Adventures in Remodeling – Painting the Parlor

Well, we finally reached the point where we are starting to finish things up in the front living room.  Electricity has been run, sheet rock has been put up, taped, and bedded, and now it is time to pick out colors to use in the room.

Have I mentioned how much of a love/hate relationship I have with this task?  I have a general idea of “what” I want things to look like, but when it comes to settling on just the right color, I go into “turtle” mode – I want to run and hide.  But I know that if I let someone else do this part of the job, I will more than likely be very unhappy with the colors that are picked out, so I trudge on through it.

Funny thing about paint colors – they look different in the fluorescent lighting at the paint store than they do at home in natural lighting.  And while I wish I could just use the same color throughout the house, the truth of the matter is that what looks good in one room looks awful in another room.

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Paint Samples 1

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Even though we’ve already painted almost all of the rooms in the house at least once in the 29 years we’ve been here (yes, there are still a couple we haven’t tackled yet), I learn something new with every remodeling project.  This time I discovered that someone came up with a really nifty idea which allowed me to not have to paint on the walls (the thought of which had Paul almost in conniptions) but still let me see what the finished product would look like in the room – little pieces of foam-core board that you can paint on.

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Paint Samples 9

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I brought home lots of paint chips, as well as a couple of paint sample fans (which our local store let me “check out” for a couple of days) and finally settled on a few that I thought would look good.  Paul helped me paint each little piece of foam board, then when they dried I put them up on the mantle to see which ones stood out.

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Cape Hatteras Sand - c
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Now, I am a huge fan of green, but it turns out that Paul doesn’t like green at all – he’s just been humoring me all these years.  So this time, we settled on a taupe/tan color that both of us really liked (“Cape Hatteras Sand”, AC-34) and which coordinated with the wood trim and the tin ceiling tiles we will be installing.  We went to the paint store and had them mix up a gallon for us (I thought we should get 2, just in case, but Paul said we only needed one….)

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Cape Hatteras Sand - e

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Next, we taped off the few things that we didn’t want to get paint on (electrical switches, fireplace, gas line to fireplace), and Paul started painting.  Turns out we needed that 2nd gallon of paint after all, so while we were waiting for the first coat to dry, Paul drove back to the store to pick up another gallon of paint.

Oh my gosh – the room looked so nice after he got done!  We used Benjamin Moore’s “Aura” paint, and it dries really fast, so we were able to paint 2 coats in one afternoon.  It’s a little pricey, but the results are so worth it:

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Painted Room - 2

Painted Room - 1

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Now I find myself walking into the room, just to look at the new color on the walls 😛

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About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, middle-aged, happily-married, mother of 4 daughters. A former high school valedictorian (way back in the Stone Age), a Civil Engineering major in college, a middle-of-the-road Conservative, and a moderate Methodist. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
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6 Responses to Adventures in Remodeling – Painting the Parlor

  1. If I lived close by, I would be painting all the walls like a mad woman. It looks wonderful!

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    • Thanks, darlin’! Yeah – all of the paint on the other walls now looks “inferior”….. plus, I asked Paul to put a “flat” finish on the sheet rock (instead of the “popcorn” that is in all of the other rooms). It looks so fantastic that when we finally do get around to repainting each of those rooms, I’ll probably ask him to sand the walls down to a flat finish before we paint over it!

      I was planning on staining the mantle back to the dark brown color after Paul refinished it, but it looks SOOOO good now that he’s got it stripped that we will probably leave the original color on it.

      Of course, that means that I’m now re-thinking the color on the walls…. 😛

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  2. Sandra says:

    Did you get the paint that has the primer mixed in with it? Best stuff evah!! We’ve been going through the whole paint selection process, too. Have you tried the custom 8oz. samples that cost a few dollars? We’re getting shutters in our dining room, den and breakfast room delivered in a few weeks. Children out of college = home improvements.

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