Where does one go after finishing an amazing bathroom?! Well actually when renovating a house there is lots to do. Sorry, that was a bit anticlimactic. We decided to to the upstairs next. Mainly because, other than the kitchen, it was the only place we hadn’t really changed in any way. The only way it has been improved was that it was clean and we put furniture in the space.
Another suggestion from most home improvement blogs is “What home improvement can you do in the winter?” Interior painting of course! Except maybe when you live in an old house and want to paint the interior window frames. In order to do that we needed to remove the interior windows, which meant letting lots of cold air in. The storms are good, but they’re not perfect. Because we’re getting married in the summer, winter is the best time we have to paint upstairs.
You can check out my earlier post to see what the walls looked like. Spoiler Alert: they’re disgusting! I tried cleaning them when we first moved in but “the dirt” didn’t come off, but instead just seemed to move around on the wall. It is unanimously thought that this is the result of nicotine. We knew we would have to prime before painting and even before priming fix all those cracks and holes in the wall and sand.
People always say that paint is the easiest way to change the look and feel of a room. While I believe this to be true in most cases, in this case it is the way to change it but it’s certainly not the easiest. The amount of prep work involved before painting was ridiculous.
The primer we are using is from Allback Paint. We chose to go with this zero VOC free and alcohol free primer because of the type of primer we used in the mudroom. You can see the post here where we used Zinsser 123 Primer, it is widely used especially for nicotine stains and almost guaranteed to work. It certainly did the job we needed it to do covering all of this. Doing the job turned out to be fairly miserable. The paint dried quicker than we could paint making it difficult to have a smooth finish. Also the amount of fumes was overwhelming. We had the door leading outside in that room open as well as the windows and the odor was still suffocating. I began to feel light-headed and wheezy so Derek was nice enough to endure till the end.
Naturally we wanted to try and go for a more natural route since we are painting a much larger and less contained area. The only thing with the Allback Primer is that it looks terrifying going on. It is brown. Reeeally brown. It is watery in texture and dries quickly, and still remains smooth. Trying to avoid drips was difficult but definitely manageable if you keep a damp rag on hand.
We used a regular latex paint/primer combo on top just to be sure everything covered properly. It did and it looks great. We chose white in the end partly because when deciding on a colour, the colour kept changing and no colour ever felt right. The upstairs gets a fair amount of natural light and we wanted to emphasize that and make the space feel a little more airy since it is just a half story.
We didn’t really like how the trim looked either so we painted it with Sage Green Linseed oil paint from Allback Paint. It has more of a matte finish and we thought the white matte paint would also make it look more like plaster and to go with the plaster vibe in the office
We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It finally looks clean up here and takes advantage of that early day light. Instead of feeling like the upstairs is cut off and disconnected from the rest of the house and avoid spending time in, it is now a space we can feel comfortable and happy hanging out in.
Now all we need is some plants!