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Workshop walls


Jim Bress
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Hi Folks,

I haven't been on here much because I've been in the transition from preparing to sell my house, selling my house (yeah), then trying to find a new house in this crazy housing market. I finally got a contract and will be closing on it next month. The workshop area is a windowless basement area with very good recessed lighting. The existing flooring is vinyl plank flooring that is showing it's age but is still in good shape so I will be leaving it. The walls however are painted a baby blue. That's got to go. Which got me thinking. Are their ideal colors for workshop walls? Something bright enough to reflect light and not make the shop feel closed in. Other than that I'm kind of clueless about colors that make an inviting creative space to work. Any thoughts? 

Thanks,

Jim

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My workshop has light beige walls, which seems fine and I'm pretty comfortable working in it. Really that's the color that existed when I bought my house. I might prefer some light pine tongue and groove walls instead because it's a wood shop, but I'd much rather spend my time workin in instead of on the shop.

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BTW... Having worked in marketing for a number of years, as it relates to color theory, there are some generalizations that can be made. Blue is generally considered a trustworthy color, which is why its often used by banks and insurance companies as a primary brand color, red tends to be slightly more edgy and aggressive. In a lot of cases specific industries tend to have common color schemes, like orange and yellow for construction. More often though preference is somewhat subjective and circumstantial. For example in food, color preference is different than it is in other areas. Also things like ambient temperature can influence a preference for warm or cool colors in a particular environment. I find that a light color tends to give a greater sense of a larger space as well as making it easier to light the room evenly and consistently.

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12 minutes ago, Mike Atkins said:

...Blue is generally considered a trustworthy color...red tends to be slightly more edgy and aggressive...

I think that the psychological effects of the wall colors are be less important than how they help or impede your view of your work, especially regarding varnish color, but I have no idea what the optimal wall color is.  And of course the lighting makes a difference, too.

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1 minute ago, Brad Dorsey said:

I think that the psychological effects of the wall colors are be less important than how they help or impede your view of your work, but I have no idea what the optimal wall color is.  And of course the lighting makes a difference, too.

I agree. The tag "color psychology" led me to chime in with some additional babble about color.

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Mike, I enjoyed the babble and I do think color and surrounding does affect a persons mood, along with individual likes and dislikes of certain colors. 

Brad, I did think about the affect of background color on varnish color perception. Fortunately there's an adjacent room with natural light coming through a sliding door that I plan to use for varnishing.

-Jim

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Since you are selling I recommend the same color as the room at the top of the steps along with the stairwell, which are the same colors most of the time - make it one neutral color throughout and let it all go!

I've read that a lot of people look down while traversing a potential new home - make the floors look good too.

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3 minutes ago, uncle duke said:

Since you are selling I recommend the same color as the room at the top of the steps along with the stairwell, which are the same colors most of the time - make it one neutral color throughout and let it all go!

I've read that a lot of people look down while traversing a potential new home - make the floors look good too.

My home is already sold. This is for the house I'm purchasing. I will be painting the area that will be the main workshop because it's a baby blue that I really don't like. The best time to do it is right away before setting up the shop. 

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9 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

I enjoyed the babble

I'm glad. Personally I like slightly warmer colors, but lighter... like the light beige in my shop currently. For me warmer, earthy tones are more soothing in an area where I like to relax, but that's more of a personal preference than a rule. My shop is kind of a relaxing environment for me.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Hi Folks,

I haven't been on here much because I've been in the transition from preparing to sell my house, selling my house (yeah), then trying to find a new house in this crazy housing market. I finally got a contract and will be closing on it next month. The workshop area is a windowless basement area with very good recessed lighting. The existing flooring is vinyl plank flooring that is showing it's age but is still in good shape so I will be leaving it. The walls however are painted a baby blue. That's got to go. Which got me thinking. Are their ideal colors for workshop walls? Something bright enough to reflect light and not make the shop feel closed in. Other than that I'm kind of clueless about colors that make an inviting creative space to work. Any thoughts? 

Thanks,

Jim

One question that comes to mind is what type of lighting is it? LED, incandescent, fluorescent? 
The type of lighting has a major impact on how color is perceived and how light is thrown around the room.

Some of the larger paint stores have light boxes that demonstrate the types of lighting. I suggest you take a piece of varnished wood with you, pick out paint chips that appeal to you and see how the light and paint chip might change how you perceive the color of the varnish.

