The Hubs and I decided a while back to get the interior of the condo painted before tackling any other big projects. If you’ve seen the red and green living area, you can’t blame us for wanting to paint ASAP (Although maybe we should take advantage of the current color scheme and paint after the Christmas season? Or not.). We truly thought that painting would be an easy, low stress way to ease ourselves into this whole DIY thing. We were wrong.
The first step was picking a color. We’d decided to paint the living room, dining room, and main areas of the house (like the stairway) all one color, so we needed something neutral. A while back, I was inspired by a mood board I’d seen on 7th House on the Left.
I lurve the cool blue and grey tones. Plus, our sofas are beige like the one in the mood board and we have been planning to install laminate flooring in a dark chocolate color similar to the ottoman pictured above. So to get this look in our condo, the Hubs and I decided to go with a greige (grey beige) paint on the walls, complete with bright white baseboards and ceilings, with touches of blue in the accessories.
Unfortunately, finding the right greige was a challenge. We hit up Home Depot for paint samples and were so disappointed with the three we picked. We slapped them up on the walls and then realized they all had weird undertones that weren’t apparent in the swatches. Then the frustration set in.
Luckily, I have a helpful cousin who has her own DIY blog and she offered her advice. Instead of just selecting single paint swatches at random, as we’d done, she suggested first looking for those paint swatches with multiple shades of color on them.
She said this way, when you find a greige you like, you can look at that same color in a more saturated form (the darkest color on the swatch) and determine if THAT color looks too blue, brown, red, green, etc. This helps you avoid colors with undesirable undertones. I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful this was.
The Hubs and I visited a local hardware store with this information last weekend and actually ended up with 4 promising paint samples. After studying them for a few days in a variety of lights, we’ve settled on Ozark Shadows by Benjamin Moore.
It’s that perfect sleek grey that will look wonderful with white baseboards and trim, but it has just a touch of warmth to it, so it will coordinate with our tan furniture. Plus, the Hubs is from Missouri, so the name is fitting. I am SO excited to get this paint on the walls you have no idea.
I am keeping my excitement at bay for the moment since there is a LOT of prep work to be done first. This includes but is not limited to:
- Painting the ceilings a bright white. ALL the ceilings. Including the 20 foot vaulted beauties in the stairwell. We have an extension rod for our paint roller and a huge extension ladder (wedging it into my Ford Contour was a fun way to spend an afternoon in the Home Depot parking lot), but edging will still be a challenge I’m not looking forward to. Speaking of which…
- Edging. Since precisely placing painter’s tape up on those vaulted ceilings is easier said than done, we bought an edger tool for $5. Cross your fingers it will perform as the 5-star reviewers promise.
- Adding texture to patched areas. We have already spackled most of the holes, but those patches are now nice and smooth. This is a problem because the walls have an orange peel texture on them. We picked up some texture-in-a-can and need to spray it over the patches so they blend into the surrounding wall.
- Priming the dining and living room walls. Oh red wall, bane of my existence. You’re going to cost me so much time, money, and sanity. While testing the paint samples, we realized the red walls will take about 3 coats of primer to cover the color completely. As for our green room, it will take about 2 coats.
All I have to say about this is blergh. That’s a lot of prep work. Looking on the bright side, at least we’re not painting the bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchen! We will eventually paint those rooms as we get to them, but for now we’ll live with the purple, blue, green and yellow kaleidoscope.
With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, and having no intention of braving the Black Friday madness, I’m hoping to spend the long weekend painting like a mad woman. As long as I don’t get too distracted by the Macy’s parade and the turkey/wine coma doesn’t knock me out for more than a few hours, I think this is do-able. Until then, have a very happy turkey day, everyone!