Who Needs The Gym When You Can Paint

I admit I haven’t been to the gym since November, and I just finished eating girl scout cookies. Judge away. So while I’ve been eating cookies and not exercising, I have been painting and I entirely forgot just how much exercise painting is. Or maybe it’s not and I’m that out of shape, but I felt it in my arms, shoulders, and abs. That said, I really should get back to the gym…juuuusstt after I finish this next cookie.

So while I wipe the crumbs off my keyboard let me tell you about this whole painting thing. Despite my sarcastic very serious blog post here on choosing a paint color, I have to say that once we chose the living room color the rest of the paint pallet for the house came together easily. I know the big thing in design are either these bright funky colors and patterns or very cottage like. I had to put aside all these design ideas all over blogs, tv, etc. and decide what I liked. What we liked. It came down to this: We both like color, but we both like muted color. The colors that we can easily change the decor and not have to repaint. The colors that will enhance the beautiful wood work and custom features in the house instead of compete with it. We also wanted to really stick to as few colors as possible. So our paint pallet for the house ended up being this:

DSC_2291All of the colors we chose were Sherwin-Williams. It’s our preference paint first because it’s good, but as mentioned a long time ago in a full disclosure we have access to it at an affordable price because of the industry my husband is in. Honestly though, I would likely buy it anyway even if we didn’t. I think everyone just has the paint they are comfortable with and for us it’s Sherwin-Williams.  I also really love that the Promar-200 (contractor paint) is VOC free. It makes painting in the winter tolerable and dare I say, pleasurable?

The first area of painting was our living room, which is Dover White (SW 6385). It’s a white that is warm with slightly yellow undertones but barely so. We chose it because we decided to have a nice range of cool and warm colors throughout the house to keep it balanced. This color will also go throughout the entire open kitchen area once we renovate the original house, and is also in our staircase area primarily. It’s the “overall” color of the house I guess you could say.

DSC_2306As with most paint colors, it changes dependent on light and the area it’s in. The staircase showcases this well. On the underside it looks like a warm white, but on the flat wall without the direct light it looks more yellow. DSC_2036-01In the room just to the left of this staircase we decided to go with Realist Beige (SW 6078). It’s a beautiful warm light brown. I had always been against any color that said “beige” in it, but I’m really happy with this. Truth be told, if I hadn’t been trying to match the leftover Edgecomb Gray we had from a previous paint project (Benjamin Moore color, color matched to Behr paint) I wouldn’t have chosen it simply because I wouldn’t have been able to picture it on a wall and I would have had trouble with the name beige. Consider me a convert I guess because this color is truly beautiful on the wall.

DSC_2305The photo below shows the slight contrast between the Edgecomb Gray in the closet, and the Realist Beige on the walls. In natural light it’s almost a light brown with a grayish undertone but still warm, but when the artificial light hits it (like the photo of the swatch above) it becomes a beautifully warm brown. Either way it’s a really pretty satisfying color and most definitely the dark horse.

DSC_2103-01In the upstairs bedrooms we decided to go with cool tones, using a light gray for the master bedroom called Eider White (SW 7014). It’s similar to the Reflection color we used last year in the original part of the house right before our appraisal, but it’s a warmer gray. I always think of gray as being slightly cool no matter what but I guess it’s the warmer of the non-beige gray tones {I feel like I’m making no sense, but hopefully you get what I mean}.  We originally were going to stick with Reflection but I decided I wanted a gray that was a little less blue so Eider White it was. I have yet to paint the master bedroom, but on the swatch and in the can it looks like the perfect gray. Cross your fingers!

DSC_2303For the last two areas of the addition we decided to use the same color, called Sea Salt (SW 6204). Andy mentioned wanting to do an accent color on the back wall of our tall staircase to give it a little dimension but we didn’t want something bold. As well, I really wanted a soft calming color in the other upstairs bedroom which will be the guest bedroom for now but eventually a nursery. We both thought it would work well to have these two areas be the same color and to help keep the two areas of the house cohesive and tied together.

