Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

Well, hellooooo internet.  Ah, yes, the inaugural post on the new blog.  So here we are...  It’s sort of like that first date awkwardness.  Does he like me?  Do I like him?  Or maybe we’re just not that into each other and someone will fake an illness to cut the date short.  Well, allow me to make the first move. (...with my son, Holden...he's my wing man apparently.)  ;)

As the name and description suggest, Home Happy is our little slice of the internet where we can chat about all things home, family, and any other randomness that sparks my creativity.  So while it’s definitely an overstatement that my milkshake will get you here, perhaps my craziness will keep you.  Between two toddler boys, a husband, a new house, working full time, managing this blog, running our household, and updating the house, things are a bit chaotic at times.  But it’s my chaos and I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in with our first project. 

{Oh, and make sure you check out the About Us section of the site to get a feel for what sparked this blog’s creation.}

On a dark and stormy night (literally), I decided to tackle my first project – painting the dining room.  I decided to tackle it right away since it’s the first room you see when you enter our house.  I feel like it sort of sets the tone for the home and I wasn’t really digging its literal color tone, if ya feel me.

BEFORE - looking in from the foyer

BEFORE - standing in the corner looking out towards foyer
(Don’t mind the Sebastian photo bomb.)

The space has great charm with its lovely white dental molding, wainscoting, and baseboards.  However, the maroon on the walls left a bit to be desired.  Don’t get me wrong – maroon is a great color and in fact our last house’s living room was painted that color, but it just wasn’t right for this space in my opinion.  And I stress “my opinion” because Eric really liked the color and needed a bit of cajoling to entertain the idea of an alternate color.  My argument was that the space isn’t huge once you took into account our large walnut buffet (which Eric designed and built himself – woot woot!), our dining set, and the fact that there’s not a ton of light with only one set of windows in there.  It sort of felt like the dark walls were closing in on you.      

After a few weeks of nagging convincing him something lighter was key, I began my color search.  I ran the gamut of thinking I wanted a soft green, then a blue, and then a beige until I finally landed on wanting a soft gray.  Gray would be neutral enough to allow me to switch up the d├ęcor from time to time without having to repaint, yet still complement the white trim nicely.  As for the specific color – that’s always the hardest part for me.  I was notorious in our last house for selecting wrong color tones and repainting, so I’m forcing myself to make a concerted effort to be more thoughtful and calculated in my decisions this time around. 

That said, I stocked up on a ton of gray paint chips from Home Depot and taped them up on the wall for a couple days to narrow down the choices and see how they looked in different lighting throughout the day.  Enter Behr’s Silver Screen in a semi-gloss sheen.  It was just the right amount of gray; not too dark and not too light.  Just like Goldilocks’ porridge.  (Sidebar: I’m a big fan of the semi-gloss sheen for a lot of projects.  It’s kid friendly, very wipeable/cleanable, and generally just looks really nice.)

Here’s the breakdown of how things rolled:

Step 1: Move buffet out from the wall and fill nail holes.  There was a fair amount of holes from the previous owners, so I just scooped up our spackle and putty knife I already had on hand and went to town.  This went really fast – probably about ten minutes and then another 30 minutes to dry.  I did a careful job of filling the holes and scraping off the excess to avoid having to sand.  It worked well.  Phew.  Sanding is easily one of my least favorite tasks.

Step 2: Prime.  With such a dark tone, priming was a must.  I selected Kilz brand primer since I’ve had great success with its coverage in the past.  It’s relatively inexpensive and readily available at most hardware stores.  But here’s where things got real.  About 20 minutes into priming, a storm knocked out the power.  And it was already late into the evening, so it was dark.  Awesome.  Do I forge ahead or close up shop for the night?  Well, forge ahead naturally!  Since it was just a primer coat, I figured I couldn’t mess up toooo badly since the coverage didn’t have to be spot on.

Step 3: Light candles.  By coincidence, you’ll notice in one of the before pics I already had a candle on the table, so I just needed to grab a few more.  And let me note that I used a flash to get that above picture.  Here’s a side-by-side of the same shot with and without flash so you can get an idea of JUST.HOW.DARK. it was in there.  But I hate having to stop something when I’m on a roll, so it was prime or bust.  I’m crazy like that. 

Step 4: More primer.  The next day it was obvious it could use one more coat of primer just to be sure the maroon didn’t bleed through.  Thankfully, Mother Nature cooperated and the power remained intact.

Step 5: Paint.  I grabbed my gallon of Behr’s Silver Screen and got to work.  It went relatively fast and I only needed one coat due my second coat of primer really doing its job.  I don’t have an in progress photo, but I was a little worried as I was painting that the color looked too light/white.  But low and behold by the morning when it was fully dried, it had just the right amount of color I was looking for. 

Step 6: Update light switch.  This was unplanned but worked out well.  During any paint project I remove all light and outlet cover plates.  Well, the cover plate for the dimmer switch was being difficult and wouldn’t free itself from the plate so we had to use some muscle to force it off.  This broke it in the process, but the good news is that we already knew we wanted to replace the switch with a more updated look (and one with better dimmer control).  Plus, the dial knob itself was a bit wobbly to begin with, so we didn’t feel too bad not being able to donate it.

And now for the side-by-side money shots to see the transformation:

And that’s a wrap.  It feels so much lighter, brighter, and airy feeling now.  And even more so in person…let me apologize for the crappy iPhone camera pics.  I was a bit rushed and was having difficulties getting either of our better cameras to work for me.  Photography is much more Eric’s expertise.  The second after pic makes the foyer paint look yellow, too, when it’s really not.  It’s beige with yellow undertones perhaps, but not near what it seems here. Oh well. 

Also noteworthy: Eric agrees the room looks/feels bigger and brighter, so I can mark this in the “I was right” category. ;)

Total Project Cost: $67
One gallon Kilz primer: $19
One gallon Behr Silver Screen paint, semi-gloss: $26
Paint rollers & disposable paint tray liners: $11
Paint brush {for cutting in along ceiling, chair rail, etc}: $0, already had one
Spackle {for nail holes}: $0, already had some
Dimmer switch: $11

*You might notice I don’t account for painter’s tape.  I usually just use a paint brush and carefully cut in around ceilings, trim, etc.  I find I get a crisper line that way.

I have many other to-do dreams for this room…new rug, new artwork (art above the buffet in after shots is just a temp solution), do something with the light fixture (spray paint and add a drum shade?), replace old window treatment hardware (and add a roman shade?), decorate buffet, and paint entire window seat area to match the other white trim.  So this room is far from complete, but at least it feels better for now. 

I hope you enjoyed our first date and you don’t dodge my standard issue follow-up phone call approximately two days from now.  At least I think that’s what the kids are still doing these days?  Oh wait, it’s probably a text.  Cheers!



No comments:

Post a Comment