Workin’ Nine To…Um, Nine

Feel free to sing the title to the tune of the famous Dolly Parton song. Or our new favorite version by SNL. Anyway, painting our living room yesterday sure was quite the task of endurance, especially given various breaks for Clara-tending and blog-tending. In fact, it took us exactly 12 hours, from 9am to 9pm to fully complete the project. Good news – the living room is officially Moonshine’d. Better news – so is the hallway (what can we say, we were on a roll).

But the day got off to a slow start. Between Sherry squatting the first blog post of the day to answer a bunch of questions, Clara needing some breakfast, and me clearing / taping the room, it was nearly two hours ’til we even cracked the first paint can open at around 11. Here’s the post all about how we deemed Moonshine to be the perfect gray for our house, and it bears mentioning that we chose to get it color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint in a satin finish (which we have found to look extremely close to flat paint with a lot of added durability & kid-friendly wipeability – really it doesn’t look wet or glossy at all, much to our surprise).

Thankfully things got rolling (literally) once Clara napped like a champion (from 11 to almost 1- which she never does!) and we gave ourselves permission to focus on applying color to the walls instead of approving & answering blog comments (no offense to you guys of course). Sherry wasn’t even slowed down by the splinter our floor kindly drove into her left cheek. And I’m not talking about the one on her face. Ouch. She’s a total trooper. And she learned a valuable painting lesson in the new house: not to scoot around on her rear while cutting in baseboard. I realize this sounds like she was painting nude, but she was fully clothed. It just went right through her yoga pants. No lie.

Sherry has always been the cutter-inner (edger) of our relationship and I’m the roller. But she also does extra credit stuff too. In this case she took the time to fill a bunch of gnarly holes in our extra-craggy brick wall – like these right near the trim – with paintable DAP caulk for a much more finished looking result. Love that girl. Even if she is a little obsessive.

Once Clara awoke from The Nap Of Her Life (capitalized as it was truly an event to be remembered), we had to switch off when it came to baby-duty (and drop in on the blog every once in a while too for comments). So our productivity dropped a bit, but it was nice to take staggered bean breaks. As the day wore on, the diminishing sunlight made differentiating the white walls from the wet paint a bit challenging, but we charged on (taking breaks for things like a second blog post, diaper changes, lunch, dinner, and putting Clara down for a less-than-champion worthy afternoon nap). By around 5:30pm we had applied two coats to the living room (all it needed) and started on the two hallway vestibules. And by the time Clara was in bed for the night at 8pm we’d cracked open our second gallon of paint to finish off a second coat in those two hallways. By 9pm we were cleaning up and ready to collapse on the couch that was still clustered next to the TV in the middle of the room and zone out. Btw, it was funny to watch some tube at the distance that we were used to from our last house again.

Being too dark for a photoshoot last night, we waited to take these “after” shots this morning for ya:

We’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to see much of a difference in the pics. But in person we were both shocked at how much warmer the room looks. We assumed gray would look cooler, but the previous white walls were so stark that the soft silvery gray is nice and cozy by comparison. Kind of like you’re inside a cloud that’s glowing thanks to some sun shining through. In short, we’re both in LOVE with Moonshine. And for those wondering why we didn’t go crazy bright or dramatic with the wall color, we want to bring in some bold textiles (like big dramatic curtains on those sliders) along with some colorful art and maybe even some painted furniture – so we don’t want the walls to compete with that. We even have plans for a large charcoal sectional, so we’re definitely getting away from the white-slipcovered-sofas-and-breezy-white-curtained look of our first house. A lot of the rooms that have inspired us lately don’t have super dark or bright walls, but still definitely read as “colorful” and “bold.” But we do have a few spaces (like the hall bathroom & guest bedroom) that we plan to paint an extremely rich and saturated color, just like we did on the backs of our built-ins. So there will be some o’ that too.

We also thought when one of the walls was brick, a bold color (like deep teal or emerald or plum) might look a bit odd, since it’s more common to see brick painted in lighter tones like white, cream, gray, etc. And we wanted that wall to feel the most unified and un-odd so the whole room felt connected as opposed to disjointed. Oh and we did consider leaving just the fireplace bump-out white while painting the rest of the walls gray, but in the end it looked too unbalanced so we painted it and like the cohesive effect a lot more. We figure we can always add color back into it down the line (like a rich charcoal paint) if we’re feeling crazy. We’ll just have to see how the room shapes up.

Oh yeah but we can’t forget the hallway. The results in there boosted our confidence even more that Moonshine was the way to go and the change will be much more dramatic in the living room once it gets the white-trim treatment. See how soft yet defined it looks with crisp white accents?

