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paint, interior design

New Year = New Paint

By House*Tweaking on Jan 01, 2012

What did we do on New Year’s Day to celebrate a fresh start? Why, slap some fresh paint on the Underdog of course. After sampling several different paint colors on foam board and moving them around the house for a few days, I decided on a color scheme…with Handy Hubby’s approval.

  • BM Tapestry Beige – great room {family room & kitchen}, hallway to bedrooms, master bedroom, master bathroom
  • BM White Dove – trim, ceilings {including the great room}, interior doors
  • SW Contented – boys’ bedroom
  • BM Camouflage – mudroom/dining room, laundry nook, nursery

{Word is still out on the kid/guest bathroom…either Tapestry Beige or White Dove. I’m waiting until the claw foot tub is painted to decide.}

The collage comes across as pretty ‘blah’ but the colors are light and airy with gray undertones in real life. In fact, now that I’m looking at the collage none of the colors look true to life. Still, hopefully, you get the idea and at least have a reference for what’s to come. When choosing paint colors, it’s easy to want to pick a different color for each room but I’ve found that makes me feel like I’m living in a schizophrenic home. Homes – especially smaller ones like our Underdog – flow better and feel better to me when there are slight variations of color throughout. I know how difficult it can be to limit your palette when there are so many great colors to choose from but, for me, it works.

We’ve tried many different brands of paint in the past and decided to have all paint colors matched at Home Depot with Behr’s low VOC primer and paint in one. Since the majority of the interior walls/ceilings are new absorbent drywall, we thought going with the primer and paint in one would help cut down on the number of coats we’d need.

As I mentioned weeks ago, HH was away on business for three straight weeks leading up to the holidays. Things were slow going. Luckily, HH has had the past two weeks off from work and has spent every single day {minus Christmas…the boys were so excited their Dada didn’t have to work on the house Christmas Day…they kept asking ‘Do you have to go work on the new house?’} prepping, priming and painting. First up was the great room ceiling. If you’ll remember it was pine tongue and groove and we decided to paint it {which went against a lot of friends’ and family members’ opinions}. We liked the raw pine but felt it wouldn’t have looked right once medium-dark hardwood floors, black and white cabinetry and other finishes were installed. Over the years, HH and I have realized that going against popular opinion is sometimes necessary {albeit a tad disconcerting} when it comes to making a house really feel like our home.

So once that was decided, HH did a bunch of research on priming/painting raw pine. Turns out those natural knots can cause bleeding problems down the road if not sealed and primed correctly. HH ended up using Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer. HH brushed a single coat of the shellac primer into the grooves and knots of the pine then rolled it onto the flatter surfaces. {The primer dried waaaay too fast for HH to spray it on using his new paint sprayer.} He wore a respirator while applying it.

HH applied one coat of BM White Dove in a satin finish to the primed tongue and groove ceiling, two coats of BM Tapestry Beige in an eggshell finish to the great room’s walls and one coat of BM White Dove in a flat finish to all other ceilings using the paint sprayer. He wore a respirator and painter’s suit while using the paint sprayer. Of course, this small paragraph totally undermines the amount of time that all this took. For instance, it took HH one whole day just to prep the areas to be sprayed…wipe down, tape off, move drop cloths around, etc. Painting is the easy part. It’s the prepping and clean up that take

This is what the great room looks like now…

{I finally scraped off the homemade soot-removing recipe of baking powder + dish soap from the mantel. It still needs more drying time and probably more rinsing but I think it worked well enough for what we’ll need. And HH and I agreed that even if it doesn’t clean up spotlessly, we sort of like a taste of the used look…imperfect perfection. We’ve decided to leave the mantel unpainted and in its original condition because we like the contrast. Should we tire of it later, we can always paint it.}

The great room gets so much natural light during daylight hours that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the white ceiling and ivory-gray walls. {In photos, it reads all white.} I was a little nervous about going all white in the great room because we have kids but most of my inspiration photos are white-on-white rooms. So, I compromised and decided to go with the ivory-gray Tapestry Beige. It’s not pure white but it’s still very much light and airy. If you’re not diggin’ the light envelope of the room, please don’t write it off just yet. Remember we still have medium-dark hardwood flooring and black and white kitchen cabinets to add to the mix…along with many other contrasting furnishings.

Here’s a better image of the contrast between the ceiling and walls…

At night under artificial light, the walls have a warmer feel. The white ceiling is my favorite. I know it’s not for everyone but I love it. I can’t stop looking up when I’m in the room. Layne described it best. He said it looks like a cottage. While the white paint gives the tongue and groove a fresh look, there are all these little nooks and crannies that run throughout the ceiling that give it more of that imperfect perfection we like.

HH and I discussed what color to paint the ridge beam. We decided on white {BM White Dove} but HH forgot during his painting escapades and painted it the same color as the walls {BM Tapestry Beige}. I would have preferred it white but I don’t detest the mess-up and HH was not repainting, so it’s staying as is. No biggie.

Can’t wait to install some modern ceiling fans and track lighting along the beam!

HH and I tackled the trim last week {we still have some to add after the flooring install} and HH knocked out the hallway. The walls are requiring two coats of the primer and paint in one.

Painting a house with no flooring is pretty sweet. We don’t have to put down drop cloths or worry about little drips on the floor here and there. We removed all the interior doors prior to painting the trim and walls. You may have noticed them leaning against a wall in the great room above. The plan is to paint the doors the same as the trim. Nope, we’re not getting new doors.

Here’s an image of what BM Tapestry Beige looks like under artificial lighting…in this case, under shop lights…

That’s the view from the master bedroom looking into the hallway. Today HH and I knocked out the master bedroom and bathroom – figuratively speaking – and various closets. The ivory-gray looks much different in the north facing bedroom versus the bright great room which we knew it would.

It feels cozier. It’s amazing what paint can do for old, dingy walls. I did feel a wee bit sad painting over one particular wall…

I know it looks awful but this wall had been stained over the years with the previous homeowner’s various art paints. {The previous owner was an artist. We bought two of her paintings at the estate sale to keep with the house.} From what we can tell, the owner/painter used this bedroom as her studio. There was no bed in this room…just stacks and stacks of original canvas paintings.

{No maternity painting clothes here! The bump cannot be contained.}

My pregnancy emotions got the best of me when I rolled this wall and all I could think was that I was getting rid of a part of the woman’s life…a woman who is now deceased. For someone who enjoys all things design, this wall told a great story and I covered it up. But, let’s be honest, it had to be repainted.

Where were the boys while all of this was going on? If you scroll up to the first pic of the painted great room, you’ll seem them hanging out in the bottom right corner. I set them up with blankets, snacks and a movie on the Mac.

Well, movies plural, I guess. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was Layne’s choice and Spiderman was Everett’s. That should give you a good idea of how different our two boys are. After weeks of racing around for various Christmas parties {we had five Christmases over a span of three days, yikes!}, they were happy to chill out in front of the computer for an afternoon…with old clothes on in case they decided to brush up against any freshly painted walls…which did happen with Everett.

The boys and I took off around 6:00 p.m. to head back to the apartment for dinner and baths. HH stayed behind to finish up one coat on the boys’ bedroom. I saw one wall complete before I left and loved it. That means only the mudroom/dining room and nursery remain unpainted. We’re getting there!

And after paint comes flooring. I think that’s going to be one of the biggest improvements we make.

FYI – I was not compensated in any way to mention the products we used above. I just love sharing good stuff!

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

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