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White is certainly most reflective and provides the best, relatively neutral lighting in an environment. When doing critical color correction of photography in the past, it's interesting that a neutral, 18% gray is typically used to prevent environmental influences on color perception and brightness, where the physical object being matched digitally is placed in a light gray "light box".

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9 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

I am a fan of white walls, they create a brighter environment (especially if the room is small) and do not alter the color of your varnish with their reflection.

White comes in different base colors and actually may change the way the color of varnish is reflected. Depending on the type of lighting. 

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Hi Folks,

I haven't been on here much because I've been in the transition from preparing to sell my house, selling my house (yeah), then trying to find a new house in this crazy housing market. I finally got a contract and will be closing on it next month. The workshop area is a windowless basement area with very good recessed lighting. The existing flooring is vinyl plank flooring that is showing it's age but is still in good shape so I will be leaving it. The walls however are painted a baby blue. That's got to go. Which got me thinking. Are their ideal colors for workshop walls? Something bright enough to reflect light and not make the shop feel closed in. Other than that I'm kind of clueless about colors that make an inviting creative space to work. Any thoughts? 

Thanks,

Jim

Didn't you just recently move?

And are the blue walls in the new house, or are you repainting the walls in the old house, to sell?

Either way, while white is nice, it gets dirty-looking (dingy) rapidly. 

We are repainting our basement (windowless) work/storage areas as well. I painted the small pantry seafoam, and painted the trim white. It's such a cheery colour, I smile every time I  use it.

But...don't want it in the larger area (furnace room/laundry/storage), I think if there's too much of a bright colour, it will get old quick. So I'm considering a green based griege (or is it taupe? Still get them mixed up).

 

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Room size: The room is pretty generous in size ~19ft x 20ft.

Lighting: I can certainly change the lighting. Often I turn off the main lights and just work with task lighting while shaping plates.

White paint: Although I'm not a fan of pure white, I was leaning to some version of off white. Just not sure what direction that should be.

Moving: I seam to do that a lot. I keep aiming for a last move, and keep missing. :)

Ventilation: This will be a hand tool only workshop. The machine room will be in the garage.

Here's a picture of the space (stolen from the internet) with a peak at the room with access to natural light that I think I will use for varnishing.

Property featured at 780 Four Seasons, Westminster, MD 21157

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5 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Room size: The room is pretty generous in size ~19ft x 20ft.

Lighting: I can certainly change the lighting. Often I turn off the main lights and just work with task lighting while shaping plates.

White paint: Although I'm not a fan of pure white, I was leaning to some version of off white. Just not sure what direction that should be.

Moving: I seam to do that a lot. I keep aiming for a last move, and keep missing. :)

Ventilation: This will be a hand tool only workshop. The machine room will be in the garage.

Here's a picture of the space (stolen from the internet) with a peak at the room with access to natural light that I think I will use for varnishing.

Property featured at 780 Four Seasons, Westminster, MD 21157

That's a great room! It looks like it would be a nice space for a workshop too. Seems a bit larger than mine too which is nice. I do have these throw down 12x12 carpet tiles in my shop which are difficult to keep clean, but they're nice for standing long hours at the bench. I'm pretty much hand tools only in my shop too, but I cheat sometimes depending on the task.

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1 hour ago, Mystic said:

White comes in different base colors and actually may change the way the color of varnish is reflected. Depending on the type of lighting. 

You're right, but it's still my favorite wall color, if only for its brightness. Then if you use lime white it is also historically correct, you may have the same reflections that influenced Stradivari:).

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25 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

You're right, but it's still my favorite wall color, if only for its brightness. Then if you use lime white it is also historically correct, you may have the same reflections that influenced Stradivari:).

By the name I was expecting more green. It looks very pleasant. I will need to see it in person. A month ago I had my cataracts removed in both eyes. My color perception really changed. It's amazing what happens when you remove a dirty yellow filter from your eyes. It was fun for the week that only one eye was done. Subtle shades of blue were undetectable with my cataract eye and obvious with my post surgery eye. This was most apparent in green (yellow +blue) where I can now see warmer (more yellow) and cooler (more blue) shades that previously just looked darker or lighter green, but still just green.

 

lime-white-1.jpg

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