This close up is probably the best demonstration of the silvery gray color we ended up with (and how it plays off that glossy trim):

So the next thing on our to-do list is to paint the trim & baseboard in the living room (which is why the furniture is staying in a nice little island formation in the middle of the room until that’s done). Oh and we’ve decided to leave the ceiling beams unpainted for now. We’re definitely gonna see what the rest of the room looks like before making any decisions about what to do with those. Sherry has this crazy new idea about staining or painting them a rich charcoal color. Could be cool. And we’ll probably photoshop it before taking the plunge and share the madness with you. But before we get to that we’ll hopefully have the finished trim pictures to share next week. Fingers crossed for record-breakingly-fast painting luck and another one of those Naps To End All Naps from Clara.

Psst- The repair guys came out to fix our new washer amid the painting chaos and eradicated the annoying whistle issue. Happy happy joy joy.

Psssst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners, so click here to see if you’re one of them.


  1. Jill says

    I love the grey. It looks very modern and bold, yet subtle. Please keep us updated on the hunt for your new sectional. My husband and I are looking for a new sectional (but may have to settle for a couch) and continue to strike out. Everything we like is too expensive and the pieces we have seen in our price range look very cheap. I’m interested to see what you guys find!

  2. says

    You two are so impressive! I can’t believe you got all that done in a day! I like the gray–especially in the hallway with the already white trim–and I really, really hope you go for the charcoal beam idea! That sounds like all kinds of awesome!

    Do you know what white the rest of the trim is already painted? I’ve never had to do it but it seems like it would be hard to match a white… unless of course it’s just the standard one with no tints mixed in. Is that what people typically use for trim? (You can tell I’m not a homeowner!)

    • says

      Hey Catherine,

      We figure we’ll hold up some white swatches to get a general idea of the existing trim color, although it all needs a fresh coat of white so we might end up redoing it slowly (which means matching it perfectly isn’t such an important task).


  3. JM says

    We have Moonshine on the walls in our bedroom and LOVE it! Its so peaceful and dreamy. PS is that an iPad I see in pic #4?

    • says

      Hey JM,

      Yup, John loves it. I actually don’t mind it either (although at first I wondered what all the fuss was about). Playing Farkle on it is fun though. We had a power outage and it kept us busy for hours!


  4. says

    Love the look in the hallway. Can’t wait to see the trim in the LR done. I’m really liking the idea of putting charcoal color stain or paint on the ceiling beams. Awesome idea. Can’t wait to see how that looks in Photoshop. ;)

    I’m lovin’ gray right now and I love that deep gray sectional you two posted a while back. I’m thinking about a medium tone gray for our LR, just haven’t found the right sofa yet. ;)

  5. says

    Love the gray walls! though I am partial to gray walls myself seeing as my own living room is gray. :) And I definitely agree that you’ll adore it even more once the living room trim is white to match the hallway. It’s such a lovely contrast.

  6. Aly says

    It’s amazing how much longer projects take with a little one around. I have a 4 month old boy and though I’d much rather spend my time with him, there are housing projects to be done. The moulding I’m putting up around our side door, well, I do one piece a day if I’m lucky.

    The color looks fabulous on the walls!

  7. says

    Honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference. That is, until you showed that shot of the hallway. And wow. The white trim with the grey was definitely the way to go. It gives it a sophisticated look with a hint of class, and it shows that someone really took the time to beautify their house. And isn’t that the best feeling, collapsing at the end of they day and looking around and saying “Wow, I did that!”

  8. carrye says

    Love the how the color turned out and really love that your considering keeping the beams a contrasting color. I think beams really add character to a room and it would be great to let them stand out some.

  9. Ilana says

    Another salt lamp question- does yours have a plug or is it operated by batteries? Got inspired after seeing Katie’s comment, and your link to an older post.

    Love the gray btw! It seems like the perfect canvas to add creative accessories. I think having a more calming color worked in your last house too for the living room!

  10. Julie says

    We painted our living room a very similar color (though I think ours was called MoonDANCE) for the same reasons as you guys — we have a maroon couch and love seat and a gray recliner and anything more would compete too much with those (large and in charge) pieces. It’s great to have a little color on the walls that stand out against the white trim, while still feeling cohesive and not overdone. Black accents in the form of decorations, picture frames, etc, can pop, so it’s been working well for us! I’m sure the same will be true for you!

  11. Meghann says

    The gray looks amazing! I truly believe that it is the work that you put in that makes a house your own. At leat that’s what I ket telling myself when we used 1 inch wood chisles to score and peel the old linoleum out of the kitchen of our new home bebfore putting in laminate flooring! And that was after we scraped off the 3 layers of flooring on top of that!

    As for photoshopping the beams to try colors – Sherwin Williams has a feature on their website where you can upload your own pictures and then select what areas you want to paint, and then all you do is keep clicking until you like the color! It’s really a helpful tool, and it’s pretty fun too!

    Keep up the good work and keep having fun in your new home!

  12. Kinnic says

    Gray is my fav. I know you may have written a post on this in the past, but I’d like to learn more about painting wood trim white. How you do it, what kind of paint you use, etc. etc.

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