DSC_2304This is without a doubt my favorite color of the bunch. I had been eying it for months and kept coming back to it. I showed my Mom and she laughed because it is apparently the same color she painted the downstairs of her house. This color has the most change between natural and artificial light going from an almost steely gray with very slight green undertones to a warmish blue-green (like the photos below). That description does it no justice but I highly recommend it. It’s gorgeous.

DSC_2312DSC_2308Overall we’re happy, but I’m also relieved I have a general paint pallet to go off of when we re-do the original house which takes some stress off. We may not use the exact colors here (except in the kitchen/open area which will be Dover White) but they will either be from the same pallets or complementary pallets.

As far as the addition goes here are the next steps:

  • Paint the master bedroom
  • Paint a second coat in the upstairs and downstairs bedrooms
  • Paint the stairwell
  • Finish the electrical hookups in the entire addition
  • Lay the flooring
  • Build the staircase including treads, posts, balusters, etc.
  • Sand the beams in the upstairs bedrooms
  • Seal the beams (we’re not painting or staining)
  • Trim the doors, windows and flooring out

Now, where are those cookies?

xo,

Heather

P.S. I have a Public Service Announcement: Eat the lemonade Girl Scout cookies you haven’t. If you’re as lemon flavor obsessed as I am, including fake lemon flavor (it’s a guilty pleasure), you will not regret it.

A Paint Color Choice Method Which Is Going to Sweep the Nation Like Those Shamwow Things Which, By The Way, Are Actually Awesome.

I have a very distinct method of choosing paint colors. It’s very effective and may sweep the nation as the best way to choose a paint. Consider yourself lucky to have a sneak peek of such an innovative method. Please note this method should be accomplished with good lighting, but only at the time of day in which said good lighting is quickly fading. Also, wear sweatpants and unwashed hair in a messy bun on the side of your head that’s falling. Any wispy hair sticking straight out is a bonus. If you have short hair it must be plastered sideways to your head in a crazy cowlick like you just woke up after sleeping on the side of your face all night smushed into the pillow at an awkward angle. It’s critical to the process.

Step one:

Gather a ridiculous amount of paint samples and then choose a handful you think might work with your style. In our case this meant a color which would work with a wide variety of different kinds of wood all within what will be open view of each other.

DSC_1635-01Step two:

Walk around your house what feels like fifty times comparing each potential sample to every kind of wood that is currently in the house which will be in view of said paint color. Then, take a piece of flooring for your living room and put all the paint samples on said piece of wood.

DSC_1649-01Step three:

With great attention and conviction, analyze the colors in the flooring against the paint samples and start placing samples to the side that you know just won’t work. Don’t throw them away though, because they might work and you might change your mind and you just don’t know. Take a deep breath.

Step four:

Find more paint samples you forgot about and even though you really hadn’t thought of going in the direction of a cooler color, and you’re concerned about being jammed into a corner style wise by having a punchy color on the wall, put those samples up anyway.

DSC_1651-01Step five:

Step back, cringe at the new samples, and immediately remove them from the running. These ones go in the recycling. Oh wait, no, take them back out, you might want to use those colors in another room. Phew! That was close.

Step six:

Take your remaining colors and place them on your plank of wood and then walk around your room to all the different kinds of lighting because you refuse to spend any money on an actual paint sample you could paint on each wall and watch how the color changes throughout the day.

DSC_1654-01Step seven:

Start weaning down your samples again after eying every possible lighting scenario you can find. Before you start discarding though, make sure to walk around a minimum of twenty five more times to compare them to every thing that is important the paint goes with. Make sure to throw the paint samples you don’t want in the recycling. For real this time. Except don’t take it out yet. Just in case.

