Sunday, July 28, 2013

Painting: ya win some, ya lose some…

At the beginning of the summer when I surveyed the weeks ahead they divided logically into 4 parts:

  • 1.5 weeks in Utah
  • 5.5 weeks at home
  • 2 weeks in Utah
  • 2.5 weeks with Jason

From the beginning I targeted the time at home in the middle for some hard, hard work.  Essentially the rest of the moving that we could never manage when we moved into our house during the school year.  My fantasy all along was that if I accomplished enough (unpacking boxes, organizing the sewing room, etc) during the first 4 weeks then while the girls were at camp during the 5th week I would paint their room.  Happily I was able to pretty much stick to my planned schedule and this was the week to paint.  In addition to the girl’s room I needed to paint the entry where the walls had to be repaired and retextured after the mirrors came down and the half bath which also had newly textured walls, and I wanted to paint the laundry room which was a dark reddish/terra cotta color. 

Here are my projects, from least to most successful.


First up: the half bathroom (or as the realtor called it, the powder room)

In North Carolina I had the most beautiful bathroom ever.  My super talented sister Laila had painted it to look like the view from our favorite NC beachhouse on the most beautiful day ever.  And then she added a lighthouse behind the door just for fun.  We LOVED it.  Everyone did.  Needing to use the bathroom was never such a good experience as in our beach bathroom.  I think it broke our painter friend’s heart just a little bit to paint over it when we were getting ready to sell the house.  (It’s really hard to take a picture in such a tiny space so please bear with my patchwork effort.)


Laila has promised that one day when she don’t have twin toddlers anymore she will come to Oregon and paint a new bathroom for me.  But in the meantime I’m on my own.  I had dreamed the idea of a gradual color change on my bathroom walls and I searched and found an idea that looked good on the internet. 

I am very sad to say…after spending hours painting primer on to the highly textured walls, when I tried the technique from the internet the results were less than pleasing.  In fact it made me claustrophobic when I walked into the bathroom.


And of course this was the room with the most edges—it’s shaped like half of an H and has a dropped ceiling in one section.  It was a total pain.  In the end I was so distressed by what I had created that I primed and then painted white over the middle part.


Later I will change the bottom paint color just a little and I think I might put a narrow chair rail between the blue & white.  But for now…it will just have to stay strange. 

(When I listen to something while working on a project I have very strong associations afterwards.  In fact once I made these cute outfits for Cindy Lynn and Jason when they were little and every time I ever put them in those clothes I remembered the scary book on tape I had listened to!  This bathroom will forever more be the Steve Jobs bathroom because I listened to a documentary about him while painting.  Fascinating guy.)


Next up: the laundry room

Originally the laundry room was a color I didn’t care for…quite a bit darker than this picture shows and very blah.


It is small enough that I thought I could paint it fairly easily.  First I painted on 2 layers of primer—figuring if I covered up that dark color better my paint would go on better.


Once again I decided to try a ombre painting technique I saw on the internet.  At first I was distressed that it wasn’t going to work, but after tweaking the technique a little I ended up with something I can live with.  In retrospect I wish I’d gone with a palette that was more blue than green…and I reserve the right to change it one day if I want. 


(the laundry room’s audio memory will be the recent church leadership broadcast about missionary work…not a bad memory to have every time I go in the laundry room!)


First project & definitely the best

When I decided that I wanted to paint the girl’s room I realized that their comforters were really old and had been washed a few times too often.  We searched frantically for a few days and finally found some on that were cute, affordable, and had good reviews.  I ordered them a few weeks ago so that we could talk paint colors. 

The girls decided that they wanted their previously tan walls to be lime green, raspberry, and aqua.  Not kidding.  So we moved everything into the center of the room and as soon as they were out the door to girl’s camp I went to work.  When I was done painting I decided that we were going to unbunk the beds just to see if they really wanted it that way.  I put all of their stuff in a laundry basket and then made the beds with the new bedding & arranged everything nice & neat(ish).


When the girls got home and went upstairs I heard shrieks of surprise and delight. 

We’re still not sure about some of the furniture in there, but for the time being this is how we’re going to leave it.  It makes me happy to have such a fun room for my almost teenage girls!


  1. I love the bright colors in their room!!

  2. I'm sorry about your bathroom. The laundry room looks nice. If you want more of a blue hue, than I will definitely want one for my bathroom. The girls room is very tweenish!

  3. The girls' room is amazing!!!! This has gotten me so excited to start painting when I get home. Not that I'm excited to go home just yet....:)

  4. My girls are going to be so jealous of those paint colors!!!!!

  5. I love the girls' room!!! The best part was the shriek of happiness, though. :) Good luck on that bathroom - painting bathrooms is so, so painful for me. There are always so many edges, and corners, and behind the toilet... so sorry you have to do it all over again!