; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: Painting 101

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Painting 101

This week I have been painting my living room and thought I'd pass on a few tips here.  Who knows, I might just have to refresh my own memory when I do it again in a couple of years!

Now I don't profess to be an expert on types of paint or what rollers you should use.  I will unashamedly admit that my husband bought both the paint and the rollers for the job.  It was also his recommendation what paint brush I use to cut the paint in.  Apparently it's a specific brush, it's cut on an angle and it does do a very nice job.  My only insistence on paint for my walls is that it has to be satin finish. 

Now the paint experts will tout eggshell as the be all and end all paint for ease of cleaning etc but I have never once had anything but grief with egg shell paint. Now granted, not all paint brands are created equal.  However, I am not interested in wasting my time or money figuring out which brand of eggshell works the best.  In our old home, I had permanent grease marks down the entire hallway from my kids' hands and nothing, NOTHING I did removed the stains.  Which is why my kids were pretty much banned from their grandparents part of the house the entire time we were trying to sell (2.5 years).  Yeah.. lot's of fun.  Whereas I've never had a problem cleaning grubby marks from Satin finish. 

Now there was a little setback when hubby went to buy the paint.  Apparently, I had picked colours from the Martha Stewart line and apparently she does not offer satin paint as an option.  This does not sound like a big deal but apparently, you can only use Martha Stewart colours with Martha Stewart paint and it's a whole copyrighted thing so they'll get in trouble if they accommodate us.  OMGoodness!  We eventually found a similar enough colour and my husband quipped to the sales girl how we should write Martha Stewart and tell her she should offer her paint in Satin finish.  To which the girl replied... "Martha Stewart would probably just shake her head and say 'oh those Canadians'".  That gave us all a good laugh.

So Martha if you're reading this, well I know you're not reading this, but possibly have some assistant or autobot gleaning references to your name, please offer Satin finish to your sales line in Canada.  We Canadians tend to do things just a tad differently from our American cousins.  Thanks so much!

Okay... here are my paint tips.

  • Be prepared.  Gather all your supplies into one spot and have it ready for use. 
  • Use old sheets as drop cloths. Unless you're tres experienced like my husband, there are bound to be droplets.
  • Fill any holes or dents with polyfil and allow to dry.  
  • Remove outlet covers, place plates and screws in one spot out of reach of little fingers. 
  • Sand your walls lightly.  This roughens the surface enough to give the paint something to stick to.  You don't need to TSP or wash your walls when you sand but you do need to wipe your walls down with a slightly damp cloth including over the polyfil areas to get rid of dust.
  • My FIL recommends dabbing a little paint with your paint brush over any polyfilled areas before rolling it, it eliminates the spot from being shiny. 
  • If you are going to paint with the same colour for more than one day, simply wrap your brush in a plastic bag (a sandwich bag works great) and place your paint tray and roller in a garbage bag.  Close up the bags as much as you can.  The brush and roller won't dry out this way and you will save yourself some cleaning.
  • When rolling, it's best to place your roller on the wall and paint a "W" shape.  This first roll usually has the most paint and this way you spread the paint out a bit and avoid runs.  My husband pooh poohs this suggestion but all the big painting sites recommend it and I found it worked great for me. 
My biggest suggestion is take your time and don't worry when it's drying and it looks all splotchy. You didn't mess up it's just the paint drying.  Give it an hour or so and it will all come together perfectly. 


Since my house is still reasonably clean from Thanksgiving, I figured it would be a good time to take a few photos to show you the end results. Yeah, yeah, I'm bragging, I know.  I am that pleased with it!

It's hard to tell in these photos but the wall by the fireplace is a light green while the wall by the couch is a darker contrasting green in sage.  I absolutely love the colours myself!

We also did one accent wall in the family room the darker green as well.  That's as far as we've gotten painted so far and I hope to finish off the rest of the family room/kitchen soon.  

I just have to show off my new light fixture.  After hitting all the lite shops and home fix it type of stores in town, I finally found something I like and best of all, I could afford it.  I am inordinately pleaesd with it because it's different and whimsical looking.  It is one bright bad boy though as it takes 4 50 watt halogen lightbulbs which means my living room is now lit up brighter than day.  It took us a few days to get used to all that brightness because the lighting was so poor in the room before.  Now I can sit and do crafts while we watch our movies without squinting.

Do you have a paint suggestion for me? I'll be working on my family room next so any tips would be greatly appreciated!


  1. It must be that time of the year, you are the 3rd blog I've read today that's painting their home

  2. Thanks for the suggestions--I am painting my house right now, but you gave some new suggestions that I had not thought of!

  3. very pretty. I'm also painting. (I'm always painting, ha!). I picked up so martha stewart swatches yesterday and then did a blog search to see who's using what. I always have the most difficult time picking paints that go with each other. There is always a paint I don't like, but I just end up settling so that the project will be finished. Recently I can across an article from Libby Langdon and her ten top colors she uses when decorating homes. Search Libby Langdon. I think the article was from Shelter Pop. Just thought I'd toss that out there since there are others who are also painting :) I just finished my kitchen using her paint selections. Both at Sherwin Williams, Black Bean and Universal Khaki. The black bean I used on one wall, the khaki on the others. The khaki is kinda grey, but will look nice once I add the photos up. With these colors I can also add other colors to the room with the seasons and it will look nice.

  4. Excuse my typos, was using my iPad and that happens with it

  5. Link to Libby article http://www.shelterpop.com/2010/07/27/best-neutral-paint-colors/

  6. UGH, I hate painting. I start off all excited but then halfway through, I'm cursing myself from thinking it was a gran idea to begin with.

    Okay, what's an accent wall? I keep hearing that and I have no clue what it is. Our entire home is painted the same color...seriously. We're boring, what can we say?

    I do love the sage green that you have....but my husband is strongly opposed to green. Not sure why, maybe something from his childhood?

  7. Thanks for the link Jill. It was very informative.

    Our living room was pretty close to that black bean colour, but we found it way too dark for an entire room.

    Thanks for sharing!


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