From matte and muddy to fresh and lovely: our massive painting project

January 16th, 2012 Posted by Uncategorized, Wellness 6 thoughts on “From matte and muddy to fresh and lovely: our massive painting project”

Dan and I spent the entire week between Christmas and New Years painting and replacing all the doors on our first floor. To say this was a massive undertaking would be the biggest understatement yet of 2012. We shipped Kate off to both sets of grandparent’s houses for safekeeping while Dan and I slaved away.


As you can see, before we painted, our walls were roughly the color of…mud. (And clearly I didn’t pick up our household debris this particularly day). And the ceilings were mud colored, too. So, basically, we’ve lived in a mud hut. Oh, and the walls were a matte finish, so anytime Kate rammed her toy stroller into the walls, it left crazy, unremovable scuff marks all over the walls. After two years of living in a dark, dirty, mud hut, we’d had enough.

It took forever to decide on a color. We went to Home Depot and picked up about six paint samples to test on our walls. As soon as we slapped those samples on the walls, it became apparent which were winners and which were dubs. If you are considering painting, most definitely get samples and test the colors on your walls first. The chips can be deceiving.

After considering the colors during the day, at night, in direct sunlight, on a cloudy day, we settled on three colors (all colors are Behr’s Paint and Primer in one):

+Chocolate Sparkle

+Ripe Wheat

+Painted Turle


We decided to paint Ripe Wheat over most the walls and use Chocolate Sparkle as an accent wall in the kitchen and Painted Turtle as an accent wall in the family room. Since we were on a quest to erradicate all mud color, we painted the ceiling Behr’s ultra white ceiling paint, and we painted all the trim in Behr’s Glow.

Usually when Dan and I paint, we tape off. I am not steady enough to keep the paint on the intended wall. But when we were at Home Depot, we found this edger tools from Shurline and decided to give them a try. Since taping can take approximately 481 hours, I figured if this tool worked, it would cut our work time substantially.

Good news! This thing totally works! In our marriage, I am the cutter-inner and Dan is the roller. So while I’m painstainkingly cutting in, he’s twiddling his thumbs waiting to roll. Not with this tool! Man, I whipped around the room! So fast! Super speed! I could edge the entire room before Dan finished rolling one wall. Awesome. This thing is worth every penny.

Now, you do have to be careful. It’s not as if you can just slap the paint on there and willy nilly run the tool along the wall. You need to be careful not to get paint on the wheels or else the paint will smear. Also, you need to work with your walls. If your house was built circa 1958 like my house, well, the walls aren’t straight. So you need to go with your wall and move it in relation to the wall, not in relation to what is technically “straight.”

I am beyond happy with the result. Which is good because about halfway through, I thought, is this really worth it? Why did we decided to do this project? But then, when we were finally through, I’m so glad we took on this project. Creating a space we’re proud of increases my happiness 100 fold. Looks like I’m right on track for creating a space I love – and detoxifying my space from…the mud look.

  • Becky

    Oh wow, Sarah, the transformation is amazing! It looks great!!!

  • Susan

    A beautiful transformation! Welcome to homeownership; you guys did a great job.

  • Kat

    Creating a space that you’re proud of – that really resonated with me. I so have that feeling after we have purged/organized/re-done something. It’s cathartic.

    Also? Loved the little tour of your main floor! I feel like left to our own devices, we would probably decorate a house the exact same way. And the paint turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Well worth the effort 🙂

  • Aunt Linda

    MAGNIFICENT!!! You have such sophisticated artistic good taste!!!

  • LOVE the colors. I am a huge fan of yellow walls and love how you paired them with a brown and green accent walls. I would never of painted a wall brown but I love it. I painted my daughter’s floor chocolate brown and thought that was cool. If I ever get to paint a place again, I’m definitely trying the brown. Btw, do you know why when you subscribe by email to your blog and then try to click on that specific day’s post, it clicks through to your blog’s main current page? Then you have to go backwards to find the post you want to comment on? Just curious.

    • Thank you! I love yellow walls, too! Well, I also just love yellow. There’s something very happy about yellow. I love the chocolate wall. I know it can seem a little intimidating, but I think it looks rich. I like the idea of painting the floor – very cool!

      Hmm…I didn’t know that about my email subscription issue. I’ll look into it, thank you!

Hi! I’m Sarah, I am passionate about creating community, building deep connections, and the power of creativity. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, our three kids, and our golden-lab mix.

I believe in leggings as pants, and I drink my coffee black. I love shopping at Costco, teaching group exercise classes, and, athleisure.

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