Thoughts on Living with the Wrong Paint Color

Could you live with the wrong paint color?  Or would you paint right over it as quickly as you can?  Probably depends upon just how wrong that color is, right?  In our case, we moved “into” the wrong paint color, although I can’t deny I’ve chosen the wrong paint color many times, too.

But back to how we’re dealing with moving into a new home that is covered with paint in colors we don’t like.  Why we’re choosing to live with them for now and how I’m making the best of it.

Here is an example of why I’m choosing to live with most of the paint “as is”.


This is my craft shed.

It needs attention, and lots of it.  I have a goal of making the craft shed a functional space by sometime this summer.

Craft shed aside, we have some flooding in the basement, exterior siding repairs, and many other home projects that are more important than the color on the walls at the moment?

I’m hoping if I keep repeating that sentence, I’ll believe it and won’t jump ahead and start slapping white primer over everything!!!


Here is a before shot of the pale yellow that we have in the several of the rooms, including the living room.

Sure, it’s not horrendous, but it’s just…off!

If you are living with the wrong paint color on your walls, shop your home for items that will work in the space until you have a chance to paint over the wrong color - Stow and TellU

Here is an after shot of how I made the best of it by “shopping my home” and using what I have to add some decor touches to make it work.  Route 66 chair, included.

How to live and decorate with the wrong paint color on the walls, even if temporarily -

Here is a slightly different angle that shows the green painted kitchen walls.


This is the sun porch which leads out from the living room and is the currently home for Ken’s game machine collection.  Due to the flood issue in the basement, this is where it will stay until that is resolved.


And it’s also the reason why the china cabinet and buffet are sharing space with the couch in the living room.


If you have the wrong paint color on your walls, for whatever reason, and you are choosing to live with it temporarily but indefinitely, here are my five tips for living with it:

#1 – Try to use what you have already where ever possible.

The vintage temperature thermometer was hanging on the side of the garage when we moved in (Ken didn’t like it and took it down,) and the white cornice shelf was left by the previous owners in the craft shed.

I’ve had the china cabinet and buffet for years, so in the room they went, along with my primer painted side table, my kitchen cabinet to coffee table, my farmhouse textured print, a lamp that was my mother’s, the Route 66 chair with a Sherpa throw cover, and bunch of baskets from my stash.

I’ve left out a few things, but as you can see, this list covers many of the items shown.

#2 – Add only necessities.

We purchased the couch, the knitted throw, several throw pillows and a temporary paper shade.

#3 – Choose items that either compliment or tone down the color.

I went with neutral items for a softer look, but going for the glory with blue tones against the pale yellow would create a whole different look.

#4 – Buy paint markers and let the kids use the wall as a canvas.

This may sound far fetched, but when my sister knew she was going to eventually re-paint the kitchen, she let the kids write and draw on the walls.  She even took a picture of their artwork before repainting for them to remember how much fun it was to “write all over mom’s wall.”

#5 – Do nothing and just deal with it until you can change it.

As I’ve mentioned, we have a bright green color in the kitchen and there just isn’t anything that I feel inspired to do to make it more livable.  We’re just going to deal…for as long as we can anyway.

5 tips on living with the wrong paint color -

It’s hardly fancy now, but it’s comfortable and homey.

5 tips on how to live with the wrong paint color -

And from certain angles, the color doesn’t even seem so bad…for now.

PS: You might think this color isn’t bad at all, but the truth is, it reminds me of the walls of my kindergarten room.  Why that bothers me I don’t know.

Isn’t that funny how colors remind you of another place or time and it determines whether you might like the color or not?

You might also like:

25 Use What you have decorating ideas for a basement

Have a great weekend ~ Amy

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16 Responses to Thoughts on Living with the Wrong Paint Color

  1. Anne March 4, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    I can’t stand the paint colour I used in my living and dining rooms. I loved it at the time but it’s so wrong now!!! I would paint it out immediately if I could but it doesn’t make sense since I have to replace all the windows soon… sigh.


  2. chris aka monkey March 4, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    when my kid and her hubs bought this house almost 3 yrs ago i stayed out of any paint projects and just let them do what they wanted, which resulted in salmon walls in living room and kitchen and green and yellow kitchen cabinets, so that is why i am slowly but surely repainting lol xx

  3. Cheryl in Wisconsin March 4, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    Probably not the answer you’re looking for but here are my facts: I cannot live with the wrong paint colors and in fact, often paint over the right paint colors with a new right paint color for a change of pace. I have been referred to as a “chronic overpainter”. Last Thursday I decided I wanted my dining room a different color and by the end of the weekend it was done. In three different rooms in my house I have painted then re-painted a second color all within one weekend. I hate painting, but wrong colors make me twitch. They know me at Sherwin-Williams and have been told to cut me off, but that has been unsuccessful.

  4. sharleen March 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    I used to paint my walls a different colour every two years. I ve slowed down some now and they are lasting until about 5 years.
    When we moved into this house the walls where dark brown..( with dark brown carpet ) !! and they where painted in a faux textured look. Every one said “ya cant get that off by painting over it ” I said ” Watch me” !
    That was the only time I just couldnt live with the paint colour. when it some one elses bad choice. When its my bad choice I can live with it.. and still am. 😀
    Your home is lovely Amy. be thankful its not dark brown on the walls. as in almost black. 😀

  5. Feral Turtle March 5, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Your living room looks like I could curl up on your couch and have a long nap… comfy. I once painted my living room twice in one day as I picked a color that made me want to throw up in my mouth a little. I think I have painted it five times since then. I guess I am a bit of a paint-a-holic.

  6. Feral Turtle March 5, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    P.S. I am loving your craft-shed!! Can hardly wait to see what you do in there!!

  7. Bonnie @ Our Secondhand House March 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    You are so smart to wait to paint. When we moved into our house about 3.5 years ago, every room was painted horrible colors. The master bedroom was lavender, kelly green and pink. I rushed to paint every single room. I love color but this house was full of seriously bad colors. Anyway, I have now painted the family room 3 times and the kitchen and dining room twice. I am about to paint the kitchen again. I wish I had waited and figured out exactly what I wanted instead of just rushing to cover ugly walls.

    • Amy March 9, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      I know, Bonnie, it’s so overwhelming and trends are changing so fast these days. I hope to get inspired as time goes by and hopefully pick some classic paint choices. (good luck with that, right, lol) Thanks for stopping by ~ Amy

  8. Tuula @ Thrifty Rebel Vintage March 9, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    You’re living room looks really cozy Amy. I think it’s a good idea, in theory, to live in a new place for a while before painting, but I’ve never been able to do that. lol. The first thing I always reach for is the paint. haha. I’ve painted the rooms in this house so many time just because I like change. And it’s cheaper to change your decor than change the house. lol. I’m looking forward to seeing your craft shed done!

    • Amy March 9, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

      I wish I had your energy, Tuula, or I wish we would have considered painting before we started moving in. Looks like we’re stuck with pale yellow for the foreseeable future, lol. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Tania March 9, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    I have definitely lived with the wrong paint color before! I don’t think your living room looks that bad at all but that’s easy for me to say since I don’t have to live with it :o)

    I like your tips, especially shopping your own home.


  10. Bliss March 14, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    I live with a paint color I don’t like every single time I paint. Until I paint again…. and sometimes I even have to paint a 3rd time I suck at it so bad.


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