I fell in love with a wall (feature wall painting)

by - May 29, 2023

One of our favourite coffee spots is Passport Specialty Coffee in Northgate, Brisbane. They do divine coffee beans and, I, the person who can barely smell and has reduced taste due to constant congestion from hay fever allergies, can clearly taste the difference. Anyhow, this story isn't about their coffee. This story is about how Passport Specialty Coffee tried and failed to paint their shop interior the colour of Australian passport blue.

Boyfriend Pham discovered this place in a chance drive-by and was very excited to bring me here for a coffee date the following weekend. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the unassuming brick building was how warm and welcoming the vibe was. The place emanates quality and class without a hint of snobbery. They're keen to educate people who want to learn and serve delicious brew to those who simply want a good coffee.

I got a good chance to absorb the space and analyse why I loved the feel so much when we sat upstairs in the mezzanine space to wait for our coffees. I realised it was the deep purple-blue colour of their wall offset by the warm, wooden furnishings and coppery gold trims that made it feel cosy and classy. We spoke to Passport's owners about their wall colour, and they explained they weren't happy with it. It was meant to be passport blue but after five coats on a white base, the colour didn't come out with more purple than they wanted.

I became obsessed with their incorrect colour and have fantasised about having a feature wall in this shade for over a year. Christmas break 2022 Boyfriend Pham turned my dream into a reality after 6 months of research and sampling colours. I wanted Passport purple-blue for the feature wall I look at while sitting at my home office desk.

We got sample dark blue pots and Boyfriend Pham smeared patches on the walls but they were all too blue with no hint of purple. So we went back to Passport to learn where they'd gotten their paint. One of the owners, Aaron, kindly dug up the CMYK colour code on his laptop and even printed it out for us. He directed us one minute up the road to the local paint shop PaintRight Virginia. We went there to get the CMYK colour converted into a paint colour after some coaxing from Boyfriend Pham who luckily is a graphic designer and has done print production and apparel production and understands how these conversion things work. We got there in the end and came home with some sample paint.

Boyfriend Pham did more sample splotches and bingo! We'd found our colour. Over Xmas break, we got all the paints and undercoats and tools from the gentlemen at PainRight who stepped us through the items we needed and gave us tips. I then sat on the couch and offered words of encouragement to Boyfriend Pham who did all the sanding, washing, prep, painting and cleaning.

I think the main issue Passport Specialty Coffee encountered was their painter used a white base coat and because we were newbies to house painting, we didn't make any assumptions and asked PaintRight what we should use. The experts told us we needed to use grey and ordered it in for us since it's rare for people to use bold colours in their house - they only had 1L when we needed 2 for another feature wall upstairs. Our wall is a lot more midnight blue in certain lighting but still quite purple during the day without any unnatural light on it. I love the colour because of the way it shifts throughout the day as the sun goes up and down and we turn on our lights.

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