Thursday, April 12, 2012

Painting the Bedroom (Blue!)

Back when all of our innocently ignorant hopes and dreams to renovate our sickly old house were ripe and bright in our excited minds, we had the brilliant idea to paint the bedroom, if not reinvent the closet space in there as well. After that, we were going to remodel the bathroom which is probably the one room that needs help the most in the entire house.

However, recent news has us scrambling to do what we can quickly because we're moving to Montana in less than two months! Thank goodness we've finished the kitchen; now we're tackling the bedroom.

The condition of the bedroom isn't any better than the rest of the house.
On your mark, get ready, rant! The imbecile who built the addition (the bedroom) cut corners (almost literally) and must have produced the whole project with a lets-see-how-cheap-I-can-do-this mindset. The walls peel and in some places are cracked an even crumbling. The door frame seems to sink into the wall and then rise back out of it again, which is why our door gets stuck when we close it (it takes far too much energy to yank that thing open in the morning! And forget about sneaking out into the kitchen in the middle of the night for a nice sweet snack...). The witless individual hasn't seemed to have anchored the ceiling fan very well and if it's on anything other than the low setting it shakes back and forth so much that it looks like it's about to fall out of the ceiling. All of these issues, and the sheer fact that the blockhead built a whole room at 5400 feet elevation, 3 feet off the ground, with no insulation in the ceiling, walls, or under the floor is pure negligence and should be thrown in jail for the crime of stupidity.

Anyway, enough with my rant. Andy and I scrambled to repair the walls to the best of our ability. We had huge seams that needed repaired along with a lot of patching and sanding for cracks and holes, and a whole corner was crumbling. If we had the time we'd just replace the drywall, but for now it'll do and a new coat of paint will make it look better. Mostly the biggest issue is how uneven the walls are--they are very bumply (is that a word?)--with tons tiny indentations and raised bumps where it wasn't smooth over properly. The texture vaguely reminds me of the Bonneville Salt Flats, but not nearly as neat-looking. Andy's electric sander took care of most of that and spackling took care of a great deal of other problems. It'll never really look smooth, but it looks better.

What we had originally wanted to do was paint the walls the dark blue, the trim in the same creamy white that we got for the kitchen, and treat the doors and the closet with Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformations. Alas, we don't have the time to do it all so just the walls and the trim will have to do!

After patching, sanding, some more patching & sanding, and then washing walls, the next big problem I encountered was the ceiling. It's textured, kind of somewhere between "Perlite" or "Sand Texture" and "Cottage Cheese"/"Acoustic"/"Popcorn.". So taping the ceiling was sort of pointless. Nonetheless, we did it anyway. Well, Andy did it anyway. I got frustrated half way through because it wouldn't stick and gave up so he did most of it.

This makes it really hard to paint the fine line between wall and ceiling. Everyone online says that tape is a waste of time anyway, that you "never see a professional using painter's tape" and "all you need is a good angled brush and you'll never go back to tape!" (these types of comments are from experienced painters or professionals). And they're full of BS too. I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I'll not want to use painter's tape for the wall-ceiling crook. I was successful in not using the tape for the windows, but I think using white is easier and it's easier to wipe off without staining than dark blue .

Instead of annoying sheets of plastic, this time we used a big roll of paper on the floor (brown all-purpose masking paper). I'm so glad we did this! It was so much easier to deal with and use compared to plastic! If you don't want to pay for a real canvas drop cloth, definitely go with the paper route instead. It's even cheaper than the plastic was and it goes really far too--4 bucks for 180 feet! So then we only used our plastic for covering the furniture instead of tangling up the ladder and tripping us.

The gray primer went on pretty well and you could see a great improvement in the walls immediately. I tried telling Andy he was putting it on too thin in a lot of places with the roller, but he couldn't see the problem. The next morning he could see the speckling a lot better though so he put on another coat on many places (it didn't make dark patches or anything). As for my can definitely see where I had been painting with the paint brush (cutting in), and then rolling over it with my mini roller (which was suggested)....and where I quit doing that latter part. There are just so many edges and it takes foreverrrrrr. Luckily the primer isn't as important and it was good enough for the paint to go on.

