Thursday, April 17, 2014

Live and Learn: How to Paint (or at least what NOT to do!)

Ladies!!! I wanted to share something with you and I thought that today would be perfect for it!!  I am linking up with my dear friend Sarah from Life as Always for her Live and Learn linkup on Thursdays!!  If you haven't checked out her blog before make sure you stop by today!!

We have done our fair share of painting in our home since moving in 6 years ago.  And through all of my experiences painting nearly every room in our house I have LEARNED a lot!

Here is some backstory: We have an older home built in 1989 and let me tell you it is a pure product of the 80's!!  and that is NOT a compliment.  I don't know about you but that yellowish oak color that was so in back then makes me want to barf!!   sorrynotsorry if you like it. Not to mention the couple we purchased the house from never changed the decor of the house (or the paint on the walls or the carpet on the floor) for the 20 years they lived there!!  needless to say much of it is was an eyesore. 

I will be the first to admit that my decor style has changed over the past 6 years and I am wanting to change some of the makeovers we have done previously.  

Our first plan of attack was to paint the ceiling and walls before we moved in you know to cover up the 20 year old builders paint!.  Which we did: the living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway all got a fresh new coat (or two) of paint.  

:: First Lesson I Learned - make sure you know the tone of the color you are picking and try out a sample before buying 6 gallons of it!!!  I was hoping to go for a taupe color very light almost white but still had some color to it.  We chose a color called "Arizona Tan".  Sure tan isn't taupe but the color on the 1inch by 1inch square looked good to us.  Fastforward to painting the living room and the color I kid you not was the color of FLESH!! I felt like we were inside a stomach or something.  It was awful.  So we took the paint back and tried to have them add some other pigment to it to get rid of the pink undertones.  Not wanting to waste the paint we went ahead and put this color on all of the walls I mentioned above ::

Eventually I painted over the hallway, dining room and living room with a couple of different colors.  I found the best color for what I was originally wanting which is no longer available: Martha Stewart Potter Slip.  Since I still have the paint chip and a can they can remake it for me but without it I would be lost!  And then we did some accent walls in Green.

I then painted our guest bathroom yellow and thanks to our Siberian Husky I got tile floors installed and a new white paneled door!  (see that gross wood color? I hate it!)

before: 20 year old paint and linoleum

 after: fresh new yellow walls and new tile! (I also painted the windowsill white!)

:: Second Lesson I Learned - think about your color combinations!!  The problem with the yellow bathroom?  Well we used to have brown towels in there and the shower curtain has a light brown color.  It wasn't until I watched Sarah Richardson on HGTV that I realized how bad that color combination really is!  She said that yellow and brown are reserved for only one spot in the house - the toilet!! and I have wanted to re-paint ever since.

So now we are doing our second makeover in the guest bathroom.  I can't give a whole lot of details as I am planning for a reveal soon.  What I can tell you is we are changing the colors, lighting and other details as well.

So what have I learned during this bathroom makeover and paint?

:: Third Lesson I Learned - regardless of your budget invest in quality paint products and prep appropriately.  We bought cheap tape and cheap rolling brushes - you know to try and keep the cost down.  Well it backfired.  Our taping ability and prep-work was seriously lacking.  Maybe that was because I was "in a hurry" to get it done.  I would like to blame the texture on the walls but alas I think we just didn't do a good job in prepping or investing in quality tape.  The paint bled all over the ceiling and window casing meaning that I have a lot of clean up work to do.  In addition the tape kept falling off the ceiling and walls as I was painting.  Partly because the tape was cheap but also because we didn't clean all the dust off first! So there was nothing for it to stick to in the first place!

 a few days ago (yes this is in black and white)

So what I would like you to learn from this painting experience:
1. Take the time to properly prep your area for painting: dusting and cleaning out the area
2. Invest in quality painting equipment: painters tape, drop cloths, paint brushes and rollers
3. Try out a sample or two of the colors you are wanting to use to make sure they are the right color
4. Consider the other colors you will be putting into the space to ensure that they all go together well and are reminiscent of something unappealing!
5. Do not rush during the painting process.  Take your time so that you can do a quality job.

Well I hope these tips help you to avoid the hiccups we have had over the years!! Stay tuned for our bathroom reveal here on the blog fairly soon!

♥ Ashley

Life As Always


  1. So I hate painting because of all the time it takes to prep! I think your advise is spot on about proper prepping, quality product and not rushing! It's always hard because you want to see your final product and painting always seems like an "easy" change to make so it should go faster right? :) Great tips!

  2. Totally agree with lesson 3 - I am such a terrible painter my husband wont even let me help anymore. I am impatient and hate to prime anything, but it looks so much better when you do. I love the color you picked!

  3. Oh no Ashley!!! Such good lessons to learn.


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♥ Ashley