DIY Tips and Tricks Thursday: fool proof your paint choices


I hate to paint. I hate it so much that we have lived in this house for almost four years and still have yet to paint our dining room, office, playroom, kitchen and bedroom. 

And out of the rooms that have been painted, we only painted two of them. Since hiring out a paint job is so expensive, we typically only hire out the rooms that have tons of trim/cabinets and such to paint around. 

Almost all of our rooms (except the bedrooms) are painted in Benjamin Moore Barbados Sand. It’s a nice neutral color that we had in our old house as well. It is a warm tone that pairs well with our red oak floors.


Here is an example of what it looks like in our living room: 

While I hate to paint and am certainly no expert, here is what I’ve learned in regards to choosing paint colors.

1. Paint chips are a necessity, and so are paint samples. 


Paint samples are cheap and give you just enough paint to test what the color looks like on your wall. Paint a section of the wall and then observe how the color looks in different levels of light throughout the day. If you don’t like it, get a different sample and try again.

Paint chips are great for comparing other colors in the same family…which leads me to my next piece of advice. 


2. When in doubt, go one shade lighter.

This little piece of wisdom has served us well when painting both my daughters’ rooms. When we painted my oldest daughter’s room, we must have gone through three samples. We wanted a nice light aqua but kept choosing colors that were TOO aqua.  One shade lighter than my final choice turned out to be THE ONE.

3. If your home is fairly open, use the same color in all the public areas, or use colors within a shade or two of one another.  This makes your home seem more cohesive and feel more pulled together. 

And lastly,

 4. you get what you pay for. Cheap paint is watery and doesn’t go on the walls well. It also isn’t very durable and will not last as long as a good quality paint. 

Have a wonderful Thursday, my friends!!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss Dexterous http://www.sephiroth.it/?press-release-writing-service press release writing service Décor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Laundry room reveal

As any DIY blogger/wife can probably tell you, sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. That’s sometimes true in my house as well. While my husband couldn’t deny that our laundry room was not functional, he didn’t see my vision.

Since the birth of our second daughter this past fall, the laundry around here has more than tripled. Which isn’t surprising. Our laundry closet is located in our hallway, on the otherside of our bedroom wall. Before my dad and I got ahold of it, it consisted of a really high (read:unreachable unless you’re Lebron James) shelf and one rod. It used to look like this:

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That’s pretty bad, huh? And the fact that I couldn’t reach the shelves meant everything was stacked on the washer and dryer…where it  kept falling off in the floor during the spin cycle. 🙁

Enter my dad. He built these awesome shelves, which I love. I can reach them and I have room for everything.

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I also bought these great metal baskets from our local Dollar General. I love them.

I painted the shelves white and added this “wallpaper.” It is really shelf liner with an adhesive back. It’s easy to change out if you get tired of it and mostly easy to put up.
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I have wallpapered shelves before but never actual walls. From this experience, I learned wallpaper is a pain to install and I never want to do it again. Well,maybe in about ten years. After I did the wallpaper accent wall, I felt like something seemed off.
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The walls needed painting. So off I went to our local big box and picked up some grey paint.

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Hmmm. That’s better. Don’t you think?

Then, after I painted everything, I reloaded the shelves. Here is the finished product. Not too shabby, huh?
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Way better than the before.

I do want to talk to you about the challenges and lessons that came about from this project. The first is that wallpaper is a PAIN. I loved how it looked once I was done but I wanted so badly to give up several times. If you look closely there are several spots where mine isn’t perfect. I did my best to match up the pattern, but I’ll be honest. In the areas where the pattern is less visible, it isn’t all perfectly matched. I have learned from this experience that I don’t like wallpapering. If you hear me ever mention wanting to do it again, feel free to slap me.

Also, I did not tape the trim or ceiling. This is the first time I have ever painted a room and not used tape. I didn’t do a perfect job. There are places on our trim and ceiling that I need to touch up. I have learned that it is best to trim out a wall with a brush with a short brush and angled bristles. You also need to take your time and not hurry. A good quality brush is also better.

Other challenges include moving heavy appliances by myself. Don’t do this. Wait till you have someone to help you. I moved mine may enough to work around them and then almost got stuck behind them. I almost called my daughters’ daycares and told them off I didn’t show up to pick them up, to call 911 and send some EMTs to get me unstuck 😉 In the end, my back is sore but nothing bad or embarrassing happened.

And as for the hubs: when he called around four and informed me he hasn’t heard from me all day, he asked what I was up to. I swear that guy has a radar. When I told him I’d been working in the laundry room, he asked what else I’d done. When he got home from work and saw the finished product, I was surprised to see he likes it, too. Maybe he should turn me loose on a few more projects. Just saying.

I am happy with how this “room” turned out! Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss Dexterous Décor To Adore http://www.cnom.sante.gov.ml/x/why-dont-i-do-my-homework/ why dont i do my homework Poofing the Pillows At Home With Jemma White Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Mini Room Reveal: laundry room

We aren’t quite finished yet with our laundry room but we are so close.

