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  1. #1
    MwTech Inc is offline Stainless
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    Am doing a renovation of about a 3000 ft area? What color is best for the walls? Looking for ideas, pictures. All white to me would seem sterile, cold. End result I want is a sharp looking shop. Andy

  2. #2
    surplusjohn is offline Diamond
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    very light nuetral or grenish grey, satin sheen

  3. #3
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    bluchip is offline Stainless
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    If not white, something putty, beigh, buff,etc.

  4. #4
    jkilroy is offline Diamond
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    Something dark (to hide dirt) up about five feet and white above that.

  5. #5
    Access Db Guy is offline Senior Member
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    Way back in the 1950s the US Navy did a study on what colors the interior of submarines should be.

    From this study I know of at least two outcomes:

    a. Orange, and related colors, are psychologically "busy," hence folks are uneasy around them - which is why many fast food outlets (like old Howard Johnson restaurants) used similar colors - get the customer in - feed them - get them to want to leave for faster turnover of seating.

    b. The Navy's studies also showed that a color like Cornflower Blue was "quieter" than other colors.

    Perhaps these tidbits might help you in deciding.

    Regards,
    Stan Db

  6. #6
    spope14 is offline Stainless
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    Mine are teal and white. I like them. However, preference comes to mind here. My home shop is what ever paint I have left from the last paint job in the house.

    I have seen a lot of shops where the line above four feet is white, the line below is gray or a darker color.

  7. #7
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    Mud
    Mud is offline Diamond
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    Something dark (to hide dirt) up about five feet and white above that.
    Ditto. We painted my shop walls gray on the bottom, Designer white on the top, with a 1 foot wide blue stripe where they meet, about 5 feet up. Works great, and visitors comment on how nice it looks.

    FWIW studies have shown that blue is a soothing color.

  8. #8
    Carl Darnell is offline Titanium
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    If you want the shop to look brite and be well lit use white. If you want the shop to be dark and hard to see in use any other color.

  9. #9
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    Milacron is online now Diamond
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    The toolroom area of CFS in Savannah (the business where the scraping class was held) has backwalls of OSB board painted (gloss or semi gloss) *black*, and I was surprised that it actually made for a rather pleasant looking background. I think it's critically dependent on having lots of light with a black background however.

  10. #10
    LD
    LD is offline Senior Member
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    Light glossly colors reflect the light. Greens don't offend anybody but look like a hospital. Blues are very lovely, oranges look like a carrot patch. Any earth tone, tan, grey, beige will be fine. Paint some bright red or blue lightening bolts to break up the monotony.

    If I were doing over I would look at a Terra Cotta color.

    Put some unpainted 4x8 sheets of galvanized behind the grinder.

    If you don't have a lighting problem, Paint it whatever you like. I have not seen a black toolroom as D. Thomas describes, but I bet it would look great against machinery.

  11. #11
    ColoradoBoy is offline Stainless
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    A lot of the big paint stores sell lots of 'white' which is really 'off white' of some variant. Their most popular versions are usually on a large sample card, at least for the commercial paint outlets.

    You can always try a quart on your wall before buying enough for the whole shop. They won't take it back unless they made a mistake in mixing. It always looks different on your wall than in the store anyway, more so if using other colors also.

    Have fun.

  12. #12
    dave swanson is offline Plastic
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    I have had a shop with gray cement floors and open studded walls (dark), gray cement floors and white walls, walls with the lower four feet painted a light brown to hide dirt, and white floors and all white walls, and this is what I have observed.

    If you look straight out at the shop one third of your sight is the floor; one third is the walls, and one-third the ceiling. As you move you head around, your eyes are constantly adjusting to the amount of light received, which is related to the reflection off the background colors. To reduce fatigue, the walls should have a similar light reflectivity as the floor and to a lesser extent the ceiling.

    If your walls are white, or a light color and your floors are dark this will cause your eyes to servo all day long as you move your head about. I would say, try to match the light reflectivity in choosing the colors; if the floor and ceiling are dark, choose a darker color for the walls.

    The best situation would be if you could epoxy paint the floors white, AND the walls white, or some light color. When I did this to my shop I was amazed at the effect it had on the work environment and how much longer I could work in the shop before I felt the same level of fatigue. Even if you are welding on the floor or other dirty activities that will mess up the paint over time, the white painted floor will help with your vision in the shop.

  13. #13
    CharlieBiler is offline Hot Rolled
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    I must agree with the fellows above about white shops. My current shop has white walls and a very light grey floor. The celing is white tile and the mental level is very soothing. A lot of the other shops have colored walls. The result is twofold. With any color, pick any one, the light levels must be doubled to get the same visibility as honkey white. To keep the place clean looking, we paint the place once a year. For a machine shop with torches and welders; that ain't bad.

    My house, including the basement, is light green floor with white walls and celing. The trim is all clear finish oak. Some areas are hardwood floor and those are also clear finish. Stain, to me, might as well be black paint.

    Have you ever worked in a shop where someone had painted walls of color and floors that were painted dark? You need a flashlight to see a quarter inch drill bit on the floor. My last real employer had the bad habit of painting the most garish colors on everything. I used a floor grinder and removed all the layers of paint from the floor, in my area. I then sprayed the entire wall areas semi gloss white and the floors got a really light terra cotta in semi gloss. There were no windows but I painted faux trim around the doors in the lightest gray I could get. My benches got the same ultra light grey. I noticed that suddenly my work area was the place everyone wanted to sit or work. The other shops were dungeons in comparison. Some of the guys bitched that my celing was higher and I had more floor space. All the celings were the same height and all the lighting was exactly the same. A lot of tape measures were laid on my floor too. A few photographs and charts on the walls really make the place look like home.

    The other shops continued to get bright colors and the 'experts' said my shop reminded them of grandma's kitchen. I considered that the highest praise. My grandmother's would have swatted someone with a cast fryer if they dare to touch those white walls and celings. My maternal grandmother had light green floors and my paternal grandmother insisted on clear white oak floors. White indeed does show dirt and they wanted to see the dirt. That way they could get rid of the dirt with lye and bleach. They washed the walls and celing twice a year and when they were too old, your's truly did the wiping for them. The skin on my hands would still fall off if I think about it too much.

    Walk around and spend some time in several areas. Then make up your own mind.

  14. #14
    GregSY is offline Diamond
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    white, for all the reasons noted.

  15. #15
    MwTech Inc is offline Stainless
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    Thanks for the good ideas so far. I like the answer from Mudflap using the three colors. Must say I stand corrected about using white, but then that's why I asked. Don't know it all. andy

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