Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paaaaaaaaaaaint Takes Daaaaaays

I started painting my dining room/ kitchen combo last Friday and finished yesterday (Friday). It was a LOT of work, but the results were completely worth it. First let's check out the "befores", shall we?
All of these were taken early in the morning when the light is the brightest. The color was blood red and glossy, which typically I would really like in a formal living room or library or other area that wants to feel cozy and warm. But this room faces NNE and doesn't get a whole lot of light, so it just feels small and dark all the time. Also, the walls aren't in the best shape so the reflection off of each shiny little imperfection was making me CRAZY. (If you click on the picture with the stove you can sort of see what I'm talking about from where somebody ripped off the back splash but just painted over the glue or whatever was holding it on. I sanded but there was no way that stuff was coming off without a lot of work. I see a back splash project in my future!)
So I gathered up my various painting tools. I learned through the process to just trust what the people at Lowe's tell me. For instance, this primer:
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I only needed 2 coats of this to cover that red. I know that to the uninitiated that might sound like a lot of work, but I have heard horror stories about people having to paint over red 5 or 6 times, and the color still bled through some. This was like painting the walls with white Elmer's glue.
Here's the first coat going on.... In the middle of the night. (Have I ever mentioned that I tend to get a little obsessed with projects like this and I forget to eat or sleep or do anything normal until I'm done?)
And here's the first coat of primer, which you can tell is pretty uneven and needs some more work. But after the second coat it just looked like I had white walls and that makes for a pretty boring picture. Use your imagination. (Also, note the ugly almond colored fridge that has been slowly getting just a little too warm and then a little too cold.)

After another trip to Lowe's I got their Valspar Signature Colors Matte Finish paint in the Benjamin Moore Classic Color Tea Light. The paint was highly recommended by Consumer Reports. I only needed one coat, and the consistency was something like pudding. It covered well but didn't drip at all. I think it is so cool that I could just bring in my paint chip and they pulled up the Benjamin Moore colors on their computer system and mixed it right up. While I was there I picked up some Shur-Line Roller Covers which are AMAZING. I used a couple of crappy rollers for the primer but these babies made painting really really easy. They cover so evenly.

Soooo, the finished result looks like this!
And like this!
Yeah, everything is still out of place from painting, but you're supposed to just focus on the walls.... This picture is truest to color.

And like this! Is that a new refrigerator I see? Why yes, yes it is. I really needed a new one and therefore some tax return money went to the fridge cause. It is so clean and pretty, and the inside is HUGE compared to the old one which was at least 25 years old. It should also be a lot more energy efficient.

So what do you think? This Tea Light shade really changes with the light from a sort of mint green to grey to aqua to light blue depending on the time of day. It was totally worth all of the hard work because this room is so much lighter and brighter now. Once I get the dining room set up as an actual dining room (instead of an office/box repository) I will put up more pictures. Oddly enough the fabric panels I had hanging in the bedroom in my old apartment (they're sitting on the table in the very first picture up there) perfectly match this paint color. So I already have stuff to put on my pretty walls!

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