Friday, August 5, 2011

Room Painting Tips: Learn From My Mistakes

My family has been out of town for a few days. Left home alone, I had to get my hands on a project, and , apparently a large bag of Tostitos. I decided to paint Molly's room as a surprise.

Why I took the plunge, I do not know, because when my mom did the same for me, I told her she ruined my life. She had light yellow wall to wall carpet installed in my room, but my 1983 chosen color palette was NOT yellow, but Dusty Rose and Sea Foam Green as in "Dusty Rose and Sea Foam Green! Dusty Rose and Sea Foam Green. How could you NOT KNOW THAT ABOUT ME?! MY LIFE IS OVER!"

Anyway, I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because for the last 60 or so hours I've been busting my butt re-doing Molly's room. I'll show you pictures when my camera gets home from vacation, but if you are a praying person, please pray for me at 2:30 today when Molly gets home and sees it.

Since I hadn't painted a room in a while, I had forgotten or ignored several of my painting rules and reminders. Here they are in case you have an upcoming painting project:

1. When choosing a paint color, go one shade lighter on the paint strip. For instance, if you like "Tropicana Cabana" on a paint strip, hop over to "Jamaican Aqua." It will be in the same color palette, just a bit lighter. For the love of God. Please. Paint gets darker on the walls, and when you have four walls closing in around you, it can get pretty intense. Molly's soothing blue looks like the inside of a kiddie dental office with an "Under the Sea" theme.

2. When you tape the edges of the room, press the tape down securely, and go back and do this again when you paint each section. I had some paint seepage behind my tape, which of course is more evident WHEN YOU PAINT WITH A BLINDINGLY VIVID COLOR.

3. When pouring paint into your tray, use a pour spout, or use a hammer and nail to make a hole down into the rim of the paint can to let the paint drain. I didn't do that this time, and had a drippy, messy can.

4. Speaking of messy, be sure to secure your dog during the painting process. You know the song that goes, "Me and You and a Dog Named Blue?" Well, Shadow is looking like a "Tropicana Cabana" right now.

5. If you have to paint the ceiling, consider using paint that goes on pink, then dries white. I did this for the first time and it made it so much easier to see where I had been. I think it's worth the extra money.

6. Empty the room if possible. I was home alone and was unable to do this, so I spent a lot of time climbing over furniture, teetering and tottering, and using choice language. This added to my stress and painting time. I also had a little incident in which I hammered the primer lid shut and sent a spray of primer onto Molly's new bedspread and ottoman. If I had been able to clear out the room, this would not have happened. By the way, Microfiber rocks! A damp towel and Molly will be none the wiser.

7. If attempting to move heavy furniture out by yourself, please reconsider. You might end up with 3 deep gouges in the floor from the bookcase (Tom's going to kill me!) and a bad-back relapse. Where did I put those *$#!@#! Magic Sliders? Try plastic drop cloths over everything instead.

8. Oh, and please, before painting, take off your good shorts. Seriously. If you think there will be no drips or other mishaps, think again! However, if you leave your shorts on, and they get "Tropicana Cabana-d," at least you don't need to take the paint swatch to Jo Ann's Fabric when you are looking for accessories.

9. If you are using latex paint and have to stop for a while because, well, you need to go to work or something, you do not need to clean your brushes or rollers. Wrap them in a damp paper towel, then aluminum foil, and put in the fridge. They'll be ready when you are even a few days later.

Well, I'm off to do some last minute touches on the room.

And about that praying thing? I'm serious.


Ellen aka Ellie said...

How about I pray that IF she doesn't like it, you won't hurt her due to thoughts of going through all this again. At least that way you'll be able to immediately practice what you preached!

(I'd bookmark this post for the helpful tips, but my husband doesn't let me paint. That's right, it's forbidden. I can deal with that!)

Kristina P. said...

These are all excellent tips.

My biggest tip:

Hire someone.

brooketc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brooketc said...

so wait, how did you get primer out of your comforter?

Stimey said...

You are a wild woman! I can't wait to see pictures and The Reaction.

beth said...

I too at age 12 had a burning desire to have my room a "dusty rose" but when I returned from a week away from my parents, they had surprised me with a newly painted room. And was it dusty rose, you ask, alas... much more pepto bismal pink.

Nichole@40daysof said...

Okay, it's past the time for her to see her new room. I'm dying to know how it all went down. Hope you have a great weekend, and not one dealing with a ticked off kid. :)

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

She LOVED IT! I am so glad. Can't wait to post about how my surprise was FOILED, but I still have a happy kid!

InMyOwnStyle said...

HI Anna-

I love # 8 I have a whole drawer full of painting shorts! Never intended to have so many. :)

May have a few ceilings to paint soon - will have to check out the pink to white ceiling paint - very smart as I do not like painting ceilings at all.

My best- Diane

Gretchen said...

Yay! Can't wait to read all about it!

Kate Lewis said...

ooo...had a similar paint experience a few months ago. Sunset Sage is not my friend.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

So glad to hear she loved it! Can't wait to see photos :) I hate painting but the touch-ups are the worsT!

Katherine said...

I was laughing so hard because guess what color we painted Zoe's room?? Tropicana Cabana! I wish I would have known -- I would have shown it to you when you were here!! Well, we actually only painted the bottom half of the walls that color. The top half is a much lighter shade. I will have to come over and see it!! Glad she was happy. Can't wait for the whole store.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you wrote this, I too haven't painted anything since the green bedroom incident of 2007. I am about to paint a chest of drawers...

Also I think I paint best in a bra and panties, I spill coffee for godsake imagine what happens with sticky stuff gets near me?

Angela of Fixing It Fancy said...

Thanks for sharing your tips! The bit about paint drips is sooo true; no matter how neat and tidy I try to be when painting, something gets paint on it. I'm often too excited/lazy to remove everything from the room. I always go into painting thinking, "I'll just be really careful and nothing will get paint on it." Hasn't come true yet. :)

Shelley said...

I know this post is not new but I do have a question for you.

I live by rule #1. Like you said, "if you love Tropicana Cabana then consider Jamaican Aqua." I believe that when paint dries and it is on all four walls, it will FEEL like the next shade down on the paint strip (deeper and brighter). Jamaican Aqua will FEEL like Tropicana Cabana.

Did you paint Molly's rooms Tropicana Cabana or Jamaican Aqua? Considering what you said in rule #1 I thought maybe you used Jamaican Aqua instead of T.C.??? I want to show my husband the make-over but I want to tell him what color is on those walls.

I love the way the room came out it is fun and fresh!

I would like to paint my living room/dining and bedroom Jamaican Aqua and I am considering Tropicana Cabana as accent walls in the living and bedroom.

Thanks for your reply, it is greatly appreciated.

Unknown said...

Awesome tips you have here! I'm sure this'll be very helpful for everyone. Perfect for my house and lot for sale in cavite. Thanks for sharing!