Blog Archives

Ceiling Paint is Happening

I’m doing it. I’m painting the ceilings. The catalyst is that I want to put in crown molding sometime soon, but I can’t just spiff up the edges of the ceilings when they’re really just a mess everywhere else… Like in the bedroom where the smoke detector is now on the wall above the door, but clearly it used to be on the ceiling:

Ceiling 005

(Um, were the ceilings tan-colored at some point?)

And in the living room there used to be a (non-structural) crack with a mismatched patch job. I got the drywall guy in to redo the texture so it’s waaaayyyy less noticeable, (This picture was taken with the camera flash, which makes it stand out way more than it does in person) but now it’s just bare spackle with no paint at all:

Ceiling 006

And let’s not forget the weird different color ceiling in the kitchen:

Ceiling 003

Oh, and did I mention half the ceilings in the house have semigloss paint? The glare drives me to distraction.

So I pulled out all the light colored paint test pots we had and did a bunch of samples in the living room:

ceiling 008

None of them are quite right so I carted home a bunch more paint sample cards and taped them up. We’ve narrowed it down a lot, but I’m pretty sick of comparing “slightly purplish white” with “slightly bluish white” and “different slightly bluish white”, so I’m just going to leave them up while I finish prepping and then make a snap decision and have NO REGRETS!!!

Ceiling 001

My next post will hopefully be about how tired my shoulders are and how I can’t see because of the paint splatters in my eyes. Oh yes. 😉

Apologies for not bothering to white balance the pictures. I realize in this instance a bit of white balancing might have actually been helpful since we’re dealing with many shades of not-quite-white, but I just can not be inspired to spend much time spiffing up a bunch of pictures of my ceilings.


Weekend Painting

You can file this one under “unexciting weekend”… I actually managed to get some painting done! Painting isn’t generally an activity that allows lots of easy stopping and starting (though I did manage it with the fireplace…) but the baby seemed relatively content to hang out in the play pen:

Play Pen BabyAnd I had actually managed to clean up a portion of the garage, meaning I knew where a fair amount of our painting supplies were to be found. So I finally (FINALLY!) painted the ceiling in the master bathroom, which had only been primed:

ceiling paint

I actually painted the ceiling with the exact same paint we used on the walls. I’ll pretend it’s because I’m keeping up with the latest design trends, but really it’s just way easier to cut in and not worry about wall drips if everything is the same color, and I already had that paint on hand anyway. It’s a taupe-y gray, something you don’t really even notice is not white unless you’re really looking for it, or say the walls are one color and the ceiling is a different color. 😛 So basically the purpose of this paint is to just be not very noticeable. Mission accomplished!

I’m also working on making a storage bench for the foot of our bed, and I actually painted the pieces of plywood before the assembling step, which will hopefully happen this week:

plywood painting

It was super quick to go over everything with a roller, no paint brushing of awkward corners required. I’m planning on trying to do this project with the nail gun, so there will still be holes to cover and paint, but I still think overall the job will be much easier with the pieces pre-painted.

And the above picture is proof that the garage has a floor! Well, there’s a floor under the pieces of plywood anyway. I managed to get all of the paint, plumbing, tiling, and electrical supplies grouped in a logical fashion and stowed away in the cabinets along the far wall. Hopefully it will be easier to get more small projects done now that I know where everything is…

Painting the Fireplace

I’ve been talking about redoing our double-sided faux brick fireplace almost since we moved into this house. Someday I’d really like to rip the brick veneer off entirely and maybe tile it, but when it comes to actual construction we have many higher priority projects waiting to happen. So I finally decided to just paint the sucker. I figure that I actually kinda like the look of painted brick, so if we never get around to tiling I’ll at least have something that I don’t hate. And painting is a fairly easy project to do by myself, and I can start and stop it fairly quickly for those times when the baby’s naps are shorter (or longer!) than expected. As a refresher, here’s how the fireplace has been looking, as seen from the front door:

Fireplace before

And here’s the dining room side:

