Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…Say What?!

If I said to you, “that’s a lovely shade of Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel you’ve got there” would you really believe I was talking about a color? Well you better believe it! Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel (herein referred to as “Clay Angel” because Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel is just too much to type!) is the lovely, subtle, grayish clay color we have painted the majority of the living spaces in our new house.

As many of our devoted readers may recall, we used a paint color called “La Fonda Mirage” on the front door of House #1. There was a great story behind this paint color and the reason for all of these funky names is because these paint colors are part of Valspar’s National Trust for Historic Preservation collection of paints. Again, you can read more about that here and here.

When paint shopping for House #1, we always admired these National Trust for Historic Preservation colors, but for some reason, we just didn’t end up using any of them in the beginning. Now, we are all about these. There is something so intriguing and inspiring about using colors that are designated for such renowned landmarks. What’s funny about all of this is that if Andrew and I had our druthers (and millions of dollars) we would find old historic places and fix them up, which is exactly what the National Trust for Historic Preservation is all about; yet more proof as to why we are drawn to these colors.

Andrew and I both love to travel and we have seen much of the U.S. together. We are wholly inspired by our travels, but we are also very much inspired by our roots, which are deeply planted in the Pine Barrens of Southern (and Central!) New Jersey. Thus, using these paint colors makes us feel like we’ve got a unique, yet personal, little slice of Americana right in our own home.

So, what’s the scoop behind Clay Angel?

Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel PaintThe photo above makes the color look very clay-like and almost pink, but I’d have to say that it errs on the site of subtle gray in our living room, downstairs hall and stairway.

Before painting in the living room

Living room before paintingAfter painting with Valspar Hotel St. Francis Clay Angel…

Living room after DIY paintingThe color comes from Hotel St. Francis (obviously) which is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to their website, the hotel has a rich history that dates back to 1924 when the hotel first opened its doors. The hotel, at the time, was described as an “early Californian Mission Revival with a touch of European elegance”, which seemingly still rings true today based on the looks of the place.

We are also using another National Trust for Historic Preservation color in this house. This one, which just so happens to also come from the La Fonda Hotel, also in Santa Fe, also from the same exact collection as our other House #1 front door color, “La Fonda Mirage”, is called, “La Fonda Ecru.”

Valspar La Fonda Ecru PaintThis very light, buttery cream-type color is nice and cheery in the room we have dubbed “the small room.” It’s small, yet powerful! With the back door slider, this room is SO bright and lovely. We plan to use this room as a guest space/closet overflow area.

Small room with new La Fonda Ecru paintSmall room after paintingIt seems as though, for some reason, we have really gravitated toward colors with a Southwester flare. Our overall style definitely doesn’t scream, “New Mexico!” (we don’t decorate with dream catchers and crazy, vibrant Mexican blankets or coyote sculptures, the list goes on…) but borrowing these natural neutrals from this South of the Border-style color collection seems to be right up our alley.

Rusty Handrails

We’ve painted or refinished just about everything we can in this house so far, and we’re not stopping anytime soon. OK, that’s an exaggeration. We’ve painted a lot of stuff in our house, and we’ve got some more stuff we’d like to paint or refinish.

This weekend we tackled a project we’ve been putting off forever. We gave ourselves a deadline on this one so that we would finish before the end of September. It turned out to be a simple project that we got done in a day.

Old White Iron Handrail

Those were our handrails on the steps leading to our front door. Nice and rusty, right? And why were they painted white?

Rusty White Handrail

 

I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture, but there’s a coat of black paint under the white. These are nice solid iron handrails that deserve better than a chipped and rusted finish.

Iron Rail Refinishing Tools

Stripping Metal Handrail

I used a 3M Drill Mounted Rust and Paint Stripper to remove all of the crumbling finish, and it worked really well. It was pretty loud, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.

Stripped Metal Railing

After about an hour or two of stripping the finish off, and that’s what I was left with.

Iron Railing Refinished

For our new look, we chose a matte black spray paint and primer in one from Rustoleum. This is the same stuff we used on our shutters. Everything matches! Woo hoo!

Handrail Matching Shutters

This was a pretty simple DIY, and I don’t know why we waited so long. Neither of us are too sure about the matte finish, but we’ll see how it holds up in the coming winter months.  Overall I think refinishing the handrails brings the whole look of the front of the house together pretty pleasingly.

I See a Purple Door and I Want it Painted Blue

If you’ve been keeping up with us, you already know we recently gave our house a major facelift. We refinished and replaced shutters on every window for a bold, sophisticated, modern, clean look that we just love. This entire project had us wondering why we didn’t tackle the shutters and doors much sooner, because that dingy, faded purple-ish, lilac-y color was – let’s be honest – awful!

We always knew we wanted to paint our front and back doors, but for whatever reason this project was just not that high on the to-do list. We are so happy we made this a priority because it was super easy the results are fantastic.

Old shutters and front door

Updated shutters and front door

With the new shutters in place and the newly painted doors, we just can’t get over how much better the house looks! Enough about how excited we are for this update, now for the story behind the color.

As I always say, we are Lowe’s people and Lowe’s carries Valspar paints so our entire house is pretty much covered in it. You may or may not know this, but Valspar does this really cool thing where they are partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation (you can read more about that here). So with this partnership, Valspar sells 250+ different colors “from historic places across the country and representing American colors from a variety of periods and styles.”

We’ve always wanted to pick one of these Historic Preservation colors for a paint job, but we’ve somehow never managed to do so…until now!

Valspar La Fonda Mirage front door

The pretty Robin’s egg blue type of color we chose for our front and back doors is called “La Fonda Mirage.”

Valspar La Fonda MirageThis color came from the Southwestern palette of the National Trust for Historic Preservation collection. La Fonda on the Plaza is a Historic Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fonda is synonymous with “Inn” and the history of this location dates back to the early 1600s when the Spaniards founded Santa Fe. According to the hotel’s website, historical records suggest the building sits on the oldest hotel corner in America.

Pretty cool, huh? And now our doors are representing a color from this awesome piece of history. It’s definitely fun to paint with these colors and look up the meaning behind them. Kinda makes me want to paint something else very soon! Maybe the living room??

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