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.
LOVE the new color. And it will definitely show up better once the trim is all white. I hate dark trim…yuckers.
Clara is probably going thru a little growth spurt so her naps will probably be a little bit longer. So this might not be the last time for her to have a “Naps To End All Naps”…:)
I love the color! Now I’m tempted to purchase a sample and see if it would work with the bold deep teal color on the accent wall in my bedroom…..
While I’m thinking about it, any tips on painting trim in carpeted areas? The first and second levels of my house all have the dark wooden trim, and I really think white trim would give the house a little something special. Also, how weird would it look to have white trim all over with a wooden staircase? My house just has all these little quirks about it!
We’ve never done it, but maybe using a piece of cardboard or drop cloth would work?
Looks great against the white trim. Can’t wait to see how the living room looks once you’re done with that trim. Great job!
Julia M says
We are renters and have worked hard to add bold and colorful accents in our apartment and decor to liven up the beige walls–but after reading this, I think I am going to see if my landlord would allow us to paint the whole place this color! It looks refreshing and calming and….classy! Wish us luck!
I have been meaning to ask you guys what flooring you have in the living room there (the squares). I thought it might be come type of laminate, but the cheek incident assured me that it’s wood….right?!
It’s hardwood in a parquet pattern. The funny thing is we had faux parquet laminate in the old house’s den before we replaced it with hardwood, so the fact that it’s already real wood is a total upgrade for us!
Gorgeous!! I am amazed that you painted both of those spaces in one day. I’m lovin’ the transformation.
If anyone is looking for a salt lamp, I consistently see them at TJ Maxx and Marshalls for about $20 (much less expensive than catalogs). My husband and I both have them at work, and there’s one in our bedroom at home too. We LOVE them!
Carole White says
Looking good y’all! We too had dark beams in our kitchen. They are floating though, not attached to the ceiling. I normally paint every possible trim or accent white but I left our beams dark for a bit…we liked the look but something just wasn’t quite right. All the surrounding ceiling and trim was white, and we liked the wood, but it needed something else. We (well, really just my husband did this part) covered the beams in really old, weathered barn wood (no red about it, nice and soft gray). They look awesome. So much beefier now and they get oh-so-many compliments and we were happy to recycle. Oh, and btw – we used the exact same old, weathered barn wood to make (again, just my husband) a headboard for our master bed. Just thought you might like to hear! Keep up the good work.
YEOUCH! I’ve BTDT with the splinters in the cheek, but for me it was cheecks… think it was 2nd or 3rd grade, I was leaning against a fence, when I decided to slide down it and sit on the ground instead… I had hundreds of splinters which my dad painfully and painstakingly removed in front of the plate glass window, as it was the best light in the house! See why I still remember it almost 40 years later! LOL
LOVE the new color. I’m so glad to see this, we painted out living room/dining room/kitchen almost the same grey color and have been stuck with how to decorate afterwards. I’m so excited to see what you do… so so so excited!!
Looks great! I want to paint our second bedroom a light gray and will have to take a look at Moonshine to see if it works as well in our space!
Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl says
Love the white trim!
I’m wanting to paint our wood trim white as well, but was wondering if you had any tips on what to do with the frames of wood-colored Apex windows?
We just paint window trim and scrape the window with a razor to make it look nice and clean at the end. Hope it helps!
Finding that perfect paint color, especially in gray, is the sort of thing that makes me swoon. *sigh*
Wow! I have Moonshine in my laundry room and your pics are making me semi-regret my decision last weekend to paint my guestroom Stonington Gray instead (a little colder/bluer than Moonshine).
Moonshine is a great greenish gray! Very warm. I also have the One-shade-darker Gray Horse in my master and I have to say it’s the best color ever!
I think you should whitewash the beams. It will tie into the wall paint and the trim. Looking soft with just a hint of rustic color. And, two wood chandeliers to keep the area light (though I do love ceiling fans- well, maybe white ceiling fans would work). I don’t think that I would keep the beams as the focal point as it is now. The vertical lines make the ceiling look low. Just my opinion. Good luck!!!
Laura V. says
The power of white trim never ceases to amaze me!! We are currently about 75% done with our conversion from bland colored wood to crisp, glossy white and I swoon every time I see the difference… Seriously, that gray just pops so nicely against the white!
Wow – different time zones! I just read your post about choosing a colour and now its painted. Do you have a time machine? Is that how you get so much done?? It looks great! The grey is so subtle, it will look great with the moodier, richer colours you two are currently rockin’ (from the napkin!). I’m excited to see more.
rebecca a. says
I love it. Yeah you can barely tell the difference in the living room right now, but i can see that once the trim is done the walls will pop. I get where you are going with this. And I can’t wait to see it all come together!
