Reaching The Unreachable

Guys! The wall along the stairs is FINALLY painted and I didn’t die or break any bones!!

So as you know, I’ve been living with an almost finished paint job for weeks (so many weeks that I’ve lost count). We had everything painted except for one spot directly above the bottom 3 stairs. I was desperate to get to that spot, no matter what. We came up with a slight sketchy plan, that kind of freaked us out. It involved cinderblocks and more than one person holding the ladder…and we were not super excited about trying it.

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Luckily, we got rain here…lots and lots of rain. Which gave Brian a day off and led us to heading to Menards. We went in for something completely unrelated to painting, but Brian suggested we peruse the paint isles just in case we were missing some magical answer to our paint problem. We ended up grabbing a few gadgets that I haven’t tried before, but I didn’t have a whole lot of hope that any of them would help me reach the spot.

We grabbed a couple of things, one of them was this little corner roller attachment that goes on an extension pole. I wasn’t too confident about it, but for less than $4, we got it to try. I figured I could use it for future projects at least.

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It is super lightweight and the shape was perfect for getting into the grooves of the paneling as well as along the quarter round piece of trim that connects our trim and ceiling.

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You can see above that I got a couple of spots of paint on the ceiling. One of those spots is actually from our regular roller where I tried to reach and slipped. So only one is from this little corner roller. I will get out the ceiling paint and try to cover those up soon. I plan on taping my paint brush to the extension rod to do so. I used this trick in the pic below to finish up the wall paint in the few spots that the corner roller didn’t get to.

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I was super scared to try this with the paint brush, especially around the window trim, but it actually worked great. I definitely didn’t trust myself to get too close to the ceiling with it, but it did a pretty good job of filling in the gaps.

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Sorry for the super blurry Snapchat pic, but I was so dang excited for this moment!

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Here is a little less blurry pic of the after. You can still see a few lighter spots where the paint is still wet from my touch up.

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I can’t even put into words how happy I am to cross this project off my list! Especially without having to do any balancing acts on the ladder again. I am so happy to get the giant ladder off our stairs where it’s been living for the last couple of months. So far are really happy with the color…which is great, because I am NOT painting in here again for a long, long time.

The Stairwell Is Painted!…Well, Almost.

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

 

 

 

Office Space

It’s still a work in progress, but I just wanted to take a moment and note that there is PAINT ON THE WALLS!

I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone over two years without painting the paneling in the office. It is literally the first room you see when you walk into the house as it is directly across from the front door. You also get a good view of it from the playroom and the kitchen, which are the two rooms I spend the most time in. And now that it is painted, and painted such a lovely color, I find myself admiring it from every viewpoint.

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Originally there was a door on that doorway in the pic above, but we ended up taking it off because it really closed off the house. With it off we have a much better flow and even though the first floor is not ‘open concept’, each room does open up to the next and creates a circular pathway. I pulled the desk away from the wall and added some much needed seating to create a walkway.

Also, how great are these retro office chairs?! We scored three of them…for FREE. They are from our bank and were sitting in the basement unused. We asked about them and offered to buy them if they were ever for sale and they ended up giving us these three (the other one is currently in our bedroom)! I plan re-upholstering them some day, but I kind of like them as-is right now and they are super comfy.File_003(1).jpeg

 

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Moving the desk away from wall was also necessary because of the lighting in here. There is a small chandelier in the center of the room. With the desk up against the wall, we weren’t getting much light on the desk. All the light was falling behind the desk on our back  which made it really hard to read any papers or anything on the desk. Now with the light directly over the desk, it is much easier to see in here. We would like to replace the light one day too as soon as we find something we really like.

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I hung some IKEA Grundtal shelves we had in storage. The two metal storage units are actually one unit that can be stacked on top of one another. It was a Craigslist find.  I unstacked it because we needed more surface area in here for the printer and things that need to be filed away. It works great for Brian because he can store all of is catalogues and price sheets and everything is easy to see and grab.

I still have a lot of organizing to do in here and I also have the closet to organize. I think cleaning out the closet will make a huge difference, but it is such a daunting task that I keep putting off…It’s still on the to-do list, it’s just at the very, very bottom of it. I’m really weird about organizing things. I will put it off and put it off and then one day I’ll wake up and it is ALL I can think about until I just hammer it out. Is anyone else like that? Basically it just won’t get done until I’m in the mood.

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So that’s it for now. I still have lots to do, but I’m so happy there is paint on the walls finally. And I am so in love with this dark gray. I have already started painting it in another room, which if you follow me on Instagram, you already know about. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@thegoldbrickroad)….you should!