DSC_1670-01Step eight:

Narrow it down to two and then show your significant other so they can help you pick the color. No significant other? Just have your dog nose one. Or cat paw one. Or rip them into tiny shreds and then put them in a mug and toss it around and the first color you pick out is the color you’ll be painting. Of course you’ll likely change your mind anyway so this is a totally worthless step.

DSC_1681-01Step where the heck are we at now?

You’ve picked your final color. Phew! It’s about time. Hang this color up on your board until you’re ready to buy paint.  (Also, make sure your photo doesn’t really show the color properly, because in person it’s actually a lot creamier and yellow then in the photo below). Now go take a shower and fix that crazy hair you stinky minx.

DSC_1685-01Step oh dear goodness gracious just buy the paint already….

But not before you change your mind – again! The night before you go buy paint for your living room, which will also be the color to your open concept kitchen area, have a conversation with your significant other which results in it turning out they don’t really like the color anyway and you realizing it’s way too yellow and you’re really more of a neutrals person who likes to have color with accessories. Take your paint sample book from your favorite paint company and give it to your significant other and tell them to pair it down to a few colors they think would work. They will then hand you a bar of colors and tell you they would like if it could be one from that bar. You immediately zone in on one color. Oh wait, nope, the other one. Oh but look at that one. Choose a color from the bar of swatches in approximately two minutes. Google photos of the final color you like and realize it’s perfect. Or you know, it will do and you’ll like it. Probably. Good enough.

Your choice for this round?

doverwhiteStep congratulations you’ve actually finished picking your color now put your samples away and stop looking at them, enough is enough.

Do not go to the store to order your paint. Call it in. This way, it’s all mixed up and you can’t change your mind once you get there and see all of the other potential colors. By this point you’re ready just to have the paint anyway and you’re over picking colors.

You’re done!

You’ve finally picked your color, you’ve picked up your paint, and now it’s just time to get those brushes stroking and those rollers rolling. Spread this method, you are sure to be a hit among your DIY friends. They will have no idea how you became so efficient and precise in your color choosing ways.

xo,

Heather

Kitchen Reveal

Drum Roll Please.

The painted kitchen.

I could say I was over the moon excited, and I would have expected this emotion – but it’s not there. Not because it isn’t awesome to have a freshly painted kitchen. It surely is. Not because I don’t feel accomplished. I do. I completely feel accomplished. What I’m feeling is relieved & happy. Not only is the kitchen finally not a nasty blue color with waves all through the walls, which the photos don’t show, but it finally flows with the rest of the house. As a reminder, here’s the before from just days after we moved in 4 years ago.

With plenty of sanding, caulking, joint compound, re-caulking certain areas, sanding again, painting, accidentally touching up with one shade darker, retouching up with the correct color, I and my right shoulder are just relieved to be done and have it flow into the rest of the house.

So what color is it? Benjamin Moore (or Sherwin-Williams?) Edgecomb Gray.

It’s more beige in person, with only a slightly gray tint. A little more like this.

I have debated on painting the cabinets too, but it’s honestly a lot of work for not much payback considering we’re not reusing them in our kitchen down the line. It might be easier to sell them too if we keep them oak. I’ll have to think about it. In the mean time, I’m so happy the kitchen is finished.

One of the things I did do was sand down the laminate/plastic backsplash behind the sink and stove with a palm sander before painting it. Scrap that. I only did it behind the stove. I paid for it behind the sink and had to touch it up when it didn’t adhere right. Also – don’t let anyone touch your sink before your paint dries. It gets water on the paint and ruins it. Make them use the bathroom sink for an hour. Ahem, boys. All in all, it looks a lot better than the weird fake stone. It’s not all puppy dogs riding unicorns while eating lollipops, but it’s a lot better.

