Anyhow, now that I have found Michelle Molinari at Curb Appeal, I can purchase my paint with confidence! Michelle did another round of mockups for my shutters, this time, with added landscaping. She felt that I might be experiencing disappointment with the color schemes based on an expectation for something that paint alone could not do. I thanked her for helping me to visualize shasta daisies, but assured her that I was just nutty, with a slight dose of OCD.
Here were the contenders for round 2:
Sherwin Williams Flower Pot
Sherwin Williams Foxy
Benjamin Moore Gray
Benjamin Moore Silhouette
I was grooving on the grays she sent, but they were lighter on the picture than on the chip, so I asked her about this. Here's what she said:
What you noticed about the color chips vs. the application of that color on the exterior is TRUE, and one of the major reasons paint companies make their fortunes. As a former color consultant for Benjamin Moore, I would venture to say that almost half the sale of exterior paint to D-I-Yers is due to choosing the wrong color initially, because they are not told that the paint color will always appear lighter than the chip when applied to the exterior. Color perception/saturation is directly related to the amount of light that is bouncing off of it. Exterior light conditions pretty much mimic that of a fluorescent tube light, which washes out most colors. Some high-end paint stores have a light box which has bulbs in it that you can place the color chips in, to see how it will perform inside and outside. The outside setting is simply a fluorescent bulb. The inside setting is a regular incandescent bulb.
In fact, in locations on the Earth that closer to the North Pole, lighter colors appear much richer. A pale butter yellow looks like a light khaki. Conversely, that is why, in tropical regions, houses can have so much more intense color. The equatorial light is so strong, those deep, intense hues look great. In the weaker sunlight of upper Canada, those same exterior colors would look painfully garish. In America, the general rule is to choose a color two shades darker than you think you want. I choose one shade darker in the Northern portions of the U.S. , and 2-3 shades darker in the South. In New Orleans, for example, very dark grays, greens and tans are the norm for the body. The flood of sunlight makes them appear acceptably lighter.
So, I went darker and asked Michelle to do one more mockup of Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron, which looks practically black on the chip. This one, my friends, is the WINNER!
It's softer than what we currently have now:
Seriously, check Michelle out. Here.