Monday, September 26, 2011

New Coat of Paint

You can see the test spots of paint colors on the walls in the last couple of posts. I wanted to go with something completely different from the yellow, something cool, restful, light and airy. James wanted something a little darker and moodier. We decided to incorporate two different shades of blue-grey. Like all the rest of the paint in our house, we used Olympic No-VOC paint from Lowes. The colors are April Sky and Smoke Screen.

In addition to painting the walls, we also painted the ceiling. I say we, but in this case, James actually painted the ceiling. He works four 10 hour days, so he did this on one of the days he has off that I had to work. This is not a fun job, so I seriously appreciate his effort. I know it's not a fun job because I did the ceilings of the other two bedrooms and the hall bath. We have textured ceilings. We weren't too keen on these when we bought the house, but they've kind of grown on us. Obviously it isn't a style that's currently popular or trendy, but it's one of the few features of our typical 1980s suburban home that shows some craftmanship, so I kind of appreciate it for that reason.

The previous owners of our home had had the ceilings of the great room and kitchen painted with a semi-gloss paint not too long before we bought the house. We kind of liked how that played up the texture and made it seem clean and bright, rather than dusty, which can be one of the downsides of textured ceilings. So we've painted the rest of the ceilings in semi-gloss as well. It might not be the choice others would make, but we're pleased with it, and it's our house. :) Above is a night time picture to display the texture. In real life it's more subtle and doesn't look this shiny/harsh. We just used off-the-shelf white semi-gloss, in the Olympic no-VOC. We bought a big 5 gallon bucket, since we knew over time we were doing all three bedrooms and two baths, and the texture soaks up a lot of paint. It actually ended up being a couple of years between the first set of rooms and the second, and we took the paint back to Lowes to have them spin it for us so it would be well mixed after settling all that time.

It's exciting to be pretty much done with the ceilings now, since they're such a pain to do. The only room we haven't painted yet is the laundry room. To paint the ceilings, we just used a deep (3/4 or 1 inch) napped roller. We used a broom handle attachment to the paint roller, and we did the cutting in with a brush and ladder. We taped off and/or removed light fixtures. If you do this, safety glasses are good idea, because paint splatters everywhere! You will get it in your eyes. Also, definitely do ceilings first, then walls. It's helpful if you can just clear everything out of the room, which we had to do in this case anyway since we were also installing floors. If not, be sure to cover everything very well. You will have a very tired neck and shoulders when you are finished. If you are doing a whole house at once, it might be worth renting a sprayer rather than doing it the hard way, like us! Thank goodness we didn't have to do the rooms with the cathedral ceilings ourselves.

Once James got the ceilings done, we tackled the walls. James and I are a pretty good painting team. Chiefly, I'm the roller and James does the cutting in. The rolling is straight forward. I don't have any special tips. I just use the W technique that you'll see in a million how-to tutorials, and try to roll it on in a few thin, even coats. For cutting in, James likes to use an edging tool, like this. It kind of takes some practice, but once you get the knack of it (like James) it means we don't tape off many things. His technique is to apply paint with the edger and then roll over it with a small roller to blend the paint to the rest of the walls. Without doing that, the edger leaves a brushed on look. Then we use a brush to get the corners and any other tight spaces the edger won't reach. Here is our lovely April Sky colored room. We're really pleased with the color. I like how it looks different in different lights. It's kind of fascinating to see it go from blue to grey to white to purple depending on the time of day and part of the room. I'll be back tomorrow to talk about what we did with Smoke Screen.


  1. How lovely! It's amazing the difference a paint job can make. I've been in love with that blue-grey color for a bedroom for a while now. It's so calming!

  2. I think I found the color for my vintage trailer. Thank you so much on the 2 pictures I got to see. I've always liked the color of grey blue, but never seen it in a lighter grey blue.

  3. I think I found the color for my vintage trailer. Thank you so much on the 2 pictures I got to see. I've always liked the color of grey blue, but never seen it in a lighter grey blue.


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