Monday, February 28, 2011

Kitchen & Dining Room Makeover

I've now painted the kitchen/dining room twice since we've moved in.  It's gone from a mint green and mustard yellow combo (from the previous owners) to artichoke green, to a soft pewter gray.  Since my family and I spend probably 90% of our time in this room - I really wanted to make it cozy and inviting.  Minimal natural lighting made the artichoke color choice too dark, and a new, light paint color a no-brainer.  The gray makes the whole room look bigger and brighter - precisely what I was going for.  I also found a really neat stencil on another blog and "painted wallpaper" on an accent wall.  This makeover is still a work in progress (I'm planning on finding something to cover up that ugly air conditioner, painting the dining room table and chairs a crisp white to match the wood trim in the room, painting the baseboards white, changing out the chair coverings with a new fabric, buy (or make) curtains, find barstools at a steal, and the list goes on and on...) Below are the before(s) and after pics, and a sneak peak at the room now.  Please keep in mind - its all still under construction!

 (Original "mint" kitchen color, check out that light fixture!)
 (Original "mustard" dining room)
 (different angle of the dining room)

(Artichoke green shade from makeover #1 - sorry I used an old pic)
 (Pewter gray shade from makeover #2)
 (stencil I used to create the "painted wallpaper")
(stencilled wall before paint)

(stencilled wall after paint)

I love how this turned out, but truth be told, it took me FOREVER to finish.  I was able to get everything sketched out in 1 "day" (day meaning 2 naps and then a few hours at night before I decided to hit the hay myself).  The painting took me about two and a half weeks.  I guess that isn't too bad considering "naptime" only lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour if I'm lucky, and I only had a few nights that I had a stretch of time (3 hours at most) that I was able to paint paint paint uninterrupted.  Here are a few tips if you decide to give this a try:
  1. Start in the middle of the wall and use a ruler to measure where your next line of stencils should start.
  2. Use a light colored pencil and don't press down too hard when sketching the stencil.  The pencil will show through the paint, and you will have a difficult time getting the marks off the wall especially if you pressed down hard on the pencil when sketching (like I did, eek! lots of erasing is in my near future).
  3. Use a flat paint brush that is the same thickness you want your lines to be.
  4. If you use paint from a bucket, or from a small sample tub (like I did) make sure you pour a small bit of paint into a separate container.  Use this container to paint with to avoid having all your paint dry out.  Mine got really dry and sticky, so I needed to buy another sample tub to finish.
After all is said and done, I'm so glad that I decided to take this project on.  In total it only cost me $6.00 to do.  I simply used the sample tubs of paint from Home Depot that you can get for about 3.00 each.  Had I have taken my own advice and used a separate container when painting (to avoid premature paint drying), I would have only needed 1 tub.  Ah well what can ya do?  I'm really happy with the results and if nothing else, this wall is now a conversation starter.  I've had a few requests already to do the surrounding walls, and I have considered it.  However, I have a few other things I want to try out before I invest another 2 or more weeks (gasp) on that!  Next up - giving an old chandelier (or two) new life.  Stay tuned!

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