Mini Makovever: Living Room

Okay so…some may argue that painting an entire room isn’t a “mini” makeover, BUT I’m counting this as one because 1.) our living room is not very large 2.) there isn’t a lot of paintable wall space with all of the doorways, trim, faux brick wall and windows 3.) it was totally free. The whole makeover only took two days and honestly I could’ve gotten it done in a lot less time, but I have a newborn who requires a lot of my attention…and I’m happy to take a break that involves some baby cuddles. 🙂

I had zero intention of making over the living room last weekend. It’s a funny thing, having a new baby makes me notice little things I normally wouldn’t pay much attention to.  I find myself sitting (nursing) A LOT. Like all day and night. While sitting and nursing Bo for like the millionth time, I was staring at our faux brick wall in the living room next to the t.v. and decided that I wasn’t crazy about the shelves hanging on it. Which led to me thinking that I was kind of tired of looking at all the things on the shelf. Which led to me noticing all the paint touch-ups I needed to do in the room. Which led me to thinking I need to repaint the whole room. This is how my brain works. It’s exhausting.

I liked the blue that was in here, but when we first moved here, I wanted some color on the walls so badly that I just grabbed what we had without thinking it through too much. The paint I used was not originally meant for painting paneling. I also only had enough to paint the room and not a drop more. So every time the walls got scratched (which happened because I didn’t use the right paint) or I moved something hanging on the wall, I didn’t have anything to do touch-ups with. My only options were to get more paint for touch-ups or to start over with new paint. I decided to just suck it up and re-paint with paint meant for paneling. I went with a light beige with gray undertones that I had on hand to freshen things up and keep things neutral so that I could change other things in the room or leave them as is.

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This is the wall that started this makeover. See how dinky that little shelf looks? I got a second shelf to add to the wall to help balance things out, but it still wasn’t really doing it for me. The shelves just sort of faded into the white, brick wall. So I decided to paint the metal brackets black instead of brushed nickel to help them stand out a little more.

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I also added some black frames to bring some more contrast to the wall and I think it helps a lot. Please ignore the hideous wires under the t.v., I am still trying to figure out what to do with those guys.

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You can see the rest of the room hasn’t changed a whole lot. Same curtains (though I’m looking for new ones) and furniture. I switched out some of the accessories and moved some things around. I’m planning on adding some bamboo roman shades to these windows to match what we have in the kitchen and hallway. We are also looking to add some more seating in here. I would like to add a loveseat or small sofa, but the hubs wants a recliner so……yeah. We’ve yet to agree on anything.

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I still have a few things to hang on the walls, but I like this new direction the room has taken. Things were starting to feel cluttered and kind of crazy in here. It feels good to change things up every so often without re-doing everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well This Is Embarrassing…

Have you ever lived with something for so long that you forgot how much you disliked it until you saw a photo of it? This is how I feel about our stairway and landing. (This is also how I feel every time I see a picture of myself ;)) I walk through this room every day, multiple times a day, but I guess I must do so with blinders on.

I didn’t notice how bad things were looking until we set our Christmas tree up in this room and I went to take some pics of it. I never posted them because I was so embarrassed at how the the rest of the room looks. We only have two rooms of paneling left that have not been painted and this is one of them. The office is the other one, and I planned to paint it first, but now I’m thinking I should tackle this room first.

Here is how it’s looking right now….it really hasn’t changed much since we moved in.

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The time of day/sunlight determines just how orange it is in here. Please notice all of my mismatching window treatments or lack of any treatments on a certain window that is out of my reach.

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This shot of the stairs helps explain why I haven’t tackled the painting yet. I am going to have to find a ladder that will allow me to reach the walls along the staircase. And since being pregnant, I’ve had to cross tall ladder projects off my to-do list.

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As you can see, I’m using this area as storage for baby clothes currently until I get little man’s closet redone. The large white cabinet houses my crafting stuff and sewing machine. It will most likely have to stay here (I don’t have anywhere else for it yet…) and I’d like to get rid of the totes and dollhouse and add a small table or desk where I can draw/sew/craft.

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My next issue is the rugs. This ivory rug came with the house and the rug at the bottom of the stairs is just a $20 Ikea rug that I had and threw in there. I’d like to replace both of them. The problem with the one upstairs is that the size of it doesn’t seem right to me in this space, but I can’t figure out what size would be better. The room is kind of a fat, L-shape and I can’t decide if two runners would be better (in an L-shape), or one runner down the larger part of the room,  or if I should replace this area rug with a smaller sized rug that can be centered better.

I also don’t know what color to paint in here. I keep going back and forth between a bright, cheery color, or a nice neutral color. Either way I want something that will highlight all the wood trim. I’m leaning towards the neutral options because painting in here is going to be a pain and I want something I will love for a looooong time. Since I can’t decide,  I think I’m going to shop for rugs first and then choose my wall color based on that. I want the rug upstairs to feel cohesive to the rug downstairs, but I don’t want them to be an exact match.

