painting lessons

It has been a busy weekend chez Madtown Mama! First and foremost, our priority has been to get the basement painted. Our drywall guy painted the ceilings for us, which was a godsend. I don't know how I could stand painting ceilings on top of everything else. He has a sprayer, so he got done with that part in just a couple of hours. The rest was up to us, though, including the walls and stairwell. I spent some of my precious kids-in-preschool time getting a coat of primer in the bathroom and around the windows last week, but Stuart and I put in a couple of late nights, too. Stuart spent most of Saturday working down there, first taping the ceilings, then painting and painting and more painting. I couldn't help out on Saturday because I had a performance in the afternoon and didn't want to wear out my forearms (plus someone had to watch the kids!) Also, I thought it might be bad form to show up for a performance covered in paint spatter.

I took charge of the bathroom, though. That had to get done first because someone's coming first thing Monday morning to work on the floor. Primer went on Thursday night, first coat of paint Friday night, and this morning Daniel and I put on the second coat. Daniel was begging to help, and finally relented. As it turns out, this kid is pretty good with the roller! So is Stuart, actually. See how our kids are gazing at him in quiet awe? Or maybe it's just fascination with the painting equipment.

Anyway, he does good work, and he's fast. Also, he did all the work in the stairwell, for which I am forever grateful because heights of any kind give me the heebie-jeebies.

Here's the bathroom. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but it's blue. I'm very happy with it.

I'm also quite happy with the color I chose for the rest of the basement walls. According to Sherwin Williams, this is "bungalow beige," and it's a tan/taupe color. A while ago I met with a friend of mine for suggestions for more interesting wall colors, but in the end I decided something light and neutral was the best option. I can always go nuts with accent pillow or something, right? The picture below is actually from yesterday; you can see how the corners and edges weren't done yet, but I think it still gives you an idea of what the room looks like.

Now, Stuart and I have done plenty of painting in our house before, plus Stuart spent a whole summer on a painting crew in college, so we came to this project with a decent amount of experience. Still, we learned a couple things:

1. It's definitely worth getting really good-quality paint. Previously, we'd always just used the house brand paint from Ace Hardware, which was fine and all, and I really like their color swatches because they'll put groups of colors together for you in pleasant combinations. But this time, our contractor hooked us up with a pro who let us use his account at Sherwin Williams. This is normally very expensive paint, but we got what I think is wholesale pricing, so it was actually a little cheaper than the stuff from Ace Hardware, but even if it hadn't been, it would have been worth it. The paint is smooth and has great coverage, and - best of all- it doesn't smell nearly as strong! When you've got hundreds of square feet of wall to cover, this really makes a difference (especially when the windows are sealed shut with plastic from the drywall work.)

2. Don't fall for the gimmicky tools! We really should have known better on this, but sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Even when you're over 30. Stuart made a shopping trip for painting supplies a few weeks ago and came home with a couple fancy rollers, one designed to be spatter-free, and another small one with a guard on one side for ceiling and trim work. These rollers were both a complete and total bust. The spatter-free had a shield contraption that made the roller itself get stuck, so Stuart had to stick his hands in there to free it. When I tried using the trim roller, the guard scraped the wall and blocked the roller from painting until I had so much paint on it that it dripped and glopped everywhere. FAIL. So we taped the ceilings and used regular rollers and brushes, and everything went smoothly from then on.


Mrs. Allroro said…
Pretty! It looks like it's almost finished! Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
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