Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I had a four-day weekend and I am not best pleased with my results.

My goals were to (1) demolish the tile-board in the kitchen, repair the plaster behind it, and prime and paint the walls; (2) create a stenciled "stair runner" on our back stairs and varnish them; and (3) get a substantial start on repainting the built-in bookshelves and souping up their chintzy molding. That would leave me with plenty of momentum to finish the bookshelves during the week and tool with a full head of steam into next Saturday, when I would paint the entire stair hall with a color magically selected out of my sea of indecision.

My results look rather different: (1) demolished tile-board, but not all of it. I can't get it out from behind the kitchen cabinetry (!!!), so I can't get that wall done and repainted. So I'm not going to repaint all the walls. They're currently white and the new paint is yellow, so I need a logical stopping-place so I don't have a half-painted wall. So I basically got about half the tile-board off. I also discovered that the walls behind the tile-board were in poor condition when it was installed (i.e., there is more damage to repair than that caused by my demolition), and some of this exceeds my ability to repair. My sister suggests beadboard wainscoting, and I am giving this serious consideration. I did the plaster repair, but I haven't sanded, primed, or painted it, because I got mad at my husband (the one who was in a hurry for me to finish the demo), and decided to focus on the projects I wanted to do if he was going to be a pill.

Which brings me to...the stairs. I had painted two coats of porch paint onto the stairs last week. Friday (when I did the demo - my most productive day by like 1000%), I got the stripes taped and painted. But then the tape ripped off half the original paint when it came up, so Saturday I spent touching it up instead of stenciling. Grrrrr. Sunday I stenciled, and Monday I put on two coats of varnish. But I decided it needs a third, so I will be doing that tonight, in addition to going to the grocery store, because I didn't manage to fit that in all four days. I also did only half the laundry (my sister did the rest), and didn't find time to clean the bathroom, which I really need to do. Or cook. I am a disaster.

Part of this is because I blew hours of potential labor on Monday buying a car. It was a snap decision, in that I saw the ad Sunday, called Monday, and drove the car home Monday evening - inspection, negotiation, payment, all done. On the other hand, I've been looking for the car for...a year. So a large item is now off my to-do list. Getting to the DMV has now become more pressing, which is horrible, but...I guess I have to do that.

As a consequence, all I accomplished on the bookshelves was ripping off the old trim and reading about how to strip the ugly varnish. My goal is that tomorrow after work, I will strip the varnish; then Thursday I will cut and hang the new molding; then starting Friday I will paint. But it will take many, many coats of paint (since I want the backs the same color as the room's walls, and since it will need varnish over the paint). And the weekend after next is our housewarming party, and I also want to paint the stair hall before then, and when will I do that?

My DH can prime and paint the kitchen if he wants it painted. I consider the large plaster patches to be a conversation piece.

I guess there is some good news. I picked out and purchased the new bookshelf molding at the big orange store, so that project has gone from the Psychic Anguish/Acquisition Planning stage to the Awaiting Execution stage, which is much lower-stress but does involve random lengths of molding on the floor. I also picked out a color for the stair hall (probably ramping up my antsiness to paint it). Neither my DH nor my sister likes it, and neither, I suspect, will any of you, but this time I am absolutely positive, so I am going to go ahead with it. It will be magnificent - you'll see.

So I decided (as mentioned) to work from the color in the green bedroom. That color is just a shade darker than Behr's "Garden Spot":

I know, that color looks sort of innocuous. It's actually intense. How intense? Well, actually, now that you mention it, I do have a picture of the walls...taken in terrible lighting, I'm afraid:

I note that this is not going in a before-and-after set of pictures of the room just yet, because I have ONE more item to hang that will not go on its wretched hook, and also my sister's stuff is all over the room, so until she finds a nice apartment (not that I'm in any hurry for her to do that, I'm just saying that's why you all don't get any before-and-afters) I can't document where I put all the furniture and the nice curtains I found on Amazon and all the things I hung on the walls and, you know, stuff. So this is just a smidge.

And here is a close-up of the wallpaper (I custom-matched the wallpaper, but it is more or less exactly between "Garden Spot" and the color one darker on the chip):

So anyway. I went to the Behr Color Center online thingy and tried to pull the lighter version of that color, and got the highly suspect "Fairway Mist" I showed you before:

As many of you commented, it's substantially pistachio and not very attractive. But I misread the color center thingy 'cause it's automated and I can't see it and color is deceptive on my laptop, and when I went to the store I realized that the color I actually wanted was "Spring Morn":

Yeah, that probably looks about the same. It isn't. It's lighter, and way more yellow (yessss!!!), and I bought a sample can and painted my foam-core board and it looks awesomely awesome and my sister and husband don't see that but they will when I paint it aaaaaaalll over the hallway. So will you.

And soon, I will share before-and-after pictures of my painted staircase. It's...interesting. I will be fascinated to hear your opinion.


  1. i'm super excited to see how the colors come together! i have to admit i'm a visual person when it comes to understanding home improvements. i loved painting our townhome and will live vicariously through you since we're in a rental now. [although my husband has talked about buying a house out here in the *nearish* future and the nerves alone at that thought/mortgage/home improvements that will be necessary on anything that we will be able to afford make me want to barf.]

  2. That is so awesome that you can do your own interior work/decorating. I am not that handy at all. My dh and I have to pay people. I did pick the interior paint colors for the house when we bought it but I wasn't risky...it's all nuetral. THat's about it for me. Good luck with your projects!

  3. You had quite the lofty ambitions for a long weekend. I wouldn't have even dreamed of getting all that done. You did well though. Home project inevitably throw you a curve ball and take longer than anticipated.

    I like Spring Morn much more than Fairway Mist. I'm sure it will look great. That wallpaper is awesome, and I like it with the intense green. Can't wait to see the official pictures. :)

  4. It sounds to me like you accomplished alot, especially since renos are like a box of chocolates (you never know what you are going to find until you bite into it). I really like your green room!

  5. I LOVE the new color choice! Good work!

  6. What do they say about "the best laid plans"? I don't think I'd have been able to accomplish all of that in four days (i'm not at all organized enough). A week might have been pushing it. You did well.

  7. Haha, it would take me months to get all that done! You are awesome! I can't wait to see all the before and afters, and I LOVE what you've shown so far of the green bedroom. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

    We're going to be doing some bathroom renovation/redecorating...I may consult with your masterful design eye since I'm having a hard time deciding on paint color and finishes.

  8. I like the last one, I like the last one!!!

  9. That is pretty awesome wall paper! Love the green :). I am just dying to see before and after photos. I love your style from what you've posted already.
    Oh, and I finally got those pics hung that you gave Isaac. They look fabulous :). Thanks again!

  10. I love green. I love paper and wooahhhh...you were able to match perfectly. WOW!

    Can't wait to see the rest...or the progress. Gee Wiz, your bravery continues to stun me.

    I am still wringing my hands over the fact that our living room needs a new coat of "decorator's white" or whatever its called.

    And, we need to install a door in one room of our apartment and a new screen door and I am paralyzed by fear and indecision.

    Where do you get your drive?

    OHHHH...and congrats on the car. As a CARHEAD I am going to need to see some pics. I LOVE CARS.

    You could always drive it over here and let me drive it, too.

    Hope it's a fast one!

  11. I absolutely LOVE your wallpaper choice. Can you come to my house? :-) Seriously.