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When we started this project, all we had to work with was a large, too-deep closet with one rod and one too-high shelf.

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Since I couldn’t reach the shelf, everything got piled onto the washer and dryer which made a big mess.

My dad built shelves for me, which I still have to paint. I also need to paint the walls of the laundry room. It’s love some different flooring but it’s just not in the budget right now.

I did score some really cool metal baskets from Dollar General to store my cleaning supplies.

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Next I’m going to buy some tall baskets and a galvanized pail. I can’t wait to show you the finished product. Stay tuned!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss Dexterous Décor To Adore http://www.wonderlandparty.it/unsw-essay-help/ unsw essay help Poofing the Pillows At Home With Jemma White Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Laundry room woes

Get ready to see the worst laundry room ever. It’s been a constant source of frustration in this house, but even more so now that we have two kids.

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There is one very high, impractical shelf and one closet rod.

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Right now, there are clothes everywhere because I need to iron and I haven’t had time.  The tops of the machines are always covered with crap because I can’t reach the shelves.

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The closet is deep but not very wide. There is some space on the sides that I use for storing cleaning supplies and the ironing board.

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This is the only spot in the whole room that looks good.

Something will be changing in our laundry room soon. I’ll have updates next week.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss Dexterous Décor To Adore Poofing the Pillows get link At Home With Jemma get link White Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Our year in review

We had an eventful year this year. Of course, our most significant event this year was the birth of our second daughter, Aubrey Reed.

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Hillary Graves Photography

We did a lot of things to our home this year, but of course, we will never be completely finished. Even with the never ending to-do list, it’s fun to watch the house become our dream home.  Here is the list of things we have done to our home this year, in no particular order.

Closet spaces:

The only true issue we have had since moving in is poorly laid out closets. All of our closets were nicely sized, but with only one shelf and one rod, all the space was not being used. We enlisted the help of my dad to add closet rods and a center shelf in the girls’ closets.

Emorie’s closet:

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Aubrey’s closet

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Then, we added a rod to the bottom of my closet, and my super creative and smart hubby added LED motion lights to mine and his closet.

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Aubrey’s nursery:

We found out in March we were expecting again, and we created a shabby chic nursery in Emorie’s old nursery. Most everything in the room was either re-used, ordered from Etsy, thrifted, or DIY’d.

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Hardwood flooring: We also got rid of the last of the horrid green carpet, and put hardwood in our master bedroom.

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We also completed two not-so-major projects.

One was the addition of a shelf in our hall bath.

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The other was the purchase of a larger dining room suit for our dining room.

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Outdoors, Michael and my uncle removed the side pasture fence, as it was in poor shape.

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What a busy year we have had! Projects for next year include landscaping, a new sidewalk, and fixing my laundry room.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

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House renovations: hardwood flooring

When my husband and I moved into our house, we already had beautiful hardwoods in the living room, hall, and dining room. Our three bedrooms had this terrible green carpet. It was so ugly. If I were going to put carpet in a room, I’d choose a neutral color, definitely not hunter green.
Seriously. It was green!
Last year, we had the same hardwood installed in the nursery and my daughter’s new room. Since we both work jobs and have other expenses to cover, we only do a little at a time. We waited until this year to have our master bedroom flooring installed.
Do you remember this post, when I talked about our plan for the master bedroom? I created this mood board, with the intent of getting new furniture and bed linens. 
We hope to get our new furniture sometime around Christmas, because pregnant ladies can’t refinish furniture 🙂
I’m glad that part one of our master bedroom overhaul is done, but I’m really glad the ugly carpet is gone from our house. Here is what our floor looks like now:
I think it looks a LOT better, don’t you think? 
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Master bedroom remodel: just a few ideas

Our master bedroom currently looks like this:

Not bad, except for the ugly green carpet. This is the last room to still have that carpet. We’ve replaced it with red oak hardwood flooring in the other two bedrooms, so it now matches the hall, living room, and dining room. We also hope to add hardwood in the office and playroom as well. Then we’ll have hardwood everywhere but the kitchen and bathrooms.

I love this furniture. My parents gave it to me some time ago. While it is good furniture and I like how it looks, we really need a bigger bed. And we could use more clothes storage, too.  Right now, we each have a nightstand and we share the six drawer dresser (each of us get three drawers).

We are planning to have the hardwood flooring installed in the spring, and at the same time, we’re planning to get new furniture. In keeping with our farmhouse theme, we’re having a local craftsman build a reclaimed wood headboard for our new king sized bed. We searched high and low for two matching chest of drawers (so we would each have a 6 drawer chest to ourselves.). The only dressers we could find that were large enough to meet our needs but narrow enough that we could fit two side by side between our windows was the Ikea Tarva. The Tarva comes unfinished, so it can be stained to match our new headboard. We would add some lattice trim to “beef it up” a bit, too.

