Our Current House
Yes that was a Jock Jams reference. And yes, I can still get down to that. Not sure about the video though…
Remember when the kitchen looked like this back when we first laid eyes on our house?
Whelp, now it looks like this…
It’s crazy how different certain angles look in person.
It’s like walking into the room and wondering who added five extra lights. It’s just so much brighter.
Yes, we dove headfirst into priming and painting the kitchen baseboards, crown molding, and window trim (52. freaking. panes.) and ended up just going all out and tackling the paneling and the doors to the pantry and the garage while we were at it. We have nothing against dark paneling, we just prefer the painted look for our house, especially after drooling over a few awesomely classic spaces that inspired us (like this one, this one, and this one).
I’m not going to lie – it was not an easy process. But it was SO WORTH IT. The room feels so much brighter and less heavy and we find ourselves actually looking out the windows now (when that trim was dark it stopped your eye, but now that it’s white, suddenly the outside world is the thing that’s emphasized, like a pretty little forest focal point).
One of my favorite new views is from the front door. Here’s a shot we took during inspection (don’t mind the chaos, there were a few old furniture items being moved out by a crew at the same time).
And here’s a shot we took yesterday afternoon. Ignore all the beige… we’re planning for some airy color on the kitchen walls to break things up (more details in this post). And the lower cabinets will end up nice and dark for contrast too. Eventually we also think we’ll end up with big dark (heated) tiles on the floor too, so that should help to balance/ground things. White paneling + softly colored walls + dark floors + a rustic wood table sounds like a nice mix.
All told, it took two coats of primer followed by two coats of paint applied by hand. We decided only to use the sprayer to paint things we could remove and take outside (like cabinet doors/drawers when we get to that stage) since we’ve used it once inside (to paint all of the baseboards/trim/doors upstairs while the carpeting was ripped up) and we noticed a pretty decent amount of overspray.
Based on that experience (and using it outside for things like painting the sunroom ceiling planks) we just think our type of sprayer is better for outdoor use unless we’re working in truly gutted indoor spaces. We’ve seen other folks tape off the entire room and spray every last inch of woodwork, but this room has four different doorways to other spaces that we’d need to fully block off (any paint seepage onto the wood floors in the dining room or living room scared us greatly) and we worried it wouldn’t save much time if it took us 10 hours to tape everything off anyway.
So John and I just chipped away at it over the past five days (Burger refused to lend a paw – that diva). Thankfully we found an awesome stainblocking primer that has no-VOCs but actually works so I could join in on the fun (some others gave us wood-bleed like you wouldn’t believe, but this one was awesome). It’s called Kilz Premium – just make sure you get the one with the label that says “no VOCs” and “stainblocking” since they have a bunch of different types. As for the paint, we’re still using Simply White (in semi-gloss) which has been our choice for all the trim and doors upstairs and in other rooms that we’ve tackled downstairs (like the foyer and the half bathroom).
Gif time, baybay:
Two coats of the Kilz stuff followed by two coats of paint took us about 12 hours. The first coat is always the hardest (for some reason it just takes longer to get into all of those nooks and crannies and around all of those edges the first time, but your brush or roller seems to glide over them more easily as you go). So it was probably around 4 hours for the first coat and then 3 for the second coat and then 2.5 for the following two coats.
As for the application method, a regular old 2″ angled brush was what we both used to tag-team the trim as well as those window frames, and then we used a roller along with a brush on the paneling (a brush got into those crevices and then a roller could be passed over the fronts of each board to smooth them out). Here’s an example of what I did with a brush, and then John rolled the flat parts so it all blended in. Update: If your trim or paneling is super shiny and lacquered we always recommend sanding and using a liquid deglosser before the priming step. In our case it was chalky and dry wood without a thick layer of sealer, so we went right to primer and paint, which held nicely.
Now I’m like Jasmine rolling in there singing A whole neeeeeew world.*
*And then I see the intercom and turn into Ariel belting out You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty.