A few direct job related things I learned along the way:

  • A little caulking goes a long way
  • There is a technique to caulking, but it takes no time to pick up.
  • It’s impossible to paint trim without getting the cabinet when you have less than an inch to work in.
  • Cleaning up paint from laminate counter tops is as easy as 1,2,3.
  • 1.) gently scrape it with a drywall knife
  • 2.) pick up your scrapings
  • 3.) spray and wipe down the counter
  • This is very unlike getting paint of a wood floor which is as easy as…
  • Forget it, it’s not easy. Nail polish remover works wonders to do it though, especially if you pour it on, cover it in plastic, wait 5 minutes and then gently scrape. I cannot recommend that method for all wood floors. I would test a corner first. For my untreated oak floors, it left no mark. Don’t sue me if nail polish ruins your wood floors. I told you it might.

A few non-direct job related things I learned along the way:

  • Doing something yourself and seeing it through is the best self-esteem booster.
  • Joint compound dust everywhere made me go batty. I’m a little concerned with how tiny this was, how I’m going to handle my house being ripped to the studs. I’m hoping sheer excitement and a patient husband gets me through it. He knows what to expect and is used to full on residential job sites since he visits them regularly. I think as long as I get to demo I’ll be happy. I like demolition.
  • My right shoulder flares up when I paint for hours and hours on end and causes insane trigger points which I then pay my God send of an acupuncturist to take care of.
  • The top of my cabinets need a scrub.
  • I absolutely positively do not want a ceiling fan in the kitchen come full renovation. I in fact realized I am simply just not a fan of fans. I’m a fan of other kinds of fans. But not ceiling fans. I like hand held fans. I like  Brandi Carlile fans. Okay, I just like Brandi Carlile’s music. I knew this years ago.
  • I am pretty proud of myself for learning how to do construction related jobs along the way. With a professional husband, sometimes it’s easy to feel left in the dark dust. He’s good at letting me try things, screw them up, and then have him fix it. Unless it’s a big thing, then I just step out of the way and watch. Unless it’s plumbing. Dear God, I enjoy plumbing. I have no idea why. It makes no sense. I just like it. I will get under Andy’s foot every step of the way to watch a plumbing job. You know, sinks – not septics.  I’m not sure power washing a toilet when we first moved in counted as plumbing.

All in all, I’m real happy with how this turned out. Even though I’m excited about what my renovated kitchen will look like someday for now I’m relishing in my newly painted kitchen, and that’s good enough for me.

Happy Painting & Meditative Breathing,

Heather

Livingroom Update

I left you hanging like a Naked Gun movie. You just know there’s going to be a sequel. It has been over a month, almost 2 months *eek* since my last post on painting. Here’s the thing, I like things to be perfect {like is key word here, reality = almost never}. I painted the colors, wrote a post – deleted it. Thought, “I’ll post when it’s 100% complete with all the finishing touches.”

I realized I would never post if I went by that thought. We painted the room simply so we didn’t have to live in a cave another winter before we start renovations. We’re not painting the Sistine Chapel here. I’m not even an interior decorator, or pretending to be. I’m just a chick who didn’t want to spend another Maine winter in a dark room with a party of colonial picnic buddies.

 



You know what the absolute best part is? This feels like a “practice run” to me. Since we’re going to renovate the entire house this is the perfect time to test colors, test out my “style” and realize how terrible I am at making decisions on my own house and decorating. I’m not even disappointed to find this out about myself, I’m actually pretty happy because I’ve been learning all along the way. And I get to tear it all down with no guilt.

I didn’t pick up the room before I took the photos either. There is literally nothing staged about these photos. I’m oddly proud of myself.

We picked up all of our paint from Sherwin-Williams {who in no way sponsored this post. They don’t even know this exists and would likely decline to admit their paint is on our walls}. The boards are Copen Blue, the drywall part is Reflection and the floor & stairs are Anonymous. Yes, I know I missed painting part of the stairs. I’ll get to it.

To bring it back even further, this has been the transformation of our living room over the last four years.

Take a look at the first photo again, and then look at this. Is it perfect? No. Is it a serious improvement I’m delighted with? Absolutely. Yes. Positively. Whheewwwwwww.

Of course there are still a few things to do.