Isn’t it funny that your living room is so big that your furniture fits in the middle with plenty of room to paint around.
Even though I am impatiently waiting for more and more improvements (can’t wait to see what you do to the kitchen!), I love that you still take your time on these decisions, that is what makes you great DIYers.
Keep up the great work! I don’t know how you do it.
Liz @ lefavoritethings says
It looks so great you guys! At first when I saw the first picture I couldn’t tell the difference, but the contrast in the hallway is perfection!
Hi guys! The color looks GREAT! I noticed you said that you are planning on a charcoal sectional. My husband and I are in the market for a gray sectional and it is not easy! Where have you found one?
Ikea! More details soon!
Gina Garcia says
Just wanted to say thanks for your posting style and the quality and quantity with which you post! It’s great knowing I’ll be reading interesting, lengthy, daily posts (with great pics! Most bloggers I read post short, sporadic posts, and throw in a daily pic or two which they think is sufficient. It’s not. Really, thanks you two!
Stacy @ Design Something Better says
I didn’t see any painter’s tape in the picture above, but noticed in yesterday’s junk drawer photo that you guys had a container of Frogtape.
Did you use it for this project and do you like it?
PS. The moonshine is divine!
We love it and we used it to tape off the beams on the ceiling since we want to keep them au naturale for now.
[email protected] says
You’re right, you can definitely see the difference in the hallway better. Looks great!
emmary roemer says
There are so many parts of your house that are similar to ours and I have so many questions. I was wondering if you would be willing to look at some pictures if I sent them to get a little advice. I’m really stumped on the issue of the many different wood colors in our house. We have great beams on our ceiling like you, parkay flooring (again like you), one color of trip in the kitchen, another in the entry way, another in the living room. It’s hard to describe so I thought pics may help. I will preface with the fact that I have three kids, all under 5 (our baby girl is just 11 weeks)….so I’m not really able to take on a huge “paint all the trim task.” But, I do want to do things right. Just let me know what you are able to do. I always love keeping up with you guys and I have all my friends addicted now too.
Why not post them on our Facebook page to get lots of feedback and advice?!
Melissa @ HOUSEography says
Wow! I couldn’t really see the difference until the hall pictures. The white trim is going to really open things up in the living room, and make it a bright space where you are going to want to spend loads of time. Charcoal beams might be the way to make everything more cohesive.
So glad you love your new gray walls. That’s what I chose for my bedroom and it really does warm up a room. Which really surprised me. Looks great!!
Megan S says
LOVE the gray! i’ve been obsessed with gray for a few years now and am just dying to stop renting so i can paint. until then i’ll live vicariously through you two. thanks!
I love the gray! It’s been my favorite color since before we bought our house almost a year ago. And it looks great in your new place! Especially the hallway since it has the white trim.
Question for you if you don’t mind…I want to paint a few rooms in our house gray but everything is beige; all the walls now, the carpet & a lot in the stone tile. Would gray walls look odd with beige-ish floors?
Nope, might look nice and modern if you pick the right tone. Just do the swatch thing we did yesterday. Hope it helps!
The new paint looks great! I love how it looks in the hallway with the white trim. The living room is going to look awesome once you get the trim painted!
Sherry’s idea of painting the beams a charcoal color is not crazy at all!! That is a VERY popular option for beams!
They will be dark enough that they wont be forgotten amidst the white ceiling. Charcoal, or something of the sorts, will be a great accent off of your Moonshine walls!
burritos mama says
hi sherry and john, you both are awesome!
i’ve been following your site for a while now. 1) i love your enthusiasm and commitment to your home 2) i love your generosity because you share very valuable tips, so thank you! and 3) i want to know what you mean by getting the paint “color-matched”. =)
i love to paint but it’s getting very expensive for us. i’ve used olympic primer before and it’s very cost effective. i’d really appreciate your feedback.
Hey Burritos Mama,
We just bring a Benjamin Moore paint swatch to Lowe’s (or have them look up the formula on the computer, which they did in this case) and then they make a batch of it using Olympic NO-VOC Paint (which is cheap and eco/baby friendly. It’s virtually the same color with cheaper paint.
Emily @ Merrypad says
Very pretty – looking forward to seeing it decorated (especially looking forward to seeing what sectional you pick out)… It’s such a big room – I’m envious of that.
It looks so fantastic! I am excited for the trim-painting post….I have tons of wood trim that I have yet to tackle.
We painted our living room/hallway Moonshine and we looove it. It’s funny because it’s such a soft color that at times I feel like there isn’t any color on the wall, but then next to the white trim it really pops. It’s such a beautiful neutral color. Here are some pictures of our living room http://stefandlenny.blogspot.com/2010/11/photo-update-living-room.html We are going to do owl gray in our guest bedroom– I love it too! I think that the color looks beautiful in your room, especially with all of the natural light.
