Archive for ‘Painting’

January 28, 2012

Quick Tip: Storing Leftover Paint

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

While working on my recent painting projects, I’ve noticed that our older paint cans are beginning to look pretty nasty. Did you know those cheap-o cans from the paint store aren’t air-tight and definitely aren’t intended for long-term storage?

Since you’ll need to do some serious mixing if paint has been sitting for this long (the pigment will separate from the base), it’s a good idea to get it out of that corroding metal can (you don’t want chunky paint). And it’s even better if you can do it before the rust shows up!

Obviously, it’s waaay too late for me, but I’m too cheap to throw paint away. :) Here’s my solution: On a recent Lowe’s trip, I picked up a handful of plastic containers with air-tight lids. They come in all sizes – 1 quart, 2 1/2 quart, 1 gallon, and even 5 gallon for those big paint purchases.

Once I transferred the paint to its new home, I made sure to label my containers with both the product information and room I used it in. And in some cases, I even managed to transfer the store label with all it’s valuable information. Now our paint stash is neatly stored in the laundry room cabinets, where I no longer fear it will spill everywhere. And bonus: Now I don’t need a screwdriver and hammer to open and close the cans! I just love organization, don’t you?

January 14, 2012

Countdown to Carpet

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Over our little break at Christmas, Ethan and I discussed the things we wanted to get done around the house in 2012. There’s nothing like a new year to get me in a goal-setting mood! After throwing around lots of projects and ideas, we realized the one thing that is way overdue in this house is new carpet.

There’s only one thing stopping us from pulling the trigger on that big (and expensive) improvement – a whole lot of painting projects. We want every surface that touches carpet to be painted before the new stuff goes in. Because the last thing either of us wants on brand new carpet is a bunch of paint splatters. Makes sense, right?

Well, since I’m a list-making kinda gal…I made a list (big surprise there!) And since we have the tendency to dive head-first into projects and leave that room a complete mess for months on end, we broke the list up into tiny bite-sized pieces. Projects that we can complete in an evening or Saturday afternoon, and feel a since of accomplishment. So here’s the master list.

DIY painting project list

Just in case you can’t read it, here are the super exciting projects you can look forward to over the next few months. We’re aiming to have new carpet by June, which seems completely manageable.


  • Paint hall closet
  • Paint closet trim
  • Finish (painting) closet door

Dining Room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Texture walls
  • Paint walls
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint trim (including wainscot)
  • Paint French doors

Master Bedroom

  • Touch up trim and window sill
  • Paint doors
  • Reconfigure Melissa’s closet (there’s a ton of wasted space in there)
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim


  • Paint trim


  • Paint doors
  • Touch up trim
  • Paint closet shelves/trim
  • Paint attic door
  • Paint bookcase?? (we’re still deciding on this one)

Guest Bedroom

  • Touch up doors and trim
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim

Middle Bedroom

  • Touch up walls
  • Touch up trim/sill
  • Paint doors


  • Paint trim
  • Paint doors
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim
  • Touch up walls at ceiling (we were messier painters back then)

Oh, and funny story…I made this list and put it on the refrigerator on Monday. It took until Friday evening for Ethan to notice it. :) Anyway, guess what we did today? Not one, but TWO of our projects! I just love to cross things off my lists.

Project #1 – Paint hall closet

All of our closets are just dingy – 25+ years of scrapes and scuffs that need to be freshened up. We just used Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White (our ceiling color) because we already had it on hand.

I know it looks like I did all the work, but Ethan was in there the longest, cutting in the edges and tight spots with a paint brush. I just jumped in at the end to rolls the walls.

Project #2 – Paint dining room ceiling

Since we already had the ceiling paint out, we tackled the dining room ceiling too. This one is real exciting, let me tell you.



I know – not a huge difference. But stand in the entry with me for a sec and look up.

Do you see it now? The old ceiling is a dingy beige color. And our new trim is Super White (that’s actually the name), which makes the dingy beige look even worse. So all our ceilings need a fresh coat of bright white paint. It’s one big domino effect.

So, there’s our Saturday. Not exactly glamorous, but who said DIY was? Is anyone else painting this weekend, or is it just us?

December 15, 2011

Buh-bye Burnt Orange!

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

I’m sure you guys are sick to death of our half bath renovation by now. Especially since it’s been draaaaging on since this time last year! (I can’t believe it – where has the year gone?!) Since our little powder room is fully functional these days (we’re just lacking a light, a mirror and a handful of accessories) and my work load is finally letting up a bit, I’ve decided to tackle our final burnt orange room!

The laundry room has been making me crazy since, well, the week we moved in. It’s actually more of a mudroom since it’s our only path to the backdoor/garage. And since we have a corner lot with the driveway/garage on the side, all of our friends and family walk right through it.

