The “Chiquita Banana” song is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think about my rather “brilliant” choice in paint color for my living room, “Midday Yellow.”
It all began with several weeks of nonstop, gloomy rain in New England one early spring. My soul was yearning for a cheerful, “pick-me-up” to compensate for the lack of sunshine.
On one particular dreary and overcast day, I found myself very susceptible to picking out the wrong interior paint color. At the local paint store, I decided to deviate from the safe “antique white” color that I recently used to paint all the other rooms in my apartment, and I chose a sunny color instead.
As soon as I got home, I excitedly got to work painting. After about an hour, the paint “looked” like it was darker than the color on the swatch, but I kept on painting anyway. Before going to bed that night, I thought to myself, it will likely dry lighter.
Early the next morning, my father came over to help me replace a rotted baseboard. After I answered the door, we walked into my living room together.
My Dad stopped abruptly, with his eyes wide-open, and just stared… A few minutes later, he said… “I didn’t have my morning coffee yet… My sunglasses are in the car… WOW! It’s R-E-A-L-L-Y BRIGHT in here! WHAT were you thinking, Alicia?! Why THIS paint color?!?!”
The decorating color I chose… “Midday Yellow” was definitely midday alright. Midday on a tropical island in the Caribbean or Canary Islands maybe! “Day-o, Banana Boat Yellow” is a better paint color name.
I worked super fast to fix this interior decorating paint disaster. The same morning, I went back to the paint store, and chose a more subdued color two tints lighter, called “Lily”. Two coats of paint later, while I should have used a primer, I finally had my beautiful yet subtle “touch of sunshine” at last!
1. Never pick out a color when you are melancholy because of inclement weather.
2. Buy a “tester” paint sample, and paint a large patch on the interior wall.
3. Once the paint dries, observe what it looks like at different times of the day.
4. Decorating “rule of thumb”: Choose a paint color that is the lightest or second lightest in the spectrum in a swatch family, especially for smaller spaces NOT located on a tropical island.
Years later, my family and I still laugh about my paint decorating disaster. To this day, I can vividly picture my father’s “deer-in-headlights” facial expression as he entered my living room, “absorbing” the glowing ambiance of “Midday Yellow.”