That color looks beautiful on your walls! What color curtains/drapes are you thinking about?
Don’t know yet! Depends what fabric grabs us. Will keep you posted!
Looks FANtastic! I love the grey – perfect backdrop for bright colors, and the moonshine is a beautiful grey. I don’t have the newer benj moor fandeck, so I basically have to run down to the store to pick up every swatch you guys throw out. Probably should break down and buy the fandeck given the trend! :)
Question on filling in those gaps next to the trim…did you go with the light weight dap, or the heavy stuff? Do you recommend priming it before you paint it since it’s such a small area? What about larger areas like the backsplash area in your master bath that you spackled and caulked, did you prime there at all? Just curious because we are basically copying everything you guys do. Hope that is flattering and not severely lame…
We used caulk in a tube, not spackle. The paintable white kind. As for priming, we only recommend it if you’re painting over something super dark like red or brown.
I’m so jealous you guys get to be in your house during the daytime! I love rooms with tons of sun – the paint job looks great!
Erin @ Where Beauty Meets Function says
I didn’t notice the color change until you showed the hall pictures…very pretty!!
And I am so glad I saw your inspiration scans, because that first picture of that post….FABULOUS!! I really hope that’s the direction you guys are thining about. :)
Love the Moonshine! I think it looks awesome! I was looking for a gray for my dining room (which is red right now) and this is amazing!
Lindsey Turner says
Looks awesome guys! I love gray walls! Great job!
The gray looks so elegant against the white trim.
I was just wondering in the 8th pic, why it seems like one of the doorways opens on to a brick wall. Maybe it’s a mirror or the chimney?
See the 4th pic down? It’s that doorway (the angle makes it look like it opens into the brick, but it’s just nearby).
I love it. Gray is becoming my favorite neutral. I can not wait to see the livingroom with the white trim. I have all wood trim here, with wood beaded board wainscotting in a lot of rooms, plus my kitchen cabinets…it’s not too light or too dark but if I could do white I would. Sometime in the distant future it just might be! For now even though it’s our house to do almost anything we want, it’s still my fiance’s mothers and there’s certain things we can’t do until it is officially ours. Anyways, got off track a little. I am picturing the ceiling beams white as well, with a bold but not too dark color on the ceiling! Maybe even a gray that is a few shades darker than the wall color or realy bold and do a teal or something. How high are your ceilings? Oh, and I may have missed it but so you have plans for a new floor in the future?
Looks great. I’ve always loved grey as a room color and it looks wonderful in that large space!
Looks like a ‘how to get paint matched at lowes or HD’ is in order. It is a bit confusing for a newbie. I remember the first time I figured it out, I was amazed! lol
John’s in his summer painting clothes I see. I prefer those too, even on the coldest days…painting works up a sweat!
OK, as I look at the pictures again it may be too big of a ceiling for a color, so I like the idea of a little darker gray with white beams.
Standard height (8′). Hope it helps!
Looks great!! Have you guys tried Angry Birds on your fancy iPad yet? It’s such a fun game!! I’ll have to try Farkle!
Not yet but we played on my iphone!
Jamie Rae says
OH YES! Lovely indeed! I was a little worried there for a minute with the living room’s dark trim, it did nothing for me, but the hallway looks beautimous! I love that white trim, it makes the color pop and sooth at the same time. Very comfortable and classy! Great choice guys, and great job painting so fast. Can’t wait to see more.
Love it with the white trim!!
I had the same beams in my dining room, my husband wanted to take them down but I told him it’d be so much easier and add a bit of character if we painted them white, so he caved. We painted them glossy, like the trim so it looked different than the flat ceiling and they look amazing, everyone loves them!
We always pain trim first, how come you guys do it last?
I think it’s kind of a chicken or the egg thing. I have a short handled brush that makes painting trim pretty easy, so it’s my favorite way to “finish off” a room.
I love the color! It looks amazing, espeically with white trim. They say gray is the new beige…. I love beige, but would love to put some gray somewhere in my house!
Ah, yes…I remember when my daughter started the 2 hour naps a few months ago. LOVE IT. Just wait till Clara is running little circles around you, then she will more than likely crash like a champ EVERY. DAY.
I also love the gray. We used a very similar gray in our previous house for the living room and dining room, and have done the same in our new place for the living room. Love it with the white trim. And as for charcoal, we had a hideous floor to ceiling, red brick fireplace in that room, which was promptly painted…dark charcoal. It had a chunky mantle which I painted white, and it really popped. Really looked awesome against the light gray.
Anyways, good luck with both…painting and naps!! :)
Lovely!! I actually love the grey with the dark brown beams…but maybe charcoal grey on the beams will be great too!!