Thursday, June 28, 2012

Duck, Duck, GOOSE.

Painting the kitchen walls another color besides "primer" = crazy surreal moment.

Not too long ago I remember standing in the middle of the old kitchen, glaring at the crusty faux wood cabinets in an attempt to blast them away via my imaginary telekinetic powers.  Paint color hadn't even entered my mind yet; I was too preoccupied with mysterious stains, rusty cabinets, and a wall paper border that irritated me beyond belief (seriously, why were repeated patterns of pastel fruit baskets ever popular to adorn your walls with??)  So when I stood in the new kitchen, gracefully rolling out a fresh coat of Martha Stewart's "Heavy Goose" onto our freshly repaired walls, I was stunned.  I wasn't at all speechless though, since I kept repeating "this is ca-ray-zee" like a bad broken record.  But seriously, this is CA-RAY-ZEE.

Putting my giddy emotions aside, let's discuss our kitchen's brand-spanking-new color scheme.  We'll start with the walls.  From the beginning I knew I wanted a soft gray color for the walls; something crisp, clean, soothing, yet stylish.  Gray is typically considered a contemporary color, and I guess in this case it still is.  But of course I always have to stick my annoyingly creative visions into anything that seems normal and make it "different".  I'll admit, I'm like that obnoxiously weird kid in high school who just feeds off of going against the grain.  Too cool for school, I've got that rebellious teenage nature at the ripe age of 25.  Sorry I'm not sorry.  So anyway, I wanted my kitchen to be a melting pot of contemporary and vintage elements.  Weird, but so me.

Back to Heavy Goose.  Searching for the perfect shade of gray was quite an exhausting and frustrating task.  My concern was picking a gray that didn't have blue hues in it because I was afraid of the walls looking like a washed out blue instead of a legit gray.  I first experienced the chameleon nature of gray paints when we painted our bedroom walls.  In that room I actually wanted a blueish gray, but found that a lot of "grays" either looked flat-out blue (liars) or sort of brownish/tan.  So I waddled around the paint section of Home Depot snatching up gray paint swatches like a greedy little kid collecting pinata loot.  Swatches were falling out of my purse and I looked like a complete lunatic.

When I got home I taped all of my pinata loot up to the kitchen walls and began the quick task of elimination.  "Too blue, that's definitely tan, ehhh dunno about that one, that looked a lot more promising in the store, why did I pick this one??"  I quickly narrowed my choices down to a couple swatches.  It's important to remember that paint colors look completely different in various types of lighting.  That's why I recommend that you give your paint decisions the 24-hour rule: tape up your swatch card (or paint a test swatch), see what it looks like at various times of the day (morning, noon, & night), and then sleep on it before you make your decision.  I also like to search the paint brand and color name in a Google image search and see photos of rooms painted in my color of interest.  A little research goes a long way; there's nothing like expending the effort to paint a room and then bitterly loathing the paint color until you finally get around to repainting it again.  After the 24 hour rule and some Googling, I knew me 'n Heavy Goose would be friends forever.

Behr Ultra Premium Plus color matched to Martha Stewart Heavy Goose.

But my arduous task of color selection didn't stop at Heavy Goose -- I also needed a color for the ceiling.  That's right, this rebellious gal decided to paint the ceiling a color instead of basic flat white.  With gray walls and white cabinets, I just felt like a colored ceiling would be an exciting way to amp up the interest in the room.  An additional design element, if you will.  I always tell people about how my Aunt painted her front porch ceiling a pale blue, and how it feels like you're sitting under the sky, and how it somehow it diverts bugs from living in the corners of your porch ceiling.  I'm not too worried about bugs, but it would be cool if the ceiling felt like it was limitless ( the sky).  Or maybe this was me just hurting to be "different" again.

