(Nearly) Instant Gratification updates with Paint

After all this work in the basement – slow but steady – I decided to take on something a little more instant gratification.

Prioritizing the exterior and basement has meant living with some fairly unpalatable existing conditions on a daily basis.  In fact, I’ve been sleeping in a room covered with powder blue lead paint with the previous owners pictures hooks in the walls for over a year.  Why?

This weekend I got serious about making a change.

I’d already done some paint testing after narrowing down samples that worked well with the wood floor and un-painted trim.  In my bedroom, the trim was already painted – the same flat powder blue as the walls had been applied over a previous toothpaste green- so I knew I’d be freshening it with a nice shiny white.  The ceiling also needed a re-fresh.

I was inspired by the picture rail trim installed by Mandi Johnson over at A Beautiful Mess: Pics below from her post on the installation.

The Beautiful Mess example uses actual picture rail trim (and hangs pictures from it).  I opted for a more minimalist install and chose door stop trim, simple rounded corner molding just 3/8″ by 1 1/4″.  It will be shallower than the classic ranch molding it terminates into at the windows and doors and provide a very subtle addition to the rooms overall trim.  I’m not trying to turn my ranch into a faux craftsman cottage.

My first step was actually computer based – I did some pre-visualization of what the room would look like with various ceiling/wall transitions.  More on this in another post.I spent some time Saturday messing around with various options and decided on a new trim line 18″ below the ceiling.  Then I marked the line with painters tape and hauled out the drop cloths, brushes, rollers, pans and paint.

From there it was only a few days work to totally update trim, ceiling and walls.  I still have a line instead of actual trim separating the white and grey wall areas but the rest will come soon.  It is so thrilling to be in the newly painted space.

In the second bedroom, I went the alternate above route and painted the grey walls straight up to the ceiling.  It makes for a nice contrast and I wasn’t looking forward to matching the stain and finish of the existing oak trim in that room.  Trim install aside, the second room felt like more work because there was so much more careful hand-edging to do around the tops of windows and doors and along the wall, ceiling transition.  Note the snazzy new ceiling light.

second bedroom painted

Roxie was deeply disturbed by my upsetting the status quo in our bedroom.  She protested by staying completely out of the bedroom while I painted the ceiling and by choosing to sleep in the dog bed in the guest room (where she sleeps when my folks stay over) for two nights.  But she had adjusted to the weirdness of room painting by the time I got to the second bedroom enough to step on a paint can lid and adorn the floor with some cute doggy footprints before I chased her out and wiped them all up!

Now after a year of camping with nothing on the walls and ad hoc bedside arrangements I’m really looking forward to doing a little nesting in the two bedrooms!

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