Friday, January 3, 2014

A few DIY blunders

I don't know about you, but whenever Joe and I have holidays together, it usually means tackling a home project or two while we have the time. Unfortunately, this holiday, our projects weren't completely successful. (Don't worry...there are some successes among the mistakes!)

Let me tell you about the first blunder. Although the colours of the house were mostly neutrals when we moved in, both Joe and I felt that we needed to freshen them up and make them more "us". I vowed in this house NOT to paint everything beige and grey. 

When it came to our living/dining room (the biggest room in the house, which was painted a yellowy-beige colour), my biggest challenge was to find a paint that matched the original, oak trim in the windows, and that wasn't one of those light neutrals (even though in my heart I knew that would probably be best).

The "before" colour

So, I spent a lot of time going over inspiration photos online and looking at paint samples before I decided to go with a light blue-green called "Amusement Park" by Beauti-tone. We had already decided to paint the trim on the doors and baseboards white and started with that. Then we started painting. It became clear almost immediately that the colour was NOT what I had envisioned. It was coming out a light, frosty blue which came across as quite cold... definitely not the warm look I was going for. But, we kept going in hopes that once the original dark yellowy-beige colour was covered it would look right. Well... it didn't! It still looks quite cold looking.

Somehow...this photo makes it look how I wanted it to look!
Which brings me to my second blunder. Although I did spend too much a lot of time choosing the colour for the living/dining room, what I didn't consider was the rest of the main floor, or how the blue-green would look next to them. Not only was the colour not at all what I had envisioned, but it looked even worse next to the hallway and kitchen. Oh man. Unfortunately I was in such a painting frenzy that I forgot to take photo evidence of the mis-matchedness (although you can see a little bit in the photo above. And I'm too lazy to go photograph the kitchen mismatch.)

I thought that maybe painting the trim in the hallway would brighten things up and at least make the blue a little bit better.

Hallway before
Hallway before
When we bought our home, I always envisioned painting the trimwork. I know... painting original, almost 100 year old trim would seem like a HUGE no-no to a lot of people. In fact, I heard so many strong opinions against painting it that I doubted myself. However, I love the look of white trim (and really love the look of big, old trim that is painted), so I decided "this is my house, I want to live here a long time...I'm gonna do what I want!" And... well, I am quite happy with how the trim looks painted. Don't worry, that wasn't one of the blunders. (And I think I'll do a how-to post on painting the trim soon).
Hallway after
Hallway after
We also decided to take out the large, oak wardrobe that we had since it made the entry feel so much smaller and darker. And it was becoming a catch-all. So, we moved it to the back playroom to see if we can make it work. I'll give more details about our plans in my next post.

Fortunately, painting the trim also helped the blue look better next to the hallway. So there, one little success. (Although I'm still thinking about repainting the blue... we'll see)

Now let me tell you about the last blunder. I had always been up in the air about whether or not to paint the window frames white in the living/dining room. Quite frankly, the two larger windows are in beautiful condition. I mean, really, even for someone who doesn't love the natural trim look, they are so nice.

You can kind of see the trim quality in this terrible photo.
However, the smaller, stained glass window's frame is in not-so-good shape. It is full of nail-holes and has a lot of random paint splotches, and is generally just bad looking. So, while we were putting wood-filler in the trimwork of the hallway, I told Joe to do the same with the small window in hopes that it would look a little less ratty.

Well, apparently once you put on the wood filler, you are supposed to paint or stain it to match the trim and it is basically impossible to wipe away the excess filler. Basically... the wood filler made a hot mess of the trim, and we may need to paint. I may try one more time to get the excess off before doing so, but it is a little frustrating. Although, maybe it solved the painting debate... paint it is! (Or is it?)
Stay tuned.

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