The Perfect Neutral

A few times a month I get e-mails from readers wanting to know which paint colors I’ve used in my home. I can’t help but cringe when I get those e-mails because I have the worst, least helpful answer EVER…. that I mixed them myself. The green in my living room, bathroom, and laundry room was the result of too many green paint samples getting mixed together in a bucket, and the blue in my hallway was an actual color that I altered with craft paint. As is the green on my bathroom vanity. Pretty much as soon as I get my hands on a new can of paint, this happens…

This time though, I have learned my lesson…no more mixing my own paint colors. From here on out I’m using real colors so that I can give y’all a name and I can actually buy more paint to do touch-ups when needed. At least on walls…I make no such promises for future furniture makeovers. Baby steps.

So for the guest room I decided I wanted the walls to be a  neutral color. This is new territory for me, I don’t think I’ve ever painted something neutral in my life. My kitchen is white, but beyond that it’s all about color. I wanted to steer clear of anything that might look like builders grade beige, and gray – even though it’s super popular these days – just isn’t my thing. So, I brought home a few paint chips…

Neutral paint samples

and ended up picking a color called “sculptor clay” by Behr.

Picking the perfect nuetral

Sculptor Clay

Behr Sculptor Clay

And y’all…it’s perfect.

For pretty much the first time ever, I decided I loved this paint on the first swipe. It’s a great neutral…not quite beige, not quite gray, just neutral.

blank canvas

Behr Paint - Sculptor Clay

greige paint

I never thought I could like a neutral color so much.

Along the way I also found something else I love. I pretty much only use Behr Paint from Home Depot, but I always get the regular stuff, not the paint and primer in one. I sprung for it this time though (since I was painting over stripes) and I have to say, it’s awesome. It has amazing coverage and is completely worth the extra $5 or so over the regular paint. I may never go back. Most of the time I’m tell y’all to save your pennies, but in this instance you should spend your pennies and save your time.

paint plus primer in one

With all this neutral talk I feel like I need to spice it up around here. Really take a stand on something and show my true colors, no matter how how many people it may anger. So here it is, something I feel strongly about that some of you may not like…..







spurs meme

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  1. Jessica says:

    Hey, I can’t wait to see what colors you use in the bedroom with it. I actually painted my own bedroom with sculptor clay last year and still I think the color is great! Good choice. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Yes for walls flat light silver gray, doors and trim white enamel and maroon rug.

  3. Looks like a perfect color to me!!
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  4. Yes! The paint and primer in one stuff is so worth the extra little bit. I remember using it for the first time and being amazed, and will never go back now.

    The color looks great with the floors. Can’t wait to see how the room turns out.

  5. I really like the way it looks with that rug Ashley! I’m all about color too and that rug is awesome! Good choice but I’ll warn ya, I went with a neutral wall color in my bedroom and months later I knew I would have to change it, it is too boring for me. Sounds like you do very well at mixing your own colors must be why everyone ask about them! Maybe you could write down your formulas as you mix them. I would like you to share about the paint can lids, do they work well?
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  6. Truth or Dare? … Do you have any of those… you know… 10 yr old projects that you never quite fully finished? They sit on the back burner percolating a hole in your head? Mine has been a feature wall in my hallway that I textured with tinted plasters to simulate limestone. Instead of being stuffed in a corner in the bsmt out of sight, out of mind, I get to walk by it daily and as a bonus enjoy the chalk texturing I get on my clothing when I accidentally brush it once in a while.

    I have never finished it off needing to find a sealer, then paint, then dry brush a few dif colors back to get the limestone look. Yeah lots of work and for some reason I put the blame on having to prime it first as the reason I could never get round-tuit. Priming is just too much extra work ya know? A surf over to Behr and yup I am pretty sure that with 10 yrs this summer, I have allowed enough time for curing as they say ““Allow new stucco, plaster and masonry to cure for 30 days before painting”

    I love how your blog often points me to solutions and inspiration alike. Your $5 tip has solved (truth – one of) my oldest project/problems – thanks so much!

  7. A couple of years ago when I {finally} painted my master bedroom and bath I used Sculptor’s Clay with Behr’s Paint and Primer. Paint and color still looks great years later! Another great neutral is from Porter Paint Group (PPG) called Sharkskin. It’s a shade darker than the Sculptor’s Clay and has that same not brown, not gray tone. Used it recently in my open living/dining room and kitchen. Looking forward to seeing the completed room!
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  8. I really like the rug, floor and wall color combo and can’t wait to see more :) I’ve tried the Behr Ultra too, and it is pretty great. Unfortunately we have tons of wallpaper to pull down first, leaving our walls in bad shape which requires I use a true stainblocking primer separate coat. But — I use the combo whenever it is possible because it goes on so well!
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  9. I have a habit of… “customizing” paint as well, haha. Lots of colors look great on walls, adding white or gray to a weird shade (for the space it is in) has worked almost every time for me. Being able to put up one coat of paint and like it – that’s a dream! So glad it happened for you with a new paint formula you like. :) Looking forward to seeing your guest room come together.
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  10. I just decided I absolutley love you! GO SPURS GO BABY!!!!

  11. I see your rug came :)

  12. Love the color!
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  13. Somehow this post went by me! That is a nice neutral. I hear you about mixing your own paint colours. My favorite turquoise ever was a mixture of a bunch of leftover colours. I’m going to be sad when it’s gone, I’ve used it on a bunch of stuff. It looks great with a dirty cowboy on top, lol. ;)
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  14. Hi Ashley, I found you through Rhoda’s website …. thanks for the post about paint. Our masterbedroom is painted a deep red/burgundy color. It was done very well by the previous owners, but it finally dawned on me why I don’t feel rested in the bedroom and don’t want to spend much time there ….. it’s the paint color! In our previous home we had a lovely serene green-ish color and I was always wanting to be in there. So, your comments about the paint with primer and the tests you have done to select the best color are very timely for me, thanks! I have a suspicion that the red is going to take quite a bit of work to cover over …. but it will be worth it!

  15. Cassie Clancy says:

    Thank you for this post! You have helped me find the perfect paint color for our home. I’m embarrassed to even admit how much time I have spent trying to find the right greige, but there was something wrong with every one of them. I was going GRAY-Z!!! Everyone swore by BM Revere Pewter, but it looked funky in my home. SW Accessible Beige was the closest to what I was looking for, but I needed it to be just a splash more gray. Sculptor Clay is absolutely gorgeous, and exactly what I was looking for– enough gray to be on trendy, but also fresh and airy, and goes with everything! Thank you so much!

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