The hunt was on for the perfect blue.  I wanted something more vintage-y than the walls, and something that would compliment the minty green back splash tiles we had picked out.  Once again, I gather up a stupid amount of paint swatches, this time looking for the perfect blue-green.  I repeated my 24-hour rule, scanned Google images, and ended up with Glidden's "Almost Aqua". 

Behr Ultra Premium Plus color matched to Glidden Almost Aqua.

I sat on my paint decisions for a of couple months before it was finally time to pull the trigger and buy it.  We purchased our kitchen paint during Home Depot's Memorial Day weekend sale (we also bought our new fridge, holler), where we got a $5 rebate on every gallon of Behr paint we purchased.  We've done this before and received a shiny orange Home Depot gift card in the mail with our rebate value on it.  In case you're wondering, we color-matched Martha's Heavy Goose and Glidden's Almost Aqua to Behr Premium Plus Ultra eggshell interior paint, simply because we are Behr people.  And in case you're wondering why we went with eggshell finish, it's simply a personal preference.  Typically bathrooms and kitchens are recommended to have satin finish walls for ease of cleaning, but I'm offended by shiny walls and find eggshell to be a nice warm finish that's plenty easy to wipe clean when needed.  As for the ceilings, they're typically recommended to be a flat white.  I could've bought the Almost Aqua in a flat finish, but I didn't want them to look dull; I wanted the color to have some sort of dimension, so I went with my safety finish, eggshell.  There I go being "different' again...

Before I could slather the walls in beautiful, beautiful color, we had some things to check off the to-do list.  First we wiped down the walls and ceiling with a damp rag.  This step was critical, especially since the walls were coated in dust from sanding drywall and sawdust from when the floors were sanded down.  Even if you didn't sand drywall or refinish your floors, you should always wipe down your walls before painting so that cobwebs, dust, and dirt don't compromise the finish and durability of your new paint.

After the walls and ceiling were wiped clean, we need to paint on a solid coat of primer.  Usually I skip this step, especially since Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint has primer in it already.  However, fresh drywall should be properly sealed before painting, and we had a lot of that.  Priming the walls was actually more exciting than I thought since it covered up our patchwork walls and made them seem cohesive.  Suddenly our kitchen had become a complete room.

Ahhh nice clean walls!

A perfect canvas.

With the walls primed, it was time to paint, right?  Nope, not yet.  Next we needed to caulk the baseboards and trim.  For this I used your basic white painters caulk.  Just run a light bead of caulk along your baseboard/trim, run your finger along the bead to ensure it fills your gaps and cracks, then wipe any excess clean with a damp rag.  It's best to tow around a bucket of water with a few rags in it as the rags get pretty gummy with caulk pretty quickly.  Be sure to fill all nail holes, gaps, and cracks, otherwise they'll really stand out once your trim is painted white.  Let your caulk dry for at least 24 hours.  Thicker beads of caulk take longer to dry, so make sure it's dry before you paint.

After caulking it was time to paint!  As you should with any room, we started with the ceiling first.  I've painted ceilings before, and let me tell sucks.  Be sure to have a heating pad waiting for you when you're done, because your neck will be begging for it.  I personally feel that I've done my hard time painting ceilings.  At 5'3", it's not an easy task.  So I went around the room and painted the edges of the ceiling whilst my husband-to-be took on the terrible task of painting the ceiling.  Thankssss babe!

The next day it was time for the second coat.  This was a bit of a battle for us, since painting the ceiling is a huge pain in the you-know-what and it looked good enough with one coat.  However, my giant eyeballs detected some splotchiness, so a second coat was necessary.  Sorry babe.

Then it was time to get loosey goosey with the Heavy Goose.  CA-RAY-ZEE.  

You can really see the colors here.  Aqua ceiling, gray walls, white hutch.  I am in love...with my walls.

Another angle showing the colors.

We're moving along so dang quickly that we have a backup in our blog posts.  With that said, stay tuned as you're sure to see some more dramatic and beautiful changes popping up on DIY Squirrel.

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