The Massive Renovation Blunder Joanna Gaines Never Wants To Make Again

The Gaineses renovation skills on "Fixer Upper" may seem mind-blowingly flawless, but that wasn't always the case for this designer duo. Joanna Gaines remembers at least one moment when she made a big mistake on an old fixer upper. "Tell us about a project that didn't go as planned and how you overcame the obstacles," a Facebook Live viewer requested. Chip bounced the question over to Joanna, who explained that in the beginning, designers may be especially tempted to take creative risks. Sometimes these risks turn out great, but leaps of faith don't always go as planned. "There was one project where I was going to spread my wings and I had a $20,000 budget," Joanna said, "It cost $11,000 to paint the house, and I painted the house the wrong color."

Joanna's mistake wasn't just time-consuming and expensive to fix; it also cost her some social credit in the neighborhood. Here's what happened when Joanna painted her house the wrong color, the surprising shade she chose, and how she's used the experience to guide fans toward the best exterior paint colors

A happy yellow gone awry

Joanna Gaines is known to be a very color-savvy designer, often using mindful neutrals and soft earthy tones that play well together. But as a young and inexperienced designer, she decided to step outside her comfort zone and reach for a balmy yellow exterior paint. The Gaines family left to travel while the house was being painted, but when they returned home three days later, Joanna said her neighbors were standing near the driveway, shaking their heads in disapproval. "They wanted to kick her out of the homeowners association," Chip Gaines teased his wife (via Facebook), "She was looking for buttercream, and it turned out school bus yellow." Even Joanna had to admit, "It was neon."

Unfortunately, she had to spend the remainder of her renovation budget on repainting the house, but the valuable lesson spurred some of Gaines' best advice for choosing colors: "Don't go buy those little swatches. You've got to paint a big section before you make a decision." Joanna's first Magnolia Home paint collection launched in 2016. Learning from her mistake, she decided to curate a selection of 25 colors and peel-and-stick swatches that are sure to flatter any home. "I remember sitting there crying ... I don't want people feeling like that, so that was really the heart behind the paint line," Joanna said (via Real Homes).