Ask an Expert and Paint Fearlessly with CIL Paint

When I look around my home, I see a pattern of neutral colours. Brown shades fill my rooms and halls and I’m starting to think I have a fear of straying from what I deem to be my safe colour choices.

We bought our home five years ago, and since we’ve owned our home, I’ve painted a total of two rooms a non-brown shade. This isn’t counting our daughters’ bedrooms because I painted those back to a beige colour right after we moved in.

I know, I’m such a rebel.

Our daughters are getting older, and it is time for our home to grow up as well. As I look around our rooms, with all of our beige to brown walls, I feel like I want my home to reflect a more mature look. Our family room is the room we use the most, and it is one of the rooms we entertain the most in as well. So it is the perfect place to redesign first.

But there is still some fear.

I don’t want to make the wrong decision because I don’t want to repaint something I don’t like. I am also on my own in colour choices as my husband is colourblind, literally. On our last trip to get paint, he picked out a paint chip and was just going to get it mixed right there without checking to see if it would look good in the room at home (when we got it home, his blue colour actually looked purple — he thought it was green).


With the free CIL Ask An Expert service, I can send in a photo of my room or object and I can ask any question I want about colour choices, products, or advice for preparation and application. I get a response in 48 hours, and I have an expert opinion to consider when making my choices. It’s like having a husband who isn’t colour blind, and who loves design questions.


I sent in the below photo of my family room and asked for colour suggestions. The fear inside of me may have also mentioned that I like neutral tones just in case they were stumped on what to recommend. My CIL expert, Susan, was having nothing of my beige fixation and recommended Pewter Grey (50YY 47/053 CP47). Not only that for a feature wall, she suggested Charred Clay (30YR 17/3410 MC08) which would highlight the brick in our fireplace.


Now, I need to mention here that my husband loves this idea. What I forgot to mention to CIL in my initial email was that I don’t like our fireplace and while I indicated that the fireplace was staying the colour it was, it was only because I lost the ‘can I paint the fireplace’ battle with my husband. So I needed it to just be neutralized.

But then something happened.

Armed with my CIL expert’s advice email, I visited RONA to grab those paint swatches. The fear inside of me also picked up some nice beige and brown (maybe a greenish-brown) colours. Just in case those first choices didn’t look good once I got them home.


I immediately favoured my chosen shades and subconsciously moved the suggested colours to the bottom of my pile. I even held up the exact shade of my family room and contemplated painting it that colour.

I’m such a scaredy-cat.

At the end of my pile lay the two suggestions. Two colours I would have never picked if I was standing in front of a wall of paint swatches. With a deep breath, I held up the swatches.

Then, I realized two things.

The first is that I love the Charred Clay colour that Susan recommended.  I would never have chosen it, and it is now going to be the colour of my feature wall. Not only that, I look at the fireplace differently. It’s not so bad. I can’t wait to get painting and I feel empowered by such a rich bold colour.

The second is that I also like the Pewter Grey colour. I’m inspired to use it in my room, but I’m not sure yet if it is going to be my main colour, or if it is going to be an accent colour in my room design.

I have some decisions to make over the next few weeks, but I’ll reveal all of my final, fearless choices here for you soon. Until then, I have some tips for you when using the free CIL Ask An Expert service:

  1. Try to get the objects in your photo as close to the real colours as possible. Taking the photo at night can add a lot of yellow, while taking the photo in bright daylight can wash a lot of the colour out.
  2. Make sure that everything in the photo is the right colour. Your expert needs to see everything in the picture in the correct colours so they can accurately make a suggestion based on everything. If you just can’t get something the right colour, mention the correct shade in your question.
  3. Give the expert as much background information as you can. There is a big difference between highlighting something you love in a room and trying to neutralize something you dislike.

Visit to receive free personalized advice from the CIL team of experts and check out #CILAskAnExpert to follow my journey.

CIL_logoDisclosure: This post was brought to you by CIL paint. The opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support This Bird’s Day.

Found in House & Home