I caught up on a lot of things when I took an impromptu day off on Friday. Painting Julia’s new bedroom was one of the big things I had been hoping to tackle all week long, and I’m glad that I pushed it to the top of my to-do list, because it turned out really great.
The room, which until last month was a guest room painted light blue, was always considered “Cody’s room” because it was where he would stay when I was away from home; it was barren and ignored, useful for storage and the occasional overnight guest, but not something I focused on day-to-day.
Since this picture was taken at the beginning of this year, we’ve sold the tall cabinets, rearranged the bed, and bought new EXPEDIT shelving units.
Last week I revealed some of my creative ideas for girl’s rooms, as well as Julia’s chosen paint color, the very sweet pinkish purple that is Behr Crushed Peony. I had a good idea of how I wanted her room to be designed, with a subtle wall treatment that would infuse her favorite pink, but also embrace her clean-lined IKEA furniture.
Something like this, if you will. A big pink stripe with thick white lines above and below it:
Side note: Pete moved Julia’s chalkboard into the house last week; there’s hardly room for it, but it’s taken up a corner in the dining room and has already entertained us (me) for hours.
Additional side note: The shaggy bear rug reports loving its new home.
To create the clean lines I had planned, I moved all of the furniture into the center of the room, primed, and then painted the top 1/4 of the wall beneath the crown moulding and bottom 1/4 of the wall above the baseboard in solid, plain white. Straight-outta-the-can-white. As white-white-white as Behr can produce.
The trouble with white-white-white paint is that it immediately makes everything not white-white-white look like filth, and that frustrates me to no end. I turn a blind eye to it sometimes (because in places like the baseboard behind strategically placed furniture, no one would notice except for me) but this was too obvious, and although it’s not grimy, it looks it.
Painting two coats of paint onto the moulding took a little extra time, but as always, as you’ll see in the next photo, was totally worth it. Taping for, and painting the pink was the fun part though; I marked spots in pencil along the wall, measuring both 14″ down from the crown moulding and 14″ up from the top of the baseboard which could be used to assure level tape lines, and they worked well.
There are plenty of painter’s tape tutorials out there, but I only have one tip:
Regardless of what brand of painter’s tape you buy (I go a less expensive route with the basic Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape), if you paint over the edge(s) of the tape with a primer or a light coat of the underlaying paint first, you’re guaranteed perfect lines. When the base color is lightly painted on first, it fills any spots where the real color would have wanted to bleed, and lessens the chance of that happening. Pete swears by this method, and I have not had one Oops Moment in the few times I’ve used it on walls and decor over the years. In this case, I only painted over the edge of the tape that would be later covered with pink:
The Crushed Peony rolled onto the walls beautifully; it was my first time using the new Behr self-priming no-VOC paint as a tinted color, and I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of self-priming; in my experience, no/low VOC paints need an extra coat, but self-priming coats are usually thick and substantial. This light shade went on really nicely, and only needed two coats.
I did the two coats of paint (over the course of 5 hours) and peeled the tape away just after finishing the second coat before it had a chance to fully dry. It looked really great. The simple touch of keeping the pink as a thick horizontal stripe really makes the space feel taller like a thick crown moulding would, and opens the space up to becoming a really fun girl’s room.
The sheets and down comforter are ones that I’ve had for years and are plain white in person (although they seem to be absorbing a little bit of the pink in these pictures). The green birdie shams were from her last bedroom set. Pete cites Walmart organic cotton, a bedding set from a few years ago. Cute print.
Having the room painted is a big step at pushing us to do more. Knowing that we’re working with a birch and pink base, we’re ready to begin shopping for other accents and continue to make the room feel homier and more lived in. Rug, duvet comforter, curtains, bedding, art, the list for other accents could go on and on.
How’s this for a before + after comparison of how it looked in January 2011 compared to today?
What’d you work on over the weekend?