Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adventures in painting

'Twas the day after Christmas and I got all ambitious and set out to paint my dining room and kitchen.
The hardest part of the job (selecting the paint color) was behind me, 
and I was actually looking forward to this d-i-y adventure. 
It had been nine years since I'd last done any serious painting and 
clearly I had forgotten a) how much I hated painting b) how much I suck at painting.

I'm not really sure how this happened. One minute I was holding the small paint container in my hand, 
looking up to see if I had missed any spots. The next minute, the container was bouncing off the floor, 
making an impressive splash over a six-foot radius. I laughed to keep from crying,
took one picture, then spent the next half hour cleaning up my mess. 
Except for the fashionable racing stripe on my slipper, all traces of the spill were removed.

I cleared the dining room of all furniture to make the job easier.
Perhaps if I had left the table in place, I would have saved myself 
an assortment of facial bruises and several mild concussions.
My 5'3" self ran into the light fixture approximately 942 times before the job was done.

Reader Solveig tipped me off to these lazy girl's painting tips, which included a suggestion for 
using a 2" angled, short-handled brush for cutting in instead of taping off the ceiling and trim.
Note to 2" angled, short-handled brush manufacturers:
please call if you need someone to do an infomercial.
Lord have mercy, this thing is a miracle cure for notoriously bad painters like myself. I'm a believer.

I used Behr Premium Ultra, which is a paint and primer in one. Wow. 
Who knew this stuff even existed?  
Probably the same people who knew about cordless vacuum cleaners and never told me.
It covered the old color with ease and didn't stink up the house.
The color is Endive, from the Martha Stewart Living collection. I call it "barely green."
It clashes nicely with the green in my bedroom and the red faux leather on the half wall.
Can you visualize the decorating snowball rolling further down the hill?

My apprentice was in charge of positioning the drop cloth.

Smooch: I've got my doubts about this color.
Me: Me, too.

The good thing about the new color is that it provides the contrast I was looking for 
against the trim, cabinets and floor. The bad thing is, it's just kind of boring.
But I won't make any rash decisions about changing it until I get some new stuff up on the wall.
I had been meaning to update the photographs I had hanging there, 
then I saw some screaming deals on canvas prints, then I started playing around on the computer
with different images and arrangements and settled on this:

The real prints should arrive in a few days. 
Once they're up, I'll start agonizing over what to do about that red wall.
Then once that's fixed, I'll move on to picking a new color for the bedroom.
(This is how people who live in the middle of nowhere entertain themselves in winter.)


  1. I love that you took pictures for the blog before cleaning up. I like that color, the pictures should look great.

  2. I haven't done any wall painting in several years but when i did i used a very nice 2" cutting brush. Love that thing! still own it and know exactly where it is. always made sure to clean and dry it properly. Your wall looks very nice and i bet once the prints are up you're going to be very pleased. I've always liked a little brighter accent wall just to break up the sameness but your photos will do the trick. if all else fells check out Fathead decals. JCC would look SUPER on that wall.

  3. Long time stalker of your blog and animals. I agree with redhorse. I love the color and the pictures just "pop" Don't got crazy this winter. Please give everyone a hug from Deborah in Atlanta. Wish I had room for a burro or two.

  4. The wall color looks good against the floor, and your pictures will really pop. I LOVE the pictures!


  5. The pictures in that space are like adding windows! I LOVE THEM!

  6. The new color looks great...I like it better than the old. And the last photo really shows great design with the photo layout and all. Martha Stewart couldn't have done better!

  7. I agree with what everyone has said here. The color is wonderful. It's warm, it's inviting, and it has just enough color to look great without interfering with pictures and furniture. Well done!

  8. Well done. Will be cool and soothing with the canvas prints when heat of summer rolls around. Reminiscent of the waving pasture grass of 2014.

  9. I think it fits in nicely with the southern New Mexico climate (normally warm). Great job, Carson. I've often thought of getting a small paint spray gun for the large areas. I don't know what they offer for trim but your brush is a handy item. Anything to make the job easier. It takes a little while to get used to change but I think you've chosen well. It looks great.

  10. Well done. All that production and a blog, too. Wonder Woman. Who is doing the canvas transfers for you?

    1. I'm using Picture It On Canvas for this batch - they had a year-end 72% off everything sale.

  11. I laughed when I saw Johnny's picture with Smooch's. Are you going for life imitating art?

  12. Painting is a pain in the butt, but not half as bad a sanding woodwork -- I hate that more than ironing, so you can see it's at the very bottom of everything. Laughed myself silly about your brawls with the lamp! Hope you're not too bruised, lol. It looks good in the end, especially because I'm sure there are some Smooch hairs in it for texture; I find dog hair even in the freezer.

    P.S. Changing to Laurie W. since we have 2 Lauries now.

  13. Love it! Can you come over here and give me a hand?
    Cheryl Ann in CA

  14. thank for the laughs.. sorry about the head bangers... i like the color and wish you were here, it has been 15 years since bob last painted inside and outside.

