America’s favorite color

Paint chips. How seductive.

Paint chips. How seductive.

Now that I’m almost done packing the main floors of our Rochester house, I’ve started to look at paint chips. The walls are in great shape; they just need updating. Since my New Jersey friend is thinking of painting her studio, we went to a paint store together. First, she showed me some samples of a Benjamin Moore paint called Revere Pewter, which is apparently everywhere.

I enjoy painting walls almost as much as painting on canvas. Books of paint chips are tremendously seductive, with their lustrous, creamy, perfect surfaces. It takes no big encouragement for me to get into a painting project.

The sales clerk repeated what my friend had just told me, that Revere Pewter was Benjamin Moore’s best-selling color. Evidently, this is part of something called their Candice Olsen Designer Picks collection, which probably means more to HGTV viewers than to me. Nevertheless, I like Benjamin Moore paints and the color appeals to me.

I do believe that will work just fine with my moulding.

I do believe that will work just fine with my moulding.

If you’ve paid attention to my canvases, you know I’m a big fan of deep, full, high-chroma color schemes. But neutrals have their purposes, and one of them is allowing people to see past you and imprint their own ideas on a space.

Artists love painting and showing in rooms with grey walls. Grey doesn’t reflect color or compete with what’s happening on the canvas. Moreover, most greys flatter skin tones and are restful.

Every spring, Gamblin Artists Colors collects pigments through their air filtration system and recycles them into a paint they call Torrit Grey. The exact tone of this paint varies from year to year depending on what they’ve sucked through the system. Artists love this grey for mixing. It is always complex and full of overtones, and Gamblin gives it away for free.

There are three aspects to color: hue (its position on the color wheel), chroma (how intense it is) and value (how light or dark it is). Greys don’t have hue or chroma. Like Torrit Grey, America’s favorite wall paint color isn’t actually a color.

Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit for more information.