The Materials

The Paint Colors!

All right, so everything above is what I used. I used Behr brand paint (the Premium Plus Paint and Primer in One, just cause that’s what I always use and it’s never let me down.)

I agonized over what shade I should paint my walls. There’s such a stark contrast between the Portal 1 and 2 room designs. Portal 1 has white, surgically-clean chambers, while Portal 2 has a more rugged run-down feel, especially in the “retro” testing rooms. I knew I would probably never be able to recreate the sharp appearance of the Portal 1 rooms without it looking cheesy, so I decided to aim more towards the Portal 2/retro testing chamber theme. I found quite a bit of Portal 2 props and artwork online, and found plenty from the “Cave Johnson” era, so I figured I could make this happen.

To match the run-down look, I aimed more towards a warm gray tone for the walls. For the base color, I went with a color called “Perfect Taupe,” then picked 1 and 2 shades darker for the lines/blending. “Elephant Skin” was the medium color, and “Mined Coal” was the darkest color. For the panels, I used the medium colors to dry-brush a wide area of shading, then went in with the darker color to do a straight line. I thought about using black, but in the end, thought this look alone gave me enough of a “panel” appearance.

The Orange and blue colors were tough to decide on as well. When you play the game Portal and look at the colors used, there are all kinds of shades. There’s the yellow-orange (the dots), then the red-orange (the jumpsuit). There’s the sky-blue (the dots), then the more aqua color (various artwork). I decided to go with a richer color for each, and decided if it was too much I could just mix white into the colors to lighten them. The blue was a Behr-brand color called “Azurean,” but the Portal orange I actually got off a WalMart paint chip, and had Home Depot color-match it.

I was able to paint my whole room with a gallon and one quart of the base color, and I only needed a quart for the medium color, and the sample sizes jars for the rest.

In addition to the standard paint tools, I decided to invest in a Laser level that has a push-pin on it that you can stick into the wall and have it map out your lines for painting. This. Saved. My. Life! I don’t know how long it would have taken me, and how crooked the lines would have looked, had I not used this tool. At $18, it was worth it.

So there you have it, my arsenal of Portal-creating tools!

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