Before and After: Stripey Entryway

Last weekend Gavin went to Estonia with 23 other men for his best friend’s stag do. While they were off drinking for 72 hours straight, I was being incredibly productive. My big plan (from my 12 x 2012 list!) was to surprise him with a yellow and white painted entryway. My original plan was to use this yellow from Little Greene but at £27.50 for 2.5 liters, I decided to go with cheap old Dulux.

Here’s the entryway before I painted. The green isn’t bad, it just isn’t necessarily good. Notice the dirty scuffs from Gavin’s bike. This is where it normally lives.

Then I started cutting in the edges and oh my goodness, this is where indecision kicked in. I was doing the whole “WHAT HAVE I DONE! THIS IS A DISASTER!!” and thinking that I should get out the leftover bits of green paint from the last owners and fix it. But then I decided to persevere. It took 3 (4 on the small wall!) coats of white to cover that green because I was dumb and didn’t get any primer. I was frustrated to say the least. You might notice that I have no dropcloth. Being poor means that I won’t pay the £10 for a disposable one and I forgot to pick up the free newspapers.. So instead I kept an eye out and had a rag to wipe anything up.

When it was all white, I started to really like it. It was light and fresh and bright. The entryway has no windows other than our bedrooms so the green made it a bit cave-like and the white really emphasized the high ceilings. Once the white was dry, I marked every 5 inches and wrote which part was yellow (key) with a pencil.

I then started taping. Since a.) I don’t really know my neighbors that well, and b.) I’m incredibly stubborn, I didn’t want to ask anyone for either a lever or a taller step ladder, I totally MacGyver-ed it. You might notice in the photos that on the floor is what looks like a jar in a pile of string? That’s exactly what it is. I thought back to my history of architecture class in university and remembered that the Romans (and Egyptians) used a plumb-line/plum-bob to make sure their buildings were vertical. I rigged my own by tying a bunch of lengths of string together and then tied that around a jar of lemongrass paste. Yeah buddy. My second MacGyver-ed item is the step ladder (you can totally see it better in the “after” with the mirror). I needed to be about a foot taller to reach the top of the wall. Enter Gavin’s art books! Big and non-wobbly! I was actually really surprised that I didn’t tumble over and die. Go me! As soon as the tape was up, I was starting to get excited about the results! Yellow paint was ready to be cracked.

Oh yeah.. I didn’t have enough tape (130+ meters wasn’t enough apparently) so I had to re-use my tape. I would paint a few stripes, wait for it to dry, take the tape off and hang it over a door until I had a few and then re-attach them to the wall at the next section. Professional, I know.

At this point I sent Gavin the picture of me holding the paint chip. He had no idea what that meant other than I was painting something. I originally wanted the third from the top but decided that would be a bit too over the top so I went for the one beneath it. I love it! Pulling the tape off was the best thing ever.

This is looking from the bedroom door/hallway towards the front door. I know it’s a crap photo, iPhone + no light = sad photo.

And this is looking down the hallway towards the bedroom door. Notice my “extended” step ladder. Boom. I am the epitome of professional.

Professional MacGyver-ing, that is.

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Decisions, decisions

Gavin and I have been talking about painting our living room for a while now (renters white just isn’t our style) and we got the OK from our landlords. I knew that I wanted to paint the walls in a cool grey color so I got some samples from B&Q (like a British Home Depot). This is now what our wall looks like:

Right now, we are pretty set on the second one from the left. I’m not sure if it’s maybe too blue though.. I am now having second thoughts about the whole painting idea, getting cold feet. Also, I am unsure as to what I am going to do with the picture rail, the crown molding and the space inbetween. Should I go traditional and paint the upper bit a lighter shade of the wall color and the molding high gloss white? Or something different?

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