What A Difference A Paint Makes

So you bought a new house, condo, townhome or even just started renting a new place and find yourself with little money left over to turn your new place into the dream domicile you have always wanted.  And since you are painfully money conscious and financially responsible, you refuse to go broke keeping up with the Jones’ (or is it Jonses?).  Yet, you know that every day you walk through your door you will slowly develop a nervous tick looking at bare walls or an empty room.  Maybe that is just me, but nevertheless, I have a reasonably priced solution…..paint!  Spray paint, stain paint, paint paint.  It will make all the difference and until you have reached your budget goal for that sexy new couch, it will keep that tick at bay.















When we first decided our house was the one that we wanted, I started mentally painting the whole place; my Pinterest board will testify to that. When it came time to paint, we actually did end up hiring  someone to do the job. We just realized between our two kids and not wanting to paint that much of a house while they are inside, we had to bite the bullet, but to make this a true low budget fix, the painting has to be DIY.  Side note, we loved our painters (Tart Painting-NC, who were reasonably priced) and they did an amazing job including treating our house with care.





Anyway, once the painting was done, it looked like a different house.  My favorite colors are the main house color (Sherwin Williams Custom 50% Gray Screen), the formal dining room color (SW7073 Network Gray) and our bedroom (basic white).  Now out of nine colors, one was ify, one I did not like and another was just wrong.  Let me just save you some trouble, BUY SAMPLES!!!  I know you are fussing right now about how much they cost.  Sherwin Williams charged me about $5.30 and that is with a discount.  But $5.30 vs. $60+ (the cost when you find you have to buy a new can of paint) seems like nothing. I bought samples for my main color because that was going to be the bulk of the house and I, at least, had the foresight to know I needed to really make sure I got it right.  It took 2 or 3 to get the right color, but it was worth it because now, I am obsessed with my gray and if you know gray, you know that it is the hardest color to get right because there are always undertones.  A little lesson here, “True” gray can only be made by mixing white and black and I don’t think they do that in the store.  Typically you will find that grays have a green, purple, or blue undertone and you just have to decide with which undertone you will be happy.  I prefer blue and the gray I chose has only a slight blue hue that can only be seen in certain light.






 Sherwin Williams Custom Color (50% Green Garlands)




 SW 6525 (Rarified Air)



 In my son’s room I just combined my main house color (50% Gray Screen) and used the formal dining room color (SW7073 Network Gray)


 SW 6930 (Laudible Lime) and S@ 6953 (Candid Blue)


I did not, however get samples for the other rooms except my green room which took 2 tries and my final try I painted a white board instead of the wall and that was a mistake because I chose the color based off of being painted on a white paper rather than an off white/cream wall and it is not exactly what I wanted.  Fortunately it grew on me and I really like it now.  My youngest son’s room had to be repainted by the painters because I unknowingly chose a white color that turned out to look pink.  I seriously almost shed a tear.

One final tip, if you run out of money before you can paint the trim (around doors and windows) or you just can’t handle painting one more thing after painting all of those walls, instead wipe them down.  Get a bucket filled with water, bleach, and a little bit of dish soap and use that as your cleaning matrix with the towel.  It totally makes the trim shine.  That cool tip is courtesy of Greg, my awesome painter.




I also added a pop of color in the boys’ playroom and my oldest son’t room by spray painting their fans.    The red is a gloss finish and the orange is matte.  Let me just tell you spray painting is one of the best methods of changing something up because it is super fun and cheap.  The bright color paints at Lowe’s are less than $4.  It does take a while to dry and is best if you do it on warm days.  And it seemed, no matter how hard I tried, I always missed a spot.  I actually ended up having to do these tricky techniques to touch up the fans while they were reinstalled.  But as you can see totally worth it.  Oh and in case you are like my good friend and noticed the floors first, they are hardwood (2 1/4 oak) and the finish is Dark Walnut.  This was also another reason painting had to be quick and professional.  I really preferred to post pictures without the floor so one can see that paint alone can be a big change, but life happens.

In the end, as I sit on a folding chair, I can gaze at my walls and feel like I am home.