Monday, November 1, 2010

Big things happening in the Allan household

We've been in our house for almost 4 years. I'm sad to say, Mr. Allan and I haven't really done alot of cosmetic work. I loved house favorite thing was when we walked into a house with a purple bathroom..toilet and all...and Mr. Allan said..I'll give  you 20k to redo the bathroom...yeah right..glad I didn't take him up on that offer..because we're kind of slow on the home improvement front. I remember when we moved into Casa de Allan. I loathed our bathroom. The poor previous owner told us she re-did it herself. I wish I had the same taste and could embrace her cobalt blue trim, chair rail, and molding everywhere and her hand painted floral stencils. That bathroom was on the top of my to re-do list..however it wasn't an immediate need to re do thing and fell by the wayside. 4 years later I'm still looking at the floral stencil mess. that we've started..we're superstars...well I think we are at least.

First thing on my agenda....get rid of our wood trim. Our house looks like wood trim threw up on every end of it. I call it the 80's explosion...all we need is a framed picture of Michael Jackson's Thriller album and Olivia Newton John blasting on our radio. The wood trim would feel right at home.

Here's what our house looked like before...

My living room...wood trim around the big window and all along the floors...yes that's my hot boyfriend Don Draper on tv

 My, well I guess I really should say our, slider leading to our deck...more wood trim throw up

Here's the new and improved living area...

 My camera phone is acting a little are more pictures without the flash..I couldn't decide what I liked they're all on here

I had to take so many pictures because I'm in absolute LOVE with it. I feel like our house stepped into the millennium...I can't tell you how different white trim and a fresh coat of paint on the walls made. I wish the pictures were a little better...but the color on the walls is Benjamin Moore's Stone Hearth and the trim is Benjamin Moore's Swiss Coffee in a semi gloss oil paint.

What did I learn or teach myself through this project...lots!

1) I was soooo intimidated to do this..I'm not sure why I kept getting so intimidated about this project. It seemed so large to me and I got so overwhelmed. wasn't as bad as I thought

I guess that's not really a lesson..but oh well..move onto #2

2) in painting stained wood, use a good Oil Based Primer. I did one coat of Kilz Oil Paint Primer. I then used 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Oil Based paint. I think using a better quality paint like Benjamin Moore made a huge difference. We used Behr in our bedroom and the quality difference is noticeable.

3) Don't be afraid to sand. I just used a sanding block and wished I used it more. The trim in a house gets so nicked up and the sanding block worked wonders on a window sill where my cats frequently jump up and got scratched etc.

4) Purdy angled brushes are your best friends when painting trim. I used a 2" angled and a 1"angled. The 1" was great for my windows, I don't think I could have done it with just the 2" inch.

5) when using oil paint, Home Depot sells a brush cleaner. It works better than paint thinner. Why? I soaked my brushed in paint thinner and the oil paint was just too much to get out from in between the bristles. The paint also sunk to the bottom of the container and I found myself dumping it, putting more paint thinner in and going through a ton. Brush cleaner..they were clean in 10 minutes.

6) Frog Tape rocks. It's way better than the 3M blue crap. I read up on tape. I'm not a good painter and needed tape. I used 3M in our bedroom and when we pulled it off, it left a feathery mark on the edge of the paint. Frog Tape is worth the extra money, it didn't pull off paint we didn't want it to and left a clean edge

7) If you're going to wear a skirt suit to work the day after painting, make sure you remember to clean the white oil paint spots off your legs or else co workers and fellow lawyers will stare and point at you.

I'm no expert..just some things I learned along the way. There may be way easier techniques etc. to do this...but this was my trial and error of how to paint trim and walls.

Mr. Allan is playing with a new tool in the garage...mostly because he's getting ready to hang new doors...I'm beyond excited about this! Our ugly hollow wood veneer looking stained messes will be gone and replaced with nice 5 panel white doors. He's the best!

More de-80ifying pictures to come...especially after I hang curtains back up and put the crap back on the walls so it looks like a house again. Next up...painting the trim on the inside of the 3 bedrooms, hanging new doors and onto crown moulding.

Lastly...I need to give a big ole shout out to Sara. Here's her super cool blog with a house she and Brandon TRANSFORMED
Sara's really cool blog

I asked Sara a million questions on how to paint trim and she patiently answered them all. After seeing what she did, I thought, maybe I could do it too and rid myself of the wood trim that's swallowing my house up.  Thank you Sara!!


  1. It does look FANTASTIC, Holly!!!! Good job!!!

  2. Aww you are so kind Holly!! It looks SOOO 2010!!! Yay for no more scary wood trim!

    Quick question - we used an oil based primer with latex paint..what made you use oil-based paint? We hated using the mineral spirits to clean the brushes so I think that's why we opted for the latex..

    I really wish we had sanded some of our woodwork :( Oh well! White is such an upgrade from gross natural wood!!

  3. I used oil based paint on the suggestion of my friendly Benjamin Moore store owner. He said it would work well with the oil based primer and give a very polished look and suggested it if we thought there were multiple coats of stain on the wood (which we did). He said it would provide the coverage we'd need to get over the stain. The walls and doors--we used latex paint for that!

  4. Holly - WOW! What a difference!!