A couple of weekends ago, I took on what I considered a major renovation project by repainting the Family/Dining Room combo. We went from a darkish green, to a lighter green. And we unified the room by painting a large 15 foot wall that was blue, the same color green.
When we first built this house, I was pregnant with Emme. Fiddledaddy and I decided that we wanted every single room painted a stunning jewel tone type color, because for our entire adult lives, we had lived in apartments or rental houses and were quite sick of white walls.
We went to Martha Stewart for help, in the form of some of her paint swatches wherein we painted the walls lovely vibrant colors. To go with our light green carpet.
And by we, I mean Fiddledaddy painted and I pointed. What with being huge with child and all. This nearly drove me insane because I had recently left my own decorative painting business behind in Los Angeles, and here I was with my own house AND I COULDN’T PAINT IT MYSELF.
And Fiddledaddy didn’t take kindly to a large round woman wringing her hands and telling him HE WAS NOT DOING IT RIGHT. Truth be told, he did a fabulous job. But 14 years and 3 kids later, I felt that the Family Room was far too dark. Since we spend the majority of our time there, I wanted something a little more cottage-like. Or beach-like. Or just lighter.
We are still in the process of extricating the light green carpet, which is now more of a dark dirty grey, because seriously? LIGHT green carpet? WITH TODDLERS?
Sadly, we’re still awaiting the funds to begin Phase II of the floor renovation, so for now only my Family and Dining Room have been re-floored.
My bright idea was to tackle one wall per weekend until we finished up, somewhere in mid-2015. That idea was quickly vetoed by Fiddledaddy who decided that we should knock the whole project out in one fell swoop. Three days and nights of painting later, and two bottles of extra-strength Tylenol, the walls were finished.
But then I discovered that the dark green dust filled curtains really did not go with my new cottage look, so new WASHABLE white grommet top curtains were purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond (with 20% coupons). What a difference light colored curtains made!
But then I noticed that some of the furniture was looking a little dark, so I’ve vowed to paint the coffee table and entertainment center. A project I’ve yet to start.
BUT HERE’S WHAT I’VE GOT SO FAR.
The first picture is the before.
And now the after. I know what you’re thinking (but please humor me). At first glance is not that different, but in person the room does seem to be much lighter and open. Plus all the walls match now. And there are no unsightly petrified yogurt stains on the wall.
Of course as I now look past the dining room, I notice that the dusty rose colored hall no longer goes with the light green….
So I choose not to look past the dining room. I’ll be ready for another large painting project in about another 14 years.
I remembered a helpful tip when taking on a large painting project. At the end of the day, if you’re not in the mood to wash out your paint brushes and rollers (and really, who is), only to have to begin again the next morning, you can cover them in plastic and PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER.
The next morning I went to retrieve my brushes and rollers, but was dismayed to find them frozen solid. I panicked thinking IT WAS THE REFRIGERATOR, NOT THE FREEZER. But not to worry, they thawed and were ready to go within minutes. And the subsequent thawing helped the bristles and roller retain the right amount of moisture.
Along those same lines, when painting and waiting for the first coat to dry, cover your brushes with a baggie, and your roller with a plastic bag to keep them from drying out and from having to wash them frequently during the project.
And when washing out your paint brushes, you can use a mild liquid soap. I even apply a bit of hair conditioner to keep the bristles soft, rinsing well afterwards. I have really good paint brushes that I’ve
hoarded kept for something like 20 years.
And there you have it. What I did during my summer vacation. I’ll post pictures of the furniture as I finish painting it. If I live that long. All these paint fumes have made me long to reopen my studio (also known as the black hole located in the garage) and hang out a shingle again. In my spare time….in my mind…