This corner. Huuuge difference.
The door straight ahead leads out to the garage, and the one on the left is the pantry. Someday it would be awesome to have a paneled door that leads to the garage, but it’s wider than the other doors in our house (and needs to be fire-safe) so we might have to order one or miraculously find it at the ReStore or something. For now the white paint is a welcome upgrade.
We didn’t have to paint the pantry door since we had one upstairs in our storage room that we sprayed white back when we sprayed the other doors up there but had never rehung (it was the between our bathroom and sink nook, but it blocked things off so we’re happier without it). As for the garage door, we could have removed it and sprayed it outside, but that would have meant an exterior door being off the hinges for a few days (drafty + not secure) so we just painted that one in place. Still need to replace those brass hinges though…
Oh and a quick tip for anyone tackling wood trim, paneling, or crown: it’s not unusual to see all sorts of dark cracks that need to be caulked after you get some primer and paint going on. Something about dark wood tones hides those cracks and shadows, but then when it’s painted they stand out. So our advice is to look for those after one or two coats of primer (you won’t be able to see them before you apply anything, since they only pop out at you as the wood gets lighter) and then fill ‘em with paintable caulk (we like paintable Dap window & door caulk in white). As long as you get ‘er done before your final coat of paint, it should go over them for a nice seamless finish.
So now our to-do list in here looks a little something like this:
Remove wallpaper Move fridge cabinet forward Remove upper cabinets on window wall to prep for open shelves
Reinstall crown molding(you can read about how we did those first four things here)
Prime & paint the pantry and the door to the garage
Prime & paint the trim, crown molding, & baseboards Prime & paint the paneling
- Patch and paint the ceiling
- Replace the florescent light in the cooking area and the pendant over the sink
- Replace and center the light over the dining table
- Paint the walls (you can read about the color we’re leaning towards here)
- Hang floating shelves on the window wall
- Possibly craigslist the existing microwave and get a countertop one (the we can put in the pantry?) and add a cheap range hood (we’ve seen some like this for $20 on craigslist) to lighten up that wall?
- Paint the cabinets (you can see the colors we’re leaning towards here)
- Update the old cabinet hinges and knobs
- Get a rug for eat-in area? Possibly install peel and stick tiles everywhere?
- Curtains for windows?
Psst – To read why we’ve chosen these steps for Phase 1 (for example, why we’re painting the cabinets, why we’re not going to attempt to paint the linoleum, and what’s on the agenda for Phase 2) there’s lots of background info in this post for ya.
There are still a lot of uncrossed items, but we’re so excited about how far this room has come already! What were you guys up to this weekend?
This week I was actually inspired by a request from Clara, which came by way of John’s mom. She was laughing as she told me that she overheard Clara telling her cousin that she didn’t have a clock in her room. Random, right? So I thought: I’ve never made a clock… but I bet I can make her something playful and fun – maybe even something that she can interact with somehow. They sell those clock kits, so it can’t be too hard, right?
So here’s where I ended up…
And here it is living it up on the wall in Clara’s room.
I originally thought it could be fun to use a birdhouse and add the clock hands to it, but a lot of them jutted too far away from the wall and didn’t have enough of a “face” for a clock kit to complete full rotations without hitting some part of the birdhouse and getting caught. Then I came across this DIY cuckoo clock, and I loved it! She has awesome directions and even offers a free downloadable template for anyone who’d like to get exactly the same look, but I was looking to adapt it, so I just used the house-like concept as a jumping off point and decided to add some fun little 3D details that I thought Clara would appreciate.
So I hit up JoAnn and grabbed a small 12 x 12″ sheet of quarter inch plywood for $3 (thanks to a 40% off coupon), that I came home and cut down to be the shape of a house with the miter saw (if you don’t have access to a saw, this wood was so thin and light that I bet you could have scored it over and over again with an exacto knife and cracked off the corners to get the same affect).
