Minted

I took a leap of faith this weekend and finally dove into repainting the front door. Again. I posted about our original door ages ago. Here’s a quick recap:

When we bought the house the entry looked like the photo below. Nothing terrible. But nothing special either. It also happened to match all of the other front doors in the neighborhood (burgundy, navy, hunter green). We also weren’t feeling the black kickplate. It was cutting off the door and made everything feel sort of shorter.

Before

About 6 months after we moved in (and 3 months after we had O) I got the wild hair to paint the door teal. I wanted something brighter, bolder, and unique. Teal is one of my favorite colors so why not? (Side note: I once lived in a purple Victorian with magenta trim and teal accents as a kid. I’m not afraid of color. My parents still had a purple front door until last summer. Color crazy is in the family.) I also removed the kick plate since I figured I’d be able to reattach it if we changed our mind. But then I realized it was a brass and had been spray painted black… removing the screws prompted it to begin to chip and peel. Happy accident? I think so. Below is the teal door sans kick plate.

After

For a while I just stood back and admired the door. I loved it but something was missing. A few weeks later Molly and I grabbed some black trim paint on a whim when we were out getting other things. It took two coats but it was the best decision ever because it really made the door pop and the house feel more cohesive with black shutters, light fixtures and trim. I posted about the trim here. PS- You can see the giant half dead tree that we just had removed in the pic below too.

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Alas, I was ready for change again. Hubby insisted that the teal door had really grown on him and had urged me to reconsider. But he went out of town last week and so I had a little paint fun. Of course, I knew that I may have to paint it back to teal again if this blew up in my face. That’s where the leap of faith came in. I popped into Ace on my way home from work and chose a paint color on the spot. Perk: The guys there know me now and gathered around to help me chose a color to pop against the black trim. With their help, I chose Mill Springs Blue by Benjamin Moore. It has a sort of washed-out mint vibe. I had it color matched to a paint and primer combo quart of Clark+Kensington outdoor semigloss. I was looking at the lighter swatch “Covington”  right next to it but Molly gets the credit on selling me on a slightly darker tone (via text) and going with the Mills Springs Blue.

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I did the project in stages over the next few days. After all, this was done after work, dinner, O’s bath and bed so I usually only had an hour before sunset. Basically, one day I did a new coat of black on the trim while Molly scraped and repainted the mailbox. Then the next night I wiped the door down with vinegar/water and then liquid deglosser that I had left over from the sofa table project and I did the first coat of my new grayed out minty green color. As you can tell below, the two colors are very different. At first I worried that this may be a disaster.

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But after the first coat I was really loving the cooled down effect of a softer color. O liked it too.

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The second coat stole my heart. Seriously perfect. Although the front stoop is a bit bare (planters are on my list), I’m really feeling our new mini-makeover.

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Boom! Here’s a close up of the pop effect the black and mint have together. Yummy.

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Yes, I still painted the inside of the door. Its just a tradition now! I think that the cool tone of the soft green really meshes with the rest of the inside decor which is mostly grays, creams, and some sea-glass tones with pops of white, wood and yellows/oranges.

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Above is the view from the corner of the family room at the banister/half-wall and below is the view from the kitchen entry where it meets the hallway at the top of the steps. Now I think just need to get something for above the door but I’m blanking on ideas.  Thoughts?

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Paint can make some really amazing changes for a reasonable cost.

 

Dew It Right

I should start this post by reminding you that EVERYTHING was brown in this house. Flat paper bag brown. And it was everywhere. The only walls without that color had dramatic colors instead. A single wall in the family room was a deep burgundy. The guest room was Crayola blue (that took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint and primer in one paint). And our bedroom and kitchen had been painted in a rich chocolate. These colors aren’t really that bad… but they weren’t our style and flat paint is not forgiving with kids.  Also, it was drab and depressing since the flat brown sucked a lot of the natural light. Any who, the kitchen is the only room I have left to paint in the whole house. The chocolate color was livable and I had yet to make a color choice or time to paint so it waited a while. I had Friday off as a pleasant little surprise (thanks, Boss!) so I hit up Home Depot and grabbed a gallon of the swatch I had taped to the wall months ago. I got “Dew” Behr Ultra paint and primer in one semi gloss. I guess “Dew” doesn’t give away much as to what color that might actually be… you’ll see it in a minute but first here are a few before shots of the kitchen.

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Painting a kitchen is a little more challenging than most rooms. The prep is grueling. First I wiped down all of the baseboards and chair rails with my vinegar/water cleaning solution. In some spots with dark scuffs or grime (Ew- I though my kitchen was pretty clean) I used the trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Then I had to take everything off the walls, then take all of the items off the shelves and then take down the floating shelves that I feel like I just put up… which wasn’t hard but I forgot how much time it takes.  Next I moved the refrigerator away from the wall. Want to feel gross? Move your fridge.  A few dropped grocery lists, Christmas cards and crayons were caked in a decent layer of dust. Nothing a little Dyson friend of mine couldn’t fix. I also wiped down the walls behind the fridge because they had a thin layer of dust as well.

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Then I took down that funky valance above the french doors. It served no real purpose and was going to clash hardcore with my new soothing “Dew”. It will be on the curb on Thursday morning with all of our garbage and I will sleep better knowing it is not in my kitchen.

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After I removed all of the switch plates and discovered that these walls have been burgundy, bright blue, deep slate gray, navy and sky blue, I was finally able to paint the trim white. I have an arsenal of white trim paint in the garage so I grabbed a high gloss (easiest to clean) white that I thought might pair well with the semi gloss walls and white kitchen cabinets. Once the trim and door frames were finished it was finally time to DEW it. Har har.

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Within the first few strokes I’m pretty sure the neighbors could hear me squealing with delight. I love this color. Like dew is cake and I’m a fat kid. I love it. MMMMmmmm. I don’t know what kind of justice your screen gives this color. Its a soft green with traces of blue… I think it might be a lighter cousin of Tiffany blue but sort of seaglass green in it’s own right. I did two coats to ensure a solid look and even coverage. And boy, oh boy am I happy with the way it turned out.

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At different times of day it has looked like a really light blue like our bedroom and even has had a little more grey to it sometimes. Its fun to look from the kitchen into the family room at the grey and cream striped wall because the colors are all just the right symphony of tones. I also love the how it picks up the greens and blues in our slate backsplash.

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So now I’m left with the funky faux marble torn wallpaper. No really, its a million pieces of torn faux marble wall paper. The options are to remove it piece by piece. OR Do another tissue paper faux wall treatment on top of it. OR Try a venetian plaster treatment. OR To put up wainscoting/beadboard over it. I think beadboard will look freshest and cleanest with the walls and will probably hold up best in a kitchen. Now I just need to get hubby on board.

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I’m still in awe at how much some paint and a little elbow grease can change a room. Our kitchen is now brighter, feels bigger, looks cleaner and fresher.