Martha Stewart Paint, Farrow&Ball & Behr all-in-one

I have been doing a little paint research & testing around here. It’s a mess to be honest, test strips everywhere, half painted walls. I did this kind of thing all of the time before kids but its a little crazier now to pull off such a project around the school run/commute, nap times, flying balls etc… But I am determined.  This room will no longer be red.

I was thrilled to cover most of the red this week but it has also been hard to give upthe color.  I’ve had a red dining room since 1998, in three different houses.  Its what I know. I will always love a classic red dining room but for me its time to experiment with something new.  Enter GRAY (or is it GREY?)!;; Not sure where i got this brilliant idea to go gray.  I think the chaos of two boys and their toys and antics has made me reach for a soothing color but I didn’t want to do blue since the bedroom has so much blue .  So I decided gray and I started my search. 

First I looked at the new Martha Stewart line at Home Depot.  Its made by Glidden which I have heard is runny, not great paint but the colors are good, really good in my opinion. I immediately gravitated to SHARKEY GRAY and Bedford Gray for the kitchen walls and maybe dining room (we are opening the wall between the two rooms TOMORROW). I mean if its called SHARKEY GRAY is must be great, everyone knows Kevin Sharkey is Martha’s right hand man and he was even on her cover recently with the grand dame herself..worth buying a sample pot.  I like it, in fact, its very similar to Farrow and Balls’ Elephants Breath…thing is the FB is much better quality paint, a bit “moodier” and sludgier (A thing some husbands dont like) but, well the cost!  FB is not cheap. But is gorgeous paint. And my room is not huge.  just one gallon.

{Farrow and Ball’s Elephants Breath}

In the end I went with Behr all-in-one (paint and primer combined) because it gets rave reviews and I was concerned about covering the red. I chose Behr’s Graceful Gray. Its very similar to Sharkey Gray I think.

And it went on like butter, one coat covered the red!

BUT, the thing is with this room are the vintage green shutters covering the AC unit..that is right, I have an AC window unit in my dining room. classy I know.  Thing is i love the patina on the shutters and hate to change the color. So i am working with green and gray.  Stay tuned to see what happens.

In the meantime I am also trying to decide whether to paint the hutch Martha’s flagstone…

or Farrow& Ball’s Charleston Gray

Although tonight I had a weak moment when i thought “hey maybe i will paint the hutch a funky red/orange/persimmon color” . . .

Farrow& Ball’s Blazer


I know I know, “Country Living March 1985 called and they want their red hutch back!” ha!

My friend Christi had to talk me off the ledge.  My friend Camille says do the hutch putty gray with an updated red color on the back of the hutch..we’ll see what happens!  At this point, I just cant wait to see what it all looks like with the wall open between the kitchen and dining!

Thanks for listening to me go on and on about this….Back to better blogging soon…Holly

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. I love this post. And LOVE LOVE the paint colors. The red may be 1985 but it is BEAUTIFUL and beautiful never goes out of style. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished and with the wall gone.

  2. So glad I just read this! I have a red (actually dark burgandy)room that needs painted. I’ve been putting it off becasue I was dreading the priming, then painting, hoping it covers the dark color….. I will definitely be checking out the Behr paint. I’ve seen the ads, but it is nice to hear from someone that it actually does the job!

  3. LOVE Gray or Grey as they call it. I just painted my “mom cave” in a soft gray-Cathedral Gray by Gildden (I think) anyway I accented it with lots of linen fabrics on the headboard & curtains (AKA-Dropcloths!!!)
    Instead of the red/orange accents you could go yellow-I love yellow & gray paired together. I have seen some yummy fabrics with those two colors. Or what about cream? gray & cream is so yummy.
    Cant wait to see the finished project!!!

  4. I actually took my kitchen from a similiar shade of red to Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray. I did have it mixed in the primer plus formula, though, and just had it color-matched. It covered really well, and it is so much more calm, but it was so hard to say goodbye to the red. I feel your pain.

  5. I bet it’s gonna look beautiful. I think the hutch in a dark muted red would look pretty. I would also use a glaze over the red too.
    I love red though. 🙂

  6. Hi Holly! I have Benjamin Moore Edgecombe Gray in my kitchen for the reason you just mentioned — I wanted gray in the kitchen where it is always so loud and boisterous because it is so peaceful without being boring. And it has turned out that way, calming! The color that is — not necessarily the kitchen! I bet you’ll love it even though I bet it’s an adjustment to go from gray to red I bet! You know I have problem with red. Red, it’s so hard to quit you!

