PM     
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emmz83
go big or go home right? I would pick a bold colour that is pretty dark and paint in the panels below and than pick a bright wall paper with a pattern/design that has a lot of colour variation (tying in with the lower colour) and put that up above.
March 23, 2013 at 7:26PM   
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kah416
Wow gorgeous house!! Love the beams on the ceiling and all the nice woodwork! I too am a fan of green and earth tones. I love the color your living room is now. Will you keep it that color? Or change it? Here are a few nice shades that compliment one another from Benjamin Moore :) I sure hope I could have been of some help to you. If you can post "after" pics, we would love to see the finished project! :-) Take care!
March 23, 2013 at 7:39PM   
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kah416
Here's another nice one :)
March 23, 2013 at 7:43PM   
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matwaddell
I'm keeping the green accent walls, just going to rejuvenate them. I just love them so much. I sanded the walls and plastered certain parts to make them nice an smooth. I'll definitely post before and after photos. I'm hoping to be done by end of April.
March 23, 2013 at 8:03PM     
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K B
Yay! Happy to hear it. Great choice! Look forward to seeing the pictures.
March 23, 2013 at 9:27PM   
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Ironwood Builders
Thank goodness! So glad you stuck to your guns and decided not to paint the natural wood!
March 23, 2013 at 9:32PM     
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atlasbuster
Check out restoration hardware "atmosphere blue" we have sliver sage from restoration hardware currently and we have same wood.
March 24, 2013 at 4:47AM   
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tripp1
Pale, pale gray and paint the wood white. Lighten up the room and it will enlarge the room
March 24, 2013 at 4:51AM   
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mglisci
Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan will change color with the day it's beautiful.
March 24, 2013 at 5:52AM   
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sanjack0
Peanut Butter by Behr
March 24, 2013 at 8:06AM   
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rosebud3
I love Judy M's idea of matching the wood and having the entire bottom the wood and paint the top.
March 24, 2013 at 9:26AM   
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rosebud3
The "Pleasant Valley" color that Kahn 416 posed is very pretty.
March 24, 2013 at 9:30AM   
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tsudhonimh
The classic Craftsman color schemes often have a dark color in the wainscoting area and a paler shade above it. They were luxurious.

Pick your fabrics first - paint is easier to get in the exact color you want.

If you had a rug in the room, or curtains, pull one of the deep shades from the fabric or rug for painting the lower part and do the top either in one of the palest shades or a creamy white.

One example I remember had a deep ruby red below and a pale aqua above, with the original dark oak. Sounds gaudy, but it used colors from the antique persian rugs in the room, and they had some decorative pottery from that era with those colors.
March 24, 2013 at 9:50AM     
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jn41
a rich pink
March 24, 2013 at 12:25PM   
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kjdick
I know you were leaning towards the taupe colors but here's a link for some color schemes for arts and crafts homes. Whether you use any of these colors for wall or not, they still may help to pull your rooms together for your fabric and accessories. http://retrorenovation.com/2010/05/21/52-new-historic-paint-colors-for-arts-crafts-bungalows/#
March 24, 2013 at 1:23PM   
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pansy2
I have dark wood trims in the house I am renovating and have used Dulux Beige Royal on the walls, and 1/2 strength on the doors. Ceilings are white. I am very happy with the result...sophisticated, modern and definitely not boring.
March 24, 2013 at 1:46PM   
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maryloudesjardins
Pick a very light color and meaning a white with a color tinge. It really emphasizes your beatiful wood. Good for not painting the wood. I have used Benjamin Moore light colors like Dried Mushroom, (creamy nmilk but not buttry) Cool color. Whn you keep the walls neutral you can add and change color with pictures and accessories or one wall or panel wall paper art.
March 24, 2013 at 5:15PM   
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marerlau
Blue looks very good with brown wood and you can go a little darker for an elegance look
March 24, 2013 at 6:55PM   
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Amanda Hutchinson
If you are going to keep it as a dining room and the wood is so dark; why not go for a rich deep red and this will make it feel cosy. With candles and some gold framed paintings it could look very sophisticated
March 25, 2013 at 5:15AM   
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K C
Two tone would be nice. I found a photo in "Old Homes" and transformed my white den. I will be adding wood panels to the doors and some arts and crafts stenciling. There's also room to fit in quartersawn oak framed tiles.
March 25, 2013 at 5:41AM   
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midurak
We have an old craftsman house with a very similar wood color. We started by painting pale, calming colors like light blues and purples, but they were SO bland. We finally decided to try some real color - billiard green in one room, Tibetan orange in our bedroom. It seemed pretty drastic at first but it livened up the wood and the whole house. We LOVE the bold colors with the wood!
March 25, 2013 at 9:55AM   
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Brandon Hammond
I would definitely suggest a pastel green colour.
March 25, 2013 at 10:11AM   
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geopalz
A warm gray like Revere Pewter from Ben Moore would go great in there. It's somewhat light but not stark and it's soft and warm. Looks absolutely fabulous with dark wood and incandescent lighting. If you are more into "color" instead of going neutral you could try Wythe Blue by Ben Moore. It's a beautiful blue green that also goes well with dark wood. Have fun.
March 25, 2013 at 10:23AM   
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kjdick
Ok, I'm sure you are well on your way to a color decision. Just came across this photo and it made me think of your room.

March 26, 2013 at 1:16PM   
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0702
I'd do it a little differently and go with a dark mossy green or dark taupe on bottom and craftsman style wallpaper with same colors on a creamy background on top.
March 26, 2013 at 2:39PM   
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bergenstein
If you have access to FARROW & BALL COLOURS, I would suggest a cool colour like PARMA GRAY, which is not gray at all but a soft, sufisticated blue/gray. Green and brown are my least favorite combs, they look old and dowdy unless it is lime green which would not be appropriate for you style of house. Try to get more lighting into your home to off set the smaller windows. I know Arts and Craft style houses were darker but that was then and this is now. Marjorie
March 27, 2013 at 8:15AM   
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micknden
My home has dark wood ,the walls were a pale 'sky' blue when we bought it, we painted the walls a burnt orange,rust color. we LOVE it
March 27, 2013 at 9:51PM   
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carolstudios
I really like the images that kjdick posted. Keep it light & neutral to highlight the dark wood. I know you want to keep the green, but I think it detracts from the woods beauty, and makes the room seem to drab. As a painter I see this all the time. You may think the green adds warmth and in certain rooms it does, but with all that wood it's doing the opposite and maybe you just don't want to have to paint both areas but I think you'll be so happy with a lighter color that's continuous. Good Luck
April 3, 2013 at 3:47PM   
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