Paint!

Well, today I was smart enough to bring the memory card with me. Fancy that.

When we bought this house – no, wait, before we bought this house – I knew the first thing I wanted to paint was the bedroom. It was dark red. Now then, the room is 21′ x 15′, so it can totally handle a dark color. But red? Um, no. Blech. Unfortunately, it took us a really long time to make up our minds and decide on a color scheme. In the meantime, we had Commercial Painting come and paint both offices, and picked out paint colors for several other rooms (at least, I’ve picked out the paint colors, and I’m assuming that my choices won’t be vetoed).

A few weeks ago, I stopped in at Hancock Fabrics on a Friday night and discovered they were having a sale on decorator fabrics. This is a fantastic thing, since decorator fabrics are pricey. I grabbed a sample (love the samples! whoever had this idea was a genius!), brought it home, and got the OK from . I showed him my example pictures of orange and blue rooms, and we were a go. The next day I promptly went back to Hancock and bought 6 yards of lovely 108″ wide sheer blueish greenish fabric (I really need to come up with a name for that color), and then hung it up with the curtain clips already holding up the existing sheers (which were hideous and felt horrid). We lived like that for about two weeks until it was time to paint, and then the new fabric was removed from the room.

In the meantime, we went round and round over color. As you can see in the picture below, we painted several swatches in three different places in the room. If you look in that far right photo, the top right was my first choice, and it looked lovely on my computer screen. Far too orange in person, though. The next step over was, unfortunately, too brown (seen right below it). Those two are Behr, Iced Tea and Earth Tone. Then we went to Menards, which had one or two good options in the Pittsburgh Paints line, but no samples, so no go. Then we took the long drive to Lowes (seriously, it’s a good half hour drive), and looked at the hundreds of Valspar colors. It’s really hard to find a decent orange paint! The three on the left are what we took home (again in that far right picture). We finally settled on the bottom one, Mesabi Copper, about ten minutes before left to buy the paint. Sidenote: both Valspar calculators said we would need 2 gallons per coat, so we bought 4, and ended up using one and a third gallons total. We’re trying to decide what other rooms in the house can be painted Mesabi Copper. The downstairs bedroom, perhaps? Serious boo on that calculation.

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L to R: next to the trim, the sunny spot, and the dark spot which is also next to the fireplace

I had taken Thursday and Friday off of work to get this project started. On Thursday, it took me four and a half hours (!) to do all the cutting in with primer. Three of the walls are painted wood paneling, and all the grooves between the fake panels have to be done with a brush. Boo. Friday, the same task took me two and a half hours.

Saturday morning, and came over and helped paint. came over for lunch and provided the entertainment (her children). It took quite a long time to get the first coat of paint done, but the second time we didn’t cut-in on the grooves in the paneling, so we were done by 4. Sidenote: Valspar thinks that one coat of this paint might be sufficient. They are seriously wrong. I was thinking for a bit that we might have to do a third coat. Thankfully, we did not.

So, step by step, I took pictures from the four corners of the room so you can “watch” the transformation. The order, in case you can’t tell, is primer cut in coat one, primer cut in coat two, primer rolled, and completed paint job. (If the pictures are too small to see clearly, clicking on them will take you to Flickr where you can see much larger versions.)

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South-west corner (Poang corner)

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South-east corner (fireplace corner)

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North-west corner (doorway to master bath)

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North-east corner (Prince Charming's dresser)

I thought I’d also do up some before and afters. The befores aren’t particularly fair, since they were taken shortly after moving in, many of them in the dark, and the afters were taken with a clean (freshly washed floor) room on a sunny day. Oh well. You know how color is on computer monitors anyway – some of these before and afters don’t look that different, but really, the color change is amazing. The orange brightened and lightened up the room so much.

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South-east corner (fireplace corner). I still haven't re-arranged the stuff on the fireplace ledge, and need to do so.

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South-west corner (Poang corner). The color doesn't look that different in this one, but if you compare the quilt, which is the same, you can see that the exposure is quite a bit different. I love this little corner, and sometimes do homework here. I didn't hang the curtain rod back up because the one that came with the house is insufficient and looks silly (it's less than 1/2" in diameter, which for a patio door that is 100" wide is ridiculous), and I refuse to install it only to have to patch and paint holes when we get a new rod. Obviously, getting a new rod is a priority right now. Unfortunately, so very many curtain rods are hideous.

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North-east corner (Prince Charming's dresser). I have finally figured out a window treatment option for that weird wide window, which I'll make out of the leftover fabric from the sheers, hopefully.

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North-west corner (door to the master bath). I'm thinking that matching dresser scarves (and I use those words in a non-grandmotherly doily-like way) are a good idea. Embroidered or quilted - thoughts?

My next project is to paint the trim white (even though the ceiling is cream, I’ve decided to not care about that). I was thinking Polar Bear or Swan White by Behr, but we still have some Lowes coupons, so it might be Valspar again.

Then, it’s time to finally take care of these embarrassing dressers. For the record, I am incredibly grateful for these dressers, as picked them up at a garage sale back when I lived in Michigan, the pair for $40, I think. (For quite a while, I was really living the high life, with three dressers and all of the closet space to myself. Ah, memories. The one dresser is on permanent loan to .) However, they’ve been abused quite a bit over the last few years. The tops in particular are in bad shape, since the fish tank lived atop one dresser, and the veneer is chipping/peeling away.

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Three different styles of drawer pulls in three different finishes (I did that, btw). The design on the right one has been filled in (it is going away), but not on the left one. The right dresser also has several large screw holes on the exterior from trying to fix the drawer conversion I tried, and those need to be filled.

I have been meaning to paint these dressers white since… and I lived together, which was 2005-ish. I finally have space that lends itself well to this project (though I’m not blaming my inability to complete this on that), and the motivation. I’ve got the nightstand that I bought at a garage sale (for less than $10 I think) that is already primed, and it will coordinate with these two nicely. Hopefully ‘s dresser, which is remaining wood, won’t stick out too bad. I think it will be OK, since the bed, the other nightstand, and the Poang (chair from Ikea) are all very dark wood.

If you’re tired just reading about it all, think of how we feel!

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Alison sent these pictures Saturday night of Joey at 6:45 pm.

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And to think, he didn't even paint!

6 Replies to “Paint!”

  1. Just to be honest, the dressers were only $10 each. I’d check craigslist for new ones before I spent the time and paint on those $10 garage sale treasures. IMHO

    1. Oh, I know they’re probably not worth the effort, but I’m kind of attached to them. I suppose I should look around just a bit, but I have a feeling I’d just end up painting anything else I found…. Good to know they were only $10! Maybe it was the dining table and chairs that were $40.

  2. I know your love for Ikea but their dressers are really poor quality. The bottoms of the drawers tend to fall out and the dresser has to be put together just so or the drawers won’t roll and close properly.
    If the dressers you have work, a coat of paint is much cheaper than a good quality new dresser. Plus your friend Liz might come help you paint one day. You do live awfully close to a Chipotle.
    đŸ™‚
    L

    1. No worries, Liz, I don’t have any plans on buying Ikea dressers. The ones I like are in the $200 range, and I think I’d prefer to spend $50 on paint and new hardware to refurb my existing ones. And though I’ve looked, pairs of dressers are pretty hard to find on CL.

    1. Alyssa, thanks! Hopefully I can get the curtains cranked out before April, which should help, and then it’ll be warm enough to paint in the garage. I still have your email in my inbox about going to lunch… I’ve been a bad friend about replying to that. I hope your job is going well – I’ll try to catch up on email this week and get in touch with you.

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