Basement Remodel: Paint and Crown

Last week, I showed off the new basement floors.  It took us a while to get to the point where we were ready to install the floors. Earlier this Spring we hired out the job of painting the ceiling, installing some crown and doing a final count of paint on the walls.  It was probably the best decision we’ve made in a while! (Thanks Jim!)

On the left is where we started (this picture was taken during our home inspection) and the right is where we were when all the painting was done. What a difference right?Basement Update Before and After

Looking back, I almost can’t believe we bought a house with a basement that looked like this! All of that wallpaper! The hideous dark brown molding everywhere! The blue carpet. The hideous wetbar.

Basement Wet Bar - Before

Oh, and then when we got the first layer of wallpaper off, we found the second layer… Oh man, then stories this wallpaper must have been able to tell.Tikibar Basement Wallpaper

The place already looked SO much better after Jim got the crown up. We selected a narrow composite crown molding since our ceilings are low and we needed it to fit between the window molding and the ceiling.

I was really happy that we realized that the ceiling needed painting, as it looked seriously yellow once we had the crown up.

Walls and Ceiling - Crown

And here it is after Jim got some paint on the ceiling. What a difference right?! Oh we also updated the bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling with inexpensive lights from Ikea. Andy’s dad helped to install them last fall when he was here (thanks Chris!) and although they’re not the most beautiful, they are unobtrusive, inexpensive, and bright!Walls and Ceiling - Ready for Floors


Sea Sage on the Stairs

Remember back at the beginning of March when I showed you what my stairs looked like without carpet? Well I promise we’ve been working on revamping those some naked stairs into something I’m not embarrassed about when people look in the front door!

Did I ever show you a close-up of what we found under the carpet?
Stairs from Above
Yup! Yuck. What a mess.  So I sanded and filled, and sanded and filled (and vacuumed),and then sanded and filled one more time to try to even the steps out.  I decided right off the bat that I was going for a rustic look.  (Good thing too because there was no way we were getting the stair treads all the way smooth!)

Next I primed.  I just did one coat with my cover stain primer on a small roller.  I rolled every second step so we could still get upstairs if we needed to.

Primed and Taped
After the primer dried, I taped off the stairs and broke out the paint. I had originally planned on painting them a very dark green to tie in with the Tent Green paint on the walls in the living and dining room, but our friends had some extra paint, and once I saw the color I was in love!  So the stairs are Valspar’s Sea Sage. (It looks exactly like it sounds – a blue sage.  It’s the perfect blue complement to our green sage walls.)

Painting Progress
And here they are, painted.  I love the color and want to figure out where else I can use it!  Such an improvement over the carpet!

Sea Sage on the Stairs
I’ll be back on Monday with the details on how we closed up the backs of the stairs. {Spoiler alert, we have yet to paint the molding.}

Oh but while I have you here, what would you do with the railing.  Sand and stain? Paint? Paint white? Paint “sea sage”? Ignore it’s existence?

Happy Weekend!

Sarah Signature

Paint on the brain (and in Andy’s hair)

Oh what drama we had with the paint colors. We started with the gorgeous gray-blue (Behr’s Limelight) which turned baby blue on our living room walls.
Don’t mind the patchwork of patching. The previous owner had a thing for drywall anchors & nails…

When we woke up Sat morning, I vetoed the blue and tried out the khaki (Behr’s Riviera Beach) which we got for the bedroom, but neither Andy nor I liked it for the living room. So back to the paint store we went & picked two more samples with more green in them. (The bottom two colors.)
Everyone say it with me; “Seafoam.” Whoops! This wasn’t going to work either.

Next I had the guys at the paint counter mix up a gallon of an old Better Homes and Gardens color called “tent” which my mother in law uses in her house & that I love. What they gave me was a bit more khaki than I had envisioned, but I was done fighting it, until I got home and realized they gave me the non VOC-free Behr paint! So another visit to the big orange store, lots of begging and pleading and explaining later, we convinced them to take back the stinky paint.

We had them mix tent again, and when we got back to the counter it was greener than the previous mix. Turns out they mixed a color named “tent green” and it was gorgeous! Exactly what I had in mind. Although I have no idea whose color it is.

We finished painting well after dark on Sunday & I won’t see my living room in more than early morning light again until Saturday, but Andy (who got Veterans’ Day off) says it looks great in the daytime too. I’ll share official daytime “after” pictures next week – until then here’a what I see when I come home.
Oh and don’t worry, Andy got a haircut yesterday, so he won’t be going to work with paint in his hair!

From paint chips to swatches

We’ve been living with paint chips taped to our walls for long enough! Since I have early Friday today, I plan on stopping by home depot & picking up two paint samples after work. At first I wanted to just grab a few gallons – but that’s a lot of $$$ if I end up not liking the color! So I’m playing it safe and starting with samples.
The winner in our bedroom is Behr’s Riviera Beach. I think it will be nice and calm without being cold.
I dragged the same paint chips down to the living room, but realized, after a day of staring at them that none of them was working for me. So I dug through our box of paint chips & pulled out a fee blue and green toned neutrals.

After many more days of staring at paint chips & moving my favorites from wall to wall to see the colors in every possible light, I think I found a winner. The middle one there – Behr’s Lime Light.20131108-090459.jpg
But before I can paint, i have to spackle all 50 bazillion (thats a technical term, fyi) holes in the walls. Every time I think I’ve filled them all, and just as I put away the spackle, I spot another hole.

What do you have planned for this weekend?

We need color on the walls!

Contrary to popular belief, I do in fact still exist. Moving plus a new (demanding) job plus an out-of-town visitor has left little time for blogging or unpacking for that matter.

At least we have living room seating & a puppy pillow fort…

But this is the weekend we will finally get rid of the last of the “decorative boxes” and start making our new place feel more like us. Oh and take lots of pictures to share here too!

I had a few spare moments this morning, so I taped some paint chips to the wall in the master. Clearly I’m thinking of going with a warmish sandy tone.20131031-083940.jpg
Any favorites in the bunch? I want something that will warm up our north facing bedroom without making it feel like a cave. I’ll be pairing it with lots of white (curtains & bedding) and some wood (our dresser & bed).

I think I’m liking the 3rd one in the top row or the 4th one in the second row. Maybe also the darkest shade on the tricolor chip at the bottom… Decisions, decisions.

See you next week!

DIY Striped Tea Towels

DIY Ombre Striped Tea Towels - ThisSarahLoves
A couple weeks ago, Michelle {from Decor and the Dog} shared some ombre striped tea towels she and her friends made.  And I LOVED the idea.  So I picked up the supplies to make a few of my own.

  • craft paint
  • tea towels (I used flour sack towels from Target. $3.99 for 4)
  • fabric medium (Found a small bottle at JoAnns for $1.99)
  • blue tape

DIY Ombre Striped Tea Towels - Four Color Choices - ThisSarahLoves
Tape off the stripes, making sure to press the tape onto the fabric well, randomly varying the thickness of the stripes.  (Occasionally I had to ask Andy where my next stripe should be, because I can’t really do truly random).  Mix the paint with fabric medium (2-to-1).  Paint the first stripe.  Mix in white paint, paint the next stripe.  Repeat.   When the paint is fully dry (24-48 hours according to my paint medium), heat set the paint (follow the instructions on the paint medium).
DIY Ombre Striped Tea Towels - Two Blue Towels - ThisSarahLovesEnjoy your awesome new tea towels in your own kitchen or give them as fun handmade gifts to your friends!
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