How We Roll (Painting A Room On Video)

The office ceiling and walls are officially painted, which is good news because we’re at T-minus 48 hours until this baby’s scheduled delivery. Note: the trim is pure white in here (the same color as the desk in the middle of the room). No idea why it’s looking a little cream – maybe just the time of day/lighting?

It’s still looking really stark in here (holy cow, who watched Game Of Thrones last night?), so we can’t wait to add:

  • a rug
  • window treatments
  • a fun pendant or two over the desk area
  • art
  • more storage along the left wall (and a craft table/photography zone)
  • an updated kid-desk area on the right
  • etc, etc, etc

But even though we’re only around 10% done, it has come a long way since its former days of blue-trim.

And there’s nothing like some final-hour pre-baby hustling to get your blood pumping.

In the past we shared this video where I demonstrated a few cutting in tips that work for me…

… and there were a bunch of requests on this post for video footage of John rolling a ceiling and a wall, so our office-painting update was the perfect opportunity to catch him in action. This is by no means the professional way to paint a room, it’s just what works for us. So without further ado – here’s how John rolls:

*We mentioned a few brands by name, but none of them were paid/perked, they’re just what we like (we curated color collections with Benjamin Moore in 2012 & 2013, but didn’t have time to do one this year – and never used them exclusively, were paid to mention them, or accepted free paint while we did). 

For those who can’t watch the video, here are a few highlights:

  • John likes to use a rod extender to take the strain off his back while painting ceilings
  • we don’t have textured ceilings so we use a roller that’s meant for “smooth surfaces” – usually by Purdy, Wooster, or Ben Moore (we’re not brand loyal, and usually just grab whatever’s on sale)
  • if this room were carpeted we definitely would have covered the floor, and if you have issues with splattering or just prefer to keep yours under wraps it never hurts to use drop cloths (pros would for sure)
  • watch the speed, amount of paint, and pressure you put on the roller – upping all of those things can be tempting to get things done faster, but keeping them all in check can contribute to more even coverage and fewer drips/splatters
  • higher quality paint is usually thicker, so it tends to drips less (we don’t use ceiling paint on ceilings, we just use good quality flat paint)
  • we skip the rod extender when rolling the walls, but otherwise it’s the same technique
  • our preferred order is for me to cut in so John can roll right behind me, then I’ll do my second round of cutting-in and John will once again follow right behind with the roller (that way the roller can get as close to the moldings and eliminate any brushstrokes that I might leave while cutting in)

We’ve shared a few time lapse room-painting videos in the past, so we thought those might be helpful to include here too. Here’s one of  us painting our old master bedroom in 2012. You’ll notice we used pretty much the same approach back then (I was less steady with cutting in along the ceiling, so sometimes we used tape up there).

And here’s another time lapse video of us priming the kitchen (along with the overhead beams) from 2011.

Now that we got the “how” out of the way – let’s switch gears to the “whys” of choosing our office wall color…

  • We wanted something light and refreshing (we’re both drawn to airy and bright offices)
  • The dining room on the other side of the foyer is going to be dark and moody, so we didn’t want another bold or dark room across from it
  • I was campaigning hard for a soft honeydew green, but John worried it could hinder the function of the room (we plan to photograph smaller projects in here on a craft table, and he thought too much green would reflect in our shots)
  • We had trouble agreeing on colors in here, so we grabbed four test pots (in Daiquiri Ice, Lime Froth, Palest Pistachio, and Tint of Mint)

Oh and one more tip is that when we applied those test paint pots (couldn’t get an accurate picture of them, but just picture four blobs on the wall in a few different places around the room) we painted them from top to bottom in alphabetical order, which helped us remember which swatch was which, so we didn’t mix them up. After a few days of debate we finally agreed on Palest Pistachio. It felt airy and light, wasn’t too green, and it didn’t hurt that it was named one of ten “Happiness Inducing Colors” by Remodelista. So here’s the room all done, in Palest Pistachio. It’s photographing a little bluer than it looks in real life – but it’s definitely a happy color that feels bright without being bold or neon.

Don’t mind me, this is just my favorite picture ever.

We have big plans to make a larger bulletin board above this kid-desk area, most likely from window to window, so that should be fun (the screens are open so the windows look crazy here – just pretend you don’t notice).