Here are some rugs I’ve been looking at:

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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

 Apparently I’m subconsciously drawn to greens and blues. I like the idea of the rugs having some color in them, especially if I do a neutral wall color. I’m surprised at how much love #5 for upstairs. I think it would look so nice with the kelly green and navy blue bedrooms in that hallway. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it would look really nice downstairs too with all the dark wood. Of course it’s the most expensive option. I don’t want to spend a fortune on these guys since I’m having to buy at least two rugs.

Any thoughts or advice on wall color or rugs?! I’m open to any and all suggestions at this point!

 

Oh, Lighten Up

Normally I love to paint. It’s such a cheap, fast way to makeover a room or piece of furniture. I love cracking open a can of paint, especially a new color I haven’t used before. I can usually knock out a room in a day or two with no problem. There’s not a room that my paintbrush and I couldn’t tackle.

Until I started painting the living room…in all of its wood-paneled glory.

photo 3-006photo 2-005I feel like this room has taken forever to paint. Because it has. I actually started painting this room as soon as we moved in. (a few months ago) I couldn’t wait to paint over the paneling and I knew exactly what paint color I was going to use.  I’ve painted paneling before so I wasn’t too worried. I got one wall done and then, I don’t know what happened, I lost my mojo…my painting mojo (it’s a thing).

Fortunately, Hollis’ baptism is next weekend and I will have a house full of people. Nothing lights a fire under my bum like the pressure of having people see my house and judge me. I’m fairly certain my house would never get dusted without the fear of someone randomly stopping by or having to take photos for this here blog. Don’t get me wrong, the room is nowhere near finished, but at least we no longer have one half painted wall and three wood-paneled walls. (Although I do still  have a half painted brick wall. Sigh.)

Here’s how it went down. Slowly. Here’s how it slowly went down. I think I maybe averaged 1/2  a wall per week.

I had to cut in around the ceiling, trim, and then I had to use a small brush to get into all those grooves in the paneling. I hate those grooves. I may have used some choice words while filling in those grooves.

IMG_0335We painted the trim in the newer part of the house, but we are leaving the original woodwork in the older part. I’ve never had dark wood trim, I’ve always had white, so choosing paint colors is a whole new adventure now. I taped off around the floor boards, but I just cut-in with a small brush around windows and doors.

IMG_0332One bad thing about paneling is, that it hides all the nail holes and imperfections in it with the busy wood grain pattern. I had a heckuva time seeing all the holes  that nails left behind until after I got a coat of paint on it. So I had to do all my wood filling after my paint dried, which didn’t speed things up any.

IMG_0331It’s also really obvious if you forget to paint a groove, or don’t fill one in all the way….this was also a time-sucker.

IMG_0334I eventually got in a rhythm and got all my cutting in done, then filled my grooves, then rolled on two coats to finish it off. The whole process shouldn’t have taken so long. I blame myself mostly. I get easily distracted, especially in the living room where the baby’s playing and the t.v. is on. That darn Pioneer Woman makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and get in the kitchen and make something. So really this all her fault if you think about it.

Anyway, things are looking much lighter and happier in here. I like the way the pale blue looks with all of our dark brown furniture. Even that futon, which is not a permanent inhabitant of this room. He’s just visiting until we find something else.

IMG_0527IMG_0529IMG_0533Here is a close-up of the curtains. I love them. I love them so much I’d marry them if I wasn’t already married.

IMG_0545Now that the little one is officially crawling, we are in full baby proofing mode. That’s why our coffee table is against the wall like it’s being punished. And we have the wall mount for the t.v. ready to go, I just need the hubby’s help getting it hung up there. You can also see I’ve started to prime the brick wall, I’m sure it will take another month or so for me to get that done too.

IMG_0530I still have a couple of seams where the panels but up against each other that need to be filled with more than just paint. You can see what I mean in this photo below. That pesky seam on the left corner is practically screaming at me. Overall, I feel like the light blue really contrasts with the dark brown and shows off the great detail on the wood trim. Details that seemed lost next to the busy wood grain on the paneling.

IMG_0532Here’s my checklist for this room:

  • paint walls
  • wipe down/clean trim
  • hang curtains
  • hang artwork/decor
  • hang t.v.
  • add floating shelves to the t.v. wall
  • prime/paint brick
  • find window covering for door
  • replace futon
  • organize toys
  • replace carpet (some day)
  • fill panel seams
  • new furniture (this one’s a long way down the road and I mostly just put it on here to see if the hubby’s reading)