It took so long to pick a paint color for my living room makeover, but I’m so happy with my choice and even happier to be done! Well almost!
Um… yes the living room is painted. I would like to say that we are no longer living with camouflaged walls, but…we are! While I did get the majority of the living room painted, I did not paint walls that would get covered up. So on the wall that will be getting a board and batten treatment I didn’t paint that entire wall. I did not paint the walls to each side of the fireplace either because those will be covered with built-ins!
I am so thankful to have committed to this One Room Challenge! I would not have pushed myself to pick a paint color OR more importantly actually painted! I’ve been putting off painting for 3 months now! Even though I don’t technically have to finish the room in 8 weeks, or stick to my timeline. I want to! One, I want the project done and to live in a completed space. Secondly, I am a rule follower, so having committed to this Challenge is great motivation to stick to my timeline! So, if you are visiting from the One Room Challenge website, welcome!
THREE months. That’s how long we lived in the new house before I painted the living room! In my defense the biggest reason it took so long was because I knew we would be purchasing new furniture! See the hodgepodge of old furniture we had HERE. When we moved, I sold as much furniture as possible. What I did keep was going to go down into the basement.
But First a Sectional
My vision for the new living room was to have a sectional. We had a sectional for a long time in our old house. Tour the old house HERE. While I didn’t like not being able to move things around and rearrange, I did like that we could seat a lot of people. A sectional also seems to be a great piece to lay on. When you have 5 people watching tv together it’s nice to be able to spread out. It’s also nice to have that extra seating when you have guests over.
So, I knew I wanted a sectional. One decision was made. Next comes actually picking out the sectional. That proved to be a lot harder task. Most things we saw I just wasn’t sure about. I’m big on gut feelings, and my gut was not telling me I hadn’t seen the right piece. Then, on one showroom floor, we were ready to commit. However it was at least a 6 MONTH wait! What!
I didn’t want to paint the living room until I had the sectional in place and I did not want to live in limbo for six months!! So, we kept shopping. Finally we found one that we liked that was going to take about 6 weeks to come in instead of 6 months. That sounded much better!
Living with Camouflaged Walls
In the meantime we would stare at the paint swatches on the wall and try to decide what color to use in the living room. Our living room opens to the dining room which opens to the kitchen. So whatever we picked for the living room was going in the whole main floor. I cannot stress enough when I tell you that the paint samples looked different on EVERY wall. They also looked different on every wall depending on the time of day.
On this wall I liked this color, but on another, a different color was a favorite. It was a dilemma. I’d commit to one, only to change my mind. Remember me mentioning that I like to trust my gut? So we continued with the camouflaged walls until the sectional came in. That ended up being a little bit of a dilemma as well! The entire thing came in, except the end with the chaise. We picked it up incomplete anyway. The furniture that had been in the room got moved to the basement. Even with only part of the sectional in place, there was a clear winner on paint color. Finally!
I didn’t paint the living room immediately. During this time we picked a color for the bedroom. I loved it in the bedroom, however it was not my favorite in the living room. Weird right? But the lighting and furnishings were different and it just wasn’t the right pick. I did take all of the extra paint from that gallon and painted big samples on the walls…just to make sure!
If you’ve been following me for very long, then you know crazy shit happens to me! HERE is one story about underwear and HERE are a couple about splitting my pants. If listening to me doesn’t make you cry from laughing so hard, I’d be surprised. Painting day was nothing compared to these stories. But, you know, just something ANNOYING that happens at the WRONG time.
Painting Day! Why was it painting day? Because the One Room Challenge said so! Really I should have painted on Monday, but anyway, it’s Wednesday and I couldn’t put it on the back burner any longer.
The day started as it always does with hubby and I up at 4:45 am to go the gym! I come home walked the dog and drank a cup of coffee. I get back to the house to take a kid to the physical therapist. His appointment was at 7am. I should add this kid was very unhappy because we typically don’t leave for school until 9 am on Wednesday morning. Because of me he didn’t get to sleep in!
We finish PT and swing by the house for breakfast and to grab another kid. I get everyone to school. Then I am in the “let’s tackle this” mode. Drop cloths are laid down. Step ladder is located. Reshake the paint, as it’s been sitting 5 days now. Remove all outlet covers. Move furniture away from the walls. Put paint clothes on. Get the brush, tray, roller…rolling pad. Nope! No rolling pads in the house! GRRR! You know what that means!
I stand looking at myself…should I go out in public like this or not? I decide to put my hair into a neater messy bun and throw on some jeans. A little better. Since I’m out I might as well drop off USPS and UPS packages. Get those loaded. I have to deliver chairs on Saturday, so I go ahead and load those. Another kid is hoping to get a vehicle in the 3rd stall of the garage. I work on moving things around so that there’s just a little bit left to do. Squirrel!! 🤪
I am literally talking to myself in the garage, telling myself to focus and go get the darn roller pad!
By the time I got back and actually started painting it was 11:30am. I had hoped to start painting at 9:30am!
Prepping to Paint
People often talk about hating to paint rooms. Nightmare stories on taping everything off, and I really don’t know what else frustrates people so much. I don’t mind painting at all. You paint a room and it’s an instant change. I find it so gratifying because it’s not a multiple step process. Even if you have to apply 2 coats, you can still instantly see a change with the first coat.
I am also blessed when it comes to painting because I stopped taping a long time ago. I’m blessed because I have a steady hand. AND, I know some tricks for when you do get paint in the wrong spots! I really think that a lot of the prep work that people complain about are steps that I skip!
Here’s what I did…
Step 1 – Lay drop cloths
Because of my antique shop I have a lot of drop cloths. I use the drop cloths as intended, but I would also use them as table runners on long 12′ farmhouse tables. Or hang them up as a backdrop or room divider when setting up at shows! Having so many makes it really nice because I can almost cover the perimeter of a room in one step.
