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Painting: Living Room Freshen Up

February 20, 2012

I spent this weekend trying to catch up on a few open projects. A few months ago a posted a poll on what color to re-paint the living room. I even posted a comment on the Old House Web forum, hoping to get some suggestions. I have painted this room THREE TIMES and I wanted to make the right color choice.

I purchased a few test samples from the hardware store and put them up against the fireplace, and then promptly did nothing. I guess the multi-colored walls got a little old because my Hubby really started complaining about all the half-done house projects Friday night. I think it was basement anxiety (will it ever be complete?!?) spilling over onto all the other unfinished projects. So, after much debate I went with Bone White in Matte by Benjamin Moore.

Apparently this is very popular color. I Googled Bone White and this is what turned up (click image for link):

I wanted a color that was light, rich, and gave just enough contrast with the white fireplace. I needed it to work with the creams, tans, reds and blues in the room, and coordinate with the fireplace tile. Notice all the colors tested out all over the room – I had to make sure!


What do you think of the finished product below? The room is so much more fresh, but still cozy.  I also had my Hubby change the drapery hardware that flank the fireplace to something more substantial. He cut down an old rod and drilled holes for the finials.


Before painting I filled all the nail and screw holes with plaster. I also had to fix the ceiling detail. Do you see the moldy plaster compound in the photo below? YUCK!!! This is what happens if you don’t hammer the lid shut after you use it.

Before and During:

I did two coats, and cut-in twice. I only used a gallon of paint for the whole room. Purchasing high quality paint is worth it. A cheaper paint would have been very thin and I definitely would have needed 2 gallons, especially since I was going over such a dark color. Good bye test samples and paint swatches!

By the way, what should I do with this niche?! I never like how it looks. I was thinking of using it for books?

I do not plan to paint this room again – ever! It ended up taking me 6 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday, and I spend $60 (paint and rollers). Whenever I paint I used a high quality brush to cut in, not tape. Whatever you are taping off should be removed. For example, I don’t paint around the light switch covers or the drapery hardware, I remove it. Your results will be more professional if you remove all the hardware prior to painting.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 4:21 PM

    Looks like it’s right out of a magazine! great job 🙂

    • March 6, 2012 4:52 PM

      Thank you 🙂 I’m really pleased with the updated drapery hardware. The light color makes the room feel so fresh – I’m ready for Spring!

  2. February 20, 2012 8:19 PM

    The colour you picked really brightens up the space.I never understand why people don’t take the time to remove switch or receptacle covers. It always looks so sloppy. Anyway, your room looks so fresh now!

  3. February 20, 2012 4:12 PM

    Great colour! And I think that niche would be perfect for books.

  4. February 20, 2012 2:40 PM

    Wow this turned out amazing! Nice work doing all that yourself in one weekend! I’m preparing to paint a few rooms in my house, but the living area seems the most daunting. Good thing I have two other rooms to do before then… the color you chose is lovely though!

    • February 20, 2012 4:17 PM

      It was daunting because of the wall mounted TV etc…Thank goodness it’s over! I hope your project doesn’t take as long as mine did. What colors are you going to use? Anything bold?

  5. Erin permalink
    February 20, 2012 1:43 PM

    Looks great Rachel! Really brightens up the room.


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