Further (mis)Adventures in Painting and a Quick Shine for the Floors

Well dear readers, mistakes were made.

Remember when I painted the walls of my kitchen three times before I was satisfied?  Remember how when all my instincts were screaming MISTAKE MISTAKE I just soldiered on, sure that when all was said and done it would be just fine?

Apparently I learned nothing from that debacle.  I am still the eternal optimist who, against all evidence to the contrary, is sure it will turn out all right in the end.  I maintain my optimism for the final, final product, but for now I’m writing this while sitting in a living room painted a shade of powder blue that would be better suited to a nursery, or a birth announcement proclaiming ‘It’s a Boy!’ Please note that it photographs much better than it reads in real life:

Red House West//Living Room Take OneAfter the deliberations I shared with you here, I decided to have the Farrow & Ball color Blackened color matched by Miller Paint in their Evolution line.  I admit to being a little swayed by the F & B advertising which describes Blackened as being: “Historically made with the addition of ‘lamp black’, a pigment made by collecting the residue from burnt lamp oil.”  As an avid reader of British mysteries, there was just something so romantic about this imagery.  There is nothing – not one thing – romantic about the reality of  violet-tinged powder blue walls.  I mean, this is more like a cold shower:

margin of blueSo, back to the drawing board.  I have a few more samples I’m considering (though it’s hard to get a clear read on them with the current wall color – everything is cast with a blue light).  Adding a little stress to the decision-making process is that Miller Paint has a 40% off sale running through Monday, so there’s a strong likelihood that as you read this I am sweating bullets and trying to make a decision in time to get the savings.


A chilling window into my chaotic mind

In happier news, I decided to make good use of the fact that our living room is partially empty and do a little treatment on our wood floors (this had the additional benefit of forcing me to take a break from frenetically putting sample after sample up on the walls).  Our floors are fir, and original to the house when it was built in 1930.  They are in good shape but definitely show the wear of the people and pets and children who have lived here.

Floor beforeThey’re not in need of full on refinishing, but I wanted to do something that would freshen them up.  There are a ton of products out there – the top two are Bona and Rejuvenation (As Seen on TV!) – but after reading many, many internet reviews I was nervous about the number of complaints that both of these brands are known to leave a white film on floors (especially older ones) that require ammonia or professional methods to undo.  I ended up using Hope’s Floor Revive, which – as far as I could find – had not ruined anyone’s floors and also had the advantage of costing much less than the other options.  As I said, our floors are old and I did not expect (nor want) them to end up looking like highly reflective glass, but after less than an hour’s work they are definitely shinier and the scratches are much less noticeable.  Here they are after I used the Floor Revive:Red House West//Easy fix for old wood floor

The process was simple. I gave the floors a thorough cleaning (the product forms a sort of seal, so it’s important to get every last bit of cat hair up before using it). When the floors were dry, I just poured it on a small section then spread it around with a damp sponge. It was easy, not fume-y and is a marked improvement.

With the small victory of the floors, I feel a bit more prepared to move forward with painting the walls. Again.

Please send good thoughts that I might find a good paint color for our living room or, barring that, that I might find the strength to stop painting if I notice after one coat – or hey!  even one wall! – that it’s going awry.  Also give Mera the good grace not to say ‘I told you so’ about Blackened looking blue, even though she did tell me so.  Thanks!

9 responses on “Further (mis)Adventures in Painting and a Quick Shine for the Floors

  1. michellet2013

    Hang in there Katie, I’m sure that it will be lovely when you’re finished—and you’ll have more than perfected your technique!:) I wonder if you should do a coat of white over the blue so that whatever you cover it with doesn’t pick up a bluish cast? Good luck!

  2. Carol Crump Bryner

    Poor Katie!

    The floor looks great! If you ask me (although I notice that you didn’t) I think a creamier color would be better than the bluish grey. There’s one sample there near the door that looks promising. But maybe by now you’ve solved it and are happily drinking tea in your finished room. Best of luck – looking forward to the next progress report.

  3. Vintage4YourHome

    Hey there, trust me I know your agony all too well.. I too experienced a color failure with my dining room. But atlas , painted it a color similar to yours and it’s now my favorite room. I look forward to seeing your finished look. Thanks for sharing the floor product, I’ll look into getting it

  4. Mary Cate

    I know you posted this two years ago, but I’m currently in the same boat with Blackened. It looks so gorgeous in all the photos I Google, but I swatched it over my boys mint bedroom (was mint when we moved in) and it looks lavender! Now, I know it has a slight lavender undertone… but I was heartbroken. So, I’m going to head to Benjamin Moore and buy primer and prime the entire room. Maybe Blackened will look more light grey then? I doubt it. But the mint is really throwing it off. I was hoping to get Blackened colour matched, but I may just have to find something at Benjamin Moore.

    1. Katie Post author

      I totally feel you on Blackened! I just couldn’t seem to make it work. It did help when it was next to bright white trim, so perhaps when you get rid of them mint it will look better. In this post (http://www.redhousewest.com/before-after/if-id-only-had-a-crystal-ball/), I shared the paint color I ended up using–Miller paint’s Crystal Ball in their Colorevolution line –it is perfect and everything I wanted in Blackened. I’m not sure where you are though, and I think it’s only available on the west coast. Best of luck with your paint hunting!

      1. Mary Cate

        I saw that post and was like “that’s the colour I want!” and of course I can’t buy Miller paint in the Atlanta area! And of course they don’t have an online store and I don’t have any friends on the west coast (except California.) I’m going to look at Behr paint in Minimalistic. It’s a new grey and I hope it’s fabulous. But, first, I have to paint the room in the perfect white, no detectable undertones. And of course my bedroom is this awful mocha colour and the downstairs a terrible beige. I love your home! Thanks for the reply too! xx

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