Step 2 – Remove outlet & switch covers
I remove outlet covers and then put the screws in the opening of the cover. That way the screws match up with the cover. Most of the time they are interchangeable, but sometimes you have longer screws that need to go with a particular cover. If I keep them matched up then I don’t have to worry about this when I reattach the covers.
I also like to put the covers and screws close by. Somewhere where they are not in the way and need to be moved. For this room, most covers went on the window sill or kitchen counter.
If you follow any designers, it is definitely popular to just paint the cover and outlets or switches. In this room the paint color is so similar that I didn’t think it was necessary. These off-white covers and switches seem to blend into the wall color pretty well. However, when I paint the dark wall in the dining room area, I will be painting those switches and the cover! We will see how they hold up!
Step 3 – Get supplies – Paint brush, paint roller AND pad 😉, paint, rag
When I say to get supplies, these are the supplies needed at the time of painting. Unlike me you would have already bought anything you would need that you don’t have on hand. Paint obviously AND a roller pad!
If you haven’t painted a room in awhile, I’m going to warn you that paint is expensive! I thought I had a coupon for this gallon of Benjamin Moore paint, however it was only good at a different location! Of course!
While paint is more expensive, I look at it in two ways. One, I will probably never paint this room again. $96 for 10 years of use I’d say is pretty good. I also think that while paint is more expensive, so far, the rooms I’ve painted have only needed one coat. Cheaper paint you often need two coats. More expensive paint you need one. That ends up being the same cost, right? AND one coat takes less time! Definitely a win in my book.
That being said, I am waiting for a sale before I buy the paint for my dining room accent wall!
Supplies for the Living Room Makeover
Brush – I love an angled brush for cutting in. One like THIS.
Paint Roller & Pad – I have a tote with almost 10 different rollers. I personally don’t have a favorite. I do want ones where you can twist in an extender like THIS.
As far as pads go, again I don’t have a favorite brand. I normally just pick a pad based off of what I am painting. The pads are normally labeled if they are good for smooth surfaces, light texture, or heavily textured.
When you have finished painting I know it’s tempting to delay cleaning up! However, I would encourage you to do it even if you don’t feel like it. I know we’ve all pitched paint brushes and other supplies because we’ve procrastinated. I finished painting just in time to pick up a kid from football. When I got home I immediately started cleaning up. Putting outlet covers back on. Folding up drop cloths. Putting the furniture back.
I covered my roller with plastic bags, because I am going to need to buy more paint. There is one wall heading down to the basement in the dining room that needs paint. Otherwise I just have some touchup spots. I typically take the roller pad off and throw it away. It is not worth my time to clean it and save it for future use. Knowing that I had more to paint, this time I covered it so that I could use it with the next gallon. If you wrap the pad well it will keep for quite awhile. If it is really hot out, stick it in the refrigerator as this tends to help it keep for even longer!
The brushes were getting a little dry from a days worth of painting so those did get cleaned out. even though I will need to use them again. IF you ever don’t get your brushes cleaned out and they dry up, I have had a lot of success with THIS technique to rescue them.
-Hold your breath! Sounds strange, but my lines are much better if I don’t breathe!
-Try different amounts of pressure. One brush worked better if I didn’t apply much pressure. Another one worked no matter how much or little pressure I used. This is where having an angled brush and a high quality one really does help make a smoother line.
-Use an artist brush in the corners! Any corners where 3 edges meet, it’s just easier to use a very small brush. The trim in this house also has little 1x boards sticking out. The artist brush worked very well to get into those tight corners.
-If you do get paint on the ceiling. Option 1 use a rag and wipe it off if you catch it immediately. Sometimes following the dry rag with a wet rag will help too. Option 2 if the paint is dry, then just wait and hit it with your ceiling paint.
-If you get paint on trim boards, the floor or doors. Again you have a couple options. One option is to use a rag and wipe it off immediately. Follow the dry rag with a wet rag if needed. The other option is to just leave it. Once it dries on a smooth surface like your trim or floor it will often times peel right up. I use my fingernails a lot, but you can also use a scrapper or razor blade.
-Use multiple angles when rolling. Make an X and then go up and down, whatever pattern you choose, you will get better coverage if you go in multiple directions.
-Roll the roller on the paint tray outside of the paint before you put the roller against the wall. That helps prevent drips and trying to roll paint with too much paint on the roller.
One Room Challenge
Want to see more participants in the One Room Challenge? Check it out HERE.
Living Room Makeover Game Plan
Week 2 – Paint the Living Room
**Almost done, need to buy more paint
Week 3 – Tackle the Carpet & Transform the Window Treatment
As I’ve been posting the carpet dilemma on social media, most of you have suggested the “ice” trick. Basically this technique tells you to let ice melt in the indentions and then come back later to comb it out with your fingers. I had heard of this trick, but honestly figured it didn’t work. I mean, why would ice do the trick? So, I didn’t try it.
Another reason I didn’t try it was because the trick I did try on our matted down bedroom carpet was a to use a towel and then steam iron on top of it to get out indentations. Well that didn’t work! I ended up melting some carpet! Thank goodness it’s in a place no one will ever see!!
So, we will see next week what I try. The ice method or my neighbors steam cleaner, or both!
Week 4 – Install Peg Rack Wall
I should probably start sketching this out so I can get everything ordered that I will need to execute this project!
Week 5 – Picking Other Furniture for the Room
Week 6 – Built-Ins *fingers crossed this gets done in time
Week 7 – Staining the Built-Ins
Week 8 – Adding Decor
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