Monday, April 21, 2014

a fresh coat of paint

We got a fun surprise last Friday when our office closed early (thanks to Good Friday) and so this happened. Now one might ask, why would I paint my bedroom white when it is already painted white? My answer has several parts, including that it was not the correct white the first time but the biggest reason is shown below in full photographic detail.

The trim in the room was a mess. The windows looked like they had been gnawed on by a wild animal at some point, there were so many dents and scuffs and areas of cracked paint. Not to mention the neon yellow paint from the rooms previous incarnation which was all over the tall baseboards. I spent the repairing cracks, patching holes and spackeling like a crazy person until the room looked like it had a bad case of the chicken pox and was being treated with calamine lotion. So when I got out of work early on Friday I knew it was a sign that it was the perfect time to paint the room. And thank goodness for the extra time because this was quite an undertaking.
I've never had a space with so much trim and molding before. And while it is theoretically a good thing, visual interest, etc, it also makes for a lot going on and with multiple colors I've found over time as I lived here, I prefer the more subtle look of walls and trim the same color. This time I went with the most white white I could find ( and I did a bunch of research regarding good whites, this Design Sponge post was an excellent guide) which was Decorator's White from Benjamin Moore. I actually did something that is probably controversial and painted trim and walls with eggshell finish instead of doing a semigloss on the trim and flat on the walls. To my eyes it really calms down all the chaos going on in the space and unifies all the elements. it was of course difficult to photograph in process, and realy capture the differnece in white tones but the original white on the walls was a very warm creamy white which next to the new bright white appeared to almost glow a yellowish peach. It took over three hours to paint all of the trim with a 2" angled brush, and less than ten minutes to roller the spaces in the middle. The best part though? It only took one coat of paint! I was so startled by this and expected in the bright light the next morning that the original paint would show through but I guess I really got my moneys worth by investing in the nicer paint + primer version and since I was painting over white anyway, the most I had to do was touch up a few spots where the trim had been worn down to bare wood and the rest was good to go. 
The other exciting news is that since I had more than half my gallon of paint still remaining, I was able to tackle a second space. I painted the hallway last fall, and hand stamped it. Both of which were super time consuming and I loved the theory. However, like my bedroom space, this hallway is odd and has so much going on (five different doors and an extra wide open doorway to the living room) that with the high contrast of the orange and the pattern, with all the actual wall space being so small, it was just too busy and not very restful which isn't what I intended for the first space I see upon entering my home. I wanted something clean and breezy and open feeling (after all, how often is it  in SF one encounters a seven foot wide hallway?) so of course white seemed like a smart way to go. It took three coats to cover up the neon orange and I do still plan on trying some sort of pattern treatment though perhaps this time I will go for something less permanent than stamping. Perhaps decals? Still, it's already an excellent start as it is significantly brighter and more inviting. All in all it was a good use of my Friday evening. Thanks to my roommate being gone house sitting I was able to paint until I was finished which came in around 3am not including cleanup, and there was of course a pizza break* in there somewhere.
*I shudder to think what the pizza delivery guy thought of me when I showed up at the door with paint in my hair, barefoot in shorts, looking all frazzled but over all I don't care because I was being awesomely productive and that's the most important part

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