You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around here. However, if you follow me on Instagram, you know my lack of posts hasn’t been because I’ve been doing nothing. Brian and I spent the better part of the past weekend painting most of our first floor, after almost 2 years of owning our home. It was definitely a big project, but I’m loving the way our home looks now. As it’s Twosday, it seemed only appropriate to share about our experience:
Reasons this project was sort of crazytown:
1. We, as a couple, have very little painting experience. Brian had some (he helped with my sister’s house, for instance), but I basically had none.
2. We decided to do our most of our first floor walls all at once: the kitchen, pantry, dining room, office, living room and entry. Followed by the staircase, if we had enough paint
Before, and after:
1. Before, as you may remember from this post:
It’s a little difficult to tell the different between the wall color before and after in photos, but trust me, it’s obvious in person.
Colors we used
1. Behr Ultra Honeysuckle White, for the bulk of the space. Our first floor is fairly open, with the kitchen flowing into the dining room, living room and entry area. We decided to keep everything one color to keep the look of a single space and keep the rooms as bright as they previously were. Prior to painting, the walls were already an off-white color, though the paint was uneven (and non-existent in some places) and looked worn and dirty. Now it looks like the house is actually painted, as well as looking a little warmer. For the curious, it took us about 4 gallons of paint (2 coats) to cover all our walls, including the stairwell.
2. Behr Ultra Violet Eclipse, for the kitchen cabinet uppers. The evolution of that decision was sort of random. It occurred to me at some point and then when we were at Home Depot we picked up swatches and a sample container and decided just to go with it. I was open to other colors (especially because I sometimes feel like I’m drowning Brian in purple things), but we liked the way it looked. The color, coincidentally, is shockingly close to the color of my plum Fiesta dishes.
Roles we quickly took on, despite beginning this project without a really clear plan:
1. Me: completing the edge work with a brush and taking care of the area between the kitchen cabinets and counter.
2. Brian: using the roller to cover large areas and reaching areas that my arms weren’t long enough for. We ended up being a really great team.
Tools we bought for this project that I loved:
1. Paint tray liners. I’ve read plenty of “life hack” tips that suggest using aluminum foil to line paint trays to make life easier, but the pre-made plastic liners were so easy to use and clean up. Now we still have spotless paint trays and we didn’t waste any more time cleaning than necessary (brush washing is bad enough).
2. Mini-paint rollers. I don’t remember if this was on our initial shopping list, but Brian and I ended up getting a couple packaged sets of painting supplies that included mini-rollers. The rollers were great for the small spaces in the kitchen and some edge work. I also found them a lot easier to control and use than a full size roller.
Parts of painting I apparently hate
1. Taping. Oh my goodness, the taping. I do not have the confidence to paint without taping the surfaces I don’t want paint on, but it takes so long to prep areas for painting as a result. I think Brian and I spent almost 2 hours taping on Saturday morning before we even opened a can of paint.
2. The amount of climbing up and down ladders that is required. I don’t mind being on a ladder (despite my feelings about height in general), but I can only reach a limited area, so I felt like I was immediately climbing off the ladder, moving it and climbing back on. As a result of the ladder moving and squatting to paint/tape areas near the floor, I have been super sore since Saturday night. Who knew painting was full body work out?
Aspects of the final project I’m in awe of:
1. We have a newly purple door, as shown in the “after” photos above. You may recall that one of my favorite projects in the house is the back of the bathroom door that we painted blue-green. It seemed only fitting, since we had enough paint, to make the other side of that door purple. I’m kind of obsessed with the transformation.
2. The built-in bench looks better than ever. As we cleared out the room and moved the potted plants off their spot on the bench, I noticed that it looked really dirty and worn. The bench has many layers of paint on it and some of the older layers were showing through. Even though we’ve had various discussions about adding color to the bench, we decided just to paint it Honeysuckle White for now. The resulting effect is such an improvement, I won’t allow the plants to go back on it and cover it up.
Foods we ate during the painting marathon:
1. Healthy Slow Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala from The Wanderlust Kitchen. Saturday was Valentine’s Day and I wanted to do something special, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to be motivated to cook after a full day of painting. This meal was super easy to prepare and made our evening much easier. We served it over rice and omitted the plain yogurt because I forgot to buy any. The dish wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever eaten, but it was definitely good and the perfect hearty, ready to eat meal for the occasion.
2. Lots of cheese and crackers, because I still haven’t bought groceries for the week and we needed to eat meals that were quick and didn’t make a lot of dishes.
Unforeseen consequences of painting:
1. Now all the trim looks like it needs work too. I ended up repainting the bathroom and pantry window trim already, but I can’t stop seeing areas that could use more work.
2. I want to paint every other room. I already have ideas for the downstairs bathroom and our bedroom. It’s a disease, I tell you.