I had also grabbed a few little objects at the craft store when I grabbed my board for the background, like a small picket fence ($2.99), a little bag of variously sized disks of wood ($2), and a thin trim piece (90 cents) that I could use to add a little roofline. Here they are all disassembled…
And here they are all put together. I just used craft glue to create a little ledge along the bottom as well as a smaller shelf about 3″ below the roof (that wood was leftover from my board that I used to create the house-shaped background) and also glued the little trim pieces along the top to create a little roof-like detail with a round disk of wood under it to mimic a cute little round window.
The tiny picket fence was one of my favorite details, which I just glued and nailed with some small picture nails, so that it wrapped around the entire ledge on the bottom.
Then I marked the center of where I wanted my clock hands and drilled a hole big enough for the clock mechanism to slip through.
Next was painting time. I asked Clara what color she wanted (fully expecting her to say pink) and she said blue! Go figure. Thankfully, I had an old test pot of Embellished Blue by Behr leftover from this project, so I applied two coats for some nice even coverage.
After that had fully dried, I moved onto the sketching part of the project. First I used an old coaster to trace a circle for my clock face with a white paint pen.
Then I free-handed some cute other details, like a window frame around the round piece of wood I had glued on under the roof, and a few other windows with stems coming up from some window boxes (my inspiration cuckoo clock gave me courage since her sketchy/imperfect drawings were so charming to me). I also added stems along the bottom behind the picket fence and in both windows so I could use a red sharpie to add some flowers in those spots.
Here’s everything all sketched out. Once that dried (the paint pen only took about 10 minutes to be fully dry) I moved onto my clock assembly. I had grabbed a clock kit from JoAnn for $6 (you know I used a 50% off coupon, right?) and originally considered painting it, but ended up liking the vintage-y gold finish. It just felt sort of cuckoo-clock-ish to me, I guess.
It’s pretty simple to snap the clock together. You just put the mechanism in the back, slide the spire through the pre-drilled hole, and then slip on the hands and the nuts and bolts they provide in the recommended order.
It probably helps to see the back of the clock too, so here’s how that looks. The black thing with the battery is of course the clock kit, and since that sticks out from the wall, I glued three pieces of scrap wood back there to make it more stable (so it sticks out from the wall the same amount along the top and bottom. Then I added one of those little metal hangers on the top block to hold the whole thing on the wall.
I also drilled a little hole in the base of the shelf and inserted a 4″ piece of trim leftover from the roof with a larger disk of wood, which I painted blue like the clock. It doesn’t swing back and forth, but I love that it adds to the quaint cuckoo clock feeling.
Overall, it probably took me two hours to shop for it, cut, glue, drill, paint, sketch on it, and add the clock. And my total cost was under $15 ($6 for the clock kit, $3 for the wood backing, and $5.90 for the accessories like the roof pieces, the round disks of wood, and the picket fence.
I think it ended up being another one of those crafty projects (like this one and this one) that could make a really cute holiday gift. Even if you just go simple and paint the clock white with gold or silver paint pen details. Without the extra shelves and the fence it could even be an under $10 project.
The best part of all is that Clara is SO INTO HER CLOCK. It’s adorable. I knew when I added the shelf along the bottom and the smaller shelf along the top that she’d get a kick out of seeing various little animals and dragons and fairies on those ledges (you’ve seen her playing with her pretty extensive collection of those here). We didn’t want to hang the clock too low since it’s somewhat delicate and the clock hands can easily get poked into the wrong “time” – so now our ritual is that every night before bed she tells us who she wants on the top shelf (like “Burger Statue!”) and who she wants on the bottom shelf (“Red Rooster and Kitty!”) and we put them up there for her and tuck her in.
Have you guys ever made a clock with one of those kits? Honestly the hardest part was probably drilling a big enough hole to slide the spire though, but that wasn’t even that hard (I just used a few different drill bits, gradually getting bigger, until the hole was the right size).