Friday, May 8, 2009

Determined to take a deep breath

Well, I have successfully painted every frickin thing in my house.
Ok that's a slight exaggeration. I painted my dining room, my buffet, a hutch, my dining room table, Henry's bathroom walls and cabinets. I had someone do the bathroom walls for me, so that doesn't count. But I was still neck deep in various colors for the last between caring for a sick Amanda, AGAIN.

It turned out pretty nice all told...and considering I hadn't a clue what I was doing. I am really lame though and forgot to take "before" pictures. The buffet and hutch were a honey oak color with flower appliques on a few of the drawers. Here is the part where I confess that my "buffet" is actually my childhood dresser. Its fantastic oak furniture, the likes of which I couldn't really afford these days so I've hung on to it all this time. And despite many perusals of the Pottery Barn catalogs (and a million others) I've never found pieces I quite like. I like the way they fit in the room and I've always like my hutch in the corner (though some object...I don't care as they don't live here or have to hide the giant leaf for the dining table behind it).

We moved into this house on St. Patrick's Day 2001. We rented it from my parents, who inherited it from the previous owner "uncle Chuck". We finally figured out a plan to buy it from my parents in 2006 (I think). Given the nice deal we got, we immediately commenced updates and took out an equity loan to fix the HORRENDOUS kitchen we'd been dealing with for almost 6 years. The kitchen turned out so wonderful and it changed the way we use and love this house.

At that same time, we also updated the front bathroom, which also turned out great and I got the bathtub of my dreams and then some. Its bigger than I originally planned because the more modest size is unavailable.

when I was pregnant with Amanda, I ripped the carpet out of the hallway and the living room. Apparently layoffs aren't the only thing that send me into a manic fit.

Cliff's bedroom was (years ago) converted from an indoor (giant) laundry room to a bedroom (which it was originally was, but Chuck turned it into said laundry/storage room. We just filled it up with crap and unfolded laundry). What is now Amanda's room (was once Cliff's. Are you confused yet?) was also painted after I obsessively decorated it when I was pregnant with her.

Our master bedroom was painted back in around 2006 and while I always liked the dark, romantic colors, it was dreary.

Henry's bathroom (the master, though hardly considered "master" by today's standards) was the last, neglected corner of the house.

So this week I Re-re-painted the dining room a lighter color. I updated the master bedroom with lighter accents, white orchids, silver lamps, a silver mirror etc. It made a huge difference.
And then I painted that ancient bedroom furniture to look more appropriate in the dining room.
Oh and then there are the bookcases in the living room...a project I have been meaning to do for years.

I still have touch ups to do but I am finished with this whirlwind of a manic project. I am SO tired. My arms hurt. My legs hurt. My sciatic hurts. My fingers hurt!!

I really should have taken before pictures. Henry's bathroom was so unworthy of "before" pictures though, its easy to forgive that oversight. Its not spectacular anyway...but muuuuch better than the 70's corner that is was before.

And I may just make a cupcake or 20 this weekend. =D

Seems that my stages of grief following the layoff are as follows:
1) make cupcakes
2) obsess about decor
3) manically paint everything
4) ?

and now...I go to immerse myself in a hot epson salts bath and have a well deserved glass of wine after a bust-ass week!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends. You all inspire me and I love you all!!

(various painting projects and pictures of the kids from this last week:)

(these are the OLD kitchen. ugh -right before demolition, hence the boxes)

and...the kitchen AFTER.


  1. Amazing! Beautiful! Is that a wash/finish on your furniture? Did you strip the original finish? I need details. I would have been so scared to attempt to paint furniture like that! But it turned out soooo good! You give me hope for a coffee table and end table that the kids have trashed (okay, i spilled nail polish remover on it, too).

  2. Wow! I think your future may be on HGTV! I am way impressed. Can you throw some motivation my way? My house is a disaster (actually it looks decent at first glance but DON'T open ANY drawers, closets, random small spaces where things can be crammed, etc.)!

  3. thanks girls. Jenny, i wish I could tell you what kind of finish it is. Its a unique one-of-a-kind Kelly finish. A finish that requires complete disregard for rules. LOL
    Ok so for one thing, NO, I didn't strip. When I first decided to redo these pieces, the idea of stripping made me cringe. For one the table and other pieces are way heavy. And what an ucky mess. I would have liked to have stripped and just stained. But no...too much blechyness involved so I knew I'd have to paint. I'm not a fan of painted wood per se so I also knew I wanted it to have some depth and color variation so it didn't look too country.
    The paint guy told me about this stuff that's called "deglossing primer" so you don't have to SAND either!! bonus - ding ding ding! So I primed everything and then put a base coat/base color on. The table and the other 2 pieces are slightly different. They use the same colors but in different combinations. The key is the antiquing glaze in black. You are "supposed" to rub it on after the paint has dried but I rubbed/painted it on while the paint was still damp. Its was kind of a dry brush/sticky brush technique wherein I put on the glaze and blended it all together. Then I'd dip the brush just a bit on one of 2 colors and blend blend blend.
    I had never done anything remotely like this before. I have never painted a single piece of furniture ever. But I experimented on that little foyer piece and the kids' table to get a feel for how the glaze worked. The foyer piece is completely different from the others. I painted the glaze on dry brown paint so it came out like a dark walnut and the paint brush marks very vaguely resemble wood grain. Same with the kids table (only sloppier). But when I did the dining table, I did something totally different because I didn't want it to be that dark (the damp paint sticky brush thing). I just kept adding paint and blending until I liked it. BAsically, 2 colors plus black glaze and blend ad nauseum.

    So go for it. Test your ideas on a small piece first.

    And Aimee, notice where I said the table leaf lives behind the corner hutch...there are things in every corner of my house. Its a 50 year old house and it doesn't have enough storage for alllll of our stuff so the Fred Flintstone episode where he opens the closet and the bowling ball falls on his life.

  4. Great work Kelly!! Extremely impressive. My solution for stress is to run away, fill my schedule up with back to back committments, stop eating, and wait to die. Yeah, I don't handle stress my friend, do!!