Hola! I’m back from the land of tortillas and guacamole! If you follow me on Instagram (@thehappyhouseproject) you know I was in Mexico for two weeks for work. I travel a lot with my job and Mexico is a pretty consistent location on my schedule. It’s always fun to get to see new places and of course, eat ridiculous amounts of Mexican food. I fell in love with these little potted succulents they used around my hotel. Dreamy right?
Right before I left (I mean literally the day before I flew out) I started a semi-huge project on accident. John swears up, down, left and right it was NOT an accident, but I promise it was!
I decided that before I left I really wanted to finally finish up the little corner of the hallway that is outside the guest bedroom. I started stripping the wallpaper probably a year ago, but never got around to finish the project. The wallpaper was stuck directly on the drywall and it was really difficult to remove. I ended up just stopping and focused on other things until I could muster up the stamina to finish it. We invested in a steam cleaner which has been a lifesaver for removing wallpaper.
The former owners of this house loved accent walls. Literally, the only room that has four matching walls is the master bedroom. In this one area alone we had 6 types wall colors- SIX. (Disclosure: walls 5 and 6 were the same before- wallpaper- but we are going to plank wall 6 and that’s why we left the wallpaper glue up)
I took a day off work before my flight to wrap up painting (and other lame adult tasks like packing, taking the dogs to the groomer and cleaning). Painting the wall took about 20 minutes. It’s a really small section. The only problem was that I had poured way too much paint. Darn. Well, I thought, I had really wanted to paint the balcony wall and since I had enough paint I went ahead and did that too. I had to get some more paint halfway through, no biggie, but by the end of that wall I still had a lot of leftover paint (you see where this is going right?).
Before I knew it I had painted the entire foyer, fireplace and formal living room. Whoops. As you can see, I did not paint the fireplace all the way up. As I mentioned, we’re going to plank that wall so there was no need to waste paint. I only wanted to do enough to where I wouldn’t need to be getting between my planks with a craft brush or anything like that. I still don’t know how much of a space I want between the planks so I figured better safe than sorry.
And I still had a little leftover paint at the end. Well, I thought AGAIN (I need to stop that), I had always wanted to see what the cubbies behind the giant bookcase would look like painted. I did a tester one and loved it! (OMG so messy just ignore the clutter I promise it goes away)
We inherited this 19 foot blood red accent wall with a built in bookshelf. Here is the picture from the real estate listing.
And here’s the other side of the room for reference.
In some spaces, a bright accent wall is an awesome way to bring in a fun color to a space, but in this room, especially because our house has so many retro quirks as it is, it felt really dated. The red paint was really overbearing, dark and hard to decorate around. I wanted to create a neutral palette with the paint and bring in color with furniture, art and decor.
I was able to finish painting the cubbies before John got home and when he saw what I had done his reaction was, “Well, I don’t hate it.”
Look, we compromise in this house. It’s John’s house too and he should feel comfortable in it. That’s why he gets a say in a lot of artwork, fixtures and paint colors. I firmly believe in listening to his opinion and taking it into consideration whether it’s right or wrong. I took his opinion on the red wall into consideration and determined it was wrong ;) Since he’s also a compromising husband, he let me re-paint it. Don’t worry, I hung a race car picture in the foyer to make up for it. Balance restored.
He helped me finish painting the rest of the wall. With this, my ‘quick 20 minutes of painting’ turned into 10 hours. I seriously need someone to follow me around and stop me from doing crazy things like this!
The color we used is the same color we used on the rest of the first floor- Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey mixed in Valspar Signature Paint + Primer. This paint is awesome! It’s not cheap, but it’s not as expensive as some other Valspar paints. The coverage is amazing. Every other wall in our house has taken 1 coat of this paint, but the red wall and cubbies (unsurprisingly) took two.
It was slightly terrifying painting that wall and we do not have great in-progress pictures because with only two of us someone always had to be either on the ladder or holding the ladder so there was no one to take pictures! Basically, the top most peak we painted from the upstairs just using a regular old step stool as needed.
For the downstairs half we used our really tall ladder and John held it (read: me) securely in place while I cut in the ceiling and then we (read: he) rolled the rest. I did make a couple oopsies and get color on the ceiling but I’m going to tackle that when we rent scaffolding to hang my chandelier and Edgecomb is so light it doesn’t matter for now. For reference, John is 6’3″. He’s making it look really easy in this picture but there was much cursing, sweating and praying involved!
Here is what it looks like finished! (No, I have not styled the bookcases yet. Do you see how many cubbies there are? Lord have mercy.)
Here’s what it looks like from the upstairs balcony. It’s amazing how much brighter the whole house feels with a simple paint switch.
And a before and after of the upstairs hallway. I stained the railing about a year ago and it looks great against the Edgecomb Grey paint. Notice the dark brown paint on the railing? Like I said- I lot of colors in this house!
And because I’m sure you aren’t sick of me taking about this red wall yet, one more before and after from the downstairs.
As of now, the first floor is officially wallpaper free (everything we want to take down- the stripes here are staying as well as the paisley in the foyer). The only area left to paint is the laundry room, but that’s a whole other renovation that I am in the process of planning. It will coincide with new flooring which is happening in 2016. As you can see, there’s still wallpaper on the upstairs balcony/hall wall. I have recruited my sister to come visit for a week or two in July and she’s going to help me strip that and paint the whole upstairs (thank god for sisters amiright).
For now, I’m happy to have the beast of a red wall gone and done. I can finally stop giving it the side eye every time I walk into that room.