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What I Learned While Painting My Bedroom

on January 5, 2014

We moved into a freshly built starter type home shortly after we were married.  As such, the entire house was painted the same light gray color throughout in a quality of paint I would guess is one step above builder grade.  We haven’t done  a whole lot of painting ourselves over the years, just our two bathrooms and the kiddo’s room (twice).  The vaulted ceilings in our living room are best left up to the professionals in my opinion.  But, we decided a few months ago that we’d like to paint our master bedroom–and finally found time to get it done over winter break.  In a little over 24 hours our bedroom was transformed with just a couple gallons of paint, and I learned a few lessons along the way.

1)  Ceiling paint cures over time.

We had been living just fine with the generic paint color in our room for ages, but due to some very minor repair work we needed to do to one wall we needed to spray a little texturizer on the ceiling.  In case you didn’t know this (which I sure did not) the paint on the ceiling cures over time.  What this means is that you are not able to go back and touch up the ceiling paint, because the color will not match.  Therefore, you have to repaint the entire ceiling.  We experienced this problem in the kiddo’s room the second time we painted it too when a little bit of the lavender got on the ceiling–her ceiling needs repainted too, but that’s for another day.

2)  Invest in a nice quality paint.

While the majority of our house is a  nice neutral color, the paint does show marks very easily and requires touch ups a few times a year.  I’ve gotten very good at making the whole house look freshly painted, but is kind of a pain in the rear.  In the few rooms we have painted, we have chosen to use Behr paint, and oh my what a difference. Not only is the new paint a semi-gloss instead of flat, you can see and feel a difference instantly.  I’m not sure how to describe it other than it looks creamier and feels smooth and does not show every little tiny mark.  Plus, nicer paint requires fewer coats.  We learned this in kiddo’s room.  The first time we painted it it took an entire gallon (down to the last drippy drop).  The second time it only took about 1/2 a gallon–because the walls weren’t soaking half of it up.  Below you will see the color we chose for our bedroom.  LOVE IT!

Dark Storm Cloud by Behr– http://www.homedepot.com

3)  Quality tape is key.

One might think that painter’s tape is painter’s tape–at least I did.  I was proved wrong this time around.  We used the standard blue painter’s tape around the majority of the room, including 75% of the ceiling.  But, then my blue tape ran out, I had to turn to the green Frog painter’s tape that I use to hang up items around the house.  (The green tape has a bit more stickiness to it, and it will adhere posters and things to the kiddo’s walls where the blue stuff would just fall off.  Also using painter’s tape instead of pins is a great trick to avoid holes in your walls.  I use it at home and at work when I don’t want to compromise the wall).  Anywho…  The green tape went up on half of two walls.  When we took the tape down, the lines left around the green tape were nice and crisp.  The ones under the blue had some seepage.  This may be mostly to do with the texturized walls in our home, but I think would apply to smooth walls too.  In the future if we need to paint a room again, we will definitely use the green tape around the ceiling.

4)  Holy buckets of dust and cat hair.

Let’s be honest here, I don’t think most people move their dressers or beds on a regular basis to clean underneath or behind them.  We for sure didn’t.  And, let me tell you it showed.  We have a few electronics in our room (a tv and dvd player that really only get used for movies with the kiddo and occasionally when the hubs is watching something on YouTube.  It’s used enough to warrant keeping it in the bedroom but not enough to be a distraction from sleeping or my reading habit).  Apparently these bad boys attract a lot of dust along the baseboards between the dresser and wall.  YUCK!  And, evidently two longish haired cats leave hair build up everywhere including on windowsills they don’t sit on and along closet baseboards–and of course under the bed.  Even dusting and vacuuming once a week didn’t help those hard to see areas.  I’m seriously contemplating adding vacuuming under and around bedroom furniture to my spring and fall cleaning lists.  Does anyone move major furniture in their house to vacuum?  If so, how often do you do it?

Our longest haired kitty (and a view of a light gray wall behind him).

Our longest haired kitty (and a view of a light gray wall behind him).

5)  Five-year-olds have more patience than you think they do.

Of course the kiddo wanted to help in the whole process, but little hands and dark paint + light carpet = recipe for disaster.  So, while mom and dad painted for a large chunk of time, she was left to figure out how to entertain herself–which quite honestly she needs to do more of.  And, guess what.  She did it!  She came in to check on us every once in a while and ended up helping in the tape removal process, but for the most part she was able to play on her own while we painted with the door shut (because our youngest kitty is just a bit too curious for his own good).  Of course we checked on her and she checked on us, but for the most part she was super patient which I was so surprised and impressed with.

6)  It’s amazing how a newly painted room makes you feel!

Like I said, we really haven’t painted all that much in our house (mainly rooms on the upper floor) and it has been a while since we’ve done one that I use on a daily basis.  All I can say is WOW, what a difference!  We chose a blue-gray color that didn’t clash too much with the charcoal gray in our master bathroom.  We weren’t entirely sure what it would look like once on the walls, but I am in love.  We wanted something that wasn’t a flat gray, and I love that the blue comes through in the color quite nicely.  And it really looks wonderful with our cherry wood furniture–which I hadn’t expected.  Also, the artwork we have on our wall (photos I’ve taken matted in white with thin black frames or in thick black frames like below) really pops!  Kind of crazy how painting one room can make your home feel new again.  Check out the before and after below…

Before picture.  This is our room with the light gray walls.

Before picture. This is our room with the light gray walls.

After!  We love the way the room looks now.  This picture doesn't do the color justice, but you can definitely see a difference in the before and after.

After! We love the way the room looks now. This picture doesn’t do the color justice, but you can definitely see a difference in the before and after.

Anyone else tackle any major projects over the winter holidays or make any painting changes recently they are in love with?

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One response to “What I Learned While Painting My Bedroom

  1. […] What I Learned While Painting My Bedroom Jan […]

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