Fireplace before 2

I snapped these shots during the late afternoon, thus the weird sunlight pattern going on…

Anyway, the urge to get rolling on this project came over me somewhat suddenly, so I grabbed the primer and a discarded paintbrush that we had sitting in the garage and slapped on the first coat over the course of maybe three Dakota naps. Then I did a single coat of semigloss latex paint, the same stuff I’ve been using to ever-so-slowly repaint the beige trim and doors all over the house. I think it ended up taking about a half a gallon to completely cover both sides, in a single thick coat. I tend to actually paint coats on too thinly when doing walls, but the brick is so textured that after the primer coat it was easy to see that brush strokes really wouldn’t stand out at all, even with semigloss. So I really loaded up the paintbrush and did my best to get paint into all the nooks and crannies. The paintbrush was kaput by the end of it all:

dead paintbrush

And even with all the smooshing,  there were still quite a lot of dark crevices that really stood out once the whole fireplace was white:

painted fireplace with cracks

See the black spots around some of the bricks? Since these weren’t real bricks stacked on top of each other, there were a bunch of spots that had gaps between the brick veneer and the backsheet thing that they were attached to. So I picked up some paintable caulk and went to town caulking the worst looking cracks. Here’s that same angle after caulking:

caulked fireplace cracksI quickly discovered that the caulk blended really well. It has a slightly different finish, but you basically have to have your nose an inch or so away from the bricks to see it. So there isn’t even any need to paint over the caulk, and I can just caulk over a spot or two at a time as the mood strikes me.

Anyway, here are the finished shots!

Painted fireplace 1

And from the other side of the living room:

painted fireplace 2

and from the dining room:

painted fireplace 3

And even from the kitchen!


painted fireplace 4

It’s amaaaaazing. Especially from the living room, which is on the north (i.e., dark) side of the house. The room is just so much brighter.

Now of course I need to decorate the darn thing. I have the perfect framed photo for the living room side ready to go. For the dining room side I’m thinking some sort of mirror, since there aren’t any mirrors over there and the room is a bit on the small side. I’d like a non-rectangular mirror with a cool frame, but Dave has vetoed any and all “sunburst”-style mirrors, which is cramping my choices a little. 🙂 I think he saw way too many of them in the staged homes we visited while we were house-hunting. He’s otherwise almost always open to my weird decorating inclinations, so I’m okay with him having this one hard veto, no matter how much I like sunburst mirrors. I’m also debating whether we should build a mantle… I like boring straight lines anyway, so we could almost just mount a single chunky piece of lumber without any adornment and call it “modern” and/or “rustic”. That would mean figuring out what’s going on behind the brick veneer though, so we’ll probably just leave a mantel on the wishlist for now.

My final to-do on this would be to install a gas fireplace thingy in there. The gas line is actually already set up, but there just isn’t an insert at the moment. Along with that I’ll probably want to replace the covers on both sides, since the one on the living room side is a bit too ornate for me, and the one on the dining room side is really beat up and kinda ugly in general.

Anyway, since I promised to my family members that there would be Dakota pics in all my posts, here’s Dakota enjoying (ignoring) the new fireplace color:

Baby's view

Getting rid of the beige

When we first moved in, almost the entire house was painted beige. The walls (except for the bathrooms), the doors, the door trim, all beige. But not the floorboards or the windowsills. Go figure. Of course we like the walls a lot more now that they are nice and green. (We like the walls that are brown and purplish-grey too.) But our nicely painted walls just make the beige doors and trim look even more dingy and blah.

The front door in particular has been especially beige-looking ever since we hung the white curtains. I didn’t take a fresh picture with the curtains in view, but here’s one from when we first hung the curtains. The front door is to the far right.

