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Light Refracting Green From Dining Room Color

In a private message, PJ asked for help solving a green dilemma.

The color he was trying to cover seemed to be showing up even though he'd primed and painted one coat ...


I'm republishing his inquiry here in an effort to help others with similar problems.


His pm read:




I recently painted our dining room using the ultra. I first primed with a standard white primer over a medium-dark green that I'm trying eradicate.

I used a warm khaki color over the primer, which on the sample card looks tan. The problem is this room is ranging now from golden tan, green, gray, to beige. I was hoping for the golden tan, which is exactly what it looks like in a different room. There is only one corner of the dining room which actually has this tone.


This room has two rather large windows and receives a lot of light. I chose what I thought would be a neutral color but I really don't want the green under tones that

are created in various places in the room, particularly one corner which receives shadows from a large hutch.


If I paint on a third coat will it fix this problem?


What is a good color for a room like this that will not have so much refraction? Would reds or browns refract a green undertone? More gold-yellow?







Hello PJ!


As you have discovered, lighting is everything when it comes to color!


First, let me ensure you that the green color is not coming from the previous "medium-dark green" over which you primed.


The "warm khaki color" ... "which on the sample card looks tan" actually has either black or blue-green undertones.


The strong light in your dining room is exposing those colors ... refracting them and making them stand out.


Another coat of paint is unlikely to change your results.


If you kept your paint color the same, you'd actually have more luck eliminating green by controlling the light in the room ... red cancels green, so soft white bulbs (which cast yellow/red light) will help eliminate the green appearance.


You might also eliminate most of the daylight from those "two large windows."


But who wants to live in a space with all the daylight eliminated?!?


Certainly not me ... I love daylight!



Go back to The Paint Pit and ask your Paint Associate to print formulas for several other (slightly more gold) colors.


What you're looking for is a formula which contains slightly more gold/yellow and slightly less black/green/blue than the color you're currently painting.


Colors that meet your expectations will be similar, but in daylight will not refract into green.


Once you settle on a less green color, try a sample in several areas and light variations.



Personally, I like Ralph Lauren Devonshire NA212, Plateau NA202, and Safari Tan TH204.

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Posted 2013-02-05T16:38:21+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL

An example from my own eperience:


Several years ago my wife and I went out to shop for matching areas rugs to go on our hardwood floors. Our walls are painted a muddy tan color. We went on a rainy, gray day in Portland. In the store we found a nice design with a kind of muddy tan background with green  and rust  tones in the design.


A couple weeks later the rugs were delivered on a bright, sunny day. As we unrolled the rugs it was obvious that the green was alot more dominant than we had imagined in the store. However, the green and rust colors were also muddy tones which actually did not look bad with the muddy tan walls, so we decided to keep them.


That evening, we turned on the overhead halogen cannister lights and , wonder of wonder, the carpets looked exactly as they had in the carpet store under their lighting on that drab day!


Fortunately, it ended well, but it might have been a dissaster. Those were expensive rugs!

Posted 2013-02-05T17:06:06+0000  by ordjen

Thanks for the great example Ordjen!


It is always the color of light in your home or work space that is critical.



I flew into Portland several years ago while in route to British Columbia.


What an outstanding city!


That entire region has so much natural beauty!


Simply breathtaking!



Posted 2013-02-05T17:27:42+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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