The Power of Paint

I picked the kids up at camp on Friday night and then spent the weekend with my cousin and her family out at their farm.  The kids had a blast at camp and enjoyed the weekend with their cousins, but couldn’t wait to get home and see their dad.  It is already 11pm and I have not yet posted for today, so I am trying to post about a previous project.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any before shots, but I will try to explain.

Our New, Old Home Needed Paint

We moved into our home in July of 2008.  The house was built in 1921 and was really in great condition, but needed some cosmetic work.  Most of what we have done has been minor, with the exception of a complete bathroom reno.  Our home is a one and a half story with 2 bedrooms on the upper floor and two on the main floor. Although the upstairs bedrooms are the largest, it made the best sense to put the kids upstairs and for us to have our master bedroom on the main floor.  The second floor consists of 2 large bedrooms with walk-in closets, a good-sized sitting area at the top of the stairs, and a full bathroom. I believe the square footage on the second floor is around 700 square feet.  When we moved in, we removed the 1970’s brown carpet and began to transform the space with paint.

Despite the fact that we live in a heritage home, we knew that there was no hardwood flooring beneath the carpet. We decided to replace the ugly carpet with oriented strand board (particle board).  This may sound completely crazy, but we had this in an upstairs of another home (a long story) and absolutely loved the look, value and durability. We bought cheap OSB (oriented strand board) and laid the 4 X 8 sheets on the entire second floor. My husband sanded them down to a beautiful blond colour and put on several coats of urethane. I absolutely love the textured look and we are not concerned about the wear and tear of the kids on the floors. My son even plays floor hockey in the oversized landing area! The entire second story floor was done for under $700 including wood, machine rentals, urethane, etc. and we love the look!

It all turned out well in the end, but we did have some glitches in this project ~ the urethane yellowed and I was so upset that my husband re-sanded the floors (this did not go over well) and to top it off the heat from the sander and saw dust combusted during the night and the result was a minor house fire ~ YIKES!! We were all sleeping on the main floor during the renovations and woke to alarms blaring.  Luckily no one was hurt and the damage was minimal, but it was a very stressful event. The moral of the story ~ should you decide to install OSB, be sure to buy a urethane that dries clear without any yellowing or you will be disappointed 🙁

The entire upstairs needed to be repainted and we proceeded to do so, with the exception of the bathroom.  (It was not to my liking, but had been recently re-done.)  My daughter’s bedroom is the largest at 15′ X 17.5′, with a large walk-in closet in the back corner of the room.  She had lots of space, but the dark brown carpet and chocolate-brown walls just had to go!!

Recipe for Revitalization:  Just Add Paint

I am so hooked on colour and paint. I truly believe that almost anything can be made to look a whole lot better with a coat of paint.  Generally speaking, paint is a simple and inexpensive solution to any out dated space.  The inspiration for her room came from a cushion that was purchased a few years prior.  I actually designed this room when she was 4 and had a similar design in our previous house.  She is now 11 1/2 and still loves it.  The greatest part is that some of the items are still from her original nursery, as it was done in the aqua tones that are still a part of her current colour pallet.


The Room Inspiration: A Cushion

The Colour Pallet

The main colour for the room was taken from the flower on the cushion and applied to the walls using a colour wash.  The aqua blue walls were painted using a translucent colour wash over white walls. Of course, the chocolate brown walls had to be primed and painted white in order to provide an appropriate base for this technique.

Aqua Walls

You can see the door to the walk in closet to the left of the antique vanity.


Here is a before shot of the antique vanity and bench.

I picked up two vanities, a dresser, the little table beside the vanity and the bench for around $50 or $60 through Kijiji. I stripped the paint and gave it a fresh coat of white paint. I also put a few coats of urethane on the top to protect it from wear and tear. I kept the original hardware, but gave the handles a coat of silver spray paint to update them.  I painted the bench and re-covered the seat to match the upholstered chair in the opposite corner of her room.  (I re-upholstered this chair for Eden’s nursery when she was born.  Her nursery, was the same aqua colour with apple green.)

I decided to leave the little nook white, but incorporate some striping mid way up the wall. This nook sits to the left of the walk-in closet.  It has sheer curtains bordering it.  At times, she has put her bed in the nook instead of the craft/homework desk.  (These curtains were also in her original baby nursery.)


The dresser on the left was purchased with the vanity.


Here is a before shot of the dresser.


The stripes in the nook were created by applying 1/4″ painter’s tape over the white wall. The green was applied and then the tape removed to reveal the squiggly stripes created by the negative space of the white wall behind the stripe.

The Wall Mural

The throw pillow on Eden’s bed also became the inspiration for this hand painted mural on her bedroom wall. It incorporates all of the colours in her room and ties everything together. It was a huge project, but the style is one that has lasted from little girl to tween and she still loves it, so it was really worth the effort. (This is actually the second time I painted her this mural, as she had the same one in our previous home.) The little cabinet on the right is just a Walmart cheapy that was hand painted and designed to match her room. The chair next to it is the upholstered chair from her baby nursery.


Hand painted mural.