The Color Palette

We selected most colors for the house pretty early in the project, and picked up a gallon of exterior paint and a couple stain colors when we began the renovation. Since I often switch between exterior and interior projects (depending upon the weather), and also usually replace the standard material lid with an "easy-pour spout" lid, not surprisingly a couple of color codes were (temporarily) lost. I eventually found the original exterior paint lid with the correct color code, but only after many attempts to match the color with paint chips. To avoid this problem in the future, I've listed all the color codes in use on the project here.

Interior Paint Colors

Most walls are finished with a base paint color, then finished with a couple of tinted glazes. The product is Valspar Ultra-Premium® Interior Latex in Eggshell finish, obtained from Lowes.

Prairie Dance Drumskin Caraway Seed
3006-10A  Prairie Dance
This is the base color for most of the interior perimeter walls.
7003-10  Drumskin
This is the base color for the genkan ceiling, the kitchen walls & ceiling, and the highlight tint for glazing.
3005-9C  Caraway Seed
This is only used as a tint to darken glazes.

Interior Stain Colors

Interior wood trim is finished with stain and a clear topcoat. Window casings are finished with Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner followed by Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain (since it dries very quickly). Other interior trim pieces (door trim, baseboards, etc.) are finished with Minwax® Wood Finish™ oil-based wood stain, usually with a few coats to even out the color. Interior tongue & groove paneling is stained with Olympic Maximum® Semi-transparent Exterior Stain, which is an oil-based stain that cleans up with soap and water... very strange, but the stuff works and really does clean up without solvents. Interior wood is top-coated with Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish, which is a water-based, very fast drying clear coat. I usually do a coat or two in satin (so it's easy to see the fresh "wet" coat), followed by a couple coats of semi-gloss scuff-sanded with a medium Scotch-brite pad between coats. The final coat on trim is gloss, which is applied with a chip brush then smoothed with a light drag from a dry foam brush. If I really want that glass-smooth finish, I'll lightly wet-sand the gloss with 400grit sandpaper, and finish with another dual brush applied coat. Interior wood paneling does not receive the final coats of gloss finish, but ends with a dual brush applied coat of semi-gloss.

American Walnut Dark Walnut Puritan Pine
American Walnut
Minwax® Water Based Stain for interior window trim.
2716  Dark Walnut
Minwax® Wood Finish™ Oil-based Stain used on most other interior trim work.
218  Puritan Pine
Minwax® Wood Finish™ used for the base tint for bathroom trim.

Early American Desert Sand Aspen Tan
218  Early American
Minwax® Wood Finish™ used for the final darkening tint on bathroom trim.
Desert Sand
Olympic® Maximum® Semi-transparent Exterior Stain used on the genkan ceiling T & G panelling.
920  Aspen Tan
Olympic® Maximum® Semi-transparent Exterior Stain used on the bathroom T & G panelling.

Other Interior Colors & Surfaces

While all interior wall surfaces around the perimeter of the house are finished with textured plaster then paint and glaze, interior partition walls (except some panelling in the bathroom) are wallpapered with the grasscloth shown below. All wallpaper was obtained from American Blinds, Wallpaper & More (which is now Steve's Blinds & Wallpaper link opens a new window). I've also included a few samples for the flooring, kitchen cabinets and counters, just so I don't forget what we're using.

Grasspaper Wallpaper Fusuma Wallpaper Grasspaper Wallpaper
Natural Grasscloths #488124
This wallpaper is used on nearly all interior partition walls.
Natural Grasscloths #488238
This wallpaper is used on the interior fusuma doors.
Grasscloth Collection #50-65673
This wallpaper is used around the wall base in rooms with tatami mats (the lovely bride's office and the teahouse).

Mountain Pine Brown-Black Night Passage
8MP  Mountain Pine
This Dream Home - Nirvana 8mm Laminate Flooring is used throughout the house, Obtained from Lumber Liquidators.
Nexus Brown-Black
This is the color of the Ikea® kitchen cabinet doors and cover panels.
1845-45  Night Passage
Wilsonart® HD™Laminate used on the kitchen counters.

Exterior Paint & Trim Colors

The exterior siding on the house and outbuildings is painted with Valspar Ultra-Premium® Exterior Paint in Satin finish, obtained from Lowes. The cement siding on the house is pre-primed, so no primer was used. For the exterior on the shed and teahouse, the plywood was primed with Zinsser® Bulls Eye 1-2-3® Primer-Sealer, after sealing any knots with their B-I-N® Shellac-Base Primer-Sealer. Exterior wood siding (in the gable ends and soffits) and trim is stained with at least two coats of Olympic® Maximum® Semi-transparent Exterior Stain on all sides of the wood. I've also included a color sample of the Owens-Corning® roofing, since it's an integral part of the overall palette.

Light Raffia Tobacco Coffee
3008-10B  Light Raffia
This is the paint color used on all exterior painted surfaces.
707  Tobacco
This is the stain color for all exterior rough-sawn wood trim and deck boards.
711  Coffee
This is the stain color for the engawa & tsukimi-dai decking.

Avocado Desert Sand Desert Tan
723C  Avocado
This is the stain color for the clapboard Cedar siding used in the gable ends.
Desert Sand
This is the stain color used on the rough-sawn T & G siding in the soffits.
Desert Tan
The Oakridge® shingle color on the roof.

Concrete & Masonry

There are a few variations in the concrete, mortar and masonry materials used in our renovation projects, so I've added those here for lack of a better place to put them. I found the quality and color consistency for the Indian slate wall and floor tiles from Lowes to be superior to the China slate offered at Home Depot, so all slate from the 16-inch by 16-inch squars for the genkan down to the 2-inch kitchen backsplash mosaics are from Lowes. Mortar and Portland Cement products are from Sakrete®, including Sand Mix for the topping coat on the foundation, and Type I-II Portland Cement used in Hypertufa. Tile mortars, mastic, and grouts are from Laticrete®, with white Fortified Multipurpose Thin-set (gold label) employed for backer-board and Kerdi installation, and grey thin-set for floor tile installation.

Indian Slate Platinum-Grey Grout Sand Topping-mix
Indian Multicolor Slate
Slate tiles from Lowes used in the kitchen, bathroom and genkan.
#1542 "Platinum" & #1524 "Natural Grey"
2 parts Platinum to 1 part Natural Grey Laticrete® backsplash grout.
Sand Mix
Sakrete® foundation topping mix.

This special mix was created to emulate salt & pepper granite.
The materials are mixed by volume as follows:
    2 parts White Portland Cement
    1 part Grey Portland Cement
    3 parts Vermiculte
    2 parts Black Beauty (black sandblasting media)
    1 part Sand
    1 part Peat Moss
    1 part Stone Dust (finely crushed grey stone)
    1 part Perlite
Mix dry, then add enough water to moisten - the dryer the mix the stronger it'll be. Add a little extra water if using molds. After a 24 hour cure, wire brush all exposed surfaces under running water to expose the aggregate, then keep moist and allow to cure another 7 to 10 days.