August 6, 2008

Longing for color

Posted in Home Improvement, Moving on up tagged , , , , at 12:22 am by Lauren

Last week we finalized the paint colors for the house, so this week we’re going to see some change! I wanted to use the Benjamin Moore historical color palette, but when I went to the store to buy it, I decided to be a little cheap instead and stood there pulling all the little color chips off the shelves. (Still, can the Benjamin Moore sellers blame me? I’m about to drop a mint on paint!)

Catherine and I picked out preliminary choices last Tuesday night after shopping, and then I waited for the weekend to show Allen. But in the meantime, I noticed that the red we’d chosen for the dining room really didn’t go with a tablecloth we’d purchased in France. So every time I walked past the dining room, I’d compare another color to that tablecloth. I know the whole world doesn’t need to match, but the paint colors do need to coordinate with the furniture and decor that we’d like to use often. (And all the paint colors in the house need to coordinate with each other, whether they’re in adjacent rooms or not!)

This weekend I showed the colors to Allen, and Rebecca and Chris helped us make our final selections. We kept a medium beige in the living room, chose a medium-dark brown in the dining room (be still my heart!), and agreed on a sunny yellow of the type you find in all my abodes for the sunroom (next to brick) and hallway (upstairs and down). Then we adjusted the kitchen colors, keeping the original gray-green that I’d chosen for the kitchen walls, but toning down to a lighter gray in the same family for the intermediate office area between the kitchen and the rest of the house. That gray will also go in our upstairs bathroom (next to black and white tile), and the upstairs room will be blue (craft room/requisite Arlington “nursery” – all the houses have this particular small room for that purpose), green (guest room), and light brown (master bedroom). Phew! The only adjustment we made upstairs is that Allen preferred that our bedroom be brown, so the guest room will be green.

Since we’re using Benjamin Moore – hoping it lives up to everything everyone says about it covering better and therefore saving you money, and also about it looking better and cleaning better and so on – I’ve been given a painting budget of only $100 this first month. So that’s two rooms. I bought the paint for the living room and dining room on Monday. This month’s painting adventure begins!

But when I got home, I realized I wanted to do a lot more preparation than I usually do. (I am using fancy paint after all; shouldn’t I make sure it looks as professional as possible?) So I washed the walls with a TSP substitute on yesterday and started to sand out past drips. There wasn’t much I could do about the bumps left when the former owners painted over the wallpaper, but I sanded those out as much as possible anyway. I continued the sanding today, and then I vacuumed the entire surface of the walls. Then I tackled the gaps between the wall and trim – unfortunately, there were quite long stretches of gaps in the living room. That literally took me hours.

So, I’m ready to paint now. I’ve got the caulking calluses to prove it. But you really shouldn’t start painting at ten o’clock at night.


1 Comment »

  1. Lauren said,

    The downstairs painting went well and we finished it all by November 2008. But we subsequently changed all the rest of the colors. The yellow on the hallway was too bright and mustardy there, though it looked great in the sunroom. We repainted the hallway Alexandria Beige, a shade lighter than the dining room color. The master bedroom is blue, the guest room is red, and the requisite Arlington nursery is a teal green. No more changes now!

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