Hallway Color Makeover

At one time, I thought having red in the hallway would add life and spark. The palette from a stir stick view seemed to be a good choice.


Lesson Learned: If there isn’t natural light available you’ll need a lighter color than you might think. In fact, less color just might be better. That doesn’t mean you should never choose rich bold colors. It’s all about the light.

I ran out of steam to repaint it. So it’s been the same life sucking color for a few years. NOTE: This endeavor was BHG (Before Hammer Like a Girl not Better Home and Garden).

In the meantime, the hallway suffered some water damage due to a teeny tiny, but persistent roof leak. I hired a local independent, honest and dependable roofer, Anthony Paynter at Affordable Roofing and Construction (206-362-3282) to diagnose and repair the leak.


I then invited Monica and Heidi to help reignite a spark to repaint.  First we needed to repair the water damaged plaster and lathe. Not inspiring work on your own. We got after it so fast that I forgot to get an official BEFORE image. I think you can imagine it based on the photos I do have…Light Sucking Brick Red was the color.

How we got it done:

Step 1: Scraped off the loose Paint/Plaster – We scraped off anything that was loose.

Step 2: Repair the Wall – Using Joint Compound, Plaster Hawk and Trowel plus Heidi’s courage we got through that first part and waited for it to dry. There are many YouTube videos demonstrating how to do this part. And you can also reference a previous post by Heidi. My wall damage didn’t go completely down to the lathe and plaster so it was a surface repair rather than a true wall repair.

Step 3: Sand and Prime the Area – We sanded the repaired areas to make sure they were level/flush with the original wall surface. We weren’t fussy about duplicating the exact wall/plaster texture. Lack of light now became our friend. Next, we primed both the repaired areas and the rest of the walls since I was going with a much lighter color.

Step 4: Select and Paint over the Light Sucking Brick Red color – The fun part!  Without doing a big test we selected the color by walking from room to room with a couple different color swatches. The final color we selected was Benjamin Moore’s Sea Spray. It has a very slight green tint that shifts to slightly yellow depending on the angle/light. We chose Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa, Matte Finish as the base. The bathroom is one of the rooms right off the hallway. I wanted to be certain that even if moisture escaped from a shower it wouldn’t damage the wall over time. I’d rather not repair and paint the hallway again.


Final Result: I can breathe and feel refreshed as I enter the hallway. It’s hard to believe I waited so long.

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5 thoughts on “Hallway Color Makeover

  1. Oh my gosh! It looks fabulous – I think this was one of the jobs you were waiting for Charlotte and I to help you with after the kitchen floor :)

  2. Love the new look, I was into the reds 6-7 years ago and painted both kids rooms shades of red, I’m now in the process of painting them more neutral. I hope I don’t need too many coats to cover. I love your grandpa’s old Auction Sale sign. So cool that you have that.

  3. Hello again, hero ladies! Nice job on the painting! I have the same brick color in my bathroom (the one with pinkish tile with brick (ish) trim… (circa 1941) but I have great light! Just to update you: my kids have moved in on the main floor and painted the living and dining rooms after 6 years of remodeling…. Finally!!! I live in the basement, which is about 1/2 done… so we are making progress, and hope to build a backyard cottage in the next couple of years. Will keep you posted! Til then, I am relaxing in my newly recovered chaise lounge outside under the apple tree! Hope to meet you gals someday soon! Catherine ( how bout coffee near the ReStore?)

  4. Hey, love your blog. Weird question: Where did you get that “Auction Sale” piece in your hall? I feel like I have sold that at an estate sale (I manage the sales for Foss Appraisal,) but can’t remember which sale.
    Thanks for the color advice, our new hall is like a dark tunnel, even though it is currently white. No dark colors, duly noted.

    • Thank you Alison. We’ve been enjoying our awesome Seattle summer so, a little slow on new posts these days :). Thanks for letting us know you are out there. The Auction Sale poster in my hall is an original Newspaper Advertisement from the Midwest. The framing is all acid free so I’m hoping it will stick around for a long while. We’ll be up and posting again when the rains return. Ok, so maybe you’ll see a couple more this summer. Thanks again for checking us out.

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