photo Whaling-City-Cottage-8-2015_zpsoygeotsf.jpg

dining room update

There might be a rip in the fabric of the space-time continuum because I did not plan on taking a month hiatus from our dining room makeover.  I blame the soul sucking darkness of winter.  The days just run together and all of a sudden you look up and there’s still peeling paint above your kid’s dinner plates.

But we’re back!  Here’s a reminder of what the room looked like the day we moved in.


If you’re new here, you may not be privy to the year-long struggle about whether to keep the mural or not.  Yes, it’s pretty cool.  Yes, it’s all probably lead paint.  And yes, the color is vomit pink.  It had to go.

In addition, the previous owner put latex paint over the original pink oil paint ceiling so of course it was a chipping mess.  My plan from the beginning was to put tongue and groove planks on the ceiling.  Make it all cozy.  And save us a lot of scraping, mudding and sanding.


We picked up 15 packs of these thin planks from Lowe’s.  It was our first time using this product and overall it was a cinch.  The crown molding has square edges so we were able to put the boards up without removing it.  We randomly staggered the seams, using 3-4 cuts per row and there was almost no waste or wonky boards.


Now….I swear.  I took pictures of this whole process but somehow they aren’t on my camera.  Gremlins?  I don’t know.  So an iPhone photo is all I’ve got.

Thank you all for your input on my potentially-cuckoo notion to paint the ceiling cantaloupe.  I still love the idea and totally think it can work….

jeffrey bilhuberjeffrey bilhuber

But in the end I decided to bring the cantaloupe in through a different element in the room.  One I can more easily swap out if I get tired of it.  Playing it safe is definitely not my 2016 battle cry but I also change my mind a lot and re-painting a ceiling is a PITA.  So the ceiling color winner is…..Lookout Point BM.


It is the prettiest pale blue.  Not too gray or bright.  I love it and someday when I can afford grasscloth in the dining room, this color will still work.


I used a microfiber roller which got into the nooks really well so I didn’t need to use a brush.  We also added picture frame molding below the chair rail.


 This is all a vast improvement BUT……my eyes are still blinded by that heinous, disgusting, 40 year old green carpet.  Yesterday it met its demise.  Not suprising, we unearthed mountains of dust and dirt after pulling up the carpet and padding.  So nasty.


Unfortunately our house was built when carpet was king so it has ZERO hardwood floor.  Our plan is to slowly remedy this situation as we renovate, starting in the dining room first.   But that’s not till spring so I figured we could paint the subfloor as a temporary fix.


 First we coated the subfloor in oil-based primer.  We used the allegedly odorless kind and added a packet of the smell-away stuff or whatever it’s called…..and still it was horribly stinky, even with windows open.  On a freezing cold day.  I’m officially sick of winter home renovations.


For the color, I wanted something earthy to balance the sweetness and light of the white walls and blue ceiling.  The guys at Benjamin Moore mixed up a gallon of this porch paint for me in Aegean Olive BM.



It looks a little muddy in this photo but so far on the floor (I cut in last night), it’s looking rich and gorgeous.  First full coat goes on tonight.  I’ll do a full reveal on the floor once it’s done.

Have any of you ever painted a subfloor?  My husband was mighty skeptical.  But hey, it’s a temporary solution and anything is better than that disgusting carpet.





changes in the dining room

Okay, before you all burn me at the stake, let me explain.  I wrestled hard with what to do about the dining room mural, an otherwise cool design bathed in the most horrid pink imaginable.  We lived with it for 382 days.  Ultimately the color – that nuclear waste Pepto – was a deal breaker.  Yes, I could have painstakingly covered the offending pink by hand, like a reverse mural, but…..ain’t nobody got time for that!


As some of you know from Instagram, I threw caution to the wind recently and started painting over the mural.  I took almost no pictures of this in-between stage, thanks to the holidays.  The shoddy iPhone pic on IG is all I’ve got.

However a major technical error soon followed – the mural started rejecting the paint.  When we first moved in, I tested the dining room walls with an isopropyl alcohol-soaked cotton ball and it told me the pink was….latex.  So I just got regular paint with built-in primer.  Unfortunately that cotton ball was a rotten liar because the new paint started peeling off if I looked at it sideways.  So the day after Christmas we covered the walls and wainscoting with oil-based Kilz primer, a horribly smelly but magical substance that rights all wrongs.  I’m sure key brain cells fell to the wayside from the fumes but oh well.  At least one crisis was averted!

Then a funny thing happened.  I liked the white.  We’ve only ever seen this room dark pink or dark navy and it’s north-facing so it doesn’t get insane sunlight, plus 8′ ceilings and small-ish 1950’s windows.  The white made things so much brighter.  Shocker, I know.  So I changed my plans and painted the walls BM Swiss Coffee (the trim and wainscot are BM White Dove).


Obviously the green carpet needs to go.  My allergies are girding their loins for that one.  And the room is still a disaster.  BUT.  I have zero regrets about getting rid of the mural.  Ze-ro!  The design gods may have a lightening bolt with my name on it but I’ll catch that shit with my teeth.  As Cartman has taught us…..I do what I want!

With white securely on the walls (no peeling), my next thought was….should I paint the ceiling cantaloupe?  Naturally.  See also: oil paint fumes.


And I’m also attempting some Lauren Liess-esque paisley curtains, courtesy of Cutting Edge Stencils.

So…..cataloupe walls have been catching my eye lately.

880829fd4a8e2b689eb5904cd3dca0eachristina murphy….I think

Orange has long been one of my favorite colors.  My first skateboard was orange.  I had a big orange coat in the 90’s.

celeriecelerie kemble

This could work on the ceiling, right?  I’m going for it.  Afterall it’s only paint.