24 September 2014

A world of gray

Remember, way back when, I talked about some of the mistakes I made in the old house? Yes? Probably no. That’s ok. I forget most of the stuff I say, too.

One of the mistakes I made was trying to paint the most difficult room in our old house first, when I was basically a painting novice. This was before I knew how to cut in, so I taped off every single dang edge with approximately eleventy billion linear feet of blue painter’s tape. I used the wrong sort of paint (more expensive than I needed), and it took me three (three!) weekends because I hadn’t learned how to be quick about it. About the only thing I did right was the color, but I always remembered painting that room as an ordeal that would’ve been better waiting until the end.

And so. Many painted rooms later, here we are in the apartment... with just a single pinky-beige room left after Worldly-Graying the rest. And it is, without a doubt, the most challenging.

Four doors. Two windows. Oddly sloped walls. Antique wood trim. Large, heavy furniture. This is like the final exam of apartment painting, right here.

If I had started with this room for this whole months-long pinky-beige banishment, even with the painting experience I have now, that would have been repeating an old mistake. The nursery took a while for its size because I hadn’t realized how to deal with sloped walls and was super panicky about spilling paint on the carpet. (Spoiler alert: ZERO PAINT has been spilled – or even dripped – on the carpet). So, the lesson stands. Even when you think you know how to paint... save the hardest for last.

And so. Here we go! We completely cleared out the furniture and décor that could be easily moved:

That in itself was exciting, because I could see how it would look against the new paint color when it was temporarily relocated to the office. So pretty, love it!

The rest of the furniture either stayed in place (the sectional) or was shoved just a few feet out from the walls. That involved some contortion later, as you’ll see.

I also removed all the outlet and light switch covers from the walls to prepare to paint. That’s when I made this startling discovery:

I’m not sure that you can tell from the photo, but around the light switches, I discovered that before this room was pinky-beige, it was a normal tan-ish shade of beige. Like a light brown with sort of yellowish-greenish undertones. Why would anyone cover that perfectly reasonable beige with awful peachy band-aid paint?! I just... I found that so disheartening.

Anyway. Let’s move on from previous poor paint decisions and greige this place. First the cutting in:

(Can you see the painted rooms in the background, contrasting the pink? Aren’t you excited? I was so excited.)

This third-trimester pregnant lady even managed to squeeze into spaces like this to cut in and paint:

How did I fit back there? I have no idea. I just know that is how badly I wanted this room DONE.

Then the rolling! Mr. P sneakily took this shot one night while I was in the zone.

Once again, this room took two coats. But even before it was dry, I knew it was worth it, just as in all the other rooms!

There you can see how I dealt with the sloped wall vs. the sectional: with a blanket over the back to protect from drips, and some contorting on a ladder to reach near the ceiling from behind the couch. I... am still not entirely sure how I did that, either. But I did not fall and the baby is fine so no scolding please.

Honestly, the baby is just happy this room is DONE (because now there will be more couch-sitting and less ladder-climbing and crawling-around and sweating and complaining). As am I.

Well ok, the room is still out-of-sorts with furniture not entirely back in place. But the walls, they are DONE!

And with that.... the pinky-beige in this apartment is gone, people. Gone! After two years of being miserable about the wall color, it is NO LONGER IN MY LIFE. We have gorgeous greige walls everywhere but the kitchen and bathroom (which are a much less offensive, light, yellow-y beige). The walls are DONE!

But of course... I’ve just made more projects for myself. Like the gray backs of my bookcases (that I still haven’t wallpapered), which now appear an odd sort of blue. Huh.

Still! Before, I was motivated to take on projects to try to make the apartment feel like ours in spite of the wall color. Now, I’m inspired to make this place the beautiful home I’ve known it could be!


Rachel C said...

Yay! No more horrible walls. I am so glad that you finally decided to tackle this task. The apartment looks amazing, and I'm sure it feel more like yours now.

Two questions - has your Landlady seen it? And what was her reaction? And, do you plan to gray the bathroom and kitchen at some point?

Sarah said...

@Rachel, the landlady hasn't seen it yet, but I know she'd like to! The apartment just feels like a disaster nowadays (much reorganization, so messy! plus work, omg!) and I'd prefer to have it cleaned up before I invite her up. As for painting the bathroom and kitchen, I actually don't mind the color in those rooms enough to do anything about it. It's nice to break up the gray a bit. Plus between the green tile & counters in the kitchen, and the pinky-beige floors with yellow-beige tile in the bathroom, I'm not sure I could pick a color that would help them at all.

Tina said...

Love it and so happy that the painting is DONE!
Really wanting to get crown moulding on those shelves, too... An after-baby-arrival project, perhaps?
Don't ever wonder where you get your obsessing... ;-).

Janice said...

Congratulations on the painting. Sooo worth all the efforts! On to the next project!!