But function really isn’t on my list to tackle right now. Rather than jump into this room and attempt to do a complete overhaul (like we did in the bathroom), I’ve decided I’m going to take it on one little project at a time. I’m hoping for small victories to give me an ongoing sense of accomplishment. We’ll see how it goes…

So my first project was to freshen this room up with a coat (or three) of paint. Rather than labor over the “perfect” paint color, I went with my throw-down decorating method…choosing a color we already had in “stock” over here. Turns out, we had 3/4 gallon of Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl leftover from painting our bedroom. Works for me!

(Side note: This is a much more accurate representation of our laundry room. Clothes, tools and dog accessories everywhere. Just figured I’d keep it real for you guys! :))

After painting a couple test swatches, I realized that primer was a must. Especially if I wanted to use my “free” paint.  So I got to work…

And here’s a shot tonight with a couple coats of Gray Owl paint. You might notice that I got started on the ceiling as well (it’s a different color – Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White – which is so much fresher than the beigey color up there now). I’ve determined that it’s easier to paint the ceiling first (and get paint onto the walls), then cut in the edge with the wall color. I have much more control of my brush on a horizontal, smooth surface!

And did you notice the cabinet pulls? The previous owners must have LOVED that burnt orange color because when they painted the walls, they painted the pulls too. Crazy.

Now that the walls are painted, Ethan and I can’t get over how terrible the trim and doors look. Guess what my next project is going to be!

April 13, 2011

Four Yellow Doors

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

If you missed Monday’s post, my parents came over on Saturday to help us out with some of this DIY business. They’re experts…they renovated the 1940’s ranch I grew up in from top to bottom. The real estate listing deemed it a “tarnished jewel” and they had an 8 month old baby (me). But that’s another post for another day.

While my dad & Ethan were downstairs handling the half bath situation, my mom convinced me that it was time to deal with my ugly yellow doors. Here’s a look at the guest bedroom, last week before I painted the trim. I’d already coated the walls with Benjamin Moore’s November Rain (it’s a muted grey-green color…neutral with just the slightest bit of color). I have absolutely no plan for this room (since we have no furniture for it) so I just picked a paint color I loved! But next to the yellowing trim & doors, it wasn’t looking so hot. Don’t you agree?

{guest bedroom – before}

If you look to the far left side of the photo, that’s a closet door in the gameroom. We painted that room (walls, ceiling, trim) back in December, but I was a little hesitant to get busy on the doors. I was afraid if we didn’t have them professionally sprayed, they would look DIYed – and that’s no good.

Well Dad, the expert painter gave me the last little push I needed. He suggested thinning out the paint with just the tiniest bit of paint thinner, so any bubbles or imperfections would level out as they dried. And he had some little foam rollers (specifically for painting cabinets & doors) in the car. That was the final straw – I gave into their peer pressure.

Mom & I got working right away. The prep work took the longest…removing the door knobs, puttying holes & removing scotch tape (I’m sure this was a kid’s room at some point) and sanding down the surface (just to scuff it up a bit). Then we wiped down each door with a rag, just slightly dampened with paint thinner, to get rid of all the dust & residual gunk.

It probably took a door & a half to come up with a system, but she brushed, I rolled, and we took turns holding the door steady. That turns into quite the job when all sides are wet! And by the way, did you realize a door has 6 sides? Think about it. We only painted four. I’ll let you wonder which two are still yellow…

Enough thinking – it’s time for the big reveal! I still need to hit them with a second coat but…LOOK HOW PRETTY!

{guest bedroom – after}

I’m beyond excited. White trim makes me happy, but white doors? I’m ecstatic! I keep popping my head in that room to check them out…just because it makes me smile. It’s amazing how white trim makes me fall in love with the wall color all over again (probably because I picked the paints side by side & this is the way I intended it to look – go figure).

Doesn’t it feel like a brand new house?? Four doors down….19 to go!

February 19, 2011

Quick Tip: Oil or Latex?

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

While we’re on the subject of paint, here’s a quick tip for determining if your existing trim is covered in oil or latex paint.

Most interior woodwork (trim, doors, cabinetry) is coated with oil-based paint. Although it’s rather messy to clean up, oil-based has a better look when you’re painting semi-gloss or high-gloss trim. Oil-based takes a little longer to dry, but it won’t show as many brush strokes as latex. So if given the option, I’d always choose oil-based paint for trim.

Our existing trim was covered in oil-based paint. But before we purchased 5 gallons of the new color, I wanted to be absolutely sure. Oil-based paint will adhere to latex, but latex won’t adhere to oil. So if it was originally painted with oil, you better repaint with oil.

Here’s the 5 second way to find out: rubbing alcohol + cotton balls.

Put a little alcohol on a cotton ball (or an old rag) & rub it on the paint in question. It’s a good idea to do this in an inconspicuous area. If paint comes off on your cotton ball, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil based.

So there you have it. Give it a try & let me know how it goes – Happy Painting!

%d bloggers like this: