Thursday, January 22, 2015

50 Shades of Gray - okay maybe like 4 or 5

A little teaser of our dining room flip:

The dining room was the first entire room "we" (mostly my decision) decided to cosmetically flip in our old house/new rental.  Matt had to go to Japan for a business trip and my mom stayed with me for the two weeks he was gone (good thing I like my Mom ;)).  She agreed to help me renovate while Matt was gone (all while I was still working my regular job).  Matt and I did two things together before he left. 

1. Pulled off the old baseboards which were two different pieces made to look like one (made for harder removal).  We used crow bars, pieces of plywood, hammers, and brute strength.  We tried just leveraging the crow bars on the wall and, of course, the plaster started to crumble; hence, we started using plywood to leverage against.  A lot of plaster crumbles off of the wall when baseboards are pulled off of lath and plaster, thus, we had to vacuum all the little pieces up for new baseboards to be installed.  Matt is so cute vacuuming after the baseboards were pulled off.

2. Pick paint colors.  Matt and I went with a greenish-gray color pallet using the lightest 3 colors.  We used these three colors from the same pallet called Reserved White, Silver Strand, and Magnetic Gray.

This pallet is from Sherwin Williams.  We bought the lightest color, Reserved White, in flat sheen for the ceiling. The next, Silver Strand, was the main wall color bought in Satin sheen. And the last, darkest, Magnetic Gray, was used the least on the outside of the main decorative trim pieces (also bought in Satin sheen).    

So, from here on out all work was tackled by my Mom and me :)  First step: PREP!  I was so excited to paint but there's sooo much that has to be done before paint can even be opened.  First we layed down tarps on the floor and blocked off all entrance ways to the room with plastic drop cloths - we wanted to minimize the dust, debris, and mess from the rest of the house since we were still living in the house.  

Next, we tore out the casing on the door to create an archway as seen on Door to Archway - Thanks Josh Temple.

Then we spackled and sanded all cracks, imperfections, and nicks in the walls/trim.  This included some pretty bad old patch jobs and lots of ceiling work.

This is a little of the aftermath from sanding.  Obviously I had all my proper PPE (personal protective equipment) on with that lovely dust mask outline and raccoon eyes.

Throughout this whole process I would run to the hardware store during my lunch break to pick up any supplies my mom and I would need at night.  

FINALLY, we were ready to paint!  We started with the 3 main grays.

... and I started to freak out.  Did I make a HORRIBLE choice with my paint colors!?  I mean they looked absolutely hideous next to that brown.  I realized the brown was going away but still!  It was so incredibly hard to visualize that there would be white trim.  My mom calmed me down and said let's just keep going.

Tip: Tightly wrap paint brushes and rollers in plastic bags over night so they don't dry out instead of cleaning them after every individual use.

#DiyDogProblems side story...
Having a dog that wants to do everything that we do is oh so cute... until we are trying to finish projects on the house.  Our dog, Teddy, thinks he is a human and gets cranky like a human.  While I was painting the ceiling, I didn't want any paint to drip on Teddy so i put him in his crate in the adjoining room.  Teddy could hear us and knew we were home so he kept whining and ruff-ing.  He wore me down and I had just finished the ceiling, so finally I let him out.  At this point in the renovation, there are tools and supplies everywhere!  He tried to jump over something and accidentally jumped right in the paint tray!  This is a slow motion type of moment where all I could do was scream 'NOOO' while simultaneously trying to pick him up.  I wasn't quick enough and he started running away since he thought he was in trouble.  I caught him before he could leave the room and it was kind of adorable the paint paw-prints he left behind on the tarp.  Impromptu bath time did occur and put us back 30 minutes in progress.  How could anyone be mad at this sad little face!?

So, we were finished with the main three colors and went onto trim.  This is where the real fun began... Taping every inch of trim in that room was a nightmare!  We had the ceiling, the crown molding, and the inlays on the walls!  Boy, am I glad that I didn't have to tape baseboards, too.  We went through so much painter's tape in this step.  Now, I'm sure someone is thinking 'Why didn't they just edge with a paintbrush instead of taping everything?'  Well I have a very good reason why everything was taped.  OLD PLASTER WALLS AND TRIM.  Nothing is smooth, nothing has a straight edge, and nothing is ever easy on old plaster.  In order to get straight clean lines, it had to be faked by taping everything.

Whew, everything looked MUCH better now that there was white trim and not chocolate milk brown, I can't tell you how relieved I was :)  Everything took three coats of white... that plaster crown molding was the absolute worst to paint by hand.  I wish we would have bought a paint sprayer.

Matt came home just in time for the finishing touches and to watch the tape come off.  His schedule was so messed up after coming back from Japan.  Look at these two bums sleeping during the day ;)

All we had left to do was spray paint the old register with Rust-Oleum® white, install the new baseboards, and caulk the trim around the windows and baseboards.  POOF *If only it was actually that easy* we had a finished, beautiful room!  Check out some of the POOF process at Door to Archway - Thanks Josh Temple, Baseboards Are Not My Friend, and We Need More Power, Captain.


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