Anyway, I hadn’t really been feeling inspired the paint, but I guess a few weeks with the curtains pushed me over the edge. The beige front door had to go. Here’s the before. Don’t mind the paper/tape protecting the hardware…

Here’s how it looked after I started painting the trim on top. Seeing the beige with the white is such a contrast…

And here’s the finished product! Note how it actually matches the floorboards now…

Here’s a shot with the curtains in view. Sorry about the camera flash, it really isn’t all that shiny-looking in person…

Unfortunately there are another six doors, with trim, that are still very, very beige. And I need to paint BOTH sides of those doors… at least I can take them off of their hinges to paint. There are also two wall heaters that are beige. Eventually I’ll get around to figuring out if there is any way to paint them too…

Kitchen: Painted!

The painting action actually happened 2 or 3 weeks ago, but there’s a very limited time of day where the kitchen has good natural light, so I only got around to taking pictures today. If you’ve been following along, we knew we wanted to paint the living/dining room green from day one, and we wanted the kitchen a contrasting color. At first we picked up samples for what we thought were fairly greyish purple colors, but they turned out to be way too purple up on the wall. (See the end of this post.) So we went back for some even grayer samples, and finally picked a color.

And then we did nothing for 2 and a half months. The paint samples on the kitchen wall faded into the background (literally, I think you can see them in the background of 2 or 3 different blog posts) as we worked on other things. But finally we decided enough was enough, and we got ‘er done. I think we’re slowly improving at this whole painting thing, as we actually managed to finish all of the priming and painting in a single weekend for once. Or maybe we just had more incentive since we wanted our kitchen fully finctional? Anyway, enough delay, here are the pictures:

I love everything about it- the hue, the saturation, um, that’s all there is to color right? Heh. As best as I can tell, Dave loves it too, (he’s the one who suggested going this direction to begin with) but he feels the need to moan that it’s PURPLE. I reassure him that it’s a very manly color… the actual name of the shade is Gray Timber Wolf. What could be more manly? 🙂 Having this color on the walls really reinforces my desire to paint the cabinets white… I’m pretty sure they would look amaaazing…

Our favorite spot currently is where the gray wall meets the green in the dining room:

Sorry about the glare. >:| Here’s a view down at knee-level:

Hopefully you get the idea.

We actually left the wall by the pantry unpainted because I wanted it gray and Dave wanted it green. Dave’s right again, now that the rest of the kitchen is painted, I think this wall would look great in that same light green color as the living room and dining room.


Here’s a shot of that wall from the other side:

The urge to re-face the fireplace is rising…


Brown Walls

I’ve been posting a lot of updates on the outside of our house, and it’s because, well, the inside is still a huge mess. We’ve been managing to clean stuff up veerrryyy slowly, but every single room has stuff either in boxes, or just sitting out because we haven’t quite figured out where to put it yet.

In the master bedroom at least, we’ve managed to finish painting the walls.

The mattress is still on the floor though because we haven’t gotten around to building the bed frame. And the walls are all still blank, because the artwork that we had in our old place (with white walls) just does not look right on brown walls.

This really is my first experience with darker walls… pretty much ever… but I think big white frames will probably make the art look a lot better. And really our random collection could use some serious expanding.

I love the wall color though. Unfortunately the ceiling light is really yellow, and the window doesn’t get a ton of light, so it’s pretty hard to get good pictures. These two photos were really the only ones that looked halfway decent. Perhaps someday when I’m bored I’ll come in with a heavy-duty flash and try again. Maybe when the bed is finished and the artwork is actually on the walls…

Painting the bedroom

Yes, we’re FINALLY painting the master bedroom. We probably should be cleaning up the rest of the house and unpacking the many, many boxes that remain, but I just can’t handle the beige anymore.

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll finish today, seeing as how it’s 6pm and we aren’t done priming yet. It was a big hassle to pile everything in the middle of the room, too. Ah well, at least the walls won’t be beige any more.

Kitchen walls, take 2

I think we found the color we were looking for, finally.

It’s the one on the lower right in that picture. It’s hard to tell on my iPhone, but it’s a purplish grey. The picture below shows the color a bit better I hope, plus it shows the green wall to the right that it needs to not clash with.

We’ll be tackling the master bedroom walls first, since we already bought the paint we need. But soon, kitchen. Very soon.