  15. Northern AB gal1/8/15, 6:55 AM

    Well I agree with all the previous posters! Love the color and the prints and so happy that the brush "tip" was helpful (pardon the pun :)). Benjamin Moore has a site where you can upload pictures of your rooms and choose different colors to see how it will look ( I'm sure Behr must have something similiar but I couldn't find it on their website. They can certainly color match anything you come up with on the BM site.

  16. Nicely done! I wish I knew how you motivate yourself. That's the hardest part for me.

  17. GREAT post! Thank you for the tips about Behr paint and brush. Really enjoyed seeing what a big help you have in Smooch. I agreed w/Smooch on your selection of color (altho green is current fav) until the table was added and truly love it w/pix.
    Mick in OR

  18. Oh, the spill photo is epic. I think I've done something like that every time I paint. Love the 2 inch angled brush too, no tape for me. Your canvas prints will look great, I've ordered a few and really like them. Congrats on a pretty new room!

  19. You are braver than me!

    My solution for the head-bang on dangling light fixtures:
    1) for chandelier types --> I tie it up higher, temporarily.
    2) for your type of fixture, I attach one or more items that will dangle down lower .... string , yarn, plastic bag/ballon.
    The bag/balloon can be attached with a string so it is not near the heat of the bulbs

    Having something small, light-weight /soft dangling in your lower field of vision will often keep you from walking into the object at forhead height (I'm 5'6 ... so I know the pain).

    M in NC

  20. Love the photos on canvas - I must look into that for some of mine next time there is such a great sale on them. Gotta agree about the Behr paint - it's my first choice. Thanks for the tip about the brush. My favourite painting tool - at least for outdoor projects or for projects I can take outside to paint (like furniture) is my paint sprayer. So far, I haven't had the guts to use it indoors as I'm still a bit sloppy with overspray.

  21. Another person here who hates painting and is bad at it Thanks for the tips. Have you thought about doing one of the walls in an accent color that is a bit brighter and is complementary to the colors throughout the home?

  22. Wow! Love it! Painting is always fun.....hehe.......

    Can you tell me where you got your cool light fixture? I want one!

    Holly in ID

  23. You can also get a neat little cheap plastic pouring spout to fit around the inside of the can.... just press it in. You'll never have a mess on the outside of a can again... wipe off bristles on it or use it to pour...and, if you line your roller tray with tin foil and don't poke any holes in it... you just toss away the foil after letting the small amount of leftover paint dry ... (if there is a lot of paint..pour it back into the can) and don't even have to clean up your tray... ever..... also... if you get sidetracked during painting... wrap bristles of brushes well in foil and they stay moist til you come back or feel like cleaning up....

  24. The color is very soothing. I hate painting. I see all these blogs with pretty cabinets painted in a day. I tried that once. I gave up in less than an hour; gave the half painted cabinet to my ex-husband for tools. I have NO patience for painting cabinets. You did an excellent job! I wonder if I have enough patience to paint one wall. I think of all that prep work. UGGH. But your outcome is so beautiful. And those canvas photos are to scream for!

  25. I actually like the color and the canvas prints are awesome!

  26. Love the artwork!! You have some fantastic models at your disposal.

  27. I do like that "barely green" color. In different light, different colors. I'm not even really sure that it clashes with anything. It's a natural color . . . do natural colors "clash"?
    I have a theory that as humans age, they grow more and more to like being surrounded by shades of green. What do you think about that?

  28. Looks great with the new canvas prints. Sorry about the spill, glad you got it all up. I always make a bit of a mess when I paint but like how every thing looks fresh with new paint.

  29. Wow, I laughed so hard at the doodle of you hitting your head on the dining table light fixture. Misery loves company, remember? I have a permanent dent in my forehead from smacking myself on that fixture so many damn times. :-)
    So happy to see Blue Brett helped with the tarp placement, too. lol

  30. An American in Tokyo1/8/15, 5:46 PM

    I LOVE the new color! It's okay if it's boring, you can always spice it up with photos and decorations!
    Can't wait to see what color is next!

    You are an inspiration. I spent 3-4 days in my apartment, barely moving. I had to force myself to clean up a little.
    Maybe your post will inspire me to do more cleaning...

  31. I'm impressed. I hate painting but my wife loves it and is good at it. She uses the angled brush also to minimize taping. I like the color you picked.

  32. Love your endive walls! and with the canvasses, it is perfect

  33. Late, but LOVE the color! You have a red wall? Why can't i remember... Oh the divider in the kitchen? What about something bright like yellow? Very Santa Fe- ish

    1. Hello? Take a look at the fourth picture down, with the paint can sitting on the red wall?

  34. This post made me laugh out loud. Every time I paint I remember that I actually hate painting. Luckily, I like how painting turns out. ;)

    But the room looks great. The color does look nice against your trim. And when you put those photos on the wall? Whoa. Just perfect.

    Thanks for linking to our lazy girl's painting tips. I'm so happy I found you - looking forward to following along with your adventures.