    And I can’t find my paint chip but it is Martha Stewart and I think it’s even called Persimmon. It’s what made me want to paint my front door that! Can’t wait to see pictures when it’s all done!

  7. Janice Ratliff says:

    Holly, I have decided I have an addition….to paint. I started in my office and keep adding another room. It’s a slippery slope! Now, eight rooms in one month. I used the Restoration’s dark grey (Flint) in the game room and love it. And finally after all these years had the nerve to paint my office that red (similar to Blazer). At one time I had 7 colors painted on the walls….it really is the best way to see how the paint will look in your own light. So maybe we start a “APA” addicted to painting anonymous! But my painters love me! Decided to paint the exterior today!! What do you think about black shutters on stucco? Is that out of style? Mine are a teal color now….thinking the front door and shutters would look great in black. I have stucco and stone. xoxoxo

  8. I love the idea of your DR being greens and grays. I’m excited to seeing it all! I have an old armoire in my master bath that I keep my towels and toiletries in (since I put a pedestal sink in there). I love the outside, but a previous owner of the piece painted the inside a dark brown. And it was a dark brown that only reminded you of brown things you don’t want to think about…not a *good* brown. So this past summer I painted it SHARKEY GREY from Martha. And I’m VERY happy with it. The bathroom has a lot of whites, so I wanted something that would be a slight departure but still be neutral. I love the putty side of the gray family…not the cold stoney ones so much. I love that your friend “talked you off the ledge” with the red paint on the hutch..hahaha.!!!…I must admit, though, I think the idea of the orangey-persimmony color sounds exciting… Yeah, those green shutters are perfect! I remember when I saw there was an AC unit behind those…totally shocked!

  9. I love the gray! And gray and yellow look great together. I can’t wait to see the finished room!

  10. well you know i can relate!! 🙂 i’ve been catching up on my favorite blogs today. therapeutic to laugh and see pretty things. i almost went with the charleston gray/grey from FB. it was the first color i tried – so pretty, but it looked better certain times of the day than others…i had a red dining room in our old house (Laura Ashley Brick 6 to be exact) and still kind of miss it. i loved it a Xmas time and food “supposedly” tastes better in rooms with a lot of red. thanks again for your prayers this week! xo, Tess

  11. Haaa, I’m covered in gray paint right now for my dining room!!! I had flagstone by MS in mind, but ended up choosing Behr all in one, I forget what the color is though. Something beige but it is actually a gorgeous gray! i’m loving it so far. We’ll see when I get done. I can’t believe I’m choosing gray for the walls but it was the only color that made sense to me, because I have very vivid colorful stained glass and the gray of the leaded glass is the best neutral I could think of. Maybe I’m crazy. We’ll see. I love the idea of your red hutch, I think we need to go back to 1985 🙂 can’t wait to see what color you end up with!

  12. I can’t believe you’ve had time to paint! And, I like the sound of one coat covering the red. I will have to consider that for our dark green walls (once I stop going back and forth between the blue-gray or the caramel…or maybe I should consider gray! Ha!.

  13. I love anyone willing to share the ups and downs associated with paint! It really is a love/ hate relationship. Can’t wait to see what happens! We’re rooting for you!

  14. Back to better blogging??? This is great!!! The suspense…. the drama… the excitement… LOVE IT! Can’t wait to see how you work your fabulous style on this room!

  15. Better bogging? This is great! Who doesn’t love a post on paint colors?!?!


  16. REALLY excited to see how it all turns out. One thing is for sure, it will be FABULOUS!!!

  17. I am painting 2 walls in my teenage son’s room Maine Lobster – a gorgeous red in the current Martha Stewart collection. He wants gray for the other 2 walls and not sure if a light gray (like Bedford Gray) would lend light, or slightly darker (like Flagstone) would be richer. Since many who posted here have used these colors, I thought I’d ask you to toss in your opinion. All these colors are Martha Stewart.

  18. Chris Cook says:

    We have painted master bath cabinets with Sharkey Grey. We are having some difficulty finding neutral wall and trim colors to compliment Sharkey Grey. Do you have any suggestions? This is a pretty large room. The house is going to be put on the market, so I would prefer keeping the wall colors rather neutral.

Leave a Comment