I painted the living room!
“But wait, didn’t you already paint the living room?”
Yes, but this time I finished painting the living room. Almost.
Last time I painted the living room I only did 3 out of the four walls. The wall containing the fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and two small windows would have to wait until I could find time to fill in all those tiny nooks and crannies with three different colors of paint. But this weekend Mr. Fickbonne was out of town, and I’d just finished two huge freelance editing projects, so I had the time to paint to my heart’s desire! I popped in an audiobook (The Monuments Men) and got to work.
First was the prep work. The bookshelves had been painted in place at least four times, judging by the layers of different paint colors. Ah, the joys of owning a century-old house! I felt a bit like an archaeologist as I pried them loose from their case–oh yeah, the hardware had been painted over too, so getting them out involved a hammer and flat-tipped screwdriver–and the decades were revealed. Among the ill-advised colors were the shiny black and matte Barbie doll pink I’d seen by removing other hardware around the living room. But also revealed was a diarrhea-esque brown and a light teal that reminded me of hospital corridors. Awesome.
I dumped all the shelf hardware in a bowl of linseed oil for about 24 hours until the paint softened enough that I could easily pry it off. The shelves themselves I sanded down a bit using my trusty orbital sander. It was hard enough to get them out of the case that I didn’t want to have to hammer them back into place. Also (and not that I’m positive this will ever happen) if I ever want to move them around I want it to be easy and tool-free. So sanding off a couple layers of paint seemed wise.
I then had to tape the glass in both windows. Usually I freehand my edges while painting (because I like to live dangerously), but the windows have such narrow strips of wood between the glass that I didn’t trust myself not to get paint just everywhere.
I hate taping. It takes for fucking ever.
The wall above the fireplace I painted Behr color Parchment to match the rest of the living room. The windows, mantel, and trim I painted Behr color Frost. I was very pleased with the contrast. The walls, light as they are, are now noticeably NOT white in comparison to the trim. I then painted the backs of the book cases Behr color Dolphin Fin, which I regret. I wanted the grey to be a few shades lighter than the grey of the fireplace, but when all was said and done the backs of the bookcases are in shadow, and it just blend in with the white of the bookshelves during most times of day. So I might re-do the backs of the bookcases in a slightly darker grey to make the contrast more obvious.
But that will be a project for another day! Because this project took me almost the entire weekend, between prep work, waiting for paint to dry, and clean up.
I discovered while attempting to replace the bookshelves that one bookcase is about a half inch wider than the other. I was baffled–baffled!–as to why some of my freshly sanded and painted shelves did not want to fit into their bookcase and some did. But I was tired, ok? Don’t make fun of me.
So there it is, the almost finished living room paint job. I still have to paint the baseboards and trim around the door and windows the same Frost white as the rest of the trim. But I think I can knock those out in a couple of twenty-minute painting sessions over the next few weeks. Or maybe I’ll wait another few months. Who knows? It’s my living room I can do what I want! The important thing is that I am slowly but surely eliminating all of the awful, cheap, spray-painted off-white crap paint from my home. Here’s a before and after:
By now you’re all probably tired of staring at the same side of my living room. I promise the bathroom remodel is aaaaaalmost done and you’ll be able to see it soon. Pinky swear!