Not everyone can change a dryer belt, build a cat condo or assemble your kid’s bike. But everyone can pretty much paint a room. You might not be a pro, but you have no problem picking up a brush or a roller (but never one of those paint pad things), opening up a gallon of paint and slathering it across the wall of your enter-name-of-room-here -room.
Am I right?
So I don’t need to show you how to paint. Unless you’re a dummy. Well, I probably could tell you how to paint. I’ve done enough of it. I must have painted every room in the house at least four times. And apparently I’ve painted the exterior of not one, but two houses. My current home and…
I totally don’t remember this. This is a shot of Pete in front of my most-of-childhood home—maybe some summer while we were in high school? I guess we painted my house. Pete assures me that we did…hence this photographic evidence. We were DIY back then, and didn’t even know it. Please note the highly-skilled application of duct tape for the brush-to-broomstick improvisation. Smell that? It’s not paint drying…it’s manliness.
Okay so, I’m not going to talk bout how to paint but maybe I just want to:
- record some progress on my kitchen
- Illustrate how darker colors make a small room smaller
- Remind myself that my color preferences override the perception of room size
- Try to figure out how I completely blocked out the memory of that high-school summer
- Get out of the doghouse for the doll post
Or perhaps we here at Dadand just want to inspire someone to take the weekend and transform a room. Let’s start with color.
I downloaded the Valspar Color Connect app for iOS and started looking around. It let’s you view chips, suggested color harmonies, how-to videos and even a paint calculator.
That was neat, but I really needed to go into the store. I just can’t trust anything on screen. And you can’t even trust the colors in the store—you gotta get the swatches, or better yet, some mixed samples and take them home. Look at them in the light of the room. Is it natural light or incandescent? Flourescent or LED?
Candlelight or oil lamp? A mixture? Is this the 1870′s?
Just paint a small area to test or at least tape the swatches up on the wall for a day or two, then come back to it. Just don’t decide on a whim while you’re at the store, unless you want to paint everything twice. We ended up with some kind of light grayish-teal-blue-something and a medium-ish gray. Or as my wife, or Lowe’s, will tell you:
Sparkling Lake for the upper soffit around my kitchen…
…and Beguile for the main walls. You have to say “Beguile” like you’re in a Grey Poupon commercial. Or like Mr. Thurston on Gilligan’s Island…Lovey.
I did screen capture the color chips so when I went to the store I’d make sure I had the right colors. So here’s what I started with.
I have this yellow and green combination. At the time, we wanted bright and cheerful as we had no natural light coming into the kitchen.
I also have a combination of nicks, scratches, dents, chips, scuffs, gouges, indentations, holes, craters, scores, pits…okay you get it. The baseboards were removed in my last post when I did the kitchen tile. You can see the original-to-us color we had on the walls when we painted 15 years ago.
First, I had to attack the walls. I sanded every wall surface with 120-grit sandpaper on my 5″ orbital sander. It took the high spots off and revealed a bunch of areas that need attention with spackle. This shot shows where an ancient receptacle once hung from the wall. Kids, it was a phone jack. At one time, phones had cords that tethered you like an anchor to this very spot, preventing you from clogging up the 10-items or less checkout line since the call you’re on is too important to actually divert your attention for even one moment to pay for your pretentious california rolls, let alone acknowledge the cashier that asked how your day was.
Wait. I was sanding, right?
Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife. Hide yo’ holes. Okay, I jammed little bits of newspaper in larger holes so I wouldn’t waste a bunch of spackle.
I got a tub of this 3M patch plus primer spackle. I have never really bought into the whole “primer included” thing. But I am in brand love with anything 3M. I’ve probably preached it here before. And don’t get all environ-”mental” on me, I just know that anytime I use anything 3M, it just works. So if they are saying stuff is better with primer in it, then I’m buying it.
I filled the holes with the spackle. The package said it dries in 30 minutes. What does Dadand do? Time it. There were a few big holes so I figured it would take longer and I’d give ‘em a break because it’s probably some sneaky advertising claim based on the average wire nail size hole…blah blah. It took 20 minutes. Bam.
So this probably wasn’t a fair example for the spackle. It works great for small holes and chips, but I really wanted to smooth out the wall. I used a large putty knife and skimmed the whole area with drywall compound.
I also used a wide taping knife and skim-coated this entryway that gets a lot of wear and tear.
And while the compound was drying, I went back and found every other flaw and hit them with the spackle. A bright work light on the wall at an acute angle will reveal another hour’s worth of spackling and sanding.
Once prep is done, I threw down a dropcloth, and prepared to cut-in the edges. I opened the well-shaken can of Valspar Signature Paint + Primer (P/N 221389) and was ready to experience Sparkling Lake.
The pro or purist painter might wince here, but this little paint pail is authentic gadgetry, with a built in magnet to hold your brush—enabling me to retain my man card and prevent a gallon-sized epic spill from the top rung of the ladder.
I cut-in the Sparkling Lake light gray-teal-blue color. It looks pretty bad at first, but as it dries, it gets much better. Notice the lack of tape. I didn’t care about the ceiling…
…because this. A wretched bit of plaster coming off the ceiling. I’ve fought with this spot since I moved in 15 years ago. A small crack that I have worked and worked. I give up. I am taking care of it once and for all in my next post—gonna go for some exposed tongue and groove cedar or similar, then new lighting.
Here’s one coat rolled on the soffit. I’m working top to bottom in the room in case any paint drips. You’re gonna have to start getting over my photography as this room is hard to light properly—even more difficult with a flourescent light overhead, a halogen work light on the floor and my flash wanting to fire.
All right, here goes one coat on the main walls. Are you beguiled?
And another view of the first coat of Beguiled. Enchanting and magical.
Rather than literally watch the paint dry, I went outside and cut all new baseboard trim. Then painted it. Then installed it with my porter-cable trim nailer. Then taped it up. Then took this photo. Like 3 hours of work in just a short caption.
There are a few small gaps in the top of the trim that can be handled with some caulk.
I used this Alex Plus caulk (P/N 219873). It’s cheap. It’s paintable. It works. And I also bought this little 3M tape thing (P/N 69922). It runs along the edge of whatever you’re taping for a zero-tolerance line. It worked. It’s 3M. 3M is not sponsoring this post BTW. But you guys can call me and send me just about anything you want and I’ll use it.
Okay, so I ran a bead of caulk, wet the finger, smoothed it out…
…then pulled the tape while the caulk was still wet to get a nice clean finish.
Now all this needs is a few nail holes skimmed over and some touch up paint. Handled.
The big finish. Click to enlarge. I think the new cooler colors really fit with the space, the new tile and our new stainless steel appliances. Again the final colors are really hard to capture on screen. But the only thing that matters is that I like it. Well, that my better half likes it.
Here’s another “after” shot. We still have to update our stove, but that will be on a future trip to Lowe’s to get all matchy-matchy with the fridge and dishwasher. Eventually we’ll update the base cabinets (I’ll be making them), countertop and the red reveal piece I made for task lighting above the sink. But the colors go pretty well for the time being.
Let me know what you think of my color choices. Paint something yourself, take a pic, then post it to our FB wall with the #SpringIsCalling hashtag,
Spring is calling! Stay on track this spring with special values, tips and how-to’s from Lowes: http://www.lowes.com/improve
“In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from Lowe’s for my time and participation in the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Influencer Network. Although we have a material connection to Lowe’s, any publicly stated opinions of Lowe’s and their products remain our own.”
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