Thursday, May 7, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Reno's - #9 Paint

Ok maybe not a renovation on it's own BUT paint is the cheapest, fastest way to make a HUGE impact, especially if the larger project is out of budget. I love to paint. Wait, let me clarify, I love to paint interiors. If I never paint the exterior of a house again it will be a day too soon. I particularly love cutting and I rarely if ever tape off a room. I developed my mad cutting skills after changing my mind on paint choices and re-painting a room multiple times (right Kayla???). That's the other fabulous thing about paint! Because it's so easy and inexpensive you can change the look of the entire room if you're in the mood! I get that mood often.

I'm particular about my paint - good quality paint and brushes make alllll the difference, trust me. I prefer Valspar paint and primer in one from Lowes hands down any day. I am also a huge fan of smooth, or un-textured walls (this has become quite the point of contention between Tommy Thompson and I as he prefers the opposite, LOTS of texture). I was fortunate enough that Mulberry Forest had smooth walls so I was able to play with some fun techniques. Enter my first gold bedroom.

I love everything gold. It is my most favorite color so when it came time to choose the color of my bedroom it was a given, it would be gold. Valspar has a faux finish called Brushed Pearl in Simply Elegant that would give me the great color I wanted and add some dimension to the smooth wall. And it was easy! You roll and cut a base color (specified by the brushed pearl paint chip you select), let it dry, then working in small sections dry brush the tinted pearlescent color on top in large X's. While the X's are still tacky you take a plastic trowel and smoosh it all around in a circular motion. I did this process twice, letting it dry in between and the end result was gorgeous. So much so that when I sold Mulberry Forest I did the exact same color and technique in the master at 10th and Wash. 

Master bedroom at Mulberry Forest
Master bedroom at 10th and Wash
After the success with brushed pearl I was eager to try my hand at another fancy paint. I had been admiring the metallic teal in the shampoo room at my hair salon and wanted to try a metallic in my itty bitty bathroom at Mulberry Forest. Thinking teal would be a bit much for the small space I opted for The Valspar Brilliant Metals collection in Gunmetal (sadly is no longer available but trust me - it was fabulous!). It was a dark gray but had a fabulous shimmer to it that when paired next to the white subway tile looked stunning.

When I bought Mulberry Forest one could have confused it with a John Deere dealership. The body of the exterior was bright yellow with John Deere green trim. It had to go. Picking an exterior color was hard for me. I wanted bold yet I didn't want it to fade, it needed to make a statement but not the 'oh Lord look at that house' kinda statement. The little house sat under HUGE pine and deciduous trees so it needed to pop. I chose a deep blue with gray undertones in Valspar's Duramax paint which is designed to hold up to fading and cracking (something like this) with bright white trim.

To expedite the job, my parents came over to help along with our friends' paint sprayer. My grandmother was in town and wanted to watch the big event - so we set her up in a chair under the shade tree. We prepped the house, filled the sprayer and waited with cameras ready for the big moment. Drum roll.... nothing. We were all staring at the house anxiously waiting the new color and nothing was coming out. We turned to the sprayer to see what he had not set up correctly and there we saw it. No less than 5 gallons of my beautiful, saved for months to buy the good quality, blue paint - pumping all.over.the.driveway. After a brief laugh we jumped into high gear to prevent more from spilling and clean up the mess, painting the driveway had never been part of the plan.

By far painting the exterior of the house made one of the biggest impacts when it came time to sell. It brought the house into the current decade, gave it a fresh clean appearance and gave it that famous curb appeal everyone looks for. Next time however, I will make room in my budget to hire it out.

Another favorite paint project is the dining room at 10th and Wash. A dining room was on my 'Must have's/Non Negotiable' list when purchasing my next home. So when I found a house with the perfect dining space it had to standout. I found a beautiful 10-person dining set with a buffet but I struggled with the wall color. I teetered between a rusty burnt orange and a deep eggplant purple. It wasn't until I went to the store to buy the paint that I saw it - Dog Park Green. It was bold, unique, and I could justify it for nearly every holiday I would entertain for. Rolling it I was nervous that it was too much, especially considering the front door to the house is in the dining room, but the day after when I could see it in the daylight I was in love. It helped that in addition to the front door, two of the walls had large windows, add in the large buffet to break up the bold color, it was perfect.

My most recent favorite paint project are the kitchen cabinets at the Lakehouse. When we looked at remodeling the kitchen, new cabinets were not only not in the budget, it was unnecessary to change them. Aside from some grease and grime they were/are in great condition, they just needed a face lift. After painting cabinets in my last two kitchens with latex paint I knew we needed something heavier duty. Enter Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The color selection was easy since ASCP comes in pre-mixed colors, and thanks to Pinterest I knew which one I wanted - French Linen. We de-greased the cabinets with Krud Kutter then organic de-natured alcohol and our prep was done (no sanding!!). Two coats of ASCP to each side, and two coats of clear wax (truth be told I still need to apply the second coat of wax...) and they were done. We added Ikea's Tyda handles and the kitchen was un-recognizable. Ok in fairness we changed the backsplash, counters, paint and more but that's in a later post.
Don't be afraid to try new colors and never be afraid to paint over it. Paint is the easiest way to make a big change. Try different types of paint - while ASCP is a new fave of mine, my collection of spray paint will always be a plenty and nothing beats an old fashioned gallon with a roller.

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