Feels good to have one more to-do list item checked off. You know, until a newborn comes along and the whole house goes to heck again…


  1. Emma says

    Thought I would check in early to see if there was a post and I was rewarded!! Thanks for keeping all of us updated even though you guys are so busy..

    I had a comment about the Octopus in your Target collection. I LOVE mine, but when you hang keys on the side arms, the whole octopus tilts. I put a little piece of sticky tack behind to keep it centered, but it might be something you want to think about for future designs. Just some food for thought, it is adorable enough that I’m willing to work with it!

    • says

      Thanks Emma! That’s the first we’ve heard about that (your feedback = so valuable!) so we’ll pass that along to the Liberty team. I bet providing something to stabilize the back would be awesome (like your sticky tack idea) so I’ll definitely let them know :)


    • Tempest says

      Tighten the screw some more. Until there’s literally no screw left. I had the same problem, tightened the screw more and problem solved! :)

  2. says

    I JUST bought paint this past weekend with the hopes of redoing my office soon (not sure how realistic that is with a six-month-old, but dare to dream… LOL), so I will definitely be checking out these videos. Love the color in your office!

    You guys must be so excited. Enjoy every moment when The Barnacle arrives. I remember how slow time seemed to go when my 10-year-old was born. I was so busy waiting for him to reach his milestones that I kind of forgot to live in the moment and enjoy him while he was still bitty. Our second guy has brought us SO much joy. He was worth the everything we went through and I am soaking it all in. Even the late-night feedings. So tired, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  3. amyks says

    Love the new mini update for the blog. It is so fresh looking. I have a question about the desk placement. Is there a reason that it is facing the wall and not the window?

    • says

      Thanks Amyks! We’re planning to make that a double sided desk (more on that here) and since there’s the big bay window to the side, everyone at the desk gets a window view, no matter which way they face :)


  4. Isabel says

    Nice! And the new banner looks really cute :) I haven’t been able to watch GOT yet, arrrgghhhh! Gotta get on that pronto!

  5. Nolanova says

    Early posts are such a treat! I wonder how many other readers check even though it’s not expected until 10?…..

    Looking great! The befores and afters are amazing. Somehow, it’s easy to foget how awful that blue trim was.

  6. Liz says

    I love bright, neutral rooms. Looks/feels so clean!
    Is the trim pure white? It looks off-white in these pics?
    Also, is that oriental rug in the original pic yours or was that a listing pic? I feel like that rug would look nice in the room again – making it feel cozy and textured while still light and bright.

    • says

      Yes, the trim is pure white (the same color as the desk in the middle of the room – Simply White). No idea why it’s looking a little cream here – maybe just that time of day/lighting? As for the rug, that was the original owners, so it was there during the walk-through (when we took the pic) but gone when we moved in :)


    • Lori says

      It is unreal that visitors to your site don’t bother to read your words, but then expect to have their already-been-answered questions replied to in the comments section. It makes me sad that you have to spend your time this way.

      Please enjoy these 48 hours as a family of 3 before you become 4. I can’t wait to see updates on healthy Mama and Baby Barnacle!

  7. nadine says

    Between the white blog and the basically white room the whole post is a bit hard to look at and sterile looking. You guys need warmth here…..

    • says

      Agreed – this room is just getting started. Check out the bulleted list at the top of this post to see much we’re still planning to add (rugs, art, curtains – those all add warmth/pattern/interest :)


  8. says

    LOVE the blog’s new look guys! The sunny pics of the office are amazing too…makes me jealous. ;) It’s chilly and gray here today.

    Prayers for a great delivery and healthy baby boy!! Boys are so much fun! :)

  9. says

    Totally gorgeous and bright! The colour reads blue on my computer screen so I was shocked to read that the colour is actually green! I’ll have to take a look at the swatch the next time I’m at BM!

    • says

      It’s definitely sort of a hybrid light/bright color (sort of a pistachio green tone without much grayness and a tint of robin’s egg blue going on too).


  10. Eve says

    I really like your site design so far. I’m due today, so totally feeling your baby-on-the-way vibe. Happy newborn week to us! No scheduled delivery for me though, so I keep waiting….last baby made it to 42 weeks whoppwhopp, cue fading trumpet!
    How about you guys don’t blog for a couple of days and I don’t read and we get (hopefully) totally smothered in babysnuggles, take some rest and meet up here again soon to rock this family of 4 thing ; )

  11. Pat S says

    Good to see a post. I was becoming convinced that the barnacle had arrived sometime after your last post. :D

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