I’m very pleased today to show you my freshly painted dining room! If you’ve been following my process you’ll know that when I first moved into my townhouse in May 2010 I chose a cheerful bright yellow color for my dining room. I never got around to doing anything with the wall below the chair rail which previously had some very outdated wallpaper. The yellow never really struck me as a great color for the room, so I decided to tackle a repainting project. I’m often drawn to white rooms, but I’m also intrigued by very dark wall colors. I figured my dining room was an excellent opportunity to try both light and dark, separated by the chair rail. After some deliberation, I am beyond pleased with the results.
I don’t think all my friends and family really believed me when I told them that those yellow walls were seriously hindering the potential of my dining room. The yellow bounced around the room and gave everything an almost sickly glow. The wood floor and dining set in particular both have yellow undertones which were brought out way too much. In addition, all of the trim including the window frame was an ugly old bisque color.
It took a whole lot of work to get all that trim bright Decorator’s White. The window frame in particular was a beast due to heavily chipping paint and damaged wood. After scraping, sanding, two coats of paint plus some touch-ups it finally looked clean.
The wall above the chair rail including the ceiling is Windswept Beach by Olympic, which is a very very light gray. I spent several wishy-washy moments staring up at the white ceiling trying to decide whether to paint it. Having it match the walls was definitely the right decision. It’s a subtle difference but it makes the room feel much more cohesive. The color below the chair rail is Napoleon by Olympic. In essence it is simply black, but it also has a slight purple/blue undertone which I’m quite fond of.
As you can see in this photo, the position of the blinds had little bearing on the quality of my “before” shots. And you probably realized this, but those crazy lines on the walls are the shadows from my light fixture. If I ever replace that light, it will definitely be one that casts less shadows!
This was the first time I splurged for high-quality paint. While the colors I chose were by Olympic, the good folks at Lowe’s color-matched them to Valspar Signature. I had never worked with paint of this quality before and I didn’t really know what I was in for. It is so magnificently thick. The difference in the time, effort, and care it takes to use this paint compared to cheaper options is really shocking. Both colors did require two coats, but the second coat was very light and it was easy to quickly get the coverage I needed. I have about a fifth of the gray left, but the quart of black is almost exactly how much I needed. I knew I was pushing it only getting a quart but I ended up saving money by taking the risk.
The table cloth you see in these photos is vintage and hand-woven; I got it for $30 at an antiques shop. I quite like it, though it does not feel like the perfect fit for this room. But it’s the only table cloth I own and I’m not particularly fond of the color of my dining table so there you have it.
Paint truly is transformative. However, people who say it’s also easy clearly must hire professionals or have a friend or two to help them, because there is nothing easy about painting by yourself. It takes several days of several hours of bending and crouching and stretching (and taping, ugh). But the relationship between cost and impact on a room is undeniably huge.
I am very pleased with this improvement. The yellow had been bothering me for quite some time and it feels cathartic to have it gone. I am going to try and focus on the positive rather than the fact that I now need new window treatments and would love to replace the light fixture not to mention get some art on the walls.
Has anyone else recently painted a room? What do you guys think of my color choices? I imagine the stark contrast isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m pleased if for no reason other than I went out of my comfort zone and tried something new and unexpected. And as he often does, Milo immediately put his stamp of approval on the room by lounging on the table for a good hour.Like This Post