  • Take the burlap curtain down, it’s not working for me.  It’s such a high weird window it doesn’t even need a curtain really.
  • Figure out covers for the other three windows. I like curtains at night, but it also helps retain heat in the winter. These aren’t the new high-end windows that they so clearly look to be.
  • Finish floating art above our new (to us, and free) solid cherry entertainment center. Someone we knew didn’t have room for it and gave it to us unexpectedly. The style fits nowhere in our house yet – but what does? It’s gorgeous. It’s solid and it’s the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever felt in my life. I love it.
  • Get (or make) a rug.
  • Paint the side of the stairs on the bottom.
  • Get that couch a cover.
  • Paint the ceiling, sort of (this is years away). We’re not sure where a closet will be, what we’ll have to cut, etc. A ceiling is a lot of work. Correction, this ceiling is a lot of work – so I’m doing it once and once only. It will eventually be totally white though.

Overall though, this room is pretty much finished. I’m painted out. We’re debating on painting a few other rooms in the house as well but for now – fuhgettaboutit.

Happy Perfectionism (Hardly),

Heather


You Can Just Call Me Primey Painterson

This just in. Heather can’t look at shades of white any longer for the livingroom. So, with no shade chosen the preparations have begun, (see the start of this project here).

The solid pine boards on our walls are approximately grade z. This means there are roughly 500 knots per square foot. On Friday evening after work I picked up a small can of BIN at Home Depot. As a side note – this isn’t “primer” like you might think , it’s quite watery (and it’s suppose to be).  It worked great.

As a reminder, for the last 3 1/2 years the living room has looked like this more or less.

Friday evening it was looking more like this:

On Saturday, Mr. A and I went to Home Depot to pick up a couple things for this project, and a few things Mr. A needed for a basement project (to be posted later this week). I grabbed a bucket of 1-2-3 water based primer hoping it would be enough to cover the BIN and the wood, which as a reminder are solid wood boards not the typical wood paneling.

With one coat of primer the wall looked crazy. As you can see, the BIN does an awesome job. The 1-2-3 primer soaked into the wood everywhere except the knots (where it should be soaking in the most). Had I thought ahead I would have painted all the walls with BIN to stop the wood from soaking up the primer.

Two coats of primer definitely made a bigger difference. The discoloration by the stairs is from the light, not the primer.

I accidentally spilled the BIN, hence that awesome white spot on the floor. We are planning on painting the floors so I wasn’t especially careful (at all) in regards to getting paint on the floor. If you are planning on keeping your nice floors nice, I would highly suggest putting down drop cloths and using painters tape.

Once I ran out of primer I really needed to settle on a color scheme. On Friday when I grabbed the BIN, I popped into Homegoods and Marshalls and found an awesome blue and white lamp for $30.00 marked down from $60.00. Saturday as I was looking around my house for inspiration I realized my colors were sitting right in front of me.

News Team Four Assemble! (Ok, I might have had anchorman on while I was painting). I grabbed a pillow I made from Mardens fabric, the lamp I bought, my wire rooster I adore and paint samples. See the flowers in the pillow? Those are my colors.

Here’s a better shot. I had to get my beautiful wire rooster in, he can’t be left out because he will very much be in the decor. As the newest member to our household he deserved to be in on this.

I’m aware those blues look all the same, but in person they are very different. The square is more traditional blue, the rectangle one has a hint of teal in it and the two together are more gray blues.

The decision? The primary wall color will be “seapearl” (the second darkest). As for the floor and large wall, I’m thinking either the “square” color for the floor and the “rectangle” color for the wall – or the two grayish ones with the dark for the floor and the lighter for the wall. I’m going to get samples of each and test them out.

So as of Saturday, that’s where we stand. I’ll be getting those samples this week and updating on what happens next! Hopefully by then I’ll be painting, and maybe will even have the rug purchased. I’ll get into the rug choice later – some things need to be left for next time!

Happy Painting…and painting…and painting,

Heather