The plan is to purchase two Ikea Tarva chests and two Ikea Tarva nightstands, and stain them all a dark wood stain, like mahogany or walnut. The dark stain will be such a nice contrast against the red oak flooring. I’d also use all white bedding to contrast against the dark wood stain.

Check out my idea board below. Please know that the nightstand will be stained dark.

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Master bedroom remodel: just a few ideas

Our master bedroom currently looks like this:

Not bad, except for the ugly green carpet. This is the last room to still have that carpet. We’ve replaced it with red oak hardwood flooring in the other two bedrooms, so it now matches the hall, living room, and dining room. We also hope to add hardwood in the office and playroom as well. Then we’ll have hardwood everywhere but the kitchen and bathrooms.

I love this furniture. My parents gave it to me some time ago. While it is good furniture and I like how it looks, we really need a bigger bed. And we could use more clothes storage, too.  Right now, we each have a nightstand and we share the six drawer dresser (each of us get three drawers).

We are planning to have the hardwood flooring installed in the spring, and at the same time, we’re planning to get new furniture. In keeping with our farmhouse theme, we’re having a local craftsman build a reclaimed wood headboard for our new king sized bed. We searched high and low for two matching chest of drawers (so we would each have a 6 drawer chest to ourselves.). The only dressers we could find that were large enough to meet our needs but narrow enough that we could fit two side by side between our windows was the Ikea Tarva. The Tarva comes unfinished, so it can be stained to match our new headboard. We would add some lattice trim to “beef it up” a bit, too.

The plan is to purchase two Ikea Tarva chests and two Ikea Tarva nightstands, and stain them all a dark wood stain, like mahogany or walnut. The dark stain will be such a nice contrast against the red oak flooring. I’d also use all white bedding to contrast against the dark wood stain.

Check out my idea board below. Please know that the nightstand will be stained dark.

Continue Reading

Master bedroom remodel: just a few ideas

Our master bedroom currently looks like this:

Not bad, except for the ugly green carpet. This is the last room to still have that carpet. We’ve replaced it with red oak hardwood flooring in the other two bedrooms, so it now matches the hall, living room, and dining room. We also hope to add hardwood in the office and playroom as well. Then we’ll have hardwood everywhere but the kitchen and bathrooms.

I love this furniture. My parents gave it to me some time ago. While it is good furniture and I like how it looks, we really need a bigger bed. And we could use more clothes storage, too.  Right now, we each have a nightstand and we share the six drawer dresser (each of us get three drawers).

We are planning to have the hardwood flooring installed in the spring, and at the same time, we’re planning to get new furniture. In keeping with our farmhouse theme, we’re having a local craftsman build a reclaimed wood headboard for our new king sized bed. We searched high and low for two matching chest of drawers (so we would each have a 6 drawer chest to ourselves.). The only dressers we could find that were large enough to meet our needs but narrow enough that we could fit two side by side between our windows was the Ikea Tarva. The Tarva comes unfinished, so it can be stained to match our new headboard. We would add some lattice trim to “beef it up” a bit, too.

The plan is to purchase two Ikea Tarva chests and two Ikea Tarva nightstands, and stain them all a dark wood stain, like mahogany or walnut. The dark stain will be such a nice contrast against the red oak flooring. I’d also use all white bedding to contrast against the dark wood stain.

Check out my idea board below. Please know that the nightstand will be stained dark.

Continue Reading

2014: A Year in Review

With only a few hours left in 2014, let’s take a moment to reflect on this year. 
Personally, it was a pretty rough year. Between a parent being diagnosed with cancer, a miscarriage, burying three relatives and the stress of dealing with all of these things, there were certainly moments when we just wanted to hang it up and just quit.
2014 isn’t ending on a good note, either. As I write this, we currently have several family members sick and one in the hospital. All I can say is 2015 will surely be better. 
Since I am writing this post with the intentions of showing you what we did to our home this year, that is what I will do.
We moved in in July of 2013. I was irritated by our nicely sized, but poorly laid out closets. My dad and I promptly installed new shelves in our linen closet. 
We also had our hallway, both bathrooms, and our daughter’s new room painted. 
We also tore out the ugly green carpet and had hardwood floors put in her new room, plus her old room. We are going to get it put in our room this spring. 
We also had an invisible fence installed to keep a certain trouble maker of a Yellow Lab at home. 
We have been steadily working on our daughter’s big girl room for much of the year, and now lack only a wall hanging and we’ll be finished. Watch for it, because that post is coming soon. 
I also finally organized my craft supply cabinet, using items I already had on hand. 
With the number of projects on the to-do list, I am sure next year’s Year-in-Review post will be far more eventful. Just please, no one tell my husband I said so. 
Happy New Year, friends. I will see you in 2015. 
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