After the patching, sanding, and washing, before the primer.
After the primer. 

Incidentally, I found out after painting on the primer that cold cream and cotton balls take primer off of skin fairly easily...I had accidentally wiped my nose and cheek when I had primer on my hand! It's easier and more gentle than soap or just about anything else you'd use!

Also, while I was on the ladder it was really difficult have a paint container, mini roller, and a paintbrush all on hand so my brilliant husband rigged up this paint-roller-holder for me using an old paint roller cover.


And it also works for a paintbrush if needed!

So we had painter's tape on the ceiling and I "cut in" as best I could to get a semi-straight line on all the borders (ceiling, floor trim, doors, windows), and as I went along used a roller horizontally across the same brush-painted section to make it have the roller texture as close to the edge as possible. It blended well with the rest of the wall that was rolled by Andy.

The tape-and-cutting-in method seemed to work nicely. It also seems dependent on your ability to tape a straight line as well as you can paint one too. But all in all, it worked. If you remember, I had problems in the kitchen because I chose not to "cut in" and instead used a mini roller all the way into the crack between the wall and the ceiling. This left a LOT of paint on the tape, which was fine, but when I pulled the tape off it would peel the paint off the wall as well. As a solution I went around the room exacto-knifing where the edge of the tape was [you're supposed to peel painter's tape off when the paint is still wet--but how you do that when you need to do 2+ coats, I don't know]. 

However, THIS time I had a new solution which I found on The Family Handyman a couple of days ago. Anytime your tape keeps tearing as you're peeling it off (also a problem I had) or it peels the paint on the wall along with it, the best solution is a blow dryer!  It helped monumentally and I'm never going to paint again without using it! At first I put it on hot heat but blew it on the "low" setting, but after a while I put it on high/hot and it didn't seem to damage anything that way and made the work quicker. I aimed the dryer at the tape and it softened the paint and warmed up the adhesive in the tape so that it peeled off easily. Wonderful!
  • Extra tip: I also read that if you have a roll of masking tape that's really old and you can't use it anymore because it keeps tearing, just pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds to warm the adhesive and it'll be good as new!


I love the color we painted the bedroom. It's "Lost Atlantis" by Behr--a greyish dark blue color (color 580F-6 in the Premium Plus Ultra Color Center).

The best part? It only took ONE coat!! We bought 3 cans of paint for the bedroom and we only ended up using LESS THAN ONE CAN! So I've got two cans left over to take with me to the next house and we'll leave the remainder here for the next owners.The walls may or may not have looked better with a second coat, but we're in a rush and if it's not obviously needed then I'm not doing it! I think the fact that we used gray primer really helped our paint, and it turns out that this blue was so much easier than the red we did in the kitchen. I'm not sure I'll ever paint another room red by myself--I might just hire someone to do it. If I'm not painting red, then I'll probably do it myself! The things we learn....*rolls eyes*. 

Before photos:

After photos:

After the walls were painted, I did the windows and other trim with the same creamy Innocence color I did in the kitchen. It looks so much nicer and cleaner now! I bought sheer curtain panels and rods at Ross's. The sheerness of the curtains is a little too transparent, but it lets the light in and the neighbors can't really see in our windows unless they make a serious effort anyway.

Is this mirror not an amazing awesome mirror? I love Home Goods! It's going to go in our bathroom in the next house because I bought a whole a bathroom set that has that pearl-like shell theme to it. But I thought for now it'd look awesome on a blue wall!

I'm so glad to be done with these big projects. Now we can focus on moving in a few months and everything that goes along with it--mainly keeping this house as clean as possible for showings (if